Sometimes there are things that you come across all the time, but never put really think about. Kind of the way that you never think about your breathing rate until someone mentions it (like right now — ha!).
In the case of Jen Taylor, you know her as the voice of Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, and Toad in just about every single Mario game from 1999 onward, starting with Mario Golf for the N64.
OK, maybe that’s not terribly impressive. After all, Nintendo characters never spout lines longer than a word or two. But it’s also worth noting that she’s also the voice of Master Chief’s main digital squeeze, Cortana, in the Halo series. She’s the Chief’s trustiest ally, and also managed to convey some oddly tangible sexual tension between the two. I mean, really: Why shouldn’t a man be able to wed the artificial intelligence embedded in his head?
Of course, there can’t be any discussion about voice actors without bringing up Nolan North, a man who is as talented as he is maligned for being in more games than there are … things that there are a lot of. (Hey, give me a break. 143 is a big, weird number)
Most of the time, North speaks in his normal voice, and this is the voice that has made Nathan Drake from Uncharted one of the most well-like characters in this generation of games. Despite the impossible feats that Drake accomplishes in the series, he manages to come across as completely unassuming and relatable, thanks in no small part to the masterful direction that Naughty Dog gives North (and the rest of the cast, for that matter).
Because of the superior production over at ND, many of North’s characters in other games can sound like less interesting versions of Nathan Drake (see: Desmond Miles). When he’s given more … interesting roles, though, he can still shine. Just this year alone he’s done a stellar job in a small but hysterical role as the Adventure Core in Portal 2, which was pretty much a parody of Nate Drake, and did a great job as The Penguin in last week’s Batman: Arkham City.
Sure, Nolan North is a crapton of video games. But when your work as one of gaming’s most endearing characters has casting directors throwing cash at you from every direction to be in their games, wouldn’t you do the same?