I recently came across this old Metroid discussion forum topic about the location in Captain N actually CALLED “Metroid.” Within the game, a Metroid is an organism, not a place. Their home world is the planet SR-388. Captain N tended to mess with this kind of thing a lot, like how Pit is always called Kid Icarus, even though that’s the game he stars in rather than his name. I seem to recall reading a press release from Nintendo Power or something from before the show actually started that called him Pit, so I don’t know whether the name change was a screw-up on the writers’ part or an intended concession to audiences who just assumed the character’s name was the same as the game’s and apparently didn’t notice how “Pit” is used in-game. In a response to a Tumblr post where I shared the Captain N versions of Kraid, Ridley, and some Metroids, someone else posted pages from a storyboard for that episode in which Ridley and the Metroids are closer to the original concept art.
I’m not sure why they went with the goofier looks in the final product, although to be fair it’s not like Ridley looks much like his original concept art in any the games anyway.
Compared to the Mario and Zelda cartoons, which weren’t well-animated by any means but usually stuck pretty close to then-established art of the characters in the actual games and their manuals, Captain N went way out into left field with their designs. But anyway, I pretty much assumed while watching the show that “Metroid” was just the show’s name for Zebes, the planet where the first Metroid game takes place.
It has many of the same enemies and power-ups, after all. But no, it’s apparently actually supposed to be a mobile asteroid that Mother Brain has converted into her home base.
This is made more explicit in the comics, but the cartoon episode “Metroid Sweet Metroid” revealed that the Brain has a psychic link to her base even when not there. It also shows that the asteroid has a key-powered ignition. In the comics, Metroid is a separate place from Zebes, which is also visited occasionally. The cartoon never mentions Zebes, although Mother Brain does once identify zebetite as the source of her power. I don’t know why her battle station would have the same name as the energy-sucking creatures she controls, but Wikitroid suggests that it actually makes sense with what was established in later games, as it means “ultimate warrior” in the Chozo language. I’m also not sure why, if Metroid is mobile, it even appears on the map that’s shown in the original opening sequence. Not that the map isn’t flawed anyway, as even in the first season the characters visited worlds that aren’t shown there.
The whole idea of Videoland as some alternate universe in which all video game settings and characters (well, at least all of the Nintendo ones that they could get the rights to use) is interesting, but it doesn’t hold up that well when you consider how many games are supposed to take place on our own Earth. The Castlevania series takes place in and around Transylvania, The Adventures of Bayou Billy in Louisiana, and the Mega Man series on a future Earth (or at least the future at the time they came out). So do the worlds of Castlevania and Megaland include locations from Earth, or are we not supposed to think about that? Even Pit’s homeworld is called Mount Olympus in the comics, although the cartoon usually referred to it as Mount Icarus.
In an episode based on the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves game, Captain N visits the world of Nottingham. Is this an astral body made up entirely of one county in England?
Even sports games have their own worlds, with Punch-Out, California Games World, Hoopland, and Baseball World all being visited at one time or other. One world, the unnamed setting of the Puss ‘n Boots game, actually is an alternate Earth inhabited by anthropomorphic animals. At one point, Kevin, Link, and Pero are in London and want to get to the White Cliffs of Dover, and the Captain says, “Even on this world, that must be miles from here.” Maybe he’s encountered smaller versions of Earth before. Videoland is also home to real-world celebrities Larry Bird and Bo Jackson, as well as fictional characters who weren’t introduced in video games, like Dracula, Medusa, and Robin Hood. For that matter, even the names of the worlds don’t always make a lot of sense. Why would Mega Man have a whole planet named after him? Okay, it’s a pretty small planet if the opening sequence is any indication, but still.
Hyrule being the name of the entire world is established in some of the Zelda games as well, but since it’s also one particular kingdom in that world, what do the people in Labrynna or Holodrum think of that? I believe Termina and Lorule are both in different universes from the main Hyrule, but those other two are presumably separate countries on the same planet.
The comics and cartoons also mention countries called Calatia and Arcadia. I believe Alefgard is also sometimes used as the name of the entire world of the original trilogy of Dragon Quest games, even though DQ2 makes clear that there’s quite a bit of world outside the kingdom of that name.
I’m reminded of the common theory that “Canada” originally just meant “village,” but came to mean the entire massive country. In Captain N, the world of the first DQ game is known as Dragon’s Den, and the name Alefgard is never used.
Neither are the official place names of Angel Land from Kid Icarus and the Kingdom of Elrond from Wizards & Warriors. I really have no idea where the name “Excalibur” for the latter world comes from. (I mean, I know what Excalibur is, but not what it has to do with that game.)
I also tend to assume that Kongoland, despite being shown as a pretty small world in the cartoon, is actually part of the Mushroom World. I came across a theory that the Banjo-Kazooie games take place near Donkey Kong’s home island, and while I’m not that familiar with the series, I can’t see why not.