The company behind theSuper Mario Bros. Super Show,Captain N: The Game Master, andThe Legend of Zeldacartoon series had plans for shows inspired by other games, including one based onMetroidand another (very loosely) based onCastlevania, according to artwork recently uncovered by a seller on eBay, via Tanooki Joe. In the case of the former game, the animators mistakenly thought series protagonist Samus Aran was a man, not the cosmic bounty hunter we’ve known for the past 30 years.
DIC Animation City was behind those cartoons, but wanted to explore other NES era hits, according to what appears to promotional artwork for proposed series based onMetroid,Castlevania,Double Dragon, andCalifornia Games. That artwork was recently purchased at the estate sale of a former DIC Animation employee, the eBay seller says.
Ostensibly, the artwork was made to promote theSuper Mario Bros. Power Hour, a planned hourlong animation block that would have featured segments based onSuper Mario Bros.,Zelda,Metroid,Castlevania,Double Dragon, andCalifornia Games. That 60-minute block of cartoons ultimately wasn’t picked up — the 30-minuteSuper Mario Bros. Super Showwas instead. (DIC also had a companion show for theSuper Showplanned at one point calledKing Koopa’s Kool Kartoons, according to an article uncovered by Twitter user Ryan Mead.)
The proposedMetroidcartoon was apparently envisioned by someone who hadn’t consulted the game’s creators or played the game to completion to discover that Samus is a woman. It’s forgivable though, since Nintendo’s own NES manual forMetroidimplies that Samus is a man.
DIC took great liberties with its proposedCastlevaniacartoon as well. It would have apparently featured two boys, not a whip-cracking Belmont, in the starring role, facing off against the Mummy Man, Queen Medusa, The Count, Frankenstein, and Grim Reaper from the originalCastlevania.
Two characters fromMetroidandCastlevania, Simon Belmont and Mother Brain, did find their way into a DIC-produced show inCaptain N: The Game Master. The arrogant Simon battled Mother Brain’s evil forces with the aid of fellow good guys Kid Icarus, Mega Man, Game Boy, and Kevin Keene, the show’s main character.
Double Dragoneventually did become a cartoon of its own. DIC created two seasons of the animated show which ran from 1993-1994. Sadly, the recurring tales of theCalifornia Gamesgang never got their shot at afternoon animation glory.
The concept art is quickly garnering interest on eBay. Bidding has reached $616, with six days left in the auction, as of publishing.