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Death By Cartoon: 110 - Simon the Ape-Man - Destructoid

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An avid player of tabletop and video games throughout his life, Conrad has a passion for unique design mechanics and is a nut for gaming history. Conrad formerly wrote news and produced video content for Destructoid (including Sup, Holmes?, Office Chat and Saturday Morning Hangover) and was a regular host on Podtoid.

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Uber-Short Synopsis: Simon Belmont develops amnesia after a severe blow to the head and the N Team must bring the vampire hunter back to his senses to stop Dracula from conquering Castlevania.





On Castlevania, The Count is up to no good. The announcer says that he has, "devised a deadly plan of conquest." After spilling a vial of red liquid upon some graves, their residents rise up. Zombies? His plan is zombies? I was expecting something a little less predictable.

Meanwhile, in the Palace of Power, Kevin is showing off his radical skateboard moves to the gang. Wearing more padding than a cell at your local loony bin, he deftly performs a handplant. Before he gets a chance to put the kneepads on Lana, Simon charges off to get his own board and show Captain N how it's really done.





Belmont's board is an ironing board. I've never seen an ironing board with wheels, so it's either a custom job or there's some person out there who thought that a plank that folds flat simply isn't portable enough. After a bit of racing around on the board, Simon shows off a unique trick by ironing his shirt while he rides. Improbably, the legs of the ironing board extend while doing so, raising Belmont high enough to crack his head into an archway.

Befuddled from the crash (more than usual), Simon finds he doesn't recognize the people in the room. In fact, he doesn't seem to remember anything, including his identity. It seems he suffers from lazy writers, erm, amnesia. Lana attempts to shock his memory in the only way she can think of:





Suddenly, a message comes in for Simon. A distressed man in a business suit claims that Drac is on the prowl again. The amnesiac moron sure hopes that this "Simon Belmont" character shows up to help out and the N Team is more than a little distressed. Unwilling to give up, however, Kevin suggests that they retrain him in the ways of a vampire hunter to jog his memory.

Captain N starts with a lesson on bats. Simon seems appalled at the thought of hunting such a hideous creature and passes out at the suggestion that they drink blood. Megaman's whip training doesn't work much better, as Belmont ties himself up in the whip and falls over. Of course, Simon has repeatedly done this in the past, so you can't really fault Megaman on this one.





In an effort to work on his balance and reflexes, Lana dons a pink leotard, tosses a tu-tu on Simon and begins ballet lessons. Though hesitant at first, Simon quickly finds his legs and discovers that his destiny is to dance. He prances around the room for a while before tripping into a warp zone.

On some mean streets a few thieves are running down an alley with their ill-gotten gains. A masked man stops them and name drops what's probably a recent release for the time, Wrath of the Ninja. Just then Simon leaps out of a warp which has appeared in a brick wall and inadvertently thwarts the cretins and leaps back to the Palace. People think God stopped punishing people after Christ but it's not true. He's just became more subtle.





Kevin decides to kick things up a notch, and the N Team takes the confused vampire hunter to Kongoland for some field training If the guy is supposed to be a vampire hunter and the vampires are on Castlevania, wouldn't that be a better choice for "field training"?

I'm gonna make this brief because it's exactly like the previous group of exercises with a minor difference: Instead of trying to teach Simon how to be himself, the members of the N Team try to teach him how to utilize their own individual strengths (such as they are). Kevin instructs in the use of a power pad that Belmont doesn't have, Kid Icarus in the use of magic arrows that he lacks and Megaman tries to get him to lift a boulder twice his size.





Ultimately, Simon realizes his destiny as a Kongoland tour guide. Honestly, it's the best decision I've ever seen the character make and a bold direction for the writers. If I believed for one second that this would follow through, I'd have to replace my pants.

Meanwhile, on Metroid, Mother Brain has been observing the goings-on of our heroes. Sensing a golden opportunity, she orders Eggplant Wizard and King Hippo to capture the confused Belmont and "brainwash" him.





This prompts the two villainous morons to demonstrate their "brain washing" skills and give Mother Brain's case a good scrubbing. While they're at it, they parody my favorite musical of all time (My Fair Lady for the philistines who might not get this "joke") as they sing-song, "the stains on brains stay mainly on the veins."

Sometimes I get the distinct impression that someone on the writing staff of this show is secretly a time-traveler, who went to the future to see if the program endured, discovered my episode guide and went back to insert references like this to destroy the things I love. I know it makes me sound like an egomaniac but it's really starting to sound believable.

Back in Kongoland, our heroes are visibly distressed. It's obvious that Simon will be incapable of defeating Drac in his current state and they go into a huddle to decide the next course of action. While they're distracted, the two henchmorons grab Simon and drag him through a warp to another locale in Kongoland.





Through a complex scheme using a coin-operated clothes washer and pictures of the major players in the show, Eggplant and Hippo convince Simon that he should be up to no good. They then proceed to capture Kid Icarus (who is wandering in search of Simon) with a pair of handcuffs, because he doesn't have wings or anything that would allow him an easy escape. Stealing the Kid's bow, Simon fires a flare arrow to attract the rest of the N Team.

The good guys assemble to find Kid Icarus hanging, bound, from a tree branch. After removing the gag from his mouth (to my dismay), Icky explains that Simon has been brainwashed. Simon and his newfound friends appear on the scene and confirm this fact.





Lana uses her feminine wiles to seduce King Hippo into dancing with her. Somehow, it results in him being on loose soil at a cliff edge and he tumbles off. Shortly after, Megaman lifts a highly obvious strip of jungle sod like a carpet and flips Eggplant Wizard off into the distance.

I'd just like to take a moment and express my sympathy towards you, my most patient readers. I'm having a really difficult time explaining this episode because, frankly, it's incredibly boring. "Ho-hum" is probably the phrase I'd use to describe it. They barely even managed to work in some hackneyed jokes on this.

Let's skip ahead a little bit. Suffice to say, Simon winds up going through yet another warp to elsewhere in Kongoland while the N Team wonders where he went (again).





Simon is, again, on his own in the wilds of Kongoland. He's in the midst of an existential crisis. Is he a hero or a villain? As he ponders his predicament, he sits down on what's obviously a huge toe. Of course, Simon never makes the connection and comments on how he's never, "seen a boulder with an in-grown toenail." He then proceeds to tear the entire nail off.

Time to get a little personal. I have a really weird thing about my hands, specifically related to nails or dead skin. I just can't stand the sensation of my hands catching on something. Anytime I touch a surface that's fuzzy but not soft (the material on the ceiling of a car, for example), I shudder uncontrollably. So, yeah, the torn toenail is really freaking me out.





Donkey Kong isn't too happy about it either, seeing as it's his toe. He snatches Simon from the ground. As the former vampire hunter looks upon his captor, he recalls earlier in the day when Lana called him an "ape-brain" and suggests that DK might be his mommy.

DK's response is unintelligible to human ears. Good thing Simon has an Ape-to-English dictionary in his bottomless backpack! Some apes might be inclined to leave town if someone showed up claiming to be/have their baby but not DK. Dude owns up to his responsibilities.





And so, Simon Belmont becomes Donkey Kong Jr. They do everything together as "mother" and son. They pick each other's fleas, swing across the jungle on vines (or, in Belmont's case, swing across DK on his fur), eat bananas and make masculine howls at the sunset.

Elsewhere in the jungle, the N Team is about to give up on the search for Simon. Night has fallen and hope is very slim. Kevin hears some snoring in the distance and the gang goes to check it out.





DK is napping on a hammock high in the trees. As he snores, a delicate cloud of air puffs out of his mouth and Simon is dozing on it. After climbing to the top of palm trees, Kevin and Megaman snatch the sleeping Simon. Back on the ground, Belmont explains that he's gone just about as native as you can get and introduces the N Team to his "mommy".

Donkey Kong, none too pleased about the intrusion, chest pounds and goes to chase the N Team. Kevin grabs Simon by the arm and, despite protests, drags him through a warp zone to Castlevania.





Out of the frying pan ind into the rotting flesh, the gang are besieged by zombies upon exiting the warp. Kevin's Zapper has no effect on them and he begs Simon for assistance. Belmont hesitates initially but, once one of the zombies musses his hair, shit goes down. I guess some things are just instinctual. He uses his jungle training to mop the floor with the undead menace.

Drac isn't finished yet, however, and orders more zombies to make converts of the N Team. Captain N fears the worst but Simon has one more trick up his sleeve. Making the standard ook-ook noises, his call for great justice reaches through the nearby warp zone where a furious Donkey Kong sits. The great ape reaches a meaty arm through the warp, scoops up the zombies and unceremoniously dumps them in a mausoleum. A defeated Drac turns into a bat and flies away.





Lana is thrilled to see Simon back in his old vampire slaying ways but he protests. He still doesn't have his old memories back and just wants to go home to his mommy. Walking to the still reaching hand of Donkey Kong, he is delicately clasped and carried through.

Lazing about on Donkey Kong's chest in the jungle, Simon sips the milk of a coconut. When he asks DK to get him another, the ape hits the tree he's leaning on. A coconut falls and strikes Belmont on the noggin, suddenly restoring his memory. Realizing that he's standing on Donkey Kong and wearing a loincloth, the mnemonically restored vampire hunter flips his wig and runs off into the night.



This episode is really a new low on the part of the writers. First off, we just had an episode where Simon loses his mental faculties a mere two weeks ago. And a good half of the episode consists of these incredibly stupid retraining scenes. I can't even make fun of most of it because there just isn't enough content here. It's very dull, very slow and not entertaining at all.





I will say, though, those zombies actually look pretty cool.


SLIT-O-METER: 7




-ICUS Rating: 90% of 10 lines
???s-icus (I honestly have no idea, all I could understand was the -icus), Simon-ious (x3), slob-icus, washed-icus, way-icus, ape-icus, help-icus

MEGA- Rating: 25% of 8 lines
mega-monsters, mega-mess



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