There are a few universal truths we all live by. Gravity makes things fall, the Earth is round, and video game dialogue is awful. More often than not, it’s so bad that it comes right back around to being downright hilarious. I couldn’t tell you exactly why, is it bad localisations? Terrible dialogue? Awful acting? Sometimes it’s even bad on purpose (we’ll get to that), with that one thing’s for certain, video game dialogue is one of the best forms of entertainment. So today on Culture of Gaming I want to take a look at some of the finest moments of written, voiced, or even sung dialogue in gaming.
“What Am I Fighting For?!?!”
We’re starting off strong, very strong.
Mega Man X is a series loved by many, it has great level design, bosses, gameplay mechanics, and generally tight platforming. However, one thing Mega Man X4 doesn’t do well is its voice acting.
I’ll set the scene, it’s an incredibly serious moment as Zero rescues Iris, but she’s been badly damaged. Now any normal person would be in a state of panic, I’m not going to deny that, she could’ve died! But Zero takes, shall we say, a different approach:
Source – Zero254
Instead of just being upset, Zero decides to blurt out “No this isn’t happening, there’s no reason for me to go on, w-what am I fighting for?!”
I added the comma’s to make sure it reads well, as Zero just sort of announces this all at once without taking a breath. The entire game is filled with gems like this one too. Dr. Light calling Dr. Wily “Dr. Wawee” is a standout.
Look them up online, it’s all absolute gold.
“All your Base are Belong to Us”
Don’t panic, you read that right.
This one comes straight from the Sega Mega Drive game Zero Wing. It happens within the first minute of starting the game, and I’ll tell you, the entire thing is a blast. Questions without question marks and broken English, it’s a recipe for some great content. The best part comes when the villain, who I believe is called “Cats”… says the titular phrase to the heroes:
Source – TOMGC
You can tell this one was popular because it got the ‘Steamed Hams’ treatment. It’s been around on the internet for a long time, and that speaks to its sheer ludicrous brilliance.
The Whole of Resident Evil
I honestly can’t just give you one example for the first Resident Evil. Yeah there are the standouts like the ‘Jill Sandwich’, but almost every line is incredible. It’s 90s cheese at its peak, although Wesker might be the best, he’s so obviously evil it just makes it dumb. If you want to see a lot of them a video from Next of Ken chronicles the 30 ‘best’ lines in the game, and it’s worth a watch.
It seems funny that Resident Evil is seen by many be the original survival horror title, be genuinely scary, and then have lines like this. “[Barry] how about going down to check by yourself, I have a rope here. [Jill] Oh do you? Then I’ll try to go down using the rope”.
I don’t know how Capcom managed to get the perfect blend of flat acting and bad translations for a whole game, but I think most of us are glad they did. Sadly though the remake on the GameCube fixed a lot of these issues, which may have made an overall better game, but who wants that?
Sonic Adventure 1 & 2
If you read my recent article about the good and bad of Sonic games, you’ll know where this is going. These games have a habit of having unpolished dialogue, bad scene direction, and even some straight up technical errors. The scene shown below brings all these aspects into one great little package:
Source – Politoed
The horrendous camera zooms just help to accentuate the fact that this feels like it was filmed on a playground. Not only that, but Sonic cuts off Shadow in the middle of his sentence. Poor form! Never before or since has there been a perfect storm other than the ‘faker’ scene from Sonic Adventure 2.
Now, imagine all that but dialled up to 11 for Sonic Adventure 1. What seals it for me with the first game is how all the characters mouths don’t quite function like a regular persons. Yes I know they’re all animals but still, can you explain this!
Now imagine the words “Ah. Watch out. You’re going to crash. Ah!” Coming out of that mouth. Doesn’t feel right does it?
Video game dialogue doesn’t get more inappropriate than Bethesda’s Rogue Warrior. Yeah… Bethesda are behind this one. The main character, voiced by Mickey Rourke, is a tough as nails U.S. Navy Seal with the attitude to match. So what the problem then?
I was going to link a video that had all the quotes, but I don’t think it would be appropriate. Although I do want to give you a taste, as long as it’s safe. One of my favourites is:
“Karl Marx, F**k Karl Marx he’s a big F****** ****** *****” – you might be able to tell what a couple of those words are, but any that are way too inappropriate have just been completely censored. For the sake of the children.
Sadly in the game they aren’t censored, at all. Its constant swearing and expletive language, it’s insufferable. It doesn’t really come around to being that funny this one sadly. Although it is funny to think about who at Bethesda thought this was a good idea.
That scene from Devil May Cry
You know the one.
Source – DMCLLLIIIGGGHHHTTT (I respect how they know exactly what they’ll be uploading)
We’re starting to rehash old ground here, as this scene from the original Devil May Cry is just, terrible. It’s another emotional moment akin to Mega Man X4 that’s undercut by bad acting. Couldn’t they just take the line a couple more times? If they did I’d love to see all the other ones, because that would mean this was the best one.
The DK Rap
Before you say anything, I know this is supposed to be so bad its good. Which is exactly why I left it until the end of this list. This might actually be the most 90s thing of all time, in the best way. With that said the DK rap is absolutely the worst thing to ever happen to anyone ever, and yet it’s a total jam!
Source – frzi
Whats funnier is that almost the entire team at Rare came together to create this awfully brilliant abomination. With Grant Kirkhope writing the music, George Andreas and Chris Sutherland singing, and many others on the team doing the chorus. It’s dumb, it was dumb at the time, and I think that’s why we all love it so much.
So that was out list of some of video game dialogue that was so bad it’s good! What did I miss? Let me know on twitter @WillNelson1998. If you want check out some of my other articles, here they are. One about whether or not Sonic the Hedgehog is good or bad, and another on the disappearance of video game mascots! As always, thanks for reading COG!