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Captain N character designer shares concept art of the show that never was

Choppasmith

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Happened to stumble upon this amongst the Captain N jokes sprouting up from MM being in the new Smash brothers.

Fil Barlow, an artist working on a lot of cartoons from the 80s and 90s has a Deviantart page, and a year ago, he posted concept art for an early version of Captain N called "Buddy Boy", originally based off Paperboy but Nintendo said no (I'd imagine there would be rights issues too).



Fil Barlow said:
This is what Captain Nintendo could have been. In 1989, just before getting laid off from DIC, I worked closely with Executive Producer Richard Raynis in the early development of an animation based on Nintendo games. Originally called Paper Boy, based off the game of the same name. For some legal reason Nintendo didn't want to use that game's title so Richard changed the name to Buddy Boy.

Richard and I were working with the idea that Buddy was still a paperboy and as you can see from the top left image, reality is as addictive to Game World characters as games are to us. See Megaman on the bike?

Top Right is the six foot high pitch art that Richard took into the meeting to try and sell Buddy to Nintendo. Had I been the head character designer on Captain Nintendo the whole show would have been in this rounder style, unfortunately I was back in Australia when the show was green lit, and other artists jostled for the helm. As you can see only the Eggplant Wizard and King Hippo remained in this style. I was also the one who found these characters and added them to the lineup. I always liked the "Death" character who would try to "Game Over" Buddy and kick him out of the Game World back to reality.

Lower Left shows Megaman's family, his Megamum, Megadad, Megabird and even Megarat. Megaman was more of a boy, a reflection of Buddy in the Game World.

Lower Right is the first time Kid Icarus meets Buddy Boy (notice his rolled newspaper and bike wheel decorations on his pajamas). Buddy thinks Icarus is an answer to a prayer, but he's only in the real world to plead for Buddy's help in the Game World, accessed through the elevator in the closet, complete with Bellhop.

In my opinion you were robbed, I did my best to give you fun interesting show but all I have are these photos. At least you've seen what could have been.
Fil Barlow said:
Megaman's parents were just the Incredibles idea ahead of it's time, they were once heroes, who had gotten out of shape. I wanted to base all of the character and creature designs of the games, that was the whole challenge for me.
In before MM Fan hate.
 

Dr. Zoidberg

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Interesting artwork. Ugly...but interesting. Thanks for sharing this with us.

EDIT - My favorite characters from the show were the villains. When I think of Eggplant Wizard, I think of this one.
 

Penguin

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I've always wondered

1)Why Nintendo never made a Captain N video game. It could have been their Kingdom Hearts
2)Why companies have avoided dipping their toes back into animation. Granted some of the toons have been less than stellar, but it does expose them to a new generation. I mean one of the reasons Pokemon succeeds.
 

CorvoSol

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Why did they radically change mega man and simon belmont in this show? Also why did they have Mother Brain but not Samus Aran?
As I recall, Samus exists within the Captain N continuity, but only in the comics, where Princess what's her face is intensely jealous of her and how she gets on with Kevin. Like a reverse of how Zelda doesn't like princess what's her face because Link puts the moves on or something.

The real questions are where is Mario and why did they ruin Final Fantasy?
 

Zonic

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"Megaman's parents were just the Incredibles idea ahead of it's time, they were once heroes, who had gotten out of shape."

There's a Bad Box Art Mega Man joke I'm sure to be made there.

Wonder if he can fill us in on some other stuff, like why they chose those certain characters, villains, etc. & how come there was a crossover episode with Link, but not Mario?
 

Aaron Strife

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As I recall, Samus exists within the Captain N continuity, but only in the comics, where Princess what's her face is intensely jealous of her and how she gets on with Kevin. Like a reverse of how Zelda doesn't like princess what's her face because Link puts the moves on or something.

The real questions are where is Mario and why did they ruin Final Fantasy?
In traditional Captain N style, I'd always hoped there'd just be a character named Final Fantasy. And he'd look like this



I know they did one, this would have been funnier
 

Toad.T

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On the one hand, it certainly looks funner than Captain N, and some of the ideas are very interesting.
On the other though, I couldn't think that they could make Captain N Rock look worse, but they did.
 

CorvoSol

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In traditional Captain N style, I'd always hoped there'd just be a character named Final Fantasy. And he'd look like this



I know they did one, this would have been funnier
In the Captain N Universe, all Final Fantasy characters would've looked less like the Yoshitaka Amano illustrations and more like the nightmare fuel Nintendo power ones.
 

Game Guru

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Why did they radically change mega man and simon belmont in this show? Also why did they have Mother Brain but not Samus Aran?
Well, it appears that they took the designs for Mega Man, Kid Icarus, Eggplant Wizard, King Hippo, and Donkey Kong from this idea, but based the design of Simon Belmont, who was not in either this pitch or the original Captain Nintendo short story, on his VA, Andrew Kavadas.

Oddly enough, Captain N used the Paperboy design from this idea when they visited the Paperboy world.

As for where Mario was... Back on the Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World shows, though that would've been a good crossover, but that would end up having to deal with the cartoon versions of the Super Mario Bros.

In traditional Captain N style, I'd always hoped there'd just be a character named Final Fantasy. And he'd look like this



I know they did one, this would have been funnier
Don't worry... Captain N used an idea like that for Alucard from Castlevania III.
 

Starwolf_UK

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I wonder if it was DiC or Nintendo who came up with using Captain N[intendo] as the main character (and thus mother brain as the villain) instead of "Original character. Do not steal". But if you're interested in the original Captain N (character) the creator wrote about him here (a few bits of the story have accuracy problems, the later chapter about the Mario I'm certain is supposed to Super Mario Bros 2 rather than 3 and given the prototype in the wild collaborates with it).

The real questions are where is Mario and why did they ruin Final Fantasy?
DiC were using Mario in other shows and I would imagine the license probably only covered one show (otherwise Mario would be every DiC cartoon, if you had someone more popular than Mickey Mouse you would do the same thing). I'm sure Link's appearance didn't overlap with the Zelda cartoon broadcasting but Super Mario 3 and Super Mario World were still running during Captain N time.

As for Final Fantasy. The season 3 episodes were the worst, wasn't the Final Fantasy one the only episode based on a videogame?

Edit: Who would win a fight of Mega Mom vs. Momma Robotnik?
 

WolvenOne

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Iiiiinteresting.

I mean, it'd be even less true to the original characters, but it might've been a better show. Either way, it's an interesting little footnote in gaming history.
 
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As for Final Fantasy. The season 3 episodes were the worst, wasn't the Final Fantasy one the only episode based on a videogame?
They also did Mega Man 3 (Mega Man got Rush for one episode) and Castlevania 3 (Simon hangs out at Trevor's grave, Alucard is a radical skateboardin' teenager, and Sypha is an old man). Then they also had Robin Hood, [not actually voiced by] Larry Bird, and [not actually voiced by] Bo Jackson episodes, all of which may or may not have been based on their respective NES/Game Boy games at the time. The Bo Jackson baseball episode was the only one where Mother Brain, Eggplant Wizard, and King Hippo showed up that season. They also shortened a bunch of the earlier episodes to 11 minutes each, allowing them to produce more Mario World episodes without having to create additional Captain N episodes.

I can see why they wouldn't base a show around Paperboy, seeing as how Paperboy was an Atari Games property, and Atari Games' Tengen home division was in the process of going unlicensed and fighting Nintendo in court over Tetris at that time, though some of the Tengen-developed NES games (like Paperboy, for one) did get licensed releases via Mindscape rather than Tengen's black cartridge in-house published releases.

For curiosity's sake, here's the shortened-for-time version of the Paperboy episode from the third season. It's the Captain N "media literacy" episode. They probably partially made it as a throwback to the original Buddy Boy concept among their staff. Paperboy is named Julio!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-jpr2S3ldw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtP69849h5E
 

MrCunningham

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In all honesty, I kind of like the artstyle going on there it looks really cool. Was making Mega Man green a copy-write issue or something? There must have been an obvious reason why they took so many creative liberties with his character?

Also, I thought this was kind of interesting:

Unused character design for a proposed Kameo movie, done by the same artist:



http://filbarlow.deviantart.com/#/art/Ice-Creature-210923649?hf=1
 

Choppasmith

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Was making Mega Man green a copy-write issue or something? There must have been an obvious reason why they took so many creative liberties with his character?
He says in the comments that it was the small crappy TV he used to play Mega Man and that he looked green. He only had one night to familiarize himself with the character and to recall the character the next day by memory (which is funny because I always thought that was just a dumb urban myth made up by fans). There was also something about legal issues that they could use the character by name but not use the exact likeness.
 

Choppasmith

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They should bring Capt N back.
If Nintendo wasn't so staunchly against more animated adaptations, namely for Mario and Zelda, I would say making a new series something like Kingdom Hearts crossed with Smash would be awesome. It could base itself off the best parts of the cartoon and the comic. Have Samus and Pit, replace Game Boy with ROB and replace Simon with Captain Falcon (I always pictured Falcon being very aloof and cocky, getting into fights with the main hero kind of like Simon, but not nearly as "useless")

But Damn, Captain N and Mike Jones, two classic characters begging for a new start that Nintendo just doesn't recognize as being theirs despite owning them. Just tragic.
 

Sciz

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I can't dislike an iteration of Mega Man that wears a "BLESS OUR MEGAHOME" sign so proudly.
 
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But Damn, Captain N and Mike Jones, two classic characters begging for a new start that Nintendo just doesn't recognize as being theirs despite owning them. Just tragic.
I dunno if Nintendo really owns Captain N, though. I mean, they published the original Captain Nintendo stories in Nintendo Power back when Nintendo of America was running it, but I'm inclined to believe that DiC has ownership over the visually-designed/altered/aired version. Still, it can't be harder to make a licensing deal with DiC than with Capcom, Konami, or Sega to have a character appear, can it?

I think the bigger hurdle would be Nintendo having to tell players in Japan "Here's a new Smash character that you completely don't know or care about, but bear with us, he's an NES-themed character... you know, NES, the Western version of the Famicom. He plays kind of like Fox, I guess. Just squint and pretend he's Marty McFly."
 

DangerMouse

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I've always wondered

1)Why Nintendo never made a Captain N video game. It could have been their Kingdom Hearts
2)Why companies have avoided dipping their toes back into animation. Granted some of the toons have been less than stellar, but it does expose them to a new generation. I mean one of the reasons Pokemon succeeds.
Agreed on both, but I always remember wondering that first one.
 

Black Door

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Dec 5, 2012
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loling @ the family members trying vainly to save their good Christian son from the horrors of polytheism.

This looks even more terrible than the final product, though
 

Sgblues

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Looks way more high quality but at the same time way worse than what we got in the end and that's saying a lot.

Still I wished they could have brought back Captain N for something(smash or a new game like a Nintendo version of Kingdom hearts or even a new tv series)