January 14, 2015

The 3 Eyes of Tri-Klops

What types of laser beams did Tri-Klops shoot from his three eyes in the 2002 He-Man cartoon series?

Early in the production, Mike Young Productions decided to make Tri-Klops into an mechanic/inventor for the Evil Warriors.
We decided to make Tri-Klops the smarter, tech savvy one when we heard Paul Dobson’s great concept for the voice.
Ian Richter  - producer for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe 
This was a complete new addition because in any earlier media from 80s never showed Tri-Klops being anything else than a smart bountyhunter whose three eyes had different abilities that made him a very unique character in He-Man mythos.

For the 2002-cartoon however Tri-Klops had the assistance of a small flying robot named Doom Seeker that according to the Series Bible was his creation.

The Doom Seekers were now responsible for all the spying. They could fly to the Royal Palace and broadcast an image back to Snake Mountain from which Skeletor could see and hear what the good guys were doing.
They also could intercept a message sent by Randor to both Stratos and Buzz-Off. Skeletor then edited the message by re-recording new words in place of the old ones and thus both heroic warriors were fooled.
So now you have a robot that is already doing all the spy-work by seeing great distances and being able to transmit the info back to Skeletor, what do you do with a character who has three eyes on his visor?

Have him shoot energy beams!
The new version of Tri-Klops had him shooting energy beams from his eyes. 
Since there unfortunately was some inconsistency with the way Tri-Klops was used with eyes and their functions either because of the writers or different animation studios, I decided to list them as variant uses.

Tri-Klop is best associated with the red eye because it was used most prominently on his face-side. 

Red Eye v1 (fire-balls)
The red eye was the one we saw him wear most as the normal looking eye.
  • 102 - "The Beginning - part 2"
  • 104 - "The Courage of Adam"
  • 117 - "Roboto's Gambit"
But while it would have been easy to have Tri-Klops shoot fire-balls using his Red Eye, it would not be limited to it.

Red Eye v2 (green-yellow energy beam)
The green-yellow energy beam is a long blast with distinctive look.
  • 102 - "The Beginning - part 2"
  • 109 - "The Ties That Bind"
  • 110 - "Dragon's Brood"
  • 113 - "Mekaneck's Lament"
  • 125 - "The Council of Evil - part 1"
  • 201 - "The Last Stand"

Red Eye v3 (red energybeam)
In one episode, Tri-Klops did also shoot an red energy beam from his red eye. In the scene when he tries to help Skeletor get rid of the belt though, all of Tri-Klops' eyes have been mistakenly coloured red.
  • 111 - "Turnabout"

Yellow Eye v1 (yellow energy beam)
The yellow energyblast looks very much like a long electric blast.
  • 101 - "The Beginning - part 1"
  • 104 - "Courage of Adam"
  • 105 - "Sky War"
  • 109 - "The Ties That Bind"
  • 117 - "Roboto's Gambit"
  • 123 - "The Sweet Smell of Victory"
  • 125 - "The Council of Evil - part 1"

Yellow Eye v2 (green-yellow energy beam)
  • 108 - "Siren's Song"
  • 116 - "The Monster Within"
  • 118 - "Trust"
  • 125 - "The Council of Evil - part 1"
  • 201 - "The Last Stand"

Lastly there was Tri-Klops' blue eye. Though it wasn't used all that much in the show.

Blue Eye
According to the Series Bible by Mike Young Productions and a German comic, Tri-Klops also possessed the power of Icebeam. This could have been an early concept to utilize the blue eye on his visor. But unfortunately it was not clear when he used the eye in the cartoon.

Looking at Magic Barrier?
  • 110 - "The Ties That Bind"
When Skeletor, Evil-Lyn and Tri-Klops attack Castle Grayskull, there is a blue barrier formed around the Castle because The Sorceress taps into the Elders' Power. Tri-Klops looks at the barrier and says he's never seen anything like it. This could be that he is using his blue eye to look into the magical barrier and it's power-levels, but it is doubtful.

Shooting a blue energy beam
  • 118 - "Trust"
As The Evil Warriors find He-Man and Battle Cat. Tri-Klops uses the blue eye to shoot a blue energybeam, which causes He-Man to fall down from his ledge on snow.

Seeing over a distance?
  • 125 - "The Council of Evil - part 1"
During a battle-scene, Tri-Klops turns around and uses his blue eye to look somewhere off-camera. We then see the camera zooming higher on the cliff-side where Teela, Roboto and other heroic warriors are. This would indicate that he was able to see them from a far. 

Concentrated energy beams

The Visor also enables Tri-Klops to create smaller more concentrated energybeams as he demonstrates.
  • 104 - "Courage of Adam"
  • 111 - "Turnabout"

What's Under His Visor?

In season 2 episode "The Rise of the Snake Men - part1" King Hssss and Snake Men have conquered Snake Mountain. During a battle scene with Skeletor and his Evil Warriors, Kobra Khan sprays his acid at Tri-Klops' visor. We quickly see under it that he has the visor's electrical components attached to his normal eyes.

How Does It Work?

While we don't fully know how Tri-Klops' visor works, in season 2 episode "Of Machines and Men" there is an planet-wide effect of electronic vehicles and gadgets malfunctioning. Among them are Trap-Jaw's jaw and we see Tri-Klops stumbling around because his visor doesn't rotate or work at all.
Another weakness he also has, is that if an eye in the Visor cracks. This happens in season 1 episode "The Sweet Smell of Victory".

All and all, Tri-Klops had 28 appearances out of the 39 produced.
In these episodes he didn't use his visor's powers.
  • 113 - "Night of the Shadowbeasts"
  • 121 - "Snake Pit"
  • 202 - "To Walk With Dragons"
  • 203 - "Out of the Past"
  • 205 - "Rise of the Snake Men - part 2"
  • 206 - "Price of Deceit"
  • 207 - "Of Machines and Men"
  • 213 - "Awaken the Serpent"
Tri-Klops did manage to show off his inventor-skills as well as the different powers his Visor could do. He started out strong and as more episodes rolled in, vanished into the background among other Evil Warriors as the Snake Men rolled in during second season.

1 comment:

  1. IIRC, some dialog in "Trust" describes the yellow/green beam as a "gamma blast", at least by implication--Man-at-Arms says the material of the old Eternian prison can't stand up to a gamma blast after Tri-Klops has blasted through it.

    This may very well be an homage to the 'gamma vision' often used when describing the vintage Tri-Klop's ability to see around corners/through walls.