The hardest post I'll ever make.
My boy Rebel passed away yesterday to unknown causes. He was 5 years old. He loved tortillas and playing ball.
My heart is utterly shattered to a thousand pieces.
I will miss you ever day, Rebel.
3 weeks agokriss Community Manager
As open as I am on social media about a lot of different topics, there are some things that I keep to myself. I don't talk about my family much. I'll share snippets here and there, but for the most part, I keep that part of my life a little closed off.
In the past though, I have shared family news, and it's heartbreaking to share again that we suffered another loss. My aunt passed away on Monday. She wasn't well for the last couple months and days ago, she finally found peace. Her passing is now the 5th that our family has experienced in the last two years. This is honestly one of the worst drawbacks to having a big family. Growing up, you get to experience tons of birthday celebrations, weddings, and baby news, but there does come a point in life where you then have to experience the other side of the spectrum. You begin to lose the older generations in the same increments.
There's no class that teaches you how to process grief or loss. I don't think there's an absolute right way to process. Some people shut down and hide for a while, some people look to comedy for relief, others try to stay as busy as possible. I'm the latter. I'll be headed to PAX tomorrow morning and then flying to Vegas immediately after to spend time with family. It's really strange to me that the reasons why I have gone home lately is for a holiday visit and memorial services. That really should change. I had that thought earlier this morning.
Fast forward to now, I just got a text from my brother saying that he, mom, and dad are thinking about visiting Austin for my birthday in October. Since I'm the bird that flew furthest away from the nest, I think recent events really prompted my immediate family to come visit. I'm really happy that I get to see them for a nice occasion.
I really miss my aunt. I was lucky enough to see her on face-time about three days before she passed, and I told her that I missed her and loved her. And she said the same to me.
I'll be checking in on everything sporadically this week and next. If you send me any messages or emails, I will be getting to them, but likely not as quickly as I normally do.
Thanks for reading and for letting me be myself on this platform. Please do me a favor and tell your loved ones that you love them, enjoy life together, and create as many good memories that you possibly can.
Heart you all <3
3 weeks agoBen B. Singer Ben B. Singer
Episode- 57 Pokemon VS Digimon
Let’s chat about the Season 2 finale; Pokemon VS Digimon!
The comparisons between the Pokemon and Digimon franchises had always made up a huge chunk of episode suggestions seen from viewers all around, so we were always going to do something like this.The big question was ‘how?’ An all-out brawl between all of each franchises’ characters was a popular suggestion, but that was out of the question. There are hundreds upon hundreds of Pokemon and hundreds upon hundreds of Digimon! There was absolutely no way our time and budget could possibly allow us to pull something that ridiculously ambitious off. Heck, that’s putting it mildly. There’s ambitious, there’s ridiculously ambitious... and then there’s however freakin’ insane you’d have to be to make a piece of quality content featuring a fight between over 2,000 characters!!
Naturally, that was off the table. It had to be narrowed down to something simpler. But plenty of Pokemon could defeat most Digimon, and plenty of Digimon could defeat most Pokemon. So which do we choose? And how would we include Digivolution? Should it be included at all? These were just some of the questions I was wrestling with.
For the longest time I figured we’d do a match between Pikachu and Agumon. However, that didn’t seem to quite fit the grand scope of what this match-up could represent. Sure, it’d be a fight between the two most popular characters from their respective franchises and would easily net us millions of views, but Death Battle isn’t about pandering to what’s popular. If that were the case, we’d always make up reasons for the more popular characters to win. The other option was Charizard versus Greymon, which seemed like a perfect fit, but upon further reflection it felt imbalanced. Greymon needed to Digivolve to achieve his full potential, but Charizard couldn’t do anything like that. Would it be fair to include Digivolution? If we removed it and Charizard won, wouldn’t that be unfair to Greymon, as we purposefully restricted his potential but not Charizards? To some extent these kind of questions come up behind the scenes with every Death Battle match-up, but they were of particular importance here because we couldn’t even settle on a match-up idea without answers.
Fortunately, less than 2 years prior, Nintendo and Game Freak had introduced a new mechanic to the Pokemon franchise. Mega Evolution, which for all intents and purposes works almost exactly like Digivolution! And after Pokemon Origins released, it became pretty clear what we should do.
When this episode released, I know there was some confusion over the title. It’s called Pokemon VS Digimon, but it should really be called Red and Charizard VS Tai and Agumon, right? There were a number of reasons for the title. First off, if we were to name it that, it would imply that only Agumon was fighting. We couldn’t exactly name it Red and Charizard VS Tai and Agumon/Greymon/Wargreymon because that would be incredibly long. Actually, that leads perfectly into the second reason; title length. Insider tip for any upcoming YouTubers out there: your title is the most important aspect to getting your video seen. It’s what populates first in search engines and recommended video options. If your title is too long or too wordy, not only will it be cut off when viewed, but some of the title will be prioritized over other parts. That’s just how YouTube’s algorithm works. Simply put, Pokemon VS Digimon is far more optimized for search engines than Red and Charizard VS Tai and Agumon.
But the most important reason is because of this episode approach. This is one of the few match-ups in which all aspects of Pokemon and Digimon can be applied. A trainer, a DigiDiestined, mega-evolution, digivolution, the power of friendship, strategies between pairings, and so on. It’s unlikely we’ll ever do another Death Battle with this sort of arrangement ever again. The concept just doesn’t fit Death Battle’s ruleset. Just look at Lucario VS Renamon. That’s why this isn’t just a battle between Charizard and Agumon, it’s a battle between everything that makes Pokemon and Digimon what they are. Red’s Charizard and Tai’s Agumon are simply the representatives for their franchises, as they embody all of their series strengths and weaknesses. It was a perfect match-up.
It was only decided to become the season finale mid-way through production. We were in the process of merging with Rooster Teeth, and they wanted us to begin an annual seasonal approach to create a more consistent timeline across episode releases. Even before I knew it would be a finale, I wanted to make sure this episode’s production was special. We got some amazing voice actors for the battle, including Todd Haberkorn as Tai and NateWantsToBattle as Red, who also performed a Pokemon and Digimon mash-up for the fight. It was awesome!
Also, we like to give Torrian a hard time for what he did with the final blows. While discussing how Wargreymon could just annihilate Charizard, we had joked about a horrible ending scene with Red’s legs being broken as he and a bloody Charizard are disintegrated as they cry. It was just a bad joke, and when I handed the finished script to Torrian it had a far less gruesome ending… which he ignored in favor of the blood-fest, complete with a disintegrating 10 year old. I was pretty worried about it, because it gave me flashbacks of the reactions I got from the Ninja Turtles Battle Royale episode. But nowadays it’s just funny to think about!
Just like the scene where Tai kicks Red in the shins. I love that part so much.
With that, Season 2 is a wrap! I’ll be taking a brief break from the blog for the next few days. We’re knee-deep in the last quarter of the current season’s production, so it's getting really busy. I’d like to ensure that my work on the show doesn’t impede my time needed to make sure these blogs have some semblance of quality! So I’ll be back Wednesday (September 5th) right and ready to dive right into Season 3, starting off with Dante VS Bayonetta and Bowser VS Ganon! Thanks, everyone!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. Is there another Pokemon or Digimon you want to see in Death Battle? What would be the match-up?
3 weeks agoIAmAaron Editor of Videos
Welp, there's a staff badge on my profile now, and I have to be honest:
I'm really proud of that.
It's been a long proverbial road full of long nights, busy weekends, lots of stress, and a bit of luck, but I'm happy that I've actually accomplished the goal of finding full-time editing work. That I was able to secure that work with a company that I admire and respect with a community that I'm more-than-proud to be a part of is... mindblowing.
Make no mistake, I am absolutely shocked and humbled by this opportunity, and coming from the community, I feel extra pressure to succeed. And, I mean that in a good way. It's a pressure to deliver, to get better; to still be a member of this community and help represent it on a bigger stage means the world to me. This community means so much to myself and so many others, and I hope to make you all proud.
There's still a ton to do, like get the house in Mobile packed up and sold, and then move my wife and our pets to Austin (side note, holy shit, I miss Erin). Of course, as I've only been in the office for a couple of days, I'm also still figuring out my day-to-day routine. But overall, seeing that badge on my profile feels like a solid exclamation point at the end of a really long but good book.
I can't wait to see what's next.
Less than three you all!
3 weeks agoBen B. Singer Ben B. Singer
These two episodes are easily some of my favorites from Season 2, probably because they show some clear signs of how Death Battle would be improving for the following season. While the exploitable fourth rule was yet unchanged, we had finally begun interpreting it in the current format’s method; namely, we started disincluding possible analysis if it was inconsistent with the primary source material.
As for what arsenals we include and/or supposedly ignore, I continue to see some confusion about this in regards to what’s shown on-screen, and the Mega Man and Astro Boy rundowns are excellent examples of it. Both characters have been explored through numerous different stories, including plenty of modern interpretations. While the analysis used was their original source material, (Mega Man’s games and Astro Boy’s manga) we also included material that was consistent with said sources (Mega Man’s comics and Astro Boy’s anime) while not including conflicting material, like Mega Man’s Ruby-Spears cartoon and Astro Boy’s recent movie. While we did use some footage of those sources which applied to what was being discussed on screen, we never used them in conjunction with the verdict and analysis.
While writing both the fight and the rundowns, we ran into a little snag concerning Mega Man. He has so many possible weapons, and we can’t possibly fit all of them into the fight! We went through so many different script ideas to find ways to incorporate as much of Mega Man’s weaponry as possible without making them feel shoved in for no purpose. A big part of this process was also figuring out how each weapon could affect Astro Boy and which attack or combination of attacks would give Mega Man the best chance for a victory. A single episode of Death Battle doesn’t give nearly enough time to run through Mega Man’s entire possible arsenal, but rest assured the whole thing was taken into account. It’s worth mentioning that’s the case for all episodes, actually. For characters with a ton of weapons, we don’t have time to go through every single one. That doesn’t mean we somehow forgot about or ignored them.
This was the first Death Battle to be animated by Aquila Harukaze, who does some fantastic work! She’s particularly good with characters that have a lot of movement, such as flight or super speed, so this was a perfect fit for her animation style.
Green Arrow VS Hawkeye was an extremely difficult episode to pin down. Both characters were so close in terms of fighting potential, that for awhile it looked like it could either way. In the end, I have to give all sorts of compliments to our research team for helping us find so many minute, hidden details in both characters’ backstories which ultimately paved the way for a victor to be chosen. I also really appreciate how Zack and Nick turned a fight with bows and arrows, which could easily get boring to some people, into one of our most creative and fun animations.
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. We haven’t had another fight between archers since Green Arrow VS Hawkeye. Any ideas for match-ups you’d like to see?
3 weeks agoCricket RT Games Community Mngr
Hello there beans!
Rooster Teeth has a big events weekend ahead, and I wanted to loop you in on some excellent opportunities to come see us out in the wild!
Tomorrow you can find Community Manager extraordinaire Jackie Izawa, David Eddings of Rooster Teeth Games Publishing, our official Alice Angel cosplayer Citrus Bell, and myself at the ID@Xbox pre-PAX event in Seattle! We’ll be demoing Bendy and the Ink Machine with a load of other incredible indie developers including some games I’m especially excited to see (Klei with Mark of the Ninja: Remastered, Behaviour with Deathgarden, Finji with Tunic, Annapurna Interactive with Outer Wilds and many, many more.) You’ll want to register to attend that event here!:>https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2018/08/08/register-now-for-the-fifth-annual-idxbox-pre-pax-open-house/
Beginning Friday and running through Monday, you’ve probably already guessed it… we’ll be doing our thing continuing to demo Bendy and the Ink Machine right off of the Skybridge on the 4th floor (booth N3!) at PAX West. Come meet Citrus Bell, check out our photo op display, and play Bendy for yourself! Got a Bendy fan you love? Phat Mojo is teaming up with us and will be selling some super secret Bendy mystery boxes (so knock out some Christmas shopping while you’re at it!) You never know which personalities and what members of the Bendy creative team will be hanging out at the booth, so don’t be bashful and swing by a few times!
Sunday evening we’re going to want to see some familiar faces and share some Rooster Teeth love with our community. We’re going to have an informal meetup at Temple Billiards beginning around 7:30 pm and wrapping around 9:30. We’ll have some Bendy Steam keys to give away for the first 20 to show up. Grab some food or a drink with us and come be with your people!
Also, look for Bendy in the Microsoft and Xbox booths on the show floor. We’ll have Bendy available to demo over there with the good people of Microsoft playing host.
No plans for the west coast this weekend? No worries- because the events team and some of your favorite Rooster Teeth personalities will be heading to Fan Expo in Toronto, starting tomorrow (August 30) through Sunday, September 2. Go high five Barbara Dunkelmen, Chris Demairis, Ellie Main, and Patrick Matthews. Tell them I sent you. (Then look at them funny. Then don’t break eye contact and back away slowly. Then report back to on how awkward the experience was and we can have a good laugh.)((Actually don’t do any of that. Unless you really want to. I could always use a good laugh and let’s face it, you probably didn’t have a gameplan on how you were going to introduce yourself anyways, did you?))
So there you have it! An entire weekend packed with fun activities! For those celebrating Labor Day weekend (er… Labour... ((hellloooo Canadiens! ^.~)) be safe, have fun, and may the weekend grant you reprieve from work and for everyone headed back to school- kick back and enjoy.
For those of age, please drink responsibly and maybe put a little goodwill in the karma bank and opt to designate and drive for a friend or family member. For those underage, enjoy your youth, firm skin, and untainted livers. Jerks.
3 weeks agoBen B. Singer Ben B. Singer
After the success of Goomba VS Koopa and the realization that gag battles would be a perfect fit for Death Battle, I was told to come up with more ideas for hilarious mismatches which would be interesting to watch. One of the first ideas I came up with was Hercule Satan VS Dan Hibiki. We didn’t get around to it until years later, but it was always in the back of my mind.
When it did come together, it was a blast to work on!
I think the voice cast and interpretations of the characters were spot on. After it aired, I did think the episode sort of dragged a bit, which led to an important piece of trivia about Death Battle’s production. After this, I enacted a production rule that script rundown for each character shouldn’t be more than 5 pages. The intention was to create a Death Battle standard where each episode would be between 15 to 20 minutes, depending on amount of information and battle length. This has obviously wavered a lot, but this still set that guideline in motion.
Discovering the in-depth backstories for these characters was actually extremely interesting. Everyone has seen Mr. Satan and Dan in the Dragon Ball Z show and Street Fighter games, but there was so much unseen lore to talk about. I’m curious if many viewers became more sympathetic toward Satan and Dan after watching, because not all of their backstory material was entirely humorful. I know I developed a whole new appreciation for both characters. Like, did you know Sagat is missing an eye because of Dan? Well, specifically Dan’s father... but close enough, right?
Yang VS Tifa was a pretty interesting production. For context, we had not officially merged with Rooster Teeth at the time, nor did we know such a plan was in the works. But thanks to Monty, we had already developed a pretty good relationship with some of the RT staff. Before his passing, Monty and I had already discussed the possibility of bringing a RWBY character into Death Battle. Regardless of who won the match-up, he wanted to see it happen.
Near the end of 2015, Rooster Teeth came to us and proposed doing just that. We made it clear that they would have no say in who won the fight, and it was possible their character would be the one who died. They had no problem with that, and were even willing to let us cast their own actress. The only stipulation we were given was that somewhere in the episode we had to reference that RWBY Season 3 was about to start. I was concerned that, should Yang win, a blunt shout-out might make the whole battle seem like a rigged affair. RT agreed and proposed that we just show the Vytal Festival poster (a recurring advertisement of RWBY Season 3) at some point during the fight. Rooster Teeth as a whole believes in the power of word of mouth. In some cases, just hinting at something rather than drawing attention to it may work out even better.
Unfortunately, having the giant poster drop down right after Yang kills Tifa does give off a somewhat suspicious look. The poster isn’t supposed to be a punchline that the fight was meant to lead up to or anything. This was unfortunately a result of lost time. The original plan was that Yang’s killing blow (which is a really cool use of her unique weapons, by the way) was supposed to happen near a stack of leaflets advertising the Vytal Festival. The leaflets were supposed to get kicked up by the force, blowing around the arena, until one of them smacked into the camera, revealing its printed ad. I wanted to create a cool visual and fulfil our obligation at the same time. But time ran short, and creating the whirlwind of paper would be tough to pull off given our equipment available at the time, so we opted for a giant poster falling down instead.
Frankly, I wasn’t so worried. I was just so blown away that Rooster Teeth would trust us with their character like this. Also, why Yang? Well, I had already learned what happens to Yang at the end of Season 3, so everyone agreed we could take her at her current, well-known potential, which would likely change drastically once she received her robot arm. (Oops! Spoiler!) Since the show was still young and the characters were still improving their own powers they already possessed, it seemed like the best option.
But we haven't forgotten that Ruby VS Maka idea...
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. Do want to see another episode with a RWBY character? What match-up should it be?
3 weeks agonicolew Events Coordinator
Hello all coming to RTX London! The awaited 2018 Panel and Autograph Schedules!
Weekend badges are still available- www.rtxlondon.com
*Please Note: TImes onsite at RTX London will reflect BST. For example, The Know panel on Saturday Room 1 will start 10:00 AM BST.
*Subject to change. Please refer to the RTX London mobile app for the most up-to-date info.
Autograph codes were emailed by Rooster Teeth on Friday, 24 August.
Redeem autograph codes at >https://www.universe.com/rtxlondon2018autographs
5 September, 5 PM GMT = Platinum badge holders access to reserve
7 September, 5 PM GMT = Weekend badge holders access to reserve
Can’t wait to see you all there!
3 weeks agoBen B. Singer Ben B. Singer
Episode- 52 Wolverine VS Raiden
Everyone loves Logan AKA Wolverine. There was never a question of whether or not he would be in a Death Battle. Of course he would be! The real question was… who on Earth could we realistically pit him against?
The most frequent viewer suggestions for pairing up against Wolverine were Vega from Street Fighter, Baraka from Mortal Kombat, and Shredder from TMNT. All of these ideas focused on comparing the blades and fighting styles, which would typically be more than enough to argue a worthwhile match-up. But come on, it’s Wolverine. There’s no way any of they stood a chance of permanently hurting the guy!
This was actually a question I would revisit every couple months. Who could Wolverine fight? The answer came not from my subconscious or research, and not from any viewer. In fact, it was Torrian who suggested we have him fight Raiden!
This might actually be a good time to talk about how we come up with match-ups, if I haven’t talked about it already. (Man, I’ve written so many of these I’m worried I’ll start repeating myself as some point! Better start logging...)
As we’ve stated many times, most of our episode choices come from viewer requests. We have a handy form which people can send requests through, but I often get questions about more complex match-up ideas that can’t be summarized in the form provided. The form isn’t our only means of procuring requests. In fact, the form’s primary function is to determine the frequency of certain requests from different people! If a lot of people are making the same request, then we know there’s an audience for it! (And we’ll know if you spam the same idea over and over, so don’t try it, ya smart alecks!) We still see suggestions through social media all the time. I’ll even check out YouTube for “Death Battle ideas” videos from time to time. We do our due diligence researching the characters in our show, who says we shouldn’t do the same to see what you all want to see?
Back in seasons 1 and 2, we didn’t plan out too many episodes at once. Remember, Season 1 and Season 2 were named such retroactively, which is why they have a bunch of episodes spanned across several years each. We didn’t settle into the annual season format until we joined Rooster Teeth and kicked off Season 3 in 2016. But before that, I’d usually have the next 5 or so lined up at any given time. It was important to plan further out so our awesome research team could keep ahead of the writers and animators, but that was about all that was needed. Come 2016, myself and a few key team members actually sat down and planned the entire year out from season premiere to season finale. Though almost no season so far has kept the exact same schedule throughout the year. There’s bound to be a few changes here and there.
It’s also really important to me that everyone who works on the show gets some input in regards to what episodes they’ll be working on. I often try scheduling the year’s match-ups to line up to different team members strengths or interests. This is why every season will be bound to have one or two less popular suggestions turned into match-ups, because someone on the team thought of a unique idea which would make a really cool episode and the rest of us agreed!
Well, that about covers it. I think about about halfway through these blogs now. Next week, I’ll be covering one of the silliest Death Battles of all; Hercule Satan VS Dan Hibiki!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. What’s a Death Battle you really want to see that you think nobody else has thought of or wants?
3 weeks agokriss Community Manager
As no surprise to anyone, I am of Asian descent, but with that heritage comes the inability to break down alcohol (at least for about 40% of us). Straight from the wikipedia, the "Asian glow" is "a condition in which a person develops flushes or blotches associated with erythema on the face, neck, shoulders, and in some cases, the entire body after consuming alcoholic drinks. The reaction is the result of an accumulation of acetaldehyde, a metabolic byproduct of the catabolic metabolism of alcohol, and is caused by acetaldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency."
So lucky for me, I can very well tell where my line is. I don't really drink much when I go out, but I'll enjoy a glass of wine most times. Generally, I will request a red wine of some sort. I tend to cater toward Cabs and Malbecs. For home, I really enjoy 19 Crimes as it's a really smooth red blend and it's not a bottle that break the wallet.
"Nineteen crimes turned criminals into colonists. Upon conviction British rogues guilty of a least one of the 19 crimes were sentenced to live in Australia, rather than death. This punishment by "transportation" began in 1783 and many of the lawless died at sea. For the rough-hewn prisoners who made it to shore, a new world awaited. As pioneers in a frontier penal colony, they forged a new country and new lives, brick by brick. This wine celebrates the rules they broke and the culture they built."
One of the coolest things about the wine is that each cork will have one of these 19 crimes listed on it.
Well, that's a little bit about my favorite red wine. I'm also a huge fan lychee wine. It's incredibly sweet, so I can't drink it all the time (because you can't taste any of the alcohol, just the sweetness).
For those who are of age, what are some of your favorite wines?
4 weeks agoBen B. Singer Ben B. Singer
(Quick aside, I’m skipping episode 50 because I already covered it in this blog about the Goku VS Superman releases.)
We do a lot of different things with our Death Battle fight animations. We explore so many different powers and techniques with every episode. Characters can fight anywhere from underwater to outer space. Some battles get super serious, while others have a largely humorous side.
But one of my favorite things to add into any Death Battle brawl is a good old fashioned fake out! You can only do it so many times in so many episodes before it started to get tiring, so I try to time these well.
I’m not entirely sure, but I’d wager to guess that Darth Vader VS Doctor Doom has more fake outs than any other Death Battle. It’s kind of wonderful to watch both characters totally convinced that they’ve pulled off a victory, only to have the other turn everything around and… rinse and repeat.
This match-up was one of the Original 26 I pitched way back when, and it was also one of our most requested episodes at the time. The thing is, when I picked it for the Original 26, I actually intended it to be a temporary listing that would eventually be replaced with something else. I had no idea the match-up would become such a popular request. In fact, for awhile there I was trying to figure out if I could make a Darth Vader VS Sauron episode work, instead!
I believe this was one of the first episodes Gerardo jumped into the editor bay for. Not the very first, he helped a bit with Gaara VS Toph, but that was more of a last second thing because I was dealing with some personal issues at the time. This was the first episode he was assigned. If you don’t know, Gerardo is now one of our recurring editors for all episodes! Definitely one of the most underappreciated roles a show like Death Battle has. If you don’t already, you should follow Gerardo and our other Death Battle editor Noël on Twitter. I think they’d appreciate it! If you’re interested, I’ll probably dedicate one of these blogs to discussing the editing process. Still got plenty more entries to go!
If you’ve been watching ScrewAttack for awhile, you may know that I’m considered the resident Sonic “expert” of the office… which basically just means I grew up with Sonic and other Genesis games instead of Mario and the original Nintendo consoles. Even then, I have to give 100% of the credit for amazingness of Donkey Kong VS Knuckles to Nick and Zack. They pulled off one of the most fun episodes I think we’ve ever made!
Which was difficult, because we actually had to change the verdict at the last minute.
This rarely happens. I’d go so far as to say this never happens except for one extremely rare occasion. This one. We were actually pretty convinced Knuckles would win this one up until a little over a week before release. There was some debate over whether we should include the comic books for Knuckles, as the comics had been used for Sonic and Tails’ appearances. Again, that fourth rule we had for seasons 1 and 2 was pretty broken, and this is where I started to realize just how broken it could get. See, in the Archie comic line in particular, Knuckles gains a whole new level of godly power which essentially makes him an entirely different character from the Knuckles of the Sonic games. After a lot of debate, we decided to remove contradictory comics from the equation and only focus on the games and anything specifically inspired by said games, like some of the TV shows. This is what would eventually morph our fourth rule into the much better version we have today.
Even then, Knuckles still had this in the bag, until I re-examined a feat on a hunch. The robot-moon one. We had previously believed Knuckles had actually moved the moon himself, when in fact… well, I’ll let you watch the episode for yourself!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. What is your opinion of including intentional fake-outs in Death Battle? If you’re not sure what I mean, just watch Darth Vader VS Doctor Doom.
4 weeks agoBen B. Singer Ben B. Singer
To be perfectly honest, there’s not much to say about Beast VS Goliath. There’s nothing really wrong with it, but I do think it’s one of our weaker episodes overall. (Though having an excuse to watch and talk about those classic X-Men and Gargoyle shows made it totally worth it!) On the other hand, Solid Snake VS Sam Fisher was one of the most ambitious we had ever done.
If you’ve been watching Death Battle for awhile, you probably know that Chad and I often visit conventions we’re invited to. While we’re there, we usually show off upcoming content, make any cool announcements we have, and take questions from a gathered audience at a Q&A panel. The request for Kirby VS Ditto and Smokey Bear VS McGruff the Crime Dog actually came from these very sorts of panels. But one of the most common requests we’d hear about at our panels was Solid Snake VS Sam Fisher.
Now, let me tell you a secret. If you were to ask me “Are you ever going to do an episode ______ versus _______?” My answer will almost always be a shrug and a “Who knows? Maybe!”
Obviously, I can’t spoil upcoming episodes we have planned! Even if I could, more often than not I’m not a fan of announcing match-ups too far in advance for fear that they may steal the thunder away from whatever episode is coming up next. That being said, I always figured we’d do Solid Snake VS Sam Fisher, though before Torrian came along we really didn’t have the means to do such an episode justice. Still, we knew we would do it eventually.
But when the question came up at panels, we loved to joke about how we supposedly couldn’t do it because Snake and Sam are so sneaky, we wouldn’t even see the fight happen! We always laughed at the idea that the fight would start with both characters disappearing into the shadows, followed by 2 or 3 long minutes of silence… and then BANG! One of them would suddenly fall out into the open with a bullet wound to the face, their assassin totally unseen. Hey, I thought it was funny.
I know some people interpreted our joke a little too literally, and the rumor was spread that we would never do such an episode because we considered it impossible. Let me make this perfectly clear; I do not consider any potential match-up impossible for Death Battle to take on. In fact, I relish the challenge of working against the norm. That’s why episodes like Goomba VS Koopa, Starscream VS Rainbow Dash, and Deadpool VS Deathstroke exist. Pushing the limits of Death Battle doesn’t just keep us invested, it also creates new and exciting ways of presenting different match-ups.
Which brings me to another rumor this episode crushed; the so-called “no outside help” rule. I’ve already covered it in a previous blog, but for this match-up in particular I really wanted to include Snake and Sam’s technical assistants, Otacon and Grim. Oh, that also reminds me that we had a killer cast for this one! Turns out Chris Sabat, the voice of Vegeta in FUNimation’s Dragon Ball, had always wanted to voice Snake. In fact, at his own panels he’d often get the question “What’s a character you’ve always wanted to voice but haven’t?” he’d always answer Solid Snake. It was really awesome working with him. He even let us use his own studio, Okratron 5000 to record! He’s a pretty cool guy.
Last but not least, this was the episode where Torrian gained his legendary reputation for backflips. And no, I’ve never actually seen Torrian pull off a backflip himself.
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. What’s another unconventional match-up you’d like to see Death Battle take on?
4 weeks agoPodrick
I'm getting so many messages from you saying that your parents and friends are watching Murder Room, which is awesome and disturbing . I'm so happy you guys are having fun with this show! New episodes will now be available to everyone on the site a week after their release to FIRST members. So tell even more of your friends and family to watch!
I've also been following the feedback. Thanks for all the great comments and suggestions. I know more time is something you really want from Murder Room. While episodes two through four keep the current time rules of the original pilot, I am changing things up a bit in the last episode of this run. I'm giving the council a little more breathing room while hopefully not changing the overall pace of the show, especially the ending.
Some of you are wondering if the mysteries will always be heavy. Nope. We are playing a game of murder so some stories will obviously be serious, but we are having some fun with this too.
Thanks for watching! We want to keep you guessing and making more episodes!
4 weeks agoDaniel Writer/Director
Last night we filmed our first Story Time segment for the season. We break up our episodes into three sections: the Clubhouse--in which we tell the story of our haunted location in a roundtable; the Story Time--in which we put moving pictures to those stories; then the Ghost Hunt, filmed on location across the country (and perhaps the world).
Attached is a photo of one of my favorite shots from the evening. Night shooting is extremely difficult. You need a capable crew, probably working in difficult terrain. We have to get a crane and put a light 30 feet in the air so it's high enough to mimic moonlight. It's hard but ultimately looks pretty good on camera.
I'll keep sharing more as we continue our journey telling stories of the dead...or undead depending on your point of view.
4 weeks agoDoreen VP, Head of Production
Hi! I'm Doreen. I'm the VP, Head of Production for Live Action. It has been nearly five years since I started working full time at Rooster Teeth, so big fat shame on me for not introducing myself about 56 months ago!
In case my you can't tell by my delayed introduction, I’m very comfortable being behind the scenes. In this case, it's pretty silly because we have the most amazing and welcoming community in the world. I know first hand. I’ve been to six RTXs. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting beside many of you during panels and screenings. It has been an absolute blast and I thank you for making RTX, and my job, such an amazing and fun experience.
RTX actually has a lot to do with why I ended up accepting a job at Rooster Teeth. The first RTX I attended was in 2013. I don’t want to go off the rails with too long of a story….but it’s safe to say that it was my first exposure to the close relationship between the Community and Rooster Teeth. It was something so positive, respectful and reciprocal, and so completely unexpected, that it made a huge impression on me.
Anyway, fast forward five years and NINE different desk locations* (no joke) and I’m still here. My 1-year contract ended years ago but my access badge still works so I keep showing up each week.
I’ve worked on a little bit of everything: Gauntlet Seasons 1 & 2, Immersion, shorts, Barenaked Ladies videos, Lazer Team, Lazer Team 2, RT Docs, Day 5, Crunch Time, #RTES (yes…I know), and other random odds & ends that come along with being in Live Action.
It's a lot of work to keep up with Rooster Teeth's desire (and mine, too) to raise the bar with each production, but it has been worth every moment. There's so much more to come and I can't wait to share what we have in the works with all of you.
As our adventures here continue, I promise to be better about keeping in touch. I hope you do the same!
p.s. The puppy in my profile pic is Piper. She's our family's first dog, she just turned one this summer and she is the best! Just thinking about her cuteness makes me want to explode.
*Desk Locations...you know you want to know
1. Facing green cyc at 636 office (So. Much. Green.)
2. Stage 5 – Cubical (Walls. No Green!)
3. Bungalow B – Windows!!
4. Stage 2 – An actual OFFICE!!!
5. Bungalow A – Little room by back door with horribly loud AC return. In other news, Bose makes great noise canceling ear buds if you’re in the market.
6. Bungalow A – Bull Pen.
7. Bungalow A – Alan’s office. (Biz dev guys have the absolute best coffee & booze.)
8. Stage 3 – Weirdest office to date. Had bars on windows…so safest (?)
9. Stage 2 – an actual office AGAIN…for now
4 weeks agogeoff
Life used to suck. It’s harsh, but true. The world was so boring, that as recently as 80 years ago, people had to pretend to be a thimble or a fucking wheelbarrow just to pass the time. Thankfully technology came along and made the world actually fun. For instance, now we get to pretend to be much cooler shit, like giant noses and moustaches.
I’m speaking of course, of Hardcore Tabletop. If you haven’t heard of it yet, we basically take boring old “who even cares who wins?” Monopoly, and dramatically ratchet up the fun and stakes. How, you say? How is it possible to take that game and make it fun in 2018? It’s quite simple.
Real Jail Time (sort of)
Obviously, I’ll be the banker. Jack is going to wear a big hat. And it’s going to be a lot of fun. There are eight episodes that’ll go up weekly on Tuesdays. FIRST members can check out the first two episodes today. If you’re not a FIRST member, then you can’t pass go, and you definitely can’t collect $200. You can watch the first episode for free, though (but only the first one).
Thanks for playing along.
4 weeks agoBen B. Singer Ben B. Singer
Here's a couple episodes which would prove just important the animated battles had become to the show.
First thing’s first, going into Guts VS Nightmare, I had zero previous experience with Guts and the Berserk series. It’s a very expansive manga, so there was a lot of sift through. Chad had wanted Guts to be in an episode for awhile now, and he helped out a bit with the research. However, he hadn’t finished the manga himself, so unfortunately he didn’t hold all the answers right away.
Fortunately, I was already plenty familiar with Nightmare and SoulCalibur lore. SoulCalibur has been one of my favorite fighting game franchises for well over a decade. Years ago I even wrote a SoulCalibur movie adaptation screenplay for writing practice! So with my SoulCalibur expertise in mind, I could devote more of my time to Berserk.
Even so, this episode was a bit of a challenge. Not only was researching the Berserk manga a tedious feat, it could also be tough to read sometimes. If you haven’t read Berserk, just know some really messed up shit happens. In all sorts of varieties. As for me, it might not have been the best point for my life to revolve around analyzing this story. You may recall from an earlier blog that I was in a somewhat dark place at the time. Give how much was going on, I wasn’t getting any real fulfillment out of Death Battle. I was even debating whether or not I should continue working on the show anymore. Sure, Chuck Norris VS Segata Sanshiro had been a really fun episode, but Nick did most of the writing and research on that one while I was dedicated to reading how Guts fell out of his mother’s womb after she’d been beaten and hanged by a tree… and other gruesome stuff like that.
But there was a moment where it suddenly felt like everything lifted and I was back on my feet again. It’s strange to talk about, and it won’t even make any sense to some of you. Let me try to explain… this episode’s battle was animated by Zack, who had also animated Chuck Norris VS Segata Sanshiro. After he was finished with that one, I sent over the Guts VS Nightmare battle script, went over shots and the like with him, and then let him loose to work his magic. A few weeks later, he sent over the first half of the animation, complete with sound design. So here I am, watching Nightmare meet Guts in the middle of a dark forest, they rush toward each other, their swords swing through the air, and…
CLANG! CLANG CLANG CLANG!
I didn’t want to stop watching. Everything felt right again. It doesn’t make any logical sense, especially since this very fight has way cooler sequences later on, but something about this particular moment in the fight, just how it all came together, reminded me of what we’re making. What we’re making is something that is GODDAMN BADASS!
Zack was doing a phenomenal job on our 2D animations. Meanwhile, Torrian had set up shop at the ScrewAttack office and was preparing for Iron Man VS Lex Luthor. While this was Nick’s episode, scheduling conflicts led to myself actually writing the battle script. I remember holding it when I was done and thinking “If Torrian can pull this off, this just might be the best thing I’ve ever written.”
With his new space, Torrian was completely renovating how he worked. While I was working on the script, Torrian told me he wanted to build a motion capture room to improve his character movement. While there was a room available, we didn’t have much funding. However, we did have a few Xbox 360 Kinects lying around that hadn’t been touched in ages. So we built a mocap rig using those, and it worked! Torrian also used facial capture animation to record Parker’s face, which would serve as a base for Iron Man’s expressions in the fight. Nice timing too, since this episode featured Chuck Huber as Tony Stark, easily the most famous voice actor we had ever worked with then. This whole deal was a massive step up from what we had done before, and it couldn’t have come together better for this episode in particular!
I think the Iron Man VS Lex Luthor episode has some problems. Namely, I’m not a fan of how long it takes to get through the character rundowns. But the fight?
Oh my god. The fight.
Thanks to Torrian, that was the best thing I had ever written. Until, well... we'll see.
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. What’s your favorite Death Battle fight animation?
4 weeks agoebregman Programming
What’s that? You didn’t know we had an app? Well let me tell you about what is honestly the best way to find and watch our stuff, and interact with the community.
This update is a navigation facelift to make the app more reflective of how we’ve seen people using previous versions.
First off, as soon as you launch the app you’ll see the most recently published videos from all the RT brands, in reverse chronological order with the most recent on top (you know, that order that YouTube won’t show you…). Want to filter by channel? There’s a handy dropdown on the homepage to take you right to your favorites.
Swipe left or tap the Live tab and you’ll see our linear feeds, as well as upcoming live events. Tap a feed to start watching live video on your phone, and while you’re there make sure you jump into the chat too.
My personal favorite part of this update is the Bell in the bottom navigation, which is where all your notifications live. Did someone tag you in a comment? It’ll show up here, and you can tap the notification to go straight to that comment and respond.
Custom tailor your notifications in Settings. Tap your profile icon in the upper left and you’ll see Settings at the bottom of the drawer. You can be notified for every new episode from series in your Watch List, all Live broadcasts, and more. Settings is also where you can set your video playback options so we don’t eat your whole data plan, turn on background play (only if you’re a FIRST Member), and edit your profile including your email, password, and gender.
Tap the rocketship on the bottom to browse even more series by genre. I love this view when I’m all caught up on the recent stuff, I can always find something new here. Plus if you tap on a genre name or a channel name, you’ll see even more series. Damn we have a lot of series...if you want to see them all, swipe left on this screen to scroll through them and sort however you want.
Looking for something specific? Search is in the top right corner, and it’s freaky fast and accurate. Search for episodes, series, genres. Eventually you’ll be able to search for users and even RT cast members to see which videos they’re in.
How could I forget - Chromecast is built into the main navigation in the upper right, and appears on every video too. (I dunno about you, but I can’t stand how Netflix makes the Chromecast icon go away when I start playing a video!)
Have I convinced you of the superiority of our mobile apps yet? Go check ‘em out and tell me what you think in the comments!
I am super proud to be launching Hardcore Tabletop today. This is the beginning of what we intend to be non-stop amazing content drops for FIRST Members who are fans of Achievement Hunter, Funhaus, and the rest of the Let’s Play family. After Hardcore Tabletop, we’ve got Arizona Circle, Achievement Haunter on Oct 31, then even more planned all the way into the new year and well beyond. There has never been a better time to sign up for FIRST - it only gets better from here!
Some additional app updates:
We’re rolling out this week and next week re-ordering some series into chronological order, and also removing S#:E# for those series that don’t really need it.
We’re also weeks away from the next phase of our linear channel testing, when you’ll start to see live shows in the feeds on a limited basis (they’ll also still live on their own pages as usual while we work out the kinks).
Another big thing in the works now for non-FIRST members: pre-roll ads will be transitioning into midroll ads very soon, a much better experience for viewers. That means all videos will start up right away, and for any video over 5 min long there will be an occasional ad break. Most of the breaks have been manually placed so as not to interrupt a sentence. For videos under 5 min long, and for all talk shows, you’ll only see a post-roll ad break (i.e. an ad AFTER the video finishes before your next video begins). Of course if you don’t like the ads, there’s a super easy solution to get rid of them.
1 month agoBen B. Singer Ben B. Singer
Episode- 44 Chuck Norris VS Segata Sanshiro
All these years later, I still remember how this episode came about. When I was first developing the concept of Death Battle, I needed to come up with 26 potential match-ups to pitch. I included some obvious ones, like Goku VS Superman and Mario VS Sonic, but one name kept coming up in my search results for “who would win.” That name was, naturally, Chuck Norris.
Would could beat Chuck Norris?
At first, entertaining this question seemed silly to me. The meme of the all knowing, all powerful Chuck Norris was half a decade old, and no longer totally relevant. Surely people would roll their eyes if we tried capitalizing on the joke all these years later. Right?
It didn’t take much digging to find out the Chuck Norris meme has ascended all other memes to become truly, hilariously timeless.
So here I am, sitting at my desk in late 2010, thinking to myself “What on earth would we do with a Chuck Norris episode? The whole concept is that he’s an unstoppable being literally larger than life, so the only character who would battle that would have to be someone or something just as ridiculous…”
You know the phase “a light bulb goes off” in your head? I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced that so truthfully as I did that day. It was light my whole head popped off in sudden realization. It wasn’t so much a memory of a character, or a series, or even a face. What I remembered was a song.
Back then, ScrewAttack produced a show called Clip of the Week, where we would create a parody skit inspired by some nostalgic video game commercial. There was a good chunk of time when we tried coming up with an episode idea for the Segata Sanshiro commercials, but it ultimately didn’t pan out. Still, his theme song was so catch that I always remembered it.
Even though it was planned from the very beginning, it still didn’t appear in the lineup until 44 episodes in! To be honest, I’m not sure I truly considered it seriously back then. I wasn’t sure it would do very well, and held off until I thought the time was right.
To this day, this remains one of my favorite episodes we’ve ever done. You can see references to it in later episodes, even some of which aired this year!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. Would you want to see the battle between Chuck Norris and Segata Sanshiro continue?
1 month agonicolew Events Coordinator
Hello RTX London 2018 Attendees!
We are excited to be over in London in just 25 days and see all of your smiling faces! We can’t wait for year two in London to begin.
We wanted to update everyone on Autograph Codes to explain how they work, and important dates approaching you need to know.
As a reminder, Platinum badges come with two (2) Autograph Codes, while Weekend badges come with one (1) Autograph Code. An Autograph Code guarantees you the opportunity to reserve a spot in an autograph signing session, but it does NOT guarantee you will get into every signing you want. There are a certain number of slots per autograph signing session and they fill quickly. So we recommend be ready when autograph signing sessions go live to reserve your spot.
22 August, 11:59 PM GMT = Cut-off date to buy a badge and receive an autograph code
24 August, 3 PM GMT = Codes and instructions emailed out to Platinum & Weekend badge holders
27 August, 3 PM GMT = Autograph Signing Schedule posted
5 September, 5 PM GMT = Platinum badge holders access to reserve
7 September, 5 PM GMT = Weekend badge holders access to reserve
Autograph Signing Sessions
1 month agokriss Community Manager
RTXL will be here in a matter of weeks, and our community members are organizing some cool meet ups for those who will be attending RTXL. Just like I did for RTX Austin, here is a compiled list of community meet ups that will be happening during the weekend. This list will be updated on occasion as more meet ups are sent to me, so please bookmark this post!
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
4pm - 10pm UTC+01
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
2pm - ???
2pm - 5pm UTC+01
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
2pm - 7pm UTC+01
6pm - 9pm
*Proceeds from the event will benefit the Mosaic LGBT Youth Centre*
8:30pm - 10pm
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
7:30am - 9:30am UTC+01
6:30pm - 9pm UTC+01
7 PM - 11:59 PM UTC+01
If you are organizing a meet up, please let me know, and I will add it to the list!
THE AVOCADO IS COMING TO RTXL! It'll be my first time traveling outside of the States, so I'm really nervous, but I am incredibly excited for this experience. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
1 month agoericvespe
I was looking forward to Mile 22. I knew it wasn't going to be high art or even giant budgeted spectacle, but there's plenty of room between those two things for a fun movie.
The premise is simple: a squad of badasses have to get from point A to point B in a certain amount of time and pretty much everybody in-between those two points is trying to kill them. We've seen this one done before. The low key, but still pretty solid, Bruce Willis starrer 16 Blocks did it and The Raid kind of did it as well, but the twist here was it was a modern warfare take of a trained group of people instead of one guy fighting his way through some baddies.
When you add in Peter Berg directing, Mark Wahlberg starring and a team comprised of people like Ronda Rousey, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais and John Malkovich as their eye-in-the-sky overseer then you have the makings of some real fun B-grade entertainment.
The problem is they fucked it up on a fundamental level.
Structurally this thing was doomed from the script
stage. Wahlberg and his team don't even start on their title 22 mile
trek until halfway through the movie so the whole reason you want to
watch the movie feels rushed. I could forgive that if they spent the
first half of the movie really focused on character, making us care
about the team before they go into the shit, but instead they spend
that time trying to be quippy while over-explaining a hilariously
The Raid's Iko Uwais is a cop who has knowledge of the location of some deadly powder that I guess acts like a nuclear bomb, irradiating entire cities if sprinkled on the ground. He'll tell the US where all this stuff is if they can get him safely out of his country. It's 22 miles from the embassy where he's being held and the airplane that will take him to America and it's up to Mark Wahlberg and his crew to get him there.
We don't really need anything else plot-wise, but nobody told director Peter Berg or screenwriter Lea Carpenter that. No, there's a subplot about evil Russians infiltrating the mission and a ridiculously in-depth backstory on Mark Wahlberg's childhood. I get that we need these characters to have personality and tics, but making Wahlberg's character an autistic genius who puts together “impossible” puzzles in his spare time doesn't really match up with the high-strung 'roid rage character he plays for most of the movie. In fact it seems like the only reason we're given that particular backstory is so he has a reason to snap a rubber band around his wrist over and over again in his many monologue scenes.
Critics were unkind to Ben Affleck's The Accountant, but at least his character is consistent. His ability to be an incredible assassin was directly tied into his character making his autism work for him. There's definitely a conversation to be had about using a real thing that real people have to integrate into their lives this way in movies, but we can all agree that Affleck's character being autistic meant something to that film's story We don't get anything like that in Mile 22.
They tell us Mark Wahlberg is a genius, but we never see any evidence of it. He's just a good soldier. He doesn't ever outthink his opponent or show more focus or anything. He's just good at shooting and working under fire. That's it.
The movie also lets down his squad. Ronda Rousey is established as a good fighter and you know she's tough because she says “fuck” a lot and... then doesn't do anything with her. The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan is given some dramatic meat with a pending divorce and child custody battle brewing while she's supposed to be dealing with this intense situation. Cohan does a good job showing the character's ability to compartmentalize without making her feel cold and uncaring about her family, but that doesn't change the fact that for the first half of the movie her character doesn't do much more than awkwardly get angry at phone calls with her soon to be ex, inexplicably played by Berg himself.
Iko Uwais is the standout here. His character is mysterious, multi-layered and the only one who gets a chance to really show off just how formidable he is. It might help that he also choreographed most of the fight scenes and he's involved with roughly 90% of them, but it's a testament to just how effortlessly badass he is that his choreography shows through Berg's quick-cut editing style at all. The geography is rarely established and the hand to hand scenes are shot so close and cut so quickly that it's doubly frustrating for anybody who has seen The Raid films and know what Uwais is capable of.
They try to do something interesting and different with the ending. Naturally I won't go into any detail on that, but I will say I liked the direction, but it was too little too late at that point.
So the movie fails on a character level, on a pacing level and on a fun action film level. Those are the three things that should have been a given with this idea and talent involved. The movie was a big whiff for me and I'm no film snob who thinks everything should be a Criterion film. I walked in excited to have a good time at the movies and left angry at the missed opportunity here.
1 month agoBen B. Singer Ben B. Singer
The journey into 2015 wasn’t very kind to Death Battle. A lot of problems came crashing down on us all at once. Despite feeling like the world was suddenly against us, this “dark period” was strangely book-ended by the friendly face of the man who inspired me to create this show in the first place; Monty Oum.
Okay, I know this is supposed to start with Kirby VS Majin Buu, but this story actually begins with Godzilla VS Gamera. 2014 was the first year we attended RTX. We had not merged with Rooster Teeth at this point, and as far as I know that wasn’t even a whisper of an idea at the time, but Monty had personally invited us to Rooster Teeth annual event. It was a big deal for me! It was my first time seeing the real impact Rooster Teeth had. Our booth in the vendor's hall was right across from the Rooster Teeth store, and it was amazing seeing so many people line up to get in there! Thanks to Monty, we even got ourselves a panel! We were working on Godzilla VS Gamera at the time, and Torrian had just recently finished the animation, so I planned to show an early cut at the panel. Unfortunately, that didn’t go quite as planned. While at our hotel, literally the day before our panel was scheduled, I pulled out my MacBook Pro that had the episode on it… and it didn’t turn on.
This was the same computer I used to write and edit Death Battles, so I was really stuck up a shit browser without a mouse. (Terrible analogy, but whatever.) I eventually got a new computer, but this brief lack of equipment still created some scheduling issues. At the same time, Nick was just beginning to work on his first Death Battle and I was acting as a supporting role there. So several new things were happening all at once. It sure would be a terrible time to, I dunno, have to cancel an episode at the last minute?
Then Kirby vs Ditto happened.
No, I didn’t mistype anything. Kirby VS Majin Buu was originally supposed to be Kirby VS Ditto. I was writing the script, had the fight planned out, and everything was almost totally good to go! ...then I found a “Kirby: Right Back At Ya!” episode where the plucky pink puffball threw a giant worm all the way to the sun.
Yeah, Ditto was one hundred percent screwed.
We had to make a last minute call to change the episode’s match-up. Although we did not change it to Kirby VS Buu right away. At first, we actually tried to change it to an eating contest between Kirby, Goku, Snorlax, and Luffy. No really, that almost happened. We had been discussing trying new Death Battle concepts, like a death race, and I guess Kirby's eating habits just seemed like the perfect thing to experiment with. I dedicated a whole week to developing an eating contest Death Battle, but I had reservations. The battle script was overdue at this point, and our animator needed to get started ASAP if we were going to meet our deadline. Given how conceptually different an eating-to-the-death contest would be, I didn’t feel comfortable trying to force it into this episode. This was something that would require time to properly put together without feeling rushed or poorly thought out. So at the last, last possible minute, the battle was changed to Kirby VS Majin Buu.
By today's standards, Kirby VS Majin Buu and Gaara VS Toph both suffer from the time period they were released. I feel like a broken record at this point, but seasons 1 and 2 focused more on interpretations and logic than measurements and calculations. That’s changed for the better now, so I’d be curious what the results would be like if we re-examined them with today’s Death Battle rules. There actually is one line in Kirby VS Buu I need to call out, though. In the post-fight analysis, Boomstick says “Kirby’s warp star moves faster than light, a speed Buu has never had to combat before.” But like… we literally just said Goku’s faster than light speed a few episodes ago, right? Hmmmm. But there's still plenty to enjoy in these episodes! Casting for Gaara VS Toph stands out to me the most. It became a somewhat disorganized affair thanks to some issues I'll hit on in just a bit, so Marissa (who played Noin in Tigerzord VS Gundam Epyon) offered to help cast the roles as Chris Guerrero and Kira Buckland, which turned out fantastic! Funny enough, both have returned to this year's season of Death Battle!
Unfortunately, I didn't realize until it was too late that showing Buu get killed by the cute and cuddly Kirby, of all things, might not sit too well with an audience still coping with our Goku VS Superman episode. I rationalized that Death Battle shouldn't skew itself to appease any one fan base over others, and it would be wrong to give the Dragon Ball audience special treatment when we'd never done so to anyone else. I hold the show by this standard to this day. That being said, given how popular and widely discussed Goku VS Superman had already become, I can absolutely understand why some people might think we should have thought otherwise in this particular case.
Anyway, there was a lot of pressure to get 3 Death Battles out in the first two months of 2015. If I recall, I believe Craig was frustrated that we had to delay a few episodes because of the aforementioned difficulties, and wanted to make up for it. So three episodes were quickly rushed out the door; Ragna VS Sol Badguy, Gaara VS Toph, and Boba Fett VS Samus Aran Remastered. Given our current release schedule, this doesn't seem that bad, but keep in mind that we didn't have the multi-person teams on each episode like we have today. I think the pressure of getting these done so quickly created a few issues. Especially since we agreed Nick could have Ragna VS Sol Badguy because “Hey, they’re fighting game characters! How complicated could their backstory and analysis possibly be?”
Turns out, VERY MUCH SO!!
I think the episode still turned out great, though. Zack’s animation is baller, and Wiz and Boomstick’s “Who’s On First” style confusion over That Man is still one of my favorite jokes we ever did. And to those who are critical of Kirby VS Majin Buu and Gaara VS Toph, please don't misunderstand my intention here. This blog isn't meant to seek pity or excuse why any episodes in particular don't necessarily hold up to the quality our any other Death Battle releases. The Road to 100 series is simply meant to explore and reveal what working on Death Battle for so many years has been like, both the good and the bad.
By the way, if you’re looking at the YouTube release of Ragna VS Sol Badguy, you may be wondering why it was apparently posted in April. Unfortunately, we were unaware that two pieces of fan art had been included in the edit by mistake and without credit. Long story short, one of the artists issued a takedown, but we were eventually able to come to an agreement and re-upload the episode. We improved our process so it wouldn't happen again and kept trudging along. As for the remaster, we were actually moving Torrian from Detroit to our Dallas office while he was working on the project. So it was good old fashioned stressful times for everybody!
Then on February 1st, in the middle of producing a Death Battle specifically inspired by his work, Monty Oum sadly passed away.
There were other difficulties going on at the time, too. Chief among them, I had learned that my aunt was suffering a cancer relapse after a 4 year battle which my whole family thought was behind her. She passed shortly after Monty. Personally, it was just a very taxing couple of months. It's still a little tough to talk about, even in a written blog all these years later. As for how it affected my work, I wasn't nearly as invested in the episode I was working on at the time (Gaara VS Toph) as I usually would have been. I'm glad to now have a team at my back to help with current issues like this. The chaos reminded me of the never-ending stress from my first year on Death Battle, and for awhile I even began questioning whether or not I should continue working on the show.
Thankfully, this bleak time would be lifted by our next episode; the wonderful Chuck Norris VS Segata Sanshiro!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. On a lighter note, would you be interested in seeing a Death Battle with a unique premise like the aforementioned eating contest?
1 month agoJordan Campe Diem
Unless you’ve been living in a briar patch for the last hundred years, you’re probably aware that Nomad of Nowhere is back! That’s right, for the next six weeks we’ll be airing the last six episodes of season one. Episodes will release every Friday on Rooster Teeth for FIRST members, right at 8AM Central (same time slot Camp Camp occupied the past 12 weeks). The week after that, the episode will be free for all to watch on the site and mobile apps as well. You have our mobile app right? If not, get ithere for iOS and here for Android and get to watching.
So that’s seven days for Rooster Teeth FIRST, then free on the site for everyone. Got it? Awesome.
We hope you’re excited for the rest of season one; it will be quite a wild ride filled with twists, turns, plus lots of heart and EMOTIONS. Without giving away too much, it’s going to be really cool. Thanks for all your support (and patience) for the show! You’re the best bunch o’ dunderheads a crew could ever ask for.