|Mazes & Mutants|
|Season 2, Episode 15|
|Premiere||April 27, 2014|
|Written by||Eugene Son|
|Directed by||Michael Chang|
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The Lonely Mutation of Baxter Stockman
Mazes & Mutants is the 15th episode of TMNT Season 2. It is the 41st episode of the series and it aired on April 27th, 2014.
"It's just a game, or is it?!"
The Turtles try to relax by playing a role-playing game, but the game becomes anything BUT a game, when they have fight enemies and get past traps, and save princess April.
Tired and overwhelmed after the recent events of "Wormquake!", the Turtles choose to take take time off of their normal routines and play a new RPG game that they discovered in a sewer tunnel; Mazes & Mutants. Raph is primarily bored by it, while the other three are having lots and lots of fun figuring out many of its principles. Master Splinter enters the scene, explaining why he cannot understand that they play this sort of game when they already have lives that are 'fantastic'. Splinter then begins to sense something that is off in the area. Little do the Turtles know that a mysterious wizard is spying on them by looking through some type of globe, which makes one of his eyes visible to the viewers. The wizard states that the TRUE game is about to begin--eth....
Soon, Donnie & Raph are both seen watching an S.R.M.F.F. episode and, after a short while, Leo and Mikey decide to create a L.A.R.P. of the Mazes and Mutants game, and everyone except Raph, who is more than reluctant to agree, dresses up in costumes (made out of trash items and multiple resources lying around in parts of their lair) and gets ready to play. Leonardo decides to be the brave Knight, Donatello decides to be the magical Wizard, Michelangelo decides to be the cunning Elven thief (with a precious magic ring), and Raphael is ultimately forced to be a character known as the Dwarf Barbarian!! Raph seems to find this dressing-up ordeal extremely stupid. However, when they face and slay the first "ogre" (that's merely a hanging Practice Dummy that wears a Halloween monster mask), Leo is shocked to discover that the clue he had written down has been changed. An orange haze then appears and, once it clears, the Turtles' surroundings become the grisly live version of Mazes and Mutants. Leo then claims he was not the one who created what they are seeing and Donnie disagrees with this, to which Mikey states that Leo is just trying to be humble. Then, dozens of dagger-like weapons are shot in their direction and the Turtles dodge them and successfully reach a different part of the maze. It's not very long before the Turtles come face to face with the mutated sparrow wizard, Sir Malachi. He challenges the Turtles to solve the few puzzles and finish the quest by rescuing 'Princess' April O'Neil and defeating the fierce dragon that is guarding her. Sir Malachi threatens that they will be trapped in the maze forever if they fail to understand the clues. He then conjures up a small army of actual Monkey Goblins to attack the Turtles.
The Turtles fight the monkey goblins, realizing that they look extraordinarily similar to Dr. Tyler Rockwell. They defeat the majority of the goblins with suction-cup arrows, and soon, all of them gather together and magically disappear. The Turtles are left confused about the situation they're in, but Leo says that they must keep walking through the hallways, if they want to find a way out. As they explore a long hallway, Mikey runs his mouth about trapdoors being in the maze, and he then starts to talk to his +1 Ring of Awesome. Raph hits Mikey over the head with his helmet, threatening to give him 'a magical headache', and Mikey starts hissing at Raph, guarding his ring. Malachi appears once more, telling them a riddle about trap doors that eventually lead to the center of a lava pit. After this speech, the Turtles catch on to the fact that the entire floor is comprised of tiles that are actually traps. Because of this, the team are forced to use their ninja stealth to narrowly avoid being harmed. Raph then begins to throw angry threats at Sir Malachi. Upon hearing this, Malachi casts a spell to turn Raph's head into that of a turkey, which makes Mikey laugh. Malachi tells the Turtles that they will play by his rules now and tells them about another riddle involving a fire building up. The Turtles are able to find a hole hidden in the wall, and hide, just when a hatch opens and a gigantic flaming boulder passes by all four of them....The Turtles find a narrow pathway, and walk along the wall to reach the other side. Leo begins to figure out that all of the riddles are all hinting towards the fact that everything in their surroundings has just been one single riddle. Finally, all obstacles passed, the Turtles find themselves with the captive April, and are forced to fight off a monstrous fire-breathing version of their close friend Leatherhead.
The Turtles begin to fight the behemoth, and Leo imagines that his sword is magical and powerful, so he is somehow able to outwit and defeat the dragon. After defeating the dragon, the beast disappears (along with April) and this causes Leo to finally unravel every part of every clue. Malachi then appears and congratulates them, though also claims that he will have to prepare the next quest. Leo then reveals to his brothers that, since Malachi is a mutant of some kind, he has the ability to project an image of a maze in their minds. If they refuse to believe that anything is real, then Sir Malachi's powers will have completely vanished. Raph then decides to borrow Mikey's +1 Ring of Awesome and throws it at Malachi, hitting him in the forehead. However, this makes the wizard much more irritated than before. Unwilling to let the Turtles go free, Sir Malachi begins to attack their minds with each and every one of his powers. Leo, Donnie, and Mikey quickly manage to break the hold. Raph, however, is quite a bit harder to convince, and he struggles to disbelieve everything around him. However, he finally does and all of the illusions that Malachi created shatter, including Raphael's turkey head, which prompts Raph to say that he is handsome again. Now surrounded by a bunch of angry turtles, Sir Malachi calms them down by explaining that his real name is Martin Miltin -- and he was and still is a huge Mazes and Mutants fanatic. One night, Mutagen rained down from the sky while he was feeding some sparrows on his roof and, as the birds flew away, they left feathers in their wake and they touched Martin, causing him to turn into a bird when the Mutagen struck. He decided to don fair cloak and call himself 'Sir Malachi'. Deciding to go into the sewers to play a LARP-ing game by himself, the newly named Sir Malachi accidentally spotted the Turtle brothers and decided to leave the Mazes and Mutants game out in the open where they could find it; He became very pleased when he saw that they were liking it. Sir Malachi purposely made the game come alive so that he could draw entertainment from having others to enjoy it with.
The Turtles feel sorry for the lonely mutant and they allow him to walk away with the promise of never forcing anyone to play the game again. Sir Malachi agrees without question, fist bumps Leo, and walks away, making boom sounds and his illusions following in close behind him. Leo, Donnie and Raph then leave as well, while Mikey tries to catch up, unknowingly leaving behind his +1 Ring of Awesome.
- The title is a reference to the RPG movie "Mazes and Monsters".
- This episode seems to be a reference to the TMNT BTTS episode, "SuperQuest".
- Sir Malachi debuts in this episode.
- LARP stands for Live Action Role Play, a form of outdoor recreation that uses fantasy based costume roleplay and a complex system of rules. Participants can go on "quests" and usually have fun playing out different scenarios such as magic duels or treasure quests but there are variants such as Victorian Steampunk or Wild West games. See Wikipedia for more
- Leatherhead returns in this episode as an illusion.
- Ice Cream Kitty returns in this episode and seems to be friends with Master Splinter, considering giving him a cheese-sicle.
- April is in this episode as an illusion.
- This is the first episode that focuses on both Mikey and Raph.
- This is the sixth episode that focuses on Mikey.
- This is the sixth episode that focuses on Raph.
- Raph's head gets replaced with a turkey's head.
- It is unknown why the 2 enemies besides Malachi looked a lot like other allies of the Turtles, but it is possibly a result of it being a psychic illusion and they were images conjured from the Turtles subconscious memories.
- The Episode has references from The Lord of the Rings, a 3 volume book series written by J. R. R. Tolkien & a movie trilogy, which include:
- Mikey's creepy obsession towards the +1 Ring of Awesome has the same characteristic as Gollum who was obsessed with the One Ring.
- Donnie's final words, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" was said by the wizard Gandalf who faced the Balrog at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm and broke the Bridge, but was dragged down by the Balrog.
- Plus, ironically enough, Raph's voice actor Sean Astin, played Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
- And, on top of that, the "dragon" (who is actually Leatherhead) in the treasure pile is reminiscent of the dragon Smaug in Peter Jackson's film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
- Princess April's bubble prison and her crown are references to Princess Daphne from the game Dragon's Lair. Also, the game's final boss is a non-flying dragon, just like Leatherhead was in the episode.
- This is the first episode where the Turtles don't go up to the surface.
- When Mikey says "Dude, I don't want to be stuck in the 1980s" this is a possible reference to the 80's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- The manner in which Sir Malachi moves his crystal ball around his hand in one scene is a reference to Jareth The Goblin King from the Jim Henson film Labyrinth
- The skeletons throughout Sir Malachi's Mazes and Mutants game looked strangely similar to the Rat King.
- This is the last episode where the accidental " Mutagen Ooze incident" as seen in "The Mutation Situation" was mentioned. The Turtles seemed to have forgotten it in episodes after this.
- Mikey's self-made, elf hat reads 'The Offical Royal Weenie'.
"I cannot understand why you play a fantasy game, when your lives are already fantastic."
- When Leonardo was getting ready to strike Leatherhead with his "Magical" sword, the belt and straps were gone around his body.
- Raph turns off the TV, but when Mikey and Leo show up, the TV is on.
- Leo had mentioned that he and the gang found the Mazes & Mutants board game in the trash on the surface, but they actually found the game in the sewers, as seen in Malachi's flashback.
- While Mikey was victory-dancing, his brothers were in a still-frame, standing in the background.