Video Game Characters Voiced By Multiple Actors
Most people have had that moment where they boot up a new game in their favorite franchise and something seems off. Your favorite character begins to speak, and their voice is different. In gaming, there are so many recognizable voice actors, but for one reason or another, a voice actor might change.
This happens more than most might think. Often times the new voice actor does their best to sound similar to the previous one but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes the new performer elevates the role and other times it is less successful. No matter the reason, there have been a number of characters in gaming who have had their voice actors change, and these are some of the most notable.
9 Mordin Solus – Mass Effect
Mordin is Mass Effect’s quippy Salarian scientist. He joins Commander Shepard in the second game to help in the high-risk mission against the Collectors. From the second to the third entry, Mordin’s voice actor changed.
He was originally voiced by Michael Beattie in Mass Effect 2, but he was replaced by William Salyers in the third entry. It’s hard to tell though. Salyers’s performance is almost exactly the same as Beattie’s. If you play clips from the two games one right after the other, it would be hard to notice the difference.
8 Sephiroth – Final Fantasy
In all honesty, this list could be a list of just Final Fantasy 7 characters. With Remake’s recasting of all roles, the entire cast of the game has gotten new voice actors. What many don’t realize is that Sephiroth’s first voiced performance was done by none other than Lance Bass of *NSYNC.
He wasn’t exactly a fit for the role and after the first game, players said Bye, Bye, Bye. He would go on to be replaced by George Newbern in subsequent Kingdom Hearts games and by Tyler Hoechlin in Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
7 Chloe Price – Life Is Strange Before The Storm
Chloe is one of the main characters in the first Life is Strange game. Developers decided it would be worth exploring the story of what happened to the person the story’s main mystery revolves around, Rachel Amber.
Thus a prequel titled Before the Storm was born starring Chloe Price. Unfortunately, Chloe’s original voice actor, Ashley Burch was unable to reprise her role due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, and Chloe was voiced by Rhianna DeVries. Burch was able to help work on the character of Chloe behind the scenes, however.
6 The Announcer – Super Smash Bros.
If you’ve played more than a few hours in the Super Smash Bros games, you can likely hear The Announcer’s voice in your head. “3, 2, 1… GO!” While he doesn’t say a lot, his iconic performance is instantly recognizable.
The first three games all featured different voice actors. Only Xander Mobus, who voices him in the series’s current iteration, has held the role for more than a single game with his first voice appearance being in Super Smash Bros. on the WiiU and Nintendo 3DS.
5 Leon Kennedy – Resident Evil
Leon Kennedy is easily one of the most popular characters from the Resident Evil series. Everyone’s favorite rookie cop turned US government agent has had a number of voice actors over the years.
Originally he was voiced by Paul Haddad in the original Resident Evil 2. He would be replaced by Paul Mercier in Resident Evil 4. Mercier would hold onto the role for a few spin-offs before being replaced by Matthew Mercer in the sixth entry. Later, a new actor would be cast, Nick Apostolides, in the remake of Resident Evil 2.
4 Harley Quinn – Batman: Arkham City
The Batman Arkham games are known for having some really popular and prolific voice actors as part of their cast – including Mark Hamill as the Joker. Perhaps just as notable is his sidekick, Harley Quinn.
Though Harley was initially voiced by long-standing voice actor Arleen Sorkin, the role was passed along to veteran voice actor Tara Strong. Sorkin not only voiced Harley, but she also served as the inspiration for the character’s creation. Strong took over because Sorkin retired from acting, and all in all filled Harley’s shoes nicely.
3 Sonic – Sonic The Hedgehog
Sonic is everyone's favorite speed demon from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Throughout the various versions of Sonic, from movies to cartoons to video games, the title’s main character has been voiced by no less than eight voice actors. Of those eight, three of them have lent their talents to Sonic in the games.
Sonic’s latest voice performer is Roger Craig Smith. He has voiced him in over twenty-five entries, including recent Sonic games. In 2020's Sonic the Hedgehog movie, which is known for being a surprisingly great video game film, he’s voiced by funny guy Ben Schwartz.
2 Garrett – Thief
Sometimes evolving technology plays a role in the recasting of voice actors. In 2013, it was revealed that the voice actor for Garret in Thief would no longer be Stephen Russell. Instead, he’d be voiced and motion-captured by Romano Orzari.
This was controversial to fans as Russell had voiced Garrett for so long. The studio decided to change the performer because they wanted someone who could do both the motion capture and the voice at the same time to play off the other performers to provide a more convincing performance.
1 Xehanort/Ansem – Kingdom Hearts
Sometimes a voice actor changes and no reasoning is ever really given. While fans and gamers don’t always need an answer, many people will wildly speculate why a change has occurred. This is especially true if the new voice actor is perceived to be less successful in the role and fans are calling for a previous actor to come back.
This is the case for the role of Xehanort/Ansem from Kingdom Hearts. In the first game, he was voiced by Billy Zane. Later he would be replaced by veteran voice actor Richard Epcar. In all honesty, though, they’re both successful in their own ways in the role.
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