Are you ready folks? Today is a very special one, at least, I think it is. You decide.
Tripod Vs. The Dragon is a filming of a stageplay put on by one of my favorite comedy music groups from Australia (big list of contenders, I know, but they’re seriously really funny, check ’em out) Tripod, and Australian singer Elana Stone. The concept title was Dungeons and Dragons: The Musical, but they changed it for legal reasons.
The story starts (and they won’t let you forget this) at the dawn of time. The goddess of the word, The Tree of Knowledge, was attacked by wizards so they could steal a branch to forge a Spear of Knowledge.
And would you look at that production value! Such beauty! An overhead projector never looked so good!
Meanwhile, in the real word, it’s Saturday, and and the game is just starting. Our Players (in the theatrical sense, not the other one): Elana, who plays the DM, as well as the Lady in Red, aka Somethingsomething. Scod: Resident numbers-man (or munchkin, as they are better known) who plays a wizard. Yon: He plays a cleric, but if he had his say, he’d be playing a dog-man. Finally, Gatesy: The new player in the group. He wanted to be a bard, but the wizard wouldn’t let him.
Being new to the game, Gatesy asks what he can “do” in the game. He decides to go busking. The DM allows this, despite protests from the other players.
Although everyone knows that a REAL D&D game always starts with “you all meet in a tavern…”
Inside his lute-case afterwards, he finds a map with a big empty space missing from it. They decide they need to fill in the gap and their adventure begins. After a run in with an orc, they go to a tavern for Open-Mic night. Gatesy meets a fellow singer and the woman of his dreams, the Lady in Red, whose name he neglects to learn. She sings a beautiful song outlining the entire plot, which goes straight over his head. She then tells him outright that if he goes to the blank on the map, he’ll get eaten by a dragon. This again goes right over his head. Did I mention that he rolled poor intelligence? They vow to meet again someday.
Continuing their quest, the group gets split up in the mountains, and Scod the Wizard gets lost in the dark. He happens upon the Twin Wizards, two brothers who offer him ultimate power and a cool party hat if he can kill the dragon that guards the Tree of Knowledge.
They look trustworthy, right?
They bequeath him the Spear of knowledge and send him on his way. He rejoins the others, and they hop a boat to the spot on the map.
Arriving in a beautiful garden. Gatesy sits back and relaxes, when the red dragon, guardian of the Tree appears and begins divebombing the adventurers. Shoving the Spear into Gatesy’s hands, Scod shrinks to the back and Gatesy thrusts the spear at the dragons hide, piercing it. The dragon begins to die, revealing it self to be none other but Somethingsomething, the Lady in Red!
Scod runs off and gets his hat and flashlight from the Twin Wizards. But ultimate power is not without it’s price, and he soon grow to regret making his friend kill the woman he loves. He sends him a note with instructions: How to get to the underworld. He and Yon separate, Yon going to find Scod, and Gatesy going off to confront the Devil.
Scod and Yonny fight the twin wizards, almost getting boiled inside out until they snap the Spear in half and use it on the wizards. This scene is neat, but only exists to tie up Scod’s story line.
In Hell, after getting past Cerberus, Gatesy confronts The Devil, offering to play the best song ever in exchange for the release of Somethingsomething’s soul. He does so, playing one of my favorite tracks on the soundtrack, Heart of a Fighter. Impressed, Satan lets them go, and they travel up and out of the underworld, only for the game to end.
Portrayal of RPGs – 4/5
Because the film spends most of its time inside the game world, there isn’t a lot of room for meta-humor, but you can tell that Tripod are or at least have been gamers at one point of another, If you don’t believe me, listen to the final song of the production, and my favorite song, Bard. It’s a neat tune about being an ostracized schoolkid, and speaks volumes to me.
The Plot- 5/5
I rate this one so high because, as you may have guessed, not only am I totally in the tank for this film, but these ratings aren’t really ratings of quality, they’re my rating of whether or not the film does it’s job. The acting was pretty on-par with those groups that go to schools to to PSA skits about bullying and drugs. Not masterful, a little hammy, but I love it, and I think it really works here.
This movie is one of my favorites. It has all of my favorite things. A classic fantasy story with a few twists, gamer humor, well put together music. If anything, the music is the best part. The soundtrack is available on Itunes and Elana Stone’s voice alone is worth the listen. The film itself is available on Amazon, or you can find it on Youtube, but I’m not going to link to it because it isn’t an official video.
If you think I was a little biased toward this movie (teehee!), leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you all next Sunday, where I’m going to look at a movie with the word “gamer” in the title.