Metro Exodus Russian Localization Team Talks About Anna's Voice Over and Accents
The localization team talks about what surprised them during their work, how many Annas there were in the Russian version of the game, and why a hereditary Kazakh speaks without any accent
Russian publishing company Buka has posted another video, in which they continue telling fans about the process of making Metro Exodus sound Russian. The first episode focused on Glukhovsky’s part in the development, difficulties with localizing the game, and how changing of the story affected the localization process.
You can see the second episode of the video series below. However, it is in Russian and there may be spoilers.
We highlighted the most interesting moments from the new video.
Glukhovsky on Artyom and Anna’s relationship
At the beginning of the video, Dmitry Glukhovksy introduces the main characters. Namely, Artyom, his wife Anna, whom Glukgovsky created for Metro Last Light, and her father Miller introduced in Metro 2033. As the writer says, Artyom and Anna’s relationship turns into a real family drama in Metro 2035, becoming a significant storyline.
Several actresses voiced Anna
In each of the Metro Exodus trailers, Anna speaks with three different voices. As Evgeny Metlyaev, the head of Buka localization department, clarifies, this is because they changed several voicing actresses over the course of the voice over process.
The first trailer was made one day before its release, so they chose the first actress with a matching voice they had found. Another actress voiced the second trailer and then even the whole game. However, after receiving the game build and seeing it as a whole, it turned out that the actress’ voice work made Anna too soft while she needs to be tougher to face the challenges. So the team held auditions, testing six more actresses, and sent some of the voice works to 4A Games where one actress was finally chosen.
Interestingly, while waiting for the approval from the developers, Buka dubbed one more trailer with one more actress. However, Metlyaev can’t recall if it was released.
Why Damir, a hereditary Kazakh, speaks without any accent
4A Games wanted Kazakh Damir to speak with an accent which surprised the team of Buka. According to the game story, Damir lived in Moscow since early childhood, and during the war he had Russian people around him, so there are no reasons why a Kazakh should have an accent.
Metlyaev notes that it took a lot of effort to assure 4A Games that Damir shouldn’t have any accent. They had to talk to Kazakh actors, watched a Russian comedy show with Kazakh actors, and surfed around YouTube for the videos with Kazakh people speaking. So the team couldn’t hear any accent at all, there was only some kind of mimic accent that didn’t affect pronunciation. As a result, Damir doesn’t have any strong stereotypical accent that 4A wanted.
Giul speaks with Turkic accent
Besides, there is one more Kazakh character in Metro Exodus — a resistance leader named Gulnara, or Giul for short. In other languages, she speaks with an accent, so Buka decided to do the same. The difference, however, is that Russian actress made the character speak with Turkic dialect as she speaks one of the Turkic languages and was able to realize it in Giul’s speech.
Giul’s speech errors are now ‘’correct’’
Gulnara’s character made errors while speaking, and Buka team noticed that they were not systematic as it should have really been. They made a special table of the character’s lexical and grammatical errors and changed the script according to it, which 4A Games was satisfied with.
The connection between Metro 2035 and Metro Exodus
Glukhovksy also commented on how the book and the game are connected. In fact, if you play Metro Exodus, you’ll be able to see what happened to the characters after Metro 2035 events. And vice versa — to find out what happened before Metro Exodus, you need to read Metro 2035.
The video ends with Anna’s line:
‘’The prince saved the princess from a dreadful dungeon and monsters, and is now taking her to a magic kingdom, where they are going to live happily ever after.’’