Red vs. Blue
Red vs. Blue, often abbreviated as RvB, is a machinima series created by Rooster Teeth Productions. The story centers around the adventures of two teams composed of simulation soldiers. 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; 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.
The show's cast divides into several factions, but the story focus itself on a group named "the Reds and Blues", who originally were assigned to Blood Gulch to fight each other. 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 groups that appeared in the story are/were:
The Blood Gulch Chronicles
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. While the Red Team leader, Sarge, was at Red Command, the Red recruit, Donut, is sent on a fool's errand by his fellow soldiers(Simmons and Grif), 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 offensives.
Several months after the first season, a medical officer, named Dufrenes, 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.
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.
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
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.
A ship from Earth has crash-landed in the middle of the canyon on top of Donut, bringing a new soldier, Grif's sister. 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.
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 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.
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 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. Caboose decided to head to a desert in search of Tucker, and Sarge and Grif agreed to go with him, unbeknownst to the chaos they are about to get drawn into. Meanwhile, an old enemy pays an unexpected visit to Valhalla.
Revelation is a direct sequel to Red vs. Blue Recreation. Washington and the Meta have teamed up to find the missing Epsilon AI, killing most of the Reds in Valhalla, leaving Simmons and Doc prisoner. Sarge and Grif managed to rescue Simmons, and the entire cast follow Caboose and Epsilon to a Freelancer storage facility. There, they meet an old friend, who will spark up a dangerous confrontation between the good, the bad, and the indifferent.
Season 9 begins with Epsilon in the storage unit, experiencing similar events in The Blood Gulch Chronicles. Along with this, a new Freelancer back story was also shown, detailing the history of Project Freelancer, namely the events when Tex joins the group. As Epsilon search for Epsilon-Tex in the damaged memory unit, he realizes what the Director and the Alpha couldn't. The two plots are told simultaneously.
Season 10 continues both plots told in Season 9. The past storyline will show the conclusion of Project Freelancers' quest to defeat a rogue Insurrection group and the lost of complete trust between the Freelancer agents and AIs. The present storyline picks up right where Season 9 left off, as Epsilon-Church joins the Reds and Blues on Agent Carolina's quest for vengeance against the Director of Project Freelancer.
Set sometime after Season 10, Season 11 follows Sarge, Grif, and Simmons of Red team and Caboose, Tucker, and Washington of Blue team as they are being transported home after being pardoned for helping bring down Project Freelancer. Unfortunately, the transport crash lands at an unknown location (most likely caused by the combined faults of everyone). Knowing that they'll be stranded for sometime, the Reds and Blues begin building their bases and wait to be rescued. This season takes the series back to its roots: only use the game engine without using CGI.
Season 12 continues where the previous left off, with Tucker, Grif, Simmons, and Caboose joining the New Republic, and with help from Rebel leader Vanessa Kimball and mercenary Felix they attempt to rescue Sarge, Donut, Wash and Lopez, who were captured by Locus and the Feds at the end of the previous season. Also in the civil war is Agent Carolina, whose true intentions in the conflict and special interest with a crate remains a mystery. This season also marks the return of CGI in the series, which is blended in with machinima, similar to Revelation.
Season 13 is a direct follow-up to Season 12 and the last season of the Chorus Trilogy, in which the Blood Gulch Crew, the New Republic and the Federal Army of Chorus join forces to go to war against Chairman Malcom Hargrove and his space pirates. While this season is the last of the Chorus Trilogy, it doesn't fully conclude the story of many characters, including most members of the Blood Gulch Crew, Locus and the inhabitants of Chorus.
This is the first season of the series to be an anthology, presenting a collection of short stories focused on various characters, factions, and events, rather than an episodic storyline. This is also the first season to be written by a combination of both in-house writers and writers residing outside of Rooster Teeth.
The Shisno Trilogy
Season 15 acted as a follow-up to Season 14, focusing on a reporter who is searching the reason of why the Reds and Blues have betrayed the galaxy.
The Shisno Paradox
The Shisno Paradox is the sixteenth full season of Red vs. Blue, and the second part of the trilogy of the Reds and Blues' misadventures. Taking place right after the end of Season 15, the story will follow the Reds and Blues in a new adventure that threats the very structure of the universe.
Singularity is the seventeenth full season of RvB and the final season of the The Shisno Trilogy. It follows Donut's efforts to save his friends and the universe from Chrovos and Genkins.
Public Service Announcements
Rooster Teeth made numerous PSAs, including for Xbox LIVE's partnership with Rock the Vote in late-summer 2008 and even for the United States Presidential election. These PSAs are usually told from the real-world's point of view, and are obviously done for laughs.
There are two Maxi series, both only available on Halo Waypoint until April 2015, when Rooster Teeth registered a YouTube channel for Red vs. Blue.
MIA is a 6-episodes miniseries released to celebrate and promote 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.
The series follow the Reds and Blues as they search for Grif, who is missing, at the same time exploring the multiplayers maps included in the Anniversary Map Pack.
Where There's a Will, There's a Wall
Where There's a Will, There's a Wall, shortened "Red vs. Blue: Wall", is a 3-episodes miniseries relating to the Reds attempting to find out what is behind the wall in Hemorrhage, while the Blues receive a Falcon transport as a shipment and what they plan to do with it.
The Best of Red vs. Blue Awards
The Best of Red vs. Blue Awards, also known as "The Best Red vs. Blue. Ever. Of All Time", is a special video of Red vs. Blue that presents the series' most memorable moments (from Season 1 to Season 9) - as voted by the fans - and is presented in an award show type style. The special also features numerous Red vs. Blue and Grifball miniseries characters.
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. Shortly after episode 2 was released, Rooster Teeth was contacted by Bungie Studios. To their surprise, Bungie loved the series. A deal was made to allow Rooster Teeth to make the series without licensening fees. 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 Halo PC, Red vs. Blue is mostly filmed with interconnected Xbox consoles. As the series title suggests, the original chronicles are largely set in the multiplayer map Blood Gulch and the later series are set in Blood Gulch successors in Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo: Reach. 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.
By Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction, Rooster Teeth has retconned the events in the past five seasons, integrating the plot into the Halo canon, turning Red vs. Blue from a comedy to Halo fan fiction. The key comedy remains in the series, while actions scenes were added into the series. In 2009, Rooster Teeth remastered the first five seasons, removing the traditional HUD camera and combined all episodes into one single video. As of Red vs. Blue: Revelation, Rooster Teeth had hired web-based animator Monty Oum to implement completely animated scenes into the series. The newly animated scenes uses in-game assets from the Halo series and allows much more storytelling possibilities.
Red vs. Blue is widely credited with attracting public attention to machinima. Although examples had existed since the 1990s, Clive Thompson, a journalist from New York Times, credits Red vs. Blue as "the first to break out of the underground". In Halo 2, Bungie inserted a special command — a joystick button that makes a soldier lower their 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.
Rooster Teeth's success is recognized by Bungie. The Rooster Teeth crew was featured in the Halo 2 Collector's Edition's Bonus DVD, and the ViDoc O Brave New World. Along with several other exceptional Halo community members, Red vs. Blue was featured in the Halo: Reach Tribute Room easter egg. Red vs. Blue and Rooster Teeth were listed in the "Special Thanks" section of the Halo 3 credits, the Halo 3: ODST credits, and the Halo: Reach credits.
Since Bungie's departure from the Halo series, 343 Industries has taken the role of endorsing Rooster Teeth. 343 Industries often hosts Rooster Teeth at events such as Halofest 2011. Halo Waypoint posts multiple Red vs. Blue episodes each week. Rooster Teeth employees were listed in the "Special Thanks" section of the Halo 4 credits. In addition, Rooster Teeth was given the privilege to film the Season 10 finale in Halo 4 multiplayer at 343 Industries a day before the release of Halo 4.
Homage from the Halo series
References to the Halo series