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The Masters of the Universe Chronicles - Episode II w/ Download!
Matt - 07/20/00

It's time for the second installment in our ongoing saga...The Masters of the Universe Chronicles!

Again, I'll review the episode so you know what to look for, then link to the media file so you can download and watch it yourself. The last episode was met with critical acclaim...let's see how this one matches up.

Episode Review II: The Gamesman

This episode has it all. Stupid monsters, noble chess players, really really inane plotlines, and a stunning plot twist that'll knock your socks off!


First we get the grand standard Masters of the Universe opening credits, where Prince Adam tells you what you already should know: he's a big pansy until the Power of Grayskull gives him a kickass tan and fuzzy underwear.

The opening sequence finds Adam, Teela, Cringer and Orko running like lunatics to watch King Randor get his royal ass handed to him by his chess opponent, Lord Todd. Orko fucks up the game, prompting Todd to use a magic trick to give him an apple, and Cringer a steak. It didn't take long for the cartoon to make no sense, but we'll let this one go, because feminazi Lord Todd was probably just trying to make a good impression.

After some psychobabble, Todd invites Teela on a little vacation. She accepts. It's at this point where Adam and Man-At-Arms show a little concern, citing that nobody knows anything about this Lord Todd, who he is, or where he came from. Then what the fuck is he doing on Eternia playing chess with King Randor? What, did he just land, waltz in the palace as a total stranger, and offer up a nice game of chess? Despite their worries, Teela insists that she's a liberated woman and can handle herself.

Elsewhere, Orko and Cringer decide that eating the apple and steak at the castle was a no-go, so they find a deserted castle to eat their gifts. Why they had travel to eat is beyond me. If someone handed me an apple, I might wait till they left before eating it, but I certainly wouldn't go on no fifty-mile hikes just so I could have a little dining privacy. It's here that we first meet some giant blue monster who destroys everything by digging huge tunnels underneath it. I couldn't hear his name too clearly, so from this point on we'll just call him 'Stupid Monster'. Orko and Cringer freak out, realizing that Stupid Monster is digging his way straight to Eternia, and run off to warn everyone.

Meanwhile, Teela takes off with Lord Todd. The Sorceress contacts Man-At-Arms and Prince Adam to tell them of a great danger, and to tell them to get their asses to Grayskull. Orko arrives and tells them about the monster, prompting Man-At-Arms to tell He-Man to go take care of the monster while he goes to pay a visit to the Sorceress. Mighty brave of Man-At-Arms to give He-Man the 'monster battle' job while he goes for a Sorceress chat. But it's probably for the best, because as you should already know by now, Man-At-Arms is 100% useless in everything he does.

He-Man and Battle Cat confront Stupid Monster, and come to the conclusion that while he might be stupid, he has a good heart. Like an overgrown cherub. We find this out in a seemingly endless dialogue between He-Man and Stupid Monster, which I feel pretty safe in calling the most painful part of this episode. If you can get through this one without shutting down your RealPlayer, you should be safe for the rest of the show. Here's a summary..

He-Man: Stupid Monster, are you bad?

Stupid Monster: Aw shucks, He-Man, no. I'm just clumsy. Heh heh.

He-Man: Well, you're headed straight for Eternia.

Stupid Monster: Aw shucks, He-Man. That's not good, is it?

He-Man: No, no it's not. You don't want to destroy Eternia, do you?

Stupid Monster: Aw shucks, He-Man. Of course not. I'm clumsy. Heh.

This goes on for about seven hours...then He-Man redirects the monster away from Eternia, and all seems well...for now.

Teela and that whimsical charmer Lord Todd arrive at his castle, which in effect is a maze in the middle of nowhere. Teela doesn't find this the least bit odd or disconcerting, proving just why she's Man-At-Arms' daughter. Todd shows Teela a gateway to another dimension (what MOTU episode would be complete without one?) which then spews out a giagantic chess set. Teela's amazed. Lord Todd is proud. After all, he's got the biggest chess set in the universe. Unfortunately for Teela, Todd reveals his true villainy by informing her that she will be the queen piece in the game!

Hold up.

For those of you who are having trouble piecing all this together - the plotline of this episode is a bad guy who wants to turn Teela into a chess piece....

And for that, it gets the X-E 'What the fuck?!' of the week award. I really want to meet the guy who came up with the idea for this episode. Instead of Skeletor laughing every five seconds, we get a guy who wants to turn people into chess pieces. I'm not sure which is the lesser evil here.

Let's continue.

Teela tries to escape, but since she's in a maze with all these crazy moving walls, she can't. But wait - here's Man-At-Arms to the rescue! Haha, you all see where this is going. Man-At-Arms to the rescue? That would insinuate that he could do anything worthwhile, which we all know isn't true. So of course, he's immediately captured by Todd's evil robots.

Plot Oversight!: Todd's evil robots are the same evil robots used by Skeletor in the episode we reviewed a few days ago. Come on guys. It's not that hard to draw a different evil robot.

The robots bring Man-At-Arms to Todd and Teela. Man-At-Arms asks the evil Lord what kind of a man he is, prompting..

This Episode's AMAZING SCENE: Set your RealPlayer clocks to 16:15. After Man-At-Arms pops the question, we get the plot twist to end all plot twists. Lord Todd rips off his face to reveal that he's been a giant peanut-headed alien this whole time!!!

Now that all that is cleared up, it's time for He-Man to break through some walls. He arrives, takes care of the robots, but can't get into the Todd/Teela room. Luckily, Stupid Monster returns, and He-Man uses him to get to the center of the maze. Amazing!

All this nonsense ends up with all the good guys ending up trapped in the nether-dimension. Essentially, this dimension is merely a bunch of spilled paint for a background. They escape pretty easily, job well done. Episode's over.

But not quite - it's time for He-Man's lesson in moral virtue! Remember these? After the episode was done, He-Man and friends tell you what you should've learned today. This time, it's basically a don't judge a book by it's cover deal. Stupid Monster looked evil, but he was a good guy. Lord Todd looked like a king, but he was really a peanut. Impressive!

Download: Yup, you don't have to just read about it, you have to endure watching it too. To download the RealPlayer file from Dr. Rocket's multimedia section, click here! For those who asked, yes, you can save these to your hard drive. Just right click on the file name, and save it to your C: drive or wherever you want it. Then you can watch Masters of the Universe all the time. And isn't that what life's really all about? Repeated viewings of Man-At-Arms? I think so.

- Matt

PS - check the bottom of X-E main for our newly numbered archives pages, and see all the X-E past articles!