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View Full Version : Why do So Many of the Aliens in KOTOR 1/2 Not Actually Speak?


DarthVandar205
02-02-2008, 11:15 PM
Im sure this has been asked and discussed several times but I was wondering why so many of the characters do not speak and instead I have to read through endless amounts of subtitles while they speak the same 2 or 3 audio files repeatedly?

Also I was wondering why they didnt make the revan/exile character speak? All you got to do was read his subtitle response.

I know some people have said it was because of space limitations and some because of the whole "feel" of the game but since games like Mass Effect have all the characters you can talk to speak, plus the main character, I dont see why a game like KOTOR cant do the same thing. It would be less annoying that way.

Too bad someone cant make a mod where all the characters speak english or something like that.

Totenkopf
02-03-2008, 12:15 AM
It does get a little annoying hearing the same gibberish lines over and over again. Obviously these "defects" didn't really hurt the game (or its accolades) and they surely moved enough units to make a healthy profit. I don't see any reason why they couldn't hire more vo actors at scale (and still leave you with the ability not to use any vo at all) to give us more options. Afterall, "options, options, options" seems to be a key part of the gaming experience, and a mantra close to the heart of many gamers. It won't make or break a good game, but it would be nice to have a choice just the same. Besides, even given the milder success of TSL, more voice over work will certainly not break the bank at Lucas or begin to eat seriously/noticeably into their profit margin. Of course, I won't hold my breath expecting it to happen (nevermind when/if it's actually made). ;)

Sabretooth
02-03-2008, 12:41 AM
Well, I dunno about Mass Effect, but I can tell this about KotOR:

Space is one thing. There were a lot of alien characters and giving each one of them a unique line would mean that voice data would increase 3 times or so - very inconvenient.

As for aliens, it's to meet the Star Wars 'feel'. In SW, many aliens speak their own language to give an exotic feel. That, and many of them can't pronounce English words with their vocal organs anyways. And if you look at the real world itself, many a times, people prefer to speak their native language even if they are well-versed in English - because of cultural pride and such. Could be that the aliens want their identity there.

I'll agree it got annoying, but I can't imagine a Star Wars without all those exotic aliens. :weirdo:

Inyri
02-03-2008, 12:42 AM
It does get a little annoying hearing the same gibberish lines over and over again.They're not all gibberish. The huttese (hutts, twi'leks, rodians, etc) can all be translated. It's just not anywhere close to what they're actually saying. :p

It would have taken a very very very long time to actually translate all of what they were saying to legitimate huttese. You could do it, as it's basically a real language now, but they probably would have had to work closely with Ben Burtt, and tbh I think he probably has better things to do since only a few people legitimately care.

I mean I find it annoying, but I don't really care. :p

DarthVandar205
02-03-2008, 02:21 AM
Well, I dunno about Mass Effect, but I can tell this about KotOR:

Space is one thing. There were a lot of alien characters and giving each one of them a unique line would mean that voice data would increase 3 times or so - very inconvenient.


Mass Effect had alot of aliens and all of them had unique lines and somehow they suqeezed all of that onto one disc. Surely they couldve done the same with KOTOR.


As for aliens, it's to meet the Star Wars 'feel'. In SW, many aliens speak their own language to give an exotic feel. That, and many of them can't pronounce English words with their vocal organs anyways. And if you look at the real world itself, many a times, people prefer to speak their native language even if they are well-versed in English - because of cultural pride and such. Could be that the aliens want their identity there.


They could have still spoke in their own accent at least. In the movies its one thing because its no big deal if you dont understand what they say because its either not integral to the story or someone roughly translates it for you. Sometimes they have subtitles but theyre few and far between and you usually get the gist of what theyre saying anyways. In the game, its different, almost every alien you run into babbles something in one of 3 or 4 different soundtracks. I doubt many people playing the game would really fuss over the star wars feel of it if they could understand what the characters say for the sake of moving the story along better without people needing to strain their eyes to read endless dialogue.


I'll agree it got annoying, but I can't imagine a Star Wars without all those exotic aliens.


I would think there are ways to preserve the atmosphere without compromising people's enjoyment of the game.


They're not all gibberish. The huttese (hutts, twi'leks, rodians, etc) can all be translated. It's just not anywhere close to what they're actually saying.


What I mean is that its gibberish in the game that even though they say different things, its still the same 3 or 4 different soundtracks for that particular alien. At least in the movies when they talked even if you couldnt understand it, there was still some of it that gave you some idea of what they were trying to say and at least there was some variety. The game doesnt even do that, you hear the same thing over and over again even though theyre saying different things. You dont even have anyone to translate for you most of the time.


It would have taken a very very very long time to actually translate all of what they were saying to legitimate huttese. You could do it, as it's basically a real language now, but they probably would have had to work closely with Ben Burtt, and tbh I think he probably has better things to do since only a few people legitimately care.


I doubt too many people besides real hardcore star wars fans care if its legitimate huttese language or not. I just think it would be nice if you could make some sense outta what theyre saying without having to read endless lines of subtitles. If they were gonna go to the trouble to actually translate it into the alien's language then they might as well just translate it into something us human beings understand.

Weiser_Cain
02-03-2008, 04:07 AM
well with the main character it's so you can project your ideal voice and persona onto the character without having a preexisting voice throw you off, as for the aliens they don't have full fledged languages so there was no point in having unique dialog for each.

Tarridus
02-05-2008, 04:12 AM
I think your underestimating the amount of voice thats packed into TSL. While the game itself is only 3 CDs in length, almost the entire 3rd disk was comprised of voice for the game. And not only that, but it was recorded on low quality voice, otherwise there would be no reason for the HQ music patch.

The difference here between TSL and Mass Effect is a matter of space. While Mass Effect had a Double Layer DVD which can hold over 8+ gigs of memory, TSL was stored on 700megs of CD memory (3x=2.1gig). So you do the math, if TSL had 8+gigs of memory, and the budget/time that ME had, then I think we would have had a game that was twice (thrice) as long in length and quadruple the amount of voice held within. Which means, EVERY alien in the game would have some type of dialogue :P

Ah, what a game that would have been. But LA is no Bioware but we can dream can't we?

Corinthian
02-05-2008, 07:32 AM
Yeah, but all the aliens basically just say the same bloody line, over, and over, and over again. I sometimes hear them when in the silence before sleep.

Sven_Q45
02-05-2008, 12:16 PM
Also I was wondering why they didnt make the revan/exile character speak? All you got to do was read his subtitle response.
That was the only bad thing in SWKOTOR. Uh, for me.

Be glad that the "unimportant" charakters at all say ANYthing. ;)

Totenkopf
02-05-2008, 12:20 PM
Yeah, for instance, Sasha (human) Janice Nall and at least one of Davik's slaves(twileks) use the same lines, though accented differently. So, are all three of them speaking poor mandalorian, twilek or what?? It all serves its purpose in conveying that these characters don't speak basic. It'd just have been nicer to expand the number of "gibberish" lines so that it didn't seem to be the same few over and over again. Also, it would be a little more interesting to have voice OPTIONS for the pc (used at player's discretion). Don't know about you guys, but the only voice I really hear in my head as I read the PC's lines is my own. That's all nice and fine when Revan is male, but otherwise...... Afterall, how many of us are natural mimics and can "channel" the voice of a favorite actor when reading lines? I wouldn't bet the bank that the number is even remotely high. ;)

Ctrl Alt Del
02-05-2008, 12:22 PM
Yeah, but all the aliens basically just say the same bloody line, over, and over, and over again. I sometimes hear them when in the silence before sleep.
Not to mention the timing. They usually take half a minute of gibberish to say "no".

Totenkopf
02-05-2008, 01:07 PM
Yeah, I noticed that too. Had to mess around with that issue while experimenting with modding. Even the short lines are longer than a simple "no".

Inyri
02-05-2008, 02:00 PM
So, are all three of them speaking poor mandalorian, twilek or what??All three are speaking Huttese. This really didn't work for Sasha seeing as how they said she was speaking Mandalorian, which is untrue.

Ctrl Alt Del
02-05-2008, 02:49 PM
All three are speaking Huttese. This really didn't work for Sasha seeing as how they said she was speaking Mandalorian, which is untrue.
Yes. Plus, her voice lines are the same o some females Twi'leks... Lots of Twi'leks on the Mandalorian lines these days...

DeadYorick
02-05-2008, 03:29 PM
Quoting Missions text from the first game

"Most of the aliens here speak Basic but prefer their own language"

Doesn't that speak for itself. Plus its cheaper then hiring voice actors. I think the reason they didn't have Revan or the Exile speak was because people would rather use their imaginations as to what their voice sounds like.

Ctrl Alt Del
02-05-2008, 03:36 PM
It would be even acceptable if every alien had their own gibberish. Someone remember Gluupor, the Rodian? Like that.

SilentScope001
02-05-2008, 06:45 PM
But, but, I love the same VO being repeated over and over! It adds a great illusion, and a sense of familaritiy.

DarthVandar205
02-05-2008, 09:20 PM
I think your underestimating the amount of voice thats packed into TSL. While the game itself is only 3 CDs in length, almost the entire 3rd disk was comprised of voice for the game. And not only that, but it was recorded on low quality voice, otherwise there would be no reason for the HQ music patch.

The difference here between TSL and Mass Effect is a matter of space. While Mass Effect had a Double Layer DVD which can hold over 8+ gigs of memory, TSL was stored on 700megs of CD memory (3x=2.1gig). So you do the math, if TSL had 8+gigs of memory, and the budget/time that ME had, then I think we would have had a game that was twice (thrice) as long in length and quadruple the amount of voice held within. Which means, EVERY alien in the game would have some type of dialogue :P

Ah, what a game that would have been. But LA is no Bioware but we can dream can't we?


If they ever make the game for the xbox360 (or even a new version for the PC) they should finish the game and put it on a DVD and add more voices to it, including the player character. If someone complains about the diff aliens having their own language or some not being able to speak basic at all just saying theyre using some fancy star wars version of a Universal Translator or something like that. This way you hear everyone speak basic and they hear whatever theyre supposed to hear from what youre saying. Most aliens understand basic after all they just cant/wont speak it.

DarthVandar205
02-05-2008, 09:22 PM
Doesn't that speak for itself. Plus its cheaper then hiring voice actors. I think the reason they didn't have Revan or the Exile speak was because people would rather use their imaginations as to what their voice sounds like.


If they want a really good game then they need to shell out a little extra money and hire some good people and take the time needed to make it truly special.

PoiuyWired
02-06-2008, 03:35 PM
To be fair though, while I don't require the aliens to speak perfect functional languages, at least make a few variants of the stock standard sentences, and definitely, need various lengths too.

Though a functional Huttese in game would rock, i would understand that the time taken to translate and develop such lines can be better spend elsewhere.

Its like having a LotR game. having elves speak Quenya would be devine, but it would ultimately only benefit the more diehard fans, and do little for others. (yes I know a little bit of Quenya, but never have time to really study it)

Senodh72
12-09-2013, 03:48 AM
Yhan true but they say it funny like what they mostly say:kimpuna bonnapitu

DeathScepter
12-13-2013, 12:02 PM
Quoting Missions text from the first game



Doesn't that speak for itself. Plus its cheaper then hiring voice actors. I think the reason they didn't have Revan or the Exile speak was because people would rather use their imaginations as to what their voice sounds like.


that is why i love silent leads, I can use my imagination. That is why I do prefer to have Jedi Exile and Revan to not have a voice or canon looks. I am annoyed with Revan Novel and those 2 flashpoints.

Hassat Hunter
12-13-2013, 07:39 PM
Oh yeah, count me in pro-silent protagonists...

Especially if the lead is so annoying as in Dragon Age II, or due to the awesome (sarcasm!) ME-wheel never EVER says what you want them to.

I really wish they would go back to those good old times. Oh well, we got Project Eternity.

SaberAlter
12-16-2013, 01:35 PM
Admittedly, as someone with linguistic training and natural ability to learn/recognise languages, the gibberish always drives me nuts. I know that we're dealing with space limitations and having NPCs speak actual languages would create massive sound files, but it just (irrationally) bugs me when they're really "saying" the same things over and over.