In an interview by Fragged Nation, co-hosted by KorruptRonin and YongYea, voice actor Christopher Randolph answered questions about his roles in the various Metal Gear games. He has done the voice for Otacon in MGS, 2 and 4, and Huey (Otacon’s father) in Peace Walker and The Phantom Pain.
When asked about the differences between the two characters Hal (Otacon) and Huey, Christopher said they’re very different, but in very subtle ways. “Whereas Otacon is very much a hero in many respects, Huey is a little more in the ‘grey area.” Christopher explained. “He is not ‘evil’, one of these super bad guys, but […] his moral judgement is, I think, not as clear and locked in as Otacon’s is.” He then added: “And I think actually the reason that Otacon’s is so locked in is because of what he knew about his dad.”
Talking about the voice specifically, he said: “When we did Peace Walker it took a little bit to try and figure out how Huey sounded. Huey’s really much more my normal voice. […] It’s a brain shift.”
Christopher also confirmed he’s doing the facial capture for Huey as well as providing the voice. “There was quite a bit of facial capture done in TPP.” he explained. “I haven’t seen a lot of it, but the little bit I’ve seen is just astounding. It’s really amazing, it’s like you’re in a movie.” The body motion capture on the other hand is done be a completely different person. “But it doesn’t look like either of us.” Christopher said. “It’s this sort of hybrid creation, and I think that’s really cool.”
During the interview they also talked about the relationship between Big Boss and Huey in The Phantom Pain. Although Christopher couldn’t say a lot about it and he had to be careful not to reveal too much, he did say some general things. “It’s interesting, because to some degree, like Otacon (particularly in game 1), Huey as the scientific genius is not particularly powerful. And in the face of all these powerful forces, he is often the victim. But what he knows is valuable to people. And so I think he gets used in a number of respects.”
At another point in the interview he also stated: “In TPP you’re going to learn about some of the family’s dark history. And the fact that they put that in is very very smart.”
During recording they were very secretive, and it took some probing from Christopher to get some answers about what was going on in the game. “Am I a good guy or a bad guy? What’s happening? […] There’s no right answer to that, actually. And I think that’s actually kind of interesting, because nobody is all good or all bad.” Christopher concluded the answer with these words: “I think it’s very exciting and very dramatic what Huey goes through, and I think it’s going to be really extraordinary. And I really look forward to hearing what people think of it.”
When talking about Kiefer Sutherland, Christopher explained he never actually met Kiefer in the studio, he was only working with his recorded voice. But he did seem impressed by the work. “I think his performance is terrific, but it’s obviously a different Snake than David’s. And so I’m really going to have to leave it up to the fans what people think. Kiefer is an extraordinary actor and I think this was probably a new process to him. […] I’m going to be very interested to see his performance.” he said. “I think he pulls it off. I don’t know, you guys will have to be the judge.”
Fans will probably be able to get an idea of what’s going on by piecing together Ground Zeroes’ cassette tapes and the trailers released so far. “It all fits together. There’s nothing in Phantom Pain that doesn’t fit with whatever you’ve seen in Ground Zeroes.”
When asked Christopher also hinted at the fact that some more cassette tapes ‘may be’ in the game in which you will learn more about Huey.
Christopher was also asked if we will see a different side of Huey, given the fact that Kojima said characters in The Phantom Pain will undergo dramatic changes as a result of the climactic events in Ground Zeroes. Again, Christopher couldn’t reveal much about this but said: “The short answer is yes.”
Another questions revolved around Huey’s role in the game. “I think that he’s a key element to the storyline.” Christopher said. “He may not appear a whole lot, but when he does there’s some very very interesting and exciting things going on, both good and bad.”
Christopher couldn’t answer if player’s choices will affect his role in the game (for instance whether Quiet lives or dies depends on the player’s actions), since he doesn’t know how his recorded lines will be used. He did say this: “I think that is the cool thing about TPP. It’s going to be a different game every time you play it, and for every player, with the individual choices and the way you go about it. It’s going to offer so much possibility. I think it’s going to be really exciting.”
Christopher then got asked if there were any controversial elements in the story, and if there were things that have shocked him or made him uncomfortable. “Yeah.” Christopher said. “There’s a couple of things that are really… I would say: graphically shocking.”
Responding to the question whether Huey will be experiencing loss like Hal, and go through a similar emotional spectrum, he said: “I will say that you will definitely see Huey go through a very large emotional spectrum. That’s really all I can say.” And the performance capture plays a role in this. “You will definitely get to know Huey. And then the other thing is, I think because they did quite a lot of facial capture, TPP is really going to be like watching a movie, with almost life human beings.”
During the interview Christopher also talked about earlier Metal Gear games, and answered some more general questions.
On the subject as how he got the role of Otacon for the first Metal Gear Solid, Christopher explained he was always interested in acting, and when he took some acting classes he met Jennifer Hale and Kris Zimmerman. When auditions began for MGS about a year later, Kris asked him if he wanted to audition for Snake. When Christopher was done auditioning and was about to leave the recording booth, Kris stopped him, and he saw there was some discussion going on between her and some Japanese people. Then she asked him if he wanted to try another character. She handed him a picture of Otacon, and Christopher noticed the similarities between himself and the character. He did the audition and got the part.
Christopher then got asked what about playing Otacon keeps him drawing in all these years. “There’s several things.” he answered. “The process of doing it is really fun, I actually enjoy it. I enjoy the actual going into the studio and doing the work. The character really is such a part of me, and I’m so fond of him.” Another reason for him to keep coming back is the quality of Metal Gear’s story. “But I also feel like… It sort of goes back to what I said about the detail of Metal Gear.” Christopher explained. “I’m an actor, I’m a storyteller in that respect. That’s what interests me, and there’s, you know, some amazing storylines in Metal Gear and the history and there’s some extraordinary scenes of you know great drama. […] And for an actor, that’s what you want to be doing. You want to play that stuff.” He also mentioned he thinks that fanbase is remarkable, saying he constantly meets people of all types who are genuinely moved by the games, sometimes telling him that they helped them through some difficult times. “To be able to have that effect as an actor is really rewarding.” Christopher said. “So far the kind of broadest reach that I’ve had as an actor is from Metal Gear. So I want to stay with it.”
When asked wether he played all of the games, Christopher replied that he has played MGS1 all the way through and bits and pieces of the other games, and he is planning to get a new PlayStation for The Phantom Pain. “It’s really really fun. I really enjoy it when I play it.”
On the question ‘are you really an otaku’, Christopher answered that he doesn’t think he qualifies as one, but he does have a deep appreciation for the art of Japanese anime.
Two of the scenes that stand out for him are the deaths of Emma Emmerich and Sniper Wolf. Christopher was asked what he thought it was that drew Otacon to Sniper Wolf.
“I think there’s something for Otacon about the lone wolf, you know? I think he identifies with that, given his family history and his sensitivity as a character. […] I think he saw something in Sniper Wolf, a vulnerability, you know, the fact that she’s a loner. […] I think that Otacon relates one some level and really emphasizes with the loneliness and the kind of self reliance necessary to be able to do that, and he was pulled in by that.”
What did Christopher think Otacon would do after MGS4 and Solid Snake’s death? Given the strong connection between the two characters, it was surely a huge loss for Otacon, but he has shown before he is able to cope with loss. Because of this, Christopher believes Otacon is a survivor and was able to move on. Would he like to do a ‘Metal Gear Otacon’ game? Laughing: “Sign me up!”
The last question was: Do you think love can bloom on a battlefield?
Christopher laughed and answered: “Yes I do. I think that love can bloom anywhere, as long as you’re looking for it. And then you just have to nurture it, and there it is.”
To see the entire interview, follow the link in the source section below.