The voices of Diablo III

Posted by Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev at 14 September 2012 19:37

Tyrael, Azmodan and Covetus Shen - or at least the actors behind their voices - sit for a chat with Blizzard as part of their "The Voice of Diablo" feature.

An iconic character for the series, Tyrael must certainly be a challenge for the voice actor. Stepping in as the archangel's voice in the third installment of the game, Jonathan Adams explains that needed to be done to ensure that every incarnation of Tyrael in Diablo III is perfect.

My basis for Tyrael was Tyrael as man AND angel. “How would a person sound if he knew he was once an angel, but now has human limitations?” That kind of juxtaposition is fun to play with in fantasy and science fiction -- you get characters like Data on Star Trek who’s so much fun to watch, because he’s human and robot, and you’re watching him struggle with what that means. That’s what makes those characters fascinating. What I did is [project] what Tyrael would be if he knew nothing about being an angel, and he was simply human, and he had just woken up. That character was the original character, minus his divinity. And then, later on, he was the same character -- but minus his humanity. The baseline was the human & divine character, who could be haughty at times, like “I’m above it all,” but he loves humans, he loves people.

On the other side of the barricade sits Azmodan, ruler of the Burning Hell and one big ass demon. The timber behind Azmodan's monstrous profile - David Sobolov - shares what is so cool playing a villain like the Lord of Sin.

I like intelligent villains. It’s what I gravitate to. They always think they’re gonna win. They have so much confidence; there’s not a thought in their mind that they won’t prevail, and they love torturing their enemies. I’m doing something with my hands now like a puppeteer . . . when they get someone in their grasp, there’s an evil sense of play, where they’re in control. It’s very sadistic, I know, but it’s fun to play something so far away from myself.
I’ve had sessions where I’ll do something really super evil, and then I’ll just start laughing. It’s the total opposite of who I am; a pretty affable, calm, pleasant person. I’m always playing mean guys in games.

A true veteran of Hollywood, James Hong is the voice of Covetus Shen the Jeweler. Is Shen just a jeweler, though? Hong throws in his own suspicions, which, as you can see, overlap with some of community's ones as well.

I like to think that he’s a deity of some kind. To me, he’s probably an outcast among the deities, who was thrown onto [Sanctuary] because he was naughty. Now, he’s just doing his deeds. He’s a scrounger. He looks for little pieces of jewelry, and tries to make something out of everything that he finds. He looks like a bag man, and he’s very sarcastic, but his knowledge is great. So there’s something behind that knowledge – how he got it, and how he became a maker of jewels is a big mystery.

Blizzard are promising more interviews with Diablo III's voice actors and we promise to deliver them to you promptly.



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