Episode - 19: Dr. Eggman VS Dr. Wily
At this point, Death Battle had been running for over a year. With each episode reaching at least one million views, the show could finally be considered a success! Yet for some reason, I was forced to continue Death Battle's production as if nothing had changed. Normally, when a show starts bringing in more money, it uses some of said money to bolster the show's own budget to improve quality. Unfortunately, and frustratingly, that's not how ScrewAttack did things back then. Any time I requested additional funding/manpower to improve the Death Battle, I was denied. I realized that the only thing I could do was make the show better by myself, and showcase how improvements to our production could actually help even more.
So I decided to do Dr. Eggman VS Dr. Wily.
I knew it would be damn near impossible for me to pull this off all by myself, but that was the whole point. My only option was to literally show why extra manpower could benefit us. Fortunately, my college semester had come to a close, so I had all the time in the world to push myself to the brink for my most ambitious episode yet.
Doctor Eggman versus Doctor Wily is an army battle, pitting the mechanized minions of both mad scientists against one another. Given how both characters have a massive amount of different robotic soldiers to pull from, it was a hefty challenge narrowing it down to those I would be able to show in what little screen time I would have.
This is an excellent example of something regarding Death Battle that some viewers understandably have a difficult time processing; we only have a limited amount of time in each video to discuss and showcase different elements of each character, but that doesn’t mean that anything we don’t explicitly mention is never considered at all. In reality, we look at everything, and have to decide what’s worth spending time on and what isn’t. It’s a difficult balancing act that we’ve definitely improved on since the early years. The reason why I say this episode is a good example is because while I could only showcase about a dozen of so named robots for each evil doctor, I still took every single one that ever existed at the time into account. While selecting the robot representatives, my goal was to create a small force that would properly represent the doctors’ armies as a whole.
As I expected, the animation was extraordinarily time-consuming. It was by far my longest fight to date, and there were so many different characters I had to prepare and animate all at once. It was a monster! One day, Chad walked into the office to find me asleep at my deck, slumped over my keyboard, having spent all night there animating this damn thing.
It was rough… but it worked out in the end. I was really proud of how the episode turned out. Plus, my gambit worked! Thanks to how well-received this episode was, I was finally able to hired an animator for the next Death Battle episode! Things seemed like smooth-sailing from here, but ooooooh boy, we’re just getting started!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. If we ever do another army vs army Death Battle, what matchup would you like to see?