Top Ten

Top 10 Tuesday: Nolan North characters


The name Nolan North might not ring a bell to some of you. But… if you hear his voice you will instantly be taken back to a game that he has done voice work for. With well over a hundred games on his CV it is no exaggeration to say that Nolan North has been involved in EVERY GAME to come out over the last few years. Whether it is a defective turret in Portal 2 or a fish in The Cat in the Hat, Nolan’s voice knows no limits. So today we count down the Top 10 characters he has voiced in games over the years. Be warned though. Once you see this list you will start noticing his voice in every game but that’s okay because it washes over you like a river of warm butter pudding

10. Eradan Lord of the Rings: War in the North

The ranger Eradan is voiced by Nolan in this hack and slash adventure set in the Lord of the Rings universe. Nolan doesn’t push the boundaries with this character hence the number 10 place, but he does a good job screaming out dramatic lines like “You face a ranger now” and “I love lamp “(second quote might be a lie), all while sounding very heroic and Aragorn-like. Nolan’s vocals makes your character feel like a force to be reckoned with.

9. Elliot SalemArmy of Two: The 40th Day

Elliot Salem is the trigger-happy money-hungry mercenary in the Army of Two series. Although he looks like a steroid injected Colin Farrell from Miami Vice his voice will send you into gaming déjà vu in the second instalment of the series, The 40th Day. The banter between the two main characters feels natural and well executed, and is mainly due to Nolan’s voice swagger. If these two mercenaries had to talk their way out of a tough situation, Salem would be a one man army.

8. Turret Portal 2

Like we said, the man’s voice knows no bounds. The turrets in Portal 2 might be deadly, but they sure sound good. Is that warm butter pudding I feel on my body or is it bullets? Those are the questions your character in Portal 2 will be asking herself as you carefully solve each puzzle and outwit those menacing turrets in Portal 2.

7. Cyclops X-Men: Destiny

The voice of one of the X-Men automatically cracks you a place in the top ten. Cyclops gets the North treatment in X-Men : Destiny and it is worthy of the number 7 spot. Although Wolverine would still kick Cyclops’ ass any day of the week (be gentle Cyclops fans. Both of you.) the Nolan North Cyclops could probably last a little longer one-on-one due to his increased levels of vocal charm.

6. Darkling The Darkness 2

To actually make a voice come out of your mouth that fits with a little demon spawn as ugly as seen above takes talent. Talent Mr North has perfected over the years and talent that brings the little Darkling from The Darkness 2 to life with such creepiness it gives the little guy his own personality.You almost want to hang out with him and buy him a beer for being so likable and helpful. Shame about what happens to him.

5. Dr N Gin Crash Bandicoot series

This evil genius is voiced like a cross between Igor and a crazy person with split personalities (its a bit of a fine line between them but it works). The little blue mad scientist will get more than a few laughs out of you, and you can’t help but picture Nolan running around the recording studio acting insane while trying to voice this guy. This little laugh-inducing scientist from the Crash Bandicoot series lands at number 5.

4. Hades God of War III

We still get chills when we think back on the battle with Hades in God of War. That scary voice screaming at you while he tries to rip your face off and devour your soul makes for one memorable boss battle. Although Nolan needed the help of some computer software to help him sound like the Gatekeeper of Hell, Hades deserves this number 4 spot.

3. Desmond Miles Assassin’s Creed series

We love Nathan Drake in Assassin’s Creed… wait, no, we mean Desmond but wait… When we close our eyes we see Drake but when we open them we see Desmond. There is some dark magic afoot here and although Desmond does sound exactly like Drake the character is brought to life well by Nolan. Not worthy-of-number-one well but Desmond is a character that will be sketched into our memories and our kid’s memories and their kids and relived in their great ancestor’s memories… there’s an Assassin’s Creed reference somewhere here.

2. Nathan Drake- Uncharted series

Now we know most of you thought that Drake would snag the number one spot and it was a tough decision. But, alas, Nathan Drake lands at number two. Nolan did an amazing job on the Uncharted series. He brings Nathan Drake to life with so much charisma and attitude that his performance rivals some of the best seen in motion pictures.

1.The PenguinBatman: Arkham City

We had to do a double take when we found out that the dude who voiced Nathan Drake does the Penguin in Batman: Arkham City. Nolan completely transforms his voice in to something that sounds perfect coming out of a four-foot-high British mutant penguin man. A perfect fit for his most impressive performance in one of the biggest games of 2011. It was close between the Penguin and Drake but when you consider that Nolan North sounds like Drake naturally when ordering pizza over the phone, and he had to completely transform his voice to be one of Batman’s smallest but meanest foes, the decision becomes a little easier.


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Author: David Kozlowski View all posts by
Gaming runs through my veins, well that and ...erhm deoxygenated blood... I guess, but there is an equal gaming to oxygen ratio pumping through me. It keeps me going, its what I love, and I wish I was doing it right now.
  • Jer1cho (Richard Hedges)

    I record many Voice Artists in South Africa, but none of them can even come close to these guys. Nolan North is freakishly talented. Johnny Young Bosch is another. Man I wish I had the chance to work with these guys.

    • David Kozlowski

      Nolan does set a new standard, when you look at the likes of Nathan Drake, how many video game characters have ever had such personality and been brought to life so well?

  • Wayne

    Taken from is wiki page he’s “the nearest thing the games industry has to a bona fide leading man”. Haha, too true!

  • Abigail

    Wow, had no idea he was in Batman at all! Was shocked when I saw Drake at #2 til I turned to #1. Cool top ten!

    • Jarrod Lane (@NoodleZA)

      Again pretty much what Abi said.
      Off to google to find out what else he has done!

  • Johann

    Wow, Didn’t know all these could be the same guy. I always wanted to get into sound/audio but at the time nobody was looking for Foley artists here… long time ago…

  • Lyle Arends

    Agree with Penguin. Rocksteady have the best characterization of the character outside of the comics’ pages.

    Would LOVE to see him voice Penguin again in a short adaption of Pain & Prejudice.

  • Zhameer

    You mean Nathan Drake is not number 1? I am shocked

    • David Kozlowski

      It was a close one 😉

  • Actionhank

    What an awesome idea for a top 10…

    • David Kozlowski


  • Die Jason

    I’ve only played two of these titles… at least I’ll be getting my hands on God of War III soon, maybe some Uncharted in my future too….

  • Lonthor

    I’ve pretty much played all those games :). Nolan North is legend!

  • Nadine Franzsen

    Wow now it makes sense, Eradon from WitN. Cant believe I didnt realize it. I think the bad voice acting in WitN is accredited to the directors, the actor can only do what he’s told. And obviously Nolan is very talented, but its horrible listening to him in conversation in WitN. I still think Nathan Drake should’ve taken the number 1 though :)

    But alas I havent played Arkham City yet, so I cant judge fairly.

    Nolan is also the voice actor for the new Spec Ops game. His voice is clearly recognizable in the trialer.

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