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Connections: Jade Empire to Left 4 Dead

What the fuck is this? Iíll tell you. Itís a thing where I trawl IMDB with the intent to link two games together via their themes, names, cast and crew. Itís not meant to be short or direct, itís designed to be exploratory; discovering weird shit you didnít know about. I recommend doing this passively, in your own time. Thereís a lot to be discovered.

Sherman Howard worked on Jade Empire, having also worked on a ridiculous number of sequels including Jak and Daxter 2, Devil May Cry 2, Summoner 2 and Red Alert 2. In Red Faction 2, he played the role of chancelor Sopot - the charismatic and well scripted Stalin-esque villain of the game. Quite a number of celebrity voices were used in Red Faction 2, such as Lance Henriksen and Jason Statham, but one actor stands out among the Imdb listings as being the only one without a portrait photo - David Thomas.

This is probably because he seems to exclusively do game voiceovers. His library of work is broad, covering many familiar games in many different genres. Chaos Legion, Enter the Matrix, Gabriel Knight 3 and a Might and Magic game, as well as having worked in other big franchises such as Metal Gear Solid and Diablo II. He also played the lead voice in Freedom Fighters, the first game by IO Interactive that wasn't a Hitman game.

Nicolas Worth played a Colonel in Freedom Fighters, similar to his role as Premier Alexander Romanov in Red Alert 2. He was a charming and charismatic character in the Red Alert universe, however, this was his last acting role as he died in May of 2007. This is why he was tactfully omitted from Red Alert 3.

Udo Kier who plays Yuri, has been in a few recent films, the most relevant to us being Uwe Boll's Bloodrayne and Far Cry films. Incidentally, a name that jumped out at me while browsing the Far Cry game was Robert Burns, who it turns out, played the same character. He also played the excellent role of Pey'j in Beyond Good and Evil, alongside Jodie Forrest and David Gasman. This duo has quite a few common productions; XIII, Rayman, Fahrenheit, Syberia II, Dark Earth and a cartoon series called Code Lyoko. But as you starts to explore this space, it becomes apparent that many of these actors are recycled from one production to the next. Sharon Mann, Allan Wenger, Matthew Gťczy, Christian Erickson, Barbara Scaff and Paul Bandey are all also seen in many of the same games and shows.

One for example, is Dark Messiah, which I refuse to afix "of Might and Magic" to because it fuck all to do with that franchise, except the abysmal voice acting. It is a feat how they managed to be completely faithless to the source material except in what is possibly the blandest, weakest area of the game. Speaking of sequels that aren't, Far Cry 2 is notable for its long list of voices, none of whom are credited for individual roles. So let's just pick one at random. Don Jordan. The last video game he worked on, prior to Far Cry 2 was Splinter Cell: Double Agent.

Dwight Schultz provided voice for Double Agent, but using him is like a goddamn wild card. He has done voice for so many games that you can pretty much just pick and choose as you wish. He voiced Paulie in The Darkness, and The Darkness itself was voiced by Mike Patton. He seems to specialise in growly, sinister sounds, which explains why he did the Anger Sphere in Portal, and also contributed to the sounds of the Infected in Left 4 Dead.

So, here is the final and complete list of links:
1. Jade Empire
2. Sherman Howard
3. Red Faction II
4. David Thomas
5. Freedom Fighters
6. Nicholas Worth
7. Red Alert II
8. Udo Kier
9. Far Cry
10. Robert Burns
11. Beyond Good and Evil
12. David Gasman
13. Fahrenheit
14. Any of those people
15. Dark Messiah of Fuck All Yíall
16. Far Cry 2
17. Don Jordan
18. Splinter Cell: Double Agent
19. Dwight Schultz
20. The Darkness
21. Mike Patton
22. Left 4 Dead

Random facts from this list:
- Someone called ďLuc BerandĒ provided voice for BG&E.
- Mike Patton is doing voice for that awesome looking Edge of Twilight game.
- Tyrone Benskin was listed under Far Cry 2. He was the Persian emissary in 300.
- Michael Ironside (Sam Fisher) was also in Tiberium Wars, and Joseph Kucan (Kane) directed the Red Alert series of cinematics.
- David Gasman played both Lucas and Tyler in Fahrenheit.
- Many of the actors in this list are somehow associated with something called Largo Winch, whatever that is.
- I nearly met Udo Kier once. I just couldn't bring myself to walk the 100 metres from where I was to where he was like a shameless fanboy.

I like Left 4 Dead.
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About UglyDuckone of us since 8:19 AM on 01.08.2007

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