In this review, I will attempt to review Jacknjellify's latest video, "If X-MAS in Among Us was a BFDI Challenge". Note the strategic capitalizing on "X-MAS"—today is very nearly over and I want to finish it as soon as the spirit's still in the air. It's the first video that Jnj posted after I'd begun working on my "Ultimate Syllable Analysis" project, so this one caught me by surprise.
Disclaimer: I've never played Among Us before. I know of its existence the way that the average person does, but I don't understand the inner machinations of it, like, at all. That doesn't make the video unreviewable, though; people have been making Shakespearean commentary for centuries despite not living hundreds of years ago. If anybody wants to provide more context as to what the heck I'm meant to be watching, that would be great.
Setting: A spaceship. Based on the other Among Us-BFDI crossover video, it seems like this game takes place on a spaceship. Interesting, isn't it?
The episode begins with Eggy and Taco talking about the difficulties of having to fix everything on said spaceship, with the former calling the latter a whiny brat. That caught me by surprise, though it isn't unusual for Eggy. Remember that episode when she just talked shit on Clock for not putting the challenge "in the bag"? They, along with a few other people, notice a light in the sky. Could it be the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn about which everyone had been talking? Why no, it's Xanta's ship! Get it? The video has to do with Christmas, and what better way to add a Christmas theme to a video game that has nothing to do with it than by including Xanta! Well, in hindsight, that looks like the name of a prescription drug, so I'll just call Xanta Xanaxta from now on. Proceed.
Tree explains for us uninformed folk what Xanaxta is: He breaks into people's houses and leaves gifts. You know, they've touched on that a bit on Gumball, when Darwin called him "the old, hairy man [who] breaks into houses in the dead of night with a bag for the children". That's... that's accurate. Be good for goodness' sake.
Eventually, the main characters in this segment all show up, speaking in eerie unison: Eggy, Tree, Taco, Donut, Ruby, Pen, Balloony, Saw, Rocky (who does not speak) and Profily, the newcomer from that All New BFB! episode. I wonder if they were chosen by a random number generator or something. Then they all fall unconscious for no reason, says Saw, who wakes up to a bunch of gifts.
Profily has a happy explosion over their giving them X-mas gifts, but eerily discovers that two of them "were very naughty this year". We all know that's the true meaning of Christmas, y'all! Saw calls them out for being a fake-ass bunny monster and Tree is dead. So I know a little bit about Among Us, because when the game really gained popularity, people were commenting AMONG US AMONG US AMONG US under the twelfth BFB episode. Whodunnit, basically. Anyway, Ruby makes a joke about Tree's being dead and everyone accuses her of being a naughty little murderer, including Taco, who doesn't care much for her tone. But I thought people used humour to cope with perilous situations!
After Ruby is "ejected" from the ship, the background turns reddish and a sound that you can apparently hear in the game plays. The oxygen canisters are in need of being fixed! Eggy passes out roles to people like she's a master card dealer in Among Us-Spaceship-Casino-Inn-Thingy and then they fix things. This really plays out more like a BFB episode, which I particularly enjoyed. Kind of. Also, Rocky vomits!
In the other room, Donut and Profily enjoy some light conversation with each other, and then Donut's eyes turn red-like and he pulls out a knife, while a traditional Japanese wood-block-like instrument plays. I think I heard that sound when I was watching the other video with Tennis Ball who was revealed to be the... killer... bad guy... Naughty One... yeah. So Profily dies with a quote to take away: "A-ha-ha! I'm going to die now."
Balloony dies next because the oxygen levels are at a dangerous low. That can happen, right? His death happens at an unfortunate time, because just about a second later, Pen and Taco fix the oxygen canisters via tape. Well, I mean, Pen pretty much does it almost all by himself because it's so, like, like him to take credit. Everyone is shocked by the fact that Balloon is dead, but they go back to the main room.
Donut revels in his being alone on account of Profily's being dead. We can see their mutilated body, spooky! So he hides under the floor vent so that nobody else can see him, but everyone else is just having fun. Saw shows Pen all the "k3wl" stuff one can do on that ship, including doing a
Medveigh MedBay scan (that was done in the other Among Us video), taking out the trash (whilst inadvertently hurdling Rocky into outer space) and spying on Taco's inexplicable dancing. The two of them eventually come across Profily's mutilated body and Saw lets out a guttural Aei-Aei-Aei sound. That's what I thought she sounded like.
Eggy arranges an emergency meeting and asks for specifics, and Saw notices that Rocky's dead. In an unexpected manner, Taco says that Rocky would have died anyway because he's so useless and doesn't know how to do any tasks. We all know that Donut's the murderer in this little scheme, but what really happens is a trial that has Eggy saying the oft-repeated acronym B.S. That means "blatant shenanigans", you know. It doesn't mean "bullshit". Taco gets excited over everyone's getting to vote and Donut is ejected, rightfully so.
The four split up to complete the last dysfunctional spacecraft chorus, and Saw's tasked with working a nuclear reactor through the children's game of Simon Says, but she ends up button-mashing and turning the lights off. Meanwhile, Eggy is found in the other room. We don't see anything else but her eyes re-coloured white and an eggbeater floating in the air, which beats Eggy to death as she makes horrid death noises. Violence! But wait... eggbeaters don't just float in mid-air; they're meant to be carried by someone...
The second emergency trial happens and it's Taco vs. Saw vs. Pen. This was the point where viewers were reaching for their sketchbooks and word-processing machines, ready to make some Tasaw/Pew/Saen fan works! In the canon of Pencil 2.O, that's all but impossible. The boy's already married (depending on the timeline) and Saw's Egyptian. Anyway, Pen says that Saw ought to vote off Taco as the other Naughty One because he and Saw have been working together for like 90% of the video. He even puts his hand on her teeth. Calm down, dude, she ain't Pencil!
Taco calls Pen a damn liar for being suspicious of Eggy's intentions and tries to convince Saw to accompany her in her judgement. Pen gets defensive over this and tells her that Taco was quite happy after Rocky died. Are those two the only options—I mean, in the game: you can only be alive or dead, but does floating in outer space really count as dead? So Sana experiences an inner conflict over whom to believe amidst a shouting match between Pen and Taco. Nothing of much consequence happens, except that the two of them keep calling each other the word sus. That's a word I haven't heard in days. Apparently it's the new hip slang term for "suspicious" and is used frequently in the actual game, but most of the times I've heard it was in YouTube Poops, usually when they find a character saying a word that begins with /sʌ/ and reversing it for surprisingly comedic effect.
Pen's the one with the greatest influence on Taco (who is emphatically not the notch on his bedpost) and the two of them send Taco into space, supposedly not the first time that's happened to her. A BFB reference!
On the big screen that reveals who's innocent and who's not, Saw reads that "Taco was not a Naughty One", which can only mean one thing. Well, duh! After Saw says the quietest "Oh, shit" in her head (it was "Oh, woodchips", but okay), Pen emerges from the darkness, looking larger and more roughed-up than we've ever seen him, red eyes and all. In an extremely deep tone of voice, with which we've never heard him speak before, he growls, "Yes! It was me all along. I was naughty, ha ha ha ha ha!" It turns out that what one hears isn't Michael Huang's normal speaking voice; if you raise the pitch in the video by 16 semitones, you get something that sounds more realistic. If you raise it higher, you get Book.
The background changes from its reddish tint to normal, as if this weren't some weird hallucination on the part of Saw. At this moment, Pen gets his grand musical number, singing that all of the gifts are now his and that Xanaxta loves him. Aw, give the tenor boy a break; as a kid, he couldn't celebrate Christmas with the other Canadian children, let alone Ecksmas. Xanaxta loves him indeed.
Pen opens one of the bigger presents that the ensemble were supposed to get, and it turns out that it's reactor coolant. What? I mean, he was in the army; he probably knew what that was anyway, but I'm pretty sure that this is another reference to the original game. Xanta explains that they stole the coolant stuff from the spaceship, which means that the spacecraft is now asplode and everyone is dead.
Random quotes: "Blah blah blah BUL-B’O-SITY blah blah." - Taco.
"Yeah, girl, you know I'm always spittin' facts." - Eggy.
That was a good short film, and the lot of YouTube commenters think so too! I don't understand much of what they're saying since it pertains to the actual video game, but I still managed to find it entertaining. And I would have found it the same if anybody else were the Naughty Ones, too. If given the chance, I think Blocky would have been naughty every time.
Of course, on the Big Wiki, the reactions are more controversial, with some even quoting from Twitter that the BFDI people have riding the Among Us train for too long. A few of them think that Jnj are becoming cringy cash grabs, like, y'all hating. There's no requirement that you have to watch every video on your subscriptions list. (Edit: My point still stands, but I've been reading old posts and even people here think that Jnj are turning to cash grabs. Listen, they probably need the money anyway, but that doesn't mean you don't have to become a premium 🅱️ember. Just join people like me in casual viewership!)
Nevertheless, If X-MAS in Among Us Was a BFDI Challenge was an interesting short that is as, if not more interesting than a large number of BFB episodes, and I am glad that Jnj have released something between the latest All New BFB! and the beginning of TPOT, for which we excitedly wait.
- Xanta's name throughout the episode is pronounced either as /ˈzæntə/ (hence "Xanaxta") or /k(ə)ˈsæntə/ (Cf. how the Greeks say it or "Cassandra").
- The name came before the nationality, FYI. Most people named Sana are of Arab descent; the double n-ed version is Swedish and Finnish.
- For example, someone might be saying "The sun is shining today", but in a YouTube Poop, it would be changed to something "The sus is shash to-PINGAS".
- Not to do another fitting Gilbertian quote, but "They love him, horror! They love me, horror, horror, horror!"