The other day I posted about something to do with a remake of Duke Nukem 3D as a mod using the Unreal Engine 3. I went back to that same thread over at the official Duke Nukem forums on GearBoxSoftware.com. Needless to say the topic was still going strong.
But it was on the last page that I saw something interesting. Somebody posted a link to this website and said that there were some recordings of somebody doing Duke Nukem’s voice.
So I went over to the site, only to see that the place was entirely void of content – except for an mp3 playing in the background. So I took Orbit, which is a program that is quite adept at capturing flash and media playing on a site, and downloaded the file. While I did this, I was listening to the phrases being said as the clip played. I’ve heard people try and do Duke Nukem’s voice before. Some have come close, and others have been pretty piss poor. This was Duke Nukem’s voice. This was the Jon St. John.
Having downloaded the file to my HD, I listened to the entire clip, which ran for about just over 3 and a half minutes. Jon was obviously reading the text that appears on the menu trees on a text editor. Open up any one, like Microsoft Word or something and you’ll see what I mean. It was actually pretty funny. Weird, but quite hilarious.
The guys over at the GBX forums were debating on this bit of off-topic wonder; some betting that it was Duke’s voice, whilst others were doubtful.
Like I said: I’ve played enough friggin’ Duke Nukem 3D and Manhattan Project to KNOW that is Jon. But I wanted to know how this site was found. So I did what anybody would do. I Googled it. The phrase was something like “Jon St. John Text Editor”. One of the first hits that cropped up was Jon’s wiki page. Upon going to it, lo and behold: under “external links”, there was a link pointing to that very same site, saying that it was Jon reading some menu trees for a program.
I was curious as to what the program was and who hired Jon. I gathered from the phrases in the audio recording that it was for a program called Text Edit.
I mean, in the end, Jon is a voice actor among other things (musician, former radio DJ), and has worked on other games - most notably Half-Life: Opposing Force. He is essentially for hire. At one stage I actually remember Jon offering to do voice work for something like $1 per word. He said he would even do Duke’s voice and people could dub it in to Left 4 Dead, replacing Zoey’s voice, or some weird sh1t.
If that was his going rate, then by my calculations, including conjunctions, it would have added up to about $159 just for this job. I should get in to the voice acting business…
However, I was reading, again over at GBX forums, and some poster said this:
“Get a personalized, custom recording of Duke for your voicemail, ringtone, answering machine, whatever! You write the script, and Duke will say anything you want. Your message(s) must be no more than 30 seconds total, and for private use only. Available file formats include: WAV, MP3, and AIFF. The price is just 50 bucks and payable via Pay Pal. So what are you waiting for...Christmas? Come Get Some!”
Some person over at the GBX forums also said that he “so wants Jon to do the voice for his GPS now.”