Unable to comply, building in progress! At some point in the 90s, that was sound was the bane of my existence. It would probably be followed soon by “low power,” “silos needed” and “insufficient funds” because my god was I bad at Command & Conquer. If you recognise those phrases, you’ll know those were the words that EVA, the Electronic Video Agent that served as the UI and Battle Interface in the Command & Conquer universe.
Of course, the impending remake will use EVA – but as the developers were trawling for the original recordings, they discovered that they were lost. Of course, they could use the existing sounds, but because games were awfully compressed in days of yore, there’s a terrible hiss in them that wouldn’t be welcomed in a modern game.
So what happens now? Here’s the remaster developer Petroglyph’s Frank Klepacki (who did the original game’s audio) explaining it all.
“Because C&C Tiberian Dawn was breaking new ground for us at the time, and the first game in the series to kick things off, our audio department was really experimenting with trying to see what would work well. We only had just begun acquiring improved gear, but we were making do with whatever limitations we had to work with, such as average microphones, preamps, and the not-so-practical rooms we recorded in. It was the wild west of development – we cast people within Westwood Studios for various voice roles.
One larger voice role however, was the part of EVA. Kia Huntzinger worked at Westwood, and our Audio Director Paul Mudra thought she might be a good fit based on hearing the recorded voice messages she left on our phones and paging she did over the intercom system. In many ways, she was the unofficial voice of the company once you made it past the front door because we listened to her throughout the day. She was excited to give it a shot, and the original voice session was recorded in a padded closet! Everyone liked the quality of her voice in that role, and the rest is history.
Unfortunately the original tapes of Kia’s performance were not found – but that being said, there is definitely inherent noise, and noticeable rumble throughout the original games files, which would have needed a lot of clean up.”
Instead of spending hours and hours doing cleanup, they’ve instead got the original voice actress to re-record all of her lines.
“So we did the next best thing – we hired her to reprise her role, this time in a professional recording room! And fortunately for us, she still sounds very close to the way she did years ago.”
That’s quite lovely.
Last Updated: December 11, 2019