It’s night, a lone guard follows his routine patrol, and all
is quiet in Stormwind. Or so it seems. A dead guard is found and all
hell breaks loose as the once sleepy town realizes something more
sinister lurks in the darkness. So begins an almost eight minute action
packed adventure created by Percula that quickly turned into one of the
best WoW machinimas I had ever seen.
Blind was recommended to me by a group of my sister-in-law’s
friends. They work together and from time to time end up discussing WoW
in their free time. On one such occasion they informed my sister-in-law
that she simply MUST have my wife and I view this video.
I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting much, this group of
WoW players hadn’t even managed to purchase and play the
first expansion pack so what would they know about good
machinima? So it was with some dubiety that I opened the
video with my sister-law-in tow. Boy was I in for a surprise.
Blind starts out as mentioned above in an unassuming seemingly peaceful
Stormwind. Viewers don’t have to wait long for action, just a
few seconds into the video a slain guard is found giving rise to the
knowledge that something deadly is lurking in the shadows. A host of
guards take up the call to arms, only
slaughtered before the fight even really begins. The kicker is that
instead of a small army, the invading force is not a force at all, but
instead a solitary elf on a deadly mission.
The elf rips through more guards, pushing through the city, leaving a
bloody trail behind. To stop the elf’s rampage an elite human
rogue is called forth, and a one on one battle of epic proportions
ensues. Watching the two masters at their deadly work is breathtaking.
The two are very obviously evenly matched and no end is in sight until
the elf finally spots her target, an unremarkable human priest or
cleric located inside the cities garrison. Once her target has been
spotted not hell, high water, or another large force of guards can stop
her from reaching her goal. Why exactly is this elf determined to take
out this seemingly innocent priest? Does she succeed? You’ll
have to watch the video to find out, but I can assure you the ending
will leave you wanting more.
Blind’s animation is stunning. Percula presents to the viewer
an animated world that looks and feels real. While Percula still uses
the WoW Model Viewer like many other videos out there he takes his to a
whole new level by hand animating each scene using a variety of tools
such as Milkshape 3D, Sony Vegas, and Adobe Aftereffects.
instead of relying solely on WoW‘s model viewer like many
other videos out there. This helps to create a video that draws you in
from the very second it starts playing.
There are a few scenes which are noticeably unrealistic, for example I
am convinced after watching the video that none of the guards are
carrying real guns, but instead some sort of pellet rifles. This is
most notable as the elf rogue is shot in what appears to be her chest
by a guard. Instead of the shot being fatal, or at the very least
slowing her progress down, the shot seems to be but a minor
The two master rogues are not
limited by gravity.
inconvenience that the rogue easily shakes off. Overall though Blind
presents the viewer with an engaging realistic experience that will
leave you hanging on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens
next and the minor flaws easily melt into the background.
Percula presents this stunning animation without having any of the
characters uttering a single syllable. The first time I watched I
didn’t even notice this, so well crafted were the characters
and so well expressed were the emotions that the fact that no one ever
spoke a word was lost on me. Instead I found based on the situations
and the body language of the characters I was able to formulate my own
dialogue and various side stories that may or may not have been
intended by the creator.
An example of this is the sexual tension that I picked up on between
the two rogues. Does this speak of an illicit affair in their future?
Other viewers may interpret things differently perhaps seeing what I
consider to be sexual tension to be outright hate. There is no right or
wrong answer here, the lack of script
allows the video to be almost
anything the viewer wants it to be. A far more refreshing option than
some of the poorly or overdone scripts that we are sometimes faced with.
While there is no actual speaking done by the characters, Blind is not
without sound. In fact one of the most disputed points of the feature
is the video’s music. Upon reading the responses of viewers
the song itself is one that is either loved or hated. I personally
found that while the musical choice was unusual it fit the video rather
perfectly the tempo matching and amping up the action. I even
eventually found myself singing along. Percula himself has stated that
he chose the song carefully, feeling that the musical element was just
as important to a good video as any other part. of the animation.
The song itself is called Hide and Seek and is sung by Amuro Namie. The
title seems rather fitting as the elf assassin is indeed playing a
rather deadly game of hide and seek with her pursuers. Looking closely
Not just another priest.
at the lyrics one can discover that the song is about a man and a woman
playing a more romantic kind of hide and seek. Perhaps a subtle hint
from Percula to the romantic stirrings between human and elf I had
imagined? If you find that you are amongst those that dislike
the song choice, I ask that you listen to it at least one more time,
you may just change your mind.
There is however a dark blot on Blind’s horizon. Percula
announced in November of 2009 that he would not be continuing the
series due to real life issues. As of now it seems that he intends to
stand by his verdict and we are doomed to wonder what might have
happened in what promised to be an epic series. Perhaps in the future
Percula will change his mind and allow the entire story to be told, but
for now we can only wait and imagine.
Love it or hate it? Join us on the Ten Ton Hammer forums to share you
thoughts and your own personal favorite WoW machinima and possibly have
it picked for future review.