Writer Billy Beale
When I first met the armourer Yoana in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I was shocked. This was the first midlands/brummie accent I’d come across in any video game and I was impressed enough that it stuck in my mind.
The same game’s Bloody Baron storyline prominently features another midlands accent, though neither of these are particularly accurate examples. They’re a kind of ‘stage brummie’ accent like you might hear from a supporting character at the RSC or as a punchline in a sketch show, and not really what you’d hear on the streets of Brum.
Examples of brummies in video games are few and far between. Credit should be given to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which centres a chunk of story around Tamworth and the kingdom of Mercia. From what I can tell, there’s at least some local dialect representation there but it’s a game I haven’t played because it’s not weird enough.
A game I have been playing – obsessively, unstopping, like I might not be able to breathe if I do anything else – is Elden Ring. Imagine my shock when only a few hours in, I come across the character Roderika played by Birmingham’s very own Helen Monks, known for her roles in Raised by Wolves and Upstart Crow.
This article from Inverse highlights some of the ways Elden Ring demonstrates an acute awareness of the British-Celtic mythology it derives so much from, much like Birmingham’s own JRR Tolkien did when he essentially invented the modern fantasy genre.
There is a lot of Tolkien in Elden Ring. Clearly, the developers at FromSoftware have done their homework when it comes to using the full spectrum of British voices to enhance the richness of their worlds and characters. They even included the wall of faces from Brum’s Snobs nightclub.
All the characters from the Raya Lucaria part of the world are magic users and speak with Welsh accents. Another character from the game’s Capital City, The Loathsome Dung Eater, speaks with that sort of ‘stage brummie’, but the less said about him the better.
Roderika develops into a confident and incredibly helpful character, strengthening your spectral allies that aid you in boss fights. I like her a lot for that reason, but most of all I just like hearing such a familiar voice in one of my favourite games.
Elden Ring – Official gamelpay reveal
For more on Elden Ring visit www.eldenring.com