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?