'Final Fantasy XV' Noctis Voice Actor On Why His Character Isn't Your Average 'Final Fantasy' Protagonist

Noctis_CloseUp
8.5
  • Playstation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Action
  • RPG
2016-11-29

Final Fantasy XV has been in development for a decade now, with an original announcement and title of Final Fantasy Versus XIII all the way back in 2006. Along with a new name, development has also changed to reflect a different direction from many previous Final Fantasy games. This resulted in the creation of the character Noctis Lucius Caelum.

Final Fantasy XV director Tetsuya Nomura stated he wanted Noctis to have more of a personality than previous heroes have had, and voice actor Ray Chase feels Nomura has succeeded.

“It's really incredible how mature these characters all feel - we've come a long way from previous cartoony FF's I feel,” Chase told iDigitalTimes. “We see every character in all three dimensions, and especially Noctis, who has to endure so much but copes with it through levity and fun.”

Chase credits not only Nomura for creating a great character, but also the directors on the American side for bringing him to life for a Western audience. “Director Keythe Farley was with the cast every step of the way, and Localization Director Dan Inoue was always on top of making sure the performances fit within the realm of the story,” he said. “I couldn't ask for a better team!”

Despite Final Fantasy XV being made in Japan, Chase said he wasn’t told to just do an English copy of the performance for Noctis. Instead, he was allowed to take some liberties with his performance.

“Only for specific lines did we listen to Tatsuhisa Suzuki's performance when the timing had to be a certain way,” Chase said. “Otherwise the localization philosophy was that the western voices should work for western audiences, who are looking for a totally different performance style than Japanese audiences.”

While Noctis is a strong character in his own right, he also relies on his buddies at his side to make it past any obstacle. In video games, recording voice-over lines is typically done alone and that is surprisingly the case here, despite how much interaction the main characters have with each other.

Chase said there was an effort to have a group recording session, but technical issues made it unfeasible. “We tried once to have multiple people record simultaneously, but unfortunately due to the nature of the dubbed lines having to be precisely matched to the Japanese timing, it just wasn't time or cost effective,” he said. “Even so, I am still amazed at hearing everyone talk to each other in-game and how wonderfully real it all sounds.”

If anything sounded off, the directors would have the voice actors re-record lines. “Keythe and Dan listened to every in-game conversation once all four of us had recorded, and noted anything unnatural that we would re-record later,” said Chase.

Noctis has had a significant influence on those who might not otherwise be interested in a JRPG like Final Fantasy XV. He and his buddies have been turned into countless memes, and Noctis even has his own perfume. While Chase says he hasn’t had the opportunity to learn what his character smells like yet, he is happy with the jokes that have been made so far.

“There's been many memes, especially with the voice cast trailers of Noctis saying ‘Erryday’ and holding a fish or a cat,” said Chase. “I think the fact that Prompto takes such funny photos means we're going to be seeing a LOT of memes once the game comes out of people sharing their funniest pics!”

While Chase hasn’t played the final build of Final Fantasy XV yet so as to not spoil anything for himself, he feels fans will love this entry in the franchise and those who haven’t played a Final Fantasy game before will try this one out. “I think the vast majority of fans will love this game. It has so much to celebrate about the series that has come before, so many little tidbits that hardcore fans will recognize and love,” he said. “But I also think this is going to bring a ton of new fans onboard, who will then play the old games. This is a huge new generation of players, and I'm very excited to welcome them aboard the FF Train!”

While Chase couldn’t specifically mention any future projects he is working on, he did give us a bit of a tease. “If you've kept an ear out for some other JRPG trailers, you might recognize me in another big one coming out soon,” he said.

Final Fantasy XV releases for PS4 and Xbox One on Nov. 29.

So what do you think? Are you excited to hear Ray Chase in action as Noctis when Final Fantasy XV is released? Are you curious to know what that JRPG is that he teased? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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