Make your own free website on Tripod.com

 

Episode 17: "The Fire of Hercufleas"

CARTOON SUMMARY

Mario and his merry men have gone to the city of Mythos to visit a certain Hercufleas, who is some kind of an old flame of Toad or something (hence the title). He also has the reputation of being a major hero. However, mere seconds after their arrival, they are assaulted by Mouser, who is dressed as the mascot for Leonidas chocolates. The Marios are terrified, because they prefer Neuhaus chocolates, so they clamber onto some pedestals and pretend to be statues in order to evade Mouser Leonidas. Mouser doesn't notice that full-color, super-lifelike statues are a little odd (he must have no artistic sense at all), so he darts off again. A small radioactive cloud then drifts by (actually, it's a blob of green and brown paint on a celluloid), Luigi sneezes and tumbles off the statue pedestal in salto mortale. Then it's on to Hercufleas luxury penthouse for a long-awaited reunion between him and Toad. Trouble is, Hercufreaks has gone through his midlife crisis and has lost his flair for big-time heroism. Instead he's become a good-for-nothing who's belly makes up 85% of his body, and he's gotten a new job as the guardian of the "great balls of fire". No, he's not a doorman at a naughty nightclub, instead these great balls of fire are literally a bunch of fireballs trapped inside an Ikea frosted-glass deluxe vase. They can prove to be quite a dangerous weapon, and Hatchoofleas has to protect them from eventual kleptomaniacs.

Trouble is, Koopa has set his heart on these great balls of fire and so, he orders his Beezos to go and rip them off. Mouser then pops by and informs Koopa of the Mario gang's presence. How did he ever find out? It's a mystery....Must be his feminine intuition telling him that. Anyway, the Beezos have made their way to Harukafleas' place, where the fireballs are kept and proceed to shamelessly rip them off. The Marios can't be bothered to do anything, so instead Haircutfleas employs every possible means to stop them: he just stands there and waves his arms about. That's no good, so he tries an even more fulgurating technique: he runs after them for a bit -then- he stands there and waves his arms about. To this action, he adds a very true observation: "I'm mad!". It goes without saying, Hercy. All of this is of no use whatsoever against the kleptomaniac Beezos. And just to rub the salt into Herc's open wounds, a particularly sadistic Beezo ties a spaghetti bolognese al dente around Herc's ankles.

The situation is now getting drastic. Now that Koopa has the great balls in his grasp (uhm...never mind), there's no telling what he could do. He could melt all of the world's Neuhaus chocolates, mimic Sailor Mars' attack scenes, or throw a really big barbeque party. Such vile horrors cannot be allowed, so Mario and Luigi head out to stop his cruel scenario. Noticing that Mario and Luigi are on their way, Koopa sends a few aggressive fireballs after them. The Mario brothers stand still for a good 6.3 seconds before they remember that they should leg it. Then, they leg it, and improvise an especially cunning plan to shake off the fireballs that are after them; they hop into a fountain and spit on the fireballs. The horror of having Luigi drooling onto them promptly kills the fireballs. Still, with such hefty firepower at his disposal, Koopa will be a tough cookie to crack, so the Marios decide to coach Hankyfleas back into shape and then send him after Koopa. In just 34.7 seconds, Hyperfleas has lost 359.23 pounds and has obtained a physique worthy of a Dragon Ball Z reject. How can such a miraculous feat possibly be realized? Simple; mix liposuction with anabolic steroids and 30 minutes a day on the revolutionary Ab Twister 2000, and voila. If you find that this method actually -does- work, drop me a line.

Well, now that Hippofleas is back to his old, sleek and sexy self again, they head out to confront Koopa, who was using the fireballs to heat his stash of heroin before injecting it. The battle kicks off with the Beezos attempting to dump Toad into the fireballs. Hysterifleas foils this cruel plot by putting a plate of marshmallows over the fireballs, thus providing a soft landing pad for Toad and a sticky trap for the Beezos. Que some fireball-tossing between Koopa and the Marios. Hmmm...it's got fireballs, bizarrely-dressed people and Greek-style backgrounds, but somehow, it's still not quite Saint Seiya. Toad is then flung off a cliff, but he manages to grab a fire flower before plummeting to his death. With a transformed Toad by their side, the battle is soon won. Koopa's fire runs out of whack in a matter of seconds, and he has no option left but to rush off at full throttle. Trouble is, the fireballs are no more, and Hercufreeze is quite cheesed off. But, the transformed Toad rapidly restores the situation by successfully reviving them with his firepower. The Neuhaus company then builds a statue in Toad's honor, and Mario rambles on about food.

WHAT'S GOOD?
  • A few genuinely witty lines from Koopa.
  • Some focus on Toad for a change; he even gets to transform.
  • Most of the storyline hangs together well enough.
WHAT'S BAD?
  • Hercuflinch is cursed with an extremely annoying voice.
  • The writers have some way too optimistic views on the effects of a good workout; no way is anyone going to believe that Herc can turn from 85% flab to 100% muscle (...and 0% brain) in under one minute.
  • Quite a few immensely cretinous plot elements.
  • Animation quality is nothing to shout about.
OVERALL
This has it's good points, but alas, they're not enough to make this into an absolutely fabulous episode. Instead it's nice-ish. Not too great, but passable enough. Just don't expect too much from it.

EPISODE RATING: 3.0/5.0

LIVE-ACTION SEGMENT
The Marios have developed a revolutionary new clog cleaning powder, made on basis of pure LSD, and they're going to demonstrate it's effectiveness on live worldwide TV (on Cheapo Channel, just after "The wonderful world of watching paint dry"), by dumping a canful of the stuff into a clogged sink. However, with a mixture of extreme stupidity and brute violence, they manage to knock the TV announcer unconscious (this caused his viewer ratings to skyrocket, by the way). And it gets worse; their LSD-based clog cleaner isn't working too well, so they decide to dump in a helping of plant food as well. Why plant food? No reason whatsoever. Just that "it might just work". Oh, right, -that's- it. While the Marios have pushed off to stuff their faces, something terrifying happens; the mixture of LSD-based clog cleaner and plant food has given birth to the single most cretinous monster ever. It's a vomit-brown tea towel with a tennis ball stuck onto it. The TV bloke wakes up and runs away, terrified. The Marios then return, and it takes them a painstaking 1 minute, 12, 7 seconds to notice the idiotic monster's presence. They then do a Teletubbies impression.