Metal Gear Solid 5: Skull Face VA Does Not Remember Much About The Character, Has A Very Small Role
If you have played through Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, then you must be aware about this mysterious character called Skull Face. In all previous Metal Gear Solid games, the character that was always introduced first to the player is Snake. But surprisingly, Skull Face took the honors in Ground Zeroes, implying that this character has significant importance in The Phantom Pain’s plot line. Heck, he even uses the the same words and statements that Big Boss used in Peace Walker suggesting a relation between the two.
James Horan, the voice behind Skull Face was recently interviewed by FraggedNation and mysteriously he does not remember much of what he did in the game. He does not even remember the name of Hideo Kojima. Strange, isn’t it?
“So I didn’t know anything about Metal Gear. I’d heard of it of course, and this character when they showed me a photo from the look of him I thought he might sound something like this. But the developer, I’ve forgotten his name, the Japanese gentleman… [referring to Hideo Kojima]. Yes, he was there at the beginning and I met him. I remember asking them if they wanted some kind of voice that like that and he said ‘No we wanted just a normal voice.’ So that’s why it pretty much sounds like me.”
He further states that he forgot what he did in Ground Zeroes and the VA team had to remind him about his role when he came back for recording in The Phantom Pain.
“Yes. In fact they had to refresh me because I’d forgotten what I did on the first one. Because he didn’t say much on the first one as recall, right?” There was the thing where he throws the tape to the kid in the cage or something and says ‘You deserve this’ or something. That’s all I remember now”
So, how long after Ground Zeroes did he came back for Phantom Pain? “As I said I don’t really remember what I said, you guys gave me some lines here but that’s it. It was at least nine months, maybe less than that. Some time certainly went by. They didn’t show me any video, the first time they had video that they showed me, the second time it was just creating the character again.”
James revealed that he does not know much about the character except his disfigured face. “To be honest, I don’t know much about him except what they’ve told me which is how he was disfigured and what I read online about his face. I read that paragraph just recently to refresh myself. On the Wikipedia of his monologue about how he became that. I’m not trying to be coy I just don’t, you know.”
He stated that Skull Face, shockingly, does not have much to say in The Phantom Pain.
“Well I think if I had more of an arch to the character, you know if he was more of a main character I’d certainly wanna know more about those things but when he doesn’t have all that much to say I just kinda let them fill me in on what they need to.”
He also revealed that he was in the booth alone recording his lines, possibly indicating that Konami are trying their best to keep the story under wraps, even from the voice actors.
“I’m not in with anybody else. It’s rare, I’ve never done a video game actually where [that happened]. When you’re recording an animated series, you’re all in the room together. Which is great. You get to see each other act, you get to play off each other which I love that.
“So it’s weird, especially in video games and they always record you separately.”
Now this is where it gets really weird. Motherbase in Ground Zeroes was destroyed by Skull Face and his XOF soliders or at least that is what the game suggested. So in that sense he should be a following a antagonistic role in The Phantom Pain but the E3 2014 also suggested that Big Boss and Skullface might be working together as ally. So what is James’ response to this? Apparently he has no idea how this will work.
“Man, I gotta say I really don’t know. Of course I would love to say he’s gonna be an ally because it’d give the character a little more dimension than just one note. Even what I read just recently on why he became the way he was. He had this disfiguring accident as a child I imagine, and then the woman in the hospital said ‘You should let the poor thing die.’ With that history in him, maybe he would be a different person without the accident. Do they indicate at all what country he’s from?”
Skull Face is Hungarian as implied in Ground Zeroes but James does not even remember that.
Given that he had a major role in Ground Zeroes, one can expect a lot of dialogue and cutscenes with Skull Face in The Phantom Pain and yet again Horan’s response is rather surprising.
“Oh, I was there maybe a maximum of a couple of hours. Maybe an hour and a half. I think it was pretty quick because I didn’t have that much to say even in Phantom Pain.”
So is Skull Face just a small cog in a big machine? “I can’t say. I don’t recall the lines and I’m sure the creators are happy about that.”
I would like to end this article with yet another shocking answer. James Horan has been credit for doing voice over and facial capture in Ground Zeroes (check this video at 1:34).
“No, it was just voice. I didn’t do any mo-cap.”
“Maybe I had some things on my face, I seriously don’t recall. It’s possible.”
Now there may be chance that James is being honest and he has seriously forgotten almost everything he did in Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain. But think about it…Skull Face’s identity is a mystery till date and it’s something that many players want to find out in The Phantom Pain. In short, it’s one of the many reasons why hardcore Metal Gear Solid fans are looking forward to The Phantom Pain.
Personally speaking, I have a feeling that Horan knows a lot about the character, and obviously he can’t speak much about it.
The mystery about Skull Face has deepened even further.
The Phantom Pain is due this September.