auronlu: (Faris)
Wow, these guys are great THIS GUY are sick. Rina, this one's for you:


They've He's also done "epic medleys" for FFV and FFIX, plus shorter vids for FFX and FFVII.

His Final Fantasy playlist

auronlu: (Looks Could Kill)
Hey, Sissy.

Look whom I've acquired for a sparring partner:

I will spoil nothing, but Nabaat is absolutely everything you could ask for. She will beat the pulp out of you with a sneer and a smile.

It's so good to hear that Evil Lulu voice once again, purring while she's playing with her food. Paula Tiso is a scary, scary woman. She has lots of fun battle quotes.

Apparently, like you, I have a masochistic streak. I don't normally enjoy getting my party decimated every few seconds in a long grinding boss battle. I feel proud that I kept them hanging on for a good twenty minutes before I gave up -- for now -- since she was healing faster than I could put a dent in her. I must study strategy ... there must be SOME way to get past her
defenses. Even if I never manage to beat her, it's fun dueling with her.

Also, I can use her to help me get back into Lulu's headspace for writing LHAD. I depend so much on character voices.

(speaking of voices, I noticed Elma/Drace/Yunalesca is voicing a couple minor npcs, including the Mystic in Serendipity, Shelinda has been reincarnated as one of those scary choco-call-girls in the casino, handing out prizes; and I'm 99% sure that Yeul is Shelke. Maroda pops up a few times as various npcs on guard duty. No sign of O'aka/Maechen/Old Dalan/Lt. Broccoli/Dwight Schultz, though. )

Edit *peers at IMdB* Good heavens. I went to grad school with Choco - loco - lina. I see Lucil/Dona, Axel/Reno/Isaaru, and most of the FFX voice crew listed as additional voices, and yes, Dwight Schultz IS there somewhere, phew. As is Gideon Emery (Balthier). Also... Caius is the VA for Red XIII in Advent Children. Snerk.
auronlu: (phear da crack)
 OH. EM. GEE. From <user=filkertom>: 

This is a full hour and twenty minutes, and it takes about 5 minutes to set up and introduce the voice actors (including John DiMaggio -- Bender/Wakka/Kimahri/Migelo -- and Tara Strong, Bubbles/Rikku/Twilight Sparkle). 

Various well-known voice actors read the script of Star Wars using their characters. No, Tara Strong is NOT playing Leia. I'm not going to spoil it, but pan forward to about 7:00 to have your brain explode.

I will be watching the whole thing tomorrow. With an inhaler ready. 

[[EDIT: mostly hilarious, but I did not find the black jokes funny. whisky tango heliotrope?!]]
auronlu: (Default)

NaturalReader has started going balky on me; it's lost its pronunciation dictionary. So, I'm back to the Mac's built-in voices. I rely a lot on text-to-speech to have my computer read aloud to me when my eyes are bothering me, when I'm doing chores or driving. I've even burned some favorite fanfiction to CD. (Justira's Clarion; for some reason I'm stuck on that story.) 

I discovered instructions for using the Mac's own built-in voices to create audiofiles of text files.

Things to add to those instructions:
  • It works better if you save the file as plaintext. When I tried to convert RTF, the audiofile included thirty seconds of formatting codes before it got on with the actual textfile. 
  • You need to move the computer's focus to the folder holding the text file, which means UNIX navigation commands. ls means "list stuff", i.e. the contents of the current folder or directory.  cd foldername means "change directory," that is, move to a folder within the current folder.  cd ..  means jump up a level. (So cd ../spoo means "go up a level, then down into folder spoo). UNIX commands are case sensitive.
  • I can't seem to make it export as an mp3, only aiff, a soundfile which iTunes will recognize. Unfortunately, the iPad doesn't seem to read aiffs. Old versions of iTunes can convert an aiff soundfile to mp3 under the Advanced menu. Newer versions convert to AAC format instead, which works on an iPad. There's probably a utility out there for converting aiff to mp3, if your itunes is missing that helpful converter.
All of which sounds like a lot of work, but the end result is an audiofile of a story or fanfic of your choice. 

auronlu: (Shani)
 For so many years, I have seen of FFVI as the best of the series, that I think I built up my expectations too high.

I'm mostly cranky because I just got killed for the second time in as many days by yet another timed fetch-quest. I hate those. Hate hate hate hate hate...ahem. So I will now be playing through the Floating Island sequence and its timed-quest again, and then, if I survive, I can look forward to the timed-quest that just killed me. Hello, arthritis!

But it's not just the timed-quest problem. I've come to realize that I depend more than anything else on characterization— mannerisms, speaking styles, personalities, past histories, interactions, dialog, speeches.  Follow that up with worldbuilding and interesting settings. And then, at the bottom of the priority heap, plot. Sounds a lot like my writing. I also wither up and die in urban and technological dystopias, which is why Midgar has always given me trouble (luckily, FFVII has some well-defined characters, dialog and interactions). 

Or maybe I just don't like clowns. Or maybe I'm confused because the cackling purple octopus seems like it belongs in a much sillier game than the rest.

I don't know. There are character developments, and Celes is interesting (like Beatrix in IX, except as a PC). But I still feel like I'm bumbling around Twilight Town waiting for the party to gel. It's a huge, huge cast of characters, and since they can't count on any one set of party members at any time, there's a lot less person-specific dialog and moments.

It's not really that I dislike VI, but after everything I've heard, I expected it to knock my socks off, and so far, no luck. Whereas V, with all its shallowness and early-early RPG simplicity, amused me more. Maybe because it was more lightweight. But I still got to know the main party's characters better, because there were only 4-5 of them, and they all had something to say at major plot points. VI can't, again, because only a few of the characters are fixed for any given scene.

I had no idea I was so dialog-driven.

Kefka helps, because he's got distinct mannerisms and animations, but few of the characters do.

The funny thing is, I'll take choppy voice acting (X) and worse translations (V), so long as there's enough information that I can figure out what people are supposed to sound like. It's the same way I can listen to fiction (Dorothy Sayers, Justira's writing, Ellnyx's writing) read aloud by my lousy text-to-speech program and fill in the real voices in my head. 

Then again, I am consistently backwards from everyone else; my favorites are X, XII,XIII, V, VIII, roughly in that order.

P.S.  Updated Flist from DOINK friendmeme; apologies. I thought when I added someone as a friend it granted access, too..*peers at DW*

auronlu: (Default)
My voice acting junkie heart goes pit-a-pat.

Someone has finally done a complete Japanese undub of Final Fantasy X, start to finish: the game's English subtitles with Japanese voices. Of course, sometimes the English localization departs from the original, but now we've got the whole thing!

Final Fantasy Project: Playlist

Voices I like more: Seymour, Tidus, Yuna, Elma, Mika, Brother, Barthello, all the children and most of the unnamed extras
Voices I like in both games, but they're different: Lulu, Wakka, Rikku, Lucil, Tromell (hee!), Kelk, Zuke (very convincing in just a few lines), Jyscal Shelinda, Bahamut, Braska, Jecht
Voices I like better in English: Auron, Belgemine, Maechen, Cid, Kimahri, Yunalesca

Seymour's the kicker. In the English, he's so danged smarmy you want to punch him in the nose the instant he opens his mouth. In the original, he's far more dangerous, because he sounds reasonable, thoughtful, respectful, persuasive. It's easier to believe lots of people would be swayed by him.

Also, Tidus carries the story better, and Yuna's not Shatnering in a misguided attempt to lip-synch.

Oddly, nearly everyone is more soft-spoken in the original, barring a few glass-shattering shrieks from Rikku in the Thunder Plains.

auronlu: (Bobblehead Night)
No, really.

My Mom spoke briefly with Vayne Solidor yesterday.

Apparently he's currently doing a bang-up job as Richard the III and Oberon.

She did not, however, call him out for the murder of King Raminas. I am disappointed.

Whoever wrote the program for the Utah Shakespeare Festival has trouble with Roman numerals. It said he voiced Vayne Solidor in Final Fantasy VII. Which strikes me as some sort of fanfiction prompt, come to think of it.
auronlu: (Bobblehead Night)
I'm still trying to get a sense of whether I can do an audiofile of LHAD, my Final Fantasy X serial. It's surprisingly difficult to read clearly without putting the listener to sleep -- both vital in an audiobook.

Final Fantasy X
Characters: Isaaru, Maroda, Pacce, Auron
Rating: PG
Love Her and Despair Mp3s:
Chapter 1    Chapter 2

~ Love Her and Despair Project

I now know why Yuna has a bad case of Shatner in FFX's voiceover: she actually has asthma.

Now, WHY the bling blang can't I catch Lucil's voice at all? My acting skills are laughable, but I can at least capture the rhythms of some people's voices (Isaaru's are quite distinctive; the man always sounds like he's on valium). Lucil is defeating me. Even if I expand my sound samples to include Dona and repeat right after her, I sound nothing like her. Weird.

(On a side note, I discovered her VA has a quite amusing repertoire -- I am now trying to imagine Lucil with that maniacal cackle taking over the Youth League and forcing all the males to wear skin-tight leotards and garters while riding in cavalry charges.)
auronlu: (Default)
You've heard me pimp Heather Dale before.

Here's a random fanvid of one of her songs, which is about Joan of Arc.

And here's a WTF Final Fantasy Advent Children video that doesn't entirely go with Heather's music, but what the hey.

Here's her website, where you can purchase CDs or download Mp3s.

And here is my new Heather Dale fan page with sound samples, another fanvid, and enough evidence of a crush that she may have to take out a restraining order. But anyway.

She's good people. She's a beautiful singer and a bright soul. I'd like to tell anyone who's remotely interested in Celtic or pagan or indie women musicians to check her out.
auronlu: (Shani)
Just finished work and meant to post this earlier. I'll forget by the time I wake up.

I heard FF8's "Eyes on Me" -- the vocals version, end-of-game sountrack -- piped over the loudspeakers of the grocery store where I was shopping.

Of course, I was shopping in a Mitsuwa supermarket for sushi ingredients. (I go there once every week or so, num num). It was still startling.

It's a lovely song. I don't usually like goop and mush, but somehow that one works. I had to stay and listen.

In other news, I totally FAIL at making tamago.
auronlu: (Default)
...and a few random observations I never posted because they weren't interesting enough to deserve a post.

1. I think maybe Auron's voice actor is actually the first voice we hear in FFX after "Listen to my story." I think he may be voicing Zanar, the sports announcer in Zanarkand. No credit listed anywhere I can find, however.

2. There is a Buster Sword sprite in FFX which a hacker has said (unconfirmed) was used during testing. Hacking lets you swap it in place of a regular weapon.

3. I just found these notes I scribbled months ago and never posted. They're a little longwinded and rambly, and I'm sure a native Japanese speaker would peer at some of my fumbling/guessing. (My favorite bit: Lulu's relationship with Zuke may be illuminated by the title she uses for him. Though I fear it erodes my head-canon that Lady Ginnem had taken young Lulu under her wing.)

Long rambly notes on honorifics in FFX-2 )
auronlu: (Blah)
I've been toying with the idea of recording Love Her and Despair as a book on tape.

Once upon a time, I was an amateur bard performing songs and stories. But now, asthma and sinusitis have given me a nasal and breathless delivery. I never could manage reading dialog and action very well; I was better at a folktale delivery where one didn't have to indicate change of speaker.

Option 2 is to use NaturalReader software to create Mp3s artificially. The pronunciation editor is flaky-- rather than let me type phonics, I have to try various misspellings and hope it gets one of them right-- and sometimes it gets the emphasis in a word or sentence incorrect. But on the whole, it does a remarkably good job.

Either way, I have to do a certain amount of editing and processing to get a passable recording, snipping out my stammers and pops or beating on Heather's wonky pronunciations and pacing to the extent that I can.

So here's recordings for Chapter 44 of Love Her and Despair, broken into two chunks since it's a long chapter:

Live recording: Part One | Part Two
Text-to-Speech: Part One | Part Two

[Poll #1651551]

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