By now, most players who have dived into Shadow of the Erdtree have probably met Igon, Elden Ring’s most tortured but ardent hater. Since the release of the expansion some weeks ago, Igon’s quickly become a fan-favorite character, which has a lot to do with the impassioned delivery of his lines by his voice actor Richard Lintern. Unsurprisingly, the experience of recording the lines was as “epic” for Lintern as most of our encounters against his nemesis, Bayle.

In an interview with IGN, Lintern—who’d never done voice work before Elden Ring—discusses how the character of Igon largely came to be in the middle of his recording session. Being an NPC in a Hidetaka Miyazaki game, Igon doesn’t have a lot of lines, which Lintern was well aware of going in. Initially, Lintern assumed he could wrap up his line reads in about 40 minutes. The entire thing ended up stretching to about five to six hours instead. Lintern thoroughly enjoyed the experience though, saying, “It felt creative, and it felt engaged. And I didn’t quite know what I was doing, but I knew that I’d had fun doing it.”

Funnily enough, Lintern frames the VO session quite a bit like a boss fight you’d encounter in a FromSoft game. According to him, he walked into the studio to find more than a dozen people kind of gathered around Elden Ring’s director Hidetaka Miyazaki, who Lintern likens to a “god of the gaming world.”

“I didn’t know the game, and I didn’t know the status of the game, and I didn’t know [Miyazaki’s] status. But when I walked into the room, his status was very clear, very clear immediately. Everyone was very friendly, but at the same time, I could see that this was a bigger deal than I’d imagined it was going to be.”

He describes Miyazaki as “the mysterious figure in the center of the room…very much in control of the operation.” After reading a line, it’d go through several channels back to Miyazaki who would then deliver notes. “We were doing lines hundreds of times, literally hundreds, because if I was there for five hours, the actual total amount of lines that I spoke, I could’ve done in seven minutes,” Lintern shared. I can see him walking back through those theoretical fog gates time and time again. Throughout, Lintern says that the most consistent note he got was simply to amp things up. “Do you have more? Can you explode?”

And goddamn, did that man explode. Lintern—who in in his own words had to go from “naught to 5000” for his portrayal of Igon—claims he was “giving it as much as I possibly can, vocally, emotionally, neck stretching, vocal cords ripping, everything,” before taking a water break and running it back. Lintern’s director must’ve told him to take five, but I think he heard “change lives” instead and delivered the performance of a lifetime.

Lintern claims that he was spent in more ways than one by the end of session, and if that doesn’t sound like the feeling of triumphing over a FromSoft boss, I don’t know what does. I’ve been visibly shaken by the end of the most arduous encounters, including one that took me the entirety of a Saturday afternoon and evening during my first run of Bloodborne. I’ve held my breath only to let out the deepest of exhales upon doing that last tick of damage. I haven’t cried, but I have screeched at the top of my lungs upon having tasted the ichor of victory.

Elsewhere, Lintern talks about how his time with Elden Ring has opened him up to further possibilities in voice acting, which is great considering the fanbase his first stab at it has garnered. Despite how little he knew about the game, and the air of mystery that hung around Miyazaki the whole time, Lintern still managed to pull it out. Now, Igon is already among one of the most beloved characters in one of the most esteemed catalog of games. How’s that for a first day at a new job?

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