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Ninterview: Meet Matthew Mercer - Voice Actor For Chrom

Posted by Orla Madden

No one can stop me now!

Thirteen is unlucky for some, but not for Fire Emblem: Awakening, the thirteenth entry into the Fire Emblem series. The RPG title has enjoyed success across all regions, becoming the best selling game in the series in its first month in North America, and shifting enough copies in the UK to sit in third place on its chart debut.

As most will know by now, the story focuses on Chrom, the prince of the Halidom of Ylisse, as he journeys with fellow companions during a destructive period of time. Matthew Mercer is the strong voice behind the game's mighty leader, and we were lucky to grab him from his busy schedule to have a chat with us.

Nintendo Life: Hi Matthew, thanks so much for taking the time out to speak with us here at Nintendo Life! Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Michael Mercer: My pleasure! Hello everyone. My name is Matthew Mercer, and I am an actor/voice actor based in Los Angeles. I've done many video game projects and cartoons (which Wikipedia will reveal to you), and directed the Nintendo-based webseries There Will Be Brawl a few years back, where I also played Ganondorf and Kirby.

NL: Can you please tell us how you began your career in voice acting?

MM: I began doing background voices and minor characters in Japanese Anime way back in 2000/2001, but only every now and then for fun. About 6 years ago, I decided to pursue it actively... and as such, quit my job, hit the pavement, and starting working as hard as I could towards a career in this field. So far, so good!

NL: We'd like to take a moment to applaud you on your work with Chrom in Fire Emblem: Awakening. Tell us, did you have to audition for the part?

MM: Thank you, I'm very proud of my part in Fire Emblem! I did indeed audition for the role, and even though the title of the project was secret on the audition sides, I recognized the art and character references as Fire Emblem, so was hoping to get it. Somehow I pulled through!

He's young, but has a good head on his shoulders and is willing to accept the challenges he's had thrust upon him. Keeping him a character the player can both identify with, and vicariously enjoy his heroics. It was a challenge, but one I was up for.

NL: Did you have any specific inspirations in developing Chrom's voice?

MM: Mainly, I wanted to maintain a balance between casual, cool, stoic, and occasionally playful. He's young, but has a good head on his shoulders and is willing to accept the challenges he's had thrust upon him. Keeping him a character the player can both identify with, and vicariously enjoy his heroics. It was a challenge, but one I was up for.

NL: Fire Emblem: Awakening's story is told through both fully voiced cutscenes and written dialogue with shorter "reaction" vocal clips. Those clips are surprisingly versatile - did you have a specific list of words and phrases to record, or did you get to adlib them based on context?

MM: Most of those shorter clips were pre-written in a VERY long script, with a few bits of adlib if we felt the context allowed it. Patrick Seitz, the Voice Director and an all around fantastic guy, was kind enough to give the actors as much context as possible for each scene and individual reaction... a privilege not many projects afford a performer, hehe. I think the quality elevates noticeably because of it.

NL: Did you get to record dialogue or conversations with any of the other voice actors, or was the recording mostly solo sessions?

MM: As with most video game VO sessions, they were solo recorded in the booth. We would LOVE to record together, but with so much dialogue to cover, it's not cost-effective to pay two or more actors to record scenes together. Thankfully, the cast is full of extremely talented VAs, so you would hardly notice. Made my job easy!

NL: Do you play games yourself? If so, what are some of your favourites?

MM: I've been a hardcore gamer my whole life, though free time continues to be a fleeting commodity. Favorite games? Wow... that's a long list. Old School: Final Fantasy VI and VII, Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, Breath of Fire II, Baldur's Gate, Street Fighter Alpha 3... it could go on. New School: The Witcher series, Demon Souls & Dark Souls, anything Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect series, etc. In case you couldn't tell, I'm an RPG nut.

NL: Out of all the characters you've voice acted for, who do you identify with the most?

MM: That's a TOUGH question. Personally, I'd say I really identify with Leon Kennedy from RE6. We tend to both be the guy who has to make the hard, moral choices in a world of confrontation and responsibility. Self-sacrifice for the good of others and all that.

NL: Are you working on anything at the moment that you can tell us about?

MM: I am working on a LOT, but most of it is under heavy NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), sadly, but I can say there are some really cool things coming up.

NL: We may be quite cheeky in asking if you've been asked to reprise your role as Chrom in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. series?

MM: I currently have not been approached and asked about this, but MAN WOULD I LOVE FOR THIS TO HAPPEN. As a huge fan of the Smash Bros series (heck, look at my webseries!), I would love to. Chrom seems like an easy fit, and follows the trend of previous Smash Bros games... so just keep your fingers crossed, and be SUPER VERBAL to Nintendo about your NEED to have Chrom in the game!

NL: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a video game voice actor?

MM: First and foremost... you need to hone your craft as an actor. Silly voices are fun and impressive, but at the heart of everything, you need to know how to interpret scripts and copy, how to breakdown character elements and have a mind for scene study. Take classes and workshops to help improve your ability as an actor. It's a very competitive world, so you need to do whatever you can to be competitive. When ready, go to where the work is and work HARD.

NL: Matthew, it's been a pleasure. Best of the luck for the future from all of us at Nintendo Life!

MM: Thank you for having me! If anyone wants to follow my silly exploits, I'm on twitter at @matthewmercer. You are all awesome, and keep art alive!

Ninterviews are a series of interviews where we get to know interesting people with a passion for Nintendo. Please contact us if you have any suggestions for future Ninterviews. Click here to see the full series.

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User Comments (36)



FullbringIchigo said:

hey look it's leon from that Resident Evil game we didn't get (why if Capcom can make another version of Street Fighter 4 or keep re-releasing their old games but not port Resi 5 and 6 to the WiiU is beyond me)

btw it was a good interview



Hunter-D said:

Enjoyable interview, was an interesting read.

Oh yeah, Chrom WILL be in the next Smash Bros.

I mean he just has to...right?



WingedSnagret said:

By this point I'm getting suspicious. Both Pit and now Chrom's voice actors have been asked about Smash Bros. and (understandably) both didn't quite answer the question directly. Pit is in the game now, but we haven't heard him utter a sound yet, which is interesting. If Matthew hasn't been approached about reprising his role yet, I think he will soon.



Philip_J_Reed said:

We definitely need a Fire Emblem character in this Smash Bros, and I'd be perfectly happy with it being Chrom.

It's nice to see how much love he actually has for the medium. He's not just a voice actor who happened to work his way into some video game roles...he obviously really cares about it, and that's fantastic both for him and for us.

Great interview.



Expa0 said:

Awakening was a great game, but Chrom is one of the blandest protagonists in the series I find. Thankfully most of the support cast was pretty good though.

E:For Smash Bros. I'd like to see a FE villain like Gangrel for example, though as Donnel was my favorite character in Awakening he would be my 1st pick.



Klunk23 said:

I love that Patrick Seitz was the voice director. I knew that he voiced Khan Basilo but I didn't know that he was voice director. I really like his voice.



LordJumpMad said:

Sorry Chrom, but I think everyone wants the female Marth to join the Brawl.
Sounds fitting, since she able to go to other worlds, (Outrealm) and I can see her jumping into a match of brawl with no problem.



Hunter-D said:

Yeah, but you can expect two characters representing Fire Emblem from the next Smash Bros. as there have been two from the last two games.

I'm thinking the likely duo would be Marth (Smash Veteran) & Chrom.



WinterWarm said:

Although the characters for Smash Bros. may not feature Chrom because they might be set in stone, "ANYTHING CAN CHANGE!"

Great, awesome Feature. I want Chrom in Smash Bros!

All you WiiU owners, tell Nintendo on Miiverse!



puddinggirl said:

Looked him up and realized he has appeared in ALL the games that I'm playing now - GW2 and Professor Layton. LOL!



GamecubeMan said:

"Anything can change!"
Hopefully Chrom will make the cut. Maybe he was talking about SSB4 under those NDA agreements.



sinalefa said:

I had no idea about him being Leon in RE6. My bro and I play the game often, and on the first playthrough we heard the English voice actors while we are listening to the Italian ones in our current rerun. We both agree in that the original voice is much better.

I need to open my FE:A to listen to him. I just want to chop down my backlog a little before tackling this apparently addictive game. New Leaf is also waiting for the same reason.



Tysamu said:

Yeah, it'd be great to have some else helm the fire emblem title in the next smash bros instead of Marth. For the two FE characters I'd vote for Ephraim to be in with Chrom. I don't recall ssb ever having a lance-type weapon lol



ljinkakidd said:

We will see Chrom in Smash Bros 4. We probably won't see Ike but Marth is the Golden Boy of Fire Emblem so he'll stay. Any rpg nut is a friend of mine sir.



Dpullam said:

I still haven't played Fire Emblem Awakening yet... Animal Crossing New Leaf is keeping me too busy!



J-Manix98 said:

It is a secret aspiration of mine to voice act in a video game or an anime... This was a neat interview! Either Chrom or Lucina would be Awesome in SSB4.



AJWolfTill said:

Regarding Smash Bros, I don't think they will be bringing in the voice actors until the moves and animations are finished. Pit's voice actor hadn't been approached when you interviewed him and we already know Pit made it in.



World said:

He could also play Chrom in a Fire Emblem movie. How many voice actors could claim that? (Maybe Cam Clarke/Kratos?)



element187 said:

So does both the European release and the North American release have the same Chrom? I figured the European edition would have someone speaking in the Queen's english.



AllAroundGamer9 said:

Having Chrom in Smash Bros would be a good idea. If he does make it in, I wonder what kind of moveset he would have.



sdcazares1980 said:

Matthew Mercer did a good job filling in for Paul Mercier as Leon Kennedy. Actually, Matthew's portrayal was a bit more rugged, which I actually do like.



Turbo857 said:

Chrom's cool but he's using the same sword as Marth and fulfills a very similar role in Awakening. I have no problem with having Chrom as a playable Smash U character but NOT at the expense of Ike. Ike is the best lead to ever grace a Fire Emblem and arguably most medieval setting RPGs. And if they were to include a "villain" Fire Emblem character... no character would be more deserving of that spot than the enigmatic Black Knight... hands down.



MarioFan1985 said:

This voice actor is familiar with me. He voiced Z.W.E.I. from Soul Calibur 5, Kurtis Stryker from the Mortal Kombat remake and Pvt. Keyes from Aliens: Colonial Marines. It was also cool to know that he as well is a gamer (just like us).



astarisborn94 said:

Ugh... I hate how everyone assumes that Chrom is a shoe-in for SSB4. Also, Chrom replacing Ike is a horrible idea.

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