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Gatchaman Episode 101 – The Sniper Group Heavy Cobra

 

In the heart of a large city, at the bottom of massive skyscrapers, is an alley. Two familiar men are there.

 

 

“You’re acting real weird, Joe.” Ken says. “What the heck happened to you? Just put it to me straight. If it’s something I can help you with…”

 

“It’s none of your damn business, Ken.” Joe snaps.

 

“What the hell, Joe?” Ken asks, not sounding the least offended. I guess he knows Joe!

“I know myself better than anyone else, so stop poking your beak in places it doesn’t belong, all right?” Joe says, walking away.

 

“You’re the Science Ninja Team’s best marksman.” Ken reminds him. “But you missed with a Super Bird Missile, and you’ve screwed up the Tornado Fighter twice already!” Um, Ken, is it really a good idea to be talking about these things in a public place?

“Come on, man! You owe me an explanation!” Ken says, grabbing Joe by the shoulders.

 

Yeah, I know, it’s a yaoi pose… Eek2

“Get off of me!” Joe’s response is predictable. I guess he’s not into yaoi. Wink

 

Ken stumbles and falls back against a fence.

“Okay then, if this is what it’s going to take, so be it.” Ken says to himself.

 

He stands up, brushing off his pants.

“Let me tell you something, pal,” Joe sneers, “I’ve always hated pushy people.”

So Ken decks him.

 

Joe goes tumbling into some oil drums, but gets up again… a strange look in his eye.

 

Suddenly, the two are charging at each other!

 

Ken punches at Joe, but Joe blocks him. Then Joe chops Ken on the neck.

 

Ken stumbles back and crashes into the fence again. Joe goes to grab him, but Ken uses his feet.

 

Next thing you know, they’re brawling on the ground like a pair of hooligans,

 

Think this scene is what first inspired Capcom to do its Street Fighter series? Wink

Joe throws Ken, but Ken lands… just as a truck approaches fro behind

 

Joe doesn’t care about the oncoming vehicle.

 

Ken grabs Joe’s foot and swings him out of the way of the truck.

 

But just because he saved Joe doesn’t mean he’s giving up his advantage.

 

Joe kicks Ken off, but Ken comes at him again. Joe throws him.

 

Joe’s ready to throw another punch…

 

But suddenly his bracelet starts beeping.

“Cool out, man, we’re getting a message!” Joe says.

 

Ken checks his bracelet.

 

“This is Nambu, come in!”

“This is G1. Gatchaman. Ken the Eagle. Over.” So… I’m guessing that Ken wants anyone listening to be absolutely, 100%, sure of his identity…

 

“This is G2, go ahead.” Joe adds.

“We are in a state of emergency.” Nambu says. “Members of the Science Ninja Team, assemble here immediately!” Of course, Nambu doesn’t say where ‘here’ is. I’m guessing it’s his villa? Or ISO Headquarters?

“Roger that.”

“Roger.”

Ken gets up and stares at Joe.

 

Joe stares back.

 

“As the leader of the Science Ninja Team, and also as a friend, Ken was very concerned about Joe.” the narrator explains. “For his part, Joe understood Ken’s feelings, but his pride as a man would not permit him to reveal the secret of his illness to Ken and be forced to retire from the front lines.”

 

 

Both men run off to answer the call.

“What in the world happened to you two?” Nambu asks in surprise when they assemble. Jun looks like she can’t figure it out either.

 

“Thos are nasty bruises.” she notes.

“Were you attacked by Galactor on your way over?” Jinpei asks.

“Don’t worry about it, Jinpei.” Ken replies.

“Don’t sweat it.” Joe adds. “Ken and I were just having a little mano-a-mano, that’s all.”

Jinpei and Ryu find this very amusing… perhaps they’re seeing the yaoi implications of that statement?

 

“Pipe down!” Nambu says sternly, and they do.

“There’s a reason I’ve called you all here.” Nambu explains. “At the ISO Headquarters, we regularly receive research data from scientists and engineers around the world, through a secret communication line. Incredibly, we have just now become aware that someone is intercepting our transmissions.”

Ken and Jun can’t believe it!

 

“Galactor, of course!” Jinpei cries.

 

“No doubt about it, small fry.” Ryu agrees. “Those guys attack us way more than anyone else I can think of.”

 

Funny, I can’t think of anyone else who attacks, other than Galactor.

“It seems unlikely though, Doctor.” Jun says. “The ISO’s top secret communiqué transmission line shouldn’t be tapped into so easily, should it?”

 

“It utilizes a special frequency known only to those on the inside, so it should be impossible.” Nambu replies, yet he sounds doubtful.

“But Doctor, wouldn’t it be easy to pinpoint them, using a trace?” Ken asks.

 

“Of course we’ve tried that already.” Nambu admits. “But we ran into a jamming signal that prevented us from tracing it.”

“Yeah, typical Galactor tactics.” Joe sneers.

 

“Those guys sure do play dirty.” Ryu agrees.

“I think we either have a den of spies right next door to Headquarters, or their wiretapping device is set up nearby.” Nambu reveals.

“Wait a minute!” Jun gets an idea. “Maybe we can try to capture those jamming signals by using our bracelets!”

 

“It’s worth a try.” Nambu agrees. “Maybe the five of you can track down their source covertly.”

“Enough! Let’s go already!” Joe snaps.

 

“Joe’s sure hot to trot!” Jinpei notes, as Joe goes to leave the room on his own.

“Wait up, Joe.” Ken calls.

 

“If we act as a group, they’re more likely to locate us first.” Ken points out. “Jun and I will take care of this mission, all right?”

 

“Well that’s just great, Ken!” Joe snarls. “Now you’re going to start holding grudges, is that it?”

 

“Come on, Joe, don’t be ridiculous” Ken retorts. “I’m doing this for you!”

 

“Gentlemen!” Nambu interrupts. “It’s as Ken says. Joe, Jinpei and Ryu, stand by and await further orders from him!”

Joe emits a noise of disgust.

“Listen, Ken,” Nambu returns to the briefing. “All of this data is highly classified, and we can’t allow it to fall into Galactor’s hands. I want you to find the culprits no matter what!”

“I’m picking up what you’re putting down, Doc.” Ken replies, using just a little too much ADV 70s slang. “Come on, Jun, let’s move out!”

 

“Roger!” Jun replies. Joe doesn’t look very happy as they run out of the room.

 

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“Ken!” Joe calls. When Ken stops, Joe lifts his legs and unzips his secret pocket.

 

He pulls out his cablegun and puts something in the butt… is that what I think it is?

 

“You and I still have unfinished business.” he says, twirling the gun. “But meanwhile, take my gun along with you.”

 

Ken can’t think of a response to this.

 

“Don’t go dying on me, all right?” Joe smiles.

 

Ken grimly accepts the gun.

 

“All right, man, but it’ll probably just get in my way.” Wow, way to graciously accept the peace offering, Ken! It’s almost as if he knew what Joe slipped inside the butt of the gun…

Ken sticks the gun in his pants. No, not that side…

 

He calls to Jun and they run off. Joe appears resigned as they go.

 

Now we see Ken and Jun, in Birdstyle, in the security room of ISO Headquarters.

“Now all the important rooms in this building are kept under surveillance from this here control room.” a man explains. “But I’d like you to take a gander at this.”

 

“Every time we use our clandestine line, we pick up these peculiar waves coming from outdoors.” the man reveals. “Clearly this is proof that our transmissions are being intercepted upon.”

“And when you attempted a trace, the jamming signal rendered it useless.” Ken adds.

 

“Yeah, it wouldn’t do for scrap to try to catch these transmissions from anywhere outside the building.” the man agrees. I have no idea what this means, but I guess it was supposed to be ‘colorful, colloquial language’ on ADV’s part. The subs say ‘It should be utterly impossible to catch these transmissions from outside of this building.’ That makes more sense to me.

“Which must mean it’s being tapped from somewhere inside Headquarters!” Ken exclaims. “Jun, let’s take a through look at each surveillance monitor. It might just give us a lead.”

And so, the two conducted a meticulous examination of the rooms from the basement up through all 50 floors of the building.” the narrator says.

 

 

And they examine some more.

 

 

“Nonetheless, they failed to discover objects that resembled a wiretapping device on any of the floors.” the narrator explains.

“Damn it, it’s no use after all!” Ken curses. “Is there some other place we haven’t searched?”

 

“There is still one place we haven’t looked yet.” Jun admits. “Maybe… just maybe…”

Now we cut to an elevator going up. Ken and Jun are inside.

“It never even occurred to me to search the rooftop.” Ken admits.

 

“It’s just a hunch I have.” Jun says.

They get out of the elevator on the 50th floor and walk over to the door to the roof.

“Shuttle helicopter dismantlement in progress.” Ken reads a sign on the door. “No entry here.” Of course, we all know that doesn’t apply to Gatchaman…

 

Especially since Ken looks through a nearby window and see the helicopter. It appears to be intact. So much for dismantlement.

Ken opens his bracelet and adjusts something.

 

Sure enough, there’s some kind of flashing device on the bottom of the helicopter.

Ken’s surprised by this, for some reason.

 

“It is here, after all.” Jun says.

 

“It seems they’re tapping into the line from the antennas.” Ken says. “Just the sort of trick you’d expect from Galactor! Secret line or not, they could easily intercept it this way!”

Sure enough, on the helicopter, we see two suspicious ‘workers’ fiddling with some equipment.

 

“All right, Sparkowitz, we managed to get a record of all the data.” says one ‘worker’, pulling out a high tech cassette tape. He has a really big chin.

 

“Got to report to Lord Katse!” says his companion. He opens a briefcase and initiates a transmission.

 

“Yeah, shoot?” Katse sounds bored. “What’ve you got for me, Sparkowitz?”

“We have accomplished our mission without any trouble.” Sparkowitz reveals.

“Good job!” Katse sounds more animated now. “Take the data and return to base at once!”

 

“Sire!” the men agree… but who’s that in the doorway?

 

“Right… we need to shut them hatches!” Big Chin Man says.

Ken and Jun slip through a doorway, only to find themselves…

Locked in a bathroom.

Yep, they didn’t go out the exit, but into the bathroom. And now they’ve been locked in.

“Damn it, it looks like we’ve been shut in!” Ken says.

“Now we have no choice but to go to their secret base!” Jun says. Like that’s such a bad thing? Clearly they wanted to go to the base, or they would just have grabbed the tape from the men when they were spying on them.

“Launch preparations complete.” Big Chin Man says.

“Okay!” Sparkowitz replies. The helicopter has now become a rocket. Sparkowitz turns on the engines, and the ship shudders. Ken and Jun are taken by surprise and thrown off balance.

 

The ship takes off.

 

“Unidentified rocket outbound, bearing north-northeast, Mach 5!” says the man from the security room. “Scramble the UN fighter boys!” I guess he’s calling for UN fighter planes, because now we see them taking off after the rocket.

“Enemy fighter sighted. Commence missile attack!” one UN pilot says.

But of course, the UN missiles have no effect on the Galactor ship.

“What annoying pests they are!” says Big Chin Man.

“I’ll show ‘em ‘what fer’!” Sparkowitz says, pressing on a button with his fist. Colored laser beams one out of the ship’s ‘eyes’ and destroy the UN planes.

The Galactor ship circles around to take out the rest of the UN jets.

Of course, Nambu has been watching all of this on his monitor. Now he’s contacted by the security man.

 

“Now see here, the UN Forces have exhausted themselves. You’ve got to call in the God Phoenix!” Security Man says.

“I regret to inform you that the God Phoenix is currently being overhauled.” Nambu says, sounding like a phone recording. “So I cannot send it out. Sorry.” He hangs up.

“So why did you fib to Mr. Twain like that, Doc?” Ryu asks. And I am ROFL 2 because the guy does kind of look like Mark Twain! Clearly ADV thought so as well.

 

“That’s gotta be one of Galactor’s rockets!” Jinepi points out. “You sure we should just let it get away?”

“As we have not yet received word from them, I believe that Ken and Jun are probably now aboard that rocket.” Nambu reveals.

“That could be a problem.” Ryu agrees.

“Well, then, we can’t attack it, can we?” Jinpei asks, dejected. So, it’s okay for the UN fighter pilots to get shot down, but not Ken and Jun, even though they can glide to safety? Way to show your double-standard there, Jinpei!

“Our only option right now is to let it go.” Nambu sighs.

“We don’t even know where it’s headed off to though, do we?” Ryu asks.

“I sure hope they’re okay.” Jinpei says, turning, looking for Joe. “Joe?”

He’s gone.

“Looks like Joe’s flown the coop, there.” Ryu says.

 

“And just when those two are in trouble.” Jinpei adds. “Not cool, man!”

“G1 and G3, come in!” Nambu calls on his microphone, doing his best David Bowie impersonation. “This is Dr. Nambu calling!”

 

But there is no response.

“It’s no use. I can’t make contact, because of the jamming signal.” Nambu says.

Now we can see that Ken and Jun are still in the bathroom on the rocket.

 

It shakes, and they both look up.

“Well, I guess we’ve arrived.” Ken says.

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Sure enough, they’re in a base. The two Galactor agents come out of the rocket on the beast’s ‘tongue’.

 

“Way to go!” Katse congratulates them. “You weren’t detected by those Science Ninja Nerds, were you?”

 

“It’s perfectly all right!” Big Chin Man replies. “They were totally unaware! They’re probably all taking naps!” He hands the cassette to Katse.

“Ah, you have done well!” Katse replies. “I will copy it right away for analysis”

 

He runs over to a bank of computers and inserts the tape.

“Uh, Lord Katse, haven’t you forgotten something?” Big Chin Man asks. He’s wearing a shit-eating grin.

 

“You mentioned you’d promote us to Commanders if we succeeded.” Sparkowitz reminds Katse.

“Silence!” Katse shouts. “That is only if I can analyze this data and use it! Now go clean out your mecha! And not another word out of you!”

 

“Yes Sire.” Big Chin Man is disappointed.

“That’s gratitude for you…” Sparkowitz mumbles.

Meanwhile, Ken and Jun are desperately trying to get out of the bathroom.

 

I wonder why they weren’t working on this during the journey?

“We need to get out of here, quick, okay?” Ken says. He moves back to charge at the door.

“Hold on, Ken, we’d better not make any noise!” Jun reminds him.

 

And poor Ken is stumped!

 

Commercial break!

I wonder if Sold Gold Ken has to use the bathroom? If so, he’s in the right place!

We’re back in the bathroom, and looking from above, I realize that this bathroom is missing one vital piece of equipment… perhaps it’s just a ‘wash’ room…

 

Ken pulls out Joe’s gun from the back of his belt (I guess it’s been under his wings this whole time?

“I’m all out of ideas. Let’s try this thing out.” Ken says.

 

Meanwhile, outside the bathroom, the two Galactor agents are ‘cleaning up’ their mecha, as Katse asked them to do.

“Katse treats his employees like crap, huh?” asks Big Chin Man.

“No kidding!” Sparkowitz agrees. “I don’t see this working out at all.”

 

Big Chin Man stops and puts down his end of the equipment box he’s carrying.

“Hey…” he says, moving off to listen.

“I can’t life this by myself, you bastard!” Sparkowitz says, before dropping his end of the equipment. “What’s going on in there?”

“Shhh!” Big Chin Man says. He moves over to the bathroom door, looking at the handle…

 

Next thing you know, he’s on the floor, with a big cable sticking out of his face and going back through the handle.

 

I went through this frame by frame… you don’t actually see anything, but it’s pretty clear that the bit from Joe’s cablegun is supposed to have gone through his eye. They did a very effective job of animating this without actually showing anything, yet making it obvious what happened. It’s very creepy, actually.

Ken and Jun bust out, but don’t see Sparkowitz.

 

Sparkowitz manages to come up behind Ken and stick a gun in his back.

“All right, don’t move!” Sparkowitz threatens. But Ken remembers the Iron Beast Snake 828 episode…

 

Sure enough, the cablegun shoots backwards, knocking out Sparkowitz and sticking into his chin. Ewww…. I hope Joe doesn’t mind getting his gun back with blood and gore all over both ends.

“What the hell was that noise in the corridor?” Katse asks from outside the mecha.

“I’d better go check it out, Sire.” replies a goon. His partner goes with him.

 

The tape finishes copying and ejects. Katse smirks and tosses it in his hand.

 

“It’s done copying. Now I’ll go confirm it with Leader X right away!” Katse says.

Two goons walk out of the mecha on its tongue. They approach Katse. They look familiar…

 

“What kind of joke is this?” Katse asks.

“The joke’s on you. Return the tape you’ve stolen!” one of the familiar goons says.

 

“Gah! I know that voice!” Katse cries.

 

“Oh no, it’s the Science Ninja Team!” calls out a chorus of goons.

 

Katse throws his arm back and actually manages to clock Ken on the head. But it’s not much of a blow, and Ken steps on his cape as he tries to run away.

You know, I just realized that he doesn’t have bruises on his face anymore. He must be a fast healer.

“Where did you come from?” Katse gasps.

 

“You’re not getting away this time, Katse!” Ken says. “Now get up, nice and slow!” So Katse does.

“Why don’t you give back that tape you’ve just tucked into your pocket, wise guy?” Ken asks.

And Ken’s partner looks on… she’s very vampiric, with those fangs and all.

 

“Nobody make a move!” Jun demands.

“You know you’re beat this time, so just hand over the goods!” Ken demands. And Katse does.

 

Of course, Ken doesn’t realize that Katse’s just made a copy.

As Ken reaches for the tape, Katse drops it to the floor.

“Oh, sorry…” Katse apologizes, but of course he doesn’t sound very sincere. As Ken reaches for it, Katse kicks it away, then he kicks Ken as Ken reaches for it.

 

Jun gets into the action with her yo-yo.

 

 

The yo-yo grabs the tape and pulls it in. Ken grabs it.

 

“Outasite!” Ken crows. “We got it! Run, Jun!”

“Get them! Fire!” Katse screams.

 

Ken and Jun leap over to the other side of the mecha, and then leap back.

“G1, Gatchaman!” Ken cries. And this is okay, because he’s in his Birdstyle now.

“G3, Jun the Swan!” Jun shouts. I guess she wanted to get in on the ‘introduction action’. You know, this is kind of a throwback to the very early days of the series, when they Team actually would introduce themselves before they beat up the Galactors.

And speaking of beating up Galactors… it’s a fight scene!

 

 

 

 

There’s a lot of recycled footage here from other episodes, just superimposed on a different background.

Katse decides that it’s time to get out of there, and starts rising up on his computer platform.

 

And this takes him into his Devilstar pod.

 

“Look, Ken!” Jun exclaims, as she’s pasting some goon.

 

“I’ve got a great backup of the tape, Gatchaman!” Katse gloats. “Sorry you’re about to bite the big one!”

 

Ken finishes off his goon, then looks at Katse’s departing Devilstar in disgust.

“Jun, let’s go!” he shouts.

 

Jun throws up her yo-yo and attaches it to the bottom of the elevation platform.

And the two rise to safety.

 

They jump up to follow the Devilstar.

Now we see muddy ground swirling… a circle opens up and the Devilstar comes out.

 

But Ken and Jun are right behind.

 

Unfortunately, they fall and land in the mud.

 

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“Hey, Jun, you’re not hurt, are you?” Ken asks. I love this in the ADV dub, because Ken sounds really upset at the thought that she might be hurt. Very swoony! Luvu2

 

“No, but it looks like getting back this tape didn’t do us any good, did it?” Jun sighs.

“Nothing we can do about that now.” Ken says.

They stand up and look at their surroundings. They’re in swampland, surrounded by barren hills.

“What’s a base like that doing in a place like this?” Ken gasps.

 

“There’s no way we’ll be able to get out of here.” Jun moans. Okay, she was doing really well this episode, and now she has to go and say something stupid like that. I mean, really! Just call the others on your freaking bracelets!

 

“Don’t give up so easily!” Ken admonishes. “We volunteered to carry out this mission, Jun. If we’re defeated here, we not only lose the data, but we lose our honor in the eyes of our comrades.”

 

And with that, the 007 theme music (Gatch style) plays, and Ken and Jun are running through the swamp!

Meanwhile, Katse is issuing orders from his Devilstar.

“They can’t run and they can’t hide!” he says to his men. “Use the mecha and leave them for gator bait!”

 

The rocket (the one that was at ISO Headquarters) rises out of the swamp and takes off.

 

Ken and Jun are still running through the swamp.

 

“Oh no!” Ken exclaims, as he sees a bunch of speedboats coming at them.

 

The speedboats shoot, but Ken and Jun leap out of the way. This confuses one speedboat driver. He’s wearing a neat helmet, even if it doesn’t match the rest of his uniform.

 

But when he looks back to the front again, he sees….

 

Ken throws his boomerang through the glass windshield and kills the goon. The goon flies off the boat and now…

 

But the main mecha and the other speedboats are shooting at them.

 

Ken drives like Joe, flying over a small hillock (which acts as a ramp) and jumping over the other speedboats. At this point, I’m wondering why Jun isn’t driving, because this thing sure seems to move like her motorcycle (when it has the water-skis on it).

And as the speedboats race by, a lone figure appears on a nearby hill, silhouetted by the sunset…

 

He’s wearing… a parka.

 

It seems like a swamp would be in an area too warm for a parka, but there you go.

Ken’s still driving, his arm around Jun, like this was some kind of date. Hey, for Ken and Jun, maybe this is a date! A romantic drive through goon-infested waters…

 

And clearly Ken’s got his mind on other things, because the boat crashes into land and the two go flying out…

 

They land in the mud. Again.

 

But this time there’s no spare moment for a romantic interlude. They turn to see the other speedboats still coming after them!

 

One goon gets hungry.

 

Okay, he’s pulling the key out of the grenade, but he really does look like he’s about to eat it, doesn’t he?

“He’s got a hand grenade, Ken!” Jun warns.

“Put your arm around my neck and hold on.” Ken orders her. I’ll say it again… it’s amazing how this mission really is a kind of date for the two of them, isn’t it?

 

A speedboat jumps over them, and Ken shoots the cablegun into it, and he and Jun go flying. Of course, Jun could have done this with her yo-yo, but then it wouldn’t seem like Joe’s gun was saving the day, now would it? Wink

Now Ken and Jun are parasailing on the speedboat.

 

Neither of them looks very secure.

 

Parka Man (who’s wearing Eskimo pants to match) runs off the hillside.

Guns shoot at Ken and Jun, and the bullets manage to break the cable in Joe’s gun. Boy, is Joe gonna be pissed that he lent them his gun and it came back broken!

Ken and Jun start falling.

 

“String them up, and give them a ride, boys!” Katse laughs from his Devilstar.

 

And so they do.

 

 

“Well, I guess life’s a drag, and then you die, isn’t that right?” Katse smirks.

 

Jun’s not appreciating his humor.

 

“Finish the woman off first!” Katse sneers.

A goon prepares to shoot Jun, but then he mysteriously falls back. On the hillside, parka man removes his Eskimo costume and… it’s Joe!

 

Betcha didn’t see that one coming, did you? Wink

Seems he brought the G-2.

 

“Aw, where did he come from?” Katse rants.

 

Joe’s got a rifle and he’s gonna use it…

 

He takes out a couple of speedboat drives, them uses his G-2 to run over some more.

Yep, for Joe, it’s hero time!

 

“Joe?” Ken realizes his friend is there.

 

Joe grins and says hello… Condor style!

 

He shoots off the ropes holding Ken and Jun to their speedboats. The boats smash into each other and explode.

“Grrr…. I’ve had enough of this mess!” Katse shouts. “Transform into heavy Cobra, and scatter their guts through the swampland!”

 

The remaining nspeedboats (I’ve surprised there are any left, after all the ones that have been destroyed) line up and connect, forming a big tail. The main mecha splits in two to form the head and the tail. The new Heavy Cobra mecha slithers through the swamp.

 

I’m going to give kudos to the Galactor mecha designers here. They created the mecha so that it could form even if a number of the speedboat pieces were missing. That’s some serious contingency planning!

Joe pulls up next to Ken and Jun.

 

“Joe, stop it! This is too dangerous!” Ken says. “Call in the God Phoenix!”

 

“Nah.” Joe grins like he’s having the time of his life (and he probably is). “I’m all the support you’ll need. Watch me work!”

 

He drives away, tossing a gun into Ken’s hands.

 

“Wait, Joe!” Ken calls, but the Condor is gone.

As Joe drives, he recalls being in the God Phoenix, unable to shoot a Bird Missile or complete the Tornado Fighter, because of his blurry vision. Then he hears Ken reminding him of his failures.

“You’re the Science Ninja Team’s best marksman. But you missed with a Super Bird Missile, and you’ve screwed up the Tornado Fighter twice already! Come on, man, you owe me an explanation!”

But Joe isn’t going to let these memories stop him.

 

He avoids a strike from the Heavy Cobra.

 

The cobra grows a hood, much to Joe’s surprise. Well duh, it is a cobra after all, and cobras have hoods!

 

 

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The hood starts shooting colored laser beams. Then its eyes do the same. The G-2 leaps out of the water and onto the cobra.

 

Much to Ken and Jun’s surprise, the G-2 drives up the cobra’s neck.

 

 

Joe doesn’t seem to be bothered by the bright lights flashing at him.

 

The goons are ready to strike!

 

Oh, look, Joe’s got his own red button inside the G-2!

 

He shoots his Gatling gun at the cobra’s eyes, blowing them out. The light from the explosion reflects on his visor.

 

Moe explosions blast as the G-2 drives up the mecha’s neck.

 

The G-2 flies off of the cobra’s head, as the mecha continues to explode and fall apart. Joe drives out of the swamp and comes to a stop.

 

“I did it!” Joe thinks to himself, amazed. “Nothing happened! I didn’t experience any dizziness or headache! It almost seems strange… like my body returned to normal? Oh, I hope so…”

 

Ken and Jun come up, and the door (hood) of the G-2 opens.

“Thanks, Joe!” Jun says.

“Why did you come here?” Ken demands.

“Come on, Ken!” Jun berates Gatchaman. “He just saved our lives!”

 

“If you won’t follow my orders, can’t you at least obey Nambu?” Ken asks angrily.

 

“Listen, I’m sorry about that, Ken, but I just felt like I had to put myself to the test one more time.” Joe replies. “See? I don’t ever want to mess things up again.” He almost seems apologetic.

 

Ken is astounded. As he should be. It’s not every day a Condor (almost) apologizes.

 

“I’m just amazed you were able to find this place.” Jun smoothly changes the subject.

“Here.” Ken gives Joe his gun back. Joe checks out his broken cablegun.

 

He opens the butt and pulls out the device he put in earlier. Yep, it’s a tracking device.

Jun laughs, and Ken smiles.

 

But then they realize that Katse’s Devilstar pod is still flying overhead.

“I can’t believe they’ve done it again!” Katse growls. “But this time I’ll make off with top secret ISO data and we’ll see who gets the last laugh!”

 

Joe, Ken and Jun watch Katse fly away.

 

“Someone’s going to put you in your grave, Katse!” Joe vows. ‘That’d be me!”

 

He twirls his gun in a showy manner and holsters it.

Joe seemed to be back to his old self, after having found the confidence to continue fighting, but how long would it last? Even though Katse had gotten away with a wealth of critical data, that question weighed more heavily on Ken’s mind than anything else.

 

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BOTP Episode 72- The Conway Tape Tap

Here at Center Neptune, deep beneath the sea, Zark keeps a constant watch over the entire universe, ready to intercept and repel any hostile alien forces from outer worlds.

“G-Force is in serious trouble!” Zark announces, starting the episode off with a bang.

 

“Mark is aboard Spectra’s spacecraft, trying to sabotage their power plant. I hope he’s all right!” Zark fills us in on the situation.

And now we see Mark standing above some kind of turbines.

 

“This looks like the main power plant.” Mark says. “I’ve got to sabotage it before it overtakes the Phoenix!”

And right now, the Phoenix is…

 

Yep, going Fiery.

We see the Team going through the Fiery Phoenix, but over it we hear what is apparently a Spectran CotW.

“Now get the G-Force command ship!” the Spectran CotW orders. “Faster! They’re going into some kind of strange transmute!”

And… there’s a demon robot after the Phoenix.

It shoots a beam from its mouth that causes the Phoenix to start falling out of the sky.

“I’ve never seen anything like it!” a goon onboard the demon robot says. “Our Z-Ray is powerless!”

“Keep the Cosmic Beam full warp! Nothing can hold out against that power!” the CotW insists. From the small view we have of his face, he looks like he’s in a bug costume.

 

The goon pulls a lever, and the whirring turbine in front of Mark stops. I’m not sure how the turbine stopping is going into ‘full warp’, but hey, it’s alien technology.

Mark presses a button and dumps some kind of black substance (coal?) into the turbine. It begins spinning again.

“Generator in reverse! Warp power building!” a goon reports to the CotW. “G-Force in sight!”

“Don’t’ miss!” CotW growls.

And onboard the Phoenix…

 

“We’ve got them! Give it full warp turbine!” Bug Captain laughs.

 

But then, he gasps.

“Something’s wrong!” calls a goon. “Something happened to the Great Turbine! I’m not getting full power!”

“I’m surrounded by fools! Nothing goes right, unless I check it myself!” Bug Captain says, turning to leave.

But the door opens… it’s Mark!

 

“You won’t have time to fix that turbine.” Mark declares.

“You again?” Bug Captain is not happy. “I thought we were rid of you!”

“We keep saying the same thing about you.” Mark points out.

“You seem to have nine lives, but you’ve come to the end of all of them now!” Bug Captain shouts. “Finish him!”

Suddenly, Mark is running down a corridor and there’s smoke coming from somewhere. The robot appears to be blowing up, and the exit is closing…And it closes before Mark gets there!

“Incompetent fool!” Bug Captain pushes a goon aside and mans a gun himself.

At that moment, the turbine begins to blow…

Electricity crackles along the demon robot, and it crashes behind an iceberg. We don’t see anyone escaping. Could all of the Spectrans have died?

Of course, there’s Mark to consider as well, but we know that Mark could never die. He’s a good guy. Right?

The Phoenix comes out of Fiery mode.

“I’m glad that’s all over.” Princess says.

 

“All over me!” Keyop adds.

“We’ll circle around, and see if there’s any sign of Mark.” Tiny says.

 

And we see something floating to the ground…it’s a bunch of wings of different colors… blue, green, black, white… and as they float away, we see that Mark is in the middle!

“Load off my mind!” Keyop burbles.

“Pick him up, Tiny.” Jason smirks

 

“Big 10! That’s the best order you’ve given all day, Jason!” Tiny replies. Ouch. That doesn’t say much for Jason’s command skills!

Mark lands on the Phoenix and the dome closes over him. He goes down to the Bridge. Princess runs up to him and hugs him tightly.

“Did I do something?” he asks in confusion.

 

“You had us all worried stiff!” Princess pounds on his chest.

 

“Not worried… one minute!” Keyop purrs. Yep, it’s a purring sound, and it’s quite disturbing, actually.

“It’s okay, Keyop.” Tiny grabs Keyop’s head and appears to smother him with his stomach.

 

Mark and Princess smile.

 

And in case you haven’t recognized it, all of this footage is from Gatchaman episode 62, Demon Snow Blizzarder. And yes, it was also used in BOTP Episode 3, Decoys of Doom. In fact, the same exact sequence from Episode 3 has been replayed here. There are no changes at all.

“Well, Mark escaped from the Spectra spaceship just in time!” Zark voices over. “And G-Force is headed for home! However, I’m very concerned about Jason’s attitude towards his work, and his friends! I hope the stress is not affecting him!”

Yes, in case you haven’t guessed, it’s time for another episode of Let’s-Bash-Jason-Because-He-Doesn’t-Always-Play-By-Zark’s-rules!

Now we’re back with Zark, as he comes down his elevation tube and gets ready to fly across the room.

 

“I’ve just received a very distressing message!” Zark says. “The Conway Computer Terminal is jammed! The Conway Tape is the central storehouse for the defense codes of every planet in our Federation.” Wait a minute… I’m sure in past episodes it was the Conway tapes. More than one. Now there’s a lone Conway Tape? What happened to the others?

To emphasize how distressing his news is, Zark flies across the room while Rover watches in admiration.

 

“If that information should fall into the hands of those treacherous scoundrels from Planet Spectra, the entire galaxy would be at their mercy!” Zark reminds us. “I’ll try patching in a security code.”

And he gets…

 

“This is terrible!” he exclaims. “I can’t get through!” Well, perhaps someone at Galaxy Security finally had some brains and realized that Zark shouldn’t have access to this kind of sensitive information?

“And that’s even worse!” Zark moans. “I don’t believe it!”

 

“I’ve just been put on hold!” Zark whines. “It must mean that someone has infiltrated the computer complex. But who? Or… what?”

“It has to be Zoltar!” Zark decides, now back at his station. “I’d better call G-Force in from the field.” Wait, weren’t they ‘heading for home’ a few minutes ago?

“We’ll beef up security around the Conway Complex!” Zark decides. “I just hope we’re not too late!”

We see a large city with tall buildings. In an alleyway stand two familiar figures.

“What’s eating at you, Jason?” Mark asks. “You’re acting uptight. You ticked off at me or something?”

“I don’t’ need conversation!” Jason snaps.

“Why?” Mark asks, in a perfectly reasonable tone.

“I’m just fed up with being the Number 2 man and never getting a chance to show what I can do.” Jason says, getting off the barrel he has been sitting on.

“Let’s get back to Center Neptune and see what this re-briefing is all about.” Mark suggests. “Who knows? This may be your chance, Jason.”

And both of them run off. Yep. Absolutely nothing else happened. Nada.

“I’m glad you’re all here.” Chief Anderson says, now that the Team has assembled. “We have an extremely serious situation on our hands: one that concerns the security of the entire Federation. The Conway Tapes may be the objective of a Spectra plot. Do you know how easy it would be for Spectra to conquer us, if they had the Conway Tapes?” Interesting how Chief Anderson thinks there are multiple tapes, while Zark thinks there’s only one. Hmmm… plot point?

But no, just poor writing.

“Broot… a snap!” Keyop replies.

“But how could anyone tap into the Conway Tapes?” Tiny asks. “That’s top secret stuff, isn’t it?”

“Sounds like a job for Security, not G-Force.” Princess notes. “If there’s a leak inside the complex, your men should be able to handle it.”

“We planted two of our best men inside the Conway Complex, Princess.” Anderson admits. “They disappeared.”

“You’re asking G-Force to take a crack at it, Chief?” Mark asks. Strangely, his face seems to be… dirty? Certainly it couldn’t be bruised, as he and Jason didn’t do anything in the alleyway to cause bruising on Mark’s face.

“We think Spectra is behind it.” Anderson reveals as he cleans his glasses. Maybe Mark’s dirty face inspired him to clean up his own visage. “Some of Zoltar’s agents may have slipped through our security.”

“I’m ready! I’ve got a score to settle with Spectra.” Jason says. His face looks a bit dirty too.

“Guess we all have, Jason.” Tiny adds.

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“No.” Anderson disagrees. “Going in there like gangbusters will only make things worse. I’ve arranged for Princess and Mark to go.”

“That does it!” Jason exclaims, and he turns to leave.

“Jason, wait!” Mark calls. “I want you to know, I didn’t have anything to do with this.”

“I’m sorry, Jason,” the Chief says, “but Dr. Fogerty specifically asked for Princess and Mark. We didn’t mean to slight you, Jason, but we need you here, heading G-Force, in case Mark and Princess run into trouble. Dr. Fogerty is expecting you Mark. Get going.”

“On the double.” Mark acknowledges. “Okay, Princess?”

“Check.” she replies, as they run out the door.

Commercial break!

When we return, we’re at a large building, which is apparently the Conway Complex.

“I requested both of you because of your expertise in electronic surveillance.” Dr. Fogerty is explaining to Mark and Princess. “Take a look at this. It is the most advanced surveillance probe we have, yet someone or something keeps shorting it out with power surges.” He shows them some kind of wave frequency on the wall panel.

“Has to be an inside job, Doctor.” Mark deduces. “Got any clues?”

“Nothing definite, but whoever they are, they have to be in the building somewhere!” Fogerty declares.

“We’ll take a look around. Princess will check out some of your equipment. ” Mark assures him, before turning to Princess. “You’re familiar with those surveillance monitors. Use the thermal scanners.” Um, if she’s familiar with the equipment, why does she need you to tell her which scanners to use, Mark? Doh2

“Okay.” Princess agrees, getting to work.

“This is all very sophisticated hardware, Princess.” Mark reminds her. “And look at these new phaser oscillating units!”

“I think I’ll try super-imposing the plasma shield over the oscillator.” Princess decides, finally showing why she was picked for this mission instead of Jason. “See what reading we get.”

She and Mark look at the results.

“Process of elimination, Mark!” Princess says, crossing off names on a list. “We’ve eliminated all but one sector, Mark!” But Mark isn’t happy. He slams his fist into the clipboard.

“There must be some way to get around their electronic jamming!” he says.

“Why don’t we switch to thermal scanners and search from floor to floor?” Princess suggests. Wait a minute! Wasn’t that what Mark originally suggested? Thermal scammers? So why weren’t they doing it? Doh2

“Go ahead.” Mark tells her.

“Now we see what looks like elevator buttons lighting up.

“Looks like you’ve hit it, Princess!” Mark says.

“I hope you’re right, Mark.” she replies. It looks like they’re standing in a different room, now. Why, it is an elevator! The door opens and lets them out.

There’s another door, with a sign on it.

“Top secret security area…” Mark reads. “Everyone keep out!” So he looks through a nearby window instead. Way to get around the rules, Mark!

There’s a helicopter on the other side of the door/window. Mark opens his bracelet and presses something. Sure enough, a device on the bottom of the helicopter lights up in response.

“That’s a high frequency!” Princess notes.

“Spectra code!” Mark is more specific. “Someone’s signaling across space to Spectra Headquarters! Jamming equipment, deep space antennas… I think we’d better take a look, Princess.” Okay, so now it’s okay to break the rules. Got it. Big Grin

And of course, inside the helicopter, we see two workmen fiddling with some kind of console.

“We’ve got it!” says one with a big chin. “The Conway Tape! Do you know what this means?” And yep, the Conway Tape is a crappy little cassette tape. And notice, they think it’s just one tape too. Phew! That means they didn’t get all the data!

“It means we’re gonna be rich!” says Big Chin Man’s companion. He opens up a briefcase, and an image of Zoltar appears on a screen inside.

“What is it, Barlek?” Zoltar asks. “Ah! I see you and Lokar have the Conway Tape! You’ve done well! Get back here, as quickly as you can!”

“Hail Zoltar!” Barlek and Lokar salute, but Mark and Princess are watching from the doorway…

They run off and duck into a nearby bathroom before they are spotted. Lokar seals up the ship.

“Someone just locked the door.” Mark realizes.

“Maybe those two Spectra agents are leaving.” Princess suggests. And indeed, they are leaving.

“Ready for takeoff, Barlek!” Lokar says.

“Okay!” Barlek replies.

The ship takes off, shaking and rumbling. Mark and Princess are thrown to the floor. The helicopter is torn apart and a rocket ship launches out of it.

“Red alert! Red alert!” Dr. Fogerty calls. “Request robot fighters to pursue Spectra spy ship!”

And sure enough, the ‘robot fighters’ go up and attack the Spectran rocket. But their missiles don’t seem to have any effect.

“Ready the Neutrino Beams!” Lokar orders.

“Beams are ignited!” Barlek confirms.

The Neutrino Beam, naturally, destroys all the planes.

“Our robot planes have been wiped out!” Zark voices over. Good thing they were only robots and not real people!

And now we see that Chief Anderson and the rest of G-Force are watching this on security monitors as well. Dr. Fogerty’s image comes on the screen.

“The Spectra invader has escaped with the Conway Tape!” Fogerty says. “And Mark and Princess!”

“No way can we let Spectra get away with this!” Tiny declares.

“We’re ready!” Keyop burbles. “Fly Phoenix! Rescue Princess… and Mark!”

“No.” Anderson disagrees. “It would be suicidal to risk you and the Phoenix in an attack on Spectra.”

“What then?” Tiny asks.

“Do something!” Keyop burbles sadly.

“We’ll wait for the space alliance decision.” the Chief declares. Uh… isn’t think even more of a risk to Mark and Princess?

“We’ll talk to Jason about this.” Tiny offers.

“Yeah… but where is he?” Keyop asks. We discover that Jason has left the room.

“I think I know where he’s gone.” Tiny says.

“Yeah… to Spectra!” Keyop burbles.

And now we’re in space, Sandy Frank style. You got it… the white dot (although this time it’s a little purplish) moving across the blackness of space.

“The Spectra ship carrying Mark and Princess is just about to enter Time Warp!” Zark voices over. “There’s no stopping that spy ship now! Princess and Mark have been taken to Spectra!

And here it is… Spectra!

 

Mark and Princess are still sitting on the ground in the bathroom.

“We’ve landed, Princess!” Mark says, as the ship lurches.

Lokar and Barlek walk out of the ship on its tongue.

“Congratulations! You will be honored throughout Spectra!” Zoltar tells them.

“Thank you, oh mighty Sire!” Lokar replies. “We have the Conway Tape, and something more!” Okay… is he supposed to know that Mark and Princess are aboard the ship?

“Later!” Zoltar brushes him off. “I want to hear what is on this secret tape first!”

“We will be given promotions for this!” Lokar tells Barlek. They both grin.

“Majors, maybe!” Barlek dreams. “They get paid a lot, and do little!” Wow, what an aspiration…

“Idiots!” Zoltar shouts. “Without the decoding device, the Conway Tape is useless! Find it, and bring it back to me at once, or both your heads will roll!”

“Must be in that cabinet we stole.” Lokar says, as he and Barlek sheepishly turn around and go back to the ship.

Meanwhile, Mark and Princess are still trying to break out of the bathroom.

“Special steel alloy!” Mark says. “I can’t budge it!”

“There must be a way.” Princess says calmly. “Think hard!” But then she puts up her hands in a gesture that implies that she has no idea about this, herself.

Commercial Break!

We return to find Zark worrying, with Rover by his side.

 

“It’s just awful!” Zark declares. “The Conway Tape is now in Zoltar’s hands! And if he should figure out how to decipher the codes within it, that could spell disaster for Earth, and lead to the conquest of the whole galaxy by Planet Spectra!”

“Wap, wap, wap!” Rover barks reassuringly.

“Thank you, 1-Rover-1!” Zark says. “You really are a robot’s best friend! And you’re right. I have to quit fretting and do something!”

“Wap, wap, wap!”

“I was able to follow the Spectra spy ship carrying Mark and Princess all the way to Planet Spectra!” Zark informs us. “But now, Jason has disappeared too!”

 

“He must have blasted off in the Phoenix, all alone, to try and rescue Princess and Mark!” Zark deduces. Yeah, because Jason is such a good pilot that he’d dash off to Spectra in the Phoenix by himself when Tiny is available to fly it. Riiiight.

“Well, I’d better keep trying to make contact with Jason!” Zark decides. “He may be the only hope Princess and Mark have!” Wait… no reprimand for Jason running off against orders? Wow, Zark must be really worried about Mark and Princess!

Meanwhile, back in the bathroom…

“Don’t know why I didn’t think of this before!” Mark says, reaching behind his wings and pulling out a gun. Why, it looks like Jason’s gun!

“This’ll get us out of here in a hurry!” Mark says, attaching a drill bit to the front of the gun. I guess, in BOTP, so many of Jason’s fight scenes are cut, we’re not supposed to recognize that it’s his gun?

Mark begins drilling away at the door. You know, they didn’t say in this version why they couldn’t blow it with Princess’ yo-yo or a mini-bomb. In Gatch they were trying to keep quiet, but that wasn’t a concern here.

“See what’s holding those fools, Captain!” Zoltar orders to his men outside the ship. So a couple of men board the ship.

Meanwhile, the Conway Tape stops playing and ejects.

“As soon as I get the decoder, I shall begin my conquest of Earth!” Zoltar smirks.

Two familiar-looking soldiers approach Zoltar from behind.

“Quick, Captain, hand me the decoder!” Zoltar orders.

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“Keep your mouth shut and hand me the tape, Zoltar!” Mark says, sticking his gun in Zoltar’s back.

“G-Force!” Zoltar shouts. Immediately, the other guards in the area turn and realize what’s going on.

“G-Force?” the goons shout.

“Hand me the tape!” Mark orders. “Be quick about it!” Zoltar holds the tape over his shoulder, then drops it to the floor when Mark reaches for it. He kicks it aside when Mark reaches again.

But Princess is ready, and she throws her yo-yo! She snags the tape and Mark catches it.

“Good work, Princess. Let’s go!” he says.

“After them!” Zoltar shouts. But Mark and Princess jump behind the Spectran ship. And when they jump back out a second later… they’re in Birdstyle!

“Ready, Princess?” Mark asks.

“Whenever you are, Mark!” Princess replies.

But Zoltar’s Devilstar is taking off! The goons seem to have run off in fear, as there aren’t very many of them around. It’s not like they got killed or anything.

“Do your thing!” Mark calls. Princess throws out her yo-yo again, attaching it to Zoltar’s ship. A hole appears in the mud outside, and then a door opens. The Devilstar escapes, with Mark and Princess holding on.

Yet for some reason they let go, and fall into the swamp.

“You all right, Princess?” Mark asks.

“Sure, I drop down into swamps every day, just for kicks!” Princess replies brightly, holding onto the Conway Tape.

“We can’t hang around here.” Mark says, looking around the swamp. “They brought us to Planet Spectra!”

“We’ll never make it back, Mark.” Princess hangs her head. Duh! Just steal a rocket and escape yourselves! Spectra must have lots of space-worthy vessels on the planet!

“Chin up, Princess.” Mark says. “Zoltar hasn’t got us yet. We’ve got the Conway Tape, and good old Zark must be overloading his capacitors looking for us! Come on!” Oh yeah, talk about Zark. That would cheer anyone up! Doh2

And now Mark and Princess are running through the swamp.

“After them, at once!” Zoltar orders his troops remotely from his Devilstar. “I want them brought back before the sun goes down!” Wait, I thought Spectra had two suns? Maybe one of them has set already.

The rocket ship that took Mark and Princess to Spectra in the first place rises out of the swamp. It is followed by a bunch of Spectrans on speedboats.

“Ambush!” Mark says, as they surround him and Princess.

Meanwhile, a lone man in a parka stands on a hill.

“I wonder who he is?” Mark casually thinks to himself. Gee, I guess he’s got all of the time in the world, seeing as he’s in the middle of a Spectran ambush.

Parka Man throws off his clothes, and we see that it is Jason underneath! He jumps off of the hill and into the waiting Spacemobile.

“How did he get here?” Zoltar asks. That’s what I want to know too.

The Spacemobile runs through the speedboats, but none of them seem to explode. Jason has a gun in his hand, but he doesn’t use it.

“Form the Mechanical Serpent to finish them off!” Zoltar orders. “G-Force must not be allowed to escape!”

Sure enough, the rocket becomes the head, and the speedboats become the body. This actually makes a bit more sense in BOTP, as in Gatch, so many of the speedboats were destroyed that I had to wonder how there were enough of them to form the mecha!

As this is going on, Jason pulls up next to Mark and Princess.

“Thanks, Jason.” Mark says. “I figured you’d be showing up soon.” Oh yeah, I believe you Mark. Way to cover… not!

“Catch! This one’s on me, Mark!” Jason smirks, tossing his gun into Mark’s hands.

“Wait a minute!” Mark calls, but the Spacemobile is already tearing off.

Meanwhile, the Mechanical Serpent has fully formed and is coming to meet them. The Spacemobile charges, and the serpent tries to lash the car with its tail, but misses. The disco music swells as a hood emerges below the serpent’s head. Why, this must be a cobra!

The cobra’s eyes light up, shooting beams at the Spacemobile, but Jason avoids them by jumping his car up onto the serpent’s body. He drives up toward the head as Mark and Princess gasp.

Jason fires his Gatling gun at the serpent’s head, shooting out one of the eyes. He then drives off the top of the head, flying through the air in his Spacemobile, before landing safely in the swamp.

You know, it occurs to me that if this is all happening on a different planet, what if the gravitational constant is different there, and therefore the pull of gravity is stronger or lighter than on Earth? If Jason’s used to doing these stunts on Earth, he could have some kind of problem… but clearly, whatever the gravitational constant on Spectra, Jason is used to it, because he does just fine.

Jason pulls up onto the bank, away from the swamp water, and the serpent explodes in the background. No word on whether or not any actual Spectrans were aboard, and if so, whether or not they made it off alive.

Mark and Princess come walking up to the Spacemobile.

“He looks okay.” Princess notes. She sounds impressed.

“Tired, I’d say.” Mark adds quickly. Ooh, little green monster there, Mark?

“Regular one-man army, isn’t he?” Princess gushes, not taking the hint.

“We’d better get going.” Mark shuts down that aspect of the conversation. “Where are the others?”

“I came alone.” Jason admits. “The Chief wanted to hold us until he got word from the Council. Too much red tape.” Mark’s jaw drops in shock and horror at Jason’s callous attitude.

“I didn’t think you’d mind, Mark.” Jason adds.

“I don’t mind one bit, Jason.” Princess simpers.

Mark hands his gun over to Jason. The one he used to drill out of the bathroom, not the one Jason threw at him. Jason opens up the butt and pulls out a strange device.

“The decoder Zoltar was looking for!” Jason says. Princess smiles and giggles.

Everyone hears a noise, and looks into the sky to see Zoltar’s Devilstar spinning around.

“You have beaten me once again, G-Force, but there will be another time and another day!” Zoltar vows. “I will never rest until Earth is conquered, and you are prisoners on one of my slave planets!” He laughs nastily before flying off, clearly pleased with his fantasy.

“I parked the Phoenix back there behind that hill.” Jason says, after he, Mark and Princess watch the Devilstar fly off. “Let’s go!” He spins his gun in a showy maneuver and puts it into his holster.

“Well done, Jason.” Mark says, finally admitting that Jason did something right. But even though Jason urged everyone to go, the three just stand there, looking at the burning remains of the serpent as the Spectran sun sets.

“Ah, my Photon Oscillators are still pulsating!” Zark voices over. “I’m not quite sure how they did it: beating Zoltar on his home ground!”

And now we are traveling back through space…

“Mark, Jason and Princess are heading home in the Phoenix.” Zark tells us. “They have the Conway Tapes! The Galactic Alliance and Earth are safe from Zoltar’s evil designs!” When did the singular Conway Tape become multiple tapes, again? Did the Spectran swamp water cause it to engage in some strange form of mitosis? Or perhaps Zark’s just trying to cover up for his earlier slip of the ‘tongue’ (or whatever replaces it on a robot).

“But Zoltar will try again.” Zark assures us, lest we think there are no future episodes to come. “That’s why I keep a round the clock watch over the galaxy. I never rest! I am a robot! With replaceable circuitry, I can keep watch forever!”

Now there’s a depressing thought.

And to show us how eternal he is, we now cut to Zark changing his oil.

 

“I must say that this new brand of organic petrol is certainly smoother than the low octane, with all those synthetic additives.” Zark pushes his eco-friendly oil/petrol message. “Yes indeed! This has an excellent bouquet. Splendid aroma!”

And then Zark… kicks back. Literally.

 

“I certainly have a wonderful life.” he says smugly. I’m not sure if this is better or worse than his usual ‘woe is me, I have to work twenty-four hours a day with no friends’ speech.

“Not only do I have an important function in the overall protection and security of Earth and the Federation, but, even more important, I have the opportunity to work with G-Force!”

And I’m expecting the show to fade out about now, as it usually does after this kind of comment… but Zark keeps going!

“And those five young people are like my family.” he gushes. “Some people think of me as a machine, but I’d call this living!”

And now the episode ends.

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And we can’t forget a Sosai Tim Gatchafunny!

 

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The episode says the ISO uses a 'special frequency', which implies some type of radio or microwave broadcast.

All anyone needs to 'listen in' on a radio frequency is an antenna and the equipment to interpret the signal. There'd be no way to know that this was happening. (Hell, a van with the right paint job can park under telephone lines and tap them the same way.)

On the other hand, if the ISO system was set up in such a way that spies had to connect directly to it, then they might introduce some suspicious delays or glitches in the data stream. (Any board members able to give us a hint how that would work?)


When I first saw the 'Gatch' episode, I didn't recognize it as being used for a BotP episode until Katse dropped and kicked the tape. In the BotP ep, that had seemed like Zoltar's coolest move.

They didn't have enough Zark and Ready Room to pad out this episode, so they had to use the last several minutes of another episode. I think we're all glad they didn't write more Zark.

Thanks to the no-guts edits to make BotP safe for American children, the writers actually gave Jason a legitimate beef.

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Once again, great work, and thanks, TJ!

The Gatch episode is full of delights for me! First, there's the brawl between Ken and Joe (I must say it's quite appealing, and macho, seeing our two favourite men, of matching strength, fighting each other as their way of showing their reciprocal concern!), and then there's Ken and Jun's date, as you have appropriately described! All this backed up by great screenshots, apart from the following ...

quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
 


... I don't know if it's me who's not seeing well, but Joe's face seems to have turned into one of some Simpsons' character, flattened by Ken's shoes!

I agree with what you've pointed out regarding why Ken and Jun didn't try to do anything in order to find a way out of the "bathroom" on their way to the base; why, all of a sudden, Jun seemed so feeble in character in the swamp; and what was the purpose of Joe's choice of clothes to disguise himself in such a place!

Didn't capture a lot of logic, in the Gatchaman script, regarding the secret frequency, though! I must agree with UW on what she's saying!

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Marie, what did you think of Ken and Jun's 'date'? Big Grin

I hadn't even noticed that, Marie! Good eye! Yep, Joe's face is definitely flattened there.... but perhaps it's just a cartoon exaggeration of his injury? Wink

I have no idea bout tapping and frequencies and all that. I'm just taking Dr. Nambu ta his word. Silly

UW, it's interesting that you mention that you didn't even recall this episode being used in BOTP. It turns out that this is actually the last episode in the Gatchaman run to be used in the BOTP series. I recall seeing the 'locked in the bathroom' scenes and the scenes where they confront Zoltar for the tape, but don't recall any of the rest from childhood. And yeah, I'm glad they didn't put in more Zark, although I could have done with a little Ready Room.

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
Marie, what did you think of Ken and Jun's 'date'? Big Grin


Well ... like you, I think that's the closest attempt to what they could have called a date! It's another example, like we have discussed already some other time, where we can see that they're more comfortable, and show closeness, when they're wearing their uniform! Ken really did seem to take advantage of the situation constantly telling Jun to stay close, and to wrap her arms around his neck ... pity he stopped there!! Devil1 And, I believe that his driving with his arm around her had also been a good excuse! He could have also taken a peek whilst Jun was changing into the goon's uniform, and vice versa!

Just one question ... what did they do during the time, which length is unknown, when they were locked in the so-called "bathroom"?! Not a brilliant place for the beginning of a date, but, since they were together, I don't think they would have minded such a fact, and the room wasn't that tight after all! Perhaps they were seen sadly sitting on the floor upon their arrival to the base because that was the end of all the fun! Biglaugh1

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Although... a bathroom is hardly a romantic place... but you've certainly got some good ideas, Marie! ROFL 2

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
Although... a bathroom is hardly a romantic place...


You know what they say ... love is blind ... apart from the real meaning, there's also no need to contemplate the whereabouts when it comes to business!!!Biggrins

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On the other hand, they had no way of knowing when they'd land or if the goons would hear them. I can just see Ken and June looking at each other and thinking how they couldn't risk it.

It isn't the last BotP episode in the production order, but is near the end (Episode 72).

I think I didn't recall this episode because it managed to not be memorable. Most of the episodes are memorable in some way, and I found myself able to recognize BotP episodes in the Gatch originals. Details of the redone plots were fuzzy most of the time. The only one I recall in any detail is 'Galaxy Girls', and I think it's because it was a fairly straightforward adaptation of the original (although I'd forgotten that Mala was Zoltar's sister).

But the footage from The Decoys of Doom does explain a memory of mine. I remembered the 'capes as protection' being used at least twice. When I rediscovered the show on Veoh, I realized that BotP used selected Gatch footage over and over (such as the famous 'Anyone for outer space?' of numerous episodes).

The way they had to cut this episode makes me glad that they never got Duel on Galactor Island. Dare we imagine what might have happened with it?

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Yes, that's right, UW. I had said that this was the last episode in the Gatchaman run to be used in the BOTP. Meaning no Gatchaman episodes after this are used in BOTP.

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Missed that crucial phrasing. Sorry.

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Hahaha...in that case Ken and Jun have had several highly unusual "dates"...

I'd like to think that Ken and Jun had to snuggle together in the single backseat of Joe's car the whole way home after this mission! Winknudge

This is one of my favorite eps for obvious reasons...but I also love the interaction between Joe and Ken in this ep... thumbsup2

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Not to mention the way Joe is clearly enjoying himself as he takes out Heavy Cobra all by himself! Wink

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