You should DEFINITELY not let me write cartoons…
Many years ago, teenager Kevin Keene was pulled through his television, summoned through the Ultimate Warp Zone to Videoland, a bizarre fantasy land populated by Nintendo characters. He became Captain N, Videoland’s only hope against the nefarious Mother Brain and her villainous allies like the Eggplant Wizard, Dr. Wily, and Count Dracula. Armed with his potent Zapper weapon, he struggled for many years but was finally able to defeat the Brain and break her reign of terror. The other villains scattered, and the heroic alliance similarly dissolved. Simon Belmont returned to Castlevania to keep the Count in check, Mega Man to watch Dr. Wily, and Pit escorted the Eggplant Wizard back to his local jurisdiction.
Kevin returned home after this prolonged absence full of nonsense stories. He could never adequately explain where he’d been or what he was doing, and why he carried around useless Nintendo accessories as if they were lethal weapons. After months of pleading, his parents finally convinced him to see a doctor, but therapy sessions went nowhere. They didn’t believe he was delusional, just that Kevin had gotten hardcore into drugs and had run away from home, inventing some bizarre fiction so that people would think him crazy, thereby absolving himself of responsibility for his actions.
Everyone just figured Kevin needed time to come to terms with it. Years passed, and Kevin was never summoned back to Videoland. Games moved on, memories faded, and Kevin began to doubt his own experiences. He began to think that Videoland needed belief and imagination to continue to exist, like some kind of collective unconscious or dreamland, and with gaming moving on to bigger and better things, maybe Videoland was dead. Maybe it wasn’t real after all. Rather, it was real at the time, but only as real as a child’s belief in Santa Claus. It’s a kind of magic, a world of innocence that fades with maturity and memory.
He’s partially right.
Fiction is an infinite universe of thought, the manifestation of imagination. You think, therefore it is. Belief can strengthen these figments of imagination and give ideas power– anyone who reads Sutter Cane knows that– so it’s true that Videoland would inevitably gutter out to a dim glow, a faint, splintered reality without Kevin’s influence to unite the various stories. It’s sad, and more than a little weird to think about (sort of like Hypertime), and the theory’s got more holes in it than a pasta strainer, but sometimes the gods have a quirky sense of humor.
But Mother Brain doesn’t. Kevin Keene made one vital mistake, the monkey motherfucker: he let her live. Stewing in her defeat, she began to realize that she’d been wasting her time trying to conquer some imaginary world where plumbers could shoot fire out of flowers. Kevin came from the Real World; her own world only existed as a fleeting, passing thought of the Real. And seriously, fuck that noise. Captain N ain’t shit without his Zapper, and she’s damn skippy that whatever’s going on in the Real World, they can’t handle a full-scale Metroid invasion.
So she pulls the old crew together. Dr. Wily to figure out the math and open the Ultimate Warp Zone in the other direction. Eggplant Wizard to administrate the underlings. King Hippo for dumb muscle. But actually, it was Count Dracula who had this whole thing figured out a while ago. Ol’ Drac has got an entire gallery of paintings that form portals to other worlds. The Real World is a snap. After all, he’s kind of everywhere, and belief in vampires is stronger than ever.
Oh yeah, the Metroids are coming, and you have Edward Cullen to thank.
Luckily, the old heroes are hot on their trail, but does Captain N still have the same magic? What’s with the blue hedgehog and the pink puffball? It it Doctor Light or Doctor Wright? Is Solid Snake unlockable?
This is getting weird…
Historical Note: There are a few episodes where Captain N encounters Bayou Billy, from the only game that he couldn’t beat. Yes, The Adventures of Bayou Billy was so balls-hard that even the Game Master himself couldn’t beat it.