I should probably confess at this point that I watch a lot of Youtube. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. My computer’s too old to play any of the games I want to play, so I end up spending most of the time I would be playing them watching Youtube videos of them instead. And I’ve noticed with a lot of Youtube series, Minecraft in particular, there’s this tendency to start with an amusing Let’s Play which eventually grows into a much larger story arc (with The Shadow of Israphel being one of the most prominent examples). And Rythian and Zoey’s Tekkit Chronicle is not very different. Although the show starts out with a definite theme, it doesn’t really go from good to great until it starts having some obviously scripted plotlines.
The story starts out with the entirely skippable prequel, which is basically just Rythian waking up alone on a deserted island. He remembers two other players, Sjin and Duncan, having an epic duel on another server they played on together. During the course of the duel, Rythian’s house was destroyed, Rythian himself was killed, and then one of them sabotaged a nuclear generator so that an explosion pretty much ruined any thoughts any of the other players may have had about rebuilding. Rythian swears revenge on Duncan and Sjin for destroying everything he worked so hard to build, and it’s actually a bit boring.
But then Zoey falls from the sky holding nothing but a mushroom. And she is the real reason to watch this series. Cute, charming, a bit scatterbrained, and constantly spouting nerdy references, she’s the perfect counterpoint to Rythian’s revenge-driven seriousness. She promises to help Rythian destroy Sjin and Duncan–her home and mushrooms were also destroyed during the Tekkit War–and together they work together to build a magic user’s haven, to counteract Sjin and Duncan’s love of science.
Along the way, they have plenty of adventures. Zoey gets killed by and subsequently befriends a mute T-Rex named Teep. They create a suicidal snow golem. They travel to New Pool, where their closest neighbors seem to spend the majority of the their time arguing about the titular new pool and killing each other’s tuna sandwich. They have a baby together. And then their dinosaur gets kidnapped and Zoey has to let Rythian in on a secret she’s been keeping from him in order to save their friend.
I think my favorite thing about this series is that they’re very aware of the difference between character and actor. They’re both playing roles based on themselves, but, unlike other Minecraft series I have watched, they seem to exist wholly in the Tekkit world. Rythian, in particular, has a tendency to get seriously in character in his video game playthroughs (check out his Dishonored playthrough if you don’t believe me), but they seem so natural together, it would be easy to imagine Rythian was a standard issue douchebag and Zoey was a first class space cadet if you didn’t watch them interact together in other videos.
Another thing that’s really great is this show’s treatment and deconstruction of Zoey as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. It’s easy to think that since the show is (at least at first) shot solely from Rythian’s point of view that he’s the character who should be relied on, even when he continually second guesses Zoey or mentions that she’s his apprentice. But eventually that’s shown to fall apart, as [redacted for spoilers]. And, even more refreshingly, Zoey is completely aware of Rythian’s pretentious bullshit and continually calls him on it, even if he tends to just brush it off. Zoey is consistently her own person, rather than an extension of Rythian, although Rythian tends to ignore that fact. Zoey’s the one who makes friends with Nilesy, babysits a baby volcano, decorates the entire castle, and helps the mushrooms unite into a single government. Rythian, it seems, rarely does anything we don’t catch on camera, and if we missed it, it probably wasn’t that exciting anyway.
In conclusion, this show is good, you should watch it, quality youtube, A+.
Have any suggestions for things I should be putting on this blog? Leave them in the comments.