Muppet Babies
Air Date December 2, 1989
Written by Sindy McKay
Larry Swerdlove
Director
Gonzo as mario

Gonzo and Piggy compete against each other with video games.

The first episode of season seven (eighty-fifth episode in total) of the Muppet Babies TV show is about the babies playing "Pretendo" games and imagining themselves as characters in them.

During the first part of the episode, Gonzo imagines himself in a Donkey Kong-like setting in the role of "Super Bario Weirdo", fighting a dragon named King Copacabana in place of Donkey Kong. After venting her frustration that she's tired of Gonzo hogging the TV all the time Piggy takes King Copacabana's place as the game's villain. She later imagines herself as a "Teenage Mutant Ninja Piggy" replacing Mario as the game's protagonist. After a musical number reflecting Piggy and Gonzo's competitive nature, Gonzo searches through his collection of games in order to find a sufficiently difficult one to challenge Piggy at. His stash of games includes Galaxy Invaders (a reference to Space Invaders), and three Mario inspired titles -- Super Bario BrothersSon of Super Bario Brothers and Second Cousin of Super Bario Brothers. The familial relations described in the titles maybe be a reference to Donkey Kong Jr.

Gonzo ultimately challenges Piggy to play The Legend of Imelda: Search for the Golden Key against him. The game consists of a race to find the titular key, spread out over three levels, each of a different genre. The game's title is a play on The Legend of Zelda, and its fantasy-themed first stage reflects this. Eventually, Piggy's character falls into a pit and she becomes upset when Gonzo chases after a creature that is worth 500 pts, rather than saving her character. This results in a real-life argument and Fozzie takes the opportunity to try out a Tetris inspired game followed by the Skate or Die parody, Skateboard or Doom. He soon quits the game, but imagines that the game's skateboarders continue to chase after him throughout the episode. Scooter and Skeeter play a World Class Track Meet-inspired game that utilizes the Mighty Mat (a motion sensing device modeled after the NES' Power Pad). Kermit also tries his hand at Frogger, taking the opportunity to adopt a crossing guard uniform and preach upon the importance of pedestrian safety. Rolf then briefly plays a generic detective game, possibly modeled after Deju Vu. The entry sign to Rolf's office reads "Smith & Roy," a reference to Roy Allen Smith, one of Muppet Babies' producers.

As the episode progresses, Piggy and Gonzo interrupt the others games so that they can continue their own. The second stage of their competition consists of a scrolling shooter and the final stage is a generic space game set on the planet "Gumbo." Piggy's character dies again during the second stage forcing her to re-start the game from the beginning. In spite of this, she and Gonzo both reach the treasure chest housing the Golden Key at the same time. To their surprise, the chest contains Fozzie instead, who is hiding from the skateboarders. He mentions that he saw the key "somewhere around here," and Piggy and Gonzo scramble to find the key, finally both discovering it at the same time. This results in an argument about who won. To their surprise, the rest of the babies were so busy playing their own (non-video) games that none of them saw who won. They finally ask animal, who tells them that the game was fun, so it doesn't matter who won. Piggy and Gonzo briefly admit that this is true before resuming their argument.

Songs


Video Game Footage

Throughout the episode, there are several occasions where the babies' imaginary versions of the games are intercut by scenes of them playing the "actual" video game that is in the Pretendo. In such instances, the games they are shown to be playing consist of footage from actual video games. The highlighted games are as follows:

  • Gameplay footage of Donkey Kong is shown while Gonzo plays the King Copacabana game.
  • Later footage from Donkey Kong Jr. is shown as Piggy plays the same game.
  • Gameplay footage of the TubroGrafx-16 (a video game console contemporary with the NES) verion of Keith Courage in Alpha Zones is displayed after Piggy's character dies during the first stage of The Legend of Imelda.
  • Gameplay footage of the TurboGrafx-16 version of Fantasy Zone is shown while Piggy and Gonzo play the second stage of The Legend of Imelda. One scene also shows Piggy and Gonzo riding around in Opa-Opa, the mascot/trademark ships of the Fantasy Zone game franchise.

Notes

  • The title spoofs the popular Nintendo Entertainment System video game console.
  • The music score is no longer composed by Rob Walsh, but by Robert Irving and Hank Saroyan. The new composers' work is also heard of the title card.
  • The sound effects in the show are now different, and don't use the famous Hanna-Barbera sound effects as often.


Previous episode: Next episode:
Goosetown Babies Quoth the Weirdo

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