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Nintendo Rejected Samus Voice Acting In Metroid Prime For Being "Too Sexual And Sensual"

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Podcaster Reece Reilly – AKA: Kiwi Talks – has been discussing the development of past Metroid games with the people who made them for some time now, having previously chatted to the likes of Mike Wikan and Bryan Walker. More recently, he sat down with Clark Wen, who was Audio Director on Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.

As you can imagine, there's a lot of ground to cover, because the Metroid Prime trilogy has become very influential when it comes to shaping the soundscape of the entire Metroid series. Wen reveals that almost all of the soundtrack was done using synthesizers, while elements such as the Morph Ball and Echo Visor were inspired by magnets and sonar respectively. The Space Pirates, on the other hand, originally spoke in Russian, but Wen eventually settled on Yorùbá (one of the principal languages of Nigeria) and reversed the dialogue, as well as emphasising syllables.

One element which proved to be particularly tricky to nail down was the voice of Samus – well, her grunts, to be specific.

Wen explains:

I think voice was kind of a touchy thing with Nintendo, because originally we had done some recordings for Samus' voice, more like a temporary kind of placeholder sound because we really wanted to make sure the impacts when Samus took damage was recognisable in the gameplay. So we got one of the designers to do some placeholder grunts and screams. It was never meant as a final audio pass, but a few weeks after we got them in the game, we heard feedback from [Nintendo] EAD about Samus' voice, and they were saying it was too sexual and too sensual sounding. [laughs] They're very, very particular about vocal sounds in general, so I was happy to let them take the reins and they ended up recording several actresses for Samus' vocals, and we got them back a few months later and we ended up picking out the voice we thought worked best.
Wen also discusses whether or not it is Jennifer Hale (of Mass Effect fame) who supplied Samus' grunts and sighs in the Prime games. Hale never received credit for the role, but many fans think it is her vocal talents we hear in all three Prime games, as well as Metroid Prime Hunters. Wen admits that he's not completely sure that's the case (he's 90 to 95% sure), as the only initials on the audio files were 'JH'. The death vocal, he reveals, was recorded by a different actress (with the initials 'VM'), due to the fact that he wanted it to sound more akin to the sound in Super Metroid.

 

fart town usa

Gold Member
 

Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
I know this is slightly off topic, but was Retro inspired by the Fifth Element, when making Prime 1?

I was just seeing the movie, and I realized the ambience is very similar in some scenes. For instance, when Leeloo first runs away and is running through the corridors, the music and vibe is reminiscent to Prime 1.
 

skit_data

Member
I really like silent Samus. The only sound I want to hear is that bloodcurdling scream she lets out when dying.

And no, I’m not into sadism.
 
Good, stick to what makes the series great and don’t “ sonic “ it up.
The main heroine in the latest game can already run really fast, crouch into a sphere that can be launched through winding passages, and spin very quickly to destroy her enemies by jumping; and is traveling to an exotic planet where she searches for artifacts of power that would help her defeat an army of robots led by an evil bird-man (so just an egg-man that's been given time to mature).

How much Sonic is too much Sonic?
 

Fare thee well

Neophyte
I don't really care if a company wants to make a character with a pronounced sexual component to their attributes or not so long as it's just their artistic preference. There are plenty of great characters that aren't attractive, have a modest projection of their sexuality, or have pronounced outspoken sexuality as part of their overall package. Just like, you know, the real world.

Much thought given beyond that? I personally don't understand it.
 

Zannegan

Gold Member
The title is misleading. The text says there was never a plan for full voice acting, and even that the rejected audio was never meant to be in the final product. They had someone in the team record a few grunts and dying screams, and apparently they sounded more like someone having a good time than someone in pain.

I guess "Nintendo Notes That Prime's Placeholder Audio Sounds Kinda Sexual" wouldn't pull enough clicks.
 

Boglin

Member
The main heroine in the latest game can already run really fast, crouch into a sphere that can be launched through winding passages, and spin very quickly to destroy her enemies by jumping; and is traveling to an exotic planet where she searches for artifacts of power that would help her defeat an army of robots led by an evil bird-man (so just an egg-man that's been given time to mature).

How much Sonic is too much Sonic?
Well, I never!
 

Bragr

Member
They ain't wrong, female grunts and ohs and ahs in games can at times sound like sex sounds, and some voice actors sound a lot more sex-like than others.

I have always wondered if game developers know this and use it on purpose, for example in Overwatch, I swear it sounds like a porn movie at times. This has to be a fantastic way to get sex-deprived gamers unconsciousuly hooked on the game. Considering how much time they use on audio design, there is no way this eludes them.
 

Kenpachii

Gold Member
They ain't wrong, female grunts and ohs and ahs in games can at times sound like sex sounds, and some voice actors sound a lot more sex-like than others.

I have always wondered if game developers know this and use it on purpose, for example in Overwatch, I swear it sounds like a porn movie at times. This has to be a fantastic way to get sex-deprived gamers unconsciousuly hooked on the game. Considering how much time they use on audio design, there is no way this eludes them.

Ofcourse they know.
 

Tschumi

Member
Samus is mute, that's fine by me.

Why layer something as mundane as the voice chops of a random voice actor on top of her subtle personality?
 

AzafuseYugi

Member
Good, stick to what makes the series great and don’t “ sonic “ it up.
Sonic bad. except the voice acting in Sonic added more character and ALSO, you can't compare something that was meant to have a serious cinematic feel than something with a more saturday morning anime feel. (that's another topic for later)

I feel people would just praise it for "being subtle" and "sticking to what made the series great" instead of Nintendo being afraid to innovate and do something new with their franchises. wich is the reality.
 
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Tschumi

Member
the article suggests that it was only ever gonna be her grunting and such, so i guess her 'ooh!' was a bit too breathy
 
Sigh... there is a lot of reasons to reject anything in a project, game or whatever it may be. But this one is one of the most moronic I ever heard.

I mean, is it, though? We're talking about a voice acting performance possibly being ill-fit for the role/context.

There's a reason Nintendo is really conservative about this, remember;

There's probably too much focused on how allegedly "sexual" the voices may have sounded originally. It's highly possible the voice was ill-fitting for reasons beside that, especially if it was a placeholder.
 

K.N.W.

Member
Have Metroid Prime trilogy audio files ever been dumped?? If so, a voice expert could easily discern if the voice actress is Jennifer Hale or not, just by looking at the waveform (the "shape" of the sounds countained in those files). A mega expert could do it by ears, but I think that kind of people are harder to find.
 
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Mabdia

Member
I mean, is it, though? We're talking about a voice acting performance possibly being ill-fit for the role/context.

There's a reason Nintendo is really conservative about this, remember;

There's probably too much focused on how allegedly "sexual" the voices may have sounded originally. It's highly possible the voice was ill-fitting for reasons beside that, especially if it was a placeholder.

Can you imagine a really talented actor or actress does not get a job because her or his voice is too much sexy/sensual? Come on!


To me Kate Keckinsale's voice is really sexy/sensual. Can you imagine if she does not get a job because of this?


Or even Michael Clark Duncan. I might be wrong but there are a lot of people who thinks the same about his voice.

Again. It really is a moronic reason to reject a voice acting. If they have a problem with a bad voice over is another thing.
 
Can you imagine a really talented actor or actress does not get a job because her or his voice is too much sexy/sensual? Come on!
Okay then, let's recast Lisa Simpson and Pebbles Flintstone with sensual voices.

...

Hopefully you aren't taking that statement at face value.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
This isn't woke. Sounds like they got a shitty early recording that wasn't considered polished or final, and they told the sound engineer it sucked.
 

Mabdia

Member
Okay then, let's recast Lisa Simpson and Pebbles Flintstone with sensual voices.

...

Hopefully you aren't taking that statement at face value.
Apparently Samus is a kid and Metroid is aimed for children. I didn't know. Sorry about that. ¬¬
 
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zokie

Member
as long as i get to play samus in zero suit in Smash Bros or future metroid titles i don't mind

side topic : i hope nintendo will consider releasing free dlc for zero suit samus in Remastered Fatal Frame : Maiden of Black Water
 
Apparently Samus is a kid and Metroid is aimed for children. I didn't know. Sorry about that. ¬¬

The amount of things wrong with this hot take would take multiple paragraphs, but let's just keep it to these:
1) I'm not saying Samus is a kid, I'm using kid characters to make a point about miscast voices because you literally just made a cringe post saying that basically said a woman should never be denied a voice role if her voice is sensual. Was that too much "shock value to make a point" for you? Should I have used He-Man as an example instead? Yeah, let's imagine He-Man or Optimus Prime with sensual female voices instead. Also, I know you understand what I said. You're being deliberately obtuse.
2) Trying to sarcastically say "Metroid is aimed for children" knowing this is a first party Nintendo game is hilariously cringe. Do you recall the common ESRB rating for a 2D Metroid game? Metroid II and Super Metroid have K-A. Fusion and Zero Mission have E. Samus Returns has E10. Do you seriously look at those ratings and think Metroid is meant to be some kind of "edgy adult game" that tries to push boundaries or that it's a franchise Nintendo would let risk a M-rated entry on?
 

Jsisto

Member
The main heroine in the latest game can already run really fast, crouch into a sphere that can be launched through winding passages, and spin very quickly to destroy her enemies by jumping; and is traveling to an exotic planet where she searches for artifacts of power that would help her defeat an army of robots led by an evil bird-man (so just an egg-man that's been given time to mature).

How much Sonic is too much Sonic?
I let out an incredibly sexual sounding scream upon reading this.
 

Mabdia

Member
The amount of things wrong with this hot take would take multiple paragraphs, but let's just keep it to these:
1) I'm not saying Samus is a kid, I'm using kid characters to make a point about miscast voices because you literally just made a cringe post saying that basically said a woman should never be denied a voice role if her voice is sensual.
I said what?!

Just to make things clear. Where did I said that?

" Sigh... there is a lot of reasons to reject anything in a project, game or whatever it may be. But this one is one of the most moronic I ever heard. "

"Can you imagine a really talented actor or actress does not get a job because her or his voice is too much sexy/sensual? Come on!

To me Kate Keckinsale's voice is really sexy/sensual. Can you imagine if she does not get a job because of this?

Or even Michael Clark Duncan. I might be wrong but there are a lot of people who thinks the same about his voice.

Again. It really is a moronic reason to reject a voice acting. If they have a problem with a bad voice over is another thing."

What I said is that is ridiculous do that in Metroid. And that is a real moronic reason to reject a voice acting for Samus.

Also, perceiving a voice as sensual is really subjective. To some voices can be sensual meanwhile it can be really annoying to someothers.

Was that too much "shock value to make a point" for you? Should I have used He-Man as an example instead? Yeah, let's imagine He-Man or Optimus Prime with sensual female voices instead. Also, I know you understand what I said. You're being deliberately obtuse.

How about I use your exemple? Can you imagine Adan being voiced over by Duncan? That would be awesome! Or someone with a voice like berry white. Man... that could be awesome. Both also could be amazing giving life to Optimus Prime.

Also, can you not fall that much into hyperbole? At least use some good example. A female sexy voice for a male character? Don't blame me if your examples so far was really bad. Come on! Try harder.

2) Trying to sarcastically say "Metroid is aimed for children" knowing this is a first party Nintendo game is hilariously cringe. Do you recall the common ESRB rating for a 2D Metroid game? Metroid II and Super Metroid have K-A. Fusion and Zero Mission have E. Samus Returns has E10. Do you seriously look at those ratings and think Metroid is meant to be some kind of "edgy adult game" that tries to push boundaries or that it's a franchise Nintendo would let risk a M-rated entry on?

I'm from an age where ESRB don't even existed. Good old times... good old times.



That being said. What are you talking about? Anyone know that the majority of Nintendo's user are 16 years old up to 40 and above. Come'on man. Try harder. Also... all that they have to do is up the ESRB perspective if it is even necessary. But I just think that a child will not even perceive a sexy voice in a game. I might be wrong. Do you remember? It's all about perspective.

All that you're saing about me being cringe, while you yourself are being?

Also... Samus was sexy since back in 80's. Can we spot to pretend that she was not?




So clearly there is not a problem if Samus has a sensual voice. All that being said... Is moronic reject a voice acting because the voice for Samus was "Too Sensual" because always has been a Sexy character. It aling with the traits of the character.


Capcom learned that lesson the hard way


stupid age restriction

The problem here is more about bad acting than anything.
 
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Majukun

Member
I said what?!

Just to make things clear. Where did I said that?

" Sigh... there is a lot of reasons to reject anything in a project, game or whatever it may be. But this one is one of the most moronic I ever heard. "

"Can you imagine a really talented actor or actress does not get a job because her or his voice is too much sexy/sensual? Come on!

To me Kate Keckinsale's voice is really sexy/sensual. Can you imagine if she does not get a job because of this?

Or even Michael Clark Duncan. I might be wrong but there are a lot of people who thinks the same about his voice.

Again. It really is a moronic reason to reject a voice acting. If they have a problem with a bad voice over is another thing."

What I said is that is ridiculous do that in Metroid. And that is a real moronic reason to reject a voice acting for Samus.

Also, perceiving a voice as sensual is really subjective. To some voices can be sensual meanwhile it can be really annoying to someothers.



How about I use your exemple? Can you imagine Adan being voiced over by Duncan? That would be awesome! Or someone with a voice like berry white. Man... that could be awesome. Both also could be amazing giving life to Optimus Prime.

Also, can you not fall that much into hyperbole? At least use some good example. A female sexy voice for a male character? Don't blame me if your examples so far was really bad. Come on! Try harder.



I'm from an age where ESRB don't even existed. Good old times... good old times.



That being said. What are you talking about? Anyone know that the majority of Nintendo's user are 16 years old up to 40 and above. Come'on man. Try harder. Also... all that they have to do is up the ESRB perspective if it is even necessary. But I just think that a child will not even perceive a sexy voice in a game. I might be wrong. Do you remember? It's all about perspective.

All that you're saing about me being cringe, while you yourself are being?

Also... Samus was sexy since back in 80's. Can we spot to pretend that she was not?




So clearly there is not a problem if Samus has a sensual voice. All that being said... Is moronic reject a voice acting because the voice for Samus was "Too Sensual" because always has been a Sexy character. It aling with the traits of the character.




The problem here is more about bad acting than anything.
samus has surely always been well endowed but wouldn't call her a sexy character...her appearance is most of the time covered (zero suit excluded), her behavior mostly stoic and composed...there would be some whiplash is she had a sultry voice or something.
 
I said what?!

Just to make things clear. Where did I said that?

Literally what I had blockquoted in my initial response to you.

There's no point trying to argue with you if you're being so disingenuous as to literally deny that you said what you said in this very thread.
 

Podcaster Reece Reilly – AKA: Kiwi Talks – has been discussing the development of past Metroid games with the people who made them for some time now, having previously chatted to the likes of Mike Wikan and Bryan Walker. More recently, he sat down with Clark Wen, who was Audio Director on Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.

As you can imagine, there's a lot of ground to cover, because the Metroid Prime trilogy has become very influential when it comes to shaping the soundscape of the entire Metroid series. Wen reveals that almost all of the soundtrack was done using synthesizers, while elements such as the Morph Ball and Echo Visor were inspired by magnets and sonar respectively. The Space Pirates, on the other hand, originally spoke in Russian, but Wen eventually settled on Yorùbá (one of the principal languages of Nigeria) and reversed the dialogue, as well as emphasising syllables.

One element which proved to be particularly tricky to nail down was the voice of Samus – well, her grunts, to be specific.

Wen explains:


Wen also discusses whether or not it is Jennifer Hale (of Mass Effect fame) who supplied Samus' grunts and sighs in the Prime games. Hale never received credit for the role, but many fans think it is her vocal talents we hear in all three Prime games, as well as Metroid Prime Hunters. Wen admits that he's not completely sure that's the case (he's 90 to 95% sure), as the only initials on the audio files were 'JH'. The death vocal, he reveals, was recorded by a different actress (with the initials 'VM'), due to the fact that he wanted it to sound more akin to the sound in Super Metroid.

VM = Vanessa Marshall perhaps?
 

Mabdia

Member
samus has surely always been well endowed but wouldn't call her a sexy character...her appearance is most of the time covered (zero suit excluded), her behavior mostly stoic and composed...there would be some whiplash is she had a sultry voice or something.
The fact that she uses the Power Suit don't make her character design less sexy when Nintendo shows her without it.

And it could be bad if the voice acting were bad. But I just think that refuse a voice acting for Samus because saying that is too sexy to me it sounds really ridiculous. Can't see any sane person complain against it unless the voice acting was really bad. Resident Evil 1 bad.
 

Majukun

Member
The fact that she uses the Power Suit don't make her character design less sexy when Nintendo shows her without it.

And it could be bad if the voice acting were bad. But I just think that refuse a voice acting for Samus because saying that is too sexy to me it sounds really ridiculous. Can't see any sane person complain against it unless the voice acting was really bad. Resident Evil 1 bad.
in real life voice and appearance don't have to match, but usually in fiction they do because they would sound strange otherwise..that's why when dubbing batman you don't cast some guy with a squeaky voice but you want him to be low tone and imposing, regardless of quality of acting.

same happened here
 
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