Pursuit of the Magic Hoop
In the wacky world of Hoopland, it's Hoop-Dee-Doo-Dah Day, which is the one time of year whenever the citizens of Hoopland can get a shot at making a wish. Of course, being Hoopland, you have to shoot a basketball through a hoop to make it come true, but nobody's complaining. Kevin, Lana and Duke are all there to take part in the action, hoping to wish Lana's father back to safety with their wishes, the princess claiming she's been practising long and hard for this event.
Not long enough, apparently.
A warp hole appears in the town square and out of it steps the town champion: Larry Bird! He's honoured to have Princess Lana at the event today, but being a top-notch celebrity's he commanded to show off some mad baseball skillz, as a bakery's chimney shoots three hoops of smoke into the air.
He gets the ball in all three with relative
ease, but one little kid, Hoopless, can't see what's going on, his diminutive
height preventing him from seeing past the crowds. The ringleader of the whole
event essentially tells him to take a hike, saying he should forget about making
wishes and stick to his inventions.
Frustrated about how everyone forgets about his existence even though he invented everything in Hoopland, Hoopless essentially listens to what he was told and returns to his lab, getting his robot buddy Rebound to come out and play some hoops with him. Rebound celebrates so much he crashes his head against the ceiling and comes sailing down into his master, which pleases neither of the two.
However, that bop on the noggin has made Rebound evil! The robot throws the ball with murderous intent at his master before resorting to the more typical "run around the room" style hunting, but Hoopless grabs a magnet and lobs it at his robot buddy, conveniently managing to go around his neck and pin him to a machine. He uses this opportunity to fix Rebound back to normal, but then changes subject and hopes his plan will go well.
Outside, Hoop Mountain unleashes a glowing hoop to fly around the city, and everyone lobs their basketball at it in hopes of achieving their wish. They all suck really badly. The ringleader then tells the peasants to stand aside and let the main characters and their celebrity companion have their shot, but before they can do that...
Rebound leaps over them and gets a slam dunk! Hoopless reminds his buddy to make the wish for him to be tall like everybody else, but the stupid robot mixes up his words and ends up wishing himself tall. Hoopless insults his little buddy, but it doesn't take long before the robot begins growing...
And bangs his head on a girder, thus rendering him evil! Naturally, everyone starts getting their asses out of there while Rebound starts hopping all over the place, intent on doing nothing more than crushing them flat.
Hoopless runs up to Kevin and says he didn't mean for his innocent robot buddy to turn evil and mix up words and grow big and start trying to kill people. Kevin says he'll try and stop Rebound once he figures out how.
Of course, after the commercial break he's
apparently made up his mind and goes straight for his Zapper, but Hoopless stops
him, reminding him that Rebound is his only friend!
After narrowly avoiding being squashed thanks to an intervention of super skills from Kevin's gamepad belt, Rebound starts firing lethal hoops at the N Team, thus allowing Kevin to make use of his Zapper on those.
Kevin, Hoopless and Lana are forced to retreat again, while Larry Bird runs to a convenient basket of basketballs and claims "this is one shot I can't miss," only for Rebound's hoop missiles to destroy all his projectiles in mid flight. Sucks to be a celebrity guest star in a cartoon where the main characters have all kinds of super moves. Hoopless then notes that if he could just get close enough to tighten the loose mind joints, then his buddy wouldn't be so harmful to everyone. Of course, he'd still be giant, so Larry claims there's only one way to stop this menace.
Climb Hoop Mountain and make another wish!
Hoopless reminds him that nobody's ever done that. Larry's response? "No one's ever done it, but maybe a team could!" Oy. Lana believes that after the menace is stopped, maybe she can get a second chance at her wish, so they all decide there's no point waiting around and head for the mountain.
Their first obstacle? A hoop across a 40 foot chasm.
Kevin unleashes his shot, but it falls flat pretty badly. Larry saves the day by ludicrous manipulation of physics but throwing his ball at Kevin's, sending it bouncing up again and into the hoop. This opens up a warp hole that allows them to get across and enter inside the mountain.
The warp hole disappears behind them, so they're essentially trapped! An ominous voices informs them that "the only way out is up!", and golly, just who could this voice belong to?
"I am Clock Man, guardian of the Magic Hoop! If you play your hoops right, you may beat my time! But I doubt it!"
Kevin accepts the challenge and is told that they have on minute to land a ball in the hoop. Larry steps up to the task, only for a bat to materialise from the wall and fire a hoop at his feet, sending him down to the ground. Of course, it's only now Clock Man says that there's a few tricks he forgot to tell them about. Why are villains always such assholes?
Kevin fires his Zapper at the bat, only for it to multiply! Hoopless tries to score the hoop himself while proclaiming "I got it! I got it!", so you just know the bats fire hoops at his arms and legs and knock him down as well. Only ten seconds left!
Of course it's only been thirty seconds (if that) since the minute started. Go figure.
Larry tries to grab the ball and gets knocked down again, as Kevin is too busy shooting at projectile hoops to allow his buddy to shoot the real hoop. Duke, of all people, saves the day by rolling the ball to Larry Bird and allows him to throw it in the hoop, just as the last second was about to end.
So Clock Man's idea of "one minute" is fifty seconds. Devious.
The group are warped to the second floor, where their new hazard are flying fish that spit purple goop. Duke is suspicious of the gunk and starts sniffing it, only to get sucked inside! The fish shoot holes.
Hoopless almost falls inside one, but Kevin's gamepad belt saves him just in time.
Larry runs past the holes with ease and scores a slam dunk, removing all the fish and holes from the arena. The warp hole to the next floor opens, but Kevin calls out to Duke that'll come back for him and hasn't forgotten about his faithful hound.
On the next floor, Clock Man informs them of it's gimmick in rhyme, though it's not much of a floor as they just have to choose a path and there's no hoops involved.
Kevin claims they'll toss a coin to choose which one, but Larry says there's no time for boring crap like that and runs into the right path, only to get himself trapped inside a translucent basketball. Knowing that's not the right one, Kevin, Lana and Hoopless go down the left one.
The final floor has the hoop right in front of them, but Kevin deems it just too easy and throws the ball into the hoop, only for it to bounce off a barrier of some sort. Then for some inexplicable reason, Kevin shouts "oh, no!" and runs towards the hoop which then becomes surrounded in glass, getting himself trapped inside.
It comes across as random and stupid and gives the impression he's going to kick the hoop's ass for rejecting his ball, and it's just not explained how or why he does it. See, I thought on first viewing he was being pulled inside, but he quite voluntarily runs towards it and gets himself trapped. Even though these Captain N episodes are only ten minutes long and can barely even be called stories, I generally have no problems with the plot and just find them silly, stupid entertainment. But this bit just pissed me off. Surely they could've explained why he did such a tremendous stupid and got himself imprisoned? Honest to God.
Fix that shit, Matt.
The ball bounces into Lana's hands, who then closes her eyes and throws it behind her, which sails into the air and lands into the real hoop. That I have no problem with, for some reason.
Clock Man is incredibly saddened by his defeat and starts crying and whining about how he always wins, but he just got served.
Kevin is freed and congratulates Lana, stating that the wish is hers. Duke and Larry Bird arrive through a warp hole, the latter saying that if she wishes for her father back then it's perfectly alright and understandable. Lana claims she herself and her father wouldn't deem that alright, and goes for what they came for: Wishing Rebound back to normal.
Hoopless' robot buddy is back to a more manageable size as the robot's master apologises for causing such a mess, as he just wanted to be tall and appreciated by the rest of Hoopland. Larry tells him that the citizens should apologise for taking him for granted ("Gosh, that's very big of you, Mr. Bird!"), and this prompts Rebound and his buddy to hug.
Larry Bird isn't voiced by Larry Bird, so his appearance isn't anywhere near as awesome as it should be.
Clock Man is also voiced by Long John Baldry, the same as the Poltergeist King from Return to Castlevania. The only difference between them is that Clock Man throws lots of raspberries and "nyah nyah na nyah nyah"s into his dialogue.
Apparently Hoopless is just a robot building version of Urkle. I only know Urkle from the Sonic cartoons so I'm missing out.