M.A.S.K: The Series Finale

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Brief Synopsis:
VENOM has stolen the statue of liberty and discovered the true identity of M.A.S.K leader Matt Tracker. With the fate of an important American symbol and M.A.S.K itself under threat, can Matt and the team hold it together and prevent VENOM from taking everything and everyone they know apart?
I have, over the years, long desired to give M.A.S.K proper closure, I recently had a notion for that, using the season one episode “Eyes Of The Skull”, it’s so good and would have made a brilliant last chapter if not for the big reset at the end…which doesn’t matter anyway because by the racing season Matt and M.A.S.K are public knowledge, and Miles is tied to M.A.S.K’s creation.

So if a ‘finale’ must be made, I had considered portions of both episodes, the lion’s share of ‘Eyes of the Skull’ but without the reset ending, a fragment of “For One Shining Moment”, up until the hand shake, but cut around any references to Matt having a public connection, or Miles being involved with M.A.S.K and working with Matt.

Sounds easy right? Some of it was, but ultimately I was left dissatisfied, it just did not connect all that well. It’s all too evident these are different shows and too much goes unexplained.

This is one of those instances where you just have to ignore things you don’t find all that bad and focus on where the strengths of the franchise lie, and that’s in the original 65 episode run. Combine “Eyes of the Skull” with another episode from the run that comes the closest to a climax for the show. Not so hard a task as you imagine, as I’ve edited the episode best suited for this mission before to make it more ‘climatic’, that being Assault on Liberty.

Combining the majority of “Skull” with “Liberty”‘s first act and all of it’s third works so much better, and the reset endings of both are just as easy to snip off.

So that’s it, after working ‘overtime’ (two nights and seven drafts), M.A.S.K have finished fighting crime. Hope you enjoy their efforts as well as mine
Other Sources:
Kideo Video VHS Opening borrowed from Youtube.
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I also specially filtered it so it resembles an authentic VHS copy.
Cuts and Additions:
-Inserted "Crystal Skull" scene to the one set in Kennedy's PN office
-Removed Cornfield battle
-Removed Miles Mayhem surviving the destruction of Switchblade and vowing revenge on M.A.S.K

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(Updated: July 10, 2022)
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My own minor history with M.A.S.K:

MASK was a big deal when it first hit the toy world in 1985. In fact I still have a few of the toy items here in the house. I also remember watching the cartoon and assumed I may have recorded at least some of it on Betamax (which means the tape must also still be with me).

However this is where things for myself get blurry. I definitely know I stopped watching the cartoon or may have seen it from time to time. Likewise with an exception here and there I would check out the toy line if I went into the toy store (mostly KayBee). I cannot recall if the cartoon was aimed to be a bit more "kiddish" than say how Marvel/Sunbow (G.I.Joe/Transformrers) would allow some kiddish factor, but not overly so. Whatever the case was, in the end I had no idea the show lasted 75 episodes and that some of the toys could still be found on the shelves well into the early to mid 90's (which is how I found the super rare Laser Command series 4 set at a ToysRus).

So, when I saw that Zarius had made a series finale for the show, this obviously caught my interest. The show has had a few complete series dvd releases around the world. In a nutshell the US region 1 Shout factory set only released the first 65 since they could not quire the rights to the second season 10 episodes. However pretty much every overseas release (UK/New Zealand and Australia) released all 75, though in PAL format. So if you need to have it all, best hunt down one of those sets. However for quality you may want the US region 1 set since it would not have any of the combing and blended frames that are usually horribly introduced in many animation when converted to PAL format

Many episodic cartoon shows back then would occasionally have a "movie" sometimes original and other times made of different episodes with occasional new animation thrown in to tie it all together.

Zarius has decided that he would gives us as close as possible to a series finale using various episodes. I must say it does work though he even admitted to not being the full closure he would have wanted. Video and audio were fine and it runs just a snip longer than a normal episode would have. In fact this would have been made as a two parter due to the 36min runtime. It also jarred my memory a bit. I had always thought Miles Mayhem who was originally part of the Mask project always knew it was Matt Tracker who leading the team. Evidently I had this info wrong based on the edit I just watched.

I originally had two minor gripes, but one was solved when checking out other episodes- evidently they never had episode title screens (something I didn't remember prior).. This brings it to one minor quibble with a potential spoiler. I am sure somewhere in the series the words of "Venom" or "Mayhem" and the words of "is finished" were spoken by Matt Tracker. If you put the wording together so it says "Mayhem is finished" or "Venom is finished" after Mayhem's helicopter is shown to explode without him escaping, it would have further helped with the closure. The words could have been overlaid as the copter blows up.

All in all it was a nice closeout for a series which never had a true final episode

It should be noted the encode is technically Pal format whith a 25fps rate

lastly as an unrelated side note they did (many years later) make the MASK team a side off shoot from G.I.Joe with a Matt tracker figure being released as part of the Joe line in 2008 (Hasbro's acquisition of Kenner helped with this). On his file card they made sure to mention he helps with the special vehicle creation and likewise Venom helping design machines for Cobra
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