Video games are not necessarily known for their catchy, memorable one-liners, but there are some games that make us scratch our heads in disbelief and ask, “Why, in the name of White Castle cheeseburgers, does this ridiculous, earwax-expanding, brain cell-depleting dialogue exist?” We may never know the answers to that question, but fear not! 2D-X presents the 10 worst one-liners in video game history.
10. Shenmue – “Do you know where I can find some sailors?”
Meet Ryo Hazuki. He’s in his twenties, wears a brown jacket, looks constipated, and trying to avenge his father’s death. He’s also looking for sailors. We could explain the context for why this tonally-challenged young man — with a soulless look in his eyes — is looking for sailors, but where’s the fun in that?
Aside from Ryo’s other brilliant catchphrases like “Let’s get sweaty,” and “I see…”, Ryo’s fixation on sailors left many gamers scratching their heads. Fortunately, the folks at Mega64 were able to perfectly reenact Ryo’s mannerisms so we can marvel at the Shenmue‘s obvious penchant for charismatic and totally-not-creepy dialogue.
9. Resident Evil – “You were almost a Jill sandwich!”
For almost two decades, Capcom’s beloved video game franchise provided fans with countless hours of zombie-shootin’, gory goodness, but Resident Evil had its share of cringe-worthy moments, including this one. After rescuing Jill from impending doom, Jill’s S.T.A.R.S. partner Barry Burton told her that she almost became a Subway footlong special.
This savory one-liner with extra cheese became an Internet meme in 2007 and a recipe idea for zombie chefs. Fortunately for Resident Evil fans, and to the chagrin of zombies, Jill Valentine never became a sandwich. But fans will always remember Jill for her uncanny talents as the master of unlocking.
8. Dynasty Warriors 3 – “I don’t believe in magic?”
When Dynasty Warriors 3‘s Zhang Jiao announces that he doesn’t believe his magic, his voice quivers with uncertainty as if he’s not really sure. The quivering in his voice seems to imply that he’s pretty sure that he’s seen something magical, but he’s in deep denial.
It’s true: Magic can be very convincing. There’s no shame in admitting that grown men with black beards, colorful robes, and large rods are sometimes fooled by trickery. But we cannot possibly deny the magic that is Zhang’s Asian stereotype-enforcing, melodramatic uncertainty of mysterious and supernatural forces.
7. Michigan: Report From Hell – “Please don’t kill me.”
At some point between 2004 and 2005, the survival horror game Michigan: Report From Hell existed. The game focuses on a rookie cameraman for ZaKa TV who is covering paranormal activity. The game is played through the viewfinder of a camera. Apparently, the plot was so exciting and memorable that the game immediately dropped off the face of the Earth shortly after release in Japan, Europe and Australia.
But the game had a few memorable yet ear-splitting one-liners that slithered their way to the Internet and into our hearts.Most of these lines are moaned by the character Brisco. After hearing his one-liners, you’ll forever hate his name and think to yourself, “OH MY GOD!” But we can’t help but think it sounds a lot like Roger Rabbit, who had one too many cameo appearances on Breaking Bad.
6. Shining Force: Neo – “Oh no! Something’s coming. Oh no! He’s going to explode!”
Imagine you’re a voice actor in the studio, and you’re about to read a line for some video game of little significance. The director tells you to be dramatic when you recite it, but you start experiencing some difficulty.
The director pulls you aside and says to you, “Okay, here’s your motivation. Go back into your repressed childhood memories. Remember the time you visited grandma’s house? You stayed over one night. Now, imagine that it’s in the middle of the night, and you started hearing strange animal noises coming from your grandparents’ bedroom. You quietly open their bedroom door — and behold! Nightmares! You’re welcome.”
5. Shining Force III – “Now bear my Arctic Blast!”
In the early 1990s, when Japanese games were imported to America, there was usually something that was lost in the translation. Sometimes the subtitles were hilariously strange. Other times, the English dub was a little underwhelming. That’s because American companies, at the time, wanted to invest very little in the localization of Japanese games and maximize their profit margins from game sales.
Take Shining Force III (Sega Saturn) for example. Here, “Arctic Blast” sounds more like a fabulously juicy breath-mint than a damaging freeze spell. The voice dub was so embarrassing that Sega recently filed a copyright claim to have all Shining Force III videos removed from YouTube. At least, I hope that’s what Sega was aiming for.
Last Alert for Turbografx is well-known in the video game voice acting industry as one of the worst, poorly-acted video games in existence. Clearly, the English localization team for Last Alert didn’t try. The voice acting would be more hilarious if it wasn’t so insulting. When Last Alert was released in 1990, the game cost around $400. For that cost, you would think the English localization team would hire people that weren’t high school freshman who were forced to make a choice between voice acting for a video game and detention.
There are so many examples of horrific voice acting to choose from. Last Alert would be at the top of our list, but it’s at #4 because it’s clear that the actors weren’t having fun. In fact, it doesn’t sound like they were “acting” at all. People like to describe something “bad” as, “It’s so bad, it’s ‘good,’” but in this case, it’s just plain bad. However, the game itself is not terrible. How can you not love having a hyper pineapple in your arsenal? In fact, it’s tolerable and it was one of the most popular games for Turbografx. Fans of the game made a solid effort to re-dub the poor voice acting in the game, and it’s highly recommended that you download the re-dub if you want to try Last Alert. http://audioatrocities.com/games/lastalert/index.html
3. Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 – “I heard you’re a bit tasty, no messin’ around or you’ll get a slap.”
Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive have produced a series of wonderful games from the Grand Theft Auto franchise, but not all of their games have been sensational. Released in 1999, Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 was the first-ever expansion pack to be released for the original PlayStation. It was also the first mission pack for the Grand Theft Auto series, which utilized the same engine as the original. But back in ’99, makers of the game were more interested in the gameplay than the mediocre cutscenes that completely decimated the Cockney accent.
There are many odd one-liners in London 1969, but this line takes the cake. If you’re versed in British street slang, you’d know that, “I heard you’re a bit tasty” is not a cannibalistic mating call, but it’s toothless nonetheless. Clearly, Take-Two and Rockstar were trying to emulate the Cockney accent that was made prevalent during the British punk scene of the late ’60s and ’70s. The developers tried to make the characters “edgy,” but it came across as flat and uninspired. It’s like someone dropped quaaludes into a few pints at the pub and got a few locals to speak into a microphone. Fortunately, the series only got better with time, and the cheesy one-liners from London 1969 became a conveniently distant memory. Jolly good!
2. Link: The Faces of Evil – Everything
Link doesn’t talk much in the Legend of Zelda series. Before the quiet scientist with a crowbar, Gordon Freeman, became one of the most iconic silent characters in video game history, there was Link. Everybody loves Link, the young, pointy-eared Hylian boy, who wore a green tunic and a long green Phrygian cap. He slices! He dices! He throws chickens! He rummages through people’s houses and destroys countless pots for rupees. Link has been a part of video game culture since the first Legend of Zelda was released in February 1986.
But one day in late 1993, we saw another side of Link. In Faces of Evil, Link was a lovable, eccentric Boy Scout who was way too excited to go on adventures. Throughout the game, Link channeled both Bill and Ted at the same time. This incarnation of Link bristled with curiosity and
sudden cravings for White Castle a desire to vanquish the “faces of evil.” Link: The Faces of Evil is one of several deliciously cringe-worthy titles for the Phillips CD-i. When people think of bad voice acting, they typically think of the Legend of Zelda series for the CD-i — and for good reason. Since the game was released, Nintendo decided to keep their famous character quiet. To that, we say, “Thank you.”
1. Animal Soccer World – Everything
Holy s%$@! This game actually existed? Animal Soccer World (Phoenix Games) for the PlayStation 2 is a really messed up game. Not just the voice acting is bad. Everything is bad. The word “FAIL” does not describe the monstrosity that is Animal Soccer World. It is literally painful to watch the cutscenes that are widely available on YouTube. It is shockingly mind-numbing to a point that the game is deserving of a Surgeon General’s warning: “Long exposure to this game will result in long-term brain damage, depression and bitter contempt for humanity.”
One YouTube commenter wrote, “What planet was this made on?”
Another commenter wrote, “I think I choked myself,” after referring to this memorable scene. It’s true. After we watched this scene, we noticed our hands were suddenly latched onto our throats — and we weren’t even depressed. Fortunately, one video playthrough of all the bad voice acting from Legend of Zelda for the CD-i saved us from our brains staging mutiny and subsequent harakiri.
And then we realize: all characters are played by the same voice actor. The actor voiced characters that were blatant copyright violations. Wait, is that Simba? Is that the Vlasic pelican? Before we could contact an attorney to ask how legal this game actually is, we were bombarded with a song that was sung in Dutch for no good reason. Then our heads exploded.