There was an era, in the world of video games, where so much – practically everything – had to be dubbed in Italian . These are those golden moments between the end of the 90s and the early 2000s , in which the cinematic approach and the growth of the videogame with three dimensions convinced publishers to invest (but not too much) for also adapt the voices of the protagonists of their games.
We have seen artists who have given life to more successful performances and others who have remained in the imagination for not exactly exciting reasons. The dub of King’s Field IV (which arrived in Europe in 2003), with an adaptation that smacked of parody and alluded to the ability to “leave no trace” is probably the emblem of this phenomenon, but there have also been other quite confusing episodes.
You will remember, to name a famous one, the case of Metal Gear Solid (of which you can still find the splendid Legacy Collection on Amazon). Hideo Kojima’s masterpiece, the voice actors said, had to adapt to the need to be dubbed at London’s Abbey Road Studios, thus recruiting artists who were available to work in the British capital.
Many of those same voices also worked on other titles, such as the Siphon Filter
Several years ago, in fact, the channel of a player known as “RedFlame Fox” released a clip from Spyro: Enter the Dragongfly , in which he pointed out between the serious and the humorous as the character di Bianca changed voice actress from one line to another , for no valid reason. You can see the video in embed below.
The most interesting side of this strange phenomenon is that we didn’t realize that commenting on the content had arrived several years later Benedetta Ferraro . For those unfamiliar with her, let’s talk about a famous voice actress, also known for her television works, who in the world of video games was also Nastasha Romanenko in Metal Gear Solid – voice of the instructive calls to the codec starring l Ukrainian analyst, Solid Snake’s shoulder.
Well, Ferraro was the expected voice for Bianca in the game, but she too can’t explain why there are lines not voiced by her . Someone speculated that the second voice could be that of the actress and now director and author Ilaria D’Elia (herself in the cast of Metal Gear Solid as Meryl Silverburgh, but who was also in Spyro 3 and Siphon Filter , among others), but Ferraro denies the idea.
In a comment, Ferraro explains:
«I confirm, they are two different items. The first is absolutely mine, the second I have no idea who it might be. I know Ilaria d ’Elia well and it is not her voice. It is not clear how Bianca’s character was voiced by both me and another voice actress at the same time “.
Even the voice actress, in short, has no idea what happened to make sure that, when the lines have been put in their place, some have come up with a voice and others with a second. Her testimony confirms that in many cases the voice actors were forced to work with great confusion, not having in front of the sequences of the games they were working on and with a general smokiness.
Considering the result, this may also be the case. Other hypotheses suggest perhaps that some lines had been ruined and had therefore been redoubled during the editing; or, again, it might have been a placeholder line that ended up in the final edit by mistake. In short, even here there is more confusion than certainty.
Moreover, it doesn’t always go better for colleagues from overseas: you will remember that, a few years ago, the voice actors organized themselves in a strike that we talked about extensively and in which profiles like that of Jennifer Hale (Commander Shepard of Mass Effect , for one thing), pointing out their working conditions and the difficulties they faced in their interpretations.
Today dubbing in Italian, also thanks to the great steps forward made by video games, which allowed artists to work in certainly better conditions, have improved a lot and have reached almost cinematic levels: think of the case of Death Stranding and names like those of Andrea Lavagnino, Davide Marzi, Eleonora Reti and Domitilla D’Amico, to name a few.
We can only hope that an excellent forge of great voices like the Italian one will continue to give its best even in video games, and that more and more publishers decide to invest for complete localizations of their works also on our market.