Episode- 64 Meta VS Carolina
When visiting conventions and hosting panels, Chad and I often get the question “What’s your favorite Death Battle you’ve worked on?” I often find myself not really able to pinpoint a single episode as my unchanging favorite, as a few always come to mind with entirely different reasons. This is one of them, and will always be, simply because of what it personally means to me.
Meta VS Carolina isn’t just a Death Battle episode. It’s actually a Red Vs Blue episode first and foremost. The 14th season of this long running web series was an anthology show, with multiple episodes being written and created by creators outside of the normal RvB and Rooster Teeth staff. We were asked to create a crossover episode that would be a part of Red Vs Blue’s 14th season and Death Battle Season 3!
I’m sure plenty of people were a little mystified when this episode was announced. The last time Death Battle had pit two characters from the same franchise against each other Goomba VS Koopa, of all things. It just wasn’t something Death Battle was known to do, making this one a bit of an oddity. But from my end, this became one of the most important projects of the year. Red Vs Blue has had a massive influence on online entertainment, and on myself. It was a series I had been following since its second season over a decade before this. In fact, the day Craig had come to my high school video class looking for interns was the same day we were supposed to show some projects we had been working on, and mine included a long section of Halo machinima in the same vein as Red Vs Blue. This helped me get the very first paid employed position at ScrewAttack.
And frankly, getting to work directly with the RvB team on what is essentially an official RvB episode which I got writing and directing credit on meant a lot to me.
For me, the most fascinating part of this production had nothing to do with the analysis. It was the script. Specifically, writing for characters that aren’t Wiz or Boomstick. The years working on Death Battle had given me plenty of experience with writing characters that aren’t of my own creation, but there are a lot of restrictions there. I prefer to refrain from including very much dialogue or story structure in Death Battle because it’s not supposed to be fan-fiction. The interactions the combatant characters have in our animations are fairly limited and generally inspired by actions they’ve taken in their own stories. Even though including a narrative would be much more fun to write, it doesn’t feel right to structure an episode around a combatant character’s personality as opposed to their fighting ability alone. (Deadpool excluded, because that’s kinda Deadpool’s thing.)
But this was an entirely different case. We weren’t just making a Death Battle. It had to be a Red Vs Blue episode as well. So there I was, writing a script with Caboose, Grif, and Simmons arguing about who would win in a fight between Carolina and the Meta. Characters I had been watching for years, even before joining this industry. That was really special, and I’d be thrilled to do it again.
There was also the matter of a little in-joke Chad and I had been tossing around for awhile. Chad based his Boomstick voice off the voice of Sarge, and we’ve previously laughed at the idea that maybe Sarge was Boomstick’s long-lost father he would mention every so often in Death Battle character rundowns. It was just a little inside joke we’d chuckle about every so often… but I just couldn’t help myself when writing this episode.
Hope you all are enjoying this trip down memory lane! I won't be able to write an entry for tomorrow, but on Wednesday I'll be covering Cammy VS Sonya and Tracer VS Scout! Now that we’ve announced the match-up for Death Battle 99, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about how close we are to wrapping up this epic journey down the Road to 100.
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. Are there two characters from the same franchise who you’d be interested to see in a Death Battle together?