Dreams from Another World

The 4 Reasons Voice Acting Ruins Great Stories

Rating: 4 votes, 3.00 average.
Now this isnt a "dis" to the many games and even LBP levels that use voice acting, however, I find myself skeptical if I should include voice work in my rpg in fear that is will...sort of ruin the story. This isnt saying Chrono Chrysalis wont have VA's, but here are 4 reasons I fear i shouldn't even use include it.

1. It takes away the Imagination

Again, This is not a Vivi "dis"; he still remains one of my favorite characters in RPGs. If you haven't played FF IX, first of all: shame on you, but in short, he was one of the coolest Black Mages ever in an RPG. Just look at this guy for a second though; how do you think he would sound in real life? Thats one of the things that I liked about the PS1 era rpgs, is that characters like these, really fuel the imagination of what you think they would sound like in reality. Of course this may differ between individuals, but Im guessing its nothing like the horrendous Kingdom Hearts 2 interpretation. Once I played KH, they made him sound like some...foreign alien from ET or something..idk. But it absolutely invaded my head every time I went back to play FF IX, and for me it ruined Vivi's character because forgive me, but he just isn't as cool as before.

2. Can create unintentionally awkward moments or characters

Now I don't see how something like Final Fantasy X's laughing scene could not be awkward..even in script lol but it defiantly would not have been nearly as bad. So lets take a recent RPG, "Gulp" Final Fantasy 13.

From the outlook, Vanille is nothing like her voice actor. On script, Vanille is more or less the stereotypical energetic girl in an rpg party like Selphie, Rikku etc. However, this character took it to the next level. Her lines always come across as awkward, and accompanied by weird...sounds she tends to make in battles or cutscenes that know. Anyway, the point is, she shouldn't have came across that way( At least I hope not). Even worse, this is the game that forced you to spend hours playing as her.

3. Will have to exist the entire series
Theres nothing far more disjointed, imo, than switching actors in a long RPG series. It just throws everything off and the character just seems..way different, almost as if they are an entirely different person--well in a way they are. Realistically, Chrono Chrysalis is a project that will probably take until 2013 to complete all the chapters( seriously, CHP isnt even out yet and its closing in on a year of Dev ). With a story that large and so much dialogue, you will grow familiar with a character sounding a certain way, and changing that, not only changes how you will interpret this person, but possibly how you view them. Speech and context, is very important to a characters personality. And life happens, I cant really expect actors to be there whenever I need them, and that's really where another huge issue begins to form.

4. Makes the story harder to take seriously

Arc Rise Fantasia has the worst voice acting in a video game that I have ever heard in my entirety of my young life. This makes Final Fantasy X seem like a legendary Oscar winning performance or something; yes, that bad. Alright, sure the story was cliche, but isnt every "Tales of" a bit game cliche? Yet their stories seem to be in a different league than games like this, for the sole reason that the quality of voice acting is consistent( a bit better written but...). No ones getting paid to voice in CC, and I expect different actors wont be able to express as well as others. And some may come off a really dry or unexciting. It could potentially ruin the "star" performances in the game and just evoke more humor--unwanted humor, when it should actually be a serious moment( Death scenes, arguments, love etc). That explains my entire playthrough of Arc Rise Fantasia: I just could not take this game seriously, not for a second, even as much RPGs as I have played, I am literally laughing during every boss fight--as hard as they are in this game lol

Well thats my list, hopefully you guys can help me decide if Chrono Chrysalis should feature Voice Acting. No updates this time, but I will be updating the official thread next week hopefully. The game looks...well, you will just have to wait and see for yourself!

Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments below, how do you guys feel about voice acting in rpgs or games in general?

__Rpg Maker


  1. thi766's Avatar
    As you said, the absence of VA is leaving place for imagination, wich can be really great at times. I like both, games with and without VA, they can be completely different experiences. But i recognise that there are games that have absolutely magnificient VA, that simply make the game much better than it would be without (i'm thinking of FFXII in particular).

    What i personally like most about old RPG's, is that the story is told as if the player was reading an interactive book, and it gives you time to read the lines accurately and understand them. This is great especially for an exceptional series like Final Fantasy, where the storylines of some titles are just really worthy of being considered litterature and art, even philosophy.

    I didn't play FF IX (sorry, but will at some point), but as you know i absolutely love FFX, and i admit that one scene was just reaally weird and questionable, and this even if you don't understand english (like me when i first played the game).

    In my opinion, FFXIII has a great overall VA, wich was one of it's strong points (but still not close as good as FFXII's), some of the villain speeches and script parts are really well written and voiced.
    But i REALLY strongly hated both Vanille and Sazh and wanted to kill them every time the game forced me to play as them, lol. They just sucked in almost every way a character can suck, and like you said i particualry hated Vanilles... well you know... "AAHHHH OOOHHH YESS!!! ATTACK!! YESS!!! COME ON HECATON!!! AHHH FASTER!! FASTER!!! AHHHHH!!! *Orgasm* AAHHHH!!" ..................... *ahem*.
    But seeing where the developpers located her "L'cie-brand", and how her voice actress in some interview said that she was ordered to sound like that and to moan and such, i suppose that's how Square really wanted her to come across.

    So i guess it's up to you wheather you want to use actors or not. Originally i didn't want to use voice actors for my game, for pretty much the same reasons than you.. But then i made a trailer, and thought that at least the trailer should be voiced to see how people would react... While the narrator (main voice) wasn't well recieved, the people generally liked the other voices such as "Tito" and got used to them, so i continued to use them all while leaving the main char unvoiced so that the people can imagine his voice and identify to him.
    I don't think i have to worry about Dan and the other leaving because i suppose they'll stick around in LBP2 for pretty much the same time that i will (we're all about the same age), and i think that yeah people got used to the voices so far, in particualr the hilarious one of Tito etc..
    However if you know the actors less good than it could be a problem i guess.. You must sign a "contract" with them, so that if they voice they must stick until 2013 XD..

    I am not sure if i helped you or not. But i hope you'll find the right decision. I'll be happy either way, cause i really love your work (even though i haven't seen it), and i'll definately be playing your game when it comes out.

    I also noted that you obviously haven't heard of House of the Dead 2 and other such games (trust me it's much worse than that Arc Fantasia thing)... Or maybe you did, but you only wanted to use RPG examples.. Anyway here are few examples of pretty terrible VA, watch it for your enjoyement:

    House of the dead 2:
    Chaos Wars (it's an RPG as far as i know):

    On the opposite, here are VA's i really love and that really add to the game:

    FFXII Bergan Speech:
    FFXII Drace Death:
    Killzone intro:
    Updated 10-04-2011 at 04:46 PM by thi766
  2. Lord-Dreamerz's Avatar
    Don't do voice acting :P Voice acting in LBP levels are very horrible.
  3. Rpg Maker's Avatar
    @ Thi lol, I think ARF was surprising for me probably because it was pretty recent, but I have heard of those games too, but wow that is terrible listening to it. This helps me though --Im typically pretty indecisive, which explains why it takes me a long to release anything, so its good to get feedback from a fellow RPG Maker, and actually thats why i posted: I was curious to see what other rpg fans thought about VA's.

    I mean Voice acting I think can be good too, Even Final Fantasy X had some really good memorable lines--i wouldnt change a thing. FF X i think is the best FF, even if FF IX is my favorite( I recommend it)
    And even your game had good ones and even if Tito went unvoiced from here on, he would probably still sound like "Dan/Tito" in my head.

    @ fumetsusozo
    Actually, the two people who did early auditions for the game are surprisingly very good-especially the female who auditioned. Mostly, battle quotes are something they did well as well, so I thought it would be interesting. They can make moves seem more epic like this historic special move from VP.

    If I do choose VA's, I will try to get them as good as possible though...Ultimately, it could turn out interesting or it could ruin the game in way. lol maybe i should just hold some more auditions and see. Though I have heard some pretty terrible LBP stages, others like Arabesk had good VAs too.

    But im sort of leaning toward if I can actually find a bunch of good Voice Actors, then go for it. If its just two good ones and a lot of bad ones, then I mind as well have no voice work.
    Updated 10-05-2011 at 03:40 AM by Rpg Maker
  4. Fang's Avatar
    Most of the games I've played don't have voice acting. Though there are some games where voice acting was really either annoying (Baten Kaitos was a good game but spammed voice lines in battle got annoying and repetitive) or just out of place (Lunar Silver Star Harmony; I found the central female character (Luna) to have had a really higher pitched voiced than I would think; though I heard previous versions of the game had better voice acting (aside from Ghaleon's spamming of TIME TO DIE)).

    So really if ya gonna have voices don't make it really annoying, without emotion, or out of character/place, because that's personally why voice acting doesn't work for me sometimes.

    On the bright side, if you have great voice-overs, that can make things better.

    ...Hey, at least it's not like the things thi mentioned

    OMG, Chaos Wars = Most Epicly Stupid-Yet-Hilarious Voice Acting EVER xD AGHHH AGHHH =/= Keee. Keee. xD

    Slightly Off-Topic: More terrible Chaos Wars voice clips xD
    Updated 10-05-2011 at 04:47 AM by Fang
  5. Lord-Dreamerz's Avatar
    @ Rpg Maker.
    what you showed me. only makes me feel I'm right here when saying don't do it there are so many reason why VA is annoying in a lot of games, even far more so in tons of RPGs.when I'm in a battle and i hear the characters repeat the same lines 10000s times like.Come here, Come here, Come here, Come here, Come here, Come here, Come here, and so on.I want to kill the creator of the game so badly! (o__O) plus reason why I said VA sucks in LBP is because we can't make it sound very clear at all... evenything i've heard user made sounds like they are talking in a jar. very hellishly annoying. *mew
  6. Rpg Maker's Avatar
    Well yea, VP had some repetitive lines, in fact most Tri Ace games do. I guess it would get pretty repetitive--if they are handled the wrong way. Though they weren't annoying in games like Final Fantasy XII or even XIII( Minus Vanille and Sahz). Most Tri Ace games do use spammed lines, for like battle spells or skills, and they did get pretty repetitive, but since this is turnbased, it would probably be worse.

    One turnbased game that did it particularly well is Lost Odyssey, and even FF X, mostly resulted to battle grunts or rarely used lines, so it wont be a spammed fest like the games you guys are thinking of.( I SEE THE NAME, YOU DONT HAVE TO SCREAM IT AT ME ALL THE TIME lol) I am still pretty much on the bubble with this, but one reason I wanted them though was for boss fights or scenario battles. For me, they were done greatly in FF X, and really added tension to the particularly the more scripted fights.

    As for VA's sounding like Jars( Baten Kaitos cough), I know exactly what you mean, but as mentioned, the ones who auditioned, have really good mics... or something. So it sounds like something from, idk if you played any Tales of games, but similar to that. Even Tito, from Thi's game, had clear voice overs from what I remember. But if I do choose it, I will make sure theres good mic quality and not annoying, so fumetsusozo wont kill me lol.
    Updated 10-05-2011 at 01:49 PM by Rpg Maker (Evil Typos)
  7. Lord-Dreamerz's Avatar
    Well it's just advice. anyways, do what you most. hopefully whatever you pick will turn out good for ya. *mew