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10:31am on Tuesday, 18th October, 2005:

Voices and Faces


One of the things I find engaging about the Baldur's Gate games is the voice acting. I know some people decry the quality of voice acting in computer games, and generally it is indeed laughable, but sometimes — and the Baldur's Gate games are an example — it just works.

Using the Internet Movie Database in combination with VoiceChasers, I've been having a look to see what real-life faces fit what characters' voices.

Here are some examples:

On the whole, the female faces match the faces of their voices better than do the male faces, but then given that the same bloke who does Khalid does Edwin, that's not entirely unexpected (what is it with voice artists and Scientology, by the way?). Oh, there's no link to a .wav of Khalid because I can't find a decompressor for the BG1 sound format (wavc.exe, apparently); basically, though, he's a nervous, stammering wimp.

The favourite voice in the Bartle household is that of Mazzy (which is to say, of Jennifer Hale). It's an absolutely gorgeous, cut-glass English accent, even though the voice actress herself is American, and it fits the character exactly. Stunningly good.

Close second is Jon Irenicus, voiced by David Warner — an actor whose name and face I knew without having to look them up (he was in The Omen).

Our favourite single utterance is Jaheira's mounting panic that her weapon has no effect. I suspect you have to be there for this to be amusing...

The big surprise was in discovering that the voice of Bhaal was provided by Michael Dorn, aka Worf out of Star Trek. I hadn't noticed that Bhaal had a voice.

Hmm, listening to the above sample for the first time, it's probably just as well that I did miss that bit...

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).