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Cole MacGrath VS Alex Mercer is the 181st episode of Death Battle, featuring Cole MacGrath from the inFAMOUS series and Alex Mercer from the Prototype series in a battle between rivaling video game mutants. Cole was voiced by Paul Guyet and Alex was voiced by Kevin Rivera.

Interlude

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Wiz & Boomstick
by Brandon Yates
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Wiz: Cole MacGrath, the Patron Saint of inFAMOUS.

Boomstick: Alex Mercer, the Blacklight Virus Prototype from... Prototype! That's right, Champions. You voted for it, so we're finally doin' it. Long after these characters were ever relevant. Oh hey, look what I found in the trash! An old script we wrote for this very matchup way back in 2013!

Wiz: Wait, we haven't emptied our trash in 10 years?

We cut to Wiz and Boomstick.

Boomstick: He's Wiz and I'm Boomstick.

Wiz: And it's our job to analyze their weapons, armor, and skills to find out who would win... a Death Battle.

Cole MacGrath

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A Smiling Sky
by Nicholas Dodd
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Wiz: With great power comes great responsibility. Tobey Maguire is not the only superhero who's had to learn that lesson.

The music cuts as Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker is seen comically crashing into a wall.

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Catatonic
by Gareth Johnson
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Boomstick: Cole MacGrath was just your average delivery boy in Empire City, until one day he opened a package that exploded in his face!

Wiz: This was the Ray Sphere, a device that, upon erupting, destroyed much of the city and tore through Cole at the atomic level.

Boomstick: Killing him instantly. Nah, actually he scooped up some superpowers. Cool, zippity-zappity superpowers. Pew pew!

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At Midnight 2
by Bob Bradley & Chris Egen
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Wiz: More specifically, Cole became a Conduit, one of many beings who were granted supernatural abilities from the Ray Sphere explosion.

Boomstick: Which also turned Empire City into a godforsaken hellscape. This world needed a hero, or at least an anti-hero willing to clean up the mess he sorta technically made.

Wiz: Cole put his powers to the test battling rogue superpowered Conduits, including the mastermind behind the blast: Kessler.

Boomstick: Let's be real, none of Cole's powers are as sick nasty as his parkour skills! But, his ability to manipulate electricity is pretty sweet too.

Wiz: Cole controls electromagnetic energy. Not only can he generate a smorgasbord of powerful lightning attacks, he can also manipulate thermal, kinetic, and gravitational energies. Electromagnetism is pretty broad, after all. This includes his Radar Pulse, which detects the bioelectricity inside organisms even if they're hidden or transformed.

Boomstick: And for good measure, he got to add some ice powers to his kit. He can throw ice grenades, shoot ice spikes, and let out some epic ice farts.

A static image of Cole is shown farting an ice cloud into the face of Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man, causing the latter to scream.

Wiz: Huh. He can levitate like electric Iron Man, grind on rails like Shadow the Hedgehog, read your mind like Goku's Muffin Button, charge up with extra karmic energy, also like Shadow the Hedgehog, and generate force fields like...

Boomstick: Shadow the Hedgehog.

Wiz: But, these aren't just force fields. They literally convert any matter they touch into energy that Cole absorbs. That's insane!

Boomstick: How's that?

Wiz: Are you familiar with a little equation called "E=mc^2"?

Boomstick: No...

The music abruptly stops briefly before picking up again shortly into Wiz's following sentence.

Wiz: Oh. Well, uh, it defines the mathematical relationship between matter and energy! Essentially how much energy any given mass contains.

Boomstick: Okay! The largest mass object Cole absorbed is a 343 gram helicopter chaingun round.

Wiz: Perfectly converting matter to energy is technically impossible, but hey, this is a video game. The mass contained in that bullet, when multiplied by the speed of light squared, would release an energy equivalent to over seven megatons of TNT. This means Cole's energy output is basically fueled by a nuclear reactor.

Boomstick: Oh, so he's like a living super-bomb always ready to go off. Sounds like my first ex-wife.

Wiz: Should he somehow run low on energy, he can drain it from nearby appliances to recharge. He's even learned to drain the bio-electricity from people, like this.

We see Cole using his Bio-Leech on a Reaper grunt.

Wiz: Yikes.

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Formidable
by Alex Arcoleo
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Boomstick: Cole can focus his electricity through his Amp, a giant tuning fork which lets him Ring-Around-the-Rosie you to death. Or he can just make lightsabers out of his hands. That's cool, too. And 'cause he follows Pokémon rules, Cole's extra resistant to electric attacks.

Wiz: With these powers, Cole chewed through Kessler's forces, including Sasha, whose Black Tar powers could infect and control minds.

Boomstick: And he eventually faced down that son of a bitch himself and pwned his ass, despite Kessler having his exact same powers! Coincidence?

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Storming the Armoury
by Benjamin Marks & Christopher Ashmore
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Wiz: Turns out, the architect of Cole's misery was himself from an alternate future timeline, manipulating events from the shadows to ensure this version of Cole became a better hero than Kessler ever was.

Boomstick: Yeah. Ya see, Cole's superpowers are molded through his actions, increasing in power and utility based on how good or evil he acts.

We cut to Boomstick.

Boomstick: Naturally, as a good person, Cole shaped his powers to be more focused to target the bad guys.

A pale and alternate color-palette version of Boomstick suddenly walks into Wiz's place.

Evil Boomstick: That's pussy shit! Evil Cole is way more awesomesauce! He blows everything up! Collateral damage? Who cares? He can control fire!

He rolls both his tongue to make a comical sound and his eyes backwards until they are fully white as he suddenly combusts in flames before smoke covers the screen. When it clears, Boomstick is left alone.

Boomstick: Well, that just happened!

His expression then goes from joking to disdain as he grabs the episode's paged script from behind his back.

Boomstick: (exasperated sigh) Who wrote this shit?

We cut back to the analysis.

Wiz: The point is, Kessler's whole plan was meant to prevent the apocalypse, which would appear in the form of the Beast, a Conduit of unimaginable power.

Boomstick: Cole is strong enough to create massive thunderstorms, fast enough to route electricity moving at 90% the speed of light, and maybe thanks to Kessler, tough enough to take on the Beast!

Wiz: Which possessed the power of the Ray Sphere itself. It could regenerate at an atomic level and eradicate all of Empire City in a single attack. Fortunately, after a grueling battle, Cole defeated the Beast once and for all.

Boomstick: Though ultimately, it wasn't Cole's power that made him a hero.

Wiz: In order to stop a plague created by the Ray Sphere, Cole sacrificed his life, eradicating the Conduit Genes and saving all of humanity.

Boomstick: Sure, he also killed thousands of Conduits in the process, but hey, what's a few corpses when buildin' a better tomorrow? This trolley stops for no one!

Wiz: Cole was remembered as a saint by the people of New Marais, as a hero by the friends he left behind, and an inspiration to future generations. A true testament to the responsibility of power.

Alex Mercer

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Boomstick: With great power comes great responsibility. But not everybody's got an Uncle Ben to tell 'em that.

Wiz: Alex Mercer woke up in hell. Manhattan Island was gripped by the horrific Blacklight Virus, transforming its citizens into terrifying monsters.

Boomstick: Alex had no memories. He was a man without a past, and maybe no future. But, he did have one thing.

Wiz: The Blacklight Virus can rewrite your cells all the way down to your DNA, and somehow, it granted Alex incredible superhuman abilities. He can infect anyone he touches with this virus, altering their biology at the molecular level in seconds and giving him complete control over their actions.

Boomstick: So, Alex pushed on, desperate to avenge himself and the city by finding whatever monster unleashed this nightmare. And eat them! Yeah, he can consume people to give himself a power boost. He's like Kirby, if Kirby listened to Linkin Park.

An image of Kirby is shown sucking up and swallowing the cover of Hybrid Theory, gaining a Chester Bennington-inspired Copy Ability. Some text is shown on the bottom left of the screen that says, "we can't play “One Step Closer” for this bit so here's some Lofi Jazz instead."

Wiz: This extra biomass gives him superhuman strength, a greater metabolic rate, increased reaction times, and even a regenerative healing factor. Essentially, Alex is an ever-evolving super-being. The ultimate being.

Boomstick: Ooh! Ooh! Like Shadow the Hedgehog!

Wiz: By consuming victims, Alex also receives all their memories and experiences, including Peter Randall, a 69...

Boomstick: Nice.

Wiz: ...year-old man whose entire history Alex processed in just 11 seconds. Being able to condense that much information into that timeframe means Alex can perceive events happening within five nanoseconds.

Boomstick: Which is about how long I was married to my second ex-wife.

Wiz: Alex can shapeshift his body at will, creating disguises, increasing his muscle mass, and forming nearly unbreakable armor. And when he wants to kill someone, he can become his own weapon, turning his limbs into claws and blades, or generating countless tendrils that give him unmatched control over his environment.

Boomstick: With these goopy powers, he came up with a bunch of Street Fighter moves, like the Airdash, the Cannonball, the Bulletdive Drop, and the Hunter Dirtnap. Pretty sure that was my third ex-wife's boyfriend's stripper name.

Wiz: And after consuming enough... people, Alex reaches critical mass and can unleash his evil slop in powerful ultimate attacks.

Boomstick: Like the Tendril Barrage Devastator! Gah, it's beautiful.

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Shadow Of A Memory
by Mark Petrie
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Wiz: Despite being seen as the world's most wanted terrorist, fair, Alex used his powers to stop the spread of the virus and end the city's nuclear devastation.

We cut to Wiz and Boomstick.

Boomstick: It was then he learned the truth; he wasn't Alex Mercer at all.

Wiz: He was the Blacklight Virus itself, which absorbed the memories and likeness of the real Alex Mercer, who was not only dead, but actually responsible for all of this in the first place. To decipher this, I recreated the Blacklight Virus myself, the most dangerous...

As he says this, he pulls out a vial that is supposed to contain the virus, but he notices that it's empty.

Wiz: Ooh...

Boomstick: Uhhh, why is it empty?

A disturbing noise is heard as the camera zooms out from Boomstick's side of the lab, revealing that an "Evil" Wiz is behind the real Wiz, much to Boomstick's shock.

Wiz: ...He's right behind me, isn't he?

Boomstick nods in disturbance as we cut back to the analysis.

Boomstick: So, the man Alex was hunting the whole time was himself. DUN-DUN-DUUUUUN!

Wiz: That's right, Boomstick. Turns out, Dr. Alex Mercer helped create the Blacklight Virus, and when things didn't work out and he was about to die, he recklessly unleashed it upon the city.

Boomstick: What a petty S.O.B! What he didn't know was that the virus would merge with his sentience and memories and become a new Alex. How? Why? Don't question it, it's a nothing burger.

Wiz: But, is this massive viral material that calls itself Alex actually human in any meaningful way?

Boomstick: The poor bastard sure tried to be. Too bad humans can be dicks and everyone kept betraying him, even the so-called love of his life, who shot him in the face! Whoa-hoo! So, Alex figured, uh, obviously, humanity had to go.

Wiz: Not just go, but be made better. Whatever goodness remaining with this Alex was left behind as he plotted to unleash a second Blacklight Virus, recreating humanity into a super species in his own image. Great power became great terror.

Boomstick: Classic anime RPG villain stuff, and he was strong enough to do it! Alex can casually tear buildings apart, dodge supersonic tank shells, and even defeated the Supreme Hunter, who was tough enough to survive a nuclear blast that would have leveled Manhattan!

Wiz: Based on the blast radius given in-game, that's 450 kilotons of TNT.

Boomstick: Speakin' of nukes, Alex survived one! His healing factor is off the chain! And after being blasted into paste, all he needed was the tiniest bit of himself to come back good as new.

Wiz: His healing occurs at the cellular level, making him virtually impossible to kill so long as he keeps consuming.

Boomstick: But attempting to take over the world and kill millions of people pissed off a certain James Heller, a dude who had just had enough of his "f***in' weird, f***in' ramblin' shit!"

Wiz: Who used the same virus powers to consume Alex once and for all.

Boomstick: Live by the Kirby Symbiote, die by the Kirby Symbiote. But, was Alex just a virus after all? I mean, what's more human than the urge to conquer the world, drive its species to the slaughter, consume its raw genetic resources, and crown yourself king?! Maybe the day Alex Mercer died was the day he truly became human.

Wiz: Wow, that was... intense.

Boomstick: F**k yeah, it was!

Prelude

Wiz: Alright, the combatants are set. Let's end this debate once and for all!

Boomstick: IT'S TIME FOR A DEATH BATTLEEE!!!

Death Battle

A twin cadre of military helicopters soar through the ruined city of Manhattan, flying past standing, undamaged architectures. Before they know it as they pass through, they are suddenly nabbed by inky black tendrils, which flings one to crash and explode in a building, while forcing the other to spin out of control and crash down to the ground.

The culprit, Alex Mercer, rips open the door of the downed chopper before consuming the survivor of the crash. He is suddenly interrupted by a bolt of lightning from Cole MacGrath, who defiantly walks towards him. Amused with the challenge, Alex decides to consume him as well.

Alex: I think I've still got room for dessert.

This one sentence leaves Cole disgusted.

Cole: Buddy, you are one sick freak.

As electricity envelops through Cole's arms for battle, tendrils then emerge from Mercer's body and strike at Cole repeatedly, who dodges all but one that manages to wrap around his foot. Now restrained, he gets slammed into some rubble by Alex before being thrown into the sky.

Mercer immediately follows up with his Tendril Barrage Devastator, but Cole dodges the tendrils by stabilizing himself with an electric boost before grinding down on one of the tendrils. While doing so, he directly fires a massive electric blast towards Mercer, who is forced to block with a biomass shield, the attack causing a large explosion and kicking up a cloud of dust.

As Cole touches down, Alex's growling can be heard from within the cloud before he catapults himself with frontflips towards Cole, pushing him away before stretching out a tendril at the brick wall he hits back first against.

Cole avoids it, but is allowed no time for reprieve as a laughing Alex pulls himself towards him, closing the gap with a blade that Cole avoids. When Alex pulls it out, he sees Cole climbing up a building with his parkour ability.

After reaching the top, Cole looks down to see his opponent effortlessly running up the wall to him. He pulls out his Amp to deflect the Mercer's first attack before the latter pulls himself onto solid ground, leaving the two to clash weapons with each other, neither landing any solid hits.

Alex's blade gets caught in between Cole's weapon, which he uses to his advantage by channeling electricity through it to stun Alex before tossing him away. Alex however quickly recovers mid-air.

Alex: Die!

Using an Airdash, he closes the gap once more and slashes Cole away, who shoots an ice spike at Alex's feet, freezing him in place. Leaping off an ice platform towards his foe, Cole catches his opponent's neck between his Amp before whirling around and throwing Mercer with enough electric power to crash into a building.

Using an electric wire to grapple to the hole, Cole finds himself in a dark and powerless office, and a scream in the distance. He slowly makes his way towards the noise to find a human lifeform in the dark at a far distance.

Playing the cautious game, Cole releases a barrage of ice spikes towards Alex, which impale him before they explode, blowing him to pieces. However, his biomass begins to reform from the lethal attack, leaving Cole to realize what he is up against.

Cole: What a nightmare...

Alex Mercer then reemerges, having attained his Evolved state.

Alex: You don't know the half of it!

He marches with loud stomps towards Cole before grabbing him by the face and throwing him out through the building walls, making Cole lose his Amp and land on another rooftop. Mercer jumps after him, the building behind him exploding as he closes the gap with a Bulletdive Drop to bounce Cole into the air before jumping and knocking him away with a powerful punch.

Afterward, Alex notices two Blackwatch choppers flying by. He uses his tendrils to grab and fling them towards Cole as fireballs. MacGrath lands on the first with electromagnetism and jumps off of the first chopper to the next one, barely passing through its rotating rotors before noticing a delivery truck thrown at him.

Cole avoids it by spinning fast enough to form an Ionic Vortex, whirling the truck around him. Alex jumps on the truck to get out of Cole's sight, and like a hunter, tackles him just as Cole notices him, crashing onto another roof by a radio tower. When the smoke clears, Alex is face-to-face with Cole, having impaled him with claws and questioning his morality.

Alex: So much power, and yet you waste it on these vermin!

He tortures Cole by further impaling him onto the tower, leaking blood from his back. He then attempts to goad Cole into joining his plan for the world.

Alex: You and I can change this world for the better!

Cole, however, is not so easily swayed by Alex's words.

Cole: The only vermin I see here... is you!

He calls lightning down onto the radio tower, electrocuting it to not only knock away Alex, but to recharge and heal himself with the electrical appliances around him. He then forms his Gigawatt Blades before approaching Alex. In response, he shapeshifts armor around himself before the heroic Cole and villainous Alex enter hand-to-hand combat.

The hardened armor helps Alex keep Cole at bay and pummel him during the encounter, despite the latter's higher agility. He eventually pushes Cole back into the radio tower, who powers up as Alex braces himself. Cole leaps off the tower towards Alex and stabs him in the chest, who endures the hit despite skidding back with minor convenience and presses Cole to his chest before jumping skyward into the air.

Cole: Take this!

Cole breaks free and stabs his electric blades multiple times into Alex's face, but the unfazed Mercer stops it by grabbing Cole's head and proceeds to drop down with him, taking hold of his left arm to prevent resistance. He then impales Cole with a morphed blade.

Alex: You don't want to give me your power? Hahahaha! Fine! I'll just take it!!

Mercer takes hold of MacGrath, preparing the process of consuming him. As Cole appears to have given up, however, sparks suddenly surge through his eyes. A karmic overload of electric energy forces Alex off of him and reduces his armor to nothing, returning him to his normal state. Before he can grab at Cole again, the latter does the same to him by the neck.

Cole: Good idea!

Inspired by Alex's words, he leeches bio-electricity from his body, causing Mercer to scream in agony as Cole further uses Thunder Drop to drop them down onto the streets below, cratering multiple city blocks and kicking up smoke. What remains is Cole standing in the rubble, holding one last strand of the sentient virus that is Alex Mercer.

Cole: This world sure isn't perfect, but it's a lot better without you in it, asshole.

Clenching his electric fist, Cole destroys the strand, putting the Blacklight Virus down for good and leaving him standing alone as the victor in the ruined Manhattan.

Ko season 3

Results

Boomstick: Ugh, now I know why that script was in the trash. I had to hear someone say "awesomesauce".

Wiz: Ahem, both opponents were incredibly versatile and deadly, and both could match each other's powers blow for blow.

Boomstick: They could each create weapons, amplify their strength, and fight at range.

Wiz: But could Cole survive Alex's infection? Well, Alex would usually need to weaken an opponent to get that trick to work. Even then, the Ray Sphere incident that created Cole's powers in the first place ripped apart everyone else down to the atomic level, and the Beast's attacks were capable of the same thing. Considering the Blacklight Virus only works down to molecular DNA, it's reasonable to say Cole would be able to resist it.

Boomstick: Sure, Alex could have potentially consumed Cole's biomass to give himself an edge, but Cole could just do the same thing to Alex; absorbing his bio-electricity to power himself back up.

Wiz: But nothing could challenge the gap in power. Everything Alex survived could simply not match Cole's force fields, and especially not the power of the Beast. The blast the Beast created actually had a much wider radius than the one the Supreme Hunter could survive. To compete with these foes, this means Cole was simply far more powerful than Alex.

Boomstick: Speakin' of the Beast, Cole's ability to disintegrate it at the atomic level meant that even Alex's crazy molecular regeneration couldn't stand up to Cole's might.

Wiz: Just like how Cole could overpower Kessler despite his resistance to electricity, or how he resisted Sasha's mind control powers, which were eerily similar to the Blacklight Virus.

Boomstick: But, I bet you're wondering, "What if Alex fought Evil Cole instead?" Well, it'd be even worse, 'cause that Cole took the Beast's power for himself. That's good night for angry virus boy!

We cut to Wiz and Boomstick, the latter trying to rip the pages of the episode's script in half to no avail.

Wiz: Alex was a versatile, deadly opponent, but Cole's counters, speed, and raw power gave him the edge.

Boomstick: Alex got the Cole shoulder, just like this stupid script!

He throws the script off to the left, much to Wiz's amusement. We then cut to the "Winner" card.

Wiz: The winner is Cole MacGrath.

Comparison

Cole MacGrath

+ More powerful
+ Better ranged options
+ Could resist the Blacklight Virus
+ Radar Sense counters Alex's disguises
- Vulnerable to possible corruption

Alex Mercer

+ Smarter & more experienced
+ Harder to kill due to regeneration
- Notably slower

Original Track

Composition

The track for this fight is "[inHuman]" by Brandon Yates, Omega Sparx, and SWATS (the latter two as the lyricists and main vocalists), with Nathaniel Wolkstein (who goes uncredited on the track art) as cellist, violist, and violinist. It begins with the unnerving low tone of Alex Mercer's theme (and likely being a small nod to inFAMOUS's signature PlayStation 3 theme) before transitioning into a rap battle track between the combatants, the lyrics reflecting the moral scales of their game franchises. The overall style of the track is intended to be reminiscent of music from around 2013, namely drawing inspiration from Eminem,[1] while the chorus is similar to the style of Linkin Park. SWATS portrays Cole while Omega Sparx portrays Alex.

Title

The title incorporates the stylization of the combatants' series' titles (inFAMOUS and [PROTOTYPE]) and refers to how both Cole and Alex have become more than human through the accidents they were involved with.

Cover Arts

The original cover art done by John Mitchell depicts Cole's Amp being grabbed by several of Alex's Blacklight biomass tendrils, with blue electricity surging around the Amp and red electricity around the tendrils to represent Cole and Alex's opposing moralities, as the karmic choices in inFAMOUS are blue to represent heroism and red to represent villainy.

The new cover art (which was created for the track's reupload following Rooster Teeth's shutdown) depicts a large, muscular figure emitting electricity and tendrils. However, it should be noted that this cover art appears to be generated by artificial intelligence instead of drawn by a human.

Lyrics

[VERSE 1: SWATS (Cole MacGrath)]

(Yuh)
I'm sick and tired of this nonsense
Fight the darkness while equally
Wrestling with my conscience

You wanna battle with the most lit?
Got to admit it, it was kinda scary, Bloody Mary, but no one since
Look at you, sadder than a fake tear
While I'm badder than 88 tiers
Homie, better stay clear!

Rulin', excludin' any place here
All I gotta do is put juice in it:
Use any Ray Sphere

Inside, I'll ignite the lightning
When we fight tonight
Everything's fine, divine energy

Zeus better get used to who's better,
See moves that'll take out your future
Who's Kessler?

I'm activated, you're overrated
My Conduit made it so that I'm
Greater than any Beta from Penn Station
Or any nation, your conversation is wasted
Place him on a table and
Take him back to the basement!

[CHORUS 1: SWATS (Cole) - Omega Sparx (Alex) - Both]

Explode!

I'll break you on my own
My thoughts lead to bad decisions
And it's taking a toll
It's just me (Just me)
And I'll do just fine alone
I may be someone somewhere (Yeah, yeah, yeah)

Between darkness and light
My conscience, divided
Lights a spark in my eyes
To come clean (Come clean)
Tell me, who can right my wrongs?
Maybe someone somewhere!

[VERSE 2: Omega Sparx (Alex Mercer)]

What else you got?
I'll turn save spots to grave plots
Vicious, I pick up my victims
This fight is a cakewalk

The bad guy with Blacklight
Tear your block off Cole,
Turning your powers into a blackout

Yeah it's Zeus, I'm gettin' loose
Configured my moves
I'm taking these claws and rippin' the biggest of dudes

Taking your ligaments, put 'em in a predicament
Nothing but critical mass I'mma consume in a bit

Who cares about a Ray Sphere?
Just took a little vial
To turn me to the monster that stays feared

Watch out cause when I'm on a wrath
I'mma take a MacGrath and turn 'em to a DLC skin graft

Hammers, Whipfists landin' with quick hits
Manhandle you, talk a big game 'til your lips split

If you're the Beast then it's time to feast
Good or evil, I make Conduits into treats!

[CHORUS 2: SWATS (Cole) - Omega Sparx (Alex) - Both]

Explode! (Yeah)

I'll break you on my own (Break you on my own)
My thoughts lead to bad decisions
And it's taking a toll
It's just me (Just me, hahahahaha)
And I'll do just fine alone! (I'm not alone)
I may be someone someWHERE! (Somewhere!)

Between darkness and light
My conscience, divided
Lights a spark in my eyes
To come clean (Come clean)
Tell me, who can right my wrongs?
Maybe someone somewhere!

Trivia

Production

  • The connections between Cole and Alex are that they are both the original main protagonists of rivaling action-adventure sandbox video games that were released in 2009. Both used to be normal humans with mundane professions (a bike courier and a Gentek scientist, respectively) until they were wounded in disastrous events that were caused thanks to, ironically, an alternate counterpart of themselves (Cole was tricked by his future self Kessler into erupting the Ray Sphere, while the original Alex was shot by Blackwatch soldiers after he deliberately smashed a vial containing the Blacklight Virus), which turned them into unnatural beings with superpowered abilities (Cole became a Conduit with electrokinetic powers, while Alex was a new sentient Blacklight Virus born from the corpse of his original counterpart). Afterward, both would find themselves quarantined within the now-infected cities they lived in (Empire City and Manhattan Island, respectively) because of a viral outbreak (the Ray Field Plague and the Blacklight Virus, respectively) and fight against the paramilitary organizations who were involved in the events that mutated them (the First Sons and Blackwatch, respectively). Both are also affiliated with a sense of good and bad karma, having started and progressed down opposite paths (Cole was canonically viewed as a terrorist by the local populace but bounced back to be recognized as a hero, while Alex would save Manhattan from a nuclear threat but lose his faith in humanity soon after and become a villain). Additionally, both of them would ultimately die in the endings of their second games' stories (Cole canonically sacrifices his life to stop the Beast and save humanity, while Alex is consumed by a vengeful James Heller), with their deaths putting a stop to the viruses that threatened their worlds.
    • Both also had their voice actors changed in their second games.
    • Both also had six-issue miniseries comic books published by DC Comics.
    • Both games were in part inspired by sixth generation Marvel games (inFAMOUS' open world was inspired by Spider-Man 2, while Prototype was a spiritual successor to Radical's work on The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction).
    • Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation made a review comparing inFAMOUS and Prototype, stating that inFAMOUS had a better story and side missions, while Prototype had better combat mechanics, but also noted that neither was strictly "better". He challenged inFAMOUS and Prototype developers Sucker Punch and Radical to send images of their rival game's main protagonist in women's lingerie to decide a tiebreaker, to which they obliged, and he declared inFAMOUS the better game.
  • As part of Death Battle's paid YouTube membership, members were able to vote for two matchups to become episodes in Season 10, with one being animated in 2D and one animated in 3D. This episode was the winner of the 3D poll, beating Kratos VS Asura, Steve VS Emmet, King Ghidorah VS Deathwing, Illidan VS Xiao, and Spy VS Agent 47.
    • The announcement of the poll resulted in a rather large campaign being held to vote for the matchup led by Death Battle community member Hyperstarman, with many popular Death Battle-focused YouTubers and fans encouraging others to vote for this fight due to it being held in such high regard for years, a popularity of which is noted upon in the episode's tagline and by Boomstick in the interlude.
    • This makes it the fourth matchup to be made due to fan-polling, after Zitz VS Leonardo, Hulk VS Doomsday, and Bill Cipher VS Discord, and with the next one being Wile E. Coyote VS Tom Cat.
  • According to the commentary for this episode:
    • This matchup had been considered in some capacity as far back as Season 1, but Ben stated that he did not believe a solo animator (whether himself during Season 1 or Torrian when the latter was working for the show) could have handled everything that was needed for the animation to work, a thought he felt was confirmed by how difficult the animation process would end up being for the animators who did eventually work on it.[2]
    • Because of the lack of relevance of either franchise since its prime (the latest game in either series coming out in 2014), Ben believed that the community's push for this matchup to happen was mostly a meme, with Chad saying that he didn't believe that the episode would've happened without the Champion's Poll, though Liam joked that they might've saved it as the penultimate episode of the show.[3]
  • In a deleted tweet by Ben Singer and the 88th episode of DEATH BATTLE Cast, it was revealed that Alex Mercer was considered as an opponent for Carnage back in Season 5, losing out to Lucy because one was a weaker version of the other and that Alex had "a much better request", which was heavily implied to be Cole.[4]
    • In the commentary for Carnage VS Lucy, Ben explicitly stated that they were saving Alex for Cole when discussing Alex as an opponent for Carnage.[5]
  • Susie Combs, one of Death Battle's 2D animators, drew art as a teaser for the episode.[6]
  • While this episode is officially labeled as Cole MacGrath VS Alex Mercer, the reveal of the winning Champion's Polls matchups at the end of Gogeta VS Vegito labels it as Alex Mercer VS Cole MacGrath instead for unknown reasons.
  • [inHuman] was partially commissioned by Hyperstarman, specifically for the extra orchestra tools used in it. This also allowed him to suggest the title of the track itself.[7]
  • SWATS has revealed some of the hidden meanings and references to some of [inHuman]'s lyrics on the track's Genius page, with a major one being that the second chorus can also be seen as being sung from Kessler's perspective.
  • The version of [inHuman] released on YouTube and Spotify and the version within the fight itself are slightly different, with the fight version taking on a more calm and eerie tone as the fight moves into and exits the darkened building scene and playing instrumental pieces for Alex's Evolved transformation and when he later pins Cole to the radio tower, changes that were made so that the track better fits with the fight animation.
  • The Rooster Teeth version of the episode uncensors Boomstick's profanity heard in Alex's analysis, unlike the YouTube version.
  • There were a few changes made to the episode in between its battle preview, YouTube Members/RT First, and public releases:
    • In the preview for the fight shown on the 348th episode of DEATH BATTLE Cast, Cole lets out a scream after he gets thrown into the air by one of Alex's tendrils.[8] This was made fun of rather heavily by the community, which eventually led to it being replaced by another of Alex's battle grunts in the final release.
    • The post-analysis of the now-deleted Members' release put a large emphasis of focus on replaying scenes from the fight itself, whereas the public release added more gameplay and cutscenes from the combatants' games and lined up fight scenes and clips with what was being said by the hosts. This change can be noticed via comparing the public episode to a few reaction videos posted by Members-only reactors prior to the former's day-after release.
      • Additionally from said videos, Cole's only disadvantage in the fight, "Vulnerable to possible corruption", was initially "Vulnerable to potential consumption".
  • The evil version of Boomstick that randomly appears in Cole's analysis cutaway is alternatively referred to as "Doomstick", as revealed in the episode's blooper reel.
  • At the beginning of the season, a teaser trailer was released which included a Gravity Falls-inspired zodiac wheel with 16 symbols on it, each representing and hinting toward an episode in the season. After the release of the Season Finale, the Death Battle YouTube channel began revealing the answers to the zodiac wheel by posting the answers in pinned comments under the symbols' respective episodes. This episode was revealed to be represented by the scales symbol.[9] This is because both series put a fairly heavy emphasis on each character's morality (as scales are used to symbolize the balance of moral justice in the court of law), with it being an entire gameplay system in the inFAMOUS series, while Alex's moral alignments shift rather drastically across the Prototype series.

Easter Eggs

  • Spider-Man's memetic Bully Maguire dance from Spider-Man 3 can be seen edited into a few clips in Cole's analysis, namely in the footage from the live action PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale ad and this cutscene from inFAMOUS 2.
  • While both combatants would end up being compared to him, Cole's analysis referencing Shadow the Hedgehog significantly more may be due to both the inFAMOUS series and the latter's namesake game having similar morality systems, with the game's story and abilities given to the player depending on whether the player chooses to act heroic or villainous.
  • Wiz saying Cole can "read your mind like Goku's Muffin Button" in his analysis is a reference to a gag from Dragon Ball Z Abridged, specifically its added explanation for how Goku could read minds on Namek (an ability in the source material often considered inexplicable, to the point that his original Death Battle episode had a joke about it).
  • Boomstick mentioning that Cole's powers work on "Pokémon rules" in his analysis may be an offhand reference to Pikachu VS Blanka, an episode (one which, going off the trashed script bit, was written one year before the supposed script of this one) with another electricity manipulator given Pokémon type resistances despite not being a Pokémon himself.
  • In Alex's analysis, the Mortal Kombat "Toasty!" sound effect can be heard after Wiz mentions Peter Randall's age.
  • In the respective cutaways in Cole and Alex's analyses, Boomstick and Wiz respectively say "Well, that just happened!" and "He's right behind me, isn't he?", referencing the meme about corny lines often associated with certain Hollywood films, particularly the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • In the prelude, Wiz says his old pre-fight catchphrase of "Let's end this debate once and for all!" from the first five seasons instead of "We've run the data through all possibilities." from Season 6 onwards, a nod how to how the in-universe script for this episode is supposedly from 2013, when Wiz would have still been saying the old line.
  • Cole looking down to see Alex quickly scaling the building he's on parallels a similar scene from Wolverine VS Raiden, where Raiden leaps onto a building to catch his breath just to get blindsided by Wolverine quickly scaling it.
    • Ben later confirmed that he did have the latter scene in mind during the former's writing process.[10]
  • Cole using Ionic Freeze to attack Alex during the scene inside the building could be a reference to its passive ability to not harm civilians, as it is implied there are civilians still inside that Alex has consumed (as evident by the screams inside the building and the post-analysis showing clips of it when talking about Alex absorbing biomass), meaning Cole using it allowed him to hurt Alex without harming anyone else in the crossfire.
  • As Alex transforms into his Evolved form, the camera pans to the left to reveal a table with some snacks on it, most notably a box of Chocos, the favorite cookies of Martian Manhunter.
  • Cole rejecting Alex's offer to join him in terrorizing the world and instead choosing to put his life on the line is likely a reference to Karmic Moments within the inFAMOUS series. Said moments are choices in Cole's home games where he can either choose to be heroic or villainous at given branching opportunities, with Alex's offer being similar to many found within the games.
    • Additionally, Cole is shown to be under Karmic Overload after this, which is a buff given after repeated actions siding on a given morality (such as actively picking all good choices and vice-versa), which further suggests that the offer is meant to mirror Karmic Moments.
  • Cole killing Alex by using Bio Leech to absorb all of his bio-electricity pays homage to Alex's canonical death in Prototype 2, where James Heller killed Alex through his own method of absorbing the sentient virus.
  • The ending shot of the episode where Cole crushes the last traces of Alex before looking at the city bears a resemblance to this shot from inFAMOUS' comic-styled cutscenes, which is also used for the pause menu artwork.
  • The episode's storyboards by John Mitchell give Cole a full set of hair, referencing his initial redesign for inFAMOUS 2 that was eventually scrapped.

Errors

  • The "VS" in the episode's title is lowercased rather than uppercased like usual, appearing as "Cole MacGrath vs Alex Mercer" instead.
  • Cole's analysis ends with Wiz saying he became an "inspiration to future generations", referring to Delsin Rowe and the events of inFAMOUS: Second Son. However, considering the episode's scripted theme was from "way back in 2013" according to Boomstick, and that Second Son's release came in March of 2014, this presentation doesn't correctly line up.
    • However, Second Son's inclusion could be justified given its at-the-time reveal at E3 2013, which took place in June of that same year.
  • The helicopter that Alex consumes the surviving pilot from at the beginning of the fight mysteriously disappears from the environment after Cole makes his presence known.
  • During the radio tower scene, one can notice the background behind Cole changes and doesn't match with the shot before, as at first, generators are behind Cole when he and Alex recover for their last hand-to-hand brawl, but when he forms his Gigawatt Blades, only the radio tower's stands are seen.
  • Despite losing it when Alex throws him out of the building they're in midway into the fight, Cole's Amp reappears in his sling bag once he forms his Gigawatt Blades, only to disappear from it in the fight's ending once he gets up off the ground after using Thunder Drop on Alex.

Other

References

DEATH BATTLE Episodes
Season 1 1 Boba Fett VS Samus Aran (2010)2 Akuma VS Shang Tsung3 Rogue VS Wonder Woman4 Goomba VS Koopa5 Haggar VS Zangief6 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Battle Royale7 Zitz VS Leonardo8 Yoshi VS Riptor9 Felicia VS Taokaka10 Kratos VS Spawn11 Bomberman VS Dig Dug12 Vegeta VS Shadow13 Mario VS Sonic (2011)14 Justin Bieber VS Rebecca Black14.5 DEATH BATTLE! vs The World15 Luke Skywalker VS Harry Potter16 Chun-Li VS Mai Shiranui17 Starscream VS Rainbow Dash18 Master Chief VS Doomguy19 Eggman VS Wily20 Zelda VS Peach21 Thor VS Raiden22 Link VS Cloud (2012)23 Batman VS Spider-Man24 Pikachu VS Blanka25 Goku VS Superman 1
Season 2 26 He-Man VS Lion-O27 Shao Kahn VS M. Bison28 Ryu Hayabusa VS Strider Hiryu29 Ivy VS Orchid30 Fox McCloud VS Bucky O'Hare31 Terminator VS RoboCop32 Luigi VS Tails32.5 Vegeta VS Mewtwo?33 Pokémon Battle Royale34 Fulgore VS Sektor35 Godzilla VS Gamera36 Batman VS Captain America37 Tigerzord VS Gundam Epyon38 Ryu VS Scorpion39 Deadpool VS Deathstroke40 Kirby VS Majin Buu41 Ragna VS Sol Badguy42 Gaara VS Toph43 Boba Fett VS Samus Aran (2015)44 Chuck Norris VS Segata Sanshiro45 Guts VS Nightmare46 Iron Man VS Lex Luthor47 Beast VS Goliath48 Solid Snake VS Sam Fisher49 Darth Vader VS Doctor Doom50 Goku VS Superman 251 Donkey Kong VS Knuckles52 Wolverine VS Raiden53 Hercule Satan VS Dan Hibiki54 Yang VS Tifa55 Mega Man VS Astro Boy56 Green Arrow VS Hawkeye57 Pokémon VS Digimon
Season 3 58 Dante VS Bayonetta59 Bowser VS Ganon60 Ratchet & Clank VS Jak & Daxter61 Flash VS Quicksilver62 Joker VS Sweet Tooth63 Mewtwo VS Shadow64 Meta VS Carolina65 Cammy VS Sonya66 Tracer VS Scout67 Ken VS Terry68 Amy Rose VS Ramona Flowers69 Hulk VS Doomsday70 Zoro VS Erza71 Deadpool VS Pinkie Pie
Season 4 72 Lara Croft VS Nathan Drake73 Scrooge McDuck VS Shovel Knight74 Venom VS Bane75 Power Rangers VS Voltron76 Natsu VS Ace77 Sub-Zero VS Glacius78 Android 18 VS Captain Marvel79 Metal Sonic VS Zero80 Lucario VS Renamon81 Balrog VS TJ Combo82 Shredder VS Silver Samurai83 Smokey Bear VS McGruff the Crime Dog84 Thor VS Wonder Woman85 Naruto VS Ichigo86 Batman Beyond VS Spider-Man 209987 Sephiroth VS Vergil
Season 5 88 Black Panther VS Batman89 Raven VS Twilight Sparkle90 Jotaro VS Kenshiro91 Crash VS Spyro92 Sora VS Pit93 Leon Kennedy VS Frank West94 Doctor Strange VS Doctor Fate95 Ryu VS Jin96 Samurai Jack VS Afro Samurai97 Carnage VS Lucy98 Optimus Prime VS Gundam99 Nightwing VS Daredevil100 Mario VS Sonic (2018)101 Ultron VS Sigma102 Roshi VS Jiraiya103 Thanos VS Darkseid
Season 6 104 Aquaman VS Namor105 Mega Man Battle Royale106 Black Widow VS Widowmaker107 Captain Marvel VS Shazam108 Wario VS King Dedede109 Ben 10 VS Green Lantern110 Weiss VS Mitsuru111 Johnny Cage VS Captain Falcon112 Aang VS Edward Elric113 Ghost Rider VS Lobo114 Dragonzord VS Mechagodzilla115 Sasuke VS Hiei116 Ganondorf VS Dracula117 Mob VS Tatsumaki118 Deadpool VS Mask119 All Might VS Might Guy
Season 7 120 Miles Morales VS Static121 Black Canary VS Sindel122 Leonardo VS Red Ranger Jason123 Genos VS War Machine124 Gray VS Esdeath125 Goro VS Machamp126 Cable VS Booster Gold127 Obi-Wan Kenobi VS Kakashi128 Danny Phantom VS American Dragon Jake Long129 She-Ra VS Wonder Woman130 Beerus VS Sailor Galaxia131 Zuko VS Shoto Todoroki132 Flash VS Sonic132.5 The Seven Battle Royale133 Winter Soldier VS Red Hood134 Venom VS Crona135 Sabrewulf VS Jon Talbain136 Red VS Blue137 Batgirl VS Spider-Gwen138 Sanji VS Rock Lee139 Hulk VS Broly
Season 8 140 Yoda VS King Mickey141 Shadow VS Ryuko142 Lex Luthor VS Doctor Doom143 Heihachi Mishima VS Geese Howard144 Blake VS Mikasa145 Iron Fist VS Po146 Steven Universe VS Star Butterfly147 Link VS Cloud (2021)148 Batman VS Iron Man149 Goku Black VS Reverse-Flash150 Macho Man VS Kool-Aid Man151 DIO VS Alucard152 Akuma VS Shao Kahn153 Korra VS Storm154 Madara VS Aizen155 Saitama VS Popeye
Season 9 156 Harley Quinn VS Jinx157 Scarlet Witch VS Zatanna158 Tanjiro VS Jonathan Joestar159 Thor VS Vegeta160 Omni-Man VS Homelander161 Magneto VS Tetsuo162 Hercules VS Sun Wukong163 Boba Fett VS Predator163.5 Excalibur VS Raiden164 James Bond VS John Wick165 Black Adam VS Apocalypse166 Trunks VS Silver167 SpongeBob VS Aquaman168 Jason Voorhees VS Michael Myers169 Sauron VS Lich King170 Deku VS Asta171 Gogeta VS Vegito
Season 10 172 Ant-Man VS Atom173 Skyrim VS Dark Souls174 Killua VS Misaka175 Stitch VS Rocket Raccoon176 Darth Vader VS Obito Uchiha177 Phoenix VS Raven178 Guts VS Dimitri179 Martian Manhunter VS Silver Surfer180 Bill Cipher VS Discord181 Cole MacGrath VS Alex Mercer182 Frieza VS Megatron183 Gojo VS Makima184 Scooby-Doo VS Courage the Cowardly Dog185 Rick Sanchez VS The Doctor186 Goku VS Superman (2023)187 Galactus VS Unicron
Season 11 ??? Wile E. Coyote VS Tom Cat*
Unknown ??? Ruby VS Maka*
*Currently unreleased
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