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Red vs. Blue
Directed by

Burnie Burns and Matt Hullum

Voices
  • Burnie Burns
  • Jordan Burns
  • Yomary Cruz
  • Joel Heyman
  • Rebecca Frasier
  • Dan Godwin
  • Matt Hullum
  • Geoff Ramsey
  • Ed Robertson
  • Jason Saldaña
  • Gustavo Sorola
  • Nathan Zellner
  • Kathleen Zuelch
Release(s)
  • April 1, 2003 – June 28, 2007 (Original series)
  • June 16, 2006 - Present (Other series)
Number of Episodes
  • The Blood Gulch Chronicles: 100
  • Out of Mind: 5
  • Recovery One: 4
  • Reconstruction: 19
  • Relocated: 4
  • Recreation: 19


Red vs Blue, often abbreviated as RvB, is a machinima series created by Rooster Teeth Productions The story centers around two opposing teams of soldiers fighting a perpetual civil war. The series is primarily produced using the machinima technique of synchronizing video footage from a game to pre-recorded dialogue and other audio. Footage is mostly from the multiplayer modes of Halo: Combat Evolved and its sequels, Halo 2 and Halo 3.

The series is published by Rooster Teeth Productions, originally available for download per episode at their site and later released on DVD. Praised for its originality, the series has won a total of four awards from the Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences. Although mainly a satirical and absurdist comedy, the show often touches on deeper philosophy about the meaning of war when it comes down to individual soldiers. The characters occasionally question the validity of their mission and whether or not it accomplishes anything, a common theme in commentary about the ethics of war.

Contents

Characters

Main article: List of Characters in Red vs. Blue

The show's cast divides into four segments: the Red Army, the Blue Army, the Freelancer program, and unaffiliated parties that interact with the core cast. Despite the enmity the Red and Blue Team members are supposed to harbor for one another, this usually does not apply personally to the enemy soldiers, who often engage in one-on-one conversation.

Plot Summary

Blood Gulch Chronicles

Season 1

Main article: Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles (Season 1)

The Blood Gulch Chronicles begins with the introduction of two rookies on the Red and Blue teams, also getting a jeep and a tank respectively. The Red recruit, Donut, is sent on a fool's errand by his fellow soldiers, only to accidentally steal the enemy flag when he believed it to be the store (and the Blue rookie believing Donut to be the General foretold in the fool's errand of his own). The weeks of reconnaissance and intelligence gathering breaks down into chaos and [poorly] constructed offenses.

Season 2

Main article: Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles (Season 2)

Several months after the first season, a medical officer arrives to check on the wounded soldier Blue team reported. He had come months afterward, so by the time he got there, the wounded soldier (Tex) had already died. Almost immediately after his arrival the Red team attacks. Red team salvages their failed attack by getting Doc as an exchange for Blue team's surrender (although he was ordered to go to Red team anyway). Doc's added involvement in the canyon, combined with a rampant AI infecting Caboose will force the two opposing teams to do the unthinkable.

Season 3

Main article: Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles (Season 3)

The Red and Blue armies believe to have found themselves in the future. They have stumbled upon a prophecy which says a blue being will destroy a large 'temple'. They are trying to defend from an attack from O'Malley when this 'Great Destroyer' arrives.

Season 4

Main article: Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles (Season 4)

Following a distress signal back to Blood Gulch, the Red team experiences a falling out with one of their soldiers. Tucker, Tex, Caboose, and the alien go on quest to save the alien's race. Tex does not return to Blood Gulch with the rest of Blue team, and Tucker becomes seriously ill.

Out of Mind

Main article: Red vs Blue: Out of Mind

Out of Mind is a mini-series that took place in-between Season 4 and Season 5. It is a narrative from Tex's point of view, told in a much more serious tone. Its events precede both Season 5 and Recovery One.

Season 5

Main article: Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles (Season 5)

A ship from Earth has crash-landed in the middle of the canyon, bringing a new soldier. Red team experiences a major crisis in their chain of command and Blue team welcomes a new addition to the family. Church tries to stop O'Malley once and for all.

The series finale was distributed with three alternate endings; the ending which was shown to a viewer depended on which link in Burnie's post they followed to watch the episode. An additional three endings were included in the special features of the Season 5 DVD.

Series Sequels

Recovery One

Main article: Red vs Blue: Recovery One

Recovery One was a Red vs Blue miniseries distributed via Xbox Live and the internet that takes place after Out of Mind as well as before and during Season 5. Its plot revolves around Agent Washington, also known as Recovery One, who is a Freelancer like Tex, Wyoming, and York. Washington's job is to recover all Freelancer AI constructs of freelancers killed in action.

Reconstruction

Main article: Red vs Blue: Reconstruction

Reconstruction is the direct sequel to the Blood Gulch Chronicles, exploring the causality of events from both The Blood Gulch Chronicles and Recovery One. It continues to follow Recovery Agent Washington's journey tracking down a mysterious enemy called the Meta who is killing Freelancers and taking their armor enhancements and AIs. First, Wash has to find the people with the knowledge and experience to help him. Namely Caboose and Church.

Relocated

Main article: Red vs. Blue: Relocated

Relocated is a direct sequel to Reconstruction, following the Red Team, now on Valhalla, struggling to do the usual nothing, and Caboose's strange action's at Blue Base drawing further attention to himself.

Recreation

Main article: Red vs. Blue: Recreation

Recreation is a direct sequel to Relocated and Reconstruction. As the Reds continue to try and figure out what Caboose is up to and wake up a comatose Donut, Caboose continues trying to make a new best friend. He finds the Reds holo-room, with help from Donut, and Epsilon tells him about Tucker and a mysterious energy reading in the desert. Grif and Sarge agree to come, and they meet a strange man at the desert. The stranger claims to be a member of a team working with aliens to uncover a relic for the military. Tucker returns and informs Caboose, Grif, and Sarge that his team was killed and the rest of the group were impostors planning to sell the relic to the highest bidder. Tucker was sent along with Junior (apparently alive and well yet still unseen in the new series) where they acted as ambassadors along with the official military teams searching for the relic because "They were sorta in between..." It appears Wash lived through the events of Reconstructions as well. Now imprisoned by the military, Wash decides to bargain the location of Epsilon for his freedom. Knowing Wash, he probably has much deeper plans, and the Meta pays an unexpected visit to the remaining members of red team in Valhalla...

ODST Mini Series

A four episode mini series previewing the upcoming ODST game. The usual characters of Red and Blue team (Including Church) go into battle in a fire fight with trained ODST troopers and the Legendary Sergeant Johnson. With many of the usual satirical styling that the fans of the series are use to filled with many "in game" jokes makes it a fine addition to the series.

Resolutions

Confirmed at PAX. As of yet, no details of the plot have been released.

Development History

Production

In honor of RvB, Blood Gulch by Heather Cristofaro.

The writing process for the series has changed over time. Early in season 1, Burns wrote the episode scripts from week to week, with what appeared to be minimal planning in advance; major plot events seemed to have been conceived shortly before they were filmed.[1] For the second season, Matt Hullum became a main writer.[2] A rough plot outline is now written before a season begins, although the actual content of an individual episode is still decided on a more short-term basis.[3] However, contradictory to this, Bernie claims that the major plot ideas were decided by episode 6, the episodes just didn't contain much information - they originally went for comedy rather than depth. Because Red vs. Blue is loosely based on the Halo universe, Rooster Teeth encountered some difficulties when trying to synchronize events in the series with the release of Halo 2.

Aside from a few scenes created using Marathon Infinity, Marathon 2, and the PC version of Halo, Red vs. Blue is mostly filmed with interconnected Xbox consoles. As the series title suggests, the videos are largely set in the Halo map Blood Gulch and its Halo 2 counterpart, Coagulation. However, some episodes have been filmed on other maps, including Sidewinder from Halo and Zanzibar from Halo 2. Within a multiplayer game session, the people controlling the avatars "puppet" their characters, moving them around, firing weapons, and performing other actions as dictated by the script, and in synchronization with the episode's dialogue, which is recorded ahead of time.

The "camera" is simply another player, whose first-person perspective is recorded raw to a computer. As the recording occurs within the game, a few different bugs and post-production techniques have been exploited in order to achieve desired visual effects. In particular, Adobe Premiere Pro is used to edit the audio and video together, impose letterboxing to hide the camera player's head-up display, add the titles and fade-to-black screens, and create some visual effects that cannot be accomplished in-game.[4]

Impact on Machinima

Red vs. Blue is widely credited with attracting public attention to machinima. Although examples had existed since the 1990s, Clive Thompson credits Red vs. Blue as "the first to break out of the underground".[5] Tavares, Gil, and Roque call it machinima's "first big success".[6] Thompson notes that "Microsoft has been so strangely solicitous that when it was developing the sequel to Halo last year, the designers actually inserted a special command — a joystick button that makes a soldier lower his weapon — designed solely to make it easier for Rooster Teeth to do dialogue." The series has inspired other machinima productions, including The Codex, Fire Team Charlie, and This Spartan Life. [7]

Trivia

Miscellaneous

  • Red vs. Blue, was originally intended to last only six installments, but its popularity led to the production of 100 episodes of The Blood Gulch Chronicles, several stand-alone special videos, three miniseries, and another three full-length series.
  • Some of the voice actors from Red vs Blue were featured in the level Crow's Nest in Halo 3, as two Marines arguing over a password. The voices vary depending on difficulty. This indicates the overwhelming popularity of the series, even among Bungie and Microsoft. For more information, see Password-Lacking Marine.
  • Red vs. Blue was featured on Discovery Channel's documentary, Rise of the Video Game, which included an interview with Red vs. Blue's creator and original cast.
  • The popular Double EXP Weekend game type "Grifball" is based off of Red vs Blue, specifically episode 59.
  • Rooster Teeth made two Red vs Blue PSA (Public service announcements) videos for Xbox Live's partnership with Rock the Vote in late-summer 2008, for the United States Presidential election.
  • Only 7 Freelancers have been seen on screen. Maine, Washington, Texas, South Dakota, North Dakota, New York, and Wyoming. It is unknown if this was Roosterteeth's actual intentions or not.
  • On Halo 2's multiplayer map Turf, two easter eggs can be found. They are both found on vending machines - one in the warehouse, and another near the makeshift camp. One has the silhouette of a rooster, and the other of teeth. This is homage to Rooster Teeth.

References

  • On Bungie.net, look at a service record with the Flag Kill Medal, scroll over the flag symbol and it will say "It's right next to the headlight fluid". This is a reference to episodes 3 and 4 of Blood Gulch Chronicles where the new recruit, Donut is sent on a fool's errand to fetch "headlight fluid" and "elbow grease".
  • In episode 100 of The Blood Gulch Chronicles, when Tex takes off in the Pelican, the word "Marathon" is partially obscured on the underside. This is an obvious reference to Bungie's previous game series, Marathon, in appreciation from Rooster Teeth.
  • There is a reference to Red vs Blue in Gears of War. Within the game there is an achievement called “Is It a Spider?”. To obtain it, you are required to kill 100 enemies in ranked matches with a grenade tag, referencing episodes 11 and 57.

Running Gags

  • As a running gag in The Blood Gulch Chronicles, whenever a character dies, the last words they say are "Hurk! Blah...". A couple of exceptions are the Grunts from episodes 39 and 40, and an alternate ending to episode 100, in which the phrase "Son of a bitch!" is substituted.
  • When either Grif or Simmons yells "Shotgun!", the other will yell "Shotgun!" right after, only to say "fuck!" when they realize they're too late. If you have the IWHBYD Skull on and you're playing Tsavo Highway, two Marines will mimic this, substituting "fuck!" with "damn".
  • Caboose team-killed Church, though Caboose would sometimes randomly blame Tucker.
  • Most of the character names can be found in Halo: CE's Temporary Profile feature. Out of the randomly generated names, Caboose, Church, Donut, Simmons, and Doc are commonly found. It is possible Rooster Teeth named their characters using this feature. This feature is continued in Halo 3, with names like Caboose and Donut showing up as temporary profiles.
  • Church always carries around a Sniper Rifle, and yet he is utterly incapable of hitting anything with it, even when the target is standing still. This is also shown in Reconstruction when he fails to hit an enemy at point blank range with an entire magazine of pistol ammo. However, he is shown in one episode to be a crack shot when shooting allies, hitting Caboose in the foot from several yards away with the pistol. For some reason, he can't kill at close range. The Rocket Launcher is an exception to this, as shown in Reconstruction.
  • Whenever a character is blown up or launched by an explosion, any characters nearby often exclaim "Son of a bitch!" in response. Lopez has even participated in this gag, his variant being "iMadre del dios!" or "Mother of God!"
  • Characters will sometimes state that something "doesn't seem physically possible". Examples include when Private Jimmy is bashed to death with his own skull, and when Grif discovers the makeshift surgery that has been performed on him.
  • Tucker never gets to use a Sniper Rifle except in episodes 98 and 99.

Gallery

Sources

  1. Burns, et al., Red vs. Blue Season One, Audio Commentary.
  2. Burns and Hullum, Red vs. Blue Season Two, Audio Commentary.
  3. Konow, 3.
  4. Burns, et al., Red vs. Blue Season One, Audio Commentary; Moltenbrey.
  5. Thompson, 2.
  6. Tavares, Gil, & Roque, 4.
  7. Whitley.

Links

Internal

External


This article uses material from the "Red vs. Blue" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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