By Kate Gray
Anyone who's played through the likes of Uncharted 4, Hard Rain or Tomb Raider can attest to the story telling potential of video games.
With the right script and voice actors, they can be just as compelling as your latest Netflix binge - with the added fun of influencing the story to boot.
But video games haven't always mastered the art of narrative and dramatics. Check out the following list of the worst dialogue, lines and acting we've ever encountered in gaming.
"I like shorts! They’re comfy and easy to wear!" - Pokemon Red/Blue
The protagonist in Pokémon is a silent one, which means that whenever people approach him for a battle, they just yell things in his direction with absolutely no introduction.
Usually it’s just "Let’s battle! My Pokémon are way better than yours!" but this sweet kid has just been waiting for someone to come along so he can tell them how great shorts are. He’s not wrong, either. Thanks for the sartorial advice dude.
"Now bear my arctic blast!" - Shining Force III
In super old games that made their way from Japan to English-speaking audiences, you got a lot of very bored voice acting from resulting re-dubs.
This is one of the greatest/worst examples of that - a guy who’s clearly trying to sound intimidating, but not trying anywhere near hard enough. It’s the kind of tone you’d use to tell the dentist you hadn’t flossed in a while, not to taunt your enemy.
"You flaming IDIOTS!" - Dynasty Warriors
Sometimes you can also overact your lines, like this gem from Dynasty Warriors.
The voice actor is clearly going for "anger2 but ends up falling somewhere between "angsty pre-teen who hasn't learnt to swear" and Gordon Ramsay when he gets mad at people for serving raw fish.
"Would you care for a splash of pigeon milk?" - Animal Crossing
"Do you know any... sailors?" - Shenmue
Ryo Hazuki was relentless in his pursuit of sailors in Shenmue, which wouldn’t have been so irritating if the scriptwriters had thought of more ways of saying “Hey, what’s up, I’m looking for sailors”.
It only took a few minutes before the whole quest descended to Carry On levels of camp.
"I am error" - Legend of Zelda: The Adventure of Link
This one is potentially the most famous translation error (pun intended) in games.
The character in Japanese was called "Bug", which became "Error" in English. Easy mistake to make, but when playing the game it’s more than a little terrifying to find something that looks a lot like you’ve broken it.
"A winner is you!" - Pro Wrestling
"And Jill, here's a lockpick. It might be handy if you, the master of unlocking, take it with you." - Resident Evil
Bad writing, or one of the greatest lines of all time?
Definitely the former.
It might be flattering for your colleague to call you "the master of unlocking", but it's so clumsy that it’s hard to believe the voice actors managed to record this with a straight face.
"I am the great mighty poo, and I’m going to throw my shit at you" - Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Talk about a statement of intent.
Conker was a weird little gem of a game that attracted basically everyone that was probably too young to swear (and those who were old enough to know better). It felt naughty and rude; there aren’t enough games featuring singing excrement.
"You were almost a Jill sandwich!" - Resident Evil
Another Resi entry, mostly because it makes no sense.
Jill Valentine is nearly flattened by a trap, and Barry responds with this line.
Has he ever seen a sandwich? Is he trying to imply that Jill is the bread, or the filling? Is the trap/floor combination the bread? Either way, it’s a stupid thing to say, Barry. Shut up and shoot some zombies.
Conglaturation !!! You have completed a great game. And prooved the justice of our culture. Now go and rest our heroes ! - Ghostbusters
If you didn’t like the most recent Ghostbusters film, be glad that at least the dialogue wasn’t THIS bad.
Can you imagine Melissa McCarthy trying to pronounce all these typos? They’d never get any actual ghostbusting done.
"All your base are belong to us!" - Zero Wing
"That wizard came from the moon" - Destiny
It’s not that this line is bad, per se, it’s just… so odd.
It might just be the combination of fantasy and sci-fi that trips people up, or maybe it’s hearing television’s Tyrion Lannister say something so far-fetched - or perhaps it’s just the matter-of-fact way in which the line is delivered.
Whichever one it is, the line was subsequently removed when Bungie decided to re-record Peter Dinklage's dialogue with voice actor Nolan North. Boo.
"Fool. you challenge me with trickery. I DON’T BELIEVE IN MAAAGIIIIC. Onward!" - Dynasty Warriors 3
Dynasty Warriors has a lot of stupid, weird and badly-delivered lines that probably made a lot more sense in its original Japanese language.
This one is almost good because of its drawn-out attempt at sounding eeevil. The best you could say about this line is that at least it has a nice sort of crescendo.
We hear he's available for panto.
"Your arrows are like you, weak and twisted. I fear them… NOT." - Tenchu Stealth Assassin
It might sound like a pretty good comeback to trash talk, but what actually happens with this line is that the voice actor reads it out like a nineties teen stereotype, complete with a pause before "...not" and everything.
Pretty weak stuff right before a boss battle.
"It was my destiny to be here, in the box." - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
You can’t fault the Metal Gear games for trying to be quirky - it’s sort of their thing, with the results either being successful or unique.
But hearing Snake talk about how much he loves being inside cardboard boxes is maybe a step too far. Although… being inside cardboard boxes can be fun if you pretend it’s a spaceship, and you're eight years old.
"Pleeease don’t kill meee! But I suppose you have to" - Michigan: Report From Hell
"Dieeee, worms. Together with this burning ship, ahahaha!" - Grandia
Oh sure, it’s probably really hard to write a good villain speech that doesn’t come across as one big cliche - but this one is so inept that it would totally ruin the tension of the Big Bad Boss moment.