Episode openings

This article lists the episode openings, or intros, that aired at the beginning of Critical Role episodes.

Campaign 1: Vox Machina[edit | edit source]

Vox Machina character introductions[edit | edit source]

A slideshow of images, accompanied by narration from each member of Vox Machina, served as an opening for the first few episodes of the show. It premiered with the first episode, "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01). The video was put together by Matthew Mercer, using a combination of stock pictures and art by Kit Buss and various other artists. However, because some of the art was used without permission, and the Twitch border covered some of the artist credits, the slideshow was later blurred when uploaded on YouTube to avoid copyright infringement. [1]

The introduction video was also shown during the pre-show and during the half-time break. After the first official opening was filmed, the introductions were aired together with it, either before or after, for some time

Grog's introduction[edit | edit source]

"Right, listen up. If you have ale, then you have a friend in Grog Strongjaw. A goliath of towering height and size, this barbarian has an appetite for the two great loves in his life: combat, women, and ale. Wait... Easily the brains of the group, Grog is often consulted for his vast knowledge of shapes, colors, and shiny things. Also ale.

In his early years, armed with his two-handed great axe, Grog often enjoyed proving his might amongst the ranks of his family's wandering herd. But after coming upon an unsuspecting elderly gnome in the woods, he objected to the killing of such an innocent life. A creature of impulse, Grog felt only pity for this terrified little thing. His disobedience cost him dearly. Beaten bloody and banished by the herd leader, his uncle Kevdak, Grog was abandoned and left to die. Exiled from his herd, it was then that the relative of the very gnome he fought to save, saved him. It was the kindness of a gnome cleric named Pike that healed Grog, bringing him back from death's edge. And they have remained close friends ever since.

Most nights, Grog can be found challenging entire taverns to wrestling matches! Or accompanying Scanlan to the nearest house where you pay for, er, lady favors. Also ale."[2]

Keyleth's introduction[edit | edit source]

"A first impression of Keyleth would leave you with little information on the half-elven druid. You might even think that her social awkwardness, due to her sheltered upbringing, is... kind of sweet. Of course, it would be unwise to underestimate her based on first impressions. Under that unintimidating petite frame is a vicious beast waiting to be unleashed, whose natural powers have made even the fiercest of champions pee their pants. Literally.

Born to the air tribe of the Ashari people, Keyleth was raised with a deep love of nature and the elemental magics. It is her people's inherent duty to protect the delicate areas in Tal'Dorei, where the four elemental planes begin to bleed with this realm. Since she was a little girl, she had quite a knack for air manipulation and beast shaping abilities; well, if you consider kittens and flying squirrels to be little beasts, which I do. Anyways, it wasn't long before the headmaster of the tribe, her father, Korrin, realized her true prodigious abilities and she was inveterated to succeed him as the next headmaster. Just like that, her jovial childhood was stripped and replaced with endless spell memorization, teachings from ancient traditions, and exceedingly high expectations.

Every druid leader-to-be must embark on a journey to seek out the sister tribes in order to introduce and establish respect amongst the fellow headmasters. They call this the Aramenté, or Noble Odyssey. When her father felt she was ready, he set her on the path to truly discovering herself. Not knowing when, or if, she will ever return. As she hikes down the mountain towards Stilben, she meditated on the task ahead. Part of the Aramenté is proving yourself a strong warrior, a valiant protector, and a wise and compassionate leader. With this knowledge, one thought plays in repeat in her mind: is she even worthy?"[3]

Percy's introduction[edit | edit source]

"Percy was the third child of seven children, born to a noble family who lived far to the north in the ancient castle of Whitestone. With so many siblings to share the burdens of lordship, Percy turned his attention to the sciences, engineering, and naturalism.

One day, a mysterious couple, named Lord and Lady Briarwood, came to court. During a feast held in their honor, the Briarwoods violently took control of the castle, killing or imprisoning everyone who would stand in their way. Percy awoke chained in the dungeon, only to be freed by his younger sister. Together they fled, chased by the Briarwoods' men. As they ran, Percy's sister took several arrows to the chest and fell. Percy kept running, eventually jumping into a freezing river and floating unconscious to freedom. He did not remember waking up on a fishing boat. He barely remembered the next two years as he slowly made his way as far south as possible. Then one night, Percy had a dream. A roaring cloud of smoke offered him vengeance against those who destroyed his family. When he awoke, Percy began to design his first gun."[4]

Pike's introduction[edit | edit source]

"Pike grew up in the outskirts of town, near the Bramblewood. Her ancestors were a family of deep gnomes with quite an unfavorable reputation. Thievery, destruction, and trickery left them with the curse of the last name of Trickfoot.

Sarenrae, the goddess of healing and redemption, had other plans for Pike's great-great-grandfather Wilhand, who left his family at a young age after a dream — a dream that changed the course of the Trickfoot family. Wilhand devoted his life to Sarenrae, and pledged from then on that he and his family would live a life of service and devotion.

As a child, Pike seemed to have an affinity to heal. Whether it was animals, people, or even flowers, she felt she had a purpose in making things whole that had once been broken. She studied and learned the ways to heal through divine magic. She lived a peaceful life, quiet and simple, until one day, Wilhand was captured and almost killed by a group of goliath barbarians. One of the goliaths took a stand against the murder of the innocent gnome, and he himself was beaten, bloodied, and left for dead, abandoned by his herd. Wilhand went to Pike for help. She prayed, and healed this barbarian as best she could, bringing him back to life. When he awoke, she discovered his name was Grog Strongjaw. After that, they were the best of friends — a rather unlikely pair. Little did she know that in a few years time, Grog would soon return the favor and bring her back from the clutches of death. After being killed in battle, Pike felt angry. She wanted to be stronger, so that it would never happen again. She spent four months at sea, training with the men and women aboard a ship called The Broken Howl. Gripping her holy symbol in one hand, and her morningstar in the other, this time, Pike is ready."[5]

Scanlan's introduction[edit | edit source]

"Oh, you haven't heard of Scanlan Shorthalt? Well, gird your loins, ladies, because he has his eye on you. A talented musician, master of disguise, and dashingly handsome in his own mind, Scanlan sings songs almost as much as he sings his own praises.

Born a poor gnome, Scanlan used his endless charm and soaring tenor voice to croon for coin and support his single mother. One day he was discovered by a half-orc promoter, and joined Dr. Dranzel's Spectacular Traveling Troupe, where he learned the ways of the world, and honed his skills as a bard extraordinaire. A loner much of his life, Scanlan has never quite come to terms with the violent death of his mother at the hands of a goblin invasion. While his years on the road provided many, shall we say, educational experiences with the opposite sex, deep down Scanlan yearns for the one thing he's never known: the true love of a fellow gnome.

Still, Scanlan considers himself a lover first, performer second, and fighter distant third. On the battlefield, he'll support his allies, but rarely draws blood unless it's to protect fellow gnome Pike. Count on Scanlan for a hearty laugh, a rollicking song, and a twinkle in his eye that melts hearts and makes the females swoon."[6]

Tiberius's introduction[edit | edit source]

"Greetings and salutations. I am Tiberius Stormwind. I hail from a town called Tyriex, located in the heart of Draconia, born from a politically respected family. At the age of 15, I succeeded in passing the Sorcerer's Rite, showing prodigy-like control of my magic. The judges and the Draconian high council were amazed at how powerful my spells were for how long I had been training. At 20 years old, I was the youngest appointed member of the magic guild in Draconian history. For the next few years, I almost went mad from the malaise of being a guild member, as it's rather boring.

However, one day I happened upon a chamber, unused for quite some time. In the room were stacks of books and maps of the surrounding cities and areas around the known world. For months I would frequent the chamber, and learned of artifacts from legend. After a long period of research, I made a list of artifacts that caught my eye. I brought these findings to the high council and was told that all of the information in the chamber I stumbled upon was either believed to be fiction or unsolvable mysteries and hence were lost forever. I found those answers to be unacceptable. A year later I devised a ruse and managed to convince the city council to lend support in me leaving Draconia on a mission of peace and diplomacy for the surrounding kingdoms, going from town to town and making friends and allies, in and for the name of Draconia. Being a red dragonborn, I had quite the task on my hands in that respect, but it was exactly what I needed so I could explore the world and find these artifacts, as I felt the truth was out there.

Some may describe me as buffoonish, but I say poppycock to all that. I am much sharper than most give me credit for. I just don't pay attention to things sometimes. I've also been known to be rather cunning, loyal, happy-go-lucky, and well, dangerous. I can't help but show my true scales now and then. But overall, I think I'm quite friendly for a dragonborn."[7]

Vax'ildan's introduction[edit | edit source]

"Never entirely welcome in the company of elves or men, Vax'ildan learned at a young age to skip past formality, preferring instead to invite himself in your door.

Along with twin sister Vex'ahlia, Vax was born by a chance encounter between elven royalty and human peasantry. Raised by their mother in their early years, the twins were eventually sent off to their father in the elven capital of Syngorn. But their cool reception among the elves there never warmed, and their time in the capital didn't last. The siblings stole away one autumn night and set out on the open road. After a few years of wandering, they eventually decided to return to their mother, and journeyed back to the lands of their youth. But instead of finding their childhood home, they returned to a pile of rubble. Their mother was gone, their home burned to ash. Pressing the townspeople for answers, they learned of the day the dragon came.

With their ties all severed, Vax'ildan and his sister set out to find their fortune together in Tal'Dorei. An outsider since birth, Vax quickly learned to solve life's challenges in his own particular way, often by sidestepping them entirely. And when his knack for circumventing adversity isn't enough, the way of blades the elves schooled him in more than makes up the difference."[8]

Vex'ahlia's introduction[edit | edit source]

"Like so many half-elves, Vex'ahlia has spent most of her life suffering the cool reception of a people who don't fully accept her. Born of a human mother and an elven father — who only later in life took an interest in their existence — Vex'ahlia and her twin brother Vax'ildan quickly realized the only people they could truly rely on in this world were each other.

It was at the age of ten when the two were taken from their mother, and brought to live in Syngorn, the isolated elven city for which their father was an ambassador. He quietly took them in, but always kept an icy distance, and after too many years of disdainful looks, the pair decided to leave his indifference behind, and set out on their own. Vax took to the cities, stealing small trinkets and learning the ways of the thief, while Vex kept to the woods. She preferred the isolation. Always the keen observer, she learned to hunt and to track, to spy, and to shoot. And through a series of fateful events, earned herself a companion in the form of a bear — her own stolen Trinket — to fight alongside her and protect her fiercely. Also, he is adorable — and gives expert massages."[9]

Vox Machina opening 1[edit | edit source]

Screenshot from the first Critical Role intro

The first official opening premiered at the beginning of "Breaching the Emberhold" (1x06). It features the first version of the Critical Role theme composed by Jason Charles Miller and includes live-action footage of the main cast. The cast of Critical Role wore accessories reminiscent of their player character and posed for a few seconds each in front of a plain grey backdrop. The actor's name, followed by their character's name, race and class appeared on screen briefly, with fiery sparks shooting around them. Matt also appeared at the end, credited as the Dungeon Master. At the end of the opening, the title Critical Role appeared surrounded by flames.

Credits[edit | edit source]

Vox Machina opening 2[edit | edit source]

The second live-action opening first aired during the 50th episode of Critical Role, "Best Laid Plans..." (1x50). The cast dressed up in full cosplay of their characters and filmed the opening in a forest setting in Simi Valley. The music is an extended and remastered version of the previous one.

The intro opens on a close up of a bloody axe, held by Grog, who goes into a rage and charges off-screen. Keyleth walks in behind him and unleashes a lightning attack. Percy jumps out from behind a tree and shoots, but is knocked unconscious by a large tentacle. Pike, glowing in golden light, grabs his hand and helps him back up. She grabs her symbol of Sarenrae as Scanlan takes her by the shoulder, and she blocks an incoming tentacle attack with her shield. Scanlan then casts Lightning from his crotch and runs after Pike. Vax'ildan stabs a goblin, and Vex'ahlia shoots another one who was about to attack Vax. She then shoots at a cloaked figure who redirects the arrow away, then removes their mask to reveal the face of Matthew Mercer.

Credits[edit | edit source]

  • Director of Photography: Jan-Michael Losada
  • Thumbnail Photography: Pamela Joy and Loretta Richert
  • Makeup: Misti Dawn, Talor Bianca Appice and Heather Galipo
  • Costumes and Props: Jessica Dru Johnson, Vanessa Walton, Bryan Forrest, Avery Faeth, Anne Valiant, Kai Norman, Labyrinth of Jareth at Masquerade Ball and Sword and the Stone
  • Special Effects Supervisor: Jon Enge
  • VFX, Color Grading and Editing: Dave and James Codeglia (Ghostlight)
  • Sound design: Geoff Bisente
  • Music: Jason Charles Miller

Campaign 2: The Mighty Nein[edit | edit source]

Retro opening[edit | edit source]

This intro first aired with the very first episode of Campaign 2, "Curious Beginnings" (2x01). The cast dressed in 70's fashion to play Dungeons & Dragons in a living room full of retro furniture. The theme song, Critical Role Too, is a reworked version of the previous themes with a retro twist.

The camera focused on each player in turn as they acted out their tabletop gaming in an exaggerated and nerdy way. Some of the shots seemed to reference running gags; for example, Ashley shows up in the middle of the game, Sam arrives late, Laura is seen hesitating between which dice to pick, Marisha excitedly hits Taliesin in the face, and when Taliesin pretends to cast a spell, real wind blows around him, referencing his supernatural powers.

Credits[edit | edit source]

  • Assistant Camera: Tristan Savage-Tate
  • Gaffer: Tyler Hart
  • Costumes: Jenny Newman
  • Hair and Makeup: Wren Witting and Vanessa Marie
  • Production assistant: Jose Sosa
  • Additional photography: Selina Ruthe
  • Location manager: Brandon Clark
  • Thumbnail photography: Pamela Joy and Loretta Ritchert (Heirlume Photography)
  • Post-production: Sean Hudson
  • Editing: Andy Inglat
  • Music: Jason Charles Miller

Mighty Nein animated intro: Your Turn To Roll[edit | edit source]

This opening first aired at the beginning of "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) and is the first to feature original animation. The intro was animated by Kami and Kevin Areopagita, in the same style as the D&D Beyond advertisement that they had previously animated. This is the first opening to feature the theme song Your Turn To Roll, which is similar to the previous Critical Role themes but features lyrics, written by Sam Riegel.

The intro began with a few short moments from the main characters' backstories as the corresponding actor's name appeared on screen: Fjord falling into the ocean after the explosion on Vandran's ship, watched by a giant yellow eye, and waking up on the beach with a sword in his hand; Beauregard, bloody and battered, fighting against a group of faceless monks; Nott hiding in a dark alley; and a young Jester sitting on her bed and playing with the invisible Traveler before getting up and running towards a door. When she opens the door, she is her adult self, and joins the rest of the Mighty Nein to travel in a cart. Backstory moments resume as Caleb, standing in flames, relives the moment he set his parents' house on fire; then Yasha stands in an empty battlefield, staring at the storm clouds looming on the horizon. The Mighty Nein are then seen in a dungeon encountering a mimic, resting around a campfire, and fighting against various enemies and in various settings. Caleb casts Cat's Ire; Fjord fights fish creatures; Nott shoots a hill giant; Jester hits it with her giant lollipop, then summons Spirit Guardians shaped like tiny unicorns; Caduceus creates a burst of light that turns a horde of Undead into inanimate corpses, sprouting mushrooms; Beauregard and Yasha battle snake creatures. Mollymauk's grave marker is shown, his coat flapping in the wind and a raven flying away after perching on it. The shot transitions to show Caduceus, standing alone in the Blooming Grove. The Mighty Nein are then shown getting ready for a fight, before a cloaked figure representing Matthew Mercer appears, holding a book. Images of guest characters and NPCs quickly flash inside the book: The Gentleman; Calianna, Shakäste, and Kiri; Pumat Sol; Nila and Keg; Marion Lavorre; Orly Skiffback and Avantika. The Mighty Nein are then seen standing to face a looming barrage of silhouetted enemies, including a kamadan, ettin, oni (likely Lorenzo), drider, and shoosuva, with a large red dragon at its center.

The altered ending that premiered with "The Streets of the Forgotten" (2x134).

Credits[edit | edit source]

Campaign 3: Bells Hells[edit | edit source]

It's Thursday Night (live version)[edit | edit source]

This intro was intended to debut together with the beginning of the campaign but was delayed for further refinement.[11] It finally debuted with "Behind the Curtain" (3x07). The intro was filmed on the Critical Role soundstage over a period of three days. Practical effects were used in all shots and cleaned up in post-production.[12] This intro is the first to feature the new theme song It's Thursday Night.

The intro begins with an overhead shot of a battlemap made up of ruins and jungle foliage, with the Campaign 3 player minis spread around, then pans to Matt who is overseeing the battle. The camera then transitions to an actual jungle set, where each member of the main campaign appears one by one, holding lanterns and wearing costumes inspired by 19th century explorers. Marisha first appears, then Laura and Ashley. The camera then cuts away to a slow-motion shot of the players, all wearing black, around the game table with various items flying around them, before cutting back to the jungle, where Travis appears, followed by Liam. There is a brief shot featuring Robbie Daymond, then Matthew, Taliesin and Sam appear together. We then cut back to the slow-motion shots at the table, where the players goof around together, seemingly in character. First, Marisha scares Travis; then, Sam blinds himself with a camera flash; Matt roars; Ashley and Laura show off some attacks; Liam and Taliesin taunt an invisible enemy. The sequence ends with a shot of the main cast facing the camera with colorful smoke behind them. A new version of the fiery Critical Role logo then appears.

Credits[edit | edit source]

Video Credits:

  • Starring: Matthew Mercer, Travis Willingham, Marisha Ray, Laura Bailey, Ashley Johnson, Sam Riegel, Taliesin Jaffe, and Liam O'Brien
  • Featuring: Robbie Daymond
  • Director: Steve Failows
  • Creative Director: Marisha Ray
  • Head of Production: Vinnie Singh
  • Producers: Maxwell James and Steve Failows
  • DP: Michael Schmidt
  • AC: Shawn Sanders
  • Cam Op: Michael Schmidt
  • Cobra High-Speed System by Camera Control
  • Camera from Pannyhire
  • Cobra Programmer: Simon Wakley
  • Cobra Assistant: Sam Goddard
  • SFX Supervisor: Noxweiler Berf
  • SFX Operator: Glenn Freund
  • SFX Assistant: Nobo Fett
  • Gaffers: Nick Giomuso, and Kevin Cho
  • Key Grips: Iah Beardenvrai and Zied Jendoubi
  • Swings: Joshua Simpson, Ryan Silber, and Kim Youngcheon
  • Dolly Grip: Bill Boehme
  • Electrician: Billy Yates
  • Set design by Flip this Bitch
  • Wardrobe Stylist: Jenny Newman
  • Hair & Make-up: Hannah Starke and Netsuki Blackwelder
  • Set Photographer: Christopher Lockey
  • Production Coordinator: Jeremiah Rivas
  • Production Assistants: Matt Booncompar, Jared Deiro, William Greenberg, Dariush Nothaft, and Ian Corrales
  • Editor: Steve Failows
  • Post Production Supervisor: Tal Levitas
  • Assistant Editors: Sarah Leeper and Will Lamborn
  • Colorist: Chadwick B. Williams
  • Compositor: Christian Brown
  • Rotoscoping by Rotomaker
  • Critical Role Flaming Logo by Shay Goldberg and Outpost VFX
  • Special thanks to Bryan Forrest, and Jeff, Joe, Scott, and Sue at FTB

Song Credits:

It's Thursday Night (first animated opening)[edit | edit source]

This intro debuted with "A Taste of Tal'Dorei" (3x25) and features rotoscoped animation by Minnow Mountain, set to the same It's Thursday Night theme as used for the prior Campaign 3 episodes. Many of the cast members are shown with a reference one of their characters or their general play style. The intro shows them throwing an object to each other, which changes as it reaches the next person. It begins showing Bells Hells minis on an elaborate map, then shows Matt clap his hands together. Laura then throws a die which becomes stepping stones, and jumps, turning into a flower. Ashley hits it with a flaming sword, like Flame Blade, then catches another flower, and Fearne's horns appear on her head. She drops the flower, which shifts into crystal, caught by Taliesin, who then hits it with Ashton's hammer. The shards fly towards Travis, who is wearing a Strongjaw Ale shirt, and while briefly holding a chisel and then turning into a werewolf like Chetney, roars towards the bottom table of Campaign 3. The camera turns to the top table, and Sam takes a drink from his oil can flask, which spills, and cuts to him snowboarding on Orym's sword, similar to Veth doing so on a shield in "Solace Between the Secrets" (2x118). The sword slips out from under him and is caught by Liam, who swings it as a breeze carries leaves towards Marisha, who is apparently crouching on a chair that has Pâté hanging from it. She stands up on the chair and flicks black goo from her fingers. She then jumps down into a group of all the players with a Beau-style three-point landing.

At the end, the shot pans to Matt holding a book with glowing pages and character portraits from across the campaign flashing around him: Bertrand Bell, Dorian Storm, Ariks Eshteross, and then Dusk. It finishes with an animated version of the flaming Critical Role logo. In "The Aurora Grows" (3x49), the list of characters was changed to: Dorian, Ira Wendagoth, Eshteross, and Otohan Thull. In "Far From The Others" (3x52) and up until "Faith or Famine" (3x60), the character list was changed to Deanna Leimert, FRIDA, and Otohan Thull. Since "Crisis of Faith" (3x61) and up until "An Ancient Flame" (3x75): Prism Grimpoppy, Bor'Dor Dog'Son, and Deni$e Bembachula.

Animation credits[edit | edit source]

It's Tuesday Night (second animated opening)[edit | edit source]

The ending of the animated opening was changed from the Malleus Key to Aeor for Campaign 3: Downfall miniseries.

Animation credits[edit | edit source]

Animation by: Kamille Areopagita, Kevin Areopagita, Mark Adams, and Peggy Shi.

Miniseries[edit | edit source]

UnDeadwood[edit | edit source]

The Undeadwood opening played at the beginning of each episode of the miniseries, premiering with the first episode, UnDeadwood Part I: Stay Close, Reverend.

The opening began with dark-lit shots of buildings from a small town, with live-action footage of the cast superimposed on top of it. Each cast member was then presented in a similar matter, shot in slow-motion, with their names appearing in cursive at the bottom of the screen surrounded with sparks. The opening concluded with a group shot of the cast, the series name appearing above them.

Credits[edit | edit source]

  • Theme Song: Jason Charles Miller

Exandria Unlimited (series)[edit | edit source]

The Exandria Unlimited opening premiered with the first episode of the series, "The Nameless Ones" (E1x01).

Exandria Unlimited[edit | edit source]

This intro was made up of several CGI shots of circular, rotating stained glass windows and floating pieces of glass in various landscapes or interior environments:

The series' name then appeared inside a room, surrounded by floating pieces of green glass.

Exandria Unlimited: Kymal[edit | edit source]

For Exandria Unlimited: Kymal, some of the stained glass windows were replaced with different images:

Exandria Unlimited: Calamity[edit | edit source]

For Exandria Unlimited: Calamity, a new set of stained glass windows were displayed, the first two retained from the original:

  • Hung inside a building, features a depiction of the Cobalt Soul symbol.
  • In a snowy mountain landscape, features a golden hand reaching out from above to many smaller colorful hands in representation of the gods gifting divine magic to Exandria, with Travis Willingham's name.
  • Hanging between rocky cliffsides, features a city surrounded by by rainbow-colored waves of light with Aabria Iyengar's name.
  • Hung above lava, features two figures, seemingly Asmodeus and Melora, stand back-to-back with Sam Riegel's name.
  • Hung between two forested river banks, features the the city of Vasselheim with Lou Wilson's name.
  • In a gleaming white and gold city, features the Raven Queen surrounded by a flock of ravens with Marisha Ray's name.
  • Surrounded by rocky surfaces, features a Luxon Beacon with Luis Carazo's name.
  • Hanging in ancient ruins, features the splendorous city of Avalir with Brennan Lee Mulligan's name.

The series' title then appeared inside a room, surrounded by floating pieces of green glass, before transitioning to the same room, now in ruins.

Credits[edit | edit source]

Candela Obscura credits[edit | edit source]

  • Art Department: Noxweiler Berf
  • Miniatures, Props and SFX: Noxweiler Berf
  • Concept Artist and Set Designer: Shaun Ellis
  • Gaffer: Nate Cory Smith
  • Camera Operator: Johnathan Na
  • Assistant Camera: Shawn Sanders
  • G&E: Eric Thompson
  • G&E: William Greenberg
  • G&E: Peter Koocheradis
  • Key PA: Jared Deiro
  • Key PA: Matt Booncompar
  • PA: Parker Smith
  • Editor: Steve Failows
  • Editor: William Lamborn
  • Candela logo artist: Aaron Monroy
  • 3D Title Treatment: Christian Brown
  • Post Production Supervisor: Tal Levitas
  • Colored by Peter Koocheradis & Steve Failows
  • Assistant Editor: Taylor Burke
  • Special thanks: Kirby Winslow

The Legend of Vox Machina[edit | edit source]

Kickstarter animated intro[edit | edit source]

On March 4, 2019, Critical Role announced a Kickstarter Campaign to fund an animated series titled The Legend of Vox Machina. The announcement was accompanied by an animated opening featuring the members of Vox Machina. The theme, Your Turn To Roll, was reworked with the addition of electric guitar.

The intro opens on a shot of a large metal icosahedron bursting with green energy, followed by an establishing shot of the world featuring two dragon-looking creatures flying above a forest. Vox Machina appears inside misty woods and ready themselves for battle. While they attack, the action freezes on each character, while the color palette changes to a more dramatic lighting and their names appear. However, the actor's names do not appear. They are later seen arriving in Emon, then at the palace, where they face the king and his family. His wife puts her hand on an icosahedron identical to the one seen at the beginning, and transforms into a glabrezu. The group prepares for battle.

This opening remains non-canon, as the glabrezu storyline did not appear in the final series. It seemed to suggest some changes to the events regarding the glabrezu that Vox Machina defeated in Emon. In the original telling of the pre-stream events, the glabrezu Juurezel seemed to have possessed Uriel Tal'Dorei's family, and Vox Machina freed them before fighting the monster. However, in the opening, Salda Tal'Dorei transformed into a glabrezu after touching a 20-sided metal object emitting green light, indicating that Juurezel may have impersonated her instead in this version. It is unclear what the metal object is, as it was never mentioned during the first campaign. Although the shape resembles that of a Luxon beacon, the object in the opening seems to be used for activating the glabrezu's transformation, rather than peering into multiple possible futures. The object also has twenty sides, as opposed to the twelve sides of a Luxon beacon.

Credits[edit | edit source]

Series opening[edit | edit source]

The official animated opening for The Legend of Vox Machina was first shared at a NYCC panel on October 8th, 2021. It featured a symphonic version of Your Turn To Roll and animation done by Studio Grackle.[13]

The title sequence begins with a shot of a raven flying high in the sky, with seven beams of golden light emanating from its body and heading to different parts of Exandria. The golden threads appear throughout the rest of the sequence. The main characters are shown one after the other. Keyleth is battling a creature with her magic and turning into a saber-tooth tiger; Grog and Pike are fighting together against a giant monster; Vex and Vax are in a forest battling a group of enemies, before a flashback of their childhood, showing the two of them holding hands in the fiery ruins of Byroden with a young Trinket at their side; Percy appears in a dark prison cell before walking away from Whitestone; Scanlan rides Bigby's Hand in front of an adoring crowd. Vox Machina is then seen together, badly hurt on a battlefield. The sequence ends with a series of shots of Vox Machina standing together in various settings.

The raven is likely a reference to The Raven Queen, and the golden lines probably represent the threads of fate that she oversees. The threads were first mentioned in "The Family Business" (1x47), when Vax'ildan dreamed of the web of golden threads representing the lives of multiple people. The opening suggests some changes to the story. In the flashback of the twins' past, Trinket is seen with Vex and Vax in the ruins of Byroden. In the campaign cannon, Vex'ahlia didn't rescue Trinket until many years later, after the twins had left Syngorn.

Credits[edit | edit source]

Talks Machina[edit | edit source]

From its beginning in 2017 until 2021, Talks Machina had three versions of the animated openings. The first one debuted with the start of the show and featured Vox Machina, gathering together around Brian W. Foster. With the start of the second campaign, Wendy rekindled the same theme for the second opening but interpolated the new group called the Mighty Nein. Towards the end of Campaign 2, Talks Machina went on hiatus and returned six months later with the new animated opening, thumbnails, and intricately decorated screen frame, featuring the items from the Talks Machina set.

Credits[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Probably due to Orion leaving the show, the first opening, in which he was featured, stopped airing after "Stoke the Flames" (1x30). The next twenty episodes had no opening, until the second one was filmed.
  • The armored outfit that Matt wears in the second Vox Machina intro is from his role in the last movie of the Mythica series, where they let him keep the costume afterwards.[16]
  • In the character intro slideshow and in the live-action opening of campaigns One and Two, the actors and/or their characters are always featured in the same order: Travis, Marisha, Taliesin, Ashley, Sam, Liam, Laura, and Matt (alphabetical order of their Vox Machina characters, excluding the Dungeon Master). The order was changed from the first animated opening onwards.
    • Although he only appeared in two of them, Orion also remained at the same spot in the order, after Sam and before Liam.
  • A few miniatures from the Monsters of Wildemount series appear on the battlemap at the very beginning of the Campaign 3 opening: a nergaliid, a gloomstalker and a moorbounder.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Matt explained why the videos were blurred on Reddit
  2. "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) from 0:50 through 2:37.
  3. "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) from 2:37 through 4:40.
  4. "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) from 4:41 through 5:55.
  5. Transcribed from Pike's opening intro. "The Throne Room" (1x07) from 1:25 through 3:30.
  6. "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) from 5:55 through 7:16.
  7. "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) from 7:16 through 9:15.
  8. "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) from 9:15 through 10:44.
  9. "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) from 10:44 through 12:07.
  10. "Talks Machina #9: What Lies Beneath the Surface" (TM1x81) at 1:04:17.
  11. Marisha Ray (@Marisha_Ray) on Twitter: "Quick note regarding our opening title for #CriticalRole. A new rad intro is in the works! Ultimately it was not quite ready for air, and I'm a firm believer in making sure we are proud of whatever we release. I made the call to hold until we were happy with the final product!" (October 22, 2021).
  12. Marisha Ray (@Marisha_Ray) on Twitter: "Each individual is integral in their own unique way, and this opening title exemplifies that deeply. All of the effects you see are practical, out of camera (with minimal clean up in post.) And, I'm proud to say we shot this entirely on the CR sound stage over 3 days!" (December 10, 2021).
  13. Studio Grackle (@StudioGrackle) on Twitter: "It's our second project, the intro for #CriticalRole! Grackle provided animation and cleanup for this project! Thanks to @TitmouseInc for bringing us on!" (October 8, 2021).
  14. Neal Acree (@neal_acree) on Twitter: "The opening title and main theme music for #TheLegendOfVoxMachina was revealed today and I could not be more proud. It was a huge honor to weave the threads of @jasoncmiller and @samriegel's themes with a little something of my own for this stunning animation by @StudioGrackle." (October 8, 2021). In a follow-up Tweet: "Featuring @field_of_reeds on pennywhistle, Eric Rigler on Uilleann pipes, Paul Cartwright on fiddle and the Budapest Scoring Orchestra. Orchestrated by @NolanMarkey and mixed by Mike Bouska. I can't thank @CriticalRole, @TitmouseInc and @AmazonStudios enough for the opportunity."
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Tal Levitas (@TalIsTweeting) on Twitter: "Major props to @wlamborn for the radio edit, @DeepOmega for the Motion Graphics / VFX, and of course the incomparable Chris Willmott for the sound mix." (September 08, 2020).
  16. "Talks Machina #12: Loose Ends" (TM1x84) at 1:13:03.