NEWS - Travis Strikes Again... Without Robin Atkin Downes
Reported by NCZ on Wed Sep 6 2017

After an 8-year absence, the cult Wii game No More Heroes is returning on the Nintendo Switch, but the series's lead voice actor, Robin Atkin Downes, will not be in tow.

No More Heroes made a big splash as one of the most original and inventive games on Wii when it launched in 2007. Directed by cult game-maker Goichi Suda (aka Suda51), it attracted rave reviews in part for its fish-out-of-water premise, starring a 30-year-old otaku named Travis Touchdown who finds himself forced to kill a series of assassins after his head, allowing him to rise above them in rank.

Though the series remained dormant after a sequel in 2010, interest was regenerated once Nintendo held their Nindie Summer Showcase last week, ending with a trailer for a brand new game: Travis Strikes Again. However, some astute fans noticed a difference in Travis's voice. Indeed, Downes confirmed on Twitter that it was not his voice viewers had heard.

"Extremely disappointed...Whadaya say, bro? Join me. Let's see how far we can take this. @suda_51 #PerformanceMatters"

It's not certain that the SAG-AFTRA video game strike is the reason for Downes' replacement, although it is unlikely to be the sole direct cause. Though the game (or at least its trailer) seems to have been recorded non-union, under the direction of Jamie Mortellaro, the credits seen in the trailer indicate it was recorded at Rocketsound Studios, a non-struck company.

No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again will release on Switch next year. The game will be a collaboration with a number of independent game developers, and seemingly revolve around Travis entering the world of video games to become their number one hero.



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The Ear of One
said at 8:04 AM on Fri Sep 15 2017
so his voice was diffrent? did not catch that, but maybe cause the trailer did not show much. too bad not returning, ocne again someone not coming back. Although why is always a diffrent story
will be intresting non the less to see the cast in future.
said at 6:55 PM on Tue Sep 12 2017
 4 Shout Outs!
That's weird because it totally sounded like Robin in the trailer to me.

Whoever they got seems like a really good voice match so far. I'd normally be upset over things like this, but given that my other three favourite game franchises are dead, I'll pretty much take what I can get at this point.
NCZ (Admin)
said at 9:36 AM on Fri Sep 15 2017

It's weird to think we live in a world where the likes of No More Heroes, Nier, and Shenmue are alive while Metal Gear and Mega Man are dead.
said at 7:16 PM on Sat Sep 23 2017
@NCZ I am really glad those franchises are making a comeback myself, that said it is a really surreal feeling now that you mention it. Even Metroid's making a comeback from what I've heard.
Shaun Ince
said at 5:43 PM on Thu Sep 7 2017
 4 Shout Outs!
While it's definitely not related to the voice actors strike & it's not a company being striked against by SAG-AFTRA, it is a major bummer that Robin Atkin Downes isn't reprising Travis Touchdown. It's one of my favourite roles of his :(
said at 12:14 PM on Thu Sep 7 2017
 3 Shout Outs!
said at 12:06 AM on Thu Sep 7 2017
 7 Shout Outs!
Robin Atkin Downes IS Travis Touchdown, period. He made the character...the character! And, in my opinion, is one of the most defining roles in his career that made me a fan of his. (His role as Kaz in MGS:PW and V only further cemented that fact.) To not have him back would be a huge mistake and disappointment, considering how long it's been since the last NMH game.

With Soundelux being long dead for nearly four years now, and Formosa being struck by the union strike, one has to wonder why Rocket Sound didn't just bring Zimmerman and Downes back, (other than the fact that, correct me if I'm wrong, I don't think Zimmerman did any work for them) considering that they've done numerous unionized projects.

Part of me also thinks that because it's a collaboration with numerous indie developers, Grasshopper/Marvelous is trying to keep the costs low, in a way--hence the non-union cast. The NMH series hasn't been the biggest seller, particularly in Japan, so this could be their way of playing the safe card, so to speak.

I do hope the trailer was just a placeholder-type thing, much like the original NMH trailer. Though, I will say that the guy who voiced Travis in this trailer did sound pretty similar to Downes. So much so that I didn't even notice it wasn't him until he confirmed it on Twitter. So...yeah, if we do have a case of a replacement in the final game, at least it'll be a pretty good one, IMO.

Either way, I'm looking forward to the game and what it offers when it comes out! It looks to be a radically different experience in comparison to the previous NMH games and I'm definitely interested in seeing where it goes. A definite addition to my Switch wish list!
said at 12:25 AM on Thu Sep 7 2017
Forgot to mention, with no disrespect to Jamie Mortellaro, he's no Kris Zimmerman.

With a Zimmerman project, you know exactly what you're getting--great casting and well-directed performances. Mortellaro on the other hand, is pretty hit-or-miss, IMO. Depending on the project, he CAN get some great casts, but his direction can be pretty spotty sometimes.

To Mortellaro's credit, he did voice direct some of my favorite games, (Dragon's Dogma, Mobius: Final Fantasy and Zelda: BotW) and they were pretty well-done, but I feel that, unionized or not, his direction wouldn't be up to snuff in comparison to Zimmerman, who at this point, pretty much gets the characters, after voice directing the first two games.

Still, union or not, if he ends up being the VD, maybe he could surprise me, who knows? I'm feeling optimistic, just gotta wait and see.
NCZ (Admin)
said at 9:09 AM on Thu Sep 7 2017

Yeah, I agree. It kind of defeats the purpose a bit to bring Travis back after all this time, and yet not have Robin involved when he's a huge part of what MADE the character. It's by far one of his definitive roles. It's like Dead Rising 4 all over again.

I was optimistic about BOTW's dub at first, but at the end of the day I found that it was just okay. Partway through I switched to French and I liked it so much I never turned back. Granted it's not clear how much it's on him, but I definitely do share your reservations; losing Zimmerman is a pretty deep cut here.

I figure Rocketsound's rates were probably just cheaper since the indie scale of the game does imply to me they're keeping the budget tight. Mortellaro seems to be employed by then while Zimmerman's never worked there so I guess that was just the consequence of that.