12/10/2006: Genesis: Mystical Fighter, Pirates Gold, Pirates of Dark Water, The

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12/10/2006: Genesis: Mystical Fighter, Pirates Gold, Pirates of Dark Water, The

Postby VideoGameCritic » December 10th, 2006, 12:49 pm

To be honest, I reviewed these games last summer, so they've been sitting in my queue for quite a while.  I think these reviews are just average, but they get the point across.  You be the judge.

bluemonkey1
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12/10/2006: Genesis: Mystical Fighter, Pirates Gold, Pirates of Dark Water, The

Postby bluemonkey1 » December 10th, 2006, 2:19 pm

Just worth mentioning that The Pirates of Dark Water is based on one of the best children's TV shows I have ever seen, cracking series.  I'll have to hunt this down somewhere.


Adamant1
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12/10/2006: Genesis: Mystical Fighter, Pirates Gold, Pirates of Dark Water, The

Postby Adamant1 » December 10th, 2006, 3:32 pm

Hush you, Freakazoid will always be the best children's cartoon series ever.

But yeah, go watch Pirates of Dark Water now. The game IS intended for fans of the show.

Oh, and Pirates! is not a NES game, it's a classic computer game that was eventually ported to the NES.

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12/10/2006: Genesis: Mystical Fighter, Pirates Gold, Pirates of Dark Water, The

Postby Gentlegamer1 » December 10th, 2006, 6:58 pm

Bluemonkey already said it, but the reason for the "another planet" is that Pirates of Dark Water was based on a cool cartoon. Whether the game is any good is another matter.

a0

12/10/2006: Genesis: Mystical Fighter, Pirates Gold, Pirates of Dark Water, The

Postby a0 » December 10th, 2006, 10:26 pm

[QUOTE=Adamant]Hush you, Freakazoid will always be the best children's cartoon series ever.
[/QUOTE]

He said one of the best, which clearly implies he knows that Freakazoid is the best (maybe tied with the Tick).


jrallen811
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12/10/2006: Genesis: Mystical Fighter, Pirates Gold, Pirates of Dark Water, The

Postby jrallen811 » December 11th, 2006, 12:34 am

I definitely found it helpful to see the Pirates! review - I didn't even know there was a genesis version! I really loved the old computer game, but found it surprising you liked it well enough for a B+. The sailing against the wind was REALLY tedious, if it's like the old PC version. Also, do you care that the game has no "final" ending, or do you view the "career" score as better?




ActRaiser1
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12/10/2006: Genesis: Mystical Fighter, Pirates Gold, Pirates of Dark Water, The

Postby ActRaiser1 » December 11th, 2006, 10:08 am

The Pirates of Dark Water cartoon absolutely rocked.  I loved that show as a kid.  It was all about some prince trying to collect 13 artifacts to stop the spread of the dark water from taking over the world completely.  All the while another pirate was after the same artifacts for his own nefarious purposes. 

 

Youth and the glimmer of nostalgia for the good stuff.  In all actuality I'm sure the show today would suck but at the time it seemed so mature and fun with an edge to it compared to the rest of the Saturday morning cartoons.

 

I was at best buy this weekend and saw the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon series and nearly picked it up for the same reason, good ol nostalgia.  Then reason set in and I passed it on by.


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12/10/2006: Genesis: Mystical Fighter, Pirates Gold, Pirates of Dark Water, The

Postby VideoGameCritic » December 11th, 2006, 5:19 pm

[QUOTE=ActRaiser]

I was at best buy this weekend and saw the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon series and nearly picked it up for the same reason, good ol nostalgia.  Then reason set in and I passed it on by.

[/QUOTE]

The D&D series wasn't any good?  I've never seen it, but I usually enjoy D&D type stuff.  Please tell me about it.

McTom

12/10/2006: Genesis: Mystical Fighter, Pirates Gold, Pirates of Dark Water, The

Postby McTom » December 12th, 2006, 7:41 am


it was about four pathetic little kids who got in a magical railroad or something - they ended up in a D&D world. They always got ALMOST out of there, if it wasn't for one of the losers who owned an unicorn which was kidnapped all the time, for which they had to stay in the magic world for like an eternity. That's what I remember at least .

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12/10/2006: Genesis: Mystical Fighter, Pirates Gold, Pirates of Dark Water, The

Postby ActRaiser1 » December 12th, 2006, 8:45 am

[QUOTE=The Video Game Critic][QUOTE=ActRaiser]

I was at best buy this weekend and saw the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon series and nearly picked it up for the same reason, good ol nostalgia.  Then reason set in and I passed it on by.

[/QUOTE]

The D&D series wasn't any good?  I've never seen it, but I usually enjoy D&D type stuff.  Please tell me about it.
[/QUOTE]

 

I loved it as a kid.   

 

The general premise of the show is that a group of kids are pulled into the "Realm of Dungeons & Dragons" by taking a magical roller coaster trip at a fairground. Invariably, the children just want to get home, but often take detours to help people, or, especially, find that their fates are intertwined with the fate of others.

 

More details from wikipedia are below.  It's a pretty good read if you've got time.

 

Dungeons & Dragons is an American animated television series that was a co-production of Marvel Productions and TSR, and made in the United States during the 1980s. Based on TSR's Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, the show was popular in the US, and ran for three seasons on CBS.

Although aimed at a young audience as many animated series are, the show had distinctive plots, and was unusual in children's television for the amount of ethical awareness and empathy displayed to and encouraged in the viewer. It was not unusual for members of the band to lose hope or break down in tears, only to be comforted by others, or reinvigorated through good works. The level of violence was controversial for children's television at the time, and the script of one episode, "The Dragon's Graveyard", was almost shelved because the characters contemplated killing their nemesis, Venger. [1] In 1985, the National Coalition on Television Violence claimed it was the most violent show on network television. At least some of the criticism of the show was based not so much on its actual content, as its association with the Dungeons & Dragons franchise[citation needed] which had become highly controversial by the 1980s due to its supposedly occult content.

In 1987, the series premiered in France and in the United Kingdom, satellite television channels were showing re-runs at least into the late 1990s. In 1999, Saban Entertainment bought out the Marvel Productions catalog (minus the Hasbro related series), including all the airing rights. Saban later merged with the Fox Entertainment Group, and for a while (about six months), the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon was aired during the Saturday morning and weekday afternoon FoxKids time block. In August 2002, Disney acquired Fox & Saban and gained the broadcast rights to the cartoon; however, it had not been shown on any affiliated television channel until April 7, 2006, when it was broadcast on Jetix on Toon Disney. BCI has recently acquired the DVD rights. The series was very successful in Brazil, and was aired during the Xou da Xuxa, the most famous Brazilian children's show. The whole series is currently available on DVD in the United Kingdom and was released in the United States on DVD for the first time ever on December 5, 2006. Currently, a fan of the show is trying to use some of the original characters voice to make the final episode according to the UK DVD set.

 

The general premise of the show is that a group of kids are pulled into the "Realm of Dungeons & Dragons" by taking a magical roller coaster trip at a fairground. Invariably, the children just want to get home, but often take detours to help people, or, especially, find that their fates are intertwined with the fate of others.

After arriving in the Realm, the children are a little out of place, but the Dungeon Master (named for the role of the referee in the role-playing game) appears, assuming the role of their mentor, and gives them each clothing and magical paraphernalia to suit their abilities.

The original title sequence is a concise dramatization of the kids' arrival in the realm and the assignment of their respective character classes. The second season version begins with the ride, only to shift to a stylized action sequence with the kids, more accustomed to the demands of the realm, capably doing battle. This sequence was kept when the show was reaired by Fox, but was shortened and remixed with different music. Also the ending credit sequence was completely replaced by a generic closing credit sequence common to shows on the Fox network at the time. This is the version currently shown on Jetix (in the U.S.). The U.S. DVD release uses both the original 1st Season opening and original ending for all the episodes, but still includes all the various openings and endings in the special features. A storyboard for the second season's introduction can be viewed here

[edit] Main characters

The main characters of the show are the children, trying to find their way home. They are:

The ranger Hank
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The ranger Hank
Hank (voice: Willie Aames):
The oldest of the gang, and a natural leader, he is also the most level-headed, and his orders are (with the usual exception of Eric) not questioned.

Hank is a Ranger, with a magical bow that shoots magical arrows of glowing energy. Besides occasional fighting, Hank often uses these glowing arrows to simply light a room, to activate switches out of reach, to span gaps, to create climbing ropes or swings etc. Hank makes a cameo in Baldur's Gate II. His hidden fear is failure to be a leader.

The acrobat Diana
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The acrobat Diana
Diana (voice: Tonya Gail Smith):
The acrobat, and an outspoken member of the group. She is good at handling animals, and is a self-assured, confident person, who keeps a cool head in hot situations but is able to connect with each of the group. She is often the one most likely to be able to counter a wisecrack from Eric. These qualities make her the natural leader in the absence of Hank.

Diana has a magical kind of telescoping pole (sometimes called a javelin) that can be used for vaulting, spanning gaps, etc., which complements her natural acrobatic talents. It can extend to any length she needs and if broken into separate pieces, she merely needs to put the pieces in mutual contact to completely repair the staff. Her hidden fear is losing her talents to age.

The thief Sheila
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The thief Sheila
Sheila (voice: Katie Leigh):
The thief. Sheila has a magical cloak that, when the hood is raised over her head, makes her invisible. She is Bobby's older sister and therefore very protective of him. Sheila is usually sensible, kind and friendly, but she is also (perhaps with the exception of Presto) the one character plagued by self-doubt and fear; her greatest fear is to be totally alone, making her invisibility cloak (with which she could be totally ignored even in a crowd) a somewhat ironic accoutrement. She is daring enough to trick her enemies (like driving a band of Venger's lizard men and bullywugs against each other).

Her compassion and friendliness have made her several friends in the Realm. It is generally rumored by fans (see fanon) that she is actually in love with Hank, but that is never truly confirmed in the series.

The cavalier Eric.
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The cavalier Eric.
Eric (voice: Don Most):
The Cavalier. He is the typical spoiled kid from a rich home. On the surface Eric is the big-mouthed coward of the show, a smart-alec who is always ready with a sarcastic comment or a dry one-liner at the most inopportune moment. However, these lines are the most humorous in the show, and as well as being "cavalier" (in all likelihood a pun given his nature), Eric also fulfils the role of the comic relief character. Despite his egotism, selfish-traits, and snobbery, Eric is potentially also the most realistic character complaining about the dire situations they find themselves in, and voicing concerns which might be common to inhabitants of our world transplanted to the 'Realm'. His greatest fear is ridicule, dovetailing with both his insulting demeanor and his use of a shield.

Despite his cowardice and reluctance, Eric has a well-hidden heroic core, and constantly saves his friends from danger with his magical shield, which can project a force field, and sometimes is the one who comes up with a decisive idea.

Series developer Mark Evanier revealed that Eric's contrary nature was mandated by parents groups and consultants to push the then dominant pro-social moral for cartoons of "The group is always right...the complainer is always wrong." [2]

The wizard Presto
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The wizard Presto
Presto (voice: Adam Rich):
The wizard. Presto is the well-meaning, diligent, but hopeless magician. He is something of a caricature of the stereotypical "nerd" figure prevalent in early 1980s comedies (cf. Anthony Michael Hall): he suffers from low self-confidence and nervousness, which manifests in the use of his magic item; his magical hat allows him to pull all sorts of items from it, but usually either not the ones he needs or them being in a form least expected but useful (a working fire hose against a lava dragon, or a weed-killer sprayer against a Shambling Mound). The user must know what he/she wants when reaching into the magic hat, and Presto's indecisiveness tended to sabotage his results. And just like Velma Dinkley in the Scooby Doo series, he's completely helpless without his glasses - which is his greatest fear.


In the 2nd season episode "City at the Edge of Midnight" it is shown that he was known as Presto even before coming to the magical realm, and implies that he was constantly trying to show people magic tricks that didn't work, which leads to his nickname and hints at why his magic attempts with his hat don't always work to his expectations.

The barbarian Bobby
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The barbarian Bobby
Bobby (voice: Ted Field III):
The barbarian. Bobby is the youngest member of the team. He is dressed in fur pants and boots, a horned helmet and a cross belt harness. He has a magic club so powerful that it can produce earthquake like shockwaves when he struck the ground. He is Sheila's younger brother and (as appropriate for his age) impulsive and ready to run headlong into battle, even against physically superior enemies. He has a close relationship with Uni. Bobby also makes a cameo in Baldur's Gate II. His hidden fear is becoming helpless.
The tag-a-long pet unicorn
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The tag-a-long pet unicorn
Uni (voice: Frank Welker):
Bobby's baby pet unicorn, which he discovered in the first episode and remains his companion throughout the show. She has the ability to speak, though her words are not quite discernible; she usually takes to echoing Bobby when she agrees to his opinions.

Uni is cute and mostly helpless, and becomes the victim in need of rescue from distress in some episodes, although she can also be helpful in some situations, such as when she helped guide Presto when he was separated from the others in "P.R.E.S.T.O. Spells Disaster." In addition, although she is rarely seen using it, Uni has her species' ability to teleport once a day, although this ability was not revealed until the fourth episode.

While adult unicorns whinny like horses, Uni bleats like a goat, perhaps because she is still a filly/kid. On those rare occasions when Bobby and the others actually approach returning to Earth, it is presumed that Uni must regrettably be left behind, since it is unclear if she could survive away from the Realm.

The all powerful Dungeon Master
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The all powerful Dungeon Master
Dungeon Master (voice: Sidney Miller):
The group's friend and mentor, who provides important advice and help, but often in a cryptic way that would not make sense until the team has completed the quest of each episode. It is Dungeon Master who supplied the companions with their weapons and clues for their numerous opportunities to return home; from apparent and repeated displays of power, it seems possible (even likely) that Dungeon Master could easily return the companions home himself. It is possible that the quests on which Dungeon Master sends the children are in reality ways for him to use them to right injustices "along the way".
The evil genius Venger
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The evil genius Venger
Venger (voice: Peter Cullen):
The main antagonist and Dungeon Master's son (as revealed in the episode "The Dragon's Graveyard" and again in the lost episode "Requiem"). Venger is an evil wizard who seeks to use the children's magical weapons to bolster his power. Though described evil force, comparable to the devil, it is occasionally hinted that he was once good, but fell under a corrupting influence. He has one horn, powerful magic, and powerful minions, most notably his personal spy and right-hand 'man', the Shadow Demon. His voice is deep and has an artificial reverberation (reminiscent of Darth Vader's). Importantly, though, he is far from invincible and is often thwarted by the kids.
Tiamat the multi-headed dragon
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Tiamat the multi-headed dragon
Tiamat (voice: Frank Welker):
Venger's arch-rival, a fearsome dragon with a screeching voice and five heads. Although Venger and the children generally avoid Tiamat, the children make a deal with her in one episode ("The Dragon's Graveyard") to thwart Venger. Tiamat's five heads correspond to the five types of chromatic dragon in the Dungeons & Dragons game, where she originated as a monster. She is named after the Tiamat of Babylonian mythology.

 

 



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