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Elaine Marley on Youtube


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I liked Alexandra Boyd's voice in CMI but wasn't a fan of the work she did in the SEs and Tales. I know that Telltale had a temporary voice actor for Elaine in Tales episode 1 at one point and I've always been curious what she sounded like.

Edited by ATMachine
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I always thought that she never really got the character down. She had only a few lines in CMI, and I feel the voice direction wasn’t good enough in Tales and especially the SE’s. While I do prefer British Elaine to American Elaine, I think her EMI voice had more character.

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I think you all touch on great points, cmi Elaine really didn't have many lines so when the accent came through in tomi and the remaster it definitely was jarring especially after emi where Elaine really had the most dialog she's ever had (save perhaps tomi but its hard to say)

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Spaff's hard-hitting journalism from E3 2001 to the rescue:

 

At one point during the conversation, I summoned up the courage to ask about the change of the Elaine voice. Sean and Mike cringed, and I thought perhaps I stumbled onto a subject they didn't want to talk about. But they did. They said they considered the first Elaine voice to be too whiny and bitchy. They didn't seem to be very satisfied with the voice that ended up in EMI, though.

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Personally, I am not sure Elaine's personality has ever been successfully captured in the later sequels, at least if the objective was to evoke her personality from the first two games. I know CMI Elaine is often seen as something of a "damsel," though I think a lot of that is simply story related rather than an execution problem: she spends most of the game as a statue. To be fair to the CMI team, they had plotted a big moment for her in the climax, but it was embedded in ambitious cutscenes that were the primary casualty of a drained budget toward the end of production.

 

Elaine in EMI may have been a bit of an overcorrection. She is supposed to capable and a comic foil for Guybrush, yes, but so much of the humor in that game is really focused on emasculating Guybrush in a way can often be very funny, but that also makes the spousal dynamic regrettably reminiscent of an American sitcom (i.e. the husband as a whipped nincompoop).

 

It's a tricky balance, because of course much of humor in the Monkey Island games is at Guybrush's expense, but I think EMI trades so hard on Guybrush being this Caribbean-wide punchline that he is practically victimized, and it makes certain ancillary characters come off as less likeable than they ought. There is also a kind of whiplash in that game as a result, because Guybrush is at turns the biggest idiot in the world and the most brilliant, as the story requires. To an extent this has always been true (some of it is probably just an adventure game protagonist thing), but in EMI it's particular noticeable.

 

One thing I do like about EMI is that it really doubles down on Guybrush's hubris. We saw that characteristic spike in Monkey 2, which reintroduces him as a kind of blowhard resting on past laurels. And it makes story sense: Guybrush enjoys a status akin to pirate nobility in EMI, and it feels appropriate to his personality that he would be putting on airs and embracing the privileges of that position, even while it conflicts with his baser, undomesticated nature. I don't think this was a sustainable conceit and am glad he returned to being more of a maurader in TMI, but it was fun to get one game of uncut "hoity toity" Guybrush, cloaked in gubernatorial powers.

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Yeah. I see the sentiment of the sit-com marriage in EMI. I haven’t replayed it in a long time, but I remember Elaine being a lot more shouty and butchy in that game. If CMI Elaine sounded to bitchy and whiney to the directors of EMI, I think they could’ve handled that in the directing instead of completely recasting the part (especially with someone with a totally different accent).

I would’ve loved to hear Alexandra Boyd in EMI with more lines and a slightly tweaked direction.

 

Anyway, it’s all water under the bridge now. Although I’m looking forward to playing Tales again to have a re-evaluation on that take.

 

I’m never going back to the Special Editions though. I think the art design is just plain ugly and the voice direction (sans Guybrush, ‘cause Dom knew what he was doing) was terrible.

(Actually I heard Rob Paulsen talk about being directed by a LucasArts intern once in his podcast. He didn’t specify the project, but I think it was the SE’s.)

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I thought the voice direction in the Special Editions was good. I think the dodgier results stem from the fundamental awkwardness of performing dialog that was written to be read. The exceptionally capable Darragh O'Farrell (The Dig, CMI, EMI and pretty much every voiced LEC game from 1995 onward) is at least credited as Voice Director on those.

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Really? I would’ve never guessed Daragh was on those projects. He did such a wonderful job on those other projects...

Maybe it was a rush job? I know that in the dubbing industry I work in, they often have multiple directors on one project, although only one (the person who did the casting) gets credit.

 

On the other hand, maybe it’s my personal taste, fueled by nostalgia. I’ve played the game so many times without voice acting with my fantasy filling in the voices, that anyone would have a hard time competing with that.


Anyhow, respect to anyone who likes the SE’s. They’re just not my cup of tea.

Edited by Lagomorph01
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I wonder if Darragh was responsible for the idea of having multiple line readings for the insult-sword-fighting comebacks (ie, using them successfully or unsuccessfully) in the MI1 SE. It seems like the sort of quality move I'd expect from an LEC veteran of his stripe.

Edited by ATMachine
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I also hated the voice acting in the SOMI SE. There were some obvious exceptions (the storekeeper, for example), but for the most part everyone seemed to be doing their best to do a "funny" voice. I literally had to stop playing because it drove me up the wall it was so bad. I don't know exactly what happened, or who was to blame. 

 

Also I thought Khris Brown was the person responsible for the LucasArts voice-acting from Hit the Road onwards? Or maybe it was just Grim Fandango onwards (ie. Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Broken Age -- Schafer's titles). There was certainly a marked improvement from the abysmally voiced Fate of Atlantis, whoever it was. The first SE felt like a huge step backwards to me.

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29 minutes ago, Udvarnoky said:

While I believe she's done some directing as well, I think Brown's credits are primary as Voice Editor/Producer.

 

Her LinkedIn lists her primarily as a casting and performance director (also for TellTale, which I didn't realise) and you can see her directing the voice cast in the Broken Age documentary. I think she started as a sound editor, though.

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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