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The Gamesman

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The Gamesman is the 69th episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, written by Antoni Zalewski and directed by Steve Clark. The enigmatic Lord Todd pays a visit to the Royal Palace and invites Teela back to his castle, but things are not what they seem.

Synopsis

Prince Adam, Teela, Cringer, and Orko race to King Randor's side as Adam and Teela speak of his imminent demise. Orko and Cringer are genuinely worried for the king until they learn he is simply losing a game of chess with the visiting Lord Todd. Orko tries to suggest a move to Randor, but ends up moving all of the pieces, ruining the game. Todd graciously calls the match a draw, and begins bestowings gifts--an apple to Orko, a steak to Cringer, a pendant to Teela, and a new chess set to Randor. In return he asks for nothing...except the company of Teela at Castle Star. Teela begins to protest, but Randor excuses her from her duties and allows her to go.

Cringer and Orko go to an abandoned castle in countryside to eat their food, but an enormous mole-like monster emerges from the ground and scares them away. As they flee, Cringer loses his steak, which the monster picks up and eats. Orko resolves to warn the palace.

Adam and Man-At-Arms try to talk Teela out of going with Lord Todd, since they know nothing about him, but Teela insists she can take care of herself. Todd leads her to a Talon Fighter which he pilots away to his castle. Just then the Sorceress asks Adam and Duncan to come to Castle Grayskull, even as Orko and Cringer tell them of the monster. Man-At-Arms goes to see the Sorceress while Adam and Cringer become He-Man and Battle Cat to handle the monster.

When He-Man, Orko, and Battle Cat find the creature and subdue it, He-Man realizes that it can communicate telepathically, but it cannot see far enough to know when it is tunneling into buildings. He-Man reasons with the beast, whose name is Moak, and convinces him to tunnel in another direction. Battle Cat is still angry with Moak for eating Cringer's steak, but He-Man insists that the creature isn't evil just because he looks different.

When Lord Todd and Teela arrive at Castle Star, he shows her the labyrinth, with walls of solid eternium, and the stargate at the center. Todd demonstrates his most prized possession, a life-sized chess set with pieces based upon beings Todd has found in his travels. The only missing piece is a queen, and Todd has chosen Teela to be the living model for "the most unusual game in the seven universes." Teela tries to take her leave, but Todd uses his labyrinth to hold her prisoner. When Todd's stargate fully opens, he intends to take Teela with him to become the final piece in his game.

Meanwhile, at Castle Grayskull, the Sorceress tells Man-At-Arms of an evil force that has entered Eternia, centered on Castle Star. Duncan heads out to find Teela, while the Sorceress works to contact He-Man.

Lord Todd revealed

Teela tries to subdue Todd and hold him hostage against his robot guards, but they are programmed to protect his game, not him. She changes tactics and threatens to destroy the game pieces, but the guards won't let her leave so they are at a standoff. Just then Man-At-Arms arrives in the castle, and Todd traps him in the labyrinth to use as leverage against Teela. She reluctantly agrees to Todd's demands to save her father, but he does not intend to keep his end of the bargain. Lord Todd reveals he is a spirit from another dimension in search of new games.

He-Man finally arrives and disposes of Todd's robots. He and Man-At-Arms start trying to penetrate the maze. It would take too long for even He-Man's Power Sword to penetrate the eternium, but as luck would have it Moak happens by. The heroes convince him to dig under the maze so they don't have to cut through the walls. Just in time, He-Man, Duncan, and Moak arrive to rescue Teela, but in the commotion she is pulled into the stargate and Todd follows.

He-Man and Man-At-Arms go in for Teela, but the stargate is rapidly closing. He-Man uses his power to hold the gate open while Teela and Duncan get away from Lord Todd. Once the three heroes are back in Eternia, the gate closes and everything Todd created with his magic dissipates.

Back at the palace, King Randor issues a procclamation that Sir Moak the Goodhearted shall be welcomed throughout Eternia for his selfless deeds. Moak for his part is more excited about the new spectacles he has been given to help him see where he is going.

Moral

He-Man and Teela talk about how we met Lord Todd and Moak, who were both not what they appeared to be, and how it's what's inside that really counts.

Heroic Warriors

Allies

Villains

Cast

(Queen Marlena appears in this episode but receives no dialogue.)

Orko's Fun Facts

As featured in BCI's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Season Two, Vol. 1 DVD boxset (Disc 1)

  • "Lord Todd was originally used as the Keeper in 'The Heart of a Giant' at the very end of Season One, four episodes previous!"
  • "Moak's design would later reappear as a Holepher in the episode 'Time Doesn't Fly.'"
  • "Even though Lord Todd is a 'Spirit from another dimension,' he still manages to have his own Talon Fighter."
  • "The very expressive animation of He-Man pulling the gate from its hinges and throwing it was used in 'Castle of Heroes', in this case with slight modifications to the sequence."
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