The Wasted Time Review: Doraleous and Associates (Season 1)
To prove that I am an equal opportunities critic… and also because I have the distinct impression that if I don’t give the abridging community a break, they’ll send Takahata101 to Nappa me to death. I have decided to review something that is not an abridged series. So for now I am pulling my meat cleave off of Abridged Series and I am aiming it directly at the escapist’s: Doraleous and Associates.
The £scapist’s: Doraleous and Associates is a fantasy flash series circling around four main characters:
Doraleous – the leader of the group, which there is nothing funny I can really say about him, seeing as his role in the group seems to be: target practice for Loki (Bad Mythology reference).
Neebs – Neebs plays the role of the misanthropic Elven Ranger. A funny, if not irritating character, who seems damned and determined to make sure every five minute episode drags on with his constant bitching. This character does so much to hold every one back and screw Doraleous over, that it actually makes more sense to pretend that he’s secretly working for the other side (seriously, watch it with that in mind). This all, I guess, wouldn’t annoy me so much if he didn’t sound like he was taught debate by Dale Gribble right before Speech class with Boomhauer.
Mirdon – Murdock is basically like Merlin’s hobo cousin. He drinks, he bitches, and every once in great while he actually does something useful, like cast a spell. Murdock has so many things in common with Neebs, it’s almost like he’s the homeless guy Neebs paid off to help him sabotage Doraleous.
Drak – Drak is the Dwarven Warrior with the voice that seems specifically engineered to annoy the piss out of any critic who watches this show. Drak is by, all means a slightly reasonable (if not meek) character, and is less useless than his other two associates. To this character’s credit, the craven, whiney voice of the character makes a lot of sense to the story (And I’ll get to that Later).
There are of course two other associates who are unfortunately not featured in the intro, for they prove to be the least useless members of this party: Bruff and Sir Walken. Bruff is the most experienced warrior in the party. His gruff demeanor and thankfully few dialogue lines, make it even funnier when you notice that he speaks only action movie lines. Sir Walken is by far the most useful character as he is the one getting the jobs. He is, as expected, voiced acted with a Christopher Walken impersonation. When at first I heard this, I thought they were trying too hard to be funny. Christopher Walken is only funny because he’s fucking Christopher Walken. There is literally no other way to say it. Don’t get me wrong, if I could I would have Christopher Walken redub every abridged series. I would replace every actor in every fucking movie with Christopher Walken. If the world ended I would want it to be me, Christopher Walken, and a scientist who could figure out how to infuse our genes together to repopulate the human race (which is totally not gay).
All that said: a Christopher Walken impersonation seems about as in place as… well Christopher Walken…
So I guess it wasn’t really a bad call, and this character certainly is one of the funniest of the show… but still, it’s only about half as funny as it would have been with the real Christopher Walken. So we’re stuck with a cheap rip-off right from the beginning, which kind of sets the frame of the show.
When I was first introduced to the €scapist’s: Doraleous and Associates, I had thought that what I had stumbled upon was simply the bastard nine month byproduct of the Comedy Central Hazing of Krod Mandoon, which included: “30 minutes alone with Trey Parker.”
All of the characters face the screen… in every shot. Making the movement look as realistic as a 2D scroller, and making all battle scenes as action packed as anything you could play on Newgrounds. But I guess I can’t really complain about visuals or action when it comes to a flash games webisodes, and it would be little prickish of me to ask for the most ball blasting 5 minutes of action I’ve ever seen in my life (That’s Already Happened).
The show starts out with the newly formed associates standing outside of the new headquarters of Doraleous and Associates; the Mercenary Company in which the show gets its name sake. This is literally the least exciting pilot I have ever seen. It starts out with the commemoration party for the opening of the new business… which is held outside because stop asking questions. The show then becomes a bitch fest, which comes off as more annoying than it is funny. Every sentence is stretched out because everybody, obviously because they get paid by the number of words they say, has to comment on what another person said.
Somebody finally mentions something useful about a magical blade, the bitch fest slowly comes to a low roar, and they pull up their map to quick travel to the Lady of the Lake.
Well, this lady of the lake does have an interesting twist. She seems to have gotten bored with her omnipotence, and has decided to fuck with the beings inhabiting the world of Nudonia (Seriously), as well as the beings that inhabit the escapist website. The scene with the lady is actually kind of funny, but like the rest of the show, drags on to the point in which it just becomes grating. She offers Doraleous false Excaliburs Zephyr Blades, which would have made sense if they looked anything like anything that can be called the “Zephyr Blade.”
You know… something like this.
The Lady of the Lake finally hands him a tree branch, which ***SPOILER ALERT*** is the real fucking Zephyr Blade, which makes absolutely no sense and is not funny at all, just really really stupid. So, finally they decide to leave and end of the first episode.
The second episode revolves around the first meeting in the war room, which lead me to believe that this show was comprised completely of all of the scenes in all of the fantasy TV shows, which were too dull to actually be in them. The first meeting revolves completely around the fact that they have done pretty dick so far. A dead cat, that Mirdon is trying bring back to life, is featured throughout the episode. I don’t know why, because it’s not really all that funny.
The meeting goes on between the dead cat bits, featuring more whining and complaining, as if you weren’t already sick of it the first episode. In the end Sir Walken appears, bringing along the first adventure, after dicking around for two episodes (I guess). Walken informs Doraleous that the imaginatively named King Calas is about to destroy the Wetalds, an obvious set up for a retard joke (but to be honest, I’d do the same thing).
So they adventure off into the next episode, in which they confront a Rumpelstiltskin puzzle conducted by a troll with a bridge. They of course go on to solve the puzzle… by quibbling amongst themselves, because all the problems in life are solved by bitching. It was at this point that I made a startling realization, which is going to reveal exactly how big of a nerd I am: This plays like a session of Dungeons and Dragons.
If you’ve never played D&D, then just skip over the next couple paragraphs and pretend I just made a couple dick jokes or something. But for those of you who have Dungeon Crawled, notice Draks annoying whiny voice, and weak social demeanor? Dwarven Barbarians are generally played by new members, and come off as meek and quiet in the world. The quibbling in the show that drives it back? How many D&D campaigns does that happen with? How about just odd things happening with the world, the worlds oddly dry sense of humor, it sounds exactly like it came from the mind of a DM.
It gets to the point that sometimes I expect the camera to pan out, and it is revealed the Doraleous is a 30 year old drop out with a bad haircut, Neebs is 300 pounds with Doritos in one hand and an inhaler in the other, Mirdon is 95 pounds soaking wet and wears a cape, and Drak is the guy that was “too high” to play football.
Ok, so moving on, they finally get passed the pointless troll part, where they find themselves in the Kingdom of the Wetalds, where they meet Snidely Whiplash, cleverly disguised as an arch duke.
Because I don’t want to give away the next two episodes, as they are pretty funny, I’ll just say they end up preventing King Calas from taking over the Wetalds, by giving a simple stakes challenge (battle to the death). But of course, because he is the most honest villain on the planet, he just leaves… Instead of using his quite obviously superior force to kill them, or something.
After the battle of Wetald; Doraleous and his Associates go to Mightopolis (yes, that’s the real name), to establish their name and pick up supplies. Neebs runs into an old friend who is in the stockade for stealing a sweater from Freddy Krueger. He then proceeds to break him out of the stockade, and bring him with, the bar still attached to his head, to coerce the guards into letting them see the king; this of course gets them thrown into prison.
The next episode starts with Doraleous, Neebs, and Krueger’s nephew chained up in the dungeon, singing the most obnoxious passing time song in the world. Doraleous is of course not singing, as he is the only man in the dungeon who seems to have kept his sanity. We then are introduced to a scraggly old man, who serves as this week’s plot device. When asked why he is in chains, the obviously insane inmate states, “Because the king is afraid of me.” At this point I turned to my friend and said, “He’s going to break out of those chains and kill somebody.” About a minute later I was proven correct (not to say it wasn’t still entertaining), thus reconfirming that I have the very useless talent of predicting obnoxious jokes. The crazy old man, after killing a guard, and before making a hole like Bugs Bunny to escape, tells Doraleous to remember the number 4. They are then saved by Sir Walken Plot Fix (As is his proper name).
The next episode they are confronted with the most predictable fantasy satire joke in history
Interpreting this, of course, as a gift: Doraleous orders his team to move it into the castle (which of course they interpret as “fuck off until the party”), as he goes to get party supplies to celebrate their first mission. On this journey, Doraleous and Sir Walken stumble across a Wizard Kid named Harry Pooter, which is honestly pretty clever. Harry’s complete role in the series is to inform Doraleous that ***SPOILER ALERT*** the tree branch was the real Zephyr Blade, which makes no fucking sense. Honestly, where they high?
Really the next ten or so episodes pretty much has the same bitch, kvetch, predictable joke, argue, antagonize, go on mission, rinse, wash, and repeat pattern. Though, some of these end up being entertaining, like on episode 12 Yahtzee shows up to do… exactly what I’m doing now, which galvanizes this article as a giant waste of my time.
It wasn’t until about episode 16 where it really got interesting again. Before I go on, I want to play a game with the people at home. Think about every adventure game you’ve played in the last five years that includes anything having to do with fantasy. Now ask yourself what you think that this series is going to do next. If you answered: Doraleous Fights In a Tournament to His Death, congratulations, you now have that very useless talent of predicting obnoxious jokes, too.
We find Doraleous has been thrown into a gladiator’s tournament, because Neebs needed the money; which only adds to my suspicion that he’s really a very clever double agent for Calas. So Doraleous finds himself teamed up with
Leslie is part of the two episodes I mentioned earlier, and instead of reviewing, forced you to watch it. Leslie is one of the funnier characters in the show, but he suffers from the same affliction as Drak, as he has a voice that makes me want to take a drill gun to my eardrum. When I went to play the episode I was transported to the dead zone, where I found that they would be facing an unbelievably drawn monster. Doraleous would then bring the fucker most of the way to death, where Leslie will come in at the end to beat it down. Leslie will be declared the hero, and turn in to Russell Crowe. The scene went off roughly as I had expected.
The next episode is a dragged out foreshadowing of a future villain. So when exactly does this villain come in? How is he relevant? Well… fucked if I know. I guess they had to put some more scenes of them with their thumbs up their asses and arguing with every line of dialogue. But quite frankly, this episode and everything before and after is completely made up by Episode 18: No Horse For Walken.
No Horse For Walken starts out with the only funny rant in the entire series. Walken is complaining about the fact that the team did not steal a horse for him, in the episode of the Pyramites that I intentionally skipped in this review. Walken, riding bitch behind Neebs, logically explains why he is the one who deserves a horse. They stumble upon the old man from the dungeon (way back in episode 7), who is apparently having a stare-down with a frog.
The old man asks about the number 4 again, which of course Doraleous is as clueless as the rest of us. The old man then backs off from hypnotoad, warns the others that it is that it is time to run, at which point he does so. Instead of thinking about why the guy who tore a dungeon guard to pieces with his bare hands decided to flee, they decide that this is a good place to rest.
During the night, they discover what the old man was really staring at. Drak gets close to the frog that the old man was staring as when ***SPOILER ALERT*** this happens:
The end of this episode was a funeral for Drak, which was held by Sir Walken (who finally got his horse).
The rest of season is a build up to a “very powerful” Magical Boss, and Drak’s place is given to a new training: Ladder Guy, Whose only power seemed to be to somehow make me Miss Drak. All of this leads to fairly disappointing fight scene, with another rushed rushed action sequence. Oh yeah! and the best part is: Ladder Guy gets fired.
Season One of the εscapist’s Doraleous and Associates was… interesting to say the least. There were definitely parts in which it made me laugh, but most of the time it was just incessant bitching. Not even topical bitch, very rarely even funny rants, just quibbling like a bunch of school girls. The action was decent for a flash video, but there was far too little of it to judge on. The humor and references were hit and miss at best; the voice acting wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. The jokes seemed poorly timed and come off as convoluted as everybody seems to talk at once. The ξscapist’s Doraleous and Associates tried every single second to make me laugh, but didn’t give me much time to digest it. Many of the Jokes I only got two days later, because the show couldn’t go a single fucking second without a stupid ass line of dialogue. The show has no contrast, no real creativity, and worst of all: it will make the common man feel like an Oracle because it’s so goddamn predictable.
But, on the other hand, the Ξscapist’s Doraleous and Associates is fairly entertaining, the story isn’t half bad, just too convoluted to make any sense of. The parts that are funny are definitely worth the part’s that aren’t (and that is saying something). The editing and “cinematography” is done very well, even though the entire animation looks like my three year old niece drew it. Even the most unlikeable characters have some good moments, and when seen through the right perspective, it has a certain charm.
The fact is, if you like MMORPGs, if you’ve ever played an RPG in a chat room, or if you’re an old school D&D nerd, then you can honestly do a lot worst then watching the ωscapist’s Doraleous and Associates. And if you aren’t into any of those things, then stop playing keep away with my inhaler, and give me my lunch money back.
Jack “A.C.” Shawhan is a satire writer, critic and Dungeon Master for The Wasted Time. Self proclaimed: “Jester for the monarchs of the “Who the Hell Cares?” Empire,” A.C. authors a weekly article imaginatively called: The Wasted Time Review, a critical review on the comedic idiot savants that we call internet publishers. Apart from picking every sordid detail out of what is splattered on the net and dangling perfection beyond the reach of all who wish to approach it, Jack “Aperio Contra” Shawhan is a writer with a long background in literary history and comedy.
The Wasted Time©, 2010.