Monty Oum – Hail to the King

Like many others, my first experience with the epicness that is Monty Oum was Dead Fantasy I and Haloid. Yes, that’s right, I didn’t see the server-overloading Halo and Metroid mash-up first. But no matter which you watch first, only one word can describe Monty’s work. Epic.

A high school drop-out, this 28-year-old has become something of a legend on the internet. With no formal training, Monty has continued to astound his fans. Using Poser and other programs, he choreographs the action and animates the 3D models, himself. Yep, it’s all done by one person, unlike something like Kung Fu Panda or Toy Story which had entire teams working on them.

Haloid, which took him about 3 months to do, is so well done and brilliantly animated that the previously-unknown Monty’s popularity skyrocketed. As previously stated, the amount of traffic that Haloid generated overloaded and crashed GameTrailers‘ servers. Needless to say he was by no means expecting it to be so popular.

He returned 6 months later with a brand new project, entitled Dead Fantasy, which pitted characters from Tecmo and Square-Enix against each other. This one blew me away. Not only is the series animated and choreographed even better than Haloid, but each and every character has their own fighting style, and even in the most hectic of scenes, Monty leaves the unique styles intact. The Dead Fantasy updates have been relatively slow to come, but the reason is quite obvious. Quality. With every new movie, and as with any artist over time, you can tell Monty is getting better.

However, that isn’t to say that his work is perfect. I can point out a few mistakes in Dead Fantasy I and II, from Hitomi sliding up a falling pillar, to Rikku’s foot being in front of a ledge she’s standing on, to Kairi holding her Keyblades with the teeth facing the wrong way (I chalk that last one up to his artistic license. I’ve always thought the Keyblade would attack better the way Monty put Kairi’s, anyway).

It was shortly after his movies hit the internet that video game companies started approaching Monty, he’s that good. In addition to continuing to work on Dead Fantasy, he now works for Namco Bandai Games, with Afro Samurai being his first game. Let’s see how this job influences his work.

As of this writing, GameTrailers has just finished up their 3-week Dead Fantasy release promotion (III, IV, and V being released one per week). While III and V (more so V) take the viewer out of their comfort zone with the blood, which I contribute to Monty’s work on Afro Samurai, it also gives some insight as to why Tecmo and Square-Enix characters are battling each other.

Andrew Monkelban

Andrew Monkelban is an avid gamer and writer, who has been featured in Second Skin, and on Wired's GameLife and The Escapist. He is also really into the Japanese entertainment scene. Even though he has Cerebral Palsy, he does not let it stop him from doing what he loves, although he's always on the look-out for technology that would help him with difficult tasks. He came to PopTen in the Summer of 2009, where he's now able to combine his passions.

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