Nintendo

Nintendo rejected some placeholder grunts & screams for Samus in Metroid Prime for being too “sexual” & “sensual”

Every now and then, people that used to work on the Metroid Prime games more than a decade ago offer a little bit more insight into how the games had been developed. Most of the insight is usually small in nature, and it tends to focus on a specific aspect of the development process of the games.

Well, there has been a little more insight that was given today. Clark Wen, the Audio Director on Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, spoke with the Kiwi Talks podcast team, and talked about the 2 Metroid Prime games. At around 31 minutes into the episode, Wen talks about Samus’ voice, revealing some new details about how the process went.

Wen said that they originally had one of the designers record some temporary placeholder sounds for Samus’ grunts and screams, because “we really wanted to make sure the impacts when Samus took damage was recognizable in the gameplay”. The sounds were never meant to be finalized, but when Nintendo sent them feedback on Samus’ voice, “they were saying it was too sexual and too sensual sounding”. Wen says that “they’re very, very particular about vocal sounds in general”, so Wen let Nintendo take the reins of the voice acting. Wen explained that they “ended up recording several actresses for Samus’ vocals, and we got them back a few months later and we ended up picking out the voice we thought worked best”.

As for the Samus voice that did make it into the final state of the game, Wen also talked about that. This has been a topic that some Metroid fans have been curious about for a while now. You see, there has been some fan speculation that Jennifer Hale, who is most known for voicing Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect games, voiced Samus in all 3 Metroid Prime games, as well as Metroid Prime Hunters. She did not receive any credit for her role as Samus in those 4 games, so there has been some uncertainty about the matter.

According to Wen, he’s 90 to 95% sure, but not completely sure, that Jennifer Hale provided Samus’ voice. Wen says that the reason for this is because the only initials on the audio files were “JH”. However. Samus’ death vocals were actually recorded by a different voice actress, with the initials “VM”, because Wen “wanted it to sound more akin to the sound in Super Metroid”. You can see Clark Wen’s interview with the Kiwi Talks podcast team down below. As previously stated, Samus’ voice is discussed 31 minutes into the episode. Jennifer Hale’s involvement in the role is the topic they discuss immediately afterwards.

7 comments

  1. Interesting. Hard to judge the original that got scrapped without hearing it. I hope some women were involved in the decision making and the judgement of whether a sound was too sexual wasn’t left soley to dudes. Nintendo seems to really care about representing women, with all the titles they have with women protagonists. You got wii fitness, you got Isabelle um what else what else. Though the ending of Mario Odyssey was a good step in my mind. Peach was like, you 2 obviously are in love with each other so explore that, and who the hell said I wanted either of you in the first place.

  2. You know, I find it very strange that nintendo don’t want female characters to sound very sexual in their games because they want to keep their characters age appropriate for gamers or kids base on their IPs. I really have no problem with that at all. However, I still want Samus to speak in her games and in Metroid Prime 4. I have no problem with silent characters.

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