Visiting John DiMaggio’s IMDB page reveals how versatile the voice actor is. Over the years, the voice of Jake the Dog and Bender has lent his pipes to video games, as well. DiMaggio is perhaps most well-known in games spaces for his portrayal of Marcus Fenix, protagonist of the Gears of War series (who will be back in Gears 5, according to his credits). In addition to the chainsaw-wielding refrigerator man, DiMaggio is the voice of Final Fantasy XII‘s Migelo and City Civilian from Destiny. Oh and he did a weird pseudo Jamaican accent for his role as Wakka in Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2.
DiMaggio occupies a similar voice space to me as H. Jon Benjamin, the voice of television’s Archer and Bob Belcher from Bob’s Burgers. Benjamin’s most vital role is as Coach John McGuirk in Loren Bouchard’s perfect (20-year-old!!!!) animated show Home Movies. I know Benjamin’s voice immediately, no matter what inflection, no matter what impression he’s doing. When I visited Benjamin’s filmography it revealed something that chilled me to the bone: he only has one video game credit to his name. He played Radio Voice in Destiny 2.
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H. Jon Benjamin’s lack of credits in the games industry is unacceptable in the year 2019. Here are ten roles he should have played in video games.
King Rhoam – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
There’s no one that hurls more expository dialogue at you in the early going of Breath of the Wild than King Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule, who lures you into his whole deal with the old “I have a hang glider you can totally have if you kickstart the Hyrulian Armageddon for me” trick. The reveal that he’s not some rando on a plateau and is, in fact, a ghost, would be best delivered by the voice of the sentient can of mixed vegetables from Wet Hot American Summer.
Best Line: “Consult the map on your Sheikah Slate for the precise location of Kakariko Village.”
Auron – Final Fantasy X
Auron’s original voice actor, Matt McKenzie, delivers one of the strongest performances in Final Fantasy X, a game marred by unevenness is this regard. Cut it some slack, it was one of the first games that attempted that level of voiceover on consoles without the strong localization of Final Fantasy IX or Final Fantasy XII.
Still, there’s not much I wouldn’t give to hear the voice of Coach McGuirk confessing his true nature to Tidus. It would also give us the chance to hear Benjamin acting against John DiMaggio in two roles (he played Kimahri Ronso on top of his role as Wakka).
Best Line: “Somehow I made my way, crawling, down Mount Gagazet. But my strength left me just outside Bevelle. That’s where Kimahri found me.”
Bonus Observation (spoilers): Wow two instances in a row of a ghost reveal.
Professor Theo – Mischief Makers
Okay Professor Theo has like one like in Treasure’s basically-perfect Nintendo 64 platformer, but I’d love to hear H. Jon Benjamin deliver it. Same audio quality and everything.
Best Line: “Help me, Marinaaaaaaaaaaaa!”
Daxter – Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Max Casella is the chosen one for Daxter, the squirrely buddy of the titular Jak in the Jak and Daxter series. Casella has provided his voice for at least eight different games in which Daxter has appeared. His voice is deliberately grating and pitchy, a foil for the (mostly) even-tempered Jak, which makes sense. But what if we went in a different direction with it? What if Daxter had the voice of Ben from Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist?
Best Line: “We got the moves, eh Jak? We’d love to stay and chat, Big Green. but we’re uh, itching, to get along with our adventures.”
Cidolfus Demen Bunansa – Final Fantasy XII
Okay but what if the voice of Jimmy Pesto Jr. was a treacherous villain? Cid in Final Fantasy XII is not only the transient father of sky pirate playboy Balthier, but a tremendous jerk who spent way too much time talking to an ancient evil only he could see. The localization and voice acting in the 2006 game are eons beyond Final Fantasy X, but there’s still some major scene chewing going on.
Best Line: <shouting> “A trial for Ashelia B’nargin Dalmasca!” <whispering> “You lust for the Stone’s power, do you not?”
Joker Moreau – Mass Effect
Seth Green’s performance across three games as Joker Moreau, Commander Shepard’s pilot of choice, is strong! The problem for me? The character himself wears out his welcome about five minutes into the first game. That’s not Seth’s fault–Joker just represents a fairly tired archetype that would be vastly improved with the total lack of inflection from Benjamin’s portrayal as The Devil from Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil.
Best Line: “I’m going to land the plane Shepard” (I don’t remember a single thing Joker said in these games)
Sindri & Brok – God of War
The dwarf brothers from one of 2018’s best games were fine in theory, but a little weak in execution. Benjamin could play both roles. I see Sindri as a Jason Penopolis 100%, where Brok is a lowkey Sterling Archer.
Best Line: Nothing specific, but the banter between the two would be pretty great, particularly arguing over skap slag. Also, Sindri’s retching over basically everything.
Atlas – Bioshock
Atlas serves as your faithful radio companion for a little over half of Bioshock before everything comes crumbling down. Both before this event and after, Atlas would be such a more present force of nature with Benjamin’s talents behind him. Once you imagine Bob Belcher trying to do a thick Irish accent, it’s tough to imagine Bioshock being experienced any other way.
Best Line: “Would you kindly…”
Gehrman – Bloodborne
The seemingly frail First Hunter dispenses cryptic wisdom throughout your journey in FromSoftware’s Bloodborne, but the perfectly serviceable, subtly menacing voice work could pack such a different punch if delivered by the new voice of Arby’s.
Best Line: “Dear oh dear, what was it? The hunt, the blood, or the horrible dream?”
Zero – Mega Man X4
What if H. Jon Benjamin, but anime? We could find out if he voiced Zero in the criminally underrated Mega Man X4.
Best Line: “Aghhhhhhhhhh. No, this isn’t happening! There’s no reason for me to go on! What….what am I fighting forrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!??!??”