05 JanRaphael Sbarge: Kimberly Brooks Q&A Part 1
Raphael Sbarge (Kaidan, Mass Effect) chats with Kimberly D. Brooks (Ashley, Mass Effect) about Ashley’s Horizon letter, their characters’ journeys and their last recording sessions for Mass Effect 3, in the first part of a three-part interview.
Kimberly: Hey, I’m here. Hi.
Raphael: [laugh] Hey. So, through the marvel of science, technology and conference calls, we’ve brought Kaidan and Ashley to you.
Kimberly: Together, at last.
Raphael: Kimberly, you and I have known each other a long time, I mean, just from walking in and out of rooms and having a similar agent, and from just sort of the world of voiceover. It’s so funny that we’ve both done Mass Effect 1, 2 and 3, and we have this sort of parallel universe together.
Kimberly: I know. It’s actually kind of weird – it freaks me out a little bit. We are – we’re living parallel lives. It’s really neat. I can’t believe that we are playing the same character – the female and male version. I just think that’s really cool.
Raphael: Yeah, well, I mean – you’re Ashley, I’m Kaidan. The letter [Editor’s note: Ashley’s Horizon letter], I know, that of course you read…
Raphael: People went crazy for what you did; it was so beautiful.
Kimberly: Thank you!
Raphael: So great. What was it like doing it?
Kimberly: You know, it was really special because I know that’s a really pivotal part of the game. There’s a lot of unanswered questions, still. But I think it’s really cool to put a voice to that because I know a lot of people are really interested in where the relationship is going. So, I think it just makes it a little bit more intriguing.
Raphael: There were some questions, I guess, that they wanted to, I guess, ask you. And some of these may be relevant, some of them – I mean, I know, you, like me, are not a gamer. You, like me, have not played the game. I just got a copy of the game, and I’m about to get into it.
Kimberly: Yeah, I know.
Raphael: I’m excited about that.
Kimberly: I know – it’s, I don’t play the games. Really, usually, I mean, just because I don’t have a whole lot of extra time, it seems like. But, I have just, I got a new console, so I’m gonna to start…
Raphael: You’re gonna dive in!
Kimberly: I’m gonna try to dive in, and I’m sure I’ll be drawn in, because you know, what I’ve seen, and now that they’re showing us a lot more, during the game, during our actual sessions – it just looks so cool, and I just, I really wanna play it.
Raphael: It’s amazing what they’re doing at BioWare.
Raphael: So one of the things, one of the questions that they asked, was: As far as your character, what was your sense of how – David wanted to know – your general thoughts on the character of Ashley, and how she’s changed over the three games.
Kimberly: Well, I think, you know, she’s definitely changed quite a bit, and evolved – which is always a great thing for a character. But I think the one constant about Ashley is her dedication to the cause. She’s only ever had a military life, and that’s sort of all she knows. So, I think she’s been pretty constant with her beliefs. I think what’s changed is her belief, basically, in Shepard. I mean, she doubted Shepard so much in game one and game two.
Kimberly: And her evolving in game three is just huge. I think it’s a really pivotal part of the game – without giving too much away. And I think it also depends on how you played Ashley. She could have evolved more or less, depending on how you played her, I think.
Raphael: Right, of course, I think that’s the way for all of our characters, I guess, depending on…
Kimberly: I know – that’s what’s so cool about the game.
Raphael: That’s the beauty part.
Raphael: What do you, someone wanted to know – Matthew – wanted to know for both of us: How was it reading the final lines of your characters in the Mass Effect series?
Kimberly: Um …
Raphael: Do you remember having that moment, like: This is your last line!
Kimberly: This is, oh yeah! Oh – you mean, just actually in the session?
Raphael: Yeah, like when you got to the, like, suddenly, like: Oh, hey. We’re done.
Kimberly: We’re done. I know. It’s, well, because it’s such, a huge, massive, project. Yeah – there’s definitely a feeling of “Wow, this is over. I can’t believe this is over.” It’s been a journey – a huge, journey. It’s definitely the most evolved game that I’ve ever been a part of. So, it was kind of sad.
Kimberly: So, hopefully, who knows? Who knows what could happen in the future.
Raphael: Yes, indeed. It was voted, I guess, the most anticipated new game of 2012. Certainly, there’s a pretty excited audience, I guess, waiting for it.
Kimberly: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Raphael: And who knows what could happen. I mean, I know reading some of the last lines for me were, I know, I was feeling kind of like … you just sort of feel like a wave kind of crashes over you. You go: Wow. Wow. Wow. OK. So, now we’re done. I don’t know…
Kimberly: I know, it’s a bit overwhelming because, yeah, like I said, it’s just, it’s a real world that we belong to. I mean, just like the characters in the game, you know, you don’t want to see it end.
Raphael: Yeah, yeah.
Come back tomorrow for part 2!