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The Gamesmaster

24th of 55 episodes in Sunbow season 1. Written by Flint Dille. First aired October 21, 1985.

Previous episode: Twenty Questions
Next episode: The Greenhouse Effect

A large, reclusive manchild grows bored on his island of candy and toys, so he sends his robot minions to kidnap Flint, Lady Jaye, the Baroness, and Cobra Commander. The captives wake up in a giant nursery and soon find themselves pursued by life-sized toy soldiers with real weapons. They are told they are in a game whose object is to reach a one-person escape helicopter; those left behind will die. Meanwhile, G.I. Joe and Cobra blame each other for the disappearances. Cobra captures Ace and the Joes corner Zartan in their efforts to recover their missing personnel.

As the captives struggle to cooperate, Flint falls to one of the Gamesmaster's traps and is taken back to the main complex, presumed dead. He confronts the Gamesmaster and is able to get a message to Joe Headquarters before being recaptured. G.I. Joe and Cobra mount a joint assault on the island, led by Duke and Destro. The day is won, but the Gamesmaster escapes and the Joe/Cobra alliance is short-lived due to Cobra Commander's irrational suspicions.

Appearing Cast and Equipment

Featured Characters
Flint318 seconds31 linescaptured in elevator, hunted on Gamesmaster's island
Lady Jaye260 seconds19 linescaptured while shopping, hunted on Gamesmaster's island
Cobra Commander258 seconds21 linescaptured at procession, hunted on Gamesmaster's island
Baroness227 seconds10 linescaptured in hot tub, hunted on Gamesmaster's island
Duke128 seconds18 linesat HQ; in A.W.E. Striker to capture Zartan; in Skystriker for island battle
Destro123 seconds19 linesat procession; in H.I.S.S. capturing Ace, proposing joint mission; in Rattler for island battle
Ace85 seconds10 linesin Skystriker over Greenland, captured, at HQ, in Skystriker for island battle
Gung-Ho85 seconds7 linesin A.W.E. Striker to capture Zartan; parachuting and with Duke for island battle
Zartan80 seconds6 linescaptured in swamp lab raid; with Scarlett during island battle
Scarlett24 seconds2 linesat HQ; prepared A.W.E. Striker for swamp lab raid; with Zartan during island battle
Breaker20 seconds3 lineson radio to Ace; at HQ to trace Flint's signal; present after island battle
Background Characters
Torpedo37 seconds (silent)several Joes in Torpedo's outfit raid Zartan's lab; it's unclear whether any is actually Torpedo
Barbecue4 seconds (silent)present after island battle
Alpine3 seconds (silent)present after island battle
Troops Appearing
Cobra53 seconds at Cobra Commander's procession; in HISSes; parachuting and with Destro during island battle
Crimson Guard27 seconds with Destro at procession; securing Joes at swamp lab
Tele-Viper26 seconds2 linesat Cobra Commander's procession; reporting to Destro; present after island battle
Greenshirt14 seconds parachuting and on foot for island battle
Snow Serpent13 seconds1 linesighting Ace's Skystriker; Cobra Commander escorted out by robots in Snow Serpent gear
A.V.A.C.8 seconds at Cobra Commander's procession; present after island battle
Eel4 seconds at Cobra Commander's procession
Vehicles Appearing
Skystriker71 seconds shot down over Greenland; used in island battle
Rattler32 seconds used in island battle
H.I.S.S.18 seconds at Cobra Commander's procession; used to capture Ace
A.W.E. Striker11 seconds used to raid Zartan's swamp lab
Non-Toy Characters: The Gamesmaster, Coco, various mechanical minions
Non-Toy Equipment: Flint's car, Joe cargo plane, Cobra cargo plane, various toy armaments

Misc. Notes

  • On the DVDs from Shout! Factory, this episode is included in the Season 1.2 set (Disc 6, Episode 7).
  • The third act begins with a shot of the Greenland base being patroled by white H.I.S.S. tanks, anticipating the eventual release of the Arctic H.I.S.S. (though with normal cannon turrets).
  • Uniquely, this episode features several Joes (including Duke and Gung-Ho) in diving outfits of the sort usually worn by Torpedo, instead of the usual bright yellow suits - which presumably would be out of place on a night-time stealth mission.