Forspoken’s Frey Is Basically Ash From Army of Darkness

Forspoken cinematic trailer

Frey shares uncanny similarities with the Evil Dead franchise’s protagonist Ashley “Ash” Williams, especially with regard to Army of Darkness.

The following contains spoilers for Forspoken, available now on PlayStation 5 and PC.

One of the most exciting elements of Square Enix and Luminous Productions’ open-world action RPG Forspoken is the game’s plot, which follows the young New Yorker Frey Holland as she’s magically whisked away from the five boroughs and dropped into the fantasy realm of Athia. While many have compared Forspoken to several isekai manga and anime, the game plot also shares many similarities with Sam Raimi’s beloved horror-comedy classic Army of Darkness.

Not only does the story of Forspoken feature many of the same story beats and plot devices as Army of Darkness, but Frey shares some uncanny similarities with the Evil Dead franchise’s long-suffering protagonist Ashley “Ash” Williams. Both are street-smart survivors who find themselves stranded in a magical foreign land where they’re initially treated as outcasts, and each ends up making friends who inspire them to face their inner demons and save this strange new world from an ancient evil.

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Forspoken & Army of Darkness Follow Contemporary Protagonists Stuck In Medieval Settings

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Forspoken Frey Captured by the Tanta

As entries in the portal fantasy subgenre, the plots of Forspoken and Army of Darkness are set in motion when their protagonists cross over from one world into another. In Forspoken, an unsuspecting Frey is transported to Athia after she’s inexplicably willed down from the edge of a rooftop to put on Cuff, the sentient vambrace that becomes her traveling companion. This closely mirrors the opening of Army of Darkness, in which Ash and his beloved Oldsmobile are sent back in time to medieval England through a portal conjured by the demonic Necronomicon Ex-Mortis.

Upon her arrival, Frey is imprisoned by the Council of Cipal, much like how Ash found himself becoming a slave of King Arthur. However, Frey is quickly freed by Auden, a herbalist who tells Frey that the only way she can return home is by helping her recover her father’s journals, which contain information on a deadly magical force known as “the Break” and may tell them how to get Frey home. This is eerily similar to how Ash was released from bondage by the wizard Merlin, who promises to return Ash to the present if he recovers the Necronomicon from its resting place and brings it back to Camelot before it falls into the wrong hands.

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Frey’s Sassiness & Colorful Language Are Classic Ash Williams Mannerisms

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ash Shows Off His Boom Stick In Army Of Darkness

While Forspoken‘s plot’s parallels with Army of Darkness‘ can easily be explained by the fact that both are fish-out-of-water stories with a fantastical edge, Frey’s personality and character arc are also uncannily similar to Ash’s. At the start of Forspoken, Frey is shown to be a cynical and bitter person who uses a mixture of undisguised sarcasm and unfiltered profanity to cope with the traumas that have defined her life. Having seen his friends and loved ones suffer gruesome deaths at the hands of otherworldly horrors that he inadvertently unleashed, Ash developed similar tendencies throughout the Evil Dead series, gradually becoming a wisecracking blowhard who uses humor to mask his pain.

Frey and Ash also share the unfortunate fate of being saddled with unwanted but undeniably useful arm attachments. While Cuff allows Frey to wield powerful magic, his haughty nature leads to him and Frey developing a report built on mutual bickering. Frey’s relationship with Cuff goes from reluctant friendship to outright hostility by the end of the game after it’s revealed that Cuff is Susurrus, the demon responsible for bringing the Break to Athia. Similarly, Ash’s iconic chainsaw-mounted hand allows him to cut down scores of Deadites, but it also serves as a constant reminder of the pain and terror he and his friends endured on the fateful vacation where he first read from the Necronomicon and lost his hand.

Fortunately, Frey also shares Ash’s innate goodness and indomitable spirit. Despite having been conditioned to avoid forming connections with others by a lifetime of abandonment and exploitation, the kindness Auden and others show Frey convinces her to embrace her destiny and save Athia. Like Ash, Frey’s life is defined by hardship, but her refusal to give in to resentment and willingness to return the goodwill others show her allow her to become the hero she never imagined she could be.


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