During a joyride with Pimple, Princess Angelica is captured by the Dark Queen. Joining up with Rash and Zit, the team of Battletoads must fight their way through the Queen's army finally facing the Queen herself on her own planet.
Princess Angelica and her companion Professor T. Bird are hounded by the Dark Queen who seeks an amulet worn by the princess. Finding the genetic essence of the royal family's ancient guardians the "Battletoads" they seek out volunteers on "a planet that's so backwards and insignificant that the Dark Queen never bothered to conquer it!" By this he means Earth.
On Earth three pesky, geeky friends are forcibly separated by their Junior High School principle and find they are unable to find friends elsewhere. Fans of video games they stop at the local arcade where T. Bird and Angelica happen to teleport in. These three are quickly chosen (there were the first people found), sprayed with the essence and turn into giant humanoid toads. At first reluctant to fight they change their eyes when Angelica is threatened by the Dark Queen and her minions. Instantly adapting to their new powers they fight off the attackers. A few more adventures ensue but the Toads find it easy to defeat the Queen and her army.
Various boss characters from the game were featured in the show but never mentioned by name. The toads also retained their ability to enlarge their fists but it was increased to changing their arms to whatever they saw fit. Changes between toad and regular form were caused by saying "Let's get warty," to become toads, or "Let's get normal," to return to normal.
The show had weak animation and failed to make the Queen an ample threat. These amongst other reasons caused the show to fail after only the pilot episode was aired.
#9: Maniac Mansion
A meteorite has crashed on Earth and has twisted a rather eccentric scientist into kidnapping a teenaged girl who he plans to turn into a zombie. Her friends gather together to recue her.
Pretty much the only thing this live action show has to do with the game is the name. This show dealt with the Edison family living in a mansion that according to the intro had a meteorite beneath it. As far as the characters from the game go, only Dr. Fred Edison makes an appearance and he's more a kindly albeit eccentric man than a freaky mad scientist. None of the family members are colored blue and they don't mean any harm to anyone. They more often get themselves into trouble rather than the rest of the world.
The Edison family does have children but none of them is Ed. There are three children a four year old boy turned full grown and incredibly strong, a ten year old boy who doesn't act any bit odd, and a teenaged daughter who is typical of a girl her age. The real strange character is "Uncle Harry" whom is turned into a fly very much like the movie "Son of the Fly" in which he has a human head but a fly body. Harry also has a wife but she's as normal as anyone who's coping with having a husband turned fly can be. Both the mutates are mutated due to Dr. Fred's experiments.
Plot wise the episodes of the show have multiple stories but one always stands out. These stories usually deal with the family's normal every day kind of problems with a bit of weird science tossed in to make it amusing. These plots are like Harry finding love in a female fly and his wife getting upset over it or Fred's wife worried that the "magic" in the marriage is gone. In many ways it's the standard fear of losing the love in a marriage to a younger, more attractive female but with the twist of the husband being a fly or a crazy scientist.
Effects in the show were mediocre as in there being only part of a "giant" animal being shown or the obviousness of Harry wearing a costume or being blue screened when he is tiny.
A vampire, Demitri decides to hold a tournament to see which of the Darkstalkers, magical beings much stronger than regular humans, is worthy to rule the Demon World. Several of these beings show up including Pyron, who seeks to take over the world to add to the collection of his planets.
This is the American version of the show not the Japanese one. Pyron is an alien who seeks to collect worlds and is disappointed when he sets his eyes on Earth due to the races having become weak. He decides to collect members of the "old races" so that they can help him rule. Only some of them are willing to join forces with him while a number of others will not. Those who do join him are Demitri, Anakaris, Morrigan, Lord Raptor and Bishamon. The ones who don't are Jon Taliban, Sasquatch (called Bigfoot in this show), Rikou, Victor and Felicia. Donovan, Anita (still a child) and Hsien-Ko make occasional appearances but are not selected for recruitment. Huitzil is left out. The main character added in is a boy Harry Grimoire who never showed up in any of the games.
The show starts out with several of the main characters being dragged into Pyron's attempt to take Earth while Felicia meets up with Harry believing him to be a sorcerer. It turns out that Harry actually is a sorcerer himself and a descendant of Merlin. Each episode has Harry and Felicia who tend to get into trouble (mainly due to Harry) and have to get out of it some way. Although he wasn't in the games Harry was usually the main focus of the show and a lot of it was about him trying to learn to use his magical abilities and causing a lot of problems for everyone else when he botches it.
Other recurring plots were of the rivalry between Demitri (who is related to Dracula) and Morrigan (who is descended for Morgan LeFay), as they both want to be Pyron's general and Rikou always moaning about being the only one of his kind and not having a queen. However, many other situations occur with one of the villains as the main focus or a hero being the main focus. The battles between the characters would tend to occur in remote parts of the world so that the populous was unaware of their actions.
The biggest complaint the show had was that the characters were very much redesigned both in appearance and personality. For example, Pyron is shown to be rather stupid and cowardly. Felicia had a significant change to her "costume" so that it was much less revealing. Overall, the show only lasted one season.
#7: Dragon Warrior
The child of a recently deceased king is called to destroy a fiend "Baramos." This hero must search for magical items to achieve this goal. Success only leads to disaster as a new threat "Zoma" appears and takes the hero to the dark world. Now the hero must continue the fight to save the world.
The show was loosely based on Dragon Warrior III (Dragon Quest III in Japan). Ancient civilization had grown too strong and ambitious seeking to take over the world. However, having taken too many resources they polluted their land and the civilization sank into the sea. While the people died, the ambition lived in the form of Baramos. To this end, he seeks out the power of the Red Stone.
Tiala and her friend Abel (respectably both the male and female characters of the game) are charged with protecting the Red Stone and the Blue Stone. The red stone has the power to awaken the "Great Dragon" which can supposedly grant eternal life to whoever drinks its blood and the Blue Stone can seal it away.
During the first episode Tiala is captured by Baramos but manages to evade him on his own ship. Abel, holding the blue stone goes on a quest to find her and along the way finds other adventurers to aid him in his quest. Together, this party travels the world (usually through warp pools) in order to stop Baramos and save Tiala.
A strong attempt to tie into the game was made. Episodes of the show actually showed the character's level. For instance the first episode mentioned level 1. In the Japanese airing, members of the party were shown to level up. Also part of the game tie in, was that monsters would drop gems when defeated.
#6: Mortal Kombat
In order to claim Earthrealm Shao Khan sends his minions to fight in a tournament. After ten consecutive wins he gets Earthrealm. Several warriors from Earth join the tournament to stop him.
There were two shows based on this game but the one referred to here, "Mortal Kombat: Conquest," serves as something as a prequel to the original series as it deals with Kung Lao, the original Mortal Kombat champion, rather than his successor Liu Kang. In this live action show, Kung Lao manages to defeat Shang Tsung and afterwards runs into an exiled guard Siro, and a female thief Taja who are charged with defending their home and struggle to keep a trading post out of harms way.
As far as the Earthrealm characters go, only Raiden is found in the games themselves. The Outworld warriors however, are found in the game: Shang Tsung, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Noob Saibot, Reptile, etc.
Most of the characters were not like their game originals such as Scorpion was truly a scorpion before being changed to a human and Noob Saibot was seemingly created from oil. The show had several fight scenes though not always with characters from the game (often it was just petty disputes).
While the show does pretty much mix things up in timelines, it is worth mentioning it had one episode where Shang Tsung and Quan Chi form an alliance. This episode was first aired in 1998; four years before the game Deadly Alliance was released so this was the first appearance of such a plot.
A detective from the ACME agency (you) has to travel to various countries around the world to find and arrest several criminals led by master criminal Carmen Sandiego. The criminals steal landmarks such as the Roman Coliseum. You figure out where they are by following clues and testimonies around the world. Eventually, a warrant must be issued before the capture takes place.
There was a game show about this as well, but there was also a cartoon series of this one. For once there was a show that matched the game to a degree. In fact, in the cartoon, it WAS a game. The show would start out with a boy (who's face we never see) actually having a chartroom style conversation with Carmen Sandiego as she'd make a challenge for him to catch her.
Afterwards we'd see two Acme Agents, a young man and young woman who were given an assignment by their chief, who happens to be a robot. The two agents would follow after Carmen who'd deliberately leave clues behind. These clues would be rather subtle like her saying "Chao" when she leaves or drops a package of fish and chips behind so that the agents can examine it to discover what kind of fish it was. After the agents figure it out they would literally say, "Player, send us to…" and then say the name of the location. A portal would open and they'd walk through it.
Gone are the other characters that are found in other Carmen Sandiego games so you don't have characters like "Ken Hartley Reed" or "Fast Eddy B." Carmen is the only one that is ever gone after and she's not interested in stealing landmarks or other impossible objects, instead she just intends to be known by doing things like sending a rocket to the moon filled with dye so it shines her logo or make a living dinosaur out of fossils.
Predictably, she never was caught in the show and always ended it by mocking the player and finishing with the phrase, "See you next crime."
#4: F-Zero GP Legend
In the year 2560, an intergalactic "car" race is held between various species from around the universe. These races are dangerous to both car and driver. Various tracks are used on various planets each with their own hazards. The winner gains a huge amount of prize money and prestige.
Rick Wheeler, a police detective and race driver from the year 2051, is nearly killed by a criminal known only as Zoda. Surviving the incident but having to be put into cryogenic sleep he is awoken 150 years later in the year 2201. Now there is an intergalactic race known as the F-Zero and Rick is drafted into a group known as the Mobile Task Force. Their primary mission is to win races for the sole purpose of not allowing a criminal organization known as Dark Million to win.
Racing does have a large amount of time in the show but there are other plots involved such as Captain Falcon's role in the universe and the question of who he is and why he races the races. Rick also has a huge grudge over Zoda, who was also frozen and revived, and seeks to get his revenge. A new member known as Lucy Justice has a crush on Rick and is something of a love interest. Topping this off is a rival, Jack Levlin. About half the show is about these characters and their personal problems such as the question of if Rick is worthy to be part of the team or Jack wanting to be taken more seriously and ending up becoming comedy relief.
A number of the characters were introduced in previous F-Zero games but most of the characters that appear are human characters leaving little room for more alien appearances. There are a few aliens that show up but they are few and far between leaving only the landscapes for a more exotic look.
There is more to the show involving Black Shadow (the leader of Dark Million) and Captain Falcon, and objects of great power created in the beginning of the universe, but only 13 episodes were dubbed and aired in the U.S. so most of it was lost to American audiences.
Donkey Kong and his friend Diddy Kong must travel around their island in order to retrieve their stolen banana horde. Along the way they must fight an army of crocodilian creatures known as Kremlings and some other animals such as beavers and giant bees.
Donkey Kong and his friends and family live on Kongo Bongo Island and they are constantly dogged by King K. Rool and his kremlings. This particular group tended to have a great number of schemes to rule over the island. Primarily, their intent to do this was through stealing a magical "Crystal Coconut" which had the ability to grant wishes and answer any question asked of it. Donkey Kong was charged by a stone idol called Inka Dinka Doo with protecting this coconut from K. Rool. It was a task he tended to fail at leading to several attempts to retrieve the coconut after it was stolen.
Besides K. Rool other characters had issues with D.K. such as a new character "Eddie the Mean Old Yeti" who didn't like others entering into his territory. There were also several skirmishes between the main protagonists of the story mainly due to Donkey Kong being a few bananas short of a bunch. Other reasons for it would be Bluster Kong (another new character) vying for the affections of Candy Kong or Cranky Kong not having any love for D.K.'s laid back lifestyle.
Almost every episode featured songs by the characters usually coming in pairs. None of the characters were silent characters and the accents of most of the characters were Caribbean in origin.
Many elements of the show did make it into future games such as Candy's new character design (albeit altered for the game), and crystal coconuts in Donkey Kong Country 64. In one episode there was a mention of a "Golden Banana" which makes an appearance in Donkey Kong Country Returns.
#2: Mutant League
Teams of various mutated individuals such as skeletons, trolls and robots play football and hokey in a rather violent manner. Plays like most normal sports games except there are hazards thrown in.
During a sports game at a stadium an earthquake struck and toxic waste that had been stored there due to the cheapness of the stadium owner, Zalgore Prig, mutates the entire team and the spectators. Jump ahead a few years and Bones Justice, a living skeleton and the son of one of the players joins up with a sports team "The Monsters." A natural athlete he soon helps the monsters practically dominate the mutant league.
Unlike the original games there is more than just football and hockey involved and there were competitions in just about any sport. The show was more than just the teams looking to win their sports games (which was most of the show) and they would try to touch up on issues such as extreme hero worship, staying in school, prejudice, illegal drugs, gambling, and mimicking what you see on the show.
There was also an underlying sub plot in which Bones was trying to find his father but this issue didn't tend to come up very often and it never was resolved. What was more unique about the show was that the team the protagonists worked for didn't always win. They won most of their games but had lost on occasion which is more true to real life.
Just as violent as the games were made out to be, the show solved the problems of the "deaths" of the characters by having them go into a device known as the "rejuvenator" which could restore mutants to their fully healed state given enough time.
#1: Double Dragon
A gang has kidnapped a teenaged girl and her friends Billy and Jimmy fight the gang to rescue her.
The power of the dragon apparently is something that is inherited through family and carries a great responsibility with it. At the start of things Billy and Jimmy are said to be in trouble from the rival Shadow Gang. Billy is saved while Jimmy is kidnapped by the Shadow Boss. The twin's father goes after Jimmy after delivering Billy to the Dragon Dojo's master, the "Ancient Dragon" and never returns.
Skip ahead a couple decades and Jimmy has grown up. He runs into the new Shadow Boss who happens to be Billy. In short time, Billy realizes that his boss, the Shadow King is his enemy and the twins join forces. Together along with their magical Dragon Swords they gain new costumes and apparently some kind of powers. Their swords are capable of firing out green flames which they claim is dragon fire.
The rest of the show is based either on dealing with the many schemes of the Shadow King, later his own ruler the Shadow Khan, or finding their father who has gone missing. While Billy and Jimmy are the main focus of the show, they do find recruits whom they give new costumes to and dub as dragon warriors. Though in spite of the show talking about finding peace in a diplomatic manner it rarely shows this happening and every episode shows fight after fight. They do show that they don't like killing and even when some people are invited to kill, they are unable to do so due to their morals.
As is the case with most shows, their primary goal of finding their father (though it's indicated he is alive) is never completed. They do, however, find their mother whom was also missing but they never thought to seek out.
The show typically ended with the characters telling the moral of the story, ranging from not pre-judging people to not making video games one's whole life.
Well, that's the second part of the shows based on video games. I'm sure a lot of you are thinking that you've seen these shows so they're not exactly "obscure." Well, if I didn't make that distinction this whole thing would be Sonic the Hedgehog and Pokémon. There are more shows out there, but I'm tapped out with my knowledge of them. I hope someone else will take up the challenge from here and write a part 3.
List by Xoneris (07/30/2013)
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