Sunday, August 2, 2009


I was talking with my friends recently about silent videogame characters like Mario and Link, and whether or not they should talk. Nathaniel, I think, was the one who said it'd be really hard to come up with a voice for a character that everyone already knows.

I mention this, because the Nancy Drew team had the exact opposite problem in creating characters for Nancy Drew: Ransom of the Seven Ships. Bess Marvin, Nancy's friend, is a character whose voice has been in most of the games, but nobody knows what she looks like, besides for general descriptions in the books like "blonde, curvy and cute".

Bess appears in 4:45 of this video. You might want to skip the first part of the video if you don't want the culprit's identity spoiled for you.

There are two versions of the "finding Bess" scene, depending on whether or not you found her bracelet in the game. The dialogue in both scenes is near identical, but her hair color changes. See, in the second version of the scene, her hair is lighter than in the first one.

I wonder why that's the case.

Anyway, I like how they handled the big reveal of what Bess looks like. Instead of making a humongous deal out of it and going for a beauty shot to show off the graphics work, they went for "have Bess go into babbling idiot mode". Good old Bess.

Some people have complained, "I don't like Bess. She doesn't look the way I thought she would look," but I was totally sold on the moment. Seeing her act just like she does in the other games, knowing that this is the same Bess we've known all along--that was more important to me than what she looked like.

Besides, there is a beauty shot of Bess in this game that shows off the good model/graphics work. It just comes a few minutes later, that's all. It's right here at the start of the ending (and the start of the following video), when Bess and George are reunited, and it's a happy ending for everyone.


Danica Keeley said...

did you ever read Nancy Drew books when you were a kid?

Ciara said...

How do you get the games before they come out???
Just wondering.

Ciara said...

I thought Bess would have longer hair and a cuter outfit. But they made her look pretty good.

Danica Keeley said...

I'm pretty sure because he does this for a living.

But I agree about Bess!! If you've read the actual Nancy Drew books you have a picture about what ALL the characters look like...the video game is just someone else’s opinion. I didn't care too much that Bess didn't look JUST like I had pictured her to be.

Ciara said...

But in one video he mentioned he got a full time job...?
Maybe now he's doing it for a living.
Maybe Michael will look at this and answer. :)

Danica Keeley said...

im sure he will ;)


Ciara said...

Oh! He answered me on Youtube. He said that he preordered, so he got it four days early.
I should do that.
I went to Target and got it like a week after.

Anonymous said...

you should do pajama sam vid walkthroughs

Tallulah said...

Wow, Bess doesn't look anything like I thought. I thought she would have had blonder hair that almost looked like a longer version of a bob cut, that kind of flipped up at the ends. Wowza, I just sounded pretty girlie! That doesn't happen often! Well I expected her kind of with touristy clothes, since she seems sort of like the babbling 'ooh! look at that!!!' kind of person. Just my opinion.

Joanna said...

I agree with Tallulah thats what i thought Bess looked like.