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Ishmael
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"Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game Maker" , posted Fri 10 Jun 03:18post reply

Pulled from IMDB:

Negotiators for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Radio and TV Artists (AFTRA) have reached a tentative agreement with the publishers of video games giving the actors who provide voices on them a 36-percent hike in minimum pay over 3 1/2 years (to $750 from $556 per four-hour session) but no residuals. SAG President Melissa Gilbert said that union negotiators signed off on the deal "with great reluctance" because it contained no provision allowing for residuals. AFTRA President John Connolly sounded more upbeat, remarking, "While we did not get all we want and deserve, this contract is another important step in building artists' power in this growing sector."






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Rid
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"Re(1):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Fri 10 Jun 03:22post reply

I'm playing Valkyrie Profile again, and I'm surprised that these people were PAID for this.... "thing" they do, or try to do.





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"Re(2):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Fri 10 Jun 06:44post reply

quote:
I'm playing Valkyrie Profile again, and I'm surprised that these people were PAID for this.... "thing" they do, or try to do.



Well, I'm pretty certain that the people in Valkyrie Profile weren't in the screen actor's guild. If they were, then they should be ashamed of themselves and Enix got totally ripped off. It sounded like they got cheap actors so I hope they didn't pay much for them.

$750 for a four-hour session is pretty high, but not astronomically high. The best I've ever done is $125 in 15 minutes, but I average about $75 an hour. Anyway, for big name actors, that's not a big deal...but for crappy actors that happen to be unionized, it sucks. I think for the huge investment with no guarantee of good results, game companies may still turn to smaller studios or anime studios (as they have in the past) to provide service.

I dunno. I'm interested in how people feel about this. Voice acting is an important part of games, but I think that the budget can be better spent if it becomes too much to get whoever is labeled as "good" simply because they're unionized. Most of the dubbed (not English-produced) games I've played need better directors/producers. I refuse to believe that the producers can't find a sample of actors that are at least competant and not irritating. While it's perfectly fine to say "What was this guy THINKING!?" about actors, I think the same question needs to be asked of whoever picked/directed them.





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"Re(3):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Fri 10 Jun 08:22post reply

quote:
I'm playing Valkyrie Profile again, and I'm surprised that these people were PAID for this.... "thing" they do, or try to do.


Well, I'm pretty certain that the people in Valkyrie Profile weren't in the screen actor's guild. If they were, then they should be ashamed of themselves and Enix got totally ripped off. It sounded like they got cheap actors so I hope they didn't pay much for them.

$750 for a four-hour session is pretty high, but not astronomically high. The best I've ever done is $125 in 15 minutes, but I average about $75 an hour. Anyway, for big name actors, that's not a big deal...but for crappy actors that happen to be unionized, it sucks. I think for the huge investment with no guarantee of good results, game companies may still turn to smaller studios or anime studios (as they have in the past) to provide service.

I dunno. I'm interested in how people feel about this. Voice acting is an important part of games, but I think that the budget can be better spent if it becomes too much to get whoever is labeled as "good" simply because they're unionized. Most of the dubbed (not English-produced) games I've played need better directors/producers. I refuse to believe that the producers can't find a sample of actors that are at least competant and not irritating. While it's perfectly fine to say "What was this guy THINKING!?" about actors, I think the same question needs to be asked of whoever picked/directed them.



enhh why dont they just save 700 dollars an hour and just subtitle it. the voice actors from japan are way better anyway.





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"Re(4):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Fri 10 Jun 20:28post reply

quote:
I'm playing Valkyrie Profile again, and I'm surprised that these people were PAID for this.... "thing" they do, or try to do.


Well, I'm pretty certain that the people in Valkyrie Profile weren't in the screen actor's guild. If they were, then they should be ashamed of themselves and Enix got totally ripped off. It sounded like they got cheap actors so I hope they didn't pay much for them.

$750 for a four-hour session is pretty high, but not astronomically high. The best I've ever done is $125 in 15 minutes, but I average about $75 an hour. Anyway, for big name actors, that's not a big deal...but for crappy actors that happen to be unionized, it sucks. I think for the huge investment with no guarantee of good results, game companies may still turn to smaller studios or anime studios (as they have in the past) to provide service.

I dunno. I'm interested in how people feel about this. Voice acting is an important part of games, but I think that the budget can be better spent if it becomes too much to get whoever is labeled as "good" simply because they're unionized. Most of the dubbed (not English-produced) games I've played need better directors/producers. I refuse to believe that the producers can't find a sample of actors that are at least competant and not irritating. While it's perfectly fine to say "What was this guy THINKING!?" about actors, I think the same question needs to be asked of whoever picked/directed them.


enhh why dont they just save 700 dollars an hour and just subtitle it. the voice actors from japan are way better anyway.



The vast majority of people want to hear voice acting in their native language rather than read subtitles and hear something they can't understand. Also, don't they have to pay royalties to the Japanese VAs if they don't dub them over?

On a related note, American anime voice actors suck in general so I hope they don't go to those studios. They should get the ones that work for TV shows like Batman TAS, Teen Titans, etc.






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"Re(3):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Sat 11 Jun 00:43post reply

quote:
Well, I'm pretty certain that the people in Valkyrie Profile weren't in the screen actor's guild. If they were, then they should be ashamed of themselves and Enix got totally ripped off. It sounded like they got cheap actors so I hope they didn't pay much for them.

$750 for a four-hour session is pretty high, but not astronomically high. The best I've ever done is $125 in 15 minutes, but I average about $75 an hour. Anyway, for big name actors, that's not a big deal...but for crappy actors that happen to be unionized, it sucks. I think for the huge investment with no guarantee of good results, game companies may still turn to smaller studios or anime studios (as they have in the past) to provide service.

I dunno. I'm interested in how people feel about this. Voice acting is an important part of games, but I think that the budget can be better spent if it becomes too much to get whoever is labeled as "good" simply because they're unionized. Most of the dubbed (not English-produced) games I've played need better directors/producers. I refuse to believe that the producers can't find a sample of actors that are at least competant and not irritating. While it's perfectly fine to say "What was this guy THINKING!?" about actors, I think the same question needs to be asked of whoever picked/directed them.


I'm going to have to plead ignorance on this one. With the possible exception of XSGames I'm pretty sure most dubbing has moved beyond having some guy from the mailroom come up and do the voices. But how voice localization otherwise operates nowadays is something I don't know much about. How many companies use unionized talent? How many go with other venues for voices? It's hard for me to be critical of something when I realize I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Your point about directors and producers is a good one. How much information about a game is the actor given? I'm guessing not much more than their lines and maybe a line or two about their character. So who in the line of production knows anything about the game? Has the voice director seen the scene that is being redubbed so they know how the scene should play out or are they forced to use a summary or make educated guesses?





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"Re(5):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Sat 11 Jun 01:56post reply

quote:
I'm playing Valkyrie Profile again, and I'm surprised that these people were PAID for this.... "thing" they do, or try to do.


Well, I'm pretty certain that the people in Valkyrie Profile weren't in the screen actor's guild. If they were, then they should be ashamed of themselves and Enix got totally ripped off. It sounded like they got cheap actors so I hope they didn't pay much for them.

$750 for a four-hour session is pretty high, but not astronomically high. The best I've ever done is $125 in 15 minutes, but I average about $75 an hour. Anyway, for big name actors, that's not a big deal...but for crappy actors that happen to be unionized, it sucks. I think for the huge investment with no guarantee of good results, game companies may still turn to smaller studios or anime studios (as they have in the past) to provide service.

I dunno. I'm interested in how people feel about this. Voice acting is an important part of games, but I think that the budget can be better spent if it becomes too much to get whoever is labeled as "good" simply because they're unionized. Most of the dubbed (not English-produced) games I've played need better directors/producers. I refuse to believe that the producers can't find a sample of actors that are at least competant and not irritating. While it's perfectly fine to say "What was this guy THINKING!?" about actors, I think the same question needs to be asked of whoever picked/directed them.


enhh why dont they just save 700 dollars an hour and just subtitle it. the voice actors from japan are way better anyway.


The vast majority of people want to hear voice acting in their native language rather than read subtitles and hear something they can't understand. Also, don't they have to pay royalties to the Japanese VAs if they don't dub them over?

On a related note, American anime voice actors suck in general so I hope they don't go to those studios. They should get the ones that work for TV shows like Batman TAS, Teen Titans, etc.



The vast majority of people are idiots. I for one would rather listen to its awesome original japanese dialogue with its high powered seiyuus and i highly doubt u have to pay these seiyuus extra im sure its included when they take the rights to publish the game in the states. The vast majority of people in the states thought the iraq war was a good idea to liberate them from their oil. But i digress.

Hey that 700 dollars an hour doesnt really sound to bad. Hey how can I become a voice actor? If u can't beat em, join em?





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Radish
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"Re(6):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Sat 11 Jun 02:18post reply

quote:

The vast majority of people are idiots. I for one would rather listen to its awesome original japanese dialogue with its high powered seiyuus and i highly doubt u have to pay these seiyuus extra im sure its included when they take the rights to publish the game in the states. The vast majority of people in the states thought the iraq war was a good idea to liberate them from their oil. But i digress.

Hey that 700 dollars an hour doesnt really sound to bad. Hey how can I become a voice actor? If u can't beat em, join em?



Quite frankly Japanese voice acting is often overrated. I would much rather listen to English voice actors if they do a good job since I can understand that language fluently and can pick up intonation on individual words and phrases. Additionally reading subtitles is distracting. I have no problem doing so and if a game has a dual track I generally play both to get two experiences so this isn't a situation where I am too lazy to read. If a dub is crap like with Phantom Brave I will use the Japanese track but with Disgaea I found the English voice actors were much better cast and more enjoyable to listen to. It's a matter of preference and if you want to listen to the game a certain way that's totally cool but to write off people that would rather hear something in the language they understand as stupid is silly.

The whole "Japanese voice actors are gods and English speakers can never hope to reach their greatness" thing is a fallacy that should have died years ago along with the notion that all anime is great and full of deep meaning. Just because most companies that translate anime and videogames from Japan are cheap doesn't mean that English actors can't perform when the job is done right.






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"Re(7):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Sat 11 Jun 02:44post reply

quote:

I would much rather listen to English voice actors if they do a good job


That's a big "if".

I'd much prefer either plain text or characteristic noises (like the scratching used for King of All Cosmos) to lousy voice acting.





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"Re(7):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Sat 11 Jun 02:47post reply

Radish hits a good point here: Japanese voice actors are by no means infallible and perfect, although it would be natural if you don't know the language to assume so. There is -plenty- of bad acting in Japanese, but on the other hand, voice acting is a far, far more professional business in general in Japan, given the sheer volume of games/animation/music they are involved in, whereas there really isn't a single "famous" American voice actor I know of. Just because of the way the US's pop culture works, I can't ever see there being a huge, strong voice actor force in the States, but small core teams with good producers helps a lot...Working Designs does a strong job and the Konami team's work with the US Metal Gear is exceptional.

Dubs should probably be at least the default for US games, although I think English speakers' desire to hear the original is more legitimate than the otaku hunters make it out to be. I feel a bit talked-down to with movie dubs in any language. With DVD's nowdays, there's really no good reason not to leave the original voices in unless it's for royalty issues, I suppose.





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"Re(8):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Sat 11 Jun 02:58post reply

Also, it must be said the general quality of dubs in Japan has lowered a lot these days, especially female voices.
The fact everyone can be come a talent (even if they are plain ugly) and the multiplication of heavily moe based licenses make the industry use cheap VA over talented but more expensive ones.

And it's normal : if you have to dub something with 26 different female characters, you're not going to hire 26 Mitsuishi Kotono.





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"Re(9):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Sat 11 Jun 03:24post reply

quote:
if you have to dub something with 26 different female characters, you're not going to hire 26 Mitsuishi Kotono.


Hahah, it's true, and if the Morning Musume were in to voice acting, it would explain so much! No wonder they keep adding more and more girls to their band, none of who are pretty or can sing!





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"Re(8):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Sat 11 Jun 03:33:post reply

quote:

I'd much prefer either plain text or characteristic noises (like the scratching used for King of All Cosmos) to lousy voice acting.



I agree.

Also yeah as Iggy said as the casts increase in size to cover every possible fetish the fans could have, the budget for the actors is going to get stretched. I can't imagine how horrible the dub for Negima is going to be whenever it get's released over here. I'm guessing they're going to hire one girl to play them all and she's going to have to comically alter her voice to the best of her abilities.






[this message was edited by Radish on Sat 11 Jun 03:33]

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"Re(9):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Sat 11 Jun 04:45post reply

quote:

I'd much prefer either plain text or characteristic noises (like the scratching used for King of All Cosmos) to lousy voice acting.


I agree.

Also yeah as Iggy said as the casts increase in size to cover every possible fetish the fans could have, the budget for the actors is going to get stretched. I can't imagine how horrible the dub for Negima is going to be whenever it get's released over here. I'm guessing they're going to hire one girl to play them all and she's going to have to comically alter her voice to the best of her abilities.


yes i concur with spoon as well.
thanks for being a mediator.





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"Re(10):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Gam" , posted Sat 11 Jun 07:02post reply

I prefer Japanese, myself...even if the cast is mediocre, because on the whole, it's probably still going to be better than the English cast. If nothing else, battle cries tend to sound better. But also, the reason I prefer subs to dubs, is because with subs, I don't have to rely on the translator. I can hear what the dialogue is SUPPOSED to be, since I know from personal experience that translators and writers like to screw with things.

That being said, as Iggy pointed out, I've been noticing a trend of mediocre dubs in a lot of Japanese games lately. Suikoden 4 and Minstrel Song (which I don't fault, because I found the dub fun) come to mind. I also think many of the performances in NamcoXCapcom were uninspired, and it had some big name actors. I also agree that people who don't understand Japanese very well don't have a valid opinion on the issue unless they just want to say "I like the way Japanese SOUNDS more." (which is not necessarily invalid)

Now, since I am one, I have to stick up for English VAs to an extent. Most of them are fully competant actors. A number of them are in TV shows and Hollywood movies. Most of them are in theater and commercials. While there is a sea of bad actors out there, many of the VAs you hear just don't GET IT. The directors, the translators and the writers don't get it either. They don't understand the medium and somehow they think acting like crap is what they should do. These people CAN act, though...they just need the right coaching.

There IS a lot of ignorance, even in anime voice acting, because often...when I go in, I don't know jack about my character. The actors don't see the show ahead of time, and they have to rely on the director to tell them who they are. I have, on numerous occassions, had to deliver lines that meant absolutely nothing to me, because I had no idea what was going on. This isn't the norm (for me), but it certainly happens.

This problem is compounded by video game recordings, because the actors haven't played the game and they aren't experiencing what the characters are going through when they aren't voice acting them. I assume that in many cases, they aren't even looking at what's happening. The director may or may not have played the game, though I'm willing to bet that in most cases, they haven't.





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"Re(2):Re(10):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal wi" , posted Sat 11 Jun 07:51post reply

My favorite example of bad Japanese voice acting is in ESPGaluda. That winged girl (Seseri?) has one of the worst voices I've ever heard and whoever did her voice should be shot.





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"Re(3):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal with Game" , posted Sat 11 Jun 09:51post reply

quote:
Well, I'm pretty certain that the people in Valkyrie Profile weren't in the screen actor's guild.


Doubtful, though you can play "Guess the American dub actor" while listening to the US voices. I know there is at least one (and possibly two or more) US Pokemon character voices in Valkyrie Profile, and I recognized a few other voices from other dub jobs.





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"Re(2):Re(10):Actors' Unions Carve Out Deal wi" , posted Sat 11 Jun 10:15post reply

quote:
I prefer Japanese, myself...even if the cast is mediocre, because on the whole, it's probably still going to be better than the English cast. If nothing else, battle cries tend to sound better. But also, the reason I prefer subs to dubs, is because with subs, I don't have to rely on the translator. I can hear what the dialogue is SUPPOSED to be, since I know from personal experience that translators and writers like to screw with things.

That being said, as Iggy pointed out, I've been noticing a trend of mediocre dubs in a lot of Japanese games lately. Suikoden 4 and Minstrel Song (which I don't fault, because I found the dub fun) come to mind. I also think many of the performances in NamcoXCapcom were uninspired, and it had some big name actors. I also agree that people who don't understand Japanese very well don't have a valid opinion on the issue unless they just want to say "I like the way Japanese SOUNDS more." (which is not necessarily invalid)



Ha, so I'm not the only one who thought that about NxC. Whenever Kurino says "ikuyo" I swear it sounds like his VA is choking on something.

I've known Japanese people living in the US that definitely preferred the Japanese voices over any English dubbing no matter how well they understand English or Japanese. That should tell you the overall sentiment there, and I don't think very many people are all that mistaken in thinking so no matter how little they know about Japanese.

That said, it doesn't mean that English voice acting is all bad. The problem with anime is that voice acting in the original Japanese IS voice acting. It's NOT voice acting in English. When it comes over to English, it becomes DUBBING. This is something I think people fail to understand. Voice acting is simply acting a character to the best of your ability. Dubbing is syncing your voice and possibly inflections to match an image on the screen. It's an inherently different, more technical and less creative process for an actor. This, I think, is why it's rare to see quality come of it.





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"Polly's destiny + Makai Kingdom VA" , posted Wed 15 Jun 03:47post reply

quote:

This problem is compounded by video game recordings, because the actors haven't played the game and they aren't experiencing what the characters are going through when they aren't voice acting them. I assume that in many cases, they aren't even looking at what's happening. The director may or may not have played the game, though I'm willing to bet that in most cases, they haven't.



Polly, you must get a loan, form your own group, and work closely with developers and publishers for a better tomorrow. Now go forth!

Speaking of VA, in Makai Kingdom. Hmm. Some impressions on the English voice track. Zetta is actually not bad. He might not have the gravity of Koyasu, the Japanese lead, but he does a good job being egomaniacal. Still, he can't seem to deadpan a line for comic effect, which can make for some cheesy deliveries.

Pram sounds like a typical giggling-smart-alecky anime gal... less than awful I guess, but Trenia is a Trenia-wreck, ahahahah. Hah. Misplaced emphasis everywhere? She also may have the slight tendency to run words together okay thanks bye! There's a difference between 'appears clueless' and 'appears to be missing a part of the brain that controls inflection'...

But the low-down dirty shame of the dub is that Micky is no longer a timid, soft-spoken guy (or four-armed torso of a demon-god, as it were). Instead, he's a flamboyantly bitchy pop-queer drama queen. Ugh. It's tough to like the guy in English, unless you find overbearing, faked ultra-gayness hilariously endearing.

Meanwhile Ophelia and Dryzen sound similar to the J-versions, sultry and violently enthusiastic respectively. I'd go as far as to say that Ophelia sounds pretty good, but Micky ruins the entire English speaking star overlord package anyway. Oh well, what can you do.

Actually you can switch between Japanese or English dialogue, although battle voices are all English all the time (as in the NA version of Disgaea). They're not that bad though, (with the exception of witch who sounds like a southern gal talking with a marshmellow in her mouth) I turn the volume down about halfway so the more annoying sound bites don't get too shrill.

Oh, and I can't speak for Salome or Alec/Alex, or any tender moments in English as I new-game plussed all over my late-game save. Oops.

What a great way to waste my time! Well I won't be mentioning this anywhere else and I don't want to stir up trouble or controversy at gamefaqs. So, beware/enjoy?





/ / /

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"Re(1):Polly's destiny + Makai Kingdom VA" , posted Wed 15 Jun 08:08post reply

Someone gimme a list of pollyanna's VA appearances.





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"Re(2):Polly's destiny + Makai Kingdom VA" , posted Wed 15 Jun 08:24post reply

quote:
Someone gimme a list of pollyanna's VA appearances.



Hahaaa. I've kept that one secret so that nobody knows my true identity.





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"Re(3):Polly's destiny + Makai Kingdom VA" , posted Wed 15 Jun 08:53post reply

quote:

Hahaaa. I've kept that one secret so that nobody knows my true identity.



I could find out, I bet. but I'm not a stalker.

!!





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"Re(3):Polly's destiny + Makai Kingdom VA" , posted Wed 15 Jun 09:31post reply

quote:
Someone gimme a list of pollyanna's VA appearances.


Hahaaa. I've kept that one secret so that nobody knows my true identity.




shes that chick in kill.switch


ok voice





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"Re(4):Polly's destiny + Makai Kingdom VA" , posted Wed 15 Jun 14:38post reply

quote:
I could find out, I bet. but I'm not a stalker.
We'll pay you.
You would be less like a stalker and more like some hero of a '40 film noir filled with femmes fatales and guns and rain.
Exceprt the femmes fatales would be really men, but the hero would only find out a few days after he had sex with them.





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"Re(4):Polly's destiny + Makai Kingdom VA" , posted Wed 15 Jun 14:44:post reply

quote:

Hahaaa. I've kept that one secret so that nobody knows my true identity.


I could find out, I bet. but I'm not a stalker.

!!


Compromise your morals so that we may hear Polly's voice!

I bet Polly was responsible for a voice in Persona 2 or something. Some game where English voice actors aren't even listed in the credits.





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[this message was edited by Nate on Wed 15 Jun 14:47]

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"Re(5):Polly's destiny + Makai Kingdom VA" , posted Wed 15 Jun 14:49post reply

quote:
I bet Polly was responsible for a voice in Persona 2 or something. Some game where English voice actors aren't even listed in the credits.

That would fit horribly well.





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"Re(5):Polly's destiny + Makai Kingdom VA" , posted Thu 16 Jun 00:04post reply

quote:
I could find out, I bet. but I'm not a stalker.We'll pay you.
You would be less like a stalker and more like some hero of a '40 film noir filled with femmes fatales and guns and rain.
Exceprt the femmes fatales would be really men, but the hero would only find out a few days after he had sex with them.




iggy have i told you lately that youre my hero





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"Re(6):Polly's destiny + Makai Kingdom VA" , posted Thu 16 Jun 00:21post reply

quote:
iggy have i told you lately that youre my hero

No, but please do, I need the love of everyone if I want to terass what my evil foe Chaz send me yesterday.

I'm in the same situation as Ulala by the end of Space Channel 5 part 2, when she's commotionned, on the ground, severely beaten, just before the voice of all her fans come to her and the energy of danse give her a new dress and a quick facial surgery checkup.
I need both.





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"Re(5):Polly's destiny + Makai Kingdom VA" , posted Thu 16 Jun 00:42post reply

quote:
We'll pay you.



Haha, intriguing proposition!
But no, it's more fun to have the power to be able to, and not use it.