Top 10: Computer Games Voices
We all have them, etched deep within our minds. That little voice that, when heard, causes total and utter joyful cerebral meltdown. Here is a little rundown of some of my favorite games character voices. I don’t expect you to agree with all of them but hopefully there’s one or two that will have you screaming like a 12 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert.
Escape from Monkey Island onwards – Dominic Armato
Many of us who grew up in the 90s were accustomed to the fact that Guybrush, Stan and the whole crew of Monkey Island were voiceless, getting by on Lucas Arts’ amazingly in-depth and hilarious dialog. Who would have thought that when The Curse of Monkey Island came out they would get it so bang on with the voice acting talent of Dominic Armato. Pretty darn perfect.
Abe’s Odyssey series – Lorne Lanning
This little Mudokon stole my heart uttering about 8 different phrases on command including farting…what is there not to love?! It was the completely charming voice that made the Oddworld games…well that and the absolutely fantastic gameplay. From what my sleuthing on the internet told me it was game creator Lorne Lanning who played the voice uncredited.
Mario 64 onwards – Charles Martinet
Yes…bloody Mario, the most recognizable games icon of all time…Stupid Italians.
Final Fantasy X – John Di Maggio
This guy, albeit might not have been people’s favorite character on Final Fantasy X, had the most memorable voice. With Hawaiian tones and constant whining it was clear he was one of the most fleshed out characters of the western port. Which, lets be honest was more than a little shaky with its dialog port “AHAHAHAHA”. I would also like to point out that he is also the voice of Kimahri Ronso, Bender (Futurama) and Marcus Fenix (Gears of War), as well as doing voice work for Halo, Kingdom Hearts, Call of Duty and Afro Samurai. This guy is a GOD.
Portal – Ellen Mclain
Pretty much the life and soul of the party. If it wasn’t for Ellen Mclain’s delivery and deadpan voice acting Portal may have very well been filed under just another above average puzzle game. It wasn’t just the gameplay that made Portal so good. It was what the fact Valve effortlessly took your mind off monotonous tasks. Almost like the core element of the title were a mere diversion to back up the story being told, visually and vocally. As with most Valve games this was a master class in how developers should handle their projects.
Batman: Arkham Asylum – Mark Hammel
Who would have thought old Marky Hammel could pull this off so well; shrill, terrifying and maniacal voice acting from young Skywalker really set the tone and atmosphere for Batman: Arkham Asylum. I can’t wait to see what they come up with in Arkham City. I really hope they don’t focus on Hugo Strange too much and that the Joker still plays a big part of the story.
Red Dead Redemption – Rob Wiethoff
Rumor has it Rob Wiethoff didn’t even need to put on a voice to play the mighty John Marston. He is just that damn cool! Although many people thought Rob’s voice acting was fairly standard while playing Red Dead Redemption, it wasn’t until [SPOILER]
you got to the end of the game when Jack Marston took over you really started to miss the sound of the guy’s voice, and began to realize how good he is
From the awkward Spanish pleasantries to yelling profanities at the horses, Rob Wiethoff did one hell of a job.
Grim Fandango – Tony Plana
Another great Lucas Arts point and click style game. It may just be hindsight, or perhaps my memory is slowly falling to pieces, but the character of Manny was beautifully fleshed out and sculpted which only served to excel Tony Plana’s voice acting. With a million quotes to use as your Facebook status, and the amazing balance of cartoon and Film Noir, Grim Fandango was the bee’s knees.
Duke Nukem 3D onwards – John St John
“Your face. Your ass. What’s the difference?”
“It’s time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I’m all out of gum.”
“You’re an inspiration for birth control.”
“Damn, those alien bastards are gonna pay for shooting up my ride!”
“Die, you son of a bitch!”
“Nobody messes with my meat!”
“Yo ho ho, and a bottle of Jack!”
…and my personal favorite – “Eat shit and die!”
If that dialog from Duke Nukem doesn’t make a great voice actor I don’t know what will.
Metal Gear solid onwards – David Hayter
It’s Snake! The guy is the epitome of cool! The only thing better then the low gravelly voice of Solid Snake in Metal Gear is hearing Campbell shouting “SNAKE?!?! SNAAAAAAKKKEEE!!!!!!”
After researching this feature I did find that many voice actors have played roles in a huge amount of games while also do their bit in film and television. Sadly I cannot write about everyone and some have just played a multitude of bit parts. Nevertheless they are great voice actors who have done more than an amazing service to video games. If you have the time try Googling these other chaps and chapesses to see if they played anyone you love: Armin Shimerman, Fred Tatasciore, Jennifer Hale, Phill LaMarr, Steve Blum, Keith David, Jen Taylor, and the mighty Ron Perlman.