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C&C Remasters - Update on EVA Announcements

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After his suspicious silence in November, Jim Vessella posted on the C&C subreddit a short while ago about the announcement voice lines in C&C and Red Alert 1. It turns out that the original recordings could not be found. However, the voice actress of the Tiberian Dawn EVA, Kia Huntzinger, will reprise the role and has already re-recorded her lines in a professional studio. Alas, the voice actor of the Red Alert announcer, former chief of Virgin Interactive Entertainment Martin Alper, passed away a few years ago, but it was decided his voice lines will stay as they are, while Frank Klepacki will try to clean the audio as much as possible.

Here is the full statement from Vessella:

Quote

Fellow Command & Conquer fans,

First we would like to say thank you for all the feedback on the gameplay teaser reveal back in October. We’ve made an effort to read every comment that came through on Reddit, along with feedback posted in Discord and other media channels. We’ve been categorizing the feedback into various buckets, and exploring which items are feasible to tackle within the original source code and our overall production schedule. Alongside this effort, the team has already been addressing some of the low-hanging fruit items, such as the team color inaccuracies called out in many of the comments.

For the update this month, we wanted to share the approach we’re taking for one of the most important characters in the franchise: EVA. We wanted to start with a behind-the-scenes story of what it was like to record the original voice over, and then describe how we’re planning to remaster this iconic character. Below is an overview from Frank Klepacki on this experience:

“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. 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.”

On a personal note, I’m so excited that Kia is reprising her role as EVA in the Remaster project. As with many of you in the community, Kia’s voice has been embedded in my subconscious after playing Tiberian Dawn over the past 24 years. In the same spirit as Frank and Petroglyph themselves, Kia has brought an authenticity to the project which just couldn’t be achieved in any other way. Kia wanted to do this for the fans and approached the recording full of passion and eagerness. We’re forever thankful to Kia for contributing to this remaster journey, and hope everyone in the C&C community will appreciate her performance. As a sneak preview of this content, Frank has compiled a sampling of Kia’s original and remastered audio lines for your listening pleasure. And of course, if you do want to play the Remaster with the original voice over for nostalgia sake, we’ll have that as an option too.

Now, some of you may be asking how we’re going to approach the “Announcer” for Red Alert. In terms of history, the Red Alert announcer was performed by Martin Alper, who also happened to be the President of Virgin Interactive Entertainment at the time. Sadly, Martin Alper passed away a few years ago, and we didn’t feel it would be the same to replace his performance with another actor. So therefore we’re going to keep that in its legacy form for the Remaster, and Frank will do his best to clean up the original audio.

We know you’re eager to see more gameplay details as well (especially around Red Alert), and will aim to share more of that content in the new year. Please continue to provide your comments in the thread below, and we hope everyone has a great holiday season.

Cheers,

Jim Vessella

Jimtern

You can read the original announcement and hear the new EVA voice samples here.

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