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Thread: The SDCC reveal nobody expected - Son of He-Man series pitch!

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    The SDCC reveal nobody expected - Son of He-Man series pitch!



    Many fans are familiar with the 1996 He-Ro: Son of He-Man pitch from Lou Scheimer Productions. Other fans have heard of the 1989 New Adventures (NA) pitch from Filmation which was entitled He-Man and the Masters of Space (see cereal:geek issue 14). However, when MOTUC brand manager Scott "Toyguru" Neitlich informed the fan community of yet another 'Son of He-Man' (SOH) pitch in Mattel's possession, many were stunned because they had never heard of it. A few fans even doubted its legitimacy. I am here to tell you that this series bible, which has heretofore been unseen by the public outside of some very small glimpses, is 100% authentic.

    Scott was kind enough to bring this extremely rare series bible to the 2014 He-Man.Org Power Party. As I approached him to say hello, he pulled the booklet out of his backpack and held it up. My eyes widened as I enthusiastically begged for a peek. Scott smiled, handed it over and said, "Absolutely no pictures!" I brought it over to a nearby table where TheShadow, Pixel Dan, and PrincessAdoraNJ were all hanging out and, in a scenario which can only be described as MOTU Story Hour, I read it aloud from cover to cover. I also briefly showed it to several other fans including Busta Toons and JVS3.

    For anyone still doubting its authenticity, let me reassure you that it is a legitimate piece of Masters of the Universe history. I pored over the bound pages and scrutinized them for some time. I'm quite certain that Scott did not undertake the arduous task of finding an old typewriter, typing the entire thing out on old paper, xeroxing it, and then putting it in the sun to age it.

    Photos were strictly forbidden, but I absorbed as much of it as I could. I have forgotten a few names and some details, but this article should give fans an overall picture of what this unproduced pitch was like.

    THE PITCH

    The series pitch is dated 1988 and the familiar FILMATION logo is splashed across the front cover. This is followed by the title of the proposed series. The He-Ro Son of He-Man font is exactly the one used for the 'Son of He-Man' logo stickers found on some of the MOTUC packaging.
    This pitch is very clearly part of the development for the New Adventures of He-Man. Familiar NA characters like Icarius (this name is used as opposed to Flipshot), Hydron, Brakk (aka Flogg), Optikk, Lizorr and others are referenced and described. However, instead of He-Man and Skeletor leading their respective groups, it is He-Ro and Skeleteen who are affiliated with these characters.

    The story begins on Eternia. He-Man and Teela, who now rule Eternia, bear a son. This boy is their biological child and is not adopted as he is in the later Lou Scheimer Productions pitch. Meanwhile, another boy is born to the evil Skeletor and... Shadow Weaver! Scott explained that he changed the mother to Evil-Lyn in MOTUC as it made more sense to have her be the mum. It is made clear in the bible that, while Skeletor is evil, he has paternal feelings for his son and wants to protect him. Incidentally, Shadow Weaver is the sole reference to POP that I saw in this series bible.
    Shortly after the birth of these children, a new threat surfaces on Eternia. In a turn of events very reminiscent of Superman, Eternia becomes endangered by an "evil force" which threatens to consume and destroy the entire planet. In an effort to save the infant son of He-Man and Teela, Man-At-Arms and Orko work together (for once) by combining technology and magic to build a spaceship called, The Javelon. The accompanying illustration of the Javelon is essentially Starship Eternia. He-Man uses this ship to send his son far into space and far into the future. Unbeknownst to him, Skeletor has also secretly stowed his own son aboard the ship in order to save the boy’s life.

    When the Javelon crash-lands on a planet in the Tri-Solar system, it is discovered by Darius who finds a child within. He names the baby “He-Ro.” Darius is a prominent character in this pitch and functions as He-Ro’s mentor throughout the story. Incidentally, I did not see the name Dare mentioned at all in this bible, though it is possible I missed it. I’m presuming Scott chose the name Dare because it appears in the more familiar Scheimer Productions pitch. I think the planet He-Ro lands on is called something akin to Primus, but I can’t recall the exact spelling.
    The son of Skeletor and Shadow Weaver is also discovered, but he is found by Brakk (Flogg), who senses the child’s potential for evil tyranny and dumps him in the Quagmi swamp. There, the infant is found by tentacled beings (Slush Head’s race) and is raised by them. This swampy upbringing explains Skeleteen’s later aversion to anything slimy.

    He-Ro grows into an active and reckless teenager and eventually enters into an academy where he is trained by Darius. He also discovers a mysterious dagger at some point and carries it with him.

    The illustrations for He-Ro show very clearly that he is wearing NA He-Man’s outfit. He has the armor, helmet, pants, etc. Skeleteen looks like a teenaged Skeletor. His skull face does not appear to be a mask in the images, though I could not tell for certain. He wears a hood in most of the illustrations, but there is one of him with the hood pulled down where we can see him sporting a Mohawk and riding the Skelecycle (this image has been released to the public in the past). There are also several illustrations of other denizens of “Primus.” These denizens are much more sword & sorcery/fantasy in appearance. However, there are notes written in pencil next to each of these characters which say, “no” or “too barbarian” which indicates a desire to lessen the sword and sorcery roots of the vintage brand. It is unclear whether these notes were made by Mattel or by Filmation. There is also an illustration of the Tri-Solar galaxy which features familiar celestial bodies such as Denebria, and Nordor.

    Skeleteen has inherited some of his father’s evil power and starts to become a tyrannical threat. As this is going on, He-Ro has a vision. In his vision, he sees his father He-Man who is communicating with him from the past. He-Man has defeated the evil force that once threatened to destroy Eternia and has located his son in order to tell him about his destiny. He-Ro is destined to protect the Tri-Solar system from evil. He-Man explains that He-Ro’s dagger is not an ordinary weapon and that it is magical. He-Ro then holds his dagger aloft and says, “By the Power of the Ancient Masters! I am He-Ro!!!” He is then imbued with great power. He isn’t as strong as He-Man, but he is quite powerful and resourceful in his own right. During the series, he sometimes has to call on his father for help. Meanwhile, Skeletor senses the power surge when He-Man contacts his son and manages to contact Skeleteen as well. Like He-Ro, Skeleteen can contact his dad when he needs help.

    This is where things get really wild. The sequences featuring He-Man and Skeletor communicating with their teenaged sons were going to be done in LIVE-ACTION! They were going to communicate with their sons via View Screen and these scenes would be filmed in live action. However, whenever He-Ro or Skeleteen needed direct assistance from their fathers, their famous dads would transform into cartoon characters “by the power of animation” and arrive in person to help out.

    GOOD GUYS

    Other characters include a furry creature/sidekick for He-Ro who resembles something one might have seen in Filmation’s Ghostbusters. There is a savage teenaged girl/love interest for He-Ro. Her name is Me-log (no relation to the POP cartoon character) and. she quite resembles the female archer on the Megator box art who many fans speculate was supposed to have been Sharella. There is another character from the academy who helps He-Ro as well, though I can’t recall much about him. I believe the series bible says he is tall and intimidating. My memory is a bit fuzzy regarding this character. There are also four cartoony wizards who appear to be early versions of the accursed NA Scientists. In addition, many of the familiar New Masters, or Galactic Guardians as they later came to be known, are depicted here. Icarius, Hydron, and Nocturna appear. Two concepts for Nocturna are seen. One depicts him as a male and the other depicts Nocturna as a female character. The design for Detector, who later evolved into Vizar, appears here as well. Note: the early designs for the toy characters were surely provided by Mattel and given to Filmation for use in the development of the series bible. Characters such as Hydron were created by Mattel. However, as was the case in the classic series, Filmation created some of their own supporting characters as well.

    BAD GUYS

    Skeleteen assembles a group of evil mutants who, of course, are the ones we know from New Adventures. The design for Crystoll, who later became Karatti, appears here but he has a completely different name. Sadly, I do not remember what it is. Other character profiles include Lizorr, Optikk, Slush Head, and others. The design for Brakk (Flogg) looks quite different from the Flogg we know, though there are elements which made it through to his final design (helmet, weapon, etc).

    The pitch refers quite often to the humor in the show and explains that while action and adventure would be plentiful, the emphasis on humor would be stronger than it was in the original series. For example, Skeleteen would have some bumbling moments.
    That’s most of what I remember. There are details I’m forgetting, but I think this will give fans the overall gist of the pitch. Surely, there were several pitches written during the early production of New Adventures. This is but one of them. As I mentioned earlier, Filmation & Scheimer Production revisited both NA and, later, SOH in 1989’s He-Man and the Masters of Space and in 1996’s He-Ro Son of He-Man, respectively. Ultimately Son of He-Man never saw the light of day (until MOTUC) and NA was taken over by Jetlag/DIC once Filmation closed its doors. It is fascinating to imagine what other undiscovered series pitches might exist out there. For example, there was supposed to have been a full-on Live-Action television series at one point, but that’s another story.

    I would very much like to thank Scott for allowing us to have a peek at this fascinating piece of Masters of the Universe history. I sincerely appreciate it. Also, thanks to TheShadow for remembering a couple of the cool details I had forgotten.
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    Quester JonWes's Avatar
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    Wow! This is amazing! Such fascinating stuff. It's crazy to think how much of what many think of as the negatives for the NA series (the humor, bumbling Skeletor and even the scientists!) appears to have come from Mattel as part of this pitch!

    The live action things sounds insane and probably would have been terrible, but it's kind of a fun idea. I wonder what the thinking behind that was?

    Such cool info! Thanks so much for sharing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonWes View Post
    Wow! This is amazing! Such fascinating stuff. It's crazy to think how much of what many think of as the negatives for the NA series (the humor, bumbling Skeletor and even the scientists!) appears to have come from Mattel as part of this pitch!

    The live action things sounds insane and probably would have been terrible, but it's kind of a fun idea. I wonder what the thinking behind that was?

    Such cool info! Thanks so much for sharing!
    I think the Scientist type wizards and humor were from Filmation, though maybe Mattel had a hand. Mattel surely gave them the character designs for Icarius and such though.
    Last edited by Penny Dreadful; July 28, 2014 at 03:43pm.
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    Quester JonWes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Dreadful View Post
    I think Scientist type wizards and humor was from Filmation, though maybe Mattel had a hand. Mattel surely gave them the character designs for Icarius and such though.
    Oooooh. I get it. Okay, that makes sense. Well, it's interesting it's from Filmation, too, versus the creators of NA.
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    Heroic Warrior Zodak's new shoes's Avatar
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    Wow, just when we think we knew it all. So, why are they reveiling this now? Will this become part of some new product?
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    Heroic Warrior goluphi's Avatar
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    Awesome! A very cool read.
    Hey, if you want to wallow in the negative, go nuts. Sure, things aren’t absolutely perfect, and people passionate about a property can get all keyed up about things. But I don’t collect toys to be miserable. So I’d rather think about the things that do excite me
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    Casual Fan slackrguy's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing!
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    Heroic Warrior Broc Longstaff's Avatar
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    Whoa! So cool!!

    I too am baffled by how they thought the Live-Action part was going to work hahaha

    I bet you, Dan, TheShadow and PrincessAdoraNJ were giddy as school girls. That was probably a sight to see in itself
    Im sure you werent allowed, but i hope someone has at least a picture of the MOTU Story Hour, with your host Penny Dreadful!

    Thank you for sharing this! And to Scott as well for bringing it and showing the fans!

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior Torak's Avatar
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    It were properly dozens of pitches!

    Would NA have been viewed better if those very different versions of two fan favorites were actually two different people?

    Clearly NA Skeletor was based on the even earlier laser figures.

    Maybe there was even a earlier pitch based on those designs?

    Who knows?!?

  10. #10
    SoH Supporter He-Dad's Avatar
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    I dig it but I like the one with Dare better.

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    Historian of Eternia LORD FALLEN ELDOR's Avatar
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    First off The MIGHTIEST of Thanks to everyone involved in this and in the bringing to us all of this information. Oh but if I could have been there!

    Are the others going to do a write up? Perhaps a Podcast talking about it?

    WHY no Pics? That seams like GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! (Let me guess, "Mattel Legal")

    but more directly to the topic at hand:

    I love Star Trek The Next Generation! I've been meaning to read those Dark Horse Star Wars comics where the story is about Luke, Han & Leia's great great grand kids a 100 years after the original trilogy. This SOUNDS like a bit of those two things IMO.

    SO many fabulous amazing ideas, that if mined PROPERLY, could actually lead to a really interesting prequel story to the NA that we did get! (as opposed to alterations and retcons like NA being in the present time and involving She-Ra)

    I especially love the idea of He-Man and Skeletor essentially being "the Ancients" of THIS story. That is my favorite part.

    I see shades of Captain Power in this pitch in this regard to Live action animated segments blended together. I've often wondered If Captain Power has any relationship to the development of NA? Lot of visual, artistic similarities. This Live action/Animation blending leads me to think that people who worked on this pitch also where involved with Captain Power and NA...SO many similarities at around the same times. It would be great to find out that the same people worked on both properties. That would totally makes sense.

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea of Skeletor and Shadow Weaver having a kid. That is not one of the things that needed to be changed! Such a great unexpected wonderful twist. Skeletor and Shadow Weaver both on the rebound. I don't know why I never saw it before LOL!

    No reason Skeletor can't ALSO have kids with Evil-Lyn. I'd love to the the Children of Skeletor being the "adam and adora" of a whole new story, a more complicated blended family would lead to better stories. Certainly more grown up "game of thrones" territory. :/

    I'm glad that NA had less barbarians and magic. [*dodges thrown tomato!] because failure or not, that was the right direction to go in, at least for a year! NA's greatest failure was probably that it lasted TOO LONG!

    Now if we can just find thous Filmation Power of Grayskull notes and documents I KNOW must have existed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Dreadful View Post
    I think the Scientist type wizards and humor were from Filmation, though maybe Mattel had a hand.
    In your first post you make mention of them possibly being influences for the NA scientists that everybody hates. Might that just be coincidental? IIRC Jack has taken full responsibility for their inclusions...

    I think if ANYTHING, Gwildor might be more an influence to these wizards you speak of?

    My line of thinking is a bit complicated, and requires quotes from the 1982 Michal Halperine bible, and the 1987 Film that consideres the Connection of ancient technology and space/time travel (The three Towers) and the fact that Gwidlor was to have a POG cardback alongside He-Ro & Eldor...I HIGHLY Suspect that Gwildor is an Ancient "wizard" who uses nearly incomprehensible technology. My point being: I wonder if the wizards you speak of, have any similarities to Gwildor? But it's hard to explain exactly what I mean without jumping back and fourth between various materials for compare contrast.

    It all gets to be something of a scholarly endeavor regarding who wrote what in MOTU comparable to The Bible as literature or comparative mythology if you take my meaning. Of course I love these apocryphal books and dead sea scrolls like discoveries such as this new one.

    Mysteries are awesome!

    Couple easy questions:

    Author?

    Date?

    Page count?

    Number of Pics?

    Word count estimate?
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    Musculation Master Jokubas's Avatar
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    Wow, this is pretty crazy.

    Also, it kinda backs up something I've been saying about New Adventures since I first watched it years ago.

    I've always said that New Adventures felt like a random late 80's/early 90's sci-fi show with the He-Man name slapped on it at the last minute to help sell it, but discovered that is was always to be pitched as a Masters of the Universe show. This finally explains that. Even before that, it was supposed to be a Masters of the Universe show, but one intentionally removed in time and space. Having it be all new characters and places, with the original characters making cameos that are difficult for them, explains that disconnect.

    Note: I'm not saying New Adventures is bad or doesn't belong in the franchise, just that its tone and setting were so far removed from anything that had come before it, and the connections to the previous shows were tenuous.
    Last edited by Master Jokubas; July 28, 2014 at 05:47pm.

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    Heroic Warrior He-Kal's Avatar
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    well, now we know what the future Motu line is going to be after classics at least

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    Warrior of Evolution 13977's Avatar
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    Great to finally get more information on this, I wish we could get pictures or scans of it, hopefully one day we will and if they posted it it might promote more interest in the SoHM era

    Great to hear Darius was in it so much.
    I'm really glad they changed SkeleTeen's mother to Evil Lyn in the Classics canon.
    I think the four cartoony wizards and the three NA Scientists must be a coincidence as I'm pretty sure Jack has said before that he created them.

    If the image of SkeleTeen riding the Skelecycle has been released to the public in the past can somebody post it please as I don't think I've seen it before.

    Here's the page Scott show at the panels a few years back when Icarius was released, and the transcription of it I did of it last year:




    He-Ro and The New Masters

    In addition to Darius and Madre?. He-Ro gathers about him a fighting force of all the leaders of the planet:

    HYDRON – Hydron is a warrior from the underwater city of Serus. He is a masterful aquatic warrior who can swim underwater for hours. His people have developed a sophisticated marine technology. and Hydron brings this expertise to the Master's cause. He can also communicate with certain variates of marine life.

    ICARIUS – Icarius is a ???? from the floating city of Levitan. He is a master of aerial combat and is more at home in the air than on land. With his jet powered wings he is a most capable ally.

    VIZAR – Vizar comes from the underground city of Onnor. He is a skilled tunneller and can blast his way through most materials. He is a master spy and can blast in and out of any fortress.

    Nocturna – This noble warrior is schooled in a different discipline - even as old as that of the Masters themselves. He can sneak into the middle of the enemy camp in the middle of the night unnoticed and disarm his opponent? without their knowledge.

    In addition to these living allies, He-Ro still has the Javelon, the vehicle Man-at-Arms built for him so long ago. This versatile? space craft carries him and his loyal followers through space to meet SkeleTeen on his own ground.

    MOTUC NA Most Wanted: Darius, Kayo, Vizar, Hoove, Lizorr

    Wanted:
    Trade my Red Stone He-Ro Staff for a Green one
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    Heroic Warrior wayne-klops's Avatar
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    Truly fascinating to read this! Thank you much for sharing.
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    Heroic Warrior He-Kal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Jokubas View Post
    Wow, this is pretty crazy.

    Also, it kinda backs up something I've been saying about New Adventures since I first watched it years ago.

    I've always said that New Adventures felt like a random late 80's/early 90's sci-fi show with the He-Man name slapped on it at the last minute to help sell it, but discovered that is was always to be pitched as a Masters of the Universe show. This finally explains that. Even before that, it was supposed to be a Masters of the Universe show, but one intentionally removed in time and space. Having it be all new characters and places, with the original characters making cameos that are difficult for them, explains that disconnect.

    Note: I'm not saying New Adventures is bad or doesn't belong in the franchise, just that its tone and setting were so far removed from anything that had come before it, and the connections to the previous shows were tenuous.
    Yep, that's how I feel too. If NA had had more connections to the Filmation toon. it ouls have gone over alot better I'm sure...

  17. #17
    King of Eternia Cringer_luvr's Avatar
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    All very cool stuff, but please for the love of MOTU dont use the name Skeleteen.....EVER.
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    Heroic Warrior Wonder Princess's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing this with those of us who missed "Storytime".
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  19. #19
    He-Man.org Forum Admin TheShadow's Avatar
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    It seriously felt like the ultimate story hour as Danielle read the bible aloud. It was very cool of Scott to bring it to the Power Party and let us look at it, even if we couldn't understandably Xerox it with our iPhones. My favorite part was incantation "By the power of the ancient Masters... I am He-Ro!". I really wish they would have used this in the actual New Adventures over "By the power of Eternia!".

    Quote Originally Posted by LORD FALLEN ELDOR View Post

    Couple easy questions:

    Author?

    Date?

    Page count?

    Number of Pics?

    Word count estimate?
    Danielle will probably recall more but there definitely was no author listed. We looked it up and down for that. The pictures were mostly just stock of the characters mentioned in the bible, Starship Eternia, and a Filmation He-Man in there.

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  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior Thunderkill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cringer_luvr View Post
    All very cool stuff, but please for the love of MOTU dont use the name Skeleteen.....EVER.
    I was just thinking the same thing lol! I really like this pitch, but that did grate on me!
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    Hero of Eternia zodak74's Avatar
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    All of this just blew my mind! Thanks for sharing
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  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior Wolfman Jake's Avatar
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    Very interesting, indeed! I kind of like this take a little better in some ways than the eventual New Adventures of He-Man series we got from Jetlag. Oh, what could have been! Also, I appreciate any take on He-Man's world where the writers understand that MOTU icons like Man-At-Arms are not supposed to die by being magically turned into a weresnake and then impailed through the chest with an oversized pair of blunt pliers. Tsk, tsk, Scott!

    On another note, who wants to bet we'll see some of these more interesting concepts played out in the upcoming "The Fall of Eternia" mini comics?
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  23. #23
    Heroic Warrior Rodster6's Avatar
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    So interesting reading about the potential avenues MOTU could have taken. Kinda frustrating and sad we never got to see all these ideas come to fruition.

  24. #24
    Loco Motu Vato ehenyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cringer_luvr View Post
    All very cool stuff, but please for the love of MOTU dont use the name Skeleteen.....EVER.
    Agreed. Wasn't that the name used in this year's .org April fools joke? Sounds like we dodged a bullet with that pitch.
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  25. #25
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Arkangel's Avatar
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    absolutely amazing! Moar news from the past!

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