Unintentionally Funny Voice Acting
April 19, 2008 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Unintentionally funny voice acting in old school computer games.
posted by Foci for Analysis (39 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
What happen?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:15 PM on April 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


It seems to be "in old school computer game", no s, unless you count the game in the 11th movie, which is just the same guys anyway. I'm disappointed, I thought this would be a tour through a bunch of old games.
posted by blacklite at 2:25 PM on April 19, 2008


While the TurboGrafix16 is, technically speaking, a computer, I don't think it's what most people imagined from the phrase "old school computer."

Also? This smells totally teh fakeh
posted by ChasFile at 2:28 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Damnit, I was going to add more games but my aliens eatet my tubes. Also, do you realize how badly the following text would have smelled: "Unintentionally funny voice acting in temp1 temp2 some computer game Monkey Apple Carburetor"?!?!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:37 PM on April 19, 2008


Christ. If that is actually the authentic voice acting from that game...ouch. Definitely among the worst I've heard. A lot of the line delivery sounds about as fantastic as mine did in a fake newscast I filmed in fifth grade.

I take that back, I'm reasonably certain I didn't sound that bad. Also, I was in FIFTH GRADE. What the living hell is their excuse? Wow.
posted by Stunt at 2:39 PM on April 19, 2008


This smells totally teh fakeh

It's certainly remarkably good sound (and lots of it!) for a machine with graphics that limited. Is thsi supposed to be some kind of CR-ROM type effort?
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on April 19, 2008


This was a TG16 CDROM game (not SuperCD or Arcade CD). I actually owned this one. The voice acting... well, you can judge for yourself. It sounds like it was done at a middle school sleepover.

And no, it's not fake. Or at least I remember it being this bad.
posted by selfnoise at 2:42 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow.
posted by Artw at 2:44 PM on April 19, 2008


Here's another TurboCD game I owned at the time:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=nliqKfEfmGI

The voice acting is not QUITE as bad, but it's still not great. Actually, no, it IS as bad, it's just not as funny.
posted by selfnoise at 2:54 PM on April 19, 2008


Resident Evil is still the archetype of this.

"Master of Unlocking" indeed.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:59 PM on April 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm with blacklite, this would have been a lot better if it wasn't the same game.

In any case, I remember the transition from midi only to wavs etc. What an amazing day it was when I first heard vader say "You under estimate the power of the dark side" (not in a game, but it was one of my first wav files from the bbs days).
posted by tomplus2 at 3:03 PM on April 19, 2008


Oh Jesus, I laughed. The link from "school" is the best. It sounds too terrible to be real, but surely one of the Youtube monkeys would have called fake on it -- that's my only proof. They all sound like mouthbreather man-children. Were they otaku who volunteered?
posted by Countess Elena at 3:28 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


The (US) TG16 was originally the Japanese PC-Engine, which had nothing at all to do with PCs. Other than the letter P, and the numeral C.

I remember working on a game around 95, when most game budget would be blown on over-the-top rendered intro sequences, bearing very little resemblence to the far less impressive in game graphics. This one particular title had a section, around half a minute long, where three evil corporate executives sat around a boardroom table, all in silhouette (less animation and render time, see) discussing their nefarious plans.

It was only when it came to the Spanish-language version of the game that the budgeting problems hit the voice acting. It's not that the dialogue was bad, it's just that only one male Spanish-speaking voice over artist could be found for the project. So Spanish players were presented with a segment in the intro sequence, where inside a darkened boardroom, one company executive has a conversation with himself, and a third self, while two other executives sat by, listening silently.

I don't think it sold enough for the Spanish gaming press to give a henk about, but I'd love to think that at least one Spanish journalist knocked a few points off the score for so prominently featuring deranged yet monitored executives so prominently in the plot.
posted by davemee at 3:57 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I never understand why game designers feel the need to put bad voice acting into their games. Voice acting is one of those things that if you don't do a good job on it, it is much worse than if you didn't do it at all.
posted by Mitrovarr at 4:27 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


fake as fack.
posted by Frasermoo at 4:30 PM on April 19, 2008


in fact, i ask Foci for Analysis how he possibly fell for the fact that the first 3 links are obviously dubbed ?
posted by Frasermoo at 4:32 PM on April 19, 2008


jebus mc farking christ. i just watched the fourth and unless I am a retarded, this is college kids dubbing 16 bit games.

mods, ban hammer time for the thread and for mr. magic beans - Foci for Analysis
posted by Frasermoo at 4:36 PM on April 19, 2008


in fact, i ask Foci for Analysis how he possibly fell for the fact that the first 3 links are obviously dubbed ?

Holy hell ya. People are quick to call fake on the net but the difference in clarity here is a dead giveaway.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:40 PM on April 19, 2008


Frasermoo, fake sounding or not, selfnoise already somewhat verified that it is real, and poking around online seems to come up with similar results. Also, what's with calling for Foci to be banned? My apologies if I'm misinterpreting what you said there.
posted by Stunt at 4:46 PM on April 19, 2008


Or maybe not.

Audio Atrocities would have been a good link to flesh out the post. It's a website dedicated to "Unintentionally funny voice acting in old school computer games video games from the very first CD system, the Turbografx until the present day. "

Here is their page about Last Alert. With sound clips. That sound exactly like the youtube links.

Here is a website where you can download a zip of 22 wav files from the game.

Definitely not a hoax (but also not very interesting).
posted by fingo at 4:54 PM on April 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I doubt this is fake - the "difference in clarity" means nothing. The only things that the TG16 and Sega CD could do that the SNES and Genesis couldn't was CD quality sound and music and crappy pixellated video. That means all sorts of games on these systems had useless voice-acting on top of crappy 16-bit graphics... it's what made those systems special! Most of the games were godawful and sounded a lot like this one, but few were pretty good. Snatcher for the Sega CD was the highlight.

Man, I haven't thought of Snatcher in a while. I loved that crazy Blade Runner knockoff.
posted by painquale at 5:14 PM on April 19, 2008


Oh oh I've got one from Sega CD Eye of the Beholder.
posted by nola at 5:30 PM on April 19, 2008


I am a Serious Adventurer. (thanks nola, that was pretty good.)

Yeah, the Last Alert clips are not fake. I just went back through them again and the final standoff (in PT14) I clearly remember the line "Garcia, nobody can hire my FEELINGS!!!" My friends were in stiches.
posted by selfnoise at 5:36 PM on April 19, 2008


Drow 'Stache!
posted by selfnoise at 5:40 PM on April 19, 2008


More
posted by nola at 5:40 PM on April 19, 2008


Man, you guys are young if Sega CD and Turbo Grafx 16 are old school.
When I read "old school computer games" I was thinking about the ones I grew up with, like B-17 Bomber and Tron (not to mention Space Spartans and Bomb Squad.
posted by emelenjr at 5:51 PM on April 19, 2008


I just started playing TG16 like a maniac again about two months ago. I just can't believe how much better I was at Military Madness when I was eight than I am now.

MeFi needs a good TG16 thread!
posted by avocet at 5:55 PM on April 19, 2008


This post had tons of potential, but the fact that it's just one game, and not one with a whole lot of nostalgia value, disappoints.

Here's one I remember being bad:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=LS1E7WWtg2g

(Actually, it's mostly Lord British's voice acting, the other guys aren't so bad.)
posted by mragreeable at 5:58 PM on April 19, 2008


mods, ban hammer time for the thread and for mr. magic beans - Foci for Analysis

That's unnecessarily harsh. Banning? Really? Please calm down.
posted by piratebowling at 6:09 PM on April 19, 2008


Oh wow. Those eye of the beholder clips are pretty bad too. There is apparently a treasure trove of bad voice acting from early cd-based console games hidden away on youtube. Glee.
posted by Stunt at 6:10 PM on April 19, 2008


uh sorry above. had a bit of a sesh earlier and found a keyboard.
posted by Frasermoo at 6:32 PM on April 19, 2008


Ten years later and Alpha Centauri still has the best voice acting of any game.

C'mon Sid, where's my SMAC 3?
posted by bunnytricks at 7:22 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, you guys are young if Sega CD and Turbo Grafx 16 are old school. When I read "old school computer games" I was thinking about the ones I grew up with, like B-17 Bomber and Tron (not to mention Space Spartans and Bomb Squad.

Man, you guys are young if Space Spartans and Bomb Squad are old school. When I read "old school computer games" I was thinking of Hunt the Wumpus, or Spacewar, or maybe ADVENT.

I was hoping to finally hear Orson Welles drunkly rumbling "Therre is a nassty lillle dwarff in the rooom with you." again after so many years. Or maybe Charles Nelson Reilly's classic "Zap! Super BLANK snatch! Elsewhereville for you!".
posted by erniepan at 8:13 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bunnytricks: No kidding. I still go back and look up quotes from SMAC. I love the narrators, as well as the playable characters.

In all, it was kind of a disappointment coming from that to Civ 4. You have Leonard Nimoy, who may be a great many things but is not a terribly good narrator, at least as compared to SMAC's. Then you give him terrible quotes to work with, whereas the SMAC quotes were long bits of genius.

Compare: "You should strike the iron when it is hot" with "Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master." Or, if you insist on only quotes from history: 'Red-hot iron, white-hot iron, cold-black iron; an iron taste, and iron smell, and a Babel of iron sounds. -Charles Dickens, Bleak House."

SMAC introduced me to Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and had plenty of awesome original material too. Civ4 gave me cliches.
posted by JDHarper at 9:54 PM on April 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


C'mon Sid, where's my SMAC 3?

The true answerer of that question would be Brian Reynolds, he was he main designer of the game. Sid's name was used for the star power. He later moved on to Big Huge Games, and made the Rise of Nations Series.

The good Mr. Reynolds did in fact answer this question on a message board I frequent, QT3.

Ha ha! Alpha Centauri has I suspect been kind of trapped in "Triple IP Voodoo Purgatory". I think the IP itself probably still belongs to Electronic Arts; the right-to-develop probably still belongs to Firaxis where most of the artists still work plus the current "Civ team" and Civ4 engine; and substantially all of the original designers/programmers/writers who created the "world" now work at Big Huge. So it would be kind of like trying to put the Beatles back together (though at least no one's dead), and THEN you could deal with the question of whether there'd be a big enough market for it to make it worthwhile.


Later in the thread:

Hey, thanks. But I think you may have put your finger on another good reason I for one haven't gone back to that kind of topic -- I certainly "gave it my all" when creating that setting, and so far I haven't really felt the creative need to return to something similar. Or you could say AC cleaned me pretty well out of "pithy pearls of subversive wisdom", at least for the nonce. :-)

posted by zabuni at 1:48 AM on April 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Think it's fake? Download a torrent of the game. Don't trust a torrent? Ok, buy the actual game disc.
posted by zsazsa at 9:06 AM on April 20, 2008


My first impression was it was fake...but then I remembered the game I have come to believe takes the cake for worst voice acting ever. The Luton-town of voice acting.

House of the Dead 2, and our friend: Goldman.

(all his lines from the game...and while it may sound like some kids effort at dubbing his favoritt gam, it is, is actually what they put in the finished article.)

....

on further investigation, of course the internets enjoy goldman also.
posted by 6am at 2:46 PM on April 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


You have Leonard Nimoy, who may be a great many things but is not a terribly good narrator, at least as compared to SMAC's.

Hey, he had some great moments narrating Seaman!

Concerning Goldman... ugh, you had to remind me. Typing of the Dead is awesome in many ways, but one of them is not its reuse of dialogue from House of the Dead 2.
posted by JHarris at 8:37 PM on April 20, 2008


Actually, I thought the worst thing about the narration in Civ4 was installing the expansion pack, and having the "new" quotes narrated by Sid himself. Talk about a jarring contrast. Sorry, Sid.
posted by somanyamys at 1:49 PM on April 21, 2008


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