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Metagame (documentary)

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Metagame
Logo for the Metagame documentary.
Released December 11th-13th, 2020 (Episode 1-8 Premiere)
January 29th, 2021 (Vimeo)
June 6th, 2021 (Bonus Episode Premiere)
Runtime 7 hours, 24 minutes
Language(s) English
Budget $34,583
Crew
Director(s) Travis Beauchamp
Producer(s) Christopher Brown
Peter N. Grant Sr.
Art Director(s) Daniel Wyatt
Narrator(s) Nick Papoutsakis
Music by Garrett Williamson
Lord Dinosaur
Melo
Jesse Beauchamp

Metagame is an nine-part documentary series produced by Travis "Samox" Beauchamp and is a follow up to his earlier work, The Smash Brothers. The series premiered on Twitch on December 11th-13th, 2020 and was released for purchase on Vimeo on January 29th, 2021.

The series focuses on the "Five Gods" of Super Smash Bros. Melee, in addition to Leffen, through their competitive history from 2008 through 2015.

Episodes[edit]

Metagame Episodes
# Title Logline
1 A Beautiful Accident Our story begins in the misty far away days of the 1990s - the golden age of console gaming. It was in this rush to produce new and engaging multiplayer experiences that Nintendo created A Beautiful Accident - Super Smash Brothers Melee.

The ostensibly casual and kid-oriented game would reveal itself to be far deeper than any fighting game in the world - and soon fostered a dedicated community of competitive players around it.

2 The Kid Mango’s abilities confound his opponents, but his victories are undeniable. With a clear dominance of the game, Mango shifts the center of the Melee universe to the West Coast of the USA and his scrappy Norwalk neighborhood.

Across the Atlantic, a Peach player from Europe starts to make waves; some even say he is the best in the world. International tensions run high as the news breaks that he will be traveling to America for the first time.

When Armada pushes Mango to limits he’s never faced, will The Kid from Norwalk break?

3 The Limiter A shy kid from a small town, PPMD must discover who he is in a new competitive gaming world; desperate to overcome his regional nemesis Hungrybox, but also hoping to make friends and fit in.

When a half-retired Mango takes the young Falco player as a disciple, he grows in leaps and bounds - but struggles to move past The Limiter he has erected in his mind.

With Armada devising a secret weapon to unleash upon his return to America, PP emerges as America’s last best hope.

4 Fire on the Mountain Years of competition have taught Armada that you can’t get to your goal right away - you must earn it with hard work. But after constant defeats, Armada’s confidence in ever finding a victory in America begins to wane.

In his time of need, a little piece of high school wisdom on a forgotten mural reminds the Swede of the fire which drives him on.

With Mango making a return using the game’s fastest character and all eyes on a massive summer tournament, Armada sees his chance to finally seize the Fire on the Mountain top.

5 The Tao of Smash After years of struggling against Mango both in-game and out of it, PPMD takes aim at his one time teacher. Seeking to understand what makes the kid from Norwalk so different, PP begins a journey into The Tao of Smash with a new teacher - Cactuar.

Meanwhile, Armada seeks to stack up more victories in the coming tournaments; but as they come, he notices a growing emptiness within himself.

The times they are a changing…

6 Sunday in America With a sudden explosion of popularity in streaming and a renewed interest in the game, it’s Sunday in America for the members of the Pantheon and the smash community.

But as Armada finds his fire again, he comes face to face with a player he betrayed. Leffen seeks his revenge on his former playing partner and aims to become the “One True God”.

Will the Pantheon fall to the brash “god slayer”?

7 The Pantheon's Fall pt. 1 As hype builds for the largest tournament of all time at Apex 2015, the gods each prepare in their own ways. PPMD works to control his inner demons as Armada reveals a secret weapon at the last Apex Qualifier.

Meanwhile, Leffen’s incessant trash talk leads old-school legend Chillindude to challenge him to a money match, slated for the Apex Salty Suite.

Tensions near the boiling point in The Pantheon’s Fall Part 1.

8 The Pantheon's Fall pt. 2 The final showdown arrives for everyone in The Pantheon’s Fall Part 2. After nearly being canceled once the original venue falls through, Apex is saved in a massive volunteer effort by the players themselves.

In the hectic final days, the fate of the Pantheon, the god-slayer and the game itself all unfold in front of over a hundred thousand viewers watching live around the world.

Bonus Godslayer The story of the Pantheon's Fall is now told from Leffen's perspective as the young Swede battles to end the Era of the 5 Gods and take revenge on the top players of smash brothers.

Production[edit]

The documentary took over five years to produce following the release of the original documentary, The Smash Brothers. A kickstarter for a continuation of The Smash Brothers was launched on April 14th, 2014. Its goal of $26,000 was surpassed only two weeks after a launch and would total up to $34,583. This continuation of The Smash Brothers would eventually form into Metagame.

According to Beauchamp, the documentary had gone through many re-writes and the revisions that the original documentary hadn't gone through. Additionally, due to him seeking more than just a YouTube release, Beauchamp had to track down the owners of many Melee-related videos throughout many different countries.[1]

On November 23rd, 2020, a trailer released, along with the announcement that the series would premiere on Twitch on December 11th-13th, 2020.[2] Episodes 1-3 aired on December 11th at 2-5 p.m. PT, Episodes 4-6 aired on December 12th at 2-5 p.m. PT, and Episodes 7-8 aired on December 13th at 2-4 p.m. PT.

The documentary was uploaded for purchase via Vimeo on January 29th, 2021. This version of the documentary features edits in response to viewer feedback, particularly in regard to offensive language deemed appropriate at the time and the negative portrayal of Leffen.[3]

On April 24th, 2021, it was announced there would be a three-day special event in June with a livestream of all eight episodes, new interviews with all five gods and Leffen, and a special feature and a new episode called "Metagame: Godslayer."[4] On May 15th, 2021, it was announced the livestream to be a two-day event on June 5th-6th, 2021, starting at 10 a.m. PT each day.[5] A new trailer was uploaded the same day.[6] Day 1 of the stream had interviews with Mew2King, Armada, Hungrybox, and Mango in between episodes.[7] Day 2 of the stream had interviews with PPMD and Leffen in between episodes.[8] Day 1 had Episodes 1-4 and Day 2 had Episodes 5-8 and the premiere of the new episode, "Godslayer".

Reception[edit]

An icon for denoting incomplete things.

The release of the documentary's first three episodes resulted in the hashtag "metagame" rising to #2 on the United States trending page of Twitter.[9]

The documentary received a mixed reception from the player base upon its initial premiere. Some players prominently featured in the documentary such as Mango and Leffen publicly criticized it, arguing that their depictions in the documentary were unfairly biased as a result of excessive focus on their past personal actions as well as editing and music choices surrounding their appearances in the documentary. Critics of the documentary also argued that it did not focus equally on all of the featured players, identifying Mew2King and Hungrybox as "gods" who received comparatively little screen time compared to the others.

References[edit]

External links[edit]