Go back to Tachyon: The Fringe

Written by: Rik

Date posted: June 17, 2006

One of Tachyon‘s most noteworthy features is that Jake Logan’s voice is provided by none other than Evil Dead star and cult film hero, Bruce Campbell. In a game otherwise hindered by the fact that none of the major characters are ever really seen on-screen (Jake himself appears on the packaging and on the title screen, but that’s it), Campbell deserves credit for bringing something to the role. His performance, however, owes more than a little to a certain cynical mercenary-turned-hero from Star Wars, with Campbell paraphrasing Han Solo’s ‘situation normal’ speech on more than one occasion. Jake turns out to be pretty adept at getting away with it though, especially where Star Patrol (Tachyon‘s space-police) are concerned. This is mostly because Star Patrol are portrayed as total morons, with the chief seemingly based on Chief Wiggum from The Simpsons. A typical exchange usually goes something like this:

Star Patrol: Are you doing anything illegal, Logan?
Jake: Err… (five second pause) nope.
Star Patrol: Oh. Well, that’s okay then. Are you sure?
Jake: Um… yep. Nothing illegal here.
Star Patrol: Good. Because if you were…
Jake: Well, I’m not.
Star Patrol: Are you lying?

And so on. Still, the rest of the game’s characters seem to remain oblivious to the inadequacies of the law enforcement agents, constantly telling you to be careful, or indeed asking you to ‘sneak past’ them using a complicated lie. If only they knew. And while we’re on the subject of other characters, it’s worth mentioning that the rest of the voice acting is pretty bad. A couple are at least amusingly hammy, but for the most part, Tachyon‘s world is inhabited by dullards with interchangeable voices. In particular, the two women who brief you on your campaign missions are pretty tiresome. The Bora rebel is unshakeably earnest, delivering the same speech about fighting the bullying corporations over and over again, while the Galspan corporate representative is humourless and robotic (although some might claim this is sexy in the manner of, say, the metallic female voice in Command & Conquer. Not me though). Clearly, they both appeal to Jake, who tries it on regardless of which side you choose. The dog.