I helped make lasagna for the first time ever last night! Was a huge success. Next time, we will make our own pasta =D
2 weeks agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
With both Wonder Woman and Thor coming to theaters in 2017, it seemed only natural that we’d put them together in a Death Battle episode. I’d actually planned on us doing this match-up for a long time, even before Gal Gadot and Chris Hemsworth tweeted about it! I probably would have included in in Season 3 if those two movies hadn’t been announced as releasing the following year.
I think there are very few characters who will ever get the chance at more than one Death Battle, but Thor and Wonder Woman are perfect as combatants for the show! They have impressive and measurable powers, unique and interesting arsenals, are capable of jumping into any fight at nearly full potential with no prep-time, (Sorry, Batman!) and are frankly just really fun to talk about!
And then we get to easily the most complicated match-up of the year; Naruto VS Ichigo.
This was another match I always knew we’d bring into the show. It was always a question of timing. Specifically, the question was: “Do we wait for both Bleach and Naruto series to end?” In this case, we were able to do just that. Unfortunately, it's not always a reliable option.
I often get questions about this from viewers. Some people are adamant that we should wait until a series is over before bringing related characters into a Death Battle. That way we can examine them at the maximum potential. This makes total sense on paper, sure… but oftentimes it isn't very practical. If we were to always wait until the end of a series, then we’d have to ignore a vast majority of top requested episodes for so long that their demand may plummet dramatically before we do them. People want to see what’s hot at the moment, after all. Even then, there are some series that simply have no hope of ending anytime soon, and will likely still be in circulation even after Death Battle has ended, whenever that may be. Is it really fair to ourselves, let alone the audience’s wishes, to indefinitely put off episodes for who knows how long?
I usually see this conversation in regards to manga/anime characters, but look and Wonder Woman and Thor! They both have ongoing comic series with no end in sight. Thor in particular was going through a powerful life changing and character molding arc at the same time we made Thor VS Wonder Woman. Yet it would be a ridiculous notion to wait until their comics end. Perhaps waiting on a manga story is more reasonable, as they typically only have one author and usually build up to a planned conclusion. But then look at things like Boruto and Dragon Ball Super. If fans want to see more, they’ll usually get it, and those types of show are often the subject of the most frequent Death Battle requests. There’s no way for us to predict and accommodate such things. For example, One Piece is potentially going to continue for another whole decade, if not more! Is it really worth it to wait 10 more years before bringing Luffy into Death Battle? If not, when would be a good time to do such a thing? This makes an excellent case for "milestone-specific" character interpretation. Like using Teen Gohan but removing anything related to or past Adult Gohan.
Most of the time, I just view our match-ups as they are at the time they air. If Bleach gets a sequel series and Ichigo gets a massive upgrade, perhaps that would warrant a rematch episode. Who knows? There’s no grand plan, but I certainly strive to strike a balance. We try to include characters who have had enough information to present them at a reasonable level. For example, Saitama from One-Punch Man was in high demand when that series first began, but I refused to put him in an episode until more OPM content had been published. Same goes for Ruby VS Maka, the match-up Monty Oum himself requested. I’d rather wait until RWBY has publicly explored her powers which have only been hinted at so far, as it would be unfair to pit Ruby against a character from a complete series while we still known so little about what she is capable of. Yet at the same time, I’m not sure it would be feasible to wait until either One-Punch Man or RWBY are 100% complete before including those characters. It’s all a balancing act of figuring the right time and place. I prefer to take Death Battle one episode at a time, and focus on what’s available at said time.
And in the case for Naruto VS Ichigo, there was a lot to focus on.
After a miscalculation that unfortunately slipped into the Android 18 VS Captain Marvel episode, we took new steps to ensure our analyses and mathematics were correct. We certainly put more eyes on every piece of information from then on. Given the complexity of this massive episode, this additional support was put to the test, and became incredibly useful when a mistaken calculation occurred.
You know how we used Ulquiorra’s ability to destroy Las Noches to help determine Ichigo’s maximum power output? These was a lot that went into this calculation. Hell, it takes nearly 2 whole minutes to explain it all in the episode! Anyway, one part required calculating the square mileage of Las Noches to determine Ulquiorra’s power output. Because Las Noches’ size isn’t very clearly defined, this became a challenge in and of itself. In a very early draft of the script, it was believed that Las Noches was circular in shape. However, as the script passed through the process, this was noted as a mistake, as a few particular screenshots show that Las Noches is, in fact, square. Obviously this changes the dimensions of the city a lot, and in fact a square city meant Ulquiorra’s power was much greater than if it were circular, so it was incredibly important to catch such a specific, otherwise arbitrary detail. But our team has gotten really good about catching stuff like that and acting on it!
This animation was really special, too. Many of Ichigo’s more powerful forms have had very rare appearances in media. By using custom artwork, our Death Battle became one of the first fight videos in existence to show Ichigo’s final form in actual combat! I know some people were confused about the Mugetsu move being used as Ichigo’s last resort, since theoretically his merged Hollow form could be more powerful. Including Mugetsu as the final attack was actually inspired by our research into fan discussions. Here’s the thing; these characters’ upper limits were extremely difficult to determine. Their upgrades and alternate modes don’t scale linearly like the Super Saiyan forms. As such, the Bleach fandom is pretty divided on Ichigo’s power levels throughout the series.
To top it off, the Mugetsu move saps Ichigo of his powers. We knew that the only place it could fit would be the end of the fight. We also knew that if we didn’t include it, there’d be a whole section of Bleach fans arguing that we didn’t use his most powerful form. Regardless on where you stand on that debate, it seemed most logical to pit both “top tier” forms against Naruto’s giant fox mode. Judging by the overall positive response this episode got, I think we made the right call!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. What’s your opinion on saving characters until a series is over? If you prefer waiting, what are your thoughts on characters who are a part of ongoing series with no reasonable end in sight like One Piece and comic books?
2 weeks agoericvespe
The biggest get of Fantastic Fest was the new Halloween and instead of ending the festival with it they threw it right up front, charging the festival with a rush of energy right off the bat.
You might have heard that the approach to this film isn't a remake or a reboot or a traditional sequel. The concept is to throw out pretty much everything after the first film and make it a direct sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 original. That means all the stuff about Laurie Strode being Michael Myers' sister is out the window as is the crazy convoluted Myers cult-y backstory that was added in the Halloween 4-6 years.
The key reason this movie works is precisely because of that choice.
Here's the thing. When you strip Myers of motivation and reason for being the killing machine he is you return him to being the faceless boogeyman that was originally credited only as “The Shape.” His mask is a blank slate, a white screen for the audience to project their greatest fears onto. The Shape is random death. He's a walking car accident or heart attack or lightning strike. Giving him a reason to be hunting Laurie Strode (he just gotta kill any and all sisters!) in Halloween 2 undercut that, which is why he became less and less scary as the movies went on.
With 2018's Halloween they go back to The Shape. We meet Michael early on and he's just a shell, a motionless, thoughtless vessel. The thing that triggers him back into action isn't the calendar flipping over to Halloween once again or because he catches a glimpse of Laurie Strode... You don't know why he puts the mask back on again. And THAT's the way it should to be.
Once he slips the mask on, he's once again random death personified. You don't know who he'll go after, who he'll spare, what captures his attention and what doesn't. In fact you get the feeling that if Laurie Strode wasn't seeking him out he could have gone on his rampage and never once reunited with his previous target. Again, THAT's the way it should be!
Getting The Shape right sounds like a small part to making a worthy sequel, but up to this point Halloween 2018 is the only sequel to actually pull it off. So that alone makes this film a big recommend, but it's not the only thing Halloween 2018 has going for it.
There's a strong subtext about how people deal with trauma that adds a little meat to a movie ostensibly simply about a brutal killer going on a Halloween night rampage through suburbia. Laurie Strode is a survivor, a little bit in the Sarah Connor/T2 mold, but it's not an easy equation from hurt in the '70s to superhero in the twenty-teens. Like most trauma survivors, Laurie has to carry the stain of the events she survived into her daily life. That had an impact on her future relationships, how she related to her children, how her education unfolded, how she did her job. It's a part of her, both positive and negative.
She has prepared for the day random horror would come back into her life. In this case it was embodied in Michael Myers, but if it was aliens invading or a dirty bomb going off in Haddonfield or any other even that requires a call to action she would have been just as ready to tackle it in the name of protecting those she loves.
Some of the subtext is deep, some of it is lightly brought up and kind of forgotten, but the important thing is it's there and it gives Jamie Lee Curtis a lot to work with. She's so great in the movie. Strong, without being supernatural, flawed without being a cliché. You root for her and kind of feel sorry for Myers should he find himself in her crosshairs because he ain't ready for it.
The movie isn't full of jump scares, but you do get some brutal, unexpected kills. It gets gory, but it doesn't depend on gore to provide the horror. Again, what makes Myers scary is you know he's around and you know he won't stop once he sees you and they play that up big time.
Now, Halloween 2018 isn't perfect. It's a tad choppy in the first act. It doesn't seem to really get into its flow until Myers is out and about. There's also a subplot involving Myers' psychiatrist that I didn't care for. It's weird, out of left field and frankly kind of feels like it belongs in one of the lesser sequels this one is so smartly ignoring.
However, the movie has it where it counts. Jamie Lee is on point, Judy Greer, who plays her daughter, has some good stuff to do, Will Patton is solid as the Sheriff who has an unexpected connection to the events of the first film and, most importantly, Michael Myers is scary again.
Danny McBride's input can absolutely be felt, especially in some of the character dialogue. There are a couple of minor characters who pop up and their sharp, funny back and forths just scream McBride to me. I may be completely mistaken, but there's one character in particular, a kid named Julian, that feels like he's McBride's stand-in. He's got heart, but loves fucking with his babysitter, making him probably my favorite new character in the series in ages. In fact, I love Julian so much I want to see a spin-off movie where it's just him talking loving smack to various babysitters for 2 hours. I may be the only one, but I'd be there with bells on if that happened!
The film looks great, with deep nighttime blacks and rich cinematic photography that fits extremely well with Carpenter's original. Speaking of, John and Cody Carpenter's score is another great layer that makes this feel in line with the original and not tacked on to the series.
Halloween 2018 just feels right. That's the highest compliment I can give it. It feels like a worthy, legit followup that finally, fully understands what made the first film tick.
2 weeks agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
Now here’s a group of episodes that are extremely special to me!
Let’s start with Balrog VS TJ Combo, currently the latest Death Battle appearance of a Killer Instinct character. This match-up was specifically requested by Nick and Torrian for this season, and quickly became their pet project.
As far as the fight goes, Nick and Torrian were on the same page from day one. Obviously it had take place in a boxing ring, but the real question was whether or not we should apply boxing rules to the animation. The original script had them battling through many timed rounds, with it all coming to a head in the final one. My concern was that it might create confusion among some viewers about whether or not these sporting rules were taken into account when choosing the victor. Particularly if one of these rounds ended in a “saved by the bell” moment where it appears either character could have won if the fight took place outside a sporting event. The last thing I wanted was to see a fleet of comments demanding that we redo the episode without the ring rules. While I think Nick and Torrian were a little disappointed I was basically having to tear their idea apart, we eventually came to the compromise you see in the episode itself. Personally, I think the final result is the best possible direction we could’ve had. Just thinking about this episode excites me!
One of my favorite things to do with Death Battle combatant is compare their fighting styles to those in real life. Oftentimes, especially with fighting game characters, their styles are specifically labelled, giving us a starting point to really dive into their potential in depth. Part of this sort of research also involves how the two combatants’ fighting styles would play off each other. Some styles can be natural counters to others. This was our first episode featuring a duel between two boxers, giving us a unique opportunity to study a sport we hadn’t covered yet. It was fascinating comparing Balrog and TJ to the boxing triangle theory, as well as boxers like George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. I love it when good research just clicks together like that!
Shredder VS Silver Samurai was a fairly unique episode. Similar to Carnage VS Lucy from our current season, it was a match-up that wasn’t heavilly requested, yet not totally unheard of. We chose it not necessarily for any potential view count and popular success, but simply because we thought it would be an interesting bout. I think it turned out to be a complete success! Examining how the characters related to the histories of ninja and samurai was well worth the time, and Luis pulled off yet another gorgeous animation alongside sprite artist Chris Bastin aka Jerky! Jerky is the one responsible for a lot of the custom sprite work you’ve seen in Death Battle seasons 4 and 5, including some of the most grotesque deaths like Ace’s burning face and Super Shredder incredibly over-the-top finishing move here.
Shredder VS Silver Samurai also marked a turning point for a section of Death Battle production that hadn’t changed much since the beginning; the music! Starting with this episode, all Death Battle animations would feature a completely original battle score! This first one, Shredding Silver, was composed and performed by our good friend Brandon Yates, who would be helping with many, many future episodes since then. Soon after this, we teamed up with Werewolf Therewolf to alternate episodes with Brandon. Every time these guys send in a track for an episode is the highlight of my day, even if it’s just an early mix that’s going to be changed before the final cut. Bringing in original music actually changed the way I looked at our battle sequences. We could do so much more now, and really make these battles something of our own. I think the recent tracks for Carnage VS Lucy and Optimus Prime VS Gundam are excellent examples of that.
Then there’s Smokey Bear VS McGruff the Crime Dog! The battle of the PSA mascots. Seriously, what the hell is this episode? RIght???
This was an gag episode long in the making. Three years, in fact. Despite having two separate teams for different Death Battles at this point, this one actually started as my project in 2015, then became Nick’s project in 2016, and finally Sam’s project in 2017. Every Death Battle project lead at the time got their hands on this one! It was really fun exploring the history of these characters. Most of the ScrewAttack staff is in our mid 20’s to mid 30’s, so not all of us were familiar with the original outings of these mascots. For example, I had no idea it used to be common practice for some grade schools to actually sing the Smokey Bear song in class every week. The more you know!
This idea was originally pitched to us at a convention and we agreed to do it. Not sure why we made such a rash promise like that on the spot, but hey, never let it be said I don’t keep my promises! Even if it takes… you know… three whole years to do them…
But there’s a good reason, I swear! If we were going to do this episode, we were going to do it right. I would accept no other notion outside of a completely hand-drawn animation. As you may recall, ScrewAttack’s budget planning didn’t allow for much show growth until Craig left. We could finally pull together episode we wanted, all thanks to the Blind Ferret animation studio! We loved working with them so much we asked them to animate our 100th episode… which, surprise, is coming up in just a few weeks!
-Ben B. Singer
3 weeks agoEric_Duncan VP, Marketing
Hey all -
The next RT Box is going to be available starting October 1 and will run until the end of the year or until we're out of inventory, whichever one comes first.
So, if you're already an RT Box member and you haven't skipped the box or cancelled your auto-renew, you're good to go to receive the super special holiday edition!
If you aren't an RT Box member yet, but really want this super cool box - you can sign up for it starting OCTOBER 1! (That's just in a few days.)
Thanks for being awesome. Can't wait to see y'alls reaction to the cool stuff we've made this time around.
3 weeks agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
Out of all the Season 4 episodes, these three were potentially the toughest projects. (Except for maybe Naruto VS Ichigo, but I’ll save that for later!) They were difficult to make not necessarily because of amount of research required or some debating debacle. This was the summer ScrewAttack moved to Austin to join Rooster Teeth proper.
Death Battle is already a very complicated production affair with a lot of moving parts and connecting pieces, so uprooting the lives of the entire staff across the span of two months certainly put some strain on our schedules. Some of the writing may have suffered a bit from our divided attentions, but overall I don’t think the controlled chaos was very noticeable thanks to the team’s skill.
Fortunately, the battle sequences didn’t falter! Animators Zack and Aquilla returned after a long hiatus to work on 18 VS Marvel and Lucario VS Renamon respectively, while Luis took on Metal Sonic VS Zero. This was around the time when Luis joined Torrian in the office to become our main 2D animator. Ironically enough, his Metal Sonic VS Zero was also the first Death Battle to incorporate both 2D and 3D animation! Given what I’d seen him do before, I really wasn’t sure how he’d pull off something as crazy as Metal Sonic’s Metal Overlord. Luis told me not to worry, he had a plan, but I still wasn’t expecting Overlord to have very much screen time. Then lo and behold he shows off this awesome battle sequence!
Before we could get started on Lucario VS Renamon, we had a long discussion about whether or not evolution should be included. I didn’t want it to be a repeat of Pokemon VS Digimon, so trainers/tamers were out the window. However, there was some evidence to suggest Renamon could digivolve on her own, and Lucario technically Mega Evolves on his own in Smash Bros.
Both instances required very specific circumstances, but existed nonetheless. Ultimately, it was my desire to keep this match-up different from Pokemon VS Digimon which led to evolutions being banned regardless, making this a very straight-forward one-on-one fight. I believed it would be a closer fight this way, and given the Digimon’s huge advantage last time, avoiding the possibility of such a power difference would likely encourage viewers to enjoy it more.
Also, while returning characters are far infrequent in Death Battle… I actually think it would be worthwhile to give Captain Marvel another chance at the arena. She continues to be a highly requested character with all sorts of match-up ideas. Who knows? Maybe one day...
Well, now that we were settled into our new space, it was time for Nick and Torrian to get started on a pet project they’d been talking about all year long. No blog tomorrow, but on Friday I’ll talk about Balrog VS TJ Combo!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. Of these 3 episodes, which was your favorite and why? Which was your least favorite?
3 weeks agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
While the episodes themselves weren’t really built to play off each other, their timing next to each other seemed too convenient. How could I not refer to these episode as the Fire and Ice episodes?
Natsu VS Ace was one of the earliest planned episodes for Season 4. In fact, remember the long and arduous research process for Zoro VS Erza episode from Season 3? We spent many, many months going through One Piece and Fairy Tail for that episode, but there was a secret motive behind it; Sam and Jessica were actually researching two episodes at once! Essentially, since we already knew we’d be doing Ace VS Natsu the following year, they took notes on Zoro, Erza, Ace, and Natsu all at the same time. The hardcore analysis for Natsu VS Ace took place later so they could focus on Zoro VS Erza, but when it was time to get to work on this episode, they already had a great head start. It worked out well!
This season presented a lot of match-ups which required extremely complicated discussions. As Natsu can eat fire, one such discussion was whether or not he could actually eat Ace, who can transform into fire. On paper, it sounds pretty simple. Why couldn’t he eat him? Except since Ace can activate and deactivate his fire form at will, we realized that he could not only resist being eating, but also Natsu might not have a way to hurt him at all, despite being much more powerful. We had a hard time determining a reliable way for either character to win, making this one of the closest match-ups in Death Battle history. Also, personal opinion here, but I can’t wait until we bring Luffy into a Death Battle! One Piece is such a joy to watch, even if it’s so incredibly long it’ll cost half your lifespan to get through.
As for Sub-Zero VS Glacius, it was easily one of our top gaming related viewer requests. Given Nick’s history with Killer Instinct, it seemed like a natural fit! Sub-Zero is actually one character I’m surprised we didn’t bring into the Death Battle arena back in the old sprite-only days.
I do remember us talking about a bunch of other possible match-ups for Sub-Zero. Street Fighter’s Ryu was fairly requested, of course, and so was Iceman from the X-Men. But the most surprising request that kept showing up was Elsa. You know, the ice-queen from Frozen?
Yeah. The concept of Sub-Zero VS Elsa came past my desk more than just a few times while planning 2017’s lineup. It’s a funny idea, but after putting it through the Death Battle machine, I’m not so sure the people asking for it would like what it would be. Well, unless you like the idea of Elsa being skewered by a dozen ice swords and having her spine ripped out… I guess…
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. Luffy will likely appear in Death Battle at some point, and I’ve seen a lot of good match-up requests; Naruto, Ichigo, Mr. Fantastic, Saitama, Toriko, Popeye, and so on. I can’t decide which one we should do! Who would you like to see Luffy fight in a future Death Battle?
3 weeks agokriss Community Manager
Taking the day and night medicine as needed, grabbed some orange juice and soup, staying burrito-ed in a blanket on the couch, and trying to sweat it all out.
Aside from eating a lot of ginger candies, this is usually my go to method for fighting the plague.
I suppose it's not a completely horrible experience. I'm at home and watching the girls. Chloe has been slowing down quite a bit, and she's not eating, so I boiled some chicken and made rice for her. Mix that up with her dry food and she at least eats half her bowl.
So as my mountain of mucus covered tissues pile up as the day progresses, tell me about yours. What's been happening lately? How y'all doing?
3 weeks agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
Episode- 75 Power Rangers VS Voltron
Season 4 was an incredibly important year for Death Battle, possibly rivaling the importance of Season 3’s massive production restructuring. For one thing, this was the year we moved to Rooster Teeth’s headquarters… though I’ll get to the challenges and opportunities that presented when I cover the summer episodes. The other change was that Craig had officially moved on from ScrewAttack, leaving the company in the hands of Sean Hinz and Chad James. While ScrewAttack may have looked just the same as always on the surface, things were very different behind the scenes. In a very good way!
ScrewAttack had been stretched a bit too far across its small staff, so in 2017, Death Battle became a much greater initiative for ScrewAttack, with further staff and support put behind related shows DBX and Desk of Death Battle along with a new Death Battle podcast. For the cherry on top, Death Battle got a long overdue new look!
The original look for Death Battle was very much inspired by Mortal Kombat and… yeah, that’s about it. Oh, also the slamming metal doors from a classic UK show called Robot Wars which I’d watched as a kid in the mid-90’s, but I didn’t even realize I was subconsciously drawing from that until years later. As far as the themes went though, Death Battle was originally produced with video game audiences in mind, as ScrewAttack was primarily a gaming website back in 2010. Since then, the audience had grown, and attention had shifted. It’s no secret that our most viewed episodes are typically those with comic book or shonen anime characters. It was past time to change Death Battle’s look to reflect that, while still keeping a little of the good ol’ fashioned look.
Can I take a moment to just gush about how incredible the graphics artists are at Rooster Teeth? I absolutely adore the new logo and assets for Death Battle’s fourth season. When that aired for Lara Croft VS Nathan Drake, it really felt like a whole new Death Battle had hit the scene. For me, Season 3 had been exactly that; a complete rebirth of the show. Season 3 had plenty of growing pains, but I think we wound up with a show that’s far superior to what it was before.
And this hit me smack in the face with Power Rangers VS Voltron. Like… a good smack.
This is without a doubt one of the most ambitious animations we’d ever done. Five lions, five dinozords, 10 characters, 2 giant robots, tons of weapons… almost all of which had to be custom made from scratch! Not to mention 10 voice actors for each unique character, and a script with enough going on to give each character a moment to shine and two whole transformation scenes! Listen, if you don’t know squat about animation, that probably doesn’t mean much to you. How hard could animating all this be, right?
Just so you know, it was hard as balls.
This is an episode we’d been trying to get a foothold on for years. I was already working on a potential battle script as far back as 2012, before we even tried 3D animation in the first place! Back then, I figured the available budget would never allow for 3D animation. Without the growth that was being denied, I figured Power Rangers VS Voltron would have to be 2D and started looking for someone to make custom sprite work for it. That didn’t end up working out, but I think that’s for the best. It was worth the wait!
There are a lot of standout moments I remember from working on this one. Nick was the writer and project lead for this episode, and he’d never watched Power Rangers before. About halfway through the research weeks, there was a memorable moment at lunch when Nick started lamenting at how he was really bummed that he hadn’t watched it as a kid!
Some of the models used in the animation, including the Megazord itself, were built by Reid Fagerquist. Because she was building it from scratch, Chad actually brought in an old Megazord toy he still had from his childhood to be used as a reference model!
As a kid, I always wondered what each of the Power Rangers did while they were in the Megazord cockpit. Only Jason held a control stick, but the other Rangers were busy looking at screens or… something. Right? Even though it really didn’t matter in regards to the fight itself, I made it part of my mission during our research to discover what each one of them was actually doing when the zords all came together. I paid attention to every piece of throw away dialogue and specific conversations held in the cockpit, like how Zack was usually the one who checked the status of their weapons, or how Kimberly was the one who would establish contact with Zordon and Alpha 5. You can see all the roles listed on each character’s info slate in the episode! That was fun to figure out.
Even back in 2012, I’d always imagined the Rangers and Voltron pilots would be voiced by fellow YouTube stars I’d met over the years. When it finally came time to make that happen, our casting director Marissa totally agreed. Matthew Patrick, Austin Hargrave, Amanda Lee, Jeff Fabre, Andre Meadows, Melonie Mac, Scott Frerichs, Nick Landis, Morgan Berry, and Alejandro Saab all lent their voices to this crazy thing, and I’m so thankful they were all so on board with it despite how busy the script was, how most of them would record remotely, and they all had incredibly busy schedules. And for the icing on the cake, musician Brandon Yates returned to create an awesome original soundtrack for the battle. In the end, it all came together beautifully!
I’m immensely proud of everyone who worked so hard for so long to put this amazing episode together!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. What did you think of the new Death Battle logo and re-branding when it first showed up? What do you think of it now?
3 weeks agoLoZelda Supposedly An Adult
Taking care of your mental health is a lot easier said than done. You can recognize something needs to change, even recognize exactly what that is and how to do it, and still struggle to address it. I've been having that internal fight for a while now and I finally have a bit of a plan for how to maybe start addressing...
*gestures to entire being*
So here's that whole brain dump for ya. Take care of yourselves
3 weeks agoburnie
I was at lunch with Teddy and Ashley at a cafe in France when I got a small but shocking indication of how much the world has changed during my life.
Teddy held up something from the table and said “what’s this?”
I replied “haha. You know what that is, put it down.”
He swore to me he had never seen one before. And then I realized that he might really never have.
It was an ashtray.
3 weeks agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
Another week, another round of random thoughts disguised as insightful editing notes. Here we go!
The Desk of The Desk of DEATH BATTLE - Powerpuff Girls meets Dragon Ball Z - Editor Notes
3 weeks agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
Let’s talk about Scrooge McDuck VS Shovel Knight!
Some of you are probably wondering why this match-up exists. It is certainly an unexpected one, I’ll give you that. This is a match-up that exists more so because of the characters themselves rather than the match-up idea. Let me explain… we had wanted to bring both Scrooge and Shovel Knight into Death Battle for a long time.
Many of us at ScrewAttack are huge fans of Shovel Knight, and Scrooge is such a wacky character with an extraordinary history that we were really interested in diving into that vault of gold to dig up his dirty secrets. After discussing numerous possibilities, this match-up seemed like the best combination!
I believe bringing Scrooge into a Death Battle was Sam’s idea. While most of each season’s list of episodes are based on popular request, we love doing something unexpected every once in awhile. So when we sat down to plan out the episodes for 2017, I asked the rest of the team what sorts of episodes they’d like to work on. Sam brought up Scrooge, and the rest of us looked at him like he was a crazy person. We had no idea what Sam had discovered while working on a recent Desk of Death Battle episode… Scrooge has some absolutely ridiculous feats of physical might!
Can I just say that I absolutely adore this episode’s animated battle? Luis tackled this one, and I believe this is the only Death Battle which truly embraces an 8-bit style, complete with appropriate sound effects and music. Overall, I like to think this is a very charming gag episode.
In contrast, Venom VS Bane is dark and serious as shit.
We get a lot of requests from viewers every day, and some people will spam the same requests over and over. (Please don’t do that.) I thought it was strange when I saw that Venom VS Bane was one of our most requested match-ups ever. “It must be someone spamming it, right?” I though. “What’s the connection for this match-up? Why would people want to see Venom and Bane fight? Surely it can’t be just because Bane’s super-steroid just so happens to be called venom…”
Spoiler alert; it was.
Buuuuut sometimes the off-kilter requests can actually turn out to be really interesting. It was pretty fascinating exploring Bane’s history in particular, a character who everyone recognizes, but not many actually know much about.
And props to Kayas for a really stellar animation. Watching it now, it’s cool to see just how far we’d come from the animations of just a few years prior. Also, fun fact, the killing blow at the end of this one is a reference to Chad’s suggestion for how Batman VS Spider-Man should’ve end. (He wanted Spidey to shoot webbing down Batman’s throat, choking him to death. Euagh…)
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. Are there any unexpected match-ups we’ve done that you weren’t sure about at first, but came around to it when the episode aired?
4 weeks agoAshley The Know
This week on Club Club we're reading The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch! It's a fun heisty fantasy book with a strong cast of likeable characters, shenanigans, and unexpected developments.
What do you think of the book!? Leave your thoughts on a particular moment or element of the book you particularly appreciated in the comments, or tweet us using #ClubClub.
Want us to address a specific theme, event, or story element? Suggest those too!
Tabletop Club - Mansions of Madness
Game Club - Little Nightmares
Movie Club - Spirited Away
4 weeks agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
Episode- 72 Lara Croft VS Nathan Drake
It’s time to dig into Season 4! Get it? Dig in? Because… because they’re treasure hunters…
Right, well, we started off with one of the most popular requests we’d seen, Lara Croft VS Nathan Drake. I’d always wanted to do this one, but knew it would be pretty tricky to pull off a fun battle sequence. Lara and Nathan can’t just fight each other, they have to duke it out over some lost treasure!
Surprisingly, this is one of our worst received episodes (in terms of likes versus dislikes on YouTube’s website, at least) and some of the criticisms are honestly a bit confusing to me. There are two main ones I see over and over.
First, the death blow was apparently considered a cop-out. Specifically, the fact that the helicopter blade is what deals the final blow by impaling Nathan on the ground. I don’t really understand this criticism. I mean, I would if the death was completely unrelated to the fight, but Lara was the one who destroyed the helicopter, sending Nathan to the ground and breaking his back. She had already won by that point. The impalement was just a creative way to end it, because I really didn’t want the final blow to be something as boring as a gunshot to the head or something simple like that. It’s not like this is the only Death Battle to do such a thing. These characters are all about grand adventure and expansive vistas, so I wanted that to play a major role in the fight.
The second major criticism that I have trouble understanding is the one that argues that our main argument for Lara’s fight was the line “luck always runs out,” implying that Nathan only lost because he wasn’t lucky enough. I would certainly agree that that’s a lousy argument for a Death Battle victor… but that’s not what it was. That line is literally preceded by nearly 3 minutes of Wiz and Boomstick explaining how Lara is stronger, tougher, and smarter than Nathan. I dunno, I guess it could have been presented better, but it’s strange to me how this idea of luck running out became a sticking point. It’s not like Nathan has Domino’s superpowers or anything.
A criticism that I definitely agree with is that there’s some janky cuts in the fight. Nathan pulls out his rifle while Lara has his pistols trained on him, Lara shoots the grail and blames Nathan for it, and Lara magically gets a motorcycle from… somewhere. This was a project that was riddled with technical problems, mostly because of how many set changes were involved. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I want to say it took 4 to 6 hours just to render 1 second of animation inside that temple. It was a much rougher process than we expected, and when some shots kept having render problems after 3 or 4 attempts, some things had to be prioritized. For example, there were a few shots made for the beginning of the fight where Nathan drives up to the temple in his jeep and sees Lara’s motorcycle parked by a wall. He shouted something to the effect of “Hello? Anybody here?” as he entered, which explains why he seems so talkative to nobody in the final cut. Thankfully this sort of problem is no longer an issue these days!
Part of the reason why this happened was because this battle was really different, and a lot more complex, than our other animated fights. This wasn’t just a battle, it was a chase. Similar to Solid Snake VS Sam Fisher, the characters’ goals in this animation was first and foremost to get a specific object. Unlike Snake VS Fisher, Lara VS Drake featured multiple sprawling set pieces and a collapsing fortress! It may not have ended up exactly like we planned, but it was exciting to see it finally come to fruition.
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. There’s a ton of fun Season 4 episodes to cover! Which Season 4 episode are looking forward to seeing covered here, and what would you like to know about it?
4 weeks agokriss Community Manager
I survived London! \o/
I am now back in Austin and definitely feeling the post con blues, but I have returned with a lot of good memories and a crap ton of chocolate. Some highlights from my trip:
Had my first British Breakfast!
Everyone told me I should get an Oyster, and I said "I'm not hungry yet..." HAHA. Needless to say, I took a real train for the first time ever!
Went on a boat and hung out with a ton of RTUK peeps!
Talked quite a bit with the RT Ireland group! We got kicked out of a bar! (It was only 11pm)
Checked in often with the Community Corner and it was hoppin'!
Almost put my hands through a trash bin thinking it was a hand dryer....
Proudly supported some of our awesome community leaders at their panel (Scotland, Ireland, UK, and Germany represent)!
Cried while we said our farewells to our AMAZING Guardians.
And the team leads.
To close out the weekend, I attended the RTUK charity wrap party, and throughout the weekend, RTUK was able to generate over £3,000 for Special Effects!
I wish I had more time to explore and talk to everyone, but there's no denying that my first trip out of the States was memorable and an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. This community is amazing and wholesome, and being able to talk to those who are from different cultures and share mutual love for community and RT was so invigorating for me. I return home with a full heart and even more blessings in my life.
Special thanks to @Tudor for adopting me the entire weekend and making sure I didn't do something silly like walk out in front of a white van because I looked the wrong direction first.
Special thanks to all the Guardians who helped run RTX London. I've said it before and I will shout it from the mountaintops again and again. RTX cannot run without you. Thank you for making me feel welcome, for always being willing to help at the drop of a hat, and for continually holding your heads up high while kicking ass at your jobs even when things got tough. YOU are the heart of RTX. @Boomer @Arileya you are both wonderful Head Guardians, and I couldn't be more happy with how the event turned out. Your hard work and efforts do not go unnoticed. Thank you <3
We really have some of the best people in the world in this community, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet more of them during this trip.
1 month agorevelsrouser twitter.com/revelsrouser
We want to deliver the best possible experience for watching content on our website and app. I need your help to make that happen! I'm looking for FIRST and non-FIRST members to do a quick user interview with me on google hangouts. I just want to get a feel for what's working, what needs improvement, what features you'd like to see, and get some general feedback from the community. The focus will be on the video platform, but we'll do the same for the community side soon. Even if you're not interested in participating in an interview, I'd still love to hear from you. If you'd take a moment to fill out this quick survey I'll get things set up. Thanks! >https://goo.gl/forms/tvJi4BogwVNrJ28B2
1 month agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
Episode- 71 Deadpool VS Pinkie Pie
And so we come to the season 3 finale, the end of one of the most difficult and rewarding years of Death Battle thus far. To celebrate such a grand occasion, we chose to end the terror that was 2016 on an epic match-up between fan-favorite Deadpool and a… perky pink pony?
Yeah, that announcement turned some quizzical heads and probably gave someone an aneurysm. It’s a weird idea, but believe it or, it was a rather popular request. Our previous Deadpool episode was easily one of the most popular Death Battles we ever made. Usually when a character appears in Death Battle for the first time the number of requests for other match-ups with that character seriously drop, but Deadpool was a different story. The number of requests for a Deadpool reprisal was higher than ever before! We knew we would bring him back eventually, but it was a pretty difficult task figuring out which match-up would be a good fit.
Until we stumbled across a truckload of posts requesting this mad idea.
Though to be honest, throughout most of 2016 we never planned on making this episode. Originally, the season 3 finale was planned to be Lara Croft VS Nathan Drake. As you might recall, the 3D animation schedule was lengthened mid-way through the season, so Lara VS Nathan had to be pushed back to the season 4 premiere, and we figured we’d swap it with what was originally planned to be said premiere. We had already talked about bringing Deadpool back in early 2017, though we didn’t have a match-up picked out until after deciding to bring the merc with a mouth into this finale.
And so we made one of the silliest episodes ever!
Back when Nick wrote Deadpool VS Deathstroke, we had to cut some of his ideas because they wouldn’t fit the more serious tone Deathstroke was bringing to the fight. Such as Deadpool reaching out of the YouTube player, grabbing the Like/Dislike bar, and wielding it like a sword.
One of the reasons Pinkie Pie seemed like an obvious choice for his opponent was because shenanigans like this would totally fit this fight, turning the battle into a brawl of the fourth-wall-breakers! We had never done anything like that with Death Battle before, and it’s always a joy for us to craft something new out of the familiar series. Though it is pretty ironic that for our first ever actually planned season finale we wound up with something as crazy as this! (Goku VS Superman and Pokemon VS Digimon were dubbed season finales post-production because we weren’t in seasonal cycles at the time.)
That wraps up the topic Season 3: Growing Pains! On Thursday, I’ll begin covering Season 4… another important year with some important changes as we finally made the move to Rooster Teeth’s headquarters in Austin, Texas. I’ve been looking forward to talking about the 2017 episodes for another reason, too; since it’s more recent, I’ve got a much better memory about it! Ha! Point being, I’ll have some interesting stories to tell about Season 4’s ups and downs, and I hope you’ll join me on the adventure.
See you Thursday!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. What was your favorite episode from Season 3?
1 month agomatt
RWBY Volume 6 is coming up, and we couldn't be more excited. The show has changed in so many different ways since it premiered in 2013... but that's not the only thing that's changed.
We have decided that RWBY Volume 6 will live only on Rooster Teeth. It’ll be available for FIRST members for one week, and then totally free to watch thereafter.
Before you freak out, we want to explain exactly why we are doing this. It wasn't an easy decision – we know a lot of you enjoy watching on YouTube, and it's how a lot of you even found RWBY in the first place. But if you love this show, the best way to support RWBY is to watch it on Rooster Teeth.
YouTube has evolved as a platform, and as we grow as a company we've found that YouTube isn't the right place anymore for some of our content. We won't stop putting shows on YouTube because it's still important to us in many ways, but in the end we don’t control our own destiny when we put our shows somewhere else. Just one example: many of our videos, even some that are five years old, are getting demonetized for reasons ranging from inappropriate language, to using "unusual capitalization." Heck, even a video we made ABOUT how to make a successful YouTube video got demonetized.
We've always believed that we should make the content we want to make, but by doing this, we take a hit by continuing to focus on YouTube as a platform, as it does not benefit our growth. We are unable to make money on videos for reasons beyond our control, and we want to stay true to what RWBY and our other shows should be.
We and an amazing team of engineers have also invested a ton of time, energy, and money in our own platform to make the viewing experience as good on Rooster Teeth as anywhere else. And along with RWBY’s release this fall, we’ll also be unveiling some much-requested features on Rooster Teeth, including the following:
Closed-captioning support for RWBY Volume 6, and captions for other major new animation releases coming soon after
Tap to rewind and fast-forward
And last but not least, in-app video downloading for paying members
Pretty cool, huh? And just in case you missed it up there, watching videos onRoosterTeeth.com and our mobile apps is COMPLETELY FREE. RWBY will be available COMPLETELY FREE to watch on Rooster Teeth one week after the premium release.
This means that a week after the premiere on October 27th, you can watch RWBY on Rooster Teeth without even signing up. And you want to know the best part? THIS is what helps support our show. Plus, there's no better place to watch RWBY than with the biggest RWBY fans in the world, right?
We are so excited to bring you all home, and to kick off our 6th volume of RWBY in a huge way. We couldn't do this without your support, so please join us (on RoosterTeeth.com and the apps) this fall for the premiere!
1 month agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
We’re nearing the end of Season 3, which means we have two of the biggest, most requested match-ups we’ve ever done; Hulk VS Doomsday, and Zoro VS Erza! Both of these episodes required massive hulks of work, pardon the pun, and were definitely some of the toughest projects we’ve undertaken from a research standpoint. For Hulk and Doomsday, it was specifically a difficult task coming up with a solid answer to our usual question of who would win. It was simply too close to call for the longest time! But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Even before Season 3, I was planning on doing an episode with Hulk. Hulk had always been a highly requested character among viewers, though in Death Battle’s early years, that request was a little different. In fact, one of the top requests for the longest time happened to be Hulk VS Broly, the Legendary Super Saiyan! That’s what this episode was originally planned to be.
I knew this one was going to be a complicated affair, so I’d already begun preliminary research. Hulk and Broly were both impossibly powerful characters whose upper limits are ill defined, so I was already digging through sources to discover what abilities or techniques they each had which would potentially pull off a win. It was pretty slow going, but as my understanding of the characters grew, so did my ideas of how we could resolve such a cataclysmic battle.
And then Doomsday appeared in the Batman v. Superman trailer.
Suddenly, the Hulk vs Broly suggestions vanished. It seemed everyone had changed their minds. Like some sort of hive mind, the fans had decided that Doomsday was the better opponent… for better or worse. That might sound a little presumptuous, but the polls and discussions I had with fans made it clear that the tide had turned. So it was time to scrap half a project and start working on a new one!
Zoro VS Erza was another episode that required a lot of pre-planning. It wasn’t exactly a complicated match-up or anything, in fact it was a lot more straightforward than I expected. No, there was only one, small, problem with Zoro Vs Erza… One Piece and Fairy Tail are really, really, REALLY long! Seriously, these are two of the longest running manga/anime series in existence, and we had to dig through thousands upon thousands of pages and scenes to get all the necessary information! This meant that in order to do this episode justice, we had to start working on Zoro VS Erza as early as possible. If I recall, I believe the team started working on research for this one five to six months in advance. That’s nearly half of year dedicated to a single episode!
What’s more, this was Luis’ last animation of the season to lead, and I’d say it’s one of my favorite battles we’ve ever had. The incredible amount of improvement Luis had shown between his assigned Death Battles was incredible, and internally we were already trying to find a way to hire him full-time and in-house. Simply put, I really love this episode!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. What’s another One Piece of Fairy Tail character you’d like to see in Death Battle?
1 month agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
Here’s a classic pairing of episodes! One which was based on an extremely high request, and another which most people never saw coming. I love this sort of thing about Death Battle… it really helps keep the show fresh!
Ken VS Terry was yet another Street Fighter match-up, and unfortunately yet another Street Fighter loss. Suddenly, ScrewAttack was gaining a reputation of supposedly hating Street Fighter and purposefully killing the characters off. What’s hilarious about this is that anyone who paid any attention to ScrewAttack before this would tell you that the company is actually full of Street Fighter fanboys. We’ve had a Street Fighter Third Strike cabinet in the office for a decade that we’d play all the time. We still have it!
But that’s one unfortunate side effect of a show like Death Battle. Public perception of us could do a full 180 in a snap, just because we deemed one character a better fighter than another.
This YouTube release had a little issue come up that’s entirely unique to this episode of the show. The copyright police showed up, this time because we used a few seconds from a King of Fighters movie. But instead of striking the video and taking it down, it was blocked in a couple specific countries. Most people had no idea there was a problem, and were pretty surprised when it was uploaded again a while later.
Amy VS Ramona was actually bumped up from its original position in the series, switched with Hulk VS Doomsday to give Torrian some much needed extra time. (Recall yesterday’s blog!) That’s why both of these episodes were written by the team of Sam and Jessica. I knew Jessica was a big Scott Pilgrim fan, so it seemed like to perfect time to dive into a franchise which we had never explored in Death Battle up to that point.
I love episodes which allow us to explore series that have never appeared in Death Battle at that point!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. What’s a character you want to see in Death Battle whose franchise has yet to have any representative at all?
1 month agogeoff
These are songs so full of passion or love or pain, you can physically feel the emotion when sung.
Also, it's the first playlist I've created with the intent of it playing on repeat. Each song hopefully flows into the next both musically and narratively, with the idea that the last song flows right back into the first again, creating a perfect loop. Or not, whatever.
1 month agoChelsea RT Community Manager
We’re back! For a third year in a row, Rooster Teeth will be hosting the RT Community Stream. We’re already gearing up with plans and shenanigans and ways that we can do mental (and some physical) harm to our co-workers in the name of, "For the Kids."
The RT Community Stream will be happening on November 3 to November 4, 8 a.m. to 8 a.m. CST - a full 25 hours of bouncing around every hour to community groups all over the world. And yes, that's 25 hours, so 25 groups because Daylight Savings Time is happening again.
We’ve done this the last two years, but some of you may be asking, WHAT IS THE EXTRA LIFE RT COMMUNITY STREAM? Let me tell you.
The RT Community Stream is a 25-hour livestream where we, Rooster Teeth, will host a specific Community Group or Individual in hour long blocks. Jack, Caiti, myself and maybe some other randos will be hosting the stream at the top of every hour; covering Extra Life details, showing off the exclusive merchandise, and telling you about the new group we’re about to throw it to. The RT Community Stream is schedule on the same day as Extra Life’s massive GAME DAY. Where Extra Life unites thousands of gamers around the world to play games in support of their local Children's Miracle Network Hospital. Game Day is the day of play (the whole 25 hours of it) where gamers around the world marathon their favorite table top, PC and consoles games to raise money for sick and injured kids. It’s just like a walk-a-thon, only you’re participating alongside gamers who, just like you, are playing or streaming #forthekids!
In the past we’ve been able to pull in groups located all over the US, Canada, the United Kingdom and more. There have been skits, gameplay, truly horrific stretch goals, and artistic streams - anything is game when it comes to raising money For the Kids.
So, here’s the deal: we're looking for some amazing RT Community Extra Life teams that are looking to participate in our official RT Community Stream.
If you're interested, please fill out the following form! Make sure to get with your fellow group members so there's no duplicates between y'all.
For those of you who participated last year, you'll have to fill out the form again. You have until September 28, 2018 to submit.
Now here's the cool part. By joining our Rooster Teeth Super Team on Extra Life, every dollar that you, or people in your sub team donate goes towards the total that Rooster Teeth is attempting to raise. Here is our team!
If you have issues with the Rooster Teeth Super Team, or you want to create a sub-team to include in the Rooster Teeth Super Team, drop the support guys at Extra Life an email at email@example.com and they'll hook you up.
So, to sum up Extra Life and the streams...
November 3 is the 25-hour RT Community Stream
November 10 is the INSANE 24-hour Rooster Teeth Extra Life Stream.
If y'all have questions, drop 'em below. @jack and I will do our best to answer!
P.S. - A lot of people were asking about tech minimums and recommendations for streaming. HERE'S THAT INFO FOR YOU.