Curse of the Lion Men
Dr. Wily is getting his robot masters to
find a cave to conduct his "tropical island experiments" in, while a sparkling
comet is circling the planet. Bright Man notices the comet, and watches
as it's sparkles open an old looking door and enter; they go up to it to see
what's going on. Inside is an ancient tomb full of mummies, and Star Man and
Bright Man remind us of what we're all thinking.
Suddenly, the sparkles begin effecting the mummies, causing them to move and grow out of your wrapping, revealing badly drawn lion men! The robots scarper and hide, and listen into their conversation, revealing that the lion men have been awoken and can fulfil their purpose: To rule the earth by turning everyone else into them! With this frightening information, the robots discreetly leave to tell Dr. Wily.
Meanwhile, Roll and Mega Man are just after cleaning Dr. Light's lab, which proves to have no point in the story except for a cheap Rush gag involving bumping into a table. Light compliments them on their work, and a special report is broadcast on the television, with the news anchor reporting that the first time in a thousand years the "Mukahana" comet passed over Hawaii. Before he can describe it as being "quite beautiful", growling is heard, the news anchor gets five seconds of looking frightened before being turned into a lion man. He growls at the camera and gets close to it, causing it to shut off, typically.
"Sizzling circuits!" exclaims Mega Man, as
Dr. Light looks awe struck. Our hero insists on checking
it out, and Light nods silently.
Elsewhere, at a beach populated with skinny,
bored-looking women and lingo-spouting surfer dudes, an innocent game of Frisbee
is interrupted by the lion men pandering in and lasering
everyone with their lioning eye
rays. The lion men claim conquering the world will be easy, and no
wonder; no one is fighting back or running away, they're just standing there.
Mega Man shows up, and the lion men try to turn him into one, but being idiots,
it doesn't effect him. He fires at them, but doesn't hit them, causing
them all to shield their eyes. "These furballs aren't so tough."
Dr. Wily then shows up out of nowhere, and
Star Man attacks, but is knocked into a conveniently place trash can, making him
ripe pickings for a weapon pinching. Guts Man and Cut Man try attacking, but
after some unnecessary close-ups of Mega Man running and of Cut Man's face, the
two baddies are knocked off the pier. Bright Man comes along and flashes his
lights, and not only does he not say his catchphrase, but he's knocked off the
pier in seconds flat (and somehow knocks Guts Man and Cut Man off again). Proto
Man then steps up to the ring, and shoots a blast-proof net on Mega Man and
Rush, trapping them, and causing the lion men to notice these other robots are
fighting their enemy.
The leader of the lion men, Tar, comes out and has a brief conversation with Wily, with the mad doctor wanting to team up with the lion men to conquer the world. Tar, however, wants it for himself.
Back at Light's lab, he looks up the history of the lion men, showing they were once savages who conquered other tribes, but were brought with a curse that whenever that comet passed over, they'd become lion men, and would pass the curse onto others. They were exiled to caves, and a volcano blocked them in for millenniums. With that knowledge, Roll aims to assist Mega Man.
Speaking of Mega Man, he's been dragged
along to a construction site with Wily's bots and the lion men, but despite his
pleas for the work men to flee, they just stand there and get lion'd. He claims
they'll never get away with this, but Wily gives them a longer-than-usual laugh,
and tells Guts Man to "can the creeps." Yeah, he puts them on a conveyor belt of
fish which is heading towards a grinder, and then into cans.
How do they escape? "It's not cut proof", notes Mega Man, and then proceeds to blast a fan or saw or something off a pipe, which conveniently cuts the top off the net with neither of the two harmed, and they leap out just before they're made into cat food. He calls Dr. Light, telling him he's okay, and Light is heading towards a hotel to find out more about the lion men, with the promise to have things back to normal in no time. When Dr. Wily is listening to your conversation, you know things will go bad. And to nobody's surprise, just as Light finishes the "anti-curse machine", Guts Man, Cut Man and a lion man bust into their room and kidnap them.
They're brought to the cave the lion men
were found in, and Light insists he will never join their side, but he just gets
turned into a lion man. Wily then believes nothing is stopping them from ruling
the world ...
Until Tar shouts that the planet will be his, and turns Wily into a lion man. Look who's moody. The robot masters won't stand for this, Guts Man threatening to clobber them, but Tar has a gun that will make them obey only him (built by Light, as explained two commercial breaks later). A lion man then runs in and informs him Mega Man and Rush escaped, though Tar doesn't seem terribly fazed, and announces the conquest to begin. They start by walking up to the police station, causing two squad cars to pull up, but Cut Man destroys them and the four cops, all with guns, make no attempt to stop them and get turned into lion men.
Mega Man shows up on Rush with no fanfare,
and is promptly blasted inside and into the prisons by Proto Man, where all the
prisoners have busted out and turning each other into lion men. It doesn't dwell
on that for very long, as they just fly out again.
At an army camp, of all places, the robot masters and lion men enter with no struggle at all, transforming the two soldiers at the entrance. Once inside, they're attacked by Mega Man, again, this time in a (not Rush) FRIGGIN' HELICOPTER. The baddies get their own helicopters, and almost immediately shoot him down, and he makes no attempt to escape, crashing in a big fiery ball. Lion Wily and lion Light pop up in a jeep, spend a whole ten seconds congratulating the defeat of Mega Man, and drive off again, just before Mega Man and Rush simply run out of the wreckage.
At some generic tall building which I assume
is the United Nations, the lion men congratulate themselves on conquering
Hawaii, and aim to take over the mainland, and then the rest of the planet. They
Ever persistent, Mega Man runs up with Rush and shoots the two lion guards (and actually shoots them and knocks them unconscious/dead this time), and shoots the three other lions in the entrance. A memo of one of the lions says the conference is held in the penthouse conference room (where else?), so instead of flying up there on Rush Jet, they take the lift, which is wide open for the typical bad-guys-enter-the-lift-while-good-guys-are-inside gimmick. And that happens. They avoid being seen by using another gimmick: Getting on top of the elevator.
They get into the ventilator shafts and somehow enter the conference room without being seen, but their attempt at rescuing Roll backfires, as she is under the same control as the robot masters, and alerts the others of his appearance. Roll shoots at him (!!) and he and his dog leap out the window; we all know Rush can fly, so you know how they get out of this.
Hang on! Rush has short circuited! They're
Convenience saves us all, as one is beneath
our heroes, and a well place plasma shot causes it to spurt up, softening the
fall. In an aircraft hangar, Roll and the robots are getting weapons onboard a
plane so they can launch an invasion on the mainland (in a moment of lol, Cut
Man says to Guts Man that she's worse than Wily); Mega Man jumps up and
deactivates Roll, and reprograms her by tapping two buttons on her back
repeatedly. After explaining everything to her and being told the anti-curse
device is hidden in the hotel room, they're briefly attacked by Cut and Guts,
but their stupidity is little more than a distraction ...
Until Mega Man and Roll drive to the hotel, where they're hounded by them in a jeep. Again, their stupidity unintentionally helps them, as a burst tire somehow sends them flying through the air and into the hotel room. Two lion men enter, though before they can attack, Roll retrieves the device (hidden in a bin, of all places), and uses it by twiddling the joystick, but it doesn't do anything. They flee, but they're ambushed by Tar, Light, Wily, and just about everyone. They Rush Jet into the sky, attempting to make sense of the device, while Tar commands the robots to shoot them out of the sky. And they do!
Until Rush catches him again. The device finally works, and everyone begins returning to their original form, and the original lion men are returned to their state as mummies. Roll reunites with Light, and Wily is glad to be human again, and actually thanks Mega Man, but demands him to hand over the device so he can turn them all back into lions, this time under his control. When declined, he sends his robots on him, but definitely proving to be utterly useless in this episode, they're all blasted into the swimming pool with single shots. Following up that with a little taunt, Wily and his robots scoot off in the skull machine.
The heroes all go for a little walk in the beach, destroying the devices and sealing the lion men off again, and Rush surfs. End.
The episode everyone hates. While the script itself isn't all that awful (by the standards of the series), it's the actual execution of the episode that drags everything down. The animation is the worst in the series, with the proportions of the characters being way off constantly, and the fight scenes are particularly painful to watch as there's no wisecracking or anything during them, just long, drawn-out unnecessary close-ups of random things and after a minute the fights abruptly end. Like that sentence.
On the bright side, the lion men are drawn consistently all throughout, everything picks up a fair bit after the second commercial break, and come on, the whole concept is just ludicrous enough to make it impossible not to love.
5 out of 5 disgusted Star Men.
Not related, but my spell checker told me that Frisbee should be spelt with a capital F. News to me.
And I really can't tell the name of the comet. It's never shown in text anywhere, and I was hoping for the name of the hotel to be shown so I could see, but nope.
Tar doesn't know what cards are. Weren't they one of the earliest inventions ever?
Why would the lion men need weapons? Clearly no one has the intelligence to actually fight them, and aren't their conversion rays weapons?
Star Man and Bright Man have two lines each; "What is this place?" and "You got it" (or something like that) for Star Man, while all Bright Man says is "look" and "sure looks weird."
Bonus links! An abbreviated version that manages to make the episode even more awesome (thanks Mugenmidget!), and an article about the episode in WikiFur. Um.