Dead Fantasy

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deadfantasyThis computer-animated series was brought to my attention by our son, and pits the heroines of two classic video-game franchises against each other. It’s the women of Dead or Alive versus the ladies of Final Fantasy – hence the name -with occasional supporting roles for the odd male character and/or guests from other series). These are fan films made by Monty Oum, who had previously created another film based on combing two other video-game franchises, Halo and Metroid. Dead Fantasy reached five entries (and a preview for #6), released from October 2007 up until Oum went to work for Rooster Teeth Productions in March 2010,

Let me be cheerfully up-front, and admit I do not have a clue what is going on here. Even our son, who plays a good deal more computer games that I do [though I have played both DoA and FF, particularly FF7], was unsure of who some of the characters are, and as for any expectations of plot, you really should not bother at all. That said, it’s still pretty intense, like mainlining half a dozen espresso shots simultaneously. Initially, it starts of as a 3-on-3 battle in, on and around a gigantic temple. When the DoA girls realize they’re losing, Ayane destroys the temple out from under them, but the battle continues as they’re falling. Rinoa, from Final Fantasy then uses her magic to separate the participants at the end of part two. and the remaining episodes then focus on the various individual combats around the world which result.

It’s a series that gets considerably darker as things progress: initially, it seems like little more than a capture of a multi-player video game, albeit admittedly an impressive one, with characters taking little or no damage, and bouncing back up to continue the fight, without a mark on them. But by the fifth part, Final Fantasy’s Tifa is both taking and handing out some undeniably brutal punishment, being struck with so many arrows she resembles the pin-cushion version of Xena from the series finale, while decapitating and disemboweling her attackers. It’s certainly a good deal more Mortal Kombat than Final Fantasy, and one wonders where the series might have gone, had its creator been able to continue with it. You’ll probably also find yourself mentally casting a live-action version of the episodes, assigning actresses to each of the heroines: “Scarlett Johansson as her… That one’s Zoe Bell…” For your enjoyment, here are all 5½ parts. Get some popcorn.

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