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There Were Plans For A Metroid Cartoon, With Samus As A Man

Illustration for article titled There Were Plans For A iMetroid /iCartoon, With Samus As A Man
Total RecallTotal RecallTotal Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

An estate sale for a former DIC Animation City employee has turned up promo art for four old Nintendo cartoons (like the Mario and Zelda ones) that never actually made it into production, including California Games, Castlevania and a very different take on Metroid.

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There’s nothing else to go on other than the art itself, which has each pitch as part of something called the Super Mario Bros. Power Hour, which I’m going to guess was a planned expansion or sequel to 1989's The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, only with extra shows like those being outlined here.

Illustration for article titled There Were Plans For A iMetroid /iCartoon, With Samus As A Man
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Double Dragon looks pretty cool! Better than the actual Double Dragon show we got, at least.

Illustration for article titled There Were Plans For A iMetroid /iCartoon, With Samus As A Man

As does California Games!

Illustration for article titled There Were Plans For A iMetroid /iCartoon, With Samus As A Man
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Now things start getting weird. Castlevania seems to have gone from “big dudes murdering vampires” to “Scooby Doo without the dog”, which is one hell of a leap. Maybe it was for the best that everyone had to wait until the 21st century for a different studio to handle it.

Illustration for article titled There Were Plans For A iMetroid /iCartoon, With Samus As A Man
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The oddest one, though, has to be this Metroid art, which manages to look strangely faithful to the source except for the single most important thing about the source. Either nobody at DIC actually got to the end of the game, or a suit figured they’d only be able to sell ads/toys by turning “Samus Aran” into “Jake Spaceman”.

Obviously these shows never got made—and maybe never even made it out of boardroom meetings—since this is the first we’re hearing of them. It makes you wonder if there are more Nintendo pitches lying around out there—Kid Icarus, maybe, or even F-Zero—back from the days Nintendo actually licensed this stuff.

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Then again, considering the quality of the shows that did get made, maybe it’s for the best we never got to see the adventures of Jake Spaceman.

Via Tanooki Joe

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

I was a big watcher of the Super Mario Bros Super Show, to the point where it was my favorite show. I was six and in the hospital, and was bored and lonely one day and began mindlessly flipping through channels. When I saw a Mario Cartoon, it blew my socks off. That Friday when it was Zelda? Absolutely melted my six year old brain. Looking forward to that show got me through some really long and lonely days since I was immuno-compromised and literally couldn’t leave my little room. Let me tell you guys, there’s no better audience for the Super Mario Bros Super Show than an Italian-American (whose Nana came from Brooklyn!) little sick girl who loves Nintendo. The Mario Bros were my heroes, and I ate up every goofy morsel of it.

That said, looking at these promos... XD I can feel the six year old in me getting pissed off if an episode of California Games or Castlevania slipped in there. (I loved Castlevania when I was a wee one, but I had trouble with what Captain N did to Simon. I can’t imagine how terrible seeing it reduced to a Scooby Doo ripoff would have felt—especially since as a little kid I hated Scooby Doo with the passion of a thousand suns.) I probably would have—no joke—cried because that one thing I looked forward to all day wasted an episode on something I hated. XD California Games gives me cringe the most. Has a real Yo Yogi vibe to it.