(1982/Animated/Arts Alliance DVD)
FulvueDrive-In.com – DVD Review
Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: B Episodes: A+
It is the 16th century, explorers from all over the world journey to the New World, the America in search of fame and fortune, El Dorado, the City of Gold. Join Esteban, Zia and Tao in their adventure in their search for the lost cities. Both Esteban and Zia are looking for their father, while Tao is the last descendent of the Hiva tribe. As they try and find their way they are joined with Mendoza, a
navigator, Sancho and Pedro, together they brave the dangers of the New World, while looking for clues to the Cities of gold. With the aid of the Golden Condor they face the unknown mysteries all the while being chased by the gold hungry Spaniards, Indians and other dangers.
Mysterious Cities Of Gold – The Complete Series is classical, it takes a mixture of South America history, culture, and legends and blends it into a great tale. It takes the legend of the Cities of Gold and ties it in with many of Indian cultures of the Maya, Inca and Olmecs, the stories are filled with the wonders of their cultures. The story unfolds with the 3 children, while they are not driven by the desire to search for gold; almost everyone else is after the gold. All 3 of the children possess the keys in which lead to the cities of gold, they end up more often running, hiding, protecting themselves from the gold hunters. As they journey on they discover ancient ruins that were build by a mysterious advance race, they even find a flying Golden Condor. As they search for the City of Gold, they uncover what happen in the past and with each new clue leads them closer to the City of Gold.
I remember watching this series when I was child, it is a great series and is a must buy. I especially enjoyed how they link the ancient Indian mysteries to the lost continent of Atlantis. How can ancient Indians build hundreds of temples in far away and hidden places without any machine, animals or wheels? Many of the cultures and legends still are mysteries to even the sciences of today, how did they do it without machines, and where did they disappear to? As the series progress it makes you just want to pick up a book and find out more about the South America and the legends. At the end of each episode there is even a brief history talk about the culture, land, it is people that gave birth to the legend of El Dorado.
Episode descriptions follow, but as you go further down, beware of spoilers….
Episode 1: Esteban, Child of the Sun
Esteban, an orphan who has the ability to call out the sun is told that he was discover at sea near the New World, and decides to stowaway with Mendoza to search his father.
Episode 2: Crossing the Atlantic
Esteban meets Zia, an Inca girl and they become friends, they learn they both have similar medallions and that the Spaniards want use them to find the Cities of Gold.
Episode 3: Heroes Again
Mendoza spends 4 days and nights navigating the ship through the Straits of Magelian, but just as the pass they run into a storm and the ship is endanger from being torn to shreds.
Episode 4: Adrift on the Endless Sea
Mendoza manages to rescue Esteban and Zia as the ship falls apart, and as the ship breaks apart they manage to build a raft. Adrift at sea with shark in the water, all seems lost until Esteban sees a seagull, finding land nearby.
Episode 5: The Abduction of Zia
After landing on the island, Zia is abducted by a Tao the last descendent of ancient but advance race the Hiva. Esteban chases after Zia and meets Tao for the first time.
Episode 6: The Ship Solaris
After making friends with Tao, they discover the ship Solaris in a hidden temple, a ship with mysterious powers left by Tao’s people.
Episode 7: Secret of the Solaris
With a ship again Esteban, Zia, and Tao sail for the New World, but soon chased by the greedy Spaniards, can they unlock the secret of the Solaris before it is too late?
Episode 8: The New Continent
Esteban and the others are captured by Pizarro and his men. Pizarro try and force Zia to read a golden quipu and reveal the location of the City of Gold. The group manages to escape in the night.
Episode 9: The End of the Solaris
The Spaniards capture the Solaris, and threaten to shoot and kill the Indian prisoners unless they give Zia up. Tao sneak aboard the Solaris and self destruct the Solaris, saving the people, but sinking both the Solaris and the Spaniards ship.
Episode 10: Secret of the Temple
Esteban and sneak through the underground passage they discover an Inca temple and an old Indian over 100 years old, who helps them escape Pizarro and his men by destroying the ice pillar which held up the temple.
Episode 11: Messengers of the Gods
The children heads to Zia’s village, but only to find it abandoned and Spaniards are were waiting for them, they are rescue by two Indians and are taken to the High Peak Indians.
Episode 12: Secret of the Medallions
Esteban, Zia and Tao arrive at the High Peak and help defend it for the Spaniards. They meet the Chief who reveals them Esteban and Zia’s medallions are the keys to the City of Gold.
Episode 13: Mystery of the Parents
As the children search for more clues to the location of the City of Gold, Esteban meets an old man whom may have known his father.
Episode 14: Esteban’s Medallion
Tao figures out where the first City of Gold is, but first they must recover Esteban’s medallion from Mendoza.
Episode 15: The Subterranean Secret
The Spaniards have finally broken into High Peak, Esteban, Tao, and Zia escapes into an underground tunnel and searches for a way out.
Episode 16: The Urubus
The group heads out to towards the City of Gold, but are soon attacked by Urubus tribe, a tribe of fierce giants.
Episode 17: The Great Condor
The group head toward the mountains of Pacha Mama through the Valley of the Dead, there they discover a temple and inside they find a giant golden condor.
Episode 18: Maiden Flight of the Great Condor
Having found the Golden Condor, Esteban and friends suddenly feel the Earth tremble and realize the temple was built on a Volcano. As the mountain erupts the temple is destroyed, they climb into the Golden Condor and it begins to fly.
Episode 19: The Nazca Plateau
The Golden Condor lands in the plateau and are captured by Pizarro, who demands Esteban to show him how the Golden Condor works. As Esteban demonstrates, thanks to Mendoza’s quick thinking they escape Pizarro again.
Episode 20: The Spaniards Cannon
Esteban and his friends return the High Peak to find the Spaniards are bringing their cannons to Machu Picchu, but with the Golden Condor they stop them. The Spaniards try to use gunpowder to blast their way through, but instead cause an avalanche and seals the way to Machu Picchu.
Episode 21: The Amazons
The Golden Condor flies over the Amazon and is forced to crash, Esteban and his friends are captured by the Amazon tribe, and is almost sacrificed to the Rain God. Esteban saves them by calling out the sun and the Queen of the Amazons decides spares them.
Episode 22: The Mirror of the Moon
The Priestess of the Amazons was angry there was no sacrifice, and plots to overthrow the Queen of the Amazons. But thanks to Tao, he manages to stop her plot. But then the Priestess leads the man tribe to attack the Amazons, but the Queen uses her mirror to help raise the Golden Condor and Esteban uses the Golden Condor stop the man tribe.
Episode 23: The Jade mask
The Golden Condor flies to the land of the Mayas, but sudden lands and the group finds themselves in an abandoned city, the only clue is found in a strange room with a jade mask, suddenly the room starts to shift and move.
Episode 24: The Manuscript
The children are captured, but Mendoza rescues them but then they are forced to separate as they escape. The children discover a manuscript that the City of Gold location can be found in 3 manuscripts hidden in various ancient cities.
Episode 25: The Lake of Gold
The children anger a tribe of Indians when they discover their lake with gold on the bottom and are to be sacrificed to their Gods. Once again they are rescued by Mendoza when he breaks the dam to free lake.
Episode 26: The Swamps
Esteban and his friends crosses mountains, desserts and swamps, but must face natures danger. Alligators and other animals, the final manage to cross the swamp and discover a statue.
Episode 27: The Doors of Night
As the group of friends wander through the mountain side they find a passage and it leads to the 2 city with a manuscript, but what deadly traps await them inside the temple?
Episode 28: The Forrest of Statues
The 3rd city is beyond the forest of statues, Esteban and rest go for a wild ride down the river rapids and down a huge waterfall, but in a hidden cave behind the waterfall they find the final temple with the last manuscript, the City of Gold is with their grasp.
Episode 29: The Burning Shield
The group heads toward the mountain/volcano of the Burning Shield, there they are discover and captured by the mysterious race of the Olmecs, they seem to have advance technologies, harnessing the power of the sun and the earth, even controlling the weather.
Episode 30: The Escape
Esteban, Zia and Tao meet the king of the Olmecs, Menator who tell them to tell them everything they know of the City of Gold. Then Menator plans to experiment with the children and use their cells to transplant to the Olmecs so they may live forever.
Episode 31: The Village of the New Sun
The group is rescued by a group of Indians who are fighting the Olmecs, however unknown to them their Golden Condor has been capture by the Olmecs, but a accident occurs and suddenly the Indians want to sacrifice Esteban, Zia, Tao and the others, Mendoza tells them runaway just as the Old Chief reveals Zia is his long lost daughter!
Episode 32: Attack of the Olmecs
Esteban, Zia, and Tao attempt to regain the Golden Condor from the Olmecs, while the Olmecs begin to attack the Indian village. They fly the Golden Condor to the battle and turns the tide of the battle saving the village.
Episode 33: The Reunion
Finally Zia is reunited with her father and reveals the where the City of Gold is with his last breath. The Maya tribes are gathered to fight against the tyranny of the Olmecs. Esteban and his friends decide to help them.
Episode 34: Revolt of the Mayas
The Mayas beginning to attack the Olmec base, along with Mendoza’s battle towers and the modified Golden Condor the end of the Olmec seem to be at hand. But Menator, King of the Olmecs is not even worried; he has a secret weapon…
Episode 35: The Olmec Machine
The 3 children enter again to Olmec base, but Zia ends up captured by Menator, but suddenly the ground shakes, and the mountain base of the Olmecs crumbles. A flying war machine of the Olmec rise into the air as Esteban, Tao and the others run from the crumbling mountain.
Episode 36: Aerial Pursuit
The Golden Condor and Olmec Machine after a fierce aerial battle Esteban and Tao jump onboard Olmec Machine. They manage to rescue Zia, Esteban and Zia jumps out window and into a lake to escape, but Tao gets caught.
Episode 37: The City of Gold
Esteban and Zia were rescued by the High Priest of the City Gold. He reveals the past and why Esteban and Zia have the keys to the City of Gold, but to save Tao from the Olmec, Esteban opens the doors to the City of Gold.
Episode 38: The Great Legacy
After discovering the City of Gold, the Olmec steals the great treasure of the City of Gold, the Sun unit. The Olmec trigger the defense system of the city and their fly machine is destroyed, but manages to get away with the unit… is it too late to stop the Olmecs doomsday device?
Episode 39: The End of the City of Gold
Something goes wrong with the Olmec’s machine and there is a meltdown, the High Priest of the City of Gold pays the ultimate price to save everyone. Unfortunately the City of Gold is destroyed and sucked back into the earth. Mendoza and the children goes their separate ways, Mendoza back to Spain, Esteban, Zia and Tao flies off into the sunset with the Golden Condor to search for the remaining 6 cities of gold. But they all vow one day to meet each other again in the bar of Barcelona where Esteban and Mendoza first met…
The 1.33 X 1 image can be weak-looking, but part of it is also the style of the show, while the Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono shows its age, but is clean. Just be careful of playback levels. Extras include postcards, a collector’s booklet and a poster.
– Ricky Chiang