Critical Role has been doing role play campaigns online for about six years. Role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons have become more popular over the years. There was even a Dungeons & Dragons film trilogy that lasted from 2000 to 2012. There’s also a film in production for 2023. Role-playing games are becoming mainstream and picking up steam. Giving way for The Legend of Vox Machina, a Critical Role game turned adult cartoon.
The show follows a ragtag group of mercenaries named Vox Machina: twins Vex and Vax Vessar, Percy de Rolo, Pike Trickfoot, Keyleth, Scanlan Shorthalt, and Grog Strongjaw. They are in need of money, but also the laughing of the land Tal’Dorei, the continent the story takes place on. They start off living in a city called Emon, and move their way to Exandria after they accept a job to hunt and kill something terrorizing the area.
Episode one for The Legend of Vox Machina starts with our group of heroes getting into a bar fight and being kicked out of the bar. Broke and down on their luck, Scanlan (Sam Riegel) finds a poster asking for mercenaries to help defeat the evil destroying the outskirts and homeland. They go visit Sovereign Uriel Tal’Dorei (Khary Payton) and his council. The Council hesistant, accepts the help of Vox Machina. The group stumbles to find a dragon ripping through the land. Vex (Laura Bailey) gets headaches around Dragons, and her suspicion is that Sir Fince (Tony Hale) is the dragon or at least in cahoots. The episode ends with the group swearing to kill the dragon.
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The Legend of Vox Machina continues into episode two and the group goes dragon hunting. While Vax (Liam O’Brien) and Pike (Ashley Johnson) go to talk to a magician/sorcerer named Gilmore. Gilmore and Vax have a romantic relationship. Vax uses that to his advantage and gets information from Gilmore on how to kill a dragon. The other members try to track their suspect Sir Fince. They follow him into a castle and corner him. Fince is killed by General Krieg (David Tennant), and he admits that it’s him working with the dragon.
The group follows him into a portal that leads to a dragon’s horde full of treasures. Krieg turns out to be the dragon, which explains why he led his own troops to death. The group fights him and goes all-in on the battle. They finally work together by not working together and defeat Brimscythe the giant Blue Dragon. The group is awarded a home, their first ever and vow to protect Tol’Dorei.
The Legend of Vox Machina episode 3 is a bit less adventure, and a lot more slueth; in a sense. Sovereign Uriel is hosting a banquet of sorts, and one of the guests murdered Percy’s family forcing him to flee his Whitestone home. Everything starts off fun and fantastic, Percy is excited because it reminds him of his old life. That is until Sylas (Matthew Mercer) and Delilah (Grey Griffin) Briarwood show up and bring him bad memories. Vax goes to see if he can find out what they’re up to, while the group stays and eats.
Vax ends up getting caught and bit by Sylas who is either a werewolf or vampire. Considering we can’t see a reflection in the mirror, I’m thinking vampire. A fight ensues while Scanlan provides a distraction and the group gets completely destroyed. Pike, Grog (Travis Willingham) and Keyleth (Marisha Ray) put up a great fight but fall to the powers of the couple. Percy also shows us he has a very very unforgiving possibly even evil side. The Briarwoods escape, and as Percy is about to murder their driver Desmond (Max Mittelman) Sovereign Uriel stops him. Our episode ends with the arrest of Vox Machina.
The writing for The Legend of Vox Machina is great thus far. The characters are interesting and the writing team does not slow-roll their development at all. We get interesting characters that make mistakes and are flawed but learn from that. Brandon Auman and Eugene Son do a great job with these first three episodes. I’ve never played a role-playing game, but as somebody that’s always been interested; this definitely helps. The concept of campaigns is intriguing, and I’m sure this show will only get better.
Directors Young Heller, Alicia Chan, and Stanley Von MedVey all contribute their own style, but keep the train running. The voice acting is also amazing, and Neal Acree’s score put you right into this mythical land. It’s a visually amazing show with some really cool animation. It’s also very comedic, the main characters all have very funny mannerisms and characteristics.
Overall, this was a really great start to The Legend of Vox Machina. It’s funny, entertaining, and while being extremely corny it’s a very well-written show. I’m excited for the rest of the season, and it seems the big bad Sylas Briarwood is going to be a great villain. Most of the original cast from the YouTube channel contributes to the show which is always great. The audience for this show has a lot to look forward to. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Rating – 9/10
New episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina premieres every Friday on Amazon Prime!