From his infamously deadpan moon wizard line in the beta onward, the casting of Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, The Station Agent) as your robot companion in Destiny has been fraught. Developer Bungie has definitely taken note of your complaints, and starting with the upcoming third expansion, The Taken King, the role of your robotic guide Ghost is being taken over by video game voice-acting mainstay Nolan North.
More than simply taking over the role for new content, North is actually going back and rerecording all of Dinklage’s dialogue from the original game, so the Dinklebot will truly be no more. The script will remain otherwise unchanged. The rerecording was done with the aim of creating a consistent experience for new players from start to finish. “We wanted Nolan North’s version of the Ghost to wake you up at the start of the journey at Level 1 and follow you all the way to Level 40,” explained creative director Luke Smith to Game Informer.
North is a veteran of video game voice acting. You may remember him from such roles as Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series, Desmond Miles in the Assassin’s Creed series, and the Black Hand of Sauron in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. In recent years he seems to be in a competition with fellow actor Troy Baker for the title of gaming’s de facto leading man.
“I was really excited to do this role,” North told Game Informer. “You want to give him as much personality as the world will allow, without making it unbelievable. There’s a fine line to walk there, and I think we found it.” Giving Ghost personality while still capturing its artificial nature is a fine line to walk, and one which many feel Peter Dinklage’s performance failed to achieve. By scrapping it, North was given free reign to find the character for himself.
“They really wanted me to put my stamp on it. They let me bring what I wanted to the role. You have to give it your own spin. For that reason, I specifically said I didn’t want to hear anything that someone else had done, so that I didn’t have some preconceived notion of what it has to be. Instead, I just gave it my stamp, and let them direct me accordingly.”
While Ghost has been conspicuously absent from recent expansion content, the tiny flying robot will have a much more prominent role in the story of The Taken King. North is optimistic that he and Ghost will remain with Destiny for some time: “I’m hoping we’re doing this for years. If I get a chance to continue with the role, I think we can evolve Ghost as we move forward over the years. In the same way that the player learns about the game and the world, maybe the Ghost grows with them.”
Farewell, Dinklebot. We always thought you were truly amazing.