Archive for July, 2011

Vocals of Phantasia

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Last week at GameSetWatch, I wrote about a new Spanish fan translation for Namco’s light gun shooter Time Crisis. Along with translated text, it features rerecorded dialog that required the efforts of seven different voice actors. It’s remarkably well-done, especially when considering that dubbing is rarely attempted in amateur game translations.

Below is a previous experiment in fan dubbing. “Vocals of Phantasia” was a translation patch released for Namco’s Super Nintendo RPG Tales of Phantasia several years back. The intro’s pretty funny (is she singing words?), but skip to 2:07 for the best part. Trust me, you need to hear this.

Isn’t it great? Every line is spoken in a muffled hush that’s less sotto voce and more “I’ll wake up my parents if I make too much noise.” I find a new thing to laugh at every time I watch this, from the sleepy “Though I am close to death I have never been more alive,” to the classic “Wait god of thunder hmm.”

Nintendo of America tried to outclass Vocals of Phantasia with its own dub, released for the Game Boy Advance in 2006. Amazingly, it succeeded. It succeeded in the best possible way.

Video Game Vocal Trax: NARC (Arcade)

Monday, July 4th, 2011

In 1988, Midway released NARC, a side-scrolling arcade shooter in which players waged a literal war on drugs. And prostitution. And dumpsters.

While it’s admirable that someone finally had the guts to craft a revenge fantasy against the armies of jean-jacketed PCP addicts and perverted clowns that once terrorized the streets of America, Midway’s fascination with extreme violence undercut the anti-drug message a bit. Though arresting drug dealers is presented as an option, NARC makes it explicitly clear that the preferred solution is to explode them with rockets and let their severed limbs rain from the skies like confetti in a Fourth of July gore parade.

NARC is also a very loud game that wasn’t afraid to show off its digitized voice samples. When a NARC cabinet is turned up to maximum volume (as is its default setting), an otherwise unassuming video arcade is transformed into a dissonant carnival of UUUGHs and BLAAAAGHs and YOU’RE BUSTEDs. And whenever a player’s credit ends and a new high score is earned, everyone within 200 feet of the machine is treated to this:

Also worth mentioning is the background music that plays during NARC’s second level. It’s not a vocal track…or at least, it wasn’t, until it was covered and released as a B-side by the goddamned Pixies.

Lyrics are here, if you’re having trouble deciphering them.

I guess if man is five, then the devil is six, and if the devil is six then AW NAW NAW NAW THE NARCS MAN