|“Mazes & Mutants”|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012 TV Series) episode|
|Guest stars||Paul Reubens|
|Original airdate||April 27, 2014|
|Written by||Eugene Son|
|Supervising Producer||Ant Ward|
|Directed by||Michael Chang|
|Voice Direction||Andrea Romano|
|Supervising Director||Ciro Nieli|
|Story Editor:||Brandon Auman|
"Mazes & Mutants" is the fifteenth episode of the second season of the 2012 TV series and is the forty-first episode overall in the series. It first aired on April 27th, 2014.
The Turtles try to relax by playing a fantasy role-playing game, but when the game becomes real, they must learn the difference between fantasy and reality.
- Donatello (Rob Paulsen)
- Leonardo (Jason Biggs)
- Michelangelo (Greg Cipes)
- Raphael (Sean Astin)
- Sir Malachi (Paul Reubens) (debut)
- April O'Neil (Mae Whitman) (as a princess, hallucination)
- Ice Cream Kitty (Kevin Eastman)
- Leatherhead (as a dragon, hallucination)
- Dr. Tyler Rockwell (as monkey goblins, hallucination)
- Splinter (Hoon Lee)
- Super Robo Mecha Force Five!
Tired after the recent events of The Manhattan Project, the turtle brothers take time to relax and play a new RPG game that they discovered in the sewers: Mazes & Mutants. While Raph is bored, the other three are having fun. Splinter senses something wicked. Little do they know they are being watched by a mysterious wizard who says their real game is about to begin...
Obsessed, Leo creates a live version of the Mazes and Mutants game, and everyone except Raph, who is reluctant to agree, dresses up in costumes and gets ready to play. Leonardo is the brave Knight, Donatello is the magical Wizard, Michelangelo is the cunning Elf (with a precious magic ring),and Raphael is the Dwarf Barbarian! Raph finds dressing up very stupid.
However, when they face and slay a "tree troll" (thats just the foot ninja practice dummy with a monster mask), Leo is shocked to discover that the clue he had written has changed. The tunnels turn into real, live version of LARP gameplay, and the turtles meet the mutated sparrow wizard: Sir Malachi. He challenges the turtles to solve the puzzles and complete the quest, rescue Princess April O'Neil, and kill the fierce dragon guarding her. Monkey goblins (that look like Dr. Tyler Rockwell), lava pitfalls, and flaming boulders all stand in their path, which makes them all frustrated. While Leo tries to keep a cool head and figure out Sir Malachi's riddles, Raphael ends up upsetting the sparrow wizard and gets his head turned into a turkey as a result. Raph is very angry and starts gobbling.
Finally, all obstacles passed, the turtles find themselves with the captive April, and forced to fight a monstrous fire breathing version of their friend Leatherhead. While fighting, Leo finally unravels the clues, and reveals to his brothers that everything they have seen has been just one big illusion. If they refuse to believe that anything is real, then Sir Malachi's powers will be gone. Unwilling to let the turtles go free, Sir Malachi attacks all their minds at once, and Leo, Don, and Mikey quickly break the hold. Raphael however, is harder to convince, and he struggles to disbelieve everything around him. He finally does, and all the illusions Sir Malachi created shatters, including Raph's turkey head.
Surrounded now by angry turtles, Sir Malachi explains that his real name is Martin Milton, and he is a huge Mazes and Mutants fan. One night, mutagen rained down from the sky while he was feeding some birds on the roof, and he changed and transformed to become Sir Malachi, sparrow wizard. Going to the sewers to play a solo LARP, the newly named Sir Malachi, decided to secretly gift the turtles with Mazes and Mutants game, and became very pleased when they liked it. Having others to enjoy it with, Sir Malachi made the game come alive so he could no longer be a solo LARP-er. Feeling sorry for the poor sparrow, the turtles allow him to walk away with the promise to never force anyone to play the game again. Sir Malachi agrees, fist bumps Leo, and walks, his illusions following behind him. The turtles leave with Mikey trying to catch up, dropping his +1 Ring of Awesome.
- The episode's title is a reference to the RPG movie "Mazes and Monsters", which itself is a reference to Dungeons & Dragons.
- The episode is similar to the movies Jumanji and Zathura: A Space Adventure, where everything in the board game comes to life.
- The episode has many references from The Lord of the Rings, a 3 book series written by J. R. R. Tolkien, 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 words, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" were 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.
- Raphaels’ words, “I don’t do rings” is a reference to Raphael’s voice actor Sean Astin’s past as playing Samwise Gamgee in ‘The Lord of The Rings’ film trilogy. Further in the episode, Raphael demands Michelangelo gives Raphael the ring, who becomes defensive so Raphael takes it by force and throws it, another reference to Samwise Gamgee.
- The tower of gold coins being protected by a dragon is a reference to ‘The Hobbit’.
- Michelangelo’s words “It's the power of the ancient elves, dude” is a reference to the one ring in the ‘Lord of the Rings’.
- The location where the turtles fight "Leatherhead the Dragon" is very similar to Smaug's lair in The Hobbit, where the protagonist encounters a dragon as well.
- Malachi's quote "Live long and LARP" is a reference to the Vulcan salute, which is "Live Long and Prosper".
- Princess April's bubble prison and hep crown are references to Princess Daphne from the classic laserdisc game Dragon's Lair. Also, the game's final boss Singe is a non-flying dragon, just like Leatherhead was in the episode.
- The shape of Leo's helmet is the shape of Galactus's helmet from the Marvel comics.
- Raphael's helmet is based on Schwarzenegger's in the 1982 Conan the Barbarian movie.
- Sir Malachi does hand stunts with a crystal ball in a similar manner as the antagonist Jareth in the movie Labyrinth.
- When Leo was about to strike Leatherhead with his "magical" sword, the belt and straps around his body were gone.
Raphael: *cough* It smells. You've been eating asparagus again Mikey?
Leonardo: "Are we really in medieval times?"
Michelangelo: "Dude, I don't want to be stuck in the 1980s!"
Donatello: "Leo, I appreciate all the hard work you put into this bro, I really do. The craftsmanship is a thing of beauty. It's commendable! But, um, WHAT IS GOING ON!!!!!???"
Donatello: "Do these monkey goblins remind you of something or someone?"
Leonardo: "They almost look like..." (one monkey goblin bites his helmet) "...Rockwell."
Donatello: "Uh Raph. You.... Uh. You have the head of a turkey."
Mikey: [laughing] "That is awesome. Gobble gobble, son! Like a turkey do!"
Raphael: [gobbling] What?!
Michelangelo: "Uh... refreshen my memory: was there some mention of a dragon?!" (a roar is heard as a reptilian tail is seen behind some gold coins. As the Turtles gather around, April is trying to search for the dragon. Suddenly, the dragon appears right behind her! It resembles Leatherhead)
Michelangelo: "Leatherhead?" ("Leatherhead" growls as he breathes fire)
Michelangelo: +1 Ring of Awesome, so shiny and beautiful, my magical source of power... My awesome... (creepy voice)
Donatello: "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
Leonardo: "We were in the sewers the whole time! What were you trying to do?!"
Sir Malachi: "I... I just... wanted to play. My name is Martin Milton. I used to be obsessed with Mazes & Mutants every hour, every day. All that changed the day I was feeding the birds on my roof. I donned fair cloak and wizardly hat to become Sir Malachi, the sparrow wizard. I went into the sewers to play a solo LARPing game of Mazes & Mutants when I accidentally found you. I made sure you found the game. I was so happy you liked it. So happy indeed. I just wanted people to play with."
Michelangelo: "Dude, solo LARP? That is so sad."
Donatello: "Aw, Malachi wasn't entirely that bad. He did leave us clues that everything was an illusion. It really was a game."
Leonardo: "You can go, Malachi. But you have to promise that you'll never force anyone to play with you ever again."