Hello everyone, my name is Ted Tsung and I am the North American Producer for Tales of Xillia for NAMCO BANDAI Games America. I’m happy to announce that we recently completed our voice recording session for the game, an extremely important part of the localization process. It’s a huge milestone for us to pass and it means that Tales of Xillia is that much closer to its 2013 release.
Eight hours of voice recording across an eight week span, filled with late nights catching up on emails, proofing, and preparation for the following day. It’s a grueling process that’s both physically and mentally taxing. Despite this, it was a fantastic experience, thanks to the support from Cup of Tea, 8-4, and the voice actors. I might be looking through rose-tinted glasses, but you won’t find a better group of people.
It’s always impressive to see how well voice actors can improvise on the spot. They have very little interaction with each other. The most exposure they’ll get with one another is hearing a voice that may be played back for reference. Otherwise, they’re stuck in a booth alone, quickly scanning a script they’ve never seen before, dishing out multiple takes for us to grab. It’s a draining process that requires a lot of attention from all parties.
After it’s all said and done, I believe people will be satisfied with the voices we chose for each character. When localizing games like those in the Tales of franchise, there’s always added pressure since the Japanese version typically comes out first.
I’m very much aware that it can be very jarring to someone hearing the English voices when they’re used to hearing the Japanese voices. However, I think our English cast matches the original intention of their character’s persona.
For example, we went with a much deeper voice for Milla. We needed her to maintain a very powerful and authoritative demeanor, so we didn’t find it appropriate maintaining the same pitch as her Japanese voice.
Similarly, we pitched down Jude a little bit as well. He maintains the same adolescent qualities as the Japanese version, but we figured the North American audience would prefer a lower, stronger voice.
As long-winded as the recording was, it was a gratifying one, and I really owe it to all the people I worked with. Everyone has done an outstanding job, and I hope the fans enjoy it.