Some very sad news today, as Variety has reported that Scooby-Doo writer Duane Poole has passed away. Duane was 74, and passed away on April 1 after a long battle with cancer. Duane was one of the main writers for season 1 of The Scooby-Doo Show, and wrote Scooby Goes Hollywood. He was also a story editor for The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, and wrote "Shiver and Shake, That Demon's a Snake!" and "Lock the Door, It's a Minotaur."
Besides his work on Scooby, he also wrote for tons of other Hanna-Barbera shows and other cartoons, including A Flintstones Christmas, The Great Grape Ape, The Smurfs, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, C.H.O.M.P.S., and Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Duane went to the University of Washington. His first job was working for King World Productions, but he moved to Los Angeles when he received a job offer to be a writer at Hanna-Barbera Studios. Poole also worked with the team of the popular show The Love Boat. In his later years, Poole moved on to write TV movies and theatrical productions. You can see all the animation, TV, movies and theatrical projects that he wrote on his website here.
While I'm always sad when an influential person who has worked on Scooby dies, this one hits particularly hard for me as Duane is actually a Scooby-Doo writer that I have gotten the honor of talking to, and I did an interview with him for the blog only about a year ago. Duane was super nice, and admittedly, it was one of my favorite interviews I have done for the site. Duane seemed like such a nice, down-to-Earth guy, and it was so much fun getting to hear about all of his experiences writing for various Scooby-Doo projects.
Duane was an influential figure for the franchise, whom without, we would not have the amazing series that is The Scooby-Doo Show season 1, The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, and Scooby Goes Hollywood. RIP Duane, you will be greatly missed!
Hallmark has just announced that they are releasing a collectible Scooby-Doo ornament for the 2023 holiday season. The ornament is named "Frightened Friends" and features Shaggy in Scooby-Doo's arms. The ornament will be released on October 14, 2023, and will be $20.99. Here's the official description:
Scare up some laughs and relive the mystery and adventure with Scooby-Doo and friends with this fun Christmas tree ornament. You can almost hear Scooby exclaiming "Ruh-roh-raggy!" when you hang this design featuring the mystery-solving canine holding his pal Shaggy, with both featuring expressions that look like they just saw a ghost.
Fun Fact of the Week #449
"The Spooky Case of the Grand Prix Race" is perhaps one of the most obscure instances of a Scooby episode not being released on home media. However, I recently discovered the episode was released exclusively on VHS in Italy in 1996 as Scooby-Doo! Il Gran Premio. The bonus episode on the VHS is another unreleased episode of The Scooby-Doo Show, "Creepy Cruise." The VHS was also released in Greece. Here's a picture of the back cover:
Weekly Poll #174
It was a close race last week between two of the most beloved Scrappy episodes, but one of them just barely edged the other one out! Here are last week's results:
Happy Birthday, Scooby-Doo! - 12
A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle - 11
The Nutcracker Scoob - 7
Ghosts of the Ancient Astronauts - 5
Scoo Be or Not Scoo Be? - 4
Sherlock Doo - 3
Night of the Living Toys - 2
South Pole Vault - 2
A Night Louse at the White House - 2
Showboat Scooby - 2
Scooby's Peep Hole Pandemonium - 1
The Hand of Horror - 1
The Stoney Glare Stare - 1
The Dooby Dooby Doo Ado - 1
0 votes: Mission Un-Doo-Able, The Bee Team, A Code in the Nose, Doom Service, A Scary Duel with a Cartoon Ghoul, and EIEIO
A 20-second short mashing up Scooby-Doo and Looney Tunes has been released to WB Kids' official YouTube page. The short is titled "Acme Fools." You can check out this short in the video above.
Fun Fact of the Week #448
The 2004 Scooby-Doo Internet game Horror on the High Seas started with a cut scene of Shaggy and Scooby waking up on a cruise ship with a pirate ship next to them, without us knowing how they got there. However, it was recently uncovered that the game originally had a much longer original cut scene at the beginning that was removed before the game came out. This one minute long lost cut scene gave backstory to how Shaggy and Scooby became trapped on the boat. It also mentioned that Fred, Velma and Daphne were in Transylvania solving a mystery at a castle, which gave a backstory to why they do not appear in the game. It is unknown why the original cut scene was removed, but it can be watched in the YouTube video above. Thanks to Becker for coming up with the idea for this week's fun fact!
Weekly Poll #173
Happy Easter to anybody celebrating today! We had a bit more of an even spread this time with the votes compared to last week, but one episode still blew all the others out of the water. Our winner got over double the amount of votes of any other option.
Wedding Bell Boos - 13
Scoobygeist - 6
Hound of the Scoobyvilles - 5
The Mark of Scooby - 3
The Creature Came from Chem Lab - 3
Where's Scooby-Doo? - 3
Wizards and Warlocks - 2
Who's Minding the Monster? - 2
The Crazy Carnival Caper - 2
No Sharking Zone - 2
The Dinosaur Deception - 1
The Quagmire Quake Caper - 1
Scoobsie - 1
Scooby the Barbarian - 1
No Thanks, Masked Manx - 1
Scooby Roo - 1
0 votes: Scooby a la Mode, Scooby of the Jungle, Scooby-Doo and Cyclops Too, The Fall Dog, The Scooby Coupe, Scooby and the Minotaur, Scooby Pinch Hits, Scooby's Gold Medal Gambit
I have never been a huge video game person, so I admittedly have not played every single Scooby-Doo video game out there. What I was a huge fan of when I was younger though were the Scooby-Doo Flash games on Cartoon Network's website. I recently decided to play a few of these that I found online on a whim, although most of them are sadly not playable anymore. While the Kids' WB games of the late 2000s/early 2010s were enjoyable, I was reminded of how well-made those Cartoon Network games were, and they pretty much blow all the Kids' WB games out of the water quality-wise with the exception of three, which I will get to over the course of this article. I thought about doing rankings, but like I mentioned in a post from January, I'd kind of like to have more of a balance where I'm not just doing rankings all the time for every article, as some of the editorial and research articles have been my favorite things to write for the blog. Thus, I decided to make this a Flash Game appreciation article to talk about the quality of the games and my memories of playing them, and I will mention specific games I enjoyed as I go.
Scooby Trap was probably my favorite of those early 2000s games, and I remember playing it a lot when I was a kid. This was one of the games I was able to find again online, and decided to play, and it was just as much fun as I remembered. The objective of the game is pretty simple: playing as Scooby-Doo, you have to find the gang, but you have to make your way through a maze of obstacles and villains. One of my favorite parts of the game is that they used all the old Where Are You villains, including the Phantom, Frankenstein's Monster, the Werewolf, Vampire Bats, the Witch and Zombie, and the Giggling Green Ghosts. They easily could have made some cheesy no-effort villain, so the fact they used all of those classic Where Are You villains is cool to me; it shows they wanted to put effort into the game. The backgrounds are all super well-designed and even if they're simple, they are quite effective in terms of their spookiness. I also really like the music, and it's probably my favorite background music in any Scooby-Doo video game ever.
None of the monsters or obstacles are hard to get around, you simply have to jump on the monsters once and they will dissolve into dust. It is honestly more of a game of hand-eye coordination than anything, since I wouldn't say any part of the game is really hard. It's just a matter of jumping over things at exactly the right moment, otherwise you will die. That makes it so much more addictive, because if you do screw up, it makes you want to play again because your mess-up could have so easily been avoided. If you are unlucky enough to die from one of the slicing or crushing devices in the game, you also get to see the morbid sight of Scooby being maimed.
There's also a glitch in level 8 that's kind of frustrating if you forget about it, where if you don't jump up onto a box, Scooby will get stuck in some weird undefined hole, but you won't die. However, you are essentially dead because the game just freezes at that point, and there's nothing you can do to unfreeze it. I have a lot of good memories playing this as a kid, and I'd say this is close to my favorite Scooby-Doo Internet game.
There are a few others that I enjoyed such as Bayou Scooby-Doo, in which you had to maneuver Scooby up and down, who is tied to a rope at the end of a boat for some reason, to avoid various monsters and obstacles. Scooby-Doo and the Creepy Castle is another one I remember well, where you have to stop a ghost king from scaring you by picking up various objects around the castle and putting them in the right place to trap him. It always amused me that the key to stopping him is just a cheap cage, as you're literally doing things to him like conking him over the head with a bowling ball or electrocuting him with lightning, yet somehow a cage stops him when that other stuff doesn't haha. I remember playing them a lot in my childhood, but I can't say they have quite as much appeal to me in adulthood since they're pretty simple.
One game I really liked that I wish I had access to again is The Haunted World of Scooby-Doo. It took me forever to find one of the levels, The Zombies of the South, because the Adobe Shockwave plugin was broken on the Cartoon Network site forever and I think I ended up having to find it on another country's Boomerang site. Although this game was very simple, it was really fun because it was luck-based in the same way Scooby Trap was. There were four levels, which I'll briefly go through. The Pirates of the North involved you having to manuever a boat without hitting anything in order to rescue Shaggy. Despite how easy that sounds, it was actually quite difficult, and took me months to beat because of how unwieldily the boat moved and how narrow the path was (see above) haha. The Zombies of the South, the one with the broken plug-in, was similarly hard. I don't really remember much about it, but it had to do with moving Scooby around a haunted mansion in a zombie apocalypse (the villain was the zombie from "Which Witch Is Which?), and I think it took me a while to beat that level as well. Level 3, The Ghosts of the West, was the only one of these levels to feature a new villain that was not from Where Are You. The objective of the game was that you had to catch up to a ghost cowboy that had captured Velma without hitting obstacles on the road. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I honestly never was able to beat this level lol. It was so difficult to get around the obstacles and catch up to the ghost cowboy, and I ultimately lost every time I played it haha. This was the only Scooby game I remember that I could never beat, and it frustrated me to no end lol. Level 4, The Haunting of the East, was oddly the easiest level and I feel like I was able to beat this every time, whereas level 1 and 2 were far harder to beat. The level centered around having to rescue Fred and Daphne from Zen Tuo and his snakes. Like Scooby Trap, the fact that they were so luck-based made them kind of addictive.
Attack of the Vampire Pumpkinheads is another fun skill-based one. The objective of the game is about as simple as it gets. The gang is captured by the Vampire Pumpkinhead, and you have to rescue them by running up the stairs and opening the door that they are trapped in. However, the Vampire Pumpkinhead is throwing pumpkins at you as you try to do that, so you have to jump over them. It's another one of those games that feels like it should be so simple, yet the pumpkins are such an annoyance that it makes it difficult. This game also notably includes some pre-live action film Scrappy bashing, as if you open a door that has Scrappy standing in the doorway, you have to shut the door to rescue the rest of the gang.
Two games I wish I remembered more about that I liked are Hollywood Horror and The Ghosts of Pirate Beach. These were the other two Flash games I loved in my childhood, but I don't remember much about them anymore. I watched a bit of a walkthrough and refreshed my memory a tad, and Hollywood Horror had two parts. One part featured you trying to make your way through the cemetery and finding clues, and then with part 2, you had to find clues in a room while avoiding the Hollywood Horror (which was the Giggling Green Ghost with a different name). Notably, it included Daphne's Uncle Maxwell from "Never Ape an Ape Man," which I thought was super cool! The Ghosts of Pirate Beach was a cool game in the sense that you got to solve the mystery as the player, where you had to dig around the beach and find clues, then make your way through a cave and capture Redbeard (the pirate may have been renamed, but it had the same design).
These last two weren't Flash games, but they are notable to Scooby-Doo history. In 2004, WB released the game Horror on the High Seas, which is a story game with cut scenes. The plot focuses on Shaggy and Scooby going on a cruise which is hijacked by a ghost pirate, and they have to solve the mystery. One of the cool things about this game series is that these cut scenes feature original animation, and even have dialogue recorded from Scott Innes as Shaggy and Scooby. For an Internet game, that level of detail is awesome and I wish they would have made a lot more of these games. In between the cut scenes, there are various levels where you have to pick up various items to help you escape. Even though I like the luck games like I mentioned in previous paragraphs, I also really enjoy adventure games like this one. The downside is that it's pretty easy to remember the steps and order you have to do things in once you've done it, but for a first time play, it's a lot of fun figuring out what clues you're supposed to pick up and the creative ways that you have to use them to escape. There are four episodes to the game, and each of them have around three levels. The final level of episode 4 has you capture and unmask the villain. This game is really neat in the sense it lets the player go through all the steps of solving a mystery. I also have to appreciate the level of detail put into each of the levels, and the fact that they created original characters and villains.
Two years later, a sequel to the game, Mayan Monster Mayhem was released. The game centers around Shaggy and Scooby trying to find a hot chili pepper, but running into the Mayan Mayhem, which is a creepy ancient ghoul. Certain levels of this game are a bit more skill-based than the last one, as there are levels where you have to dodge obstacles and it's more about luck than following steps or finding clues. One thing that strikes me particularly about this game is the dark tone the game somehow manages to create with the creepy music and atmosphere, which is awesome. The second episode, Creepy Cave Cave-In is the most strikingly dark level, and I would say it gets about to the level of The Scooby-Doo Show. While I don't want to diss any of the other Scooby online games that came after this, because they were great, it makes me a little sad that they started pumping out low-quality games like Jinkies Jelly Factory (which was essentially just a Scooby-Doo version of Candy Crush Saga) and such post-2010, because the quality and level of detail put into these story-based ones are amazing. I would say the last good game they put out was Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra Doo, which was kinda neat in the sense that you had to trap the various villains from Abracadabra Doo in creative ways (although it still doesn't get to the level of quality in this).
They put out a third and final story-based game, Haunts for the Holidays, around Christmastime in the late 2000s (I'm not sure on the exact year). That one was almost entirely skill-based though, and it just involved avoiding obstacles and hiding from the ghosts. I attempted to play these again, and the first two episodes had glitches where the controls did not function properly and thus they were unplayable. There was a little bit of a "follow the steps"-based for a few of the levels, such as one where you have to turn off switches and find a door in a dark room, and another where you have to navigate the backstage area of the theater. The cut scenes were fun to watch, but the game wasn't quite as enjoyable as it was noticeably lower quality than the previous two.
The final game I wanted to talk about was not a Flash game, but it was the final Scooby-Doo game put onto the Cartoon Network website before they removed all the games when Adobe Shockwave and Flash became obsolete. Crystal Cove Online was the most memorable of the Scooby games, and that's because there was so much detail put into it. The game was based around Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, and a new level was released every week the day after each episode aired. The detail put into the levels was immaculate, and they essentially mirrored the general plot of each episode almost exactly. A few parts were removed because it wouldn't have worked well for gameplay, but overall, each level was a full episode walkthrough where you got to play your way through the mystery of the week. The dialogue was shortened and was basically a short summary of what happened, since obviously tons of talking wouldn't make for very enjoyable gameplay. However, there was some dialogue that was added, and there were even Easter Eggs at points, such as one point in the "In Fear of the Phantom" sidequest where Red Herring from A Pup Named Scooby-Doo is mentioned. Each level would rework parts of the episode where you had to go on a quest to find whatever items were needed to solve the mystery, and along the way, you'd have to defeat the villain's minions, such as sewer rats for the Swamp Monster, gators for the Gator People, etc. Some of these side-villains were really unique, such as Evil Robot Monkeys playing drums for the Phantom, and living bear rugs for the Shadowy Figure. Once you'd completed the quest and made your way to the end of the episode, there'd be a boss fight in which you had to defeat that week's villain to solve the mystery and unmask them. There was a level for every episode through season 1, and at the end of the game, there was a bonus mystery not included in the show where you had to defeat seven of the old villains.
I really wish they would have continued the game for season 2, but I guess they didn't want to put the resources into making another season of it. I think this could have been for a number of reasons, such as the fact that the episodes were airing every weekday would mean they'd also be posting levels every day, which might be a bit much. The plot might have also gotten hard to adapt into game form as the season progressed and became less mystery-of-the-week focused. "Stop the apocalypse" also would have been a tough objective to complete in the final episode haha. More likely though, they probably just didn't want to put the resources into making another season of levels, since it seemed they kinda gave up on the series when they crammed it into a mid-day weekday timeslot when most kids would be in school. Nonetheless, I thought the level of detail and world building put into this game was immaculate, and it leaves stuff like Jinkies Jelly Factory and Recycle Round Up quaking in its boots lol.
If you're interested, there is an archived page on the site that documents all the different details of Crystal Cove Online.
I think the days of WB investing in online games like this is likely done, since the nature of online games has significantly changed in the past several decades with most games being apps on phones, and I'm presuming WB doesn't want to invest the money in developing entire apps for Scooby-Doo games.
I have no idea if anybody even remembers these games as they are a more obscure piece of Scooby media, but I wanted to do an appreciation post of them after running across them again recently. I definitely miss how high-quality these early 2000s games were, especially in comparison to the cheaply made Kids WB games of the late 2000s and early 2010s. I hope you enjoyed this little blast from the past if you happen to remember these games!
Fun Fact of the Week #447
Alex Super from "Mamba Wamba and the Voodoo Hoodoo" (The Scooby-Doo Show) was voiced by Mickey Dolenz. This is particularly interesting and notable because Mickey was in a famous 1960s band, The Monkees, with another famous Scooby-Doo guest star, Davy Jones, who guest starred in The New Scooby-Doo Movies ("The Haunted Horseman of Hagglethorn Hall").
Weekly Poll #172
Our results for last week's poll were kind of weird, because our winner only got four votes in total! It seems there was no real consensus for which setting was the best, and votes were all over the place. Also, since there are 99 options, I'm not going type out a list of all the options that got no votes and I'm only including the episodes that were voted for. If it's not on this list, it means that nobody voted for it.
A Fit Night Out for Bats - 4
Scooby's Luck of the Irish - 3
Alaskan King Coward - 3
Swamp Witch - 2
Waxworld - 2
The Old Cat and Mouse Game - 2
Soggy Bog Scooby - 2
Moonlight Madness - 2
A Fright at the Opera - 2
The Maltese Mackerel - 2
Scooby Ghosts West - 1
A Close Encounter with a Strange Kind - 1
Mummy's the Word - 1
Scooby's Three Ding A Ling Circus - 1
Scooby's Bull Fright - 1
Scooby at the Center of the World - 1
Lighthouse Keeper Scooby - 1
Scooby Saves the World - 1
Punk Rock Scooby - 1
Scooby and the Beanstalk - 1
Double Trouble Date - 1
Comic Book Caper - 1
Scooby-Doo and Genie Poo - 1
Captain Canine Caper - 1
The Incredible Cat Lady Caper - 1
Up a Crazy River - 1
Snow Job Too Small - 1
~ WildwindVampire ~