Hello PlayStation community! Last month, we announced that Valkyria Chronicles 4 will be landing on Western shores on September 25. A lot of work has been done to bring this incredible game to the West, including implementing full English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish subtitles, as well as recording a full English voice-over. For fans of the original Japanese dub, dual audio tracks will be available in the full game, so you can switch back and forth at will. Today though, we’re diving deep into the voice direction for the English voice-over with Sega Associate Localization Producer and lead for Valkyria Chronicles 4, Andrew Davis, using the game’s prologue cutscene as reference.
5Jonathon Stebel: About how long was the English VO recording process for the game?
Andrew Davis: We spent about 10 weeks total in the studio, starting with the untimed lines – VO with no timing restrictions – and then moving on to the Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR), the scenes where we match voices to characters’ lip-flap. We also had some re-recordings to fine-tune parts of the localization we wanted to improve. We kept the exact same team members present throughout the recording process to ensure consistency in the VO’s direction.
JS: This prologue cutscene starts with a black screen while Claude, the game’s lead character, talks over it. Since you record to match lip flaps, is it kind of a nice break for the team when you have a scene like this without any animation?
AD: In most cases yes, it’s nice to not worry about matching animations. However, Claude’s Japanese VO for this opening scene had so many extended pauses that it took a lot of work to match the English script and VO to the Japanese even without animation to worry about. We also had to consider the length of the subtitles for each spoken phrase; each line needed to be short enough in subtitles to look presentable, but the audio needed to be as long and drawn out as possible to match the heavy, deflated tone in the scene.