John Silke. For any Starfox fan this name should automatically refer to the two Generals of the series, General Pepper and General Scales. And not only has he voiced them for Starfox Adventures, he has also voiced R.O.B., the WarpStone, and many others through out the game. StarFox Elite has had the chance to get in touch with him thanks to Ben Cullum, and he agreed to do this interview for us and all the fans of Starfox, so here it is, our interview with John SIlke!
Q: How did you get into game design and voice acting?
It started when I was in testing at Rare. Somebody in the audio dept, that I eventually graduated to, put out the call for people to try out voice acting in Perfect Dark. Well, having been the singer in a band for 10 years (with fellow Rare colleague, bass maestro and friend Steve Brand) and being a massive show off, I volunteered. It went on from there. Perfect Dark, a few GBA games (Sabre Wulf, Mr Pants etc) Kameo, Grabbed by the Ghoulies and of Course Starfox Adventures. I’ve done a few little bits here and there since, such as the main character in Fable, although he was just grunts and groans, no dialogue, and the little people in Godfinger.
Q: Did you know what Starfox was before Dinosaur Planet became an entry to the series?
Sure, I’d played it on the SNES many times. I was crap at it but I enjoyed it.
Q: Of all the characters you voiced in Starfox Adventures, who did you enjoy voicing most?
Hmm, General Scales because he’s the baddie!
Q: Was it difficult voicing so many characters and having each of them sounding distinctly different from each other?
Not difficult. A bit challenging I guess. The main problem was remembering how a voice should sound when recordings for a character were sometimes a year or more apart!
Q: Were character accents and the sound of their voices predetermined or did you add your own spin to what you thought suited well?
A bit of both. We’d just work on them in the studio. Sometimes, as with General Scales, we’d reference existing material such as Jeremy Irons Lion Character in the Lion King.
Q: Did you look to the past Starfox games at all for guidance of certain Starfox characters voices?
Sure, I tried to sound like the old General Pepper, but probably failed spectacularly. Ben Cullum and Steve Malpass did their best impressions of Fox and Falco, from I guess the N64 version.
Q: How difficult did you find it to speak Dino, the language of Dinosaur Planet?
Pretty tricky, but thankfully there wasn’t too much of it. It was fun trying to get it right, working with the other VOs, Ben, Steve Estelle and co. Ben Cullum and I often quote lines from the game to each other, even 10 years or more later. Actually I think Ben, Steve, Estelle and I are all going to try and meet for a drink in London soon, it’ll be like Starfox Adventures reunited. Maybe we should all stay in character all evening.
Q: Aside from the characters you voiced, if given the chance would you voice any others? If so, which one(s) would you like to have done?
Starfox characters or any game? Well, Starfox wise I’m happy with what I was allowed to do. If I could voice any character it would be someone in The Darkness who gets to work with Mike Patton.
Q: Who is your favorite Starfox character?
The hero Fox McCloud of course! Or specifically from Starfox Adventures I like The Shopkeeper.
Q: Many concepts from Dinosaur Planet (the original title of the game for readers) were scrapped during the conversion of becoming a Starfox title. One scene in particular is the final battle with General Scales. Do you like the way it turned out or do you think it could of been a little less anti-climatic?
True, a lot changed. Hmm, I guess the ending could have been a bit more dramatic, but games development is such a complex thing, you can’t always do things exactly as you’d like for many complicated reasons. Still, the ending can’t be any less anti –climactic than the movie Super 8, which I loved apart from the end!
Q: It was said that only the pure of heart could posses a Krazoa Spirit. What is General Scales excuse for having one?
He bribed the spirit with free Nintendo Merchandise.
Q: Theoretically speaking, if the chance ever arose and you were asked to lend your voice talents to a brand new Starfox game, would you accept?
Oh sure, in a minute, but I can’t imagine anyone making a new game would call on my limited voice talent.
Q: You have been a part of Starfox history and shall forever be a part of the franchise we all know and love. Is there anything you would like to say to the fans?
I would just like to roar loudly in the voice of General Scales.
And there you have it! Special thanks to John Silke for agreeing to do this with us! It's always amazing to get in touch with such talented VA's and get them to do interviews for all the fans of Starfox! You can follow Starfox Elite on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr for all the latest news on Starfox and upcoming interviews!