Final Fantasy VII included some of THE iconic moments in video gaming. It was the first time that real emotion had been successfully portrayed in a game, and the first time that players felt just as emotional as the characters. The way certain events were written remains the reason many players continue to return to the game.
These voice actors now have the task of making that writing believable. They need to deliver those emotions to the player, exactly as strong as they felt in the original.
Looking at Final Fantasy X for example. Square’s first foray into voice acting on the PS2. The story was filled with hugely emotional scenes, but the voice acting has taken a fair amount of criticism over the years. The infamous laughing anyone?
Conveying a story
The actors of Tidus and Seymour in particular were the centre of annoyance and ridicule, although I personally think that James Arnold Taylor did a good job of making Tidus’ reactions believable. The trouble is, there is no room for interpretation, because the emotions are forced upon the player.
I try to imagine FFX as it would have appeared on the SNES or PS1. Without voices, the dialogue between the characters conveys an incredible story, with beautifully subtle
All that subtlety is lost when a voice actor is asked to interpret those emotions. I honestly believe that if the voice acting in FFX was removed, all the negativity would be removed.
That is exactly how Final Fantasy VII was received. And people have already made their perceptions on the games’ story and characters. I am sure there will be a lot of disappointment flying around the internet when fan favourite lines are delivered differently to how they were imagined all those years ago.
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