Do you like David Hayter's voice for Solid Snake?

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audiosnow

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As most people know, esteemed voice actor David Hayter voiced the character Solid Snake for every Metal Gear Solid game until Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes.

My question is, do you actually like the voice he developed for the character? From the first moment I heard it, I thought it sounded more absurdly forced and gravelly than Christian Bale's batman. After playing through (and really enjoying) the original MGS last year, and playing about half of MGS 2 (and really enjoying it), and watching many episodes of Metal Gear Scanlon, that voice still makes me wince/smirk. Towards the end of my playthrough of MGS, I noticed it didn't put me off as much as it always has in the past, but it was still very awkward.

Is it a tolerance thing? You grew up with that voice in a time when voice acting in games, specifically games localized from Japan, had really terrible voice direction so you acclimated? Or does the voice David Hayter went with sound fine to you?

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FrostyRyan

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#2  Edited By FrostyRyan

But the thing is this is a series that was always very tongue and cheek so the voice fits.

MGSV takes itself a little more realistically and seriously so Hayter's voice coming out of that character model isn't fitting.

EDIT: Also Big Boss isn't Solid Snake

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NTM

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#3  Edited By NTM

I like it when I'm playing MGS. There have been times in the past when I was doing something, like this (typing), and hearing a friend play Peace Walker in the same room, and it was kind of cringe worthy. I love it regardless though. I also like Bale's choice to put a gravely voice on Batman, as it just makes sense. On a side, somewhat off topic note, Hayter was trying to do a Clint Eastwood kind of character. Saying it's interesting, or funny isn't the correct word for it, but I find it 'funny' for the lack of a better word, that many developers told the actors to do that. Bungie wanted Steve Downes to do Clint Eastwood for Master Chief, and Doug Cockle was asked to do a Clint Eastwood for Geralt.

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csl316

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Of course, it's iconic. Some of his line readings are over-the-top, but he gave Snake such a personality with that voice. It was perfect for MGS. And he pulled it all off, from the straight-ahead action stuff, to the more emotional moments, to ridiculous Kojima nonsense.

Hayter was perfect for Snake.

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citizencoffeecake

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#5  Edited By citizencoffeecake

I can't give an objective answer as I've played MGS since I was young and Hayter's voice very much embodies Solid Snake for me. I can, however, understand where you're coming from with the gravel/forced sound but I still like it a lot. So maybe it is a holdover from my youth but you hear that voice in any context and immediately know who it is.

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Kevin_Cogneto

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"What?! It can't beeeee! Met'l Geeeearrrrrrr!"

I'm with you OP, I always thought he sounded ridiculous.

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dragonzord

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Nope. Always sounded stupid and extra try hard.

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Hayt

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It had a lot of character that changed throughout all the games unlike MGSV which might be the most phoned in performance Kiefer Sutherland has ever delivered.

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Joshakazam

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I would have liked a MGSV with David Hayter - he was that character for me, even if the voice was super dumb.

Also, it at least would have led to more voiced lines in that game.

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doctordonkey

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Peace Walker and MGS4 is where Hayter really fell off for me. He kind of had an excuse in MGS4 I guess—Snake was slowly dying after all—but there was no justifiable reason for why he voiced Big Boss the way he did in Peace Walker. Half the time I could barely understand a word that came out of his mouth, it all just sounded like grumpy mumbling. I wonder, how many cough drops did he go through during those Peace Walker sessions?

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StarvingGamer

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#11  Edited By StarvingGamer

Hayter's gonna Hayte

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clagnaught

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I personally think Hayter peaked with MGS2. From what I have briefly played of and seen of Peace Walker (through cut scenes and the movie Drew and Dan watched), he became a little more ridiculous. I'm not sure if this is me, but MGS1 to MGS3 felt right for that era, in terms of where we were with video games, voice acting, those styles of games.

I think it is a combination of Hayter's later performances and me hearing the same voice over and over. Since we now have a trilogy of Big Boss games with MGS3, Peace Walker, and MGSV (and Portable Ops if people actually count that), it probably would have been a better idea to cast somebody entirely different for Big Boss and have Hayter be the voice of Solid Snake.

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DavidMerrick

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#13  Edited By DavidMerrick

David Hayter is probably a lovely person and I appreciate his screenwriting contributions, but I have never enjoyed any variation on his Snake voice, even when it was relatively mundane in MGS1. A great voice actor can make even the most cartoonish voice sound believable, like it's natural or their own. Hayter has never managed this with Snake. His absence in Ground Zeroes is partly what initially sold me on the game.

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The_Nubster

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In MGS 1, 2 and 3 it was fine. It just sounded like a normal voice but deeper. MGS4 was the first time it was "gravelly" and it made sense, considering he was genetically 1000 years old and on the verge of death 99% of the game. For him to continue with that voice in the next few games, though, was a bit ridiculous.

For what it's worth, I don't mind Keifer as Big Boss; I actually think he did quite well with the very few lines of dialogue he had.

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NeverGameOver

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#15  Edited By NeverGameOver

MGS1-3 Hayter was great. He got way too gravely in MGS4 in an effort to bring out Snake's age and then he struggled to get it back in Peace Walker. But those first 3 games are awesome. To be honest though, I was never a fan of casting him as Big Boss. Hayter is Solid Snake. Cast someone else as Big Boss.

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Fredchuckdave

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Hayter's super entertaining, a huge reason why the series became so popular in the US. Crab Battle.

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ViciousBearMauling

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Hayter was good for a time, but I understood the choice to change.

Only problem is, we already had an amazing Old Big Boss. Richard Doyle

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IVDAMKE

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In MGS1, 2 and 3 it was good. In MGS4 and PW it was awful. It went from polished pebbles to dirt and gravel.

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kasaioni

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#19  Edited By kasaioni

Sure. He works well to bring character to the more lighthearted versions of Solid Snake and Big Boss. The Solid Snake who masturbates to posters in a locker, and the Big Boss who still believes in Santa Claus and swoons over cardboard boxes shaped like tanks. He's the right guy for that stuff.

But say what you will about Sutherland, the fact is that Venom Snake just doesn't have the same aura about him that previous games gave to the overall "Snake" character. Plus MGSV is just the most self-serious and dare I say "gritty" game in the series. I don't think David Hayter's Snake would be able to fit the tone of that game, because he fits the tone of the T-rated wacky Peace Walker. And as much as I like the speech at the end of that game, his voice work on it made it slightly funny rather than entirely moving. His MGS4 voice wasn't the same as his Peace Walker voice though. One is a gravelly old man, the other is going for a more gruff soldier/commander roll; so there is some overall, but not entirely.

It makes me wonder if his delivery of "which means it's not just another nuke" wouldn't have been met with cringe, rather than acceptance. Probably cringe. Kiefer does a good job at fulfilling the roll that Venom Snake fills in MGSV; a reserved largely unremarkable soldier character. It makes even more sense in my mind since he, for the most part, is giving some voice to someone who isn't even Big Boss; the unremarkable player character. It makes sense and would be strange if the player character was voiced by David Hayter instead.

All that said, the problem people have with Venom Snake is not really the lack of Hayter, but rather the performance Venom is given in contrast to who "Snake" used to be. It wouldn't have mattered who voiced him.

@lilman1101 Nope, no it wouldn't have. Not at all. It's pretty darn clear the reason why Venom Snake is has sparse lines, and it's not because of some idea about how much voice actors cost to hire.

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beforet

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#20  Edited By beforet

For me Hayter is Snake. He will always be Snake, and any other voice will sound wrong coming out of Snake.

That said, from what I saw of Ground Zeroes (and Ishmael from Phantom Pain) from Metal Gear Scanlon, Kiefer Sutherland did an okay job. A little flat in spots, but it was entirely passable. It's not the Snake I know, but it does fit with the new, darker Big Boss, I'll say that much. I do honestly wonder if the price of Keifer is what led to Big Boss having such reduced lines though. Edit: What I mean is, with how much of a budget Kojima had clearly already spent, I'm not sure I buy that he chose to show restraint in the dialog for financial reasons. The only way I can see that happening is if Konami brought down the hammer, and I feel he would have gotten a lot more Kiefer in first.

So two episodes into the Dantom Pain, and I'm more 'eh' on Ocelot's voice. Half the time, over the radio, he just sounds like a rougher Troy Baker, and a bit too much like Miller.

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Onemanarmyy

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David Hayter is Solid Snake.

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fatalbanana

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I don't think David Hayter is a great voice actor. I think David Hayter is a perfect Snake actor.

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TechnoSyndrome

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#23  Edited By TechnoSyndrome

I like him in MGS1 and 2. Still enjoyed him in 3 but the voice started to get too gravely, and his performance from 4 onward is questionable whether he's Solid Snake, Big Boss or Old Snake. Always did a great job with the comedic stuff though. While he's still the one and only Solid Snake and nothing will ever take that away at this point, as far as Big Boss goes I much prefer Kiefer Sutherland's portrayal.

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ToTheNines

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12 year old me liked it back in the day, its only recently I have to come to realize how bad it is, but hey its a stable and synonymous with solid snake. I really enjoyed Kiefer's perfomance though.

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Humanity

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Hell yah I do.

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Firepaw

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Sure I do, of course its not great, but I have always liked it. Kiefer did really good too in Ground Zeroes/Phantom Pain.

I prefer to think of Hayter as Solid Snake and Kiefer as Big Boss.

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deactivated-5c295850623f7

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First three games he was fantastic, 1 being the standout of course. 4 was a shit show though.

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MonkeyKing1969

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I like the voice, but I don't like the 'direction' he has been given -as much- for the past 15 years.

I think that is what people miss, there is a voice director, sound engineer, and maybe even a script writer in the damn booth asking for different sorts of delivery of teh script. While it is true you can't squeeze something not in someone out, it is typically the case with voice acting that the people in the booth are asking the actor to tweak the delivery. So you cannot blame the actor for what is presented in teh game, except in a few cases.

If you think Hayter does a bad job, well blame Konami or Hideo Kojima. Don't blame the guy with 24 game voice acting credits, blame the dudes in the booth asking him to say "metAL GHEAR" is that weird way.

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obcdexter

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Yes, I do. Iconic. He IS Snake.

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Fallen189

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Catarrhal

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A great performance need not always be a realistic performance. Some o' you guys need to watch Escape from L.A. You'll be better for it.

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chilibean_3

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#33  Edited By chilibean_3

Snake never has meaningful enough dialogue for it to matter who voices him. He's barely a character and it wouldn't make much of a difference if he was a silent protagonist.

But it is really fun to joke about Hayter's gravely "Metal Gear?!" so yeah I like that.

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aktivity

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I tried getting into this franchise so many times, but his voice acting was one of the things that kept turning me off.

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mackgyver

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Yes.

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Jeldh

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#36  Edited By Jeldh

I think its good, for me the story in metal gear has always been fun, I never took it so seriously as some people do. So the voice change didnt bother me.

But I kinda cant tell Miller, Ocelot or Boss apart when they speak, so Im always a bit confused when they talk on the radio. But it doesn't really matter, they all seem to talk about the same stuff.

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Scottjay01

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Yes but I wish he kept it more natural like in MGS1

Also I liked Kiefer allot in MGSV I just wish there was more of him.

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poobumbutt

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I have literally never seen the issue with his voice, even when it came to 3 (which granted, is Big Boss, not Solid Snake). The series is tongue in cheek all over, so getting some dude - who's natural voice is nothing like Snake's - to voice him seems so right. I feel it fits right in with the series putting "fun" above most things. Also, the Bale Batman comaprison seems a little much. There was never a time when I literally could not understand Snake and needed subtitles or a rewind to catch the line.

"I'm naw warin' hoggy pantzzzzzzzz."

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redking56

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He did a good 80s gruff action hero voice that fitted when Kojima was making games as loveletters to his favourite films. MGS1 and 2 are his best performances with 1 having the better localization that fitted the voice.

In 3 he just didn't seem that in into it and a lot of his lines seem rushed or a bit goofy for some reason.

4 was a good and really fitting performance as an older Snake. Peace Walker is just off the rails, really went too far and seemed to fall into the same kinda rushed goofiness as 3 which I can't decide if it really is Hayter trying to make BB sound different.

If only there was a little hindsight and BB was given a different voice from the start. In the narrative having the same accent and timbre doesn't make any sense even from the sci-fi cloning perspective MGS uses.

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militantfreudian

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I generally don't mind a gruff characters with a gravelly voice (e.g. Geralt), but Hayter's strained performance has always made me feel uncomfortable. I recognize that his voice is iconic and that at least most of the series' fans like it, but I really, really dislike it. In fact, I'm glad Big Boss isn't voiced by him in TPP -- I actually think it's one of the main reasons why I decided to get it.

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crithon

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yes, MGS3 is still the best work he's done in developing an arch for this series.

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atomicoldman

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I always prefered Hayter's voice in MGS1 the most, it was the most grounded performance he's had for that character. It was still over the top, but wasn't reaching like Peace Walker levels of crazy.

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