They're Random, Baby!

18 January 2012
Link to this bulletin
Original Waypoint link
Return to main page

The Halo Bulletin: 1.18.12

18. January 2012 23:28

Halo: Reach Screenshot

Ooh! Is it time for a blue light special?

343 Guilty Spark has been called everything from Tinker Bell to Light Bulb to That Little Ball Thingy, and in spite of, or perhaps because of, all his idiosyncrasies, he is easily one of the most unusual and entertaining characters in the Halo universe. Whether he's playing the role of friend or foe, it's practically a guarantee that he's humming, reciting witty phrases, or giggling maniacally while he's tagging along on your virtual adventures.

After being subjected to his erratic ramblings in numerous different games, we have grown accustomed to having his robotic-like voice come out of a floating, one-eyed orb. There is an actual person behind this character, though, bringing even more personality to an already eccentric role.

That person is Tim Dadabo.

Well known in the acting world, the Halo world, and the world of artificially created constructs, Tim provided the narration for the terminals in Halo: Anniversary and, more recently, in the audio edition of Halo: Primordium. Because of those things, and also because he's pretty darn awesome, we sat him down and asked him a handful of questions. And by sat him down, we mean tied him to a chair, and by a handful of questions, we mean as many as he could tolerate. And then ten more.

So grab a beverage, a pair of reading glasses, and a book about protocol, because this week's Halo Bulletin is an interview with the man behind the Monitor.

Greetings, Reclaimer: An Interview with Tim Dadabo

Greetings, Reclaimer: An Interview with Tim Dadabo

Halo: Primordium—the second novel in Greg Bear's Forerunner Saga—came out earlier this month. I heard you played a part in the audio edition of that book. What was that role?

Narrator of the book.

So you basically read the entire book out loud? That sounds difficult. And time-consuming. What was the most challenging part of the experience?

Staying focused for so long (I'm kinda ADD). That, and that all the characters you meet along the way need a different voice, so you have to find one (I did approximately 20), then remember them when you encounter them later on!

I would say that sounds doable, but it totally doesn't. Not for me, anyway! Tell us a little about a typical narrator recording session.

They're usually long and very focused. Scripts are given far in advance because of how many pages there are. Clients are also listening to what might be made better or what you might have missed.

Reads are often flatter, more informal.

How do narrator recording sessions differ from video game voiceover recording sessions?

Voiceover recording sessions for games can also be longer, but more intense. Characters' emotions and motives need to be fleshed out. It's truly like acting for a role.

While I'm most familiar with your Halo work, I know you've done lots of other stuff as well. What are some other projects you've worked on?

Because I've had such great career, I'll name just a few. Dragon Age Series, Risk Factions, Leisure Suit Larry, Red Faction, Disney Guilty Party, Looney Toons. On commercials, Apple for Apple Jacks, The Leprechaun on Diet Dr. Pepper, Raid Bugs, Scrubbing Bubbles, and non-character roles. TV show narration, Promo....

{SPARK BEGINS RAMBLING... we cut him off.}

Halo 3 Screenshot

You had me at Halo! Wait, that part wasn't about Halo, was it? My bad. Anyway, back to you-know-what. How were you introduced to our favorite Spartan super-soldier?

I knew Marty O'Donnell and Mike Salvatore long before they ever got involved with Bungie. Back then, Bungie was just a small startup in Chicago. When Bungie developed ONI, they brought me in for several roles. Then they auditioned me for an annoying, flying orb called 343 Guilty Spark in this little game they were developing called Halo.

"Greetings, Reclaimer!"

Clearly the audition went well! I'm sure other people tried out too, though. Why do you think you got the job?

Luck? Seriously though, I guess it's the way any actor gets any job. They were the right person at the right time, and they brought something unusual and captivating to the role.

What was your reaction when you learned your character was a giant floating eyeball named Guilty Spark?

Huh?! What the hell's a Guilty Spark, and what were you smokin' when you came up with that name?!

Two very valid questions! And here's another one for you. What are your thoughts on how your character has changed over the last ten years?

For me, Guilty Spark has changed from this evil, conniving oracle to a bot on a mission; the mission he decided after many millennia was a necessary mission.

From an acting standpoint, his character became much more complex, much deeper.

Out of all the lines you've read over the years, which ones are your favorites?

"Calamity!" and "Save his head, dispose of the rest."

Halo: Reach Screenshot

I use that second line all the time in real life. Speaking of which, do you ever use the Guilty Spark voice in real life?

Kinda personal, isn't it? ;-)

I'm going to guess protocol dictated that response. Anyway, what is your favorite Halo game?

Wow. All of them, although I haven't played ODST yet. When I can find the time to play, I'm just getting into Reach. Gotta say, 2 was pretty awesome!

When you do have the time to play, what is your favorite game mode?

I play on Solo Campaign. I suck too bad to play the competitive modes! You guys would kick my ass!

While we're on the subject of kicking ass, all of the Halo voice actors are amazing. Have you met any of them in person?

I'm friends with both Steve Downes (Master Chief) and Pete Stacker (Captain Keyes). I finally got to meet Jen Taylor (Cortana) at Halo Fest. Ahhh.... the two AIs together at last. They're all so awesome.

If you could meet any Halo character in real life, who would it be and why?

Hmmm.... ahh.... Guilty Spark, hello!? Why? I think he just needs a beer.

I probably should have seen that answer coming. Out of curiosity, do you have anything in common with your character?

I'm short, round and irritating. And when I'm on my mountain bike, I hum and think I can fly.

You are none of the first three things you listed, for the record! So I'll ask you this instead: how are you different from your character?

I'm more lovable, and I'm a real boy.

I totally see what you did there. Before we wrap this up, tell me what excites you the most about the future of Halo.

The fact that its future is infinite. The storyline can go anywhere. Hopefully, someday, to the BIG SCREEN. Hello? Peter Jackson, Steve Spielberg.... you out there?

I don't know if they're out there, but your fans certainly are! Let's end this with something for them. What advice can you give others hoping to make a career in voice acting?

Stay away. Stay far, FAR away. I mean, you do like gettin' a paycheck at the end of the week, doncha?!

While I said end this with something for the fans, I feel like you were talking to me. And I can totally take a hint. HMPH.

While he runs away as fast as he can, please enjoy a 25-minute preview from the audio edition of Halo: Primordium, narrated by the mastermind behind the Monitor, Tim Dadabo, and set to be released in the semi-near future.

Halo: Primordium Audio Book Preview

Until next week, Reclaimers....

bs angel

P.S. I was tempted to not include our customary Friday Caption Fun image this week because I didn't have enough foresight to make it Monitor-themed, but your desktop could use some freshening up, so here it is anyway, embarrassingly devoid of any and all adorable talking orbs. Excuse my oversight, and instead submit your worthy captions to the latest round of festivities. Off you go!

Friday Caption Fun

P.S. Discuss. Or ask Tim Dadabo a question. But you should probably do one or the other. Just sayin'.