‘Love is love’: Mass Effect’s Mark Meer and Ali Hillis panel at MCM London Comic Con

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MCM London Comic Con may feature plenty of famous faces from the big and small screens, but we’re just as excited to hear from those who stay behind the scenes, providing the voices for the all the amazing characters in our favourite video games. At this May’s convention, fans got a chance to speak to Mark Meer and Ali Hillis, known for their work on the Mass Effect and Final Fantasy franchises.

Perhaps catching Ali Hillis by surprise, the first ‘question’ was a fan’s successful appeal for a standing ovation for her performance as Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII. Ali went on to elaborate on her experiences of working on Final Fantasy, explaining that she’d carefully researched the Japanese voice acting to get the emotions correct with her own delivery.

Moving on to talk about Mass Effect, the panellists spoke about intentionally taking a long time to do the final scenes of the series. Meer explained how it was necessary to make his Shepherd voice versatile enough to fit all kinds of male characters. They also spoke about the differing levels of information they were given about their characters while recording – in particular, Ali revealed that she hadn’t initially known that her character was blue.

Much hilarity was derived from Ali talking about Mass Effect‘s romance scenes, as she explained that she was allowed to choose which gendered Shepard to react to while delivering her lines, prompting Meer to suggest that she viewed him as a gender-switching alien.

Lastly, a fan asked what it was like for Meer to act in a same-sex relationship in Mass Effect 3. He responded that it was just a role to play, the same as any other, and ended by simply stating that ‘love is love’.

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Photographs by Kpopkimi.

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