Mercedes is one of the most beloved characters Fire Emblem: The Three Houses – and, at least for me, my “waifu” in all game modes. Now the “big mother” of the Blue Lions is back inside Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopesbut you knew that Dorothy Fahnvoice actress for Mercedes, had she acted in the Movie Emblem before?
Very gracious and generous, Dorothy, who lives in Los Angeles, California, also took the time to comment on the difference between gossip and storytelling, which people sometimes confuse. Unlike the latter, in which there is a ready-made script that is narrated by people present on the set, impersonation requires more professional dedication.
The voice actor explained to me that the dubbing process requires knowing how to match the lips of the dubbed characters and also the right time to say each word. “It’s a skill you need to learn, to know how to act when you try to respect the moment and match the words with the movements of the lips.”
We started the interview talking about Rinea, from Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (3DS), the first character in the franchise produced by Fahn. “As a character, she seemed insecure, but very sweet. [Ela] it also seemed very selfish, you know, when you relate to other people? You can see how unsure and insecure she is on her first date with Berkut.
|Courtesy of Dorothy Fahn|
Nintendo Blast: What else can you tell us about Rinea?
Dorothy Fahn: It was fun to play with him. I don’t think Mercedes, but she is a good character. I loved the romance aspect of it, the relationship [Rinea] I was with Berkut… A good love affair, but with a sad ending, went terribly wrong.
For the hook, I asked him about the casting process, if he already knew about the role he was going to play. “If you go to the session [de dublagem], they don’t say what’s going on. We don’t have time for that, it’s basically ‘this is the game, this is the character, he’s so and so’. That’s the kind of overview they give us.”
NB: So you didn’t know what would happen to Rinea?
DF: Sometimes we record up to four hours straight. When I got to this particular part of the game, I said, “Wow! things happen! Was it supposed to be like that?” It was interesting [como um todo] how things were between Rinea and Berkut. But, oh, this scene really ticked me off.
Fahn added that he really likes Shadows of Valentia, not just the character he voiced. “Everybody did a great job. [Mas] there was this thing of interacting with other characters throughout the game, so that helped build relationships [entre Berkut e Rinea].
NB: Can you tell us a little about Mercedes? when I saw him [em Three Houses], I thought “Wow, I need to play with him!”. It was love at first sight.
DF: When they told me about her, I only learned that she is a very religious and loving person, as if she were a real mother. But finding a voice for him… They wanted me to play this light voice that embodies this spirituality, which is very important in his life.
However, finding the right sound for Mercedes was not an easy task. Dorothy told me that this type of voice is difficult to maintain during long sessions, especially in large conversations. “You exhale quickly, because you put extra air in your voice, so I had to re-record [algumas cenas] several times. I took a deep breath and tried again, but they liked the result, they thought it suited the character.
NB: And what did you think about Mercedes?
DF: I really enjoyed playing for him. He’s very pure, unselfish, but he has these little “ironic” moments that, of course, were fun too. It was wonderful to put the lightness and spirituality in his voice.
Anyone who played Three Houses knows that Mercedes is also clumsy and sometimes forgetful, to the point of not remembering to wear her uniform to class. “I didn’t know what was going on until we got to this conversation. Yes, he seems to be forgetful, but his sweetness helps him.”
NB: What about the fact that Mercedes love horror stories?
DF: Isn’t it a good thing when people have this “weird” side of them? I’m a voice actor, I do this and that, I voice a lot of characters in games and animation, but I’m also a huge Star Trek fan. It’s totally my sci-fi side, not everyone knows that.
Dorothy doesn’t remember any specific dialogue from Mercedes in Three Houses, but said she really enjoyed acting in the character’s more “funny” moments, not least because it’s such a contrast to her personality.
NB: What was it like voicing Mercedes in Three Hopes, which is an action game?
DF: It was very similar [a dublá-la em Three Houses], as if it’s a more violent continuation of the fight and Mercedes is right there in the middle. It was interesting [fazer a Mercedes em Three Hopes] because she’s a sweet character, so I had to adapt to that gentleness of voice in the heat of battle, like I did with Sonia Blanche in Shining Resonance Refrain.
Given that the dubbing process requires a voice actor to know how to act according to what’s happening at the time, whether it’s animation or a game, I wanted to know what Dorothy’s thoughts were on two specific moments in Three Houses.
NB: During the battle in the Three Houses, if you hire Mercedes for the Black Eagles, there is a time when we fight with Annette. They are like sisters, but they have to face each other suddenly.
DF: It was very difficult, but interesting. When I went to record this part [do jogo], I was like “Am I going to have to fight Annette? Do I really have to do this?” it’s him [o diretor de dublagem] he replied yes, that’s the game.
My God, I think I felt like Mercedes at that moment, knowing I would have to face Annette. It’s bad, really bad, something that shouldn’t happen, but I can’t change it. (laughs)
NB: On the Blue Lions route, there is an area where Mercedes has some character up its sleeve…
DF: That is an exciting event. I won’t give away spoilers, so I won’t say too much about him, but he is a very bad character. You know you two have been through it and that Mercedes loves you so much, but that’s it. It was very, very sad.
Of course, we couldn’t stop talking about Nintendo and video games. “Well, as for me and video games, I’m bad, bad, bad at games, it’s not even funny. I just can’t play, like, forget it. I can voice characters in games, okay, but I don’t have any skills for it. Like , at my brother-in-law’s house we always play Wii Sports, it’s the only game I know better than Miss Pac-Man. (laughs)”
I won’t give away spoilers, but it was a sudden change in behavior. They [diretores de dublagem] they do this directly, they don’t give us a lot of details exactly because they want us to have that kind of response. It’s so cool.”
NB: Okay, as you mentioned Tsumugi, can you tell us about your experience with Danganronpa? It’s fair to tie our heads up, isn’t it?
DF: It’s another game I couldn’t play. (laughs) The first character I voiced was Sayaka in Trigger Happy Havoc. She’s a sweet girl, a pop star, but, you know, it didn’t last that long.
I also voiced Chihiro in the same game. I really liked that, because I like characters who have secrets. It’s always interesting to dub [personagens assim] because we need to find a tone of voice that can keep this secret under lock and key. I won’t spoil it, but Chihiro became famous because of it.
NB: Ending the interview, additional questions. Do you have any Mercedes quotes that you enjoyed uttering?
DF: It’s hard to remember specifics because we recorded it [Three Houses] many years have passed and several projects have appeared along the way. I love when Mercedes is a little sarcastic and also that she likes tea, she makes cookies. But sure when he’s snickering, it’s fun.
NB: Which is your favorite Mercedes model: professional phase, battle phase or the Three Hopes?
DF: Of course the academic phase. (laughs) It’s awesome.
NB: You said before that Mercedes is the mother of the Blue Lions, but did you know that she is called “Momcedes” by the fans?
DF: Seriously? I didn’t know! (laughs) my goodness, this is amazing! Well, here’s another curiosity: 90% of the time I’m called [para dublar] characters who are mothers or have this method of reproduction more.
It is not a very good thing to be associated with that [o tipo de personagem], but sometimes it’s fine. In fact, ‘Momcedes’ is a genius. (laughs)
Dorothy Fahn, who is believed to be the Blue Lions, also left a message for Brazilian fans, which you can watch in the video below.
Review: David Sousa
Video editing: Gabriela Perpetua Santana da Silva
Answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.