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, Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4.
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; as well as other more serious themes such as human morals in the face of extinction and the humanity of artificial intelligence. 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.
- 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.
The Blood Gulch ChroniclesEdit
- 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 Caboose 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 MindEdit
- 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.
- 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 Burn's post they followed to watch the episode. An additional three endings were included in the special features of the Season 5 DVD.
- 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.
- 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; the former occupants of Blood Gulch. With Project Freelancer under government investigation, Washington soon begins to realize what Church really is, and the nature of his role in the project.
- 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.
- 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.
- Main article: Red vs. Blue: Revelation
Revelation is a direct sequel to Red vs. Blue Recreation. The first episode made its debut April 1, 2010. Washington and the Meta have teamed up to find the missing Epsilon AI, Taking Simmons and Doc prisoner. Sarge and Grif lead a risky rescue mission to save Simmons, not knowing Epsilon is following them closely. They manage to rescue Simmons, and then as Wash and the Meta are converging, Epsilon unleashes a powerful laser which blocks the way for Wash and the Meta to get to them, but as a consequence, it drains Epsilon's life-force. After re-awakening back in Sandbox, Epsilon, along with Caboose, then explore an old Freelancer base in search of someone, which turns out to be Tex. The Reds work to get the Blues back into the database, only to discover that they are the worst of all troops, and are just meant to have simulations for Freelancers. Sarge goes into depression. Meanwhile, Tex and Church, having found a new body, set out to lure Washington and the Meta into a trap by activating a distress beacon by shooting Church's foot. Washington and the Meta, with the Doc as their prisoner, set out to locate the beacon, only to find that Tex had laid out a trap. Before they can escape from their warthog however, it is blown into the sky. Soon After, Caboose finds the signal from the beacon and rushes to sarge for help. Having acknowledged they were fighting a proxy war, Sarge, having snapped out of his depression, agrees to help Caboose. Meanwhile, Wash wakes up from the Wreckage, but is soon pounced on by Tex, before the Meta attacks. Tex, Wash and the Meta become engaged in a full-on battle, before eventually, Meta overpowers Tex and rams her original storage device into her skull, storing her inside. However, Meta soon turns against Wash, installing Tex's Device into his armor, and goes on a rampage. Before he finishes off Wash however, Sarge, Caboose, Grif, Simmons and Tucker crash in a stolen Pelican, narrowly missing the two Freelancers, as well as almost crushing the Doc. The Meta, disappears, and the reds and blues, and Wash, team up to try and stop Meta. Meta attacks Church and Wash, rendering them incapacitated. Sarge, Grif, Simmons and Tucker try to fight the Meta, but to no effect. Then Sarge manages to trick Meta into attacking him, before being grabbed by the neck. After shouting "Shotgun" to Grif and Simmons multiple times, he places one the wrecked Warthog's tow-hooks onto Meta's armor. Grif and Simmons then push the Warthog over the cliff, dragging Meta with it and seemingly killing him. Church wakes up, and looks overs Tex's Storage device and enters himself to try and find her, despite Caboose's pleas not to. He never comes out of it. Afterwards, a team of soldiers arrive to investigate the situation. After their questioning, the red and blue teams, with Wash took Church's armor (and got away unsuspected), all return to Blood Gulch soon after. The Season ends with Church, inside the memory unit, saying how he didn't found Tex right away, how he learned that "A great love is like a good memory" and how in him, he is the Alpha. He then closes with how one should make living a memory a good one, and leaves to join the memory of Tucker and Caboose to spy on the memory of Red Team, re-living the events happened in the original chronicles.
- Main article: Red vs. Blue: Season 9
The trailer for season 9 premiered at PAX 2011 East and premiered online on YouTube on April 4, 2011. The Season 9 Premiere was released by RoosterTeeth on 13 June 2011.
Season 9 begins with Epsilon, in the storage unit, experiencing similar events in the first season. Epsilon's memory of Red Team modified their Warthog into a Missile Warthog, while his memory of Blue Team received a tank, but they didn't have the keys to activate it. When Epsilon complains to his memory of Red Team, Donut, acting as a tough soldier, shot him. Similarly to the first season in which Church "dies", Blue Team called for reinforcements, which turns out to be Tex. While Tex arrives and joins Blue Team, Lopez was constructed by Sarge and Simmons. Simmons grew jealous of Lopez, who slowly gains popularity among Red Team (despite all of them don't understand Lopez's Spanish). Simmons planned to disable Lopez by tricking Lopez to walk into the electrified water in the cave, but he accidentally got into the water himself, and was electrocuted. Lopez chained the unconscious Simmons to an iron ball, and painted his armor red to disguise as Simmons so he can has access to the equipments used to investigate the earthquakes. While Lopez, disguised as Simmons, investigated the ground, Tex took Church's sniper and shot Lopez, causing his body parts to break apart. Donut, right next to Lopez at that time, thought Simmons was killed, and begins mourn for him. Sarge and Grif arrived and they began an eulogy for Simmons. Simmons, believing Lopez was trying to take his place so he can be "super popular", broke out and joined Red Team, just to hear them talking behind his back.
Season 9 also explores the events happened in Project Freelancer, and the two stories are told simultaneously. Agents South Dakota and North Dakota were sent to a research facility in the Arctic Ocean to retrieve data. South managed to retrieve the data under heavy patrol, but was one of the guards she killed had his body hitting the alarm, alerting the entire facility. North and South battle their way through the facility, reaching the extraction point, but were surrounded by a large group of insurrectionists. Agent Carolina rescued them, and the three of them killed a bunch of soldiers before North shielded South from turret fire. A dropship piloted by Four Seven Niner arrived and the Freelancers left the facility, which was destroyed almost immediately. They escaped to frigate Mother of Invention, where the data was given to the Director of Project Freelancer.
Public Service AnnouncementsEdit
Rooster Teeth made numerous PSAs, including for Xbox Live's partnership with Rock the Vote in late-summer 2008 and for the United States Presidential election.
Rooster Teeth has done miniseries with the characters previewing Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach.
- Main article: Red vs. Blue: MIA
MIA is a series released to celebrate the launch of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. It was first mentioned in August 2011, during Halo Fest, where the cast had a table read of the series first three episodes' scripts, as well as some improvised comedic lines. The first episode was released on Halo Waypoint in November, 2011. Grif was captured, and the "kidnappers" left a ransom note. In Blue Base, Caboose was ordered by Church to clean up the storage closet. Church complained that they cannot have the crates outside the base, and they have to put the crates somewhere. Caboose suggested they can put them in the storage closet, and Church told him to do so. Meanwhile, Sarge contacted Vic in Command, and Vic reminded them they have enemies across the canyon. Sarge requested Doc to join them in attacking Blue Base. Back in Blue Base, Church and Tucker, after having reconnaissance to avoid helping Caboose in putting back the crates into the storage closet, joined Caboose. Caboose told them he listened to a radio station, where he heard Red Team discussing about Grif's disappearance. Church asked for more information from what Caboose heard, Caboose remembered that Red Team said they are going to "get another guy and they are gonna do something". Church urged Caboose to remember what the "something" is, and Red Team, consisting of only Simmons and Sarge, assaulted Blue Base, while Sarge screamed "Attack!". Caboose thanked Sarge subsequently for reminding him.
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. For the second season, Matt Hullum became a main writer. 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. However, contradictory to this, Burnie 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.
Impact on Machinima Edit
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". Tavares, Gil, and Roque call it machinima's "first big success". 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 C N' P, The Codex, Fire Team Charlie, and This Spartan Life.
- 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, another three full-length series and another full length series like Blood Gulch, which will be situated in Forge World; mainly Hemorrhage.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ironically, Grif in the Red vs. Blue PSA "Deja View" is coloured a shade of yellow, despite him constantly claiming that his color is orange.
- 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". Instead, he mistakenly goes to Blue Base and takes their flag.
- 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, the player is required to kill 100 enemies in ranked matches with a grenade tag, referencing episodes 11 and 57.
- Sister had 7 abortions making another reference to Bungie's love with seven.
- In the Red vs Blue: ODST episodes Church says that he heard a rumor that Sgt Maj Johnson can't be killed. This is an obvious reference to how in the games he is a plot critical character and is invincible. Church also heard Johnson could shoot lasers from his eyes, though did not believe the rumor. This ended badly for him.
- In Revelation Chapter 20, an UNSC interrogator stated that "the budget only allows for one crashed Pelican per mission." This is a reference to the fact that every level (mission) in Halo 3 has at least one crashed Pelican (with the exception of Crow's Nest).
- In Halo: Reach, Halsey's secret room contains a document about the soldiers who were sent out. This is a nod to the Red vs Blue franchise.
- In Halo: Glasslands, there are several references to the series:
- One of the ODSTs notes that their Sangheili prisoner Jul ‘Mdama sounds like he is saying "Blarg". This is a reference to the Sangheili, referred as "aliens", in Red vs. Blue only saying "Blarg" and "Honk".
- The AI Black Box calls to Evan Phillips as "Phyllis". This was the Sheila's original name, the Blue Team's tank.
- In Episodes 13 and 15 of Red vs Blue: Season 9 (Planning the Heist and The Sarcophagus), the symbol on the artifact that the Freelancers must regain the same made by the Huragok in Halo 3: ODST.
- 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 the player has the IWHBYD Skull activated and is playing Tsavo Highway, two Marines will mimic this, substituting "fuck!" with "damn".
- Caboose team-killed Church, though Caboose would sometimes randomly blame Tucker.
- When red team tricks someone and steals something by surprise, they would say "Yoink!" This was even made into a medal in Halo: Reach. When ever someone is performing an assassination and their target dies, whoever killed him gets the medal "Yoink!"
- Most of the character names can be found in Halo: Combat Evolved'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.
- Ironically, Tucker never gets the sniper rifle. In the first show when Tucker responds saying he has no sniper rifle.
- 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 "Madre de dios!" or "Mother of God!", which was still subtitled as meaning "son of a bitch."
- Characters will sometimes state that something "doesn't seem physically possible". Examples include when Private Jimmy is bashed to death with his own skull, when Grif discovers the makeshift surgery that has been performed on him, and when Tex manages to flip Sheila.
- A big running gag and catch-phrase in Red vs Blue is "Why are we here?" this saying is used in the first episode of season one and the last episode of that season, as well as the last episode of Season Five and Episode 18 of Revelation. Usually when someone says it, the person they say it to will say something big and meaningful and the other will say that they just meant something much less important. At the end of season one Simmons says it to Grif and he cuts him off saying he doesn't, and in Revelation 18, Sarge asks if they ever wonder why they're here, meaning why they're still in the army unit.
- At times the characters will call the each other a "cockbite", referrencing the Rooster Teeth logo being a rooster silhouette (the cock) and wind-up teeth (the bite).
- ↑ Halo Waypoint: Red vs. Blue Table Read
- ↑ Burns, et al., Red vs. Blue Season One, Audio Commentary.
- ↑ Burns and Hullum, Red vs. Blue Season Two, Audio Commentary.
- ↑ Konow, 3.
- ↑ Burns, et al., Red vs. Blue Season One, Audio Commentary; Moltenbrey.
- ↑ Thompson, 2.
- ↑ Tavares, Gil, & Roque, 4.
- ↑ Whitley.