Thursday, April 2, 2009

A 20 year personal mystery solved (video)

In contrast to all the heavy thinking and discussions going on in the Intertubes today, Chris B at "A Rust Monster Ate My Sword" posted a link to a set of D&D Cartoon character action figures that are extremely well done. That, however, is not just the whole story. No, you see, he put me on the path that solved a 20-odd year mystery for me. To whit - my comment to his post:
Back in the day, when I was an impressionable young lad watching the D&D cartoon, I saw an episode where an evil mage stood before empty ground and intoned in an eldritch voice the command of "RISE!". His lair rose from the ground. That was all I remembered, but since that time, I've rememberd that phrase and scene in my head. It's one of my weird things I'll do when I'm jokingly waking someone up, I'll stand and lift an arm in a Darth Vaderish sort of way and command "RISE."

Anyway... when I saw the figure of Kelek, I realized he was the sorceror from the scene, so I did a search for him from the YouTube D&D Cartoon ... and at long last, I've found the scene, from the episode "Valley of the Unicorns Part 1":

Mystery solved! (And this probably is one of the strangest comments you'll get for this post!)
And here is the scene in question (the video will start at that point which Kelek performs the summoning).

It was images like this, along with the 1E books and the Hobbit (among others), that forever cemented the power and mystery of magic in my mind - that mages deal in powers and things that are unnatural for mortal man to control.


Tim Knight said...

I don't actually remember this episode (luckily a boxed set the series arrived from Amazon yesterday - don't tell my wife!)

My 'childhood' memory is of a giant clock where slave-children from our world are being used either to hold back the hands or move them forward. It was a very striking image, but the details are a bit fuzzy now.

Christopher B said...

Ya know, I'm probably going to have to give this cartoon a fresh look, because I don't have any fond recollections of it (unlike my fond recollections of Thundarr the Barbarian). All I honestly remember about it was how dumb and annoying I thought that little unicorn was...

[BTW: Word verification "wangiest." Yeah... probably won't be using that one for a character name. :P]

Ragnorakk said...

(i think you're right about the unicorn...)

Scott said...

The D&D cartoon rocked, but particularly the "Valley of the Unicorn" episode, written by Paul Dini (THE Paul Dini later responsible for most of the best Batman the Animated Series episodes).

Uni was an unfortunate concession to the network executives at the time, who really believed that every cartoon had to have a cute animal character (like Miss Lion on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends). Gary Gygax fought the inclusion of Uni, lost, but was proud that they were able to get by with showing less and less of Uni each season.

Elton said...

Uni the Unicorn was probably the worst addition to the series. My favorite episodes were the one where Presto met his true love, Varla; and the one where the companions tried to get rid of Venger.

80's cartoons were very, very adult for their time. They didn't treat kids like a bunch of idiots. The only exception was the Scooby Doo series where they had famous guest stars.

Spike Page said...

I need to watch more of those cartoons one of these days. It seems there's lots to be viewed for free on YouTube.

And I have a friend who, when he has to play the part of any gnomish NPCs in any of his games, uses that unicorn's voice. I don't know if that's where he got it, but it sure sounds like it.