Remembering Carrie Fisher’s video game voice work
Last Tuesday, the world was rocked by the death of actress Carrie Fisher in the wake of a heart attack she suffered a few days prior. Fisher, who was 60 at the time of her passing, played her most iconic role, that of Princess Leia Organa, in a total of five different Star Wars movies (if you count this year’s Episode VIII) but you might be surprised to hear that she only voiced Princess Leia in a grand total of one video game, 2015’s Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, you might be even more surprised to hear that The Force Awakens wasn’t her first video game voice acting gig, that honor goes to the original Dishonored which was released way back in 2012.
If you can’t recall hearing Fisher’s voice in Dishonored, don’t worry because you’re far from alone. Publisher Bethesda and developer Arkane Studios didn’t really publicize the fact that Dishonored actually featured several high-profile actors along with Fisher, including Brad Dourif (Wormtongue in the Lord of the Rings films), Susan Sarandon, Lena Heady (Game of Thrones’ Cersei Lannister), and Michael Madsen among others. What was particularly interesting about Fisher’s voice lines, though, was that unless certain conditions were met, the player could go through the entire game without ever hearing them.
In Plain Sight
When you play Dishonored, a male voice can sometimes be heard speaking over a loudspeaker, announcing edicts, broadcasting public service announcements, and spreading propaganda. In the “Return to the Tower” mission, the player can actually find and kill that male propaganda officer if they choose. If the male propaganda officer is killed, he is replaced by a female voice later on in the game, the voice of Carrie Fisher.
In total, Fisher only recorded a handful of lines for the game, and only two made it into the final build:
“Do not interfere with the regular transfer of deceased persons to disposal centers in the Flooded District.”
“Any disturbance in the region of Dunwall Tower this evening has been the result of a previously scheduled training exercise."
You can hear her voice at the 6:25 mark in the video below:
Since the broadcast announcements are meant to act as background ambiance, many players likely didn’t even realize it was Carrie Fisher speaking them, even if they did trigger the conditions which allowed them to hear the lines in the first place. While Fisher’s role was ultimately a small one, her brief time at Arkane Studios was still enough to make a strong positive impact on the Dishonored development team according to creative director Harvey Smith, proving yet again that Fisher was an unstoppable force of good even when she wasn’t in front of a camera. It’s probably no surprise, then, that Star Wars gamers are working so hard to make sure Fisher’s legacy is not soon forgotten.