If you’ve heard Joshua Rosfield, the younger brother of Final Fantasy XVI protagonist Clive Rosfield, in trailers and gameplay, chances are you’ll find this voice very familiar. That’s because it’s Logan Hannan, the voice of Hugo from Rune from Asobo Studio’s A Plague Tale series.
Logan Hannan – Voice of Joshua Rosfield
Naturally, the voices Hannan uses between Joshua and Hugo are different, but there is a youthful familiarity and it turns out that it was actually his performance as the latter that landed him the role of the former, according to the director. FFXVI Michael-Christopher Koji Renard localization.
Koji says the auditions for Joshua’s voice were among the first to happen. The team cast an actor who was very close to puberty, he says, but at the time it looked like he would do just fine. In some cases, as part of game development, an actor might record all of their lines in a block of time, but in other cases, this is not the case. Since FFXVI uses motion capture, scenes had to be run first before voice lines could be recorded. This meant Joshua’s lead actor couldn’t record all of his lines at once. Unfortunately, puberty hit during the recording and “he couldn’t sound like an 8-year-old anymore”. He looked like someone who was 15, Koji says, and “it wasn’t going to work.”
“And that’s when I had played enough of A Plague Tale that I was like, ‘Okay, rather than doing another round of auditions, I know exactly who we want. J ‘ve played this game and it was awesome in it. [Hannan] from A Plague Tale,” Koji says. “It ended up working.”
This is the scariest aspect of voice recording with children, says Koji, noting that it’s not uncommon. “I guess no one has ever been angrier about puberty” than the original Joshua actor, he adds.
As for why Hannan, Koji says it’s because his performance in Series A Plague Tale sums up everything developer FFXVI Creative Business Unit III needed from Joshua.
“When we got the scripts it was like, ‘Okay, we’re going to have this very, very intense scene with a very, very young character,'” Koji said in reference to Joshua’s murder in FFXVI. “We knew that having a young child be there and be happy, we had to put him through literal hell. Because the goal is to make this as real as possible, we didn’t want to hire an adult actor and have him do a kid’s voice, because unless you have someone who’s really, really good at this domain, it may end up ringing false.
“On the other hand, we would have an 8-year-old actor play the scenes that are super violent. This is an M-rated game, so we needed to find someone who could produce that visceral performance but also make it feel real. .
If you’ve played A Plague Tale: Innocence, or its sequel A Plague Tale: Requiem, then you know Hannan is quite capable of this considering what Hugo endures in these games.
“I think, ‘Who did this?’ [while playing A Plague Tale] and I see that it is a child of this age and I say to myself: “He is the one who must be involved in the project” while thinking that there is no way that he say ‘Yes’,” Koji said.
CBUIII contacted Hannan and he was very interested. After his audition, the team thought he was the perfect fit for Joshua.
“I mean, he’s screaming in angst and it’s very difficult, even for an older actor, without it sounding a little fake and cheesy, and I think we had these really, really real performances,” says Koji. “Although Logan is so young, he’s such a great actor and it was so much fun working with him and I hope to use him again in the future.
“Although he’s getting older, his voice will change, so I’ll have to cast him for a different kind of role, but he’s such a great actor,” Koji adds.
Joshua’s older brother, Clive, is voiced by video game newcomer Ben Starr. Koji says that Starr actually auditioned for a different role, for someone who works with Clive during one of the game’s opening missions.
Ben Starr – The voice of Clive Rosfield
“It was an audition for one of these characters that Ben Starr came in and he auditioned for this character, and we heard him in the studio and the director said, ‘Okay, that’s fine, but you have a very good voice. Can you read this script? And they handed him the Clive script, even though he came for another [role].”
Koji listened and immediately heard Clive’s character.
“After hearing maybe 20 other professional voice actors who had done a lot of different games, a lot of different movies and plays, and you hear all these different voices thinking, ‘Is it going to be Clive or not? ‘ And you’re on the fence like, ‘Maybe it could be Clive, I don’t know,'” Koji says. “The minute we heard Ben Starr, everyone knew that’s the voice , it’s Clive’s voice, and all of a sudden, all the dialogue that I had translated or written until then, I could hear it in that voice and we knew immediately that it was the voice.
“So he came to audition for a role that has maybe 10 lines and he ends up being the hero. I think that was really exciting. It was one of those “Eureka” type moments where you hear it and immediately you know.
Koji says that after finding Starr, they let the Japanese team hear him as Clive and that team agreed he was the perfect voice for the FFXVI protagonist. Even though CBUIII also chose a Japanese voice actor for Clive, FFXVI producer Naoki Yoshida is still playing the game in English because of Starr’s performance, according to Koji.
We’ll all be hearing more from Joshua and Clive in less than a month when FFXVI hits PlayStation 5 on June 22.
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