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Gatchaman Episode 91 – Completion of the Plan to Destroy the Crescent Base

 

The luxury passenger ship Trian has embarked across the Pacific Ocean. Onboard are many ISO engineers, who are about to engage in critical research of undersea resources.

Isn’t it strange how many of these engineers bear a strong resemblance to Dr. Nambu?

 

A man with an elaborately ruffled shirt is staring out at the ocean, using binoculars. An older man approaches him.

“Any bathing beauties swimming out there in the ocean?” the older man titters in a creaky voice. Great, it’s a 90-year-older lecher. Must be an ISO Scientist. Eek5

“Why don’t you have a look?” the man in the ruffled shirt asks, before pulling the proffered binoculars away. “Never mind, I doubt you could see beyond the end of your own nose.”

 

“We are smack dab in the middle of the Pacific.” the old man says, not the least insulted. “But if some beautiful mermaids just happen to show up, let me know!” He grins widely.

“You like them too, don’t you?” smirks Ruffled-Shirt Man, muttering as the older man moves off. “So long, Grandpa.” He resumes watching the ocean with his binoculars.

But what he sees isn’t a mermaid (although that would be a really cool idea for a Galactor mecha… let me write that one down…) .

 

Ruffled-Shirt Man puts his binoculars away and sneaks down to the engine room. He pulls a small device out of his hat. It bears a strong resemblance to the Science Ninja Team’s tracking devices/bombs.

The man presses the device, and it glows red.

 

He cackles before placing the device on a nearby computer.

“Hey, you there!” One of the ship’s engineers has seen Ruffled-Shirt Man. “What are you doing in the engine room?” The voice actor sounds like he’s channeling Keanu Reeves.

“I was just looking for the loo.” Ruffled-Shirt Man explains.

“Well this is the Engine Room!” the engineer explains indignantly.

“Sorry, pal!” Ruffled-Shirt Man gets the heck out of there.

“Man, what an L7!” the engineer comments. “He’s the first passenger to do that!” I’m not sure what ‘L7’ is supposed to mean, but the subs didn’t give me a clue. I guess it’s a weird ADV reference? Okay, Googled it, and apparently it’s an obscure reference to being a ‘square’, because if you make a square with your thumbs and forefingers, one looks like an L and one looks like a 7. Amazing what you learn from Wikipedia!

And while I’m surfing the internet, Ruffled-Shirt Man’s device blinks on the wall, making a soft beeping sound to let you know that it has been ‘activated’.

Now we see Ruffled-Shirt Man leaping off of a high deck of the cruise ship and into the water. He manages to stand on an ascending submarine, breaking out of the water.

 

A hatch opens, and he enters the sub, even as he watches the cruise ship sail away.

“Did you get it done?” asks a goon with a dumb voice, and a very large mouth.

“Yeah, piece of cake.” Ruffled-Shirt Man smirks.

 

He presses a button on his panel, and suddenly Katse appears!

“Talk to me.” is Katse’s eloquent greeting.

 

“Lord Katse, I set the Radio Guidance Bug in the the Engine Room, according to your instructions.” Ruffled-Shirt Man reports.

“Excellent work. Now stand by for your next mission.” Katse replies.

 

“Yes, Sire.”

“La di da..” Katse hums happily to himself. “Oh, how I’ve waited for this day! I think I’ll try it out a little first. Now, all I have to do is push a button, and the torpedoes will go to town all on their own!”

 

Sure enough, we see a launch bay full of waiting torpedoes.

“Aaaaand… they’re off!” Katse presses his own ominous-looking red button.

 

The ‘exciting encounter’ music begins to play as the torpedoes launch. Katse cackles as the torpedoes hit the Engine Room of the Tritan.

Cut from BOTP:

 

 

 

Needless to say, it’s quite clear that the entire cruise ship, with its complement of ISO scientists (Or is that the Annual Dr. Nambu Lookalike Contest finalists?) has been obliterated.

Now we see a flashing ninja bracelet. Everyone is at the Snack J, and Jinpei is wearing proper blue jeans today.

 

“Yes, Gatchaman here.” Ken answers the call.

“This is Nambu. We have a situation!” the Doctor calls on his high-tech CB radio. “Assemble the Team!”

 

I know what the ‘situation’ is. Nambu’s afraid that everyone who looks like him is being targeted by Galactor…

“Got it!” Ken replies. “Showtime!”

 

“Ryu, it’s me! Come in!” Ken calls the missing ninja. But Ryu is catching some rest.

 

“Ryu! Ryu! Wake up!” Ken shouts, as Ryu mumbles and turns over. “We’re on call!”

 

“Wha?” Ryu shakes himself away with shock.

 

“What, we’re on?” He leaps out of bed, only to lose his pants.

 

How come his underwear looks like Jun’s pants? Did the ISO get a bulk discount on red-and-white-striped transforming fabric?

“All right! Huh? Oh.” Ryu hastily pulls up his pants. “Man, I can’t even cop a nap around here!”

 

“Let’s go, Jinpei!” Ken shakes the boy awake.

 

“I’m awake!” Jinpei insists, as they run off.

Today, the Daily Fish Parade is accompanied by ominous trumpets instead of the usual cheerful flute music.

“This is where the Trian sank,” Dr. Nambu is pointing at a map, “including the ISO engineers. There were 1,853 casualties. That’s more than when the British ship, Titanic, sank off of Canada, in April of 1912, so it surpasses even that in scope.”

Jun and Ryu seem to be taking this news very hard.

 

“They’re calling this one of the greatest maritime disasters in history.” Nambu concludes.

“So what do you think caused it, Doctor?” Joe asks.

 

“Judging from the circumstances, I’d say it appears to have been torpedoed from below.” Nambu replies.

“I see. So Galactor did this to eliminate the ISO engineers onboard.” Joe deduces.

“Wait a second! I get it now!” Jinpei exclaims.

 

“Right, Joe?” Jinpei seeks confirmation of his sudden hypothesis.

 

“Right Big Bro? What do you think Ryu? Sis?”

Needless to say, no one answers.

 

“I mean, Galactor’s been around forever, right?” Jinpei tries to justify his statement. “Well, I guess that’s all just history now, right guys?”

“Galactor’s objective isn’t clear yet.” Nambu goes on, ignoring Jinpei’s little side-trip. “But it’s possible that there could be another incident, or a series of attacks. So I’d like you to patrol that area.”

“Aye, aye, Doctor!” everyone responds. Except Ken.

“So, what’s the matter with you, Ken?” Nambu asks.

“To be frank, I don’t have the stomach for it.” Ken replies, staring out the window at the fish.

“Huh? What do you mean?” Nambu asks.

“You feeling sick or something, Big Bro?” Jinpei asks.

 

“I’ve just had enough of the same thing happening over and over again.” Ken says. Don’t worry, Ken, the remaining fifteen episodes are definitely not the same thing happening over and over again.

“Think about it.” Ken goes on. “No matter how many of Galactor’s mecha beasts we risk our lives taking down, they just build another one! That’s how much technology and capital they have.”

 

“But, we can’t just do nothing, Ken!” Jun points out.

 

“It’s pointless! I just can’t do it anymore.” Ken says, turning back to the fish.

“Then I’ll arrange for the UN to make the patrol instead.” Nambu replies angrily. Frankly, that’s awfully callous. What about the other four members of the Team? They could go.

Nambu turns and leaves the room.

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No one can believe what’s just happened.

 

“Ken!” Jun protests.

 

“Now let’s move out, Jun!” Ken replies. “We have no choice. Otherwise, we surrender to Galactor. Let’s boogie!” Um, Ken, couldn’t you have said that before Nambu left the room?

“Roger!” everyone replies. And sure enough, Nambu sees them all running down the corridor, just as he is about to call the UN.

 

Insert stock footage of the God Phoenix launching from the Crescent Base. And it’s actually quite appropriate that they put this footage in this episode since it’s… dun dun dun… well, I won’t ruin it for you. Wink

 

Onboard the God Phoenix, Jinpei yawns.

 

“Man, I was having a really nice nap, and now all of this! I’m tired!”

“Jinpei, the Science Ninja Team is…” Jun begins to lecture, but Jinpei puts his hand over her mouth.

“I know! I know!” he interrupts. “Don’t finish that sentence! Besides, seeing you cleared the air to take a nap right up!”

 

“Oh, am I that pretty?” Jun giggles.

 

By the expression on Jinpei’s face, I’m sure that’s not what he meant!

“Ken, we’re almost to the place where the Trian sank.” Joe reports.

 

“All right. Now take us under!” Ken orders.

 

“Going down!” Joe’s voice calls. I’m wondering why it wouldn’t be Ryu responding to this order, though.

Everyone is shocked by what they find underwater.

 

“The wreck of the Trian.” Ryu says in a hushed voice. “Galactor goes too far.”

Jun and Jinpei are horrified by the sight.

 

Jun cries, and tears splash down on her legs.

“Damn those Galactor monsters! How dare they kill innocent people!” Joe bangs his fist on his console.

 

Um… I agree this is terrible, but it’s hardly any worse than those dozens of times they’ve destroyed cities. JMHO.

Inside the Galactor sub, Big-Mouth Goon is sitting next to another goon who has a familiar mustache, It’s Ruffled-Shirt Man, in a goon uniform!

 

“We’ve got a big fish here.” he grins, before contacting Katse. “Lord Katse, the God Phoenix has waltzed right on in.”

 

“Yes, I see! I was sure they’d sniff around and check out the scene.” Katse says smugly. “But I never thought they would have taken the bait so quickly.”

 

“Very well, then, follow our plan!” Katse orders. “Begin diversionary tactics.”

“Sire, success is at hand.” Ruffled-Shirt Goon replies.

 

“Ken, the sonar’s giving me some really peculiar readings.” Jun reports.

 

“It’s them! Rig us for silent running.” Ken orders.

 

Sure enough, we see a large group of crab tanks approaching.

“Look, it’s the crab tanks!” Ken identifies them.

“Let’s blow them away!” Joe predictably suggests.

 

“No!” Ken predictably stops him. “Let’s find out what they’re up to!”

“There’re so many!” Jun cries, and someone else shushes her.

Another ship, in the shape of some kind of fish (a shark?) glides past the God Phoenix.

 

The doors to the crab tanks open, releasing a lot of…. bubbles.

“They’re trying to find us!” Ken gasps. Joe’s response is predictable.

 

The crab tanks explode. But in all the confusion, the shark ship has attacked itself to the bottom of the God Phoenix. Some kind of magnet, perhaps?

We see inside the ship, and we realize that the shark ship carries Big-Mouth Goon and Ruffled-Shirt Goon.

“The diversion worked! Engines, full stop!” Ruffled-Shirt Goon orders.

The crab tanks suddenly depart.

“They’re running away! Just look at them go! That’ll teach them! Suckers!” Jinpei crows.

“Ryu, follow them!” Joe orders. “We’ll take down every last one of them!”

 

“Wait, hold up!” Ken stops him. “We probably ought to report to Dr. Nambu first, Joe.” Ken says.

 

“Did you say, crab tanks?” is Nambu’s response.

“That’s right, Doctor.” Ken replies. “But then we fired a Super Bird Missile, and they took off. What should we do? Should we follow them?”

 

“It’s too dangerous to pursue them. We don’t know what kind of trap is waiting.” Nambu says. “Cut your patrol short, and head back to the base.”

“Understood, Sir.” Ken answers. “Ryu, take us back.”

“You got it!” Ryu replies.

 

And the God Phoenix leaves.

Berg Katse cackles as he watches this from afar.

“That’s right! Keep going, you fools! This is Galactor’s big chance!” Katse taunts his radar screen. “This time, it will spell our victory!”

But the God Phoenix is travelling through underwater regions full of fish and ocean life.

“So beautiful.” gushes Jun. “I hope the surface world soon has such peace.”

 

“It may look peaceful, but ‘eat or be eaten’ battles are going on right now, where you can’t see them!” Jinpei grins.

 

“Jinpei, you’re such a killjoy!” Jun retorts angrily.

“Check that out!” Jinpei shouts, and we see a large shark on the monitor. This one is real, though, and not the ship attached to the bottom of their hull.

But it seems that Jinpei isn’t looking at the shark at all, but rather, at the fish attached to its belly.

“They’re suckerfish!” Jinpei exclaims. “I’d like to be one of them. Those suckers rule! Free ocean cruise, and all you can eat!”

 

Of course, you can see what the story-writers are trying to imply, here. And if you can’t, the narrator tells you.

“Unaware that a special mini-submarine, created to act like a suckerfish, was attached to the God Phoenix, the Science Ninja Team traveled back to the Crescent Coral Base, carrying Galactor along with them.”

And sure enough, the goons are seeing the Crescent Base.

 

“That’s it! The real Crescent Base!” Ruffled-Shirt Goon exclaims, referring to episode 89, when Galactor was tricked into attacking a fake Crescent Base. “All right, this time, let’s do it!” The goons all shake hands.

 

As the God Phoenix enters the base, the suckerfish sub detaches and moves off on its own, attaching to the wall.

“The Crescent Coral Reef Base!” Katse crows. “Finally, we’ve done it! This time… this time, I’m finally going to destroy you with my own hands!”

 

Commercial Break!

Solid Gold Ken doesn’t see any suckerfish.

When we return, we see the suckerfish sub docking inside the base, in a deserted bay. A goon pops his head out of the sub.

“All right, you stay here on standby.” Ruffled-Shirt Goon orders one of the other goons.

 

The other three goons jump out of the sub, then sneak around the corridors of the Crescent Base.

 

“We have to find the Engine Room and plant this in it.” Ruffled-Shirt Goon tells the others, flipping and catching a device that looks just like the one he put on the Tritan. “Come on!”

Meanwhile, some clueless ISO scientists are working on some charts.

“Hmm, I love math!” says one scientist happily. Wow, I’ll bet he was the most popular kid at preschool!

“Okay, this should do it! I just have to copy this and send it to Dr. Nambu.”

“Freeze! Hands in the air!” order the three goons.

 

“Who are you?” the scientist asks. “Oh my God, it’s Galactor!” He turns to push a button, but Ruffled-Shirt Goon bashes him on the head before he can do so.

 

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This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by Transmute Jun on 30-08-2010 at 05:06.
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“Take off your clothes, Science Boy.” Ruffled-Shirt Goon orders another terrified scientist. Uh oh, this is sounding like a bad porno script…

 

Fortunately for all of us, porn isn’t what the goons are interested in. After going to all of this trouble, the three goons take of their masks, and put on… lab coats. Yep, that’s it. Such great disguise artists they are. Clearly Katse didn’t give them any advice on this part of the plan.

 

“Science duds aren’t too bad, huh?” Ruffled-Shirt Lab Goon asks.

“We look smarter!” relies another goon in a ‘dumb’ voice.

Strangely, the first scientist is lying on the ground in his undershirt, although it looks like the goons aren’t actually wearing his shirt or tie. Dumb Voice Goon picks up the man’s glasses and puts them on.

 

“I look like a genius now, huh?” he asks, looking at the other two goons, who appear blurry.

“Dr. Galactor, I presume.” Ruffled-Shirt Lab Goon salutes.

“Hey, this guy couldn’t see!” Dumb Goon throws the glasses away. “Geez! Mr. Magoo, or something!”

In another room, Nambu is unaware of these developments.

“According to the data we’ve analyzed, it appears that a radio missile guidance mechanism was placed somewhere onboard, undetected.” he tells the Team.

 

“But that must mean that somehow, a Galactor spy infiltrated the ship!” Jun exclaims.

“I’m afraid that’s right.” Nambu confirms. “And then they fired missiles that locked on to the planted signal, which means that the submarine that fired those missiles should still be somewhere in the vicinity of the wreck of the Trian.”

“But Doctor, all we were able to find on patrol were those crab tanks!” Jinpei protests.

 

“Well, I believe it was camouflaged in some clever manner.” Nambu explains. “Not knowing Galactor’s objective bothers me the most.”

“You know, come to think of it, the crab tanks that attacked us out there wasted no time retreating.” Ken recalls.

 

“That’s right… they’re usually a lot more persistent in their attacks.” Ryu agrees.

 

“Could be those terrorist bastards are panicking because things didn’t go like they planned.” Joe suggests.

 

“Joe, I sure hope you’re right.” Nambu says doubtfully. He is interrupted from saying more by an urgent call.

“Dr. Nambu, it’s an emergency!” a voice cries out. “Somebody has overpowered the engineers!”

Everyone is horrified!

 

“Search every room in the base! On the double!” Nambu orders. He flips a switch, and cameras show up everywhere. Immediately, Nambu finds the suckerfish sub.

 

This is so terrifying that everyone gets their own shot of shock and horror!

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s Galactor! How did they get here?” Ken asks in disgust. “We’ve got to stop them!” Everyone starts to run out of the room.

“Wait!” Nambu calls. “Galactor was after the Crescent Coral Base all along!” Nambu suddenly understands everything. “Which means that it’s possible a radio guidance mechanism has been planted here! Just like on the Trian!” He turns to his equipment and turns it on.

“But I’m not picking one up!” he says.

“But Doctor, considering their scientific prowess, I’d bet they have developed one that is undetectable to us!” Ken suggests. Joe is apparently so ashamed that he let all of this slip by that his number 2 has disappeared. Or maybe it’s just shrunk and gone out of the picture.

 

“That’s right!” Jun agrees with Ken. “After all, they know they’d have to outsmart our state of the art detection systems.”

 

“That’s a distinct possibility.” Nambu agrees too.

“For the love of… this is horrible, man!” Ryu moans.

“What’s going to happen to us?” Jinpei asks fearfully.

 

“There’s only one way.” Nambu decide. “Ken and Jun, you stay here and find Galactor and the guidance mechanism! The rest of you take the God Phoenix and track down the submarine firing those torpedoes! Now move out!”

“Roger!”

And somehow, during this speech, Jun has become very masculine-looking and her pants have changed to Ken’s again.

 

“We must protect the Crescent Coral Base at any cost!” Nambu thinks to himself.

The God Phoenix quickly launches.

“We have to find it, no matter what!” Joe declares. “If we don’t, the Crescent Base will be blown to bits!”

“We’re never going to let that happen! Not ever!” Jinpei declares.

 

“The Crescent Coral Reef is a giant mobile base, floating in the vast ocean.” the narrator explains. We see a schematic diagram of the Base.

 

Thanks to Sosai Tim for putting this picture together!

“There are always top ISO engineers stations in the Base, carrying out their duties.” the narrator continues, as we see Ken and Jun searching. “It’s an incredibly large Base, and moreover, its layout is vastly complex. The mission of tracking down the Galactor operatives who have breached its security, locating the deadly guidance mechanism they have planted onboard, is a monumental task. No one can be expected to succeed in time to save them all from certain destruction.”

 

 

We see the goons running through the base, hiding from Jun as they creep into the Engine Room.

“Well, here we go.” grins Ruffled-Shirt Lab Goon, pulling out his gun.

 

He bases another scientist on the back of the head, while the others are choked, punched, and kicked by the remaining two goons.

“This should work.” Ruffled-Shirt Lab Goon chuckles as he approaches a piece of machinery. “No matter how many times I do this, it just never gets old. The thrill’s a real zinger.” He reaches into his lab coat and pulls out another Radio Guidance Bug, placing it inside a panel and activating it.

 

“We did it!” one of the goons says.

“They can look all they want, but they’ll never find it here. Let’s scram! We’ll report to Lord Katse and make our escape!” Ruffled-Shirt Lab Goon replies.

“Promotion!” thinks Dumb Goon excitedly.

But as the goons are attempting to leave, they are forced to hide from one of the moving patrol cameras.

“This way!” Ruffled-Shirt Lab Goon orders, but as the goons move out, someone else arrives on the scene!

 

“Did you see anything down that way?” Ken calls.

“Nothing out of the ordinary!” a goon replies.

“I see! They’ve got to be somewhere in this base! Contact us on the radio if you see anything suspicious!” Ken orders.

 

He and Jun turn to go, but Ken stops.

“What’s wrong, Ken?” Jun asks.

“Wait!” Ken says.

 

He recognizes the goon’s green pants from underneath his lab coat.

“They’re Galactor!” Ken shouts. “Jun, I want you to flank them!”

“Right!” Jun cries, before they both dash off.

The goons try to run up a staircase, but turn back when they see Jun’s shadow at the top. They move in another direction, only to find Ken waiting for them there.

“End of the road, scumbags!” Ken calls. “The gig is up!”

 

“We were so close to a clean break!” Ruffled-Shirt Goon mutters angrily, removing his lab coat. “Damn that Gatchaman!” The other goons remove their lab coats too.

“Fire!” The goons begin shooting at Ken. But Gatchaman is ready with his boomerang.

 

“Bird Run!”

Ruffled-Shirt Goon is hit and he falls. Ken runs down the stairs and kicks another goon. The he pulls out some feather shuriken and… bashes Dumb Goon. I’m not sure why he pulled out the shuriken.

 

The third goon throws his lab coat over Ken’s head, and all three shoot at it, ending up with… a torn lab coat.

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“Huh, where’d he go?” the third goon asks.

 

“You mean, me?” Ken asks, before knocking him out again. He takes a swing at Ruffled-Shirt Goon, but misses.

 

Dumb goon tries to bash Ken on the head, but gets Ruffled-Shirt Goon instead.

 

He gets a kick where it hurts most, for his trouble.

 

The third goon is running away, but he encounters Jun on the stairs.

 

“And where do you think you’re going?” she asks sweetly.

“Out of my way! Women belong in the kitchen!” the goon shouts, pulling out his gun. But Jun is taking out her weapon for an ADV-patented yo-yo strike!

 

She hits the goon’s hand, causing him to drop his gun. Suddenly, this all makes sense! The only reason these three aren’t dead yet (like most goons Ken and Jun fight) is because Ken and Jun need answers from them.

“Well, garbage like you belongs in the kitchen trash!” Jun retorts, walking down to the goon. He moves to punch her, but gets a view of her panchira instead.

 

“Get off!” he pushes her aside, and she falls to the ground. He picks up his gun, and moves to fire.

Jun is vulnerable!

 

Or is she? She grabs a feather shuriken and throws it at the goon.

 

She is horrified to realize that she has killed him, as the shuriken protrudes from his throat.

 

He fires his gun as he collapses, barely ruffling her wings.

“Give up! We know all about your plan!” Ken tells the other two goons. “Now, how about you tell me where you planted the radio guidance device? Come on, punks! Out with it!”

 

But Ruffled-Shirt Goon has pulled out some throwing knives from his sleeve.

“And if you don’t, I’ll send you to your graves too.” Ken pulls out his boomerang.

“What’s the matter, Gatchaman?” Ruffled-Shirt Goon laughs. “You’re looking pretty pale for such a tough guy! Well, I guess that’s only right, since this place is about to blow sky high!”

 

He throws his knife at Ken, who is surprised, but dodges.

 

Jun dodges as well, but leaps away as the knife starts to explode!

 

“Hit the deck!” she cries. Ken and Jun take cover, but when the smoke clears…

“Damn, they got away!” Ken says. Yep, even the one with the shuriken in his throat. What, did these goons eat their Wheaties this morning?

“Contact Dr. Nambu, quick!” Ken shouts.

“Right!” Jun acknowledges. The thing is, they know where the goons are going. Their escape ship is in the Docking Bay, and they saw it on the security monitors.

The goons are madly running.

“Do they really think they can escape?” Ken wonders, as he chases after them.

 

Meanwhile, Big-Mouth Goon, who has been left minding the sub, hears something.

 

Is it a coincidence that this guy bears a strong resemblance to Ryu, who is also often left minding the ship?

“They must be done!” Big-Mouth Goon says, and he begins to start up the ship. He opens up the hatch, and the other goons climb aboard. But it looks like there are only two of them…

“It was a success!” Ruffled-Shirt Goon calls. “Contact Lord Katse!”

“Right.” Big-Mouth Goon activates the communications monitor. “We got the job done, Lord Katse!”

“What’s that?” Katse can hardly believe it. “Most excellent! Good work, all of you! Now, beat it!”

 

“Okay, now!” Dumb Goon calls out, just as he’s about to close the hatch. “Submerge it!”

“First, put your hands in the air!” Ken calls.

“Oh, crap.” Dumb Goon sighs. He looks to see…

Scientists with guns!

Oh yeah, Ken, Jun and Nambu too.

 

“Listen, move even a finger and you and your sub are going to the bottom! Now, tell me where you planted the guidance mechanism!” Ken shouts.

 

Inside the sub, everyone hears this, even Katse, who is still on the monitor.

 

“Damn it, we almost got away!” Ruffled-Shirt Goon curses.

“What’s going on?” Katse asks, in a bored tone.

“Sire, they’ve surrounded us. We can’t escape.” Big-Mouth Goon explains.

“Aw, don’t worry. There’s no need to look so pale!” Katse dismisses his statement. “I thought this might happen, so I’ve prepared a little something. I want you to press that red button. Something should happen that will stun them for a moment. Use that opportunity to escape.”

 

Of course, Big-Mouth Goon isn’t smart enough to understand what red buttons are really for, and he actually trusts Katse.

“You got it! Uh, must be this one!” He holds his finger over the red button in front of him.

“That’s Lord Katse for you! He’s one smart cookie, isn’t he?” Ruffled-Shirt Goon smirks. “Push!”

 

But Katse is laughing to himself as this happens, and the suckerfish sub explodes, taking out all goons aboard.

 

“No!” cries Ken in horror, even as he uses his wings to shield Dr. Nambu from the explosion.

 

“The God Phoenix is our only hope now.” Ken whispers.

And on the God Phoenix…

“Damn it, the radar isn’t showing jack. They must have their engine turned off, or something.” Joe says. “Ryu, you getting anything?”

“We’re in trouble! I can’t see nothing!” Ryu moans.

 

“We have to cover more ground, man!” Joe urges.

And at that moment, they pass by a pile of sand on the ocean floor. But another ship emerges from it.

 

“The great Katse will not be found so easily!” Katse cackles from the ship, watching the God Phoenix move away. “While the God Phoenix is away, I’m going to blow the Crescent Coral Base to smithereens!”

 

“You lovely torpedoes, who will grant me the fond wish I’ve had for so many years!” he gloats, caressing his own red button with his fingers. Oh, my precious, do your worst!” He slams his fist down onto the button.

 

The torpedoes launch.

“I’ve done it! I’ve finally done it!” Katse shouts with glee. He throws his head back and laughs.

 

We cut to Jun searching through the Engine Room.

“Well, Jun, have you found it?” Ken asks, approaching her.

“It’s no good!” Jun replies frantically. “Ken, it’s like trying to find a needle in a super-sized haystack!”

 

“Stop complaining and hurry it up!” Ken rants. “We’ll be blown to bits while you whine!”

 

Yeah… um… that’s not helping matter, Ken. Plus, why aren’t you searching?

Nambu doesn’t seem to be doing much either. He’s pacing and looking worried. A voice from his communications system interrupts him.

“Doctor, we’ve got a problem!”

“Report!” Nambu cries.

“Our radar has picked up what appear to be torpedoes!” the voice informs him.

“Good Lord!” Nambu gasps.

 

“They’re headed this way, Doctor! Let’s move the Base! Your orders, Sir? Your orders?”

“It’s too late…” Nambu bows his head.

JMHO, but I think they should be moving the Base. Yeah, we know it’s futile, but they could at least try, don’t you think?

Katse laughs in triumph.

 

Berg Katse’s tenacity has finally brought the ISO’s most vital secret base just a breath away from his evil clutches. What will become of Dr. Nambu and the Science Ninja Team? Danger tightens its grip around the Crescent Coral Reef! Could this be the final battle?

 

“Oh, I hope so!” Katse breaks the fourth wall and comments on the narrator’s words, as we fade out on a shot of torpedoes approaching the Crescent Base.

Be sure to tune in to Gatchamania next Monday, for the exciting conclusion!

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BOTP Episode 84 – Invasion of the Space Center – Part I

Down here, at Center Neptune, deep beneath the ocean waves, where Zark keep a watchful eye on the universe, there’s usually plenty happening in outer space to keep him busy!

So busy, that he’s hanging out with Rover in the middle of the room.

 

“But now and then, we get a lull, like this,” Zark explains his lazy behavior, “and I use the time to keep myself in G-Force shape!” Does that mean that Zark is trying to turn himself into a G-Emblem? That would be something to see! Transformers, eat your heart out!

But no, Zark is… exercising. Yep. He runs (two inches per hour speed, instead of one inch per hour) and fights…

 

And kicks…

 

I am cracking up, here! If Zark was the only thing standing between me and a goon… I think I’d be taking my chances with the goon!

“Still in great shape!” he gloats. “With that powerful kick of mine, I can smash in a solid steel door! Let’s see how strong you are, 1-Rover-1!”

 

Rover whirls his tail, flying into the air, and then slams his feet onto the floor. He repeats this maneuver again and again.

 

Then he yips.

“Well, that’s a little unusual, but it might come in handy for smashing through a floor.” Zark assesses Rover’s performance. Of course, Zark is a great judge of what’s ‘unusual’.

A noise comes through the dangling binoculars. We can see the sound waves emanating from it today.

 

“Uh oh!” Zark says. “There’s the emergency warning buzzer from Susan, out on Planet Pluto! I knew things wouldn’t stay quiet for very long! Center Neptune Control! 7-Zark-7!”

 

“Susan here, Zark! Something is happening in the galaxy!” Susan reports. “Spectra has launched a spaceship of some kind, and it is invading the outer limits of the Federation!”

“Has our Space Patrol been alerted?” Zark asks.

“Yes, but I don’t like it.” Susan replies. “Spectra, invading our galaxy, and making no attempt to hide? That is very odd…”

“Could be a decoy! A diversionary raid.” Zark suggests. “I’ll check it on my monitor right away! Thanks, Susan!”

Now we see a monitor, with the usual BOTP space scenes floating by.

“There it is! I just caught a glimpse of it!” shouts Zark, even though the only thing on the monitor is Saturn. “Whatever it is, it came out of Time Warp, and it’s definitely heading for Earth!”

Finally we see it. It’s… a round metal thing.

 

“I’m sure that craft was only a diversionary maneuver on Zoltar’s part. My sensitive probes indicate that something alien has landed in the ocean, not far from us here, at Center Neptune!” And as always, when Zark talks about his ‘sensitive probes’, my mind freaks out. Eek3 At least he’s not bringing up his ‘probes’ with Susan!

Now we see a ship sailing in the ocean. A man onboard, wearing a ruffled shirt, sees a submarine rising out of the water, through his binoculars. A goon gets out of the submarine and waves. Ruffled-Shirt Man smiles and walks through the ship, down to the Engine Room. He pulls a small device out of his hat and activates it, an evil smile on his face. He puts his hat back on and turns to go.

“Hey, you!” a voice calls. “What are you doing down here in the engine room?”

“Must have gotten lost.” replies Ruffled-Shirt Man, as an engineer appears.

“Staterooms are topside!” the engineer yells. “Those landlubbers don’t know port from starboard!”

Once on deck, Ruffled-Shirt Man jumps overboard, swimming to the submarine. He gets inside.

“Zoltar’s waiting!” says Big-Mouth Goon.

“Standby?” Ruffled-Shirt Man asks, taking a seat next to Big-Mouth Goon.

“Lothar!” Zoltar says, once his communication is activated.

“We are ready, Sire!” Lothar replies. “The signal is coming in, strong and clear. The ship will be our first test run!”

“Good! Watch carefully! I want a full report!” Zoltar says. “If it works, Center Neptune is doomed!” He moves over to a panel to watch the progress of the project.

“Our new magnetic missile is tuned to the homing device Lothar has planted aboard that ship!” Zoltar says to himself. Sure enough, we see missiles.

“Testing!” Zoltar says, pressing a red button.

The missiles launch as Zoltar laughs.

“Ha! It’s working!” he chortles. “Next time, we use live ammo!”

Get that, boys and girls? The ship is being hit with missiles, but they have no ammo on them. That means that everyone will be able to safely escape from the ship after it has been hit.

And we cut from Zoltar’s glee to… Ready Room Disco!

 

 

Zark appears on the screen.

“Attention G-Force, I have a red alert!” Zark announces. “I’m afraid our old nemesis, Zoltar, is with us again! Something strange is happening n the ocean, not far from here! You’re wanted in Security for a briefing at once!’

 

“Big 10, Zark! We’ll drop right down!” Mark assures the robot.

 

“G-Force!”

 

And now we’re at the briefing.

“The ship was hit by non-explosive missiles here.” Chief Anderson says, pointing at a map. “The missiles ripped a hole in the ship, but fortunately, no one was injured.” Why am I not surprised to hear this?

“The mysterious attack, however, confirms our suspicions that Spectra is involved.” Anderson continues. “Zark’s scanners picked up an unidentified object, just before it plunged into the ocean. I believe that attack was a test run. Zoltar’s real objective is elsewhere.”

“Center Neptune, perhaps?” Jason guesses. Smart cookie, that Jason.

“It’s possible.” Anderson admits. “Your job is to find his missile base and destroy it, before he’s ready.”

“I’ve had this strange feeling all day.” Mark says, joining in the conversation.

“I think I know how you feel, Commander.” Princess replies.

“Do you?” Mark wonders aloud. “I keep seeing Center Neptune being wiped out!” So… Mark can see the future, now? Those cerebonic implants are mighty amazing things!

“We’re depending on you, Commander.” the Chief says, but belatedly realizes his mistake. “You and G-Force.”

“Mark…” Princess comes up to the Commander.

“Yes, Princess?” Mark asks.

“You okay?”

“Huh… oh, yeah.” Mark turns around and actually looks at Princess. “Sure. Let’s get going. I wouldn’t want to keep Zoltar waiting.”

“G-Force!”

Commercial break!

And now we see stock footage of the Phoenix launching from Center Neptune.

Onboard the Phoenix, Keyop yawns.

“Doot doot… wake me!” he says. “Doot… for Zoltar… doot doot…”

“Nobody goes to sleep on this job.” Princess warns him.

“Eh… no sense… of humor?” Keyop burbles.

“Keep your eye on your scanners.” Princess says, a gushy expression on her face.

“Our strike point is coming up, Mark.” Jason says. “Two kilometers.”

“Prepare to dive, Tiny!” Mark orders.

“Okay, Commander!”

Underwater, Lothar (now in a goon uniform) and Big-Mouth Goon see the Phoenix approaching.

“They’ve taken the bait!” Lothar grins nastily.

“It’s the Phoenix, Sire! They’re coming in!” he reports to Zoltar.

“You know what to do!” Zoltar says, but he reminds Lothar just in case he’s forgotten. “Wait until they’re close! Then I’ll send out the Crab Attackers. That will keep G-Force busy! The diversion will allow you to slip into Center Neptune.”

“Brilliant, Sire!” Lothar gushes.

“Oh, oh!” Princess says, looking at her radar screen back on the Phoenix. “Looks like trouble heading our way!”

“We’re ready for them, Princess.” Mark calmly assures her, although his face looks more concerned than he’s letting on.

The Crab Attackers approach the Phoenix.

“Crabs!” Mark shouts.

“Gotta get ‘em!” Jason says quickly, suddenly appearing at the Commander’s side so he can press his favorite red button.

“Wait!” Mark holds Jason’s arm back. “Let them get closer.”

“There’s something else!” Princess says, looking at her radar screen. Sure enough, we see a fish-shaped robot going by the Phoenix.

The Crab Attackers open their hatches to release… bubbles.

“What was it, Princess?” Mark asks.

“Couldn’t make it out.” Princess replies.

“Fire one!” Jason slams his fist through the glass cover to fire a missile. Way to disobey orders! Let’s hear it for hot-headed Jason!

Sure enough, the Crab Attackers are destroyed, but the fish robot is not. It attaches to the bottom of the Phoenix.

“We’ve attached ourselves to the Phoenix, Sire!” Lothar reports to Zoltar.

The remaining Crab Attackers move away.

Keyop burbles for a long moment, then finally speaks.

“Show them who’s boss!”

“Some got away. Let’s go after them!” Jason suggests.

“Hold it!” Mark says. “I kind of think we were decoyed again.” He raises his communicator.

“I read you, Commander.” Chief Anderson says.

“Tighten all security. I think Zoltar slipped one over on us.” Mark says. “We’re coming in, Chief.”

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“We’re getting some kind of interference on our electronic defense shields.” Anderson admits. “I’m contacting all security personnel to be on alert.”

“Signing off, Chief!” Mark says, then he turns to Tiny. “Let’s go.”

“Big 10!”

As the Phoenix leaves, Zoltar watches its progress on his monitor.

“We are about to invade Center Neptune!” he laughs. “Courtesy of the Phoenix and G-Force!”

“You’re just… seeing things!” Keyop smirks at Princess.

“No, I did see something!” Princess insists.

“Like… big fish?” Keyop burbles, pointing at a large shark going by. “Never seen one like that! Wow! Those jaws… belong to Spectra!”

“Princess saw something all right!” Zark agrees on voiceover. “And it wasn’t a fish! I caught a glimpse of it on my scanner… then…. lost it!” As he says this, we see the Phoenix going by, the fish robot attached to the bottom. How the heck can Zark lose this? He’s proving that he’s not worth the value of his components.

“There it is, men!” Lothar says from inside the fish. “Center Neptune! Our objective!” Soon we shall conquer the whole Earth!” The Spectrans all shake hands in agreement.

The Phoenix docks, and the fish robot slides off. Zoltar gets a signal on his monitor.

“They’ve slipped through Earth’s defenses!” Zoltar laughs. “Once Lothar plants a new homing transmitter, I’ll release me missiles!”

Commercial break!

We return to the usual mid-episode Zark pacing.

 

“A Spectra ship has managed to slip inside Space Center!” Zark tells us. “It could be a threat to any one of the buildings within this deep sea defense complex!” So, how many buildings are there, Zark? Because on the big picture of Center Neptune, it sure looks like there’s only one.

“G-Force is standing by, waiting for a word from me, and ready to go into action! The fate of Earth and the entire galaxy lies in their hands.” If G-Force is waiting on you, Zark, then why are you wasting time talking to us? Why are you pacing? Why aren’t you giving them the word?

And Zark is in such an urgent rush, he flies (instead of walks) over to his station.

 

“I’m using my thermo-probes, phaser beams, sonar amplifiers, but I can’t determine yet the exact spot where that Spectra ship is hiding!” Zark tells us. So what good is this hunk of junk anyways? He can tell the ship snuck inside, but not where? And he can’t have the Team out searching anyway, until he gets more specific information? Seems to me that for being the ‘all-knowing Guardian of Center Neptune’, Zark is really dropping the ball here.

We see the fish robot surface in an empty docking bay.

“All clear!” says Lothar. “Let’s move out fast!”

“On to victory!” says Big-Mouth Goon, running away. I know he’s going to stay at the controls (from watching the Gatchaman episode) but here it looks like he’s too chicken to accompany his comrades!

Lotahr and two other goons leave the fish robot, and then the ship hides underneath the edge of the dock.

“We’ve got to find the right place to set up this targeting device!” Lothar says, flipping the little device in the air.

Next, we see three goon masks falling to the floor, and the men are putting on lab coats. Who knows where the lab coats came from? A nearby closet?

“With these smocks on, we won’t be recognized!” Lothar grins.

“We’d better not be!” says a dumb-looking goon, putting on a pair of glasses. “How do I look, Boss?”

“Like a Xenobian owl, after a bad night!” Lothar says, saluting.

“I couldn’t see a thing with them anyway!” Dumb Goon snarls, throwing the glasses away in disgust.

“Zark has placed Security Forces on alert.” Chief Anderson says, in a briefing with the Team. “But this is a sprawling deep sea complex. It’ll be hard to check every possible hiding place.”

“How did that Spectra submarine ever get inside the complex?” Princess wants to know.

“We had to cut off our electronic warning shields when you came back.” Anderson explains. “It must have been waiting for this, and slipped in behind you. Once inside the shield, it cut away, and headed for its objective.”

“Ah…” Keyop burbles. “Old Trojan Horse trick!”

“Not quite, Keyop, but close enough.” the Chief says. “We’ll just have to wait. Sooner or later, they’ll have to tip their hand.” This seems odd. Why isn’t Anderson sending everyone out to look for these guys? Sure, they might not be found, but it’s worth a shot, rather than having everyone just sit around on their butts. JMHO.

“By that time, it could be too late!” Mark agrees with me. “I think we should go looking for them now.”

“Be like looking for a needle in a haystack.” Anderson just lays on the optimism.

“We’ve located the sub, Chief!” comes a voice from one of Anderson’s control panels. It sounds like Mark trying to pretend he’s old enough to buy a beer.

“Where?” Anderson snarls. Seriously! I’ve never heard him sound angry before!

But the man doesn’t reply.

“Speak up, man! Where is it?” Anderson growls.

“Research Building, Doc!” the voice replies. Anderson flicks a switch, and cameras come out to look. Some of them are in strange places, but one of them seems to be looking at the fish robot sub.

Everyone gasps in horror as they see it. Why, it’s like they didn’t know there was an enemy sub in there at all!

“That’s the break we’ve been waiting for!” Mark declares. “Let’s go!” The Team starts to run off.

“Be careful. That’s a sensitive area, Commander.” Anderson says. “The entire power system of Center Neptune is in that building. One wrong move…”

“Looks like Zoltar sent in a suicide squad, Chief.” Mark notes. “With our electronic warning shields on, no way they can get out! They must have known that!”

“Maybe they’re defectors, wanting to join our side?” Princess suggests. Wow, that’s lame. I’m embarrassed for her. Like they’d be sneaking into the complex if they really wanted to ‘join their side’?

“Besides, how much damage can they really do?” I feel like smacking Princess upside the head for that one. She just lost all of the points she gained for noticing something weird back out with the Crab Attackers.

“Zoltar can, from his hidden base.” Anderson replies.

“Should have blasted those underwater caves!” Tiny moans. Gee, too bad no one wanted to listen to Jason, when he wanted to follow the remaining Crab Attackers and destroy them.

“Broot… too late now!” Keyop remarks.

“We found a small Spectra transmitter on that steamship.” the Chief reveals. “A targeting device for Zoltar’s missiles. And I believe that’s what they’re putting in the Research Building. First priority: find that transmitter!”

“G-Force!”

“The fate of Center Neptune is in their hands now.” the Chief thinks grimly to himself, as the Team runs out of the room.

The Phoenix launches, with Jason, Tiny and Keyop aboard.

“One chance in a million of finding that transmitter.” Jason says. I’d say, less than that! The transmitter is on Center Neptune, you bozos! Why are you leaving?

“Optimist!” Keyop burbles.

“It’s like a game of hide and seek!” Zark voices over as we look at a schematic of Center Neptune. “I’m trying to help G-Force, but the Research Center is huge! Every time I locate the three Spectra invaders, I can’t contact G-Force!” Okay, there’s absolutely no excuse for this! The communicators should be working on every inch of that station! Why wouldn’t Zark be able to contact Mark and Princess, or Chief Anderson? This seems like too much of a stretch to me.

Still, as a kid, I bought it. I remember hoping that Zark would be able to contact them, desperately holding onto my seat in excitement! So I guess, given the age range at which this show was targeted, this point slipped by.

“Time is beginning to run out!” Zark continues, as we see footage of Mark, Princess, and various scientists searching the station. “Princess! Come in, Princess! Oh… she didn’t turn her communicator on.” And I’m not buying that either. Regardless of her dumb comment earlier, surely she’d have her communicator on as she’s conducting a search with Mark, at an important time like this!

We see the three Spectrans running into the Engine Room. There’s a quick shot of some scientists in the back, but the Spectrans seem to slip by them. They approach a panel.

“The heart of the Space Center!” Lothar crows loudly, not making any effort to be silent, despite the scientists they just passed. “One direct hit from our new Photon Charge Missiles, and the entire complex goes!” He opens a panel and places the transmitter device inside, activating it.

“What now?” asks a goon.

“We’ve done our job!” Lothar says. “Now to get back to the submarine and get out of here!” Of course, Lothar has done everything. Why he needed two additional men with him is unknown.

“Alert Sub Chief!” Lothar tells Dumb Goon.

“Yes Sir!” Dumb Goon replies, preening himself with pride in his… uh, Lothar’s… accomplishment.

The three goons run through the Engine Room, but hide when they see a security camera.

“Let’s get moving!” Lothar growls, even though he was the one who chose to hide.

Mark sees the last goon come out of hiding.

“Where’d they go?” the Commander calls.

“That way, I think!” the goon replies, gesturing vaguely.

“He seemed pretty casual about it.” Mark says to himself. “You thinking what I’m thinking, Princess?” He and Princess move off to the side.

“Let’s check.” Princess suggests.

“Look!” Mark exclaims. He has noticed the green pants the three men are wearing.

“After him!” the Commander orders. “That the staircase!”

“Okay!” Princess agrees. She arrives in time to cut off the Spectrans’ escape. They turn away, running to another staircase, where Mark is waiting for them.

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“Were you thinking of going someplace, gentlemen?” Mark asks.

“Yes, and we intend to get there, G-Force!” Lothar declares, ripping off his lab coat.

Mark throws his boomerang, knocking a gun out of Lothar’s hand. It’s not clear where Lothar got the gun. Another goon throws his lab coat over Mark’s head.

“Where is he?” the goon asks, but Mark appears behind him.

One of the goons stumbles to the floor, but the third goon runs away.

“Not so fast!” Princess says, blocking his way up the stairs.

“Out of my way, girl! I’m in a hurry!” the goon growls. But Princess pulls out her yo-yo and knocks his magically-appearing gun out of his hand.

“Let’s have a little chat about a hidden transmitter.” she suggests, coming down the stairs. She jumps, and the goon moves his arm.

“Go find it!” he taunts, and Princess falls to the ground. But she must have hit him, because we now see a long shot, and Princess is sitting on the ground, while he’s lying facedown.

“Hold it, you’re not going anywhere!” Mark tells the other two goons. “Don’t be a fool, Captain!” Huh. Is Lothar a Captain? And if so, how did Mark know?

Lothar pulls a throwing knife out of a compartment in his sleeve.

“There’s no way you can get out of here.” Mark says, pulling out his boomerang in a threatening manner. “Just tell me where you hid that transmitter.”

“So, you know about the transmitter?” Lothar smirks. “Well, you’ll never find it. Not in time! And meanwhile, we’ll be gone!” He throws his knife. Mark dodges it and it lands near Princess, who jumps up to avoid the resulting explosion.

“Look out!” Princess cries, as she runs away.

Mark and Princess take shelter, but when the smoke clears, the three goons are gone.

“Come on, don’t let them get away!” Mark says.

The goons are running through the base, and Mark is following them.

“Must be heading back to the sub!” Mark thinks to himself.

“About time they’d be coming back!” says Big-Mouth Goon (I guess he’s the Sub Chief.) as he hears footsteps. He brings the sub out from its hiding place.

“Make ready to shove off!” Lothar shouts, getting into the hatch.

“You bet!” the Sub Chief replies. He contacts Zoltar. “Mission accomplished. We’re leaving!”

“Good!” Zoltar smirks. “I will see that all you brave men are well-rewarded! Our conquest of Earth has begun! Once our missiles are launched, nothing can stop them!”

We cut to a shot of Mark looking shocked, Chief Anderson behind him.

“Our only hope now is to locate that missile base!” the Commander says.

So… they got away? I guess so. I’m confused…

We cut to the Phoenix, which is still searching underwater.

“These undersea ridges all look alike, but I think I’ve got a fix.” Jason says. “Keep cruising, Tiny.”

“Mark sounded real worried.” Tiny looks shocked. I guess Mark doesn’t normally sound worried?

“We’ve got to stop Zoltar!” Jason declares.

But the Phoenix passes by a patch of sand hiding Zoltar’s ship. The Spectran Leader watches the Phoenix move away from his monitor.

“They’ll never find my missile base in time!” Zoltar laughs triumphantly. “Everything is in readiness! First will be the complete destruction of Center Neptune! Then I will deal with G-Force! D-Day for Center Neptune, and Earth!” He slams his fist on the red button.

Missiles launch (presumably these ones have live ammo, unlike last time) and head for Center Neptune.

“Spectra’s finest hour!” Zoltar throws his head back and laughs maniacally.

Inside Center Neptune, a last second search is going on.

“Find anything?” Mark asks Princess. His tone is surprisingly casual.

“I’m getting something on the electronic warning shields, Commander.” Princess reports. “Coming in from Sector Five.”

“That’s where Zoltar launched his Crab Robots!” Mark cries angrily. “I’ll tell Anderson.”

“Want you to check something, Chief!” the Commander contacts Anderson.

“Lead on.” Anderson replies.

“What do you think it is, Chief?” Mark asks.

“Incoming missiles!” Anderson replies.

“There must be some way to stop them!” Mark insists.

“I’m afraid not.” Anderson bows his head.

Zoltar continues to laugh.

“Zoltar’s missiles are on their way!” Zark voices over. “And if they’re not stopped, all of Space Center, including Center Neptune, could be destroyed! If only I could contact G-Force!”

What???? He still hasn’t contacted G-Force? This robot isn’t worth the scrap metal he’s made from! WTH is he doing? Having sex talks with Susan? I find it impossible to believe that he can’t contact any of the five G-Force members, or Chief Anderson. Certainly Mark and Anderson had no trouble talking to each other!

“I know Jason, Tiny and Keyop are all right, but I’m worried about Princess and Mark!” Zark continues, as we see shots of the missiles approaching Center Neptune. “And Chief Anderson. Without them, our chances are very bleak!”

And despite this scary ending, we still get to see Zark hanging out with Rover to finish off our episode.

 

“I never thought I’d see the day when Zoltar could penetrate the defense of Space Center!” Zark declares.

“Wap, wap-wap, wap!” Rover barks.

“Thanks, 1-Rover-1. I’m glad to have your sympathy, but what I really need is help!” Zark replies.

So… Rover salutes.

 

Yep, he thinks saluting is help. You never know. Maybe for Zark, it is help.

Rover yips too.

“I know you’ll do your best to help, but all we can do now is keep Nerve Center Control operating and hope G-Force contacts us soon” Zark says.

“One thing is certain.” Zark goes on. “I’m not budging from my post until G-Force and Center Neptune are safe! And I’m sure all our friends everywhere will be pulling for us!”

I don’t know… if I’m pulling for Mark, Princess and Chief Anderson, does that mean I have to pull for Zark too? Hmm…

And there, Part I concludes.

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And this episode would not be complete without Sosai Tim’s Gatchafunny…

 

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Great recap!

This and ep. 92 are big favourites of mine. I think the Gatchaman plot is very good, especially with all the groundwork that was laid in previous episodes about Galactor learning about the Crescent Coral Base and then trying to determine its location. I like the way the story also follows up on the frustration and gloom that Ken was feeling in ep. 90, though once again he overcomes it here to get on with the job of stopping a Galactor attack. I think the fact that the Galactor guys in this one are actually pretty competent is a big factor in why I enjoy it -it really ups the tension and drama when our birdies have a more worthy foe.

It seems this created a problem for the BOTP writers though. The plot requires the Spectran guys to be successful, but at the same time, Zark must continue to be all-seeing and all-knowing -the solution? Zark knows everything that's happening but he just can't reach anybody on their communicators (despite the fact that they can all communicate with each other)! I agree -not a good way to go here at all!

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When I saw the episode on TV, I missed all the references to other buildings. I wondered why Zark's area wasn't flooding.

Yes, after all those episodes of all-seeing, all-knowing Zark, the scriptwriters were stuck. Least they could do was write in some sort of interference that affected communications randomly. That could have upped the drama.

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I don't know about the communication. It could be claimed that since the team and Nambu were in one building - the one being destroyed - and Zark was in another, that communication was being blocked by Spectra around the building being destroyed. No communication in or out of the building but inside the building communicators continued to work. Like a bowl around the building.

Although that does not really account for how Mark is able to contact the Phoenix which is outside of the building. Maybe since the Phoenix was nearby (inside the bowl) it too was inside the communication area. *shrug*

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Great recap, as always, TJ, and thanks for the Gatchafunny!

quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
This and ep. 92 are big favourites of mine. I think the Gatchaman plot is very good, especially with all the groundwork that was laid in previous episodes about Galactor learning about the Crescent Coral Base and then trying to determine its location. I like the way the story also follows up on the frustration and gloom that Ken was feeling in ep. 90, though once again he overcomes it here to get on with the job of stopping a Galactor attack.


iagree The above is the same reason I like the two, linked episodes! ... together with all the tension! And, I also agree that it surely wasn't an easy task for BotP adaptation!

Although a certain amount of increasing angst could already be felt, starting from previous episodes, for me, this episode marks the beginning of the end and what I call that sad sensation I feel whenever I know what follows! I'm already feeling the blues!

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I agree, this is one of the best episodes, because of the range of tension and emotions felt by all of the primary characters. It's also insightful because it gives ups a chance to see Katse being the victor... and that gives us glimpses into his character that we haven't experienced before.

BOTP just messed up the logistics of this one. I still think the entire Center Neptune should have been destroyed. It's the last (2) episode(s0 of the series, and that wouldn't have broken continuity! They could easily have shown Zark heading down his elevation tube 'to be evacuated' or Mark and Princess showing up in his room to 'evacuate him' before they remained on the station to evacuate others.

Even as a kid, I remember being annoyed by the 'oh, Princess doesn't have her communicator turned on' line. I *knew* Princess wasn't that stupid, and it's one of those things that made me resent Zark even more.

CD, I like your idea of communications being restricted, but here's another thought (inspired by your idea). What if Spectra had somehow neutralized Zark? They could have inserted some of the shots of Zark's panels sparking up, and said that he had been 'deactivated'. Then they could have spent the filler time with Chief Anderson trying to contact him and Rover yapping anxiously. Zark could 'recover', but only once it is too late and the locator has been placed. This actually makes Zark seem oh-so-valuable, because *of course* Spectran agents would never have been able to plant the locator if Zark had been on the job! ROFL 2 Anyhow, that's my 2 cents...

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quote:
Originally posted by gatchamarie


Although a certain amount of increasing angst could already be felt, starting from previous episodes, for me, this episode marks the beginning of the end and what I call that sad sensation I feel whenever I know what follows! I'm already feeling the blues!


I know what you mean. This episode, and part 2, feel like a dramatic turning point in the series, where things really start going wrong for the team (especially for Joe) and there are no more comic, light-hearted episodes, but more episode continuity, as it all builds towards the final episode. Not the episodes to watch when you need a laugh -you have to be in the mood to savor angst (and I often am).

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
What if Spectra had somehow neutralized Zark? They could have inserted some of the shots of Zark's panels sparking up, and said that he had been 'deactivated'. Then they could have spent the filler time with Chief Anderson trying to contact him and Rover yapping anxiously. Zark could 'recover', but only once it is too late and the locator has been placed. This actually makes Zark seem oh-so-valuable, because *of course* Spectran agents would never have been able to plant the locator if Zark had been on the job! ROFL 2 Anyhow, that's my 2 cents...


That's a much better way to have done it -no one would seem incompetent, but it would still emphasize Zark's importance. I wonder if the original BOTP writers were often in a hurry to finish scripts on schedule and then came up with better ideas later, after it was too late to use them. That would have been frustrating.

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quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
you have to be in the mood to savor angst (and I often am).


Most of the time, me too ... especially when I need to cry ... at least, there would be a valid reason!

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I agree, most of the episodes after this are angsty... but episode 95 has a number of lighthearted moments (despite dealing with Jinpei's past). Episodes 94, 96 and 100 are similarly amusing in various spots. In episode 100, the old guy pretending to be a 'dotty Nambu' always has me ROFL 2 !

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quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
What if Spectra had somehow neutralized Zark? They could have inserted some of the shots of Zark's panels sparking up, and said that he had been 'deactivated'. Then they could have spent the filler time with Chief Anderson trying to contact him and Rover yapping anxiously. Zark could 'recover', but only once it is too late and the locator has been placed. This actually makes Zark seem oh-so-valuable, because *of course* Spectran agents would never have been able to plant the locator if Zark had been on the job! ROFL 2 Anyhow, that's my 2 cents...


That's a much better way to have done it -no one would seem incompetent, but it would still emphasize Zark's importance. I wonder if the original BOTP writers were often in a hurry to finish scripts on schedule and then came up with better ideas later, after it was too late to use them. That would have been frustrating.


85 episodes in 6 months. Yeah, they were in a rush. Add in that they were using so-so translations and were trying to fill in mouth-flaps and edit Zark into the scenes.... Amazing the show turned out so well.

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Great recap TJ!

There are two things I wondered for both series why wouldn't the team be able to notice a ship attached to them. I would think that would slow down propulsion and maneuverability.

Also, with BotP, why did they replace the scene at Jill's with a ready room scene? I understand using that for filler, but not replacing perfectly explainable animation.

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Who knows what was going on in the BOTP animator's heads? Maybe they didn't want to make it look like anyone was 'too casual'... ?

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