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Critical Role's Matt Mercer Explains Amazon's Vox Machina's Cut Scenes

"The Legend of Vox Machina" brings Critical Role's first campaign to Prime Video, transforming it into an easily-digestible animated series. However, given the constraints of a TV show, not every part of the campaign made it in. Campaign One spans 115 episodes, giving fans hundreds of hours worth of "Dungeons & Dragons" content, but with just 12 episodes per season, "The Legend of Vox Machina" had to cut some parts out. 

"There's always a number of small moments that aren't pertinent to the main story that you would love to have seen. Small interactions. Things that, with the cost of animation, and the time that you have, don't quite fit," Matt Mercer told Collider, saying the animated series could never be an exact adaptation. "You get to cut the fat in some places and in others improve it where an improvised narrative doesn't always hit everything a hundred percent of the time. Sometimes you wander a bit, sometimes some silly moments go on too long. Here, you get to really kind of take the best of the best, and streamline it, and make it the best it can be for animation." 

While "The Legend of Vox Machina" hits all the major beats of Campaign One, some things won't feature in the animated series. Most notably, the group's trip to Kraghammer didn't make the cut, despite being the journey that started the web series. Other exclusions include, understandably, Tiberius Stormwind, as Orion Acaba left Critical Role, and Vox Machina's many shopping sessions and sidequests.

Vox Machina allows Critical Role to expand the story

While Critical Role had to cut some aspects of Campaign One for "The Legend of Vox Machina," it isn't all doom and gloom, as the animated adaptation also allowed them to add things to the story which weren't present in the group's live streams.

For those unaware, Campaign One didn't start with the first recorded episode, as the voice actors played for years before they began streaming. With "The Legend of Vox Machina," Critical Role included information from the pre-stream days. "We played in our living rooms for three years before we turned a camera on the stream," Marisha Ray said in the Collider interview. "So there was actually a lot to pull from these home game sessions and being able to show something that fans of our tabletop RPG show were unfamiliar with, but it's also new for them."

Although the beginning of "The Legend of Vox Machina" differs from the start of the group's campaign, the animated series remains faithful to who the characters are and the dynamics within the band of misfits. In the same interview, Matt Mercer stressed the importance of the group's earliest adventures for shaping those things, and, despite not directly adapting them for the show, ensured "The Legend of Vox Machina" featured them in the form of a new beginning for the group. "It was really fun to kind of create that new story at the beginning," Mercer said. "I'm looking forward for people to get to experience it for the first time."