The first ever Line Rider feature film, synced to This Will Destroy You's S/T album.
Runtime: 51 minutes.
Development Time: 272 hours of work over 18 months.
Full list of inspirations, statistics, and special thanks in the video credits.
The central concept for this project was to create an album-length track with arcs and motifs over longer periods of time, using a relatively simple and accessible trackmaking style. Traditionally, making a Line Rider track was increasingly about packing as much intensity as possible into 1-3 minutes of runtime, but advanced tools first introduced in 2015 made much longer works possible. This track serves as a post-quirk thesis on the untapped artistic potential of unscened trackmaking in Line Rider, and aims to legitimize Line Rider as an artistic medium.
Streamed live on Jul 23, 2017
Sped-up overview of the track at 47 minutes complete.
Overview screenshot of the track at 99% completion.
This Will Destroy You is one of the most celebrated Line Rider tracks ever created, with over a million views along with tens of thousands of likes and thousands of glowing comments on YouTube. It directly inspired DoodleChaos to create Mountain King, the most viral Line Rider video of all time.
"In the vein of Fantasia-styled synchronized animation, TWDY consists of seven non-narratively based vignettes contained within a single track, with a focus on matching the various tones and colors of the music in thematic ways. The sheer length of each song gives rabid the space to explore and build a library of visual leitmotifs, and as the track goes on, rabid draws from inspirations new and old alike to achieve powerful, visually stunning effects. At times, the track is cluttered and dense, expanding as the music builds in intensity. At other times, it’s full of raw, visceral emotion as grungy guitars grind mercilessly in the background. At still other times, it is quiet and meditative as the music is ponderous, soft, all-encompassing. Rabid is able to walk the pathways the music presents with an incredible effectiveness, and the result is a work so expansive, so innovative, so complete, that I can with full confidence call this my favorite track of 2017."
- OTDE, Top 10 Line Rider Tracks of 2017
In The Press:
“The amount of work that goes into making a three-minute Line Rider video is already impressive, but This Will Destroy You clocks in at 50 minutes. Set to post-rock group This Will Destroy You's album S/T, this might be one of the greatest Line Rider films ever made. Find a big screen, good speakers, pop this on, and prepare to cry because a little person on a sled flew around a line drawing in accordance with the rhythm of that music your sloppy boyfriend (me) is always gushing about.”
- PC Gamer, “12 years later, people are still making unbelievable Line Rider tracks”
"Once in a while, we come across something that completely blows our minds.
Sometimes it’s a squirrel water skiing and sometimes it’s something so artistically sound that it has you mesmerised for almost a full hour… This is the latter.
The whole ‘movie’ is just over 54 minutes long but trust us when we say that we wish it was longer."
- Bloghizzle, "A Line Rider made movie that changes everything"
"Men mig veterligen har ingen tagit steget ut och gjort en långfilm med spelet – fram tills nu. Ben Harvey heter mannen som står bakom This Will Destroy You: A Line Rider Feature Film, en timslång bana som är tonsatt och perfekt synkad med den självbetitlade debutskivan av postrock-bandet med samma namn. Dra på ett par hörlurar och njut:"
Rough Translation: "Nobody has gone and made a feature-length movie with the game - until now. Ben Harvey is the man [sic] behind This Will Destroy You: A Line Rider Feature Film, an hourlong track that is perfectly synced with the self-titled debut album of the postrock band of the same name. Put on a pair of headphones and enjoy."
- Swedish PC Gamer, "Some wonderful soul has made a musical feature in Line Rider"
"It's one of those types of experiences you need to go into completely blind. You need to have headphones, you need to be undisturbed for 1 hour, and you need to let it destroy you. You need to let your imagination follow the lines and feel the story they tell as the scenes progress. It's one of the most profound feelings I have ever experienced while just watching a YouTube video."
"This Will Destroy You is one of my favourite bands and this does their album justice beyond anything I've seen."
"This really is incredible. I can't imagine how much work it must have taken to get things so precise. The music choice and medium are perfect too. Such a cool marriage of simple game and technical artistry. Feels like high art for some reason."
"Pretty certain I will never see anything as impressive ever again... and I'm totally okay with that."
"53 minutes of my life I don't want back. Amazing."
"Well s***, this made me cry. Bravo."
"So well done. I'll consider this the official video."
"Thought I'd just watch the beginning of it out of curiosity. Fifty-four minutes later..."
“Recently, I stumbled upon a Youtube video where a line rider course was made to sync the character’s motions with an entire 50 minute post-rock instrumental album. I watched the whole thing. The character’s motions perfectly reflected both the tone and rhythm of the music, with small bumps or drops representing drum beats, and with rougher tracks representing more intense portions of the music, and smooth rolling tracks in line with the smoother parts. The video was hypnotic. Something about the perfect synchronization of visuals and audio stirred those feelings that playing the game had given me all those years ago. And I think I’ve realized what those feelings are. They are of forlornness, of progression, and of journey. For the whole video, the character does nothing but follow the path pre created for him, so perfectly crafted by the maker. And what is this path? It is nothing but a black line, sometimes ushering him forward, sometimes backwards, but ever continuing for the entire 50 minutes. And as each of the seven songs in the album are played in succession, the mood of the character’s journey changes as well. Sometimes it is more upbeat and speculative, other times it is more subdued and lull. But again, even with the well crafted track, the video does not let you forget that this character is alone in an infinitely white canvas riding the music.
I can only describe the experience as truly beautiful. It induced a large spectrum of emotions and labeled itself as a true form of art. From happy, to sad, to anxious, to hopeful, to triumphant, to wistful, this has it all. I never would have thought that a game I used to play for fun in middle school could be used for art like this, and now I realize the emotions I used to experience watching my character riding rolling waves were mere seedlings of the feelings embraced by the video.
The video ends in a way that doesn’t disappoint the previous 49 minutes. As the songs grow to a close, the music swells in intensity and the character is accelerated along jagged paths, paralleling the music, before finally hitting a rough enough patch so that it falls off the sled and gets shot into infinity. As the track gradually fades out, the character, for the first time, stops looking at the path in front and instead stares directly at the viewer, until he too is swallowed by the white infinity.”
"Never alternated so much or so quickly between laughter and teary-eyed wonder. This should have a trillion views."
- Mother Evergreen
"Incredible - 50 minutes of simplicity you spend in pure introspection and it’s absolute bliss"
"Why is this line rider video making me think about life itself"
"This is my favorite music video/movie ever. Hands down. I never believed something so simple could make me so emotional. I sat through the whole thing without any interruption, and it was amazing."
- Ryan Hopkins
"It may not look like much, but sit through the first few minutes and experience it. It helped pull me out of my emotional slump, and 100% it's my definition of a perfect musical masterpiece."
"This is probably one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time. Takes a visualizer to a whole new level"
- David Morgan
"This is immensely satisfying... Hypnotic and awesome!"
"I couldn't stop watching this. The amount of times I cried.. This really will destroy you... You will not regret watching this entire thing... Don't skip one second of it. It is phenomenal!"
- Jeshie Wafflez
"Beautiful. Subtle. Important... You should be really proud, rabid. This is stupendously ambitious, smart, and successful."
- Commandercoke (Line Rider artist)
"My god that was truly something else... Each part was not only creative, but extremely satisfying to watch. And that ending - something I won't forget anytime soon... I hope this gets the attention it deserves."
- WTB (Line Rider artist)
"When I made this game 11 years ago I never thought something like this would come out of it... I VJ-ed for a living and this gave me goose bumps."
- Bostjan Cadez (original creator of Line Rider)
"This brings music syncing to a whole new level with the minimalist approach when it comes to what we've come to known as "tricks" within the community, and rather solely focusing on the choreography of Bosh's movement & at times even the lines themselves... You really were able to capture the sound of the album, and I'm impressed that you were able to keep all the sections so unique and captivating."
- Z_N-Freak (Line Rider artist)
"This is totally incredible, an excellent representation of how we visualize music, this is what the internet was made for. F***ing bravo. "
"The thing I love about post-rock music is the emotional journey it takes you on. This film perfectly illustrates the emotion through every note. I love this and thank you for making it. "
- Tim Dewhurst
"You've officially made the greatest LR track of all time. Nothing short of a masterpiece. "
"The ending with the expanding lines and then the huge launch upwards gave me chills. Amazing. "
- Zachary Beets
"That was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."
"Ben Harvey: redefining modern art since 2007."
“I feel overwhelmed with emotion after watching this. The blend of the music and motion sets the tone perfectly. I have nothing else to say other than thank you. This really was a piece that ignited a lot of frustration, stress and raw emotion out of me, and for that I appreciate your work and talent to create such art.”
- Sebastián Delgado
"This was moving... I was laughing and choking up and gasping and... What you've done here brought me to a place that I never thought a track would ever take me. There's so much passion here expressed using such a beautiful gift to humanity. Line Rider. What a thing. I've loved it since the early days and now this. I am utterly impressed and amazed at your work."
- Jonathan Hanson
"As someone who never really listened to This Will Destroy You before, this video made me love this album ."
- Simon Alveteg
"This is the bone-chilling definition of an emotional rollercoaster. Truly outstanding."
- Andreas Stavridis
"Can someone tell me why after I watched the whole thing i just busted out in tears"
“I was just expecting a nostalgic video from a game from the past. But this, masterpiece has brought me to tears as every second continues. Thank you for this”
- Jayden Day
"This is so beautifully im literally shaking and crying so many colors"
"The level of genius is beyond me. How one can create a piece of art that is humble and moving inside of a simple program like Line Rider is incredible. Lately I've been fairly disgusted with the entirety of humankind, the world can often feel like a terrible place. This film has helped remind me of the beauty that can also exist within the hearts of us. Absolutely awe inspiring."
- Deaver Alden
“Mesmerizing and deeply deeply moving... The effect this film has on you emerges slowly and when it does it feels like a sweet distant memory and all the dreams you had for your life... Got me thinking of my family and the tough times I’ve gone through these last few years... I was so surprised by this. It took my breath away…”
- Scrambled Greg
"I never knew line rider could be beautiful ."
- Skyler Brown
"If I ever happen to be the curator for an art film exhibition, I will come back for this video"
"Threads is one of my favorite songs of all time and this absolutely broke me. Also, that ending was incredible. Job well done dude, this is outstanding."
- Andrew Shenesey
“Nossa... Como ele ou ela fez isso? Isso tá incrível, a música tá completamente sincronizada com o jogo, as músicas são muito boas de ouvir e ainda tem essa pista que não dá pra acreditar que foi um ser humano que fez. Eu já joguei esse jogo e nunca conseguia fazer uma pista que prestasse direito... Parabéns ao criador”
- Gustavo Oliveira
"I originally clicked this video wondering why someone had "wasted" so much time making this little video that no-one would take seriously. I intended to watch around two minutes of this before clicking off and watching something else. But here i am. At 49:34 amazed at the whole thing. This is honestly one of the best things I have seen on this website. Well done. That is all I can say..."
“This is the best video I’ve ever seen, and I know that sounds cheap but it literally is the most amazing thing I’ve laid my eyes on. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to watch this.”
"This has to be one of the most beautiful things I've ever witnessed in my life. Simply, wow."
- Gustavo Fring
"I love the precision, each different note has its own unique pattern. The flawless precision with every single note, the changes in music are shown in visuals with what the rider is doing... Everything about this video is absolutely perfect."
- Fuke Gewgelplus
"Never thought I'd cry at a linerider video. Absolutely amazing work"
- Miskatonic Shogoth
"This is by far the best thing on the internet ."
- Minus Kelvin
“Im in such an introspective state after seeing this film... It made me emotional, made me think about loss, made me think about sadness and the inevitability of death... made me think about my life in a way I never thought I could… this was so creative and original and just entertaining... I love this”
- darroch robinson
“This is a visual symphony.”
- Stéphane Dubedat
"You managed to make something so visually stunning with as little media as possible. You took an incredible album from a minimal rock group, created visuals with minimal lines from a basic 2007 flash game and made something inspiring and deeply thematic. To put this in the best way I can, f*** you. That was incredible and it blows my mind that it was. "
- 2-T Fru-T
"Now this is true art in it's best form. Something that started as such a simple idea, turned into something beautiful. You are a great artist and anyone who didnt feel anything watching this..... watch it again, until you do"
- Sean Lynch
"This my good sir [sic] is a masterpiece. I'm humbled, awestruck. This, unlike so many other things in this world right now, makes me glad to be alive in this time and place. Cheers to you mate! A standing ovation, for a job well done! Moving Art that speaks without a word. Bravo!"
"I’m so happy I clicked this video, my day has been made because of it, I’m having goose bumps as I write this... it’s truly amazing how art and music can convey such emotion in someone though lines and music... I felt like you took me on a journey with this film, I love it. I wish I could keep this moment forever."
- kid kidane
"Possibly the greatest hour of my life. I needed to chill, and in a different sense of the word, this gave me chills. I could feel all of my problems and stress leave me. All my burdens. All of the pressures of life. Gone. That was bliss, and it brought me to tears by the time it ended. I've never felt so... at peace. It truly destroyed me. "
"How the f*** did a bunch of lines make me cry? "
- AE-3852-I C-137
“This is the most unlikely form of brilliance I have ever seen. I love the lines conforming to the beat, the conflict and resolution, the music choice. I didn't even know what this was when I clicked on it. Thank you for this”
"I love this album, so I was kinda scared that you would ruin it. But no, rather the opposite actually. Your animation is so fitting and well synchronized with the music. This was an hour of pure bliss. I can't remember when I last was this relaxed, calm and contented with life."
"I got so scared he was gonna fall off the entire time because around part 6 things got unusually bumpy and then the zappy lines at the end came in I knew it was gonna happen. It's so sad to me because he held on for so long on his own, take hits everywhere, he had no control over where he was going and the only choice he could make was whether or not to let go, and it took everything to force him off it. We don't even know what happens to him when he goes up. there wasn't an end to the lines, he just went up. I don't know how to feel right now and I'm crying. This was a mind blowing job. It's honestly just beautiful and the music was amazing. "
"You know, it’s hard for me to ever find videos of music that paints a story in my head rather than just an image/symbol. I think part of art is telling a story and, be it I’m not an artist but a musician, music should always tell a meaningful story, or at most a message. Personally, this video has grasped my attention at the beginning and told a story. Not to mention you did it without words, but just a sled, lines, and music. And have touched many with an artistic piece, how can I truly describe a work of art with the right adjectives? "
- A Vsaucy Boi
“Who knew something so simple could be made into something so beautiful.”
- Diego Leon
"There is a certain level of anticipation with this video that I really enjoy. In fact, I'd say that anticipation is half the fun. It's like those old visualizers but you can see, and more importantly, FEEL each drum kick/guitar note/cymbal coming. It's beautiful."
- Max Fogel
"One hour of greatness is all I can say. It brought tears to my eyes because of how inspirational this simple game can be. This is truly a masterpeice and it kind of seems like a light at the end of a tunnel. Simply because of how much effort was put into this I think the world should see this simply because of all the current issues. I never knew a game could be so emotional like this. It truly looks magnificently well thought out, and it taught me to think about what a wonderful world we live in, even when things seem dark. Thank you."
- Only the dankest survive
“This is an incredibly powerful piece it has so many feelings so much emotion. Minimalist but that's all it really needs to be in my opinion, I interpret this as life's journey. Calm, and boring one moment fast, and energetic the next, a turbulent tornado that's oddly calming in the center eye. There's a certain rhythm to life the music, and line work captures really well in this. Life is a straight line but with random twists, turns, obstacles and bumps at every pass, and sometimes it's slow, and sometimes it's fast, and despite the randomness there's a certain tempo to it all. These are the things I got from watching this, life in it's purest form simple randomness but with a distinct rhythm to it all. But in life for every living sentient being, there's always a climax. Which I feel the ending captured really well, it was crazy, and fast up until the point where...it wasn't and the lines shrink and fade away, one life lived, one life finished. This was a good experience to say the least. You did a phenomenal job.”
- PigHunter Gaming
"I never thought Line Rider could make me feel such wonder."
- clint c
“Such beauty, in that nothing but the sight of a sled along naught but lines, accompanied by the sounds of little more than plucked strings and banging sticks can make the heart yearn for what has been, and what will be.”
- Cheese Wizard
“You've really made this into a original piece of visual art. It's not just an accompaniment to the sounds and music. Well done. One of the best vids I've seen this year.”
- Magnus Viggen
“This is Synesthesia in its purest form.”
- Kj27 Wolf
"Something so simple and pure has the capability of creating emotions that are beyond comprehension. There is no set of words to describe how beautiful this was. I would classify this as a price of art work. So much time. So much effort. Nothing I have ever watched or seen in my life can compare to this. It’s so incredible how this makes me, and others feel. You deserve so much recognition for what you have created. Keep it up. "
“My favorite bits from each part. Part 1: I know some people clocked out right in the beginning, but if you stick with it you can already tell that no small detail was overlooked during production. Also, those spirals had so much flavor and feeling. Very cool. Part 2: I was so surprised at how many meaningful textures you were able to put into what was basically one long flat ride. I loved when the parts of the track got so far away fro each other it looked like Bosh was barely riding on anything at all. Part 3: It was crazy how a smooth path was created from what looked like a jumbled mess. I also loved how there was a couple huge loop-de-loops hidden in the mess, and how near the end Bosh flipped direction every time the piano notes changed their tone. Part 4: Loved how he was riding backwards the whole time. I know it may not be that deep, but it felt symbolic?? Especially after the vibrant ending to Part 3, it made Bosh look super morose - really feels like there's an emotional narrative here. Part 5: An excellent example of using the Bosh's visual speed/distance covered to reflect the intensity of the background music. It made the music feel physically larger. Part 6: Using the pencil tool to create that scraggly texture reflects the music very well. Part 7: That static-y/noise effect that starts around 50:00 is really well-executed. The visual effects in this final minute are so striking, and the build to the final climactic moment is intense and satisfying.
Don’t get me wrong, the most impressive part of this is the fact that everything is so perfectly timed and placed, and the amount of precision and effort that must’ve gone into this is astounding. By itself, the synchronization in this video would be enough to make it amazing. What I’ve listed are the unique techniques that just really add something special and titillating to the whole thing.”
"The man on the sled. A man we all know yet will never understand. On an endless journey to find his true meaning. He does not control where he is going. He does not know what he is looking for. He just follows the line. Forever with the line. The line is like a mentor. It helped him go to where he needs to be. To find his true meaning. Like this comment if you are like the man on the sled. You don’t know where you are going. But you know your going to the right place. Just following the line. Just following the line "
- Jeffrey Apple
"I find the greatest beauty in this film is it’s simplicity. It enables emotions that everyone can connect to from one way or another, the story is their own. This is truly abstract in the greatest way imaginable. I have a profound respect to you, the maker of this film, for allowing myself and all these others to witness your story by allowing us to build our own. Thank you. "
- Seth Leon
“This is easily the most stunning thing I have ever seen in the history of YouTube. It's so intricate, so dedicated, so thought provoking. It makes you wonder if we're all just little people on sleds, gliding through the treacherous pathways of existence, eventually reaching the end. What matters most is what we make of these paths, and what the creator of this magnificent work of art has done here is make something beautiful, passionate, and inspiring, using nothing more than lines and his [sic] own imagination. We too can be more, for even though we are little, we are strong, and we are capable of being something to be remembered. Thank you so much for this.”
- guy on a gravitron machine standing sideways
“This album is already incredible as is, and with this masterfully crafted visual experience to go along with it, it makes it something of awe inspiring beauty. Amazing work to whomever has created this. I am astounded. Fantastic work my friend. I am beyond impressed.”
- Phelan Wolfe
“Absolutely monumental artistic achievement. It's such a silly, arbitrary medium to choose but you used this game to craft a really wonderful audio visual experience. The timing and production is sublime. Really fantastically done.”
- Pastel Letsap
“This video is more powerful than it has any right being. It’s just a small boy on his sled, but yet it’s so beautiful. There’s something incredibly moving about watching him being thrown around and with no power change it. I found myself getting more emotionally attached to him than I have for any character in a movie recently. When he was being tossed around, I felt that.”
- Chris Scott
"I was having a bad few hours of feeling hopeless and just lost and quite sad. This calmed me down and made me feel like I understand life again and feel ready to move onwards. Thank you so much. I felt like I was watching someones journey through life and I knew exactly what was happening at each moment. What challenges he was facing, how he felt. I think it’s amazing how we humans can interpret so much from so little. Though I feel like it was thought out so so well. I wonder how other people interpreted it. I was gripped for the whole 50 minutes. I feel like I wanna show this to everyone who is having a hard time. "
- James Eggleton
"The way you visualized songs by one of my favourite bands is remarkable. I really liked your take on Burial on the Presidio Banks, the buildup in the song itself is great but your visualization, especially in the peak of the song is something beyond perfect. It's so intense while the visuals respond to it really really well. It shows how the song truly feels. Now, I think every song can be visualized like that and then the visualization stands as a descriptive element. Perhaps this is what makes music unique form of art."
"Im crying. Crying from a work of art that has brought me through the emotions, the loss, the gains, the struggles, and victories; the urge to keep pushing and find a resting place at the end of my odyssey. I don't think that can be expressed any other way. I've always had a strange way of looking at things and always had a certain changing of lights to certain cords and sounds, each bringing with it the tug of a memory, plucked by the passion, blood, sweat, and tears put into the masterpiece one may make... You have stitch my will to succeed and live, mended the broken bones I was walking upon, strengthened my resolve to be a good man and the friend one can always trust on, to this sound of which has let me shed tears of pain I have withheld for 9 months as of tomorrow, I promise I will improve. I will better myself, for you and this sweet melody I swear, because I am 17, a senior in high school. Though I have drawn it out far longer than maybe was necessary, thank you for the shoulder, I wont let this go to waste, I appreciate what you've done, thank you."
- Beau Champ
"Oh my lord this is awesome. I felt like I was in a psychedelic experience, the music and visuals are so connected. Everything from speed to direction to flips ect. Staccato notes are staccato lines. Note lift-off happen at the same times as line life-offs... This is a clinic in musical dynamic expression. Those aren't lines they ARE the notes. Seriously well done!"
- Montes Foreman
"For me it represented how volatile life can be the ups and downs, mostly downs, and the little high moments hoping they turn to something big. The crazy outbursts when you have had enough. The moments when life seems ambiguous and while searching for some meaning time flies by, but when you reflect on your life you realise everything has somehow fit together, sure there has been moments when you just scraped by, but everything connects, fits and serves a purpose."
- Samuel Pearson
"Incredible job, Rabid. Amazing attention to the smallest details; really made me appreciate the depth of the whole album. This is visual LR synesthesia in the best way."
- Philip Ma
"Who knew that a sled, a dude, some lines, and music could evoke such powerful emotions in a viewer. It's so simple, but yet so beautiful and truly breathtaking. This track isn't super complex, or fancy or full of gimmicks, but it is meticulous and very well matched to everything going on. Holding off from really letting loose until the finish was brilliant. There's so much intentionality with everything, some that I noticed and a lot that I'm sure I didn't; one instance being the shape of lines serving as a sort of visual leitmotif for different instruments. What a rollercoaster, in both a literal and figurative sense. That was an hour very well spent. Thank you very much for the journey."
"I've laughed at Line Rider videos. I've headbanged with Line Rider videos. I've ever been impressed by Line Rider videos. But not one of them have left me breathless like this one did, especially that finale. My God, I was actually on the edge of my seat!"