| Alright, I just finished my set of discs and get to write about one of the greatest series of my childhood, The Mysterious Cities of Gold.
The story follows the adventures of Esteban, an orphan who grew up in a monastery in Barcelona, Spain. The boy is known to have some unknown power over the sun, as well as part of a medallion around his neck. On the death of his protector, Father Rodregez, Esteban leaves the monastery. He is found by an adventurer named Mendoza. Mendoza holds the other piece of the medallion. It seems that he was the one who rescued Esteban as a baby. He wishes to journey to the Americas to seek the fabled cities of gold and believes that Esteban and his medallion may be part of the key. Esteban agrees to go because there is reason to believe that his father yet lives in America.
What do I say? This series has a breadth of characters, settings, and events that would stagger most writers. The children are; Esteban, who we have met already; Zia, daughter of an Incan priest; and Tao, descendant of the ancient people of Heva. Along with them are Mendoza and his two companions Sancho and Pedro. Added to this are people of the Spanish army such as Commander Gomez, Captain Gaspard, and Governor Pizaro whose drive for gold controls all their actions. Marinche, Tetiola, and the Doctor are another odd band out for the cities of gold. They are capable of anything to satisfy their greed. Then we have the people of America, the Incans, Mayans, Amazons, people of the lake, dang, it's going to take some time if I want an index of them all. There are very few people, nations, or places that are not directly based on historical recordings or evidence. The Urubus and the Olmecs are the only truly fantasy creations. Even the Solaris and the Golden Condor seem to fit seamlessly into the Americas.
The series is clearly written for children, yet is full of meaning and depth missing from nearly all children's shows. I don't mean sappy morals, I mean in-your-face and down to the wire decisions and consequences. How are you to be a kind and compassionate person when all the world will take advantage of you because of your weakness? The right choice is rarely clear, and things often go terribly wrong. Even so, we learn for our experiences and our mistakes.