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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:19 am 
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Good research above, ireenquench;

<<<WARNING: an OOC SPOILER FOLLOWS>>>

On an entirely different tack, which goes back to the beginning of this thread (Maratanos, Sun Oct 29, 2006, "Scary thought (spoilers for myst 5)") i feel compelled to toss in, over the mountain of criticism -- the huge mountain of criticism -- concerning Esher, that i thought he was great! For me, he stole the show. Even though his participation ended badly, with his silly paranoid giggling over getting the slate, still that was a problem of weak scripting.

Was Esher not the avatar for Max von Sydow? I'm sure von Sydow was the voice and body study for Esher; and he was superb! Slightly sinister all along, he allowed his own deep paranoia to be revealed as an obsession over D'ni, science and hatred of the Bahro. It was entirely believable, of course; but much more than that, he pulled off a fantastic performance, in what must have been an extremely difficult medium to affect.

If all of this has been said before, in other places, then please realize that i feel compelled to enter it because no one here seems to give Esher/von Sydow the respect he is due.

PS: You can look up von Sydow's most recent achievement in Jan Troells' Hamsun (cf. http://www.dtek.chalmers.se/~d3wall/mvs.html; and http://www.dtek.chalmers.se/~d3wall/pics/hamsun.jpg )

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:28 am 
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The url in the above post doesn't seem to work; this is the correct address to von Sydow's page:
http://www.dtek.chalmers.se/~d3wall/mvs.html
if it fails in its hyperlinking duties, then paste in your browser.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:37 am 
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As i go srtumbling about, i notice that i failed to congratulate the large variety of other submitters, before and after ireenquench's pm;

Those are a whole slew of thoughtful pms, which show the depth of understanding available to this forum.

I am delighted to be accepted amidst such well done and wide ranging commentary, and i pray that i do not lower the standards -- or perhaps, i should say that i am hoping to hide my own lack of deep understanding. Truly, my memory falls way short of the quality of research exhibited here.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:43 am 
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Esher's voice actor was David Ogden Stiers, and you can see the character was also modeled after him, though I believe Rand Miller actually did the acting for the motion capture used to animate him. (Note, Stiers also did the voice of Jeff Zandi in Uru:ABM.)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:51 am 
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(And the voice of Dr. Watson in Uru: To D'ni)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 6:14 am 
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Owehn wrote:
And I think Esher had to invent a way to use the tablet without touching it, since he had failed the quest somehow and couldn't touch it. The d'ni (or whoever) who used it could conceivably have touched it whenever they wanted.


As I recall the story of the Tablet, no one was able to use it for long, even if they succeeded in the quest. Yeesha said she possessed the Tablet, but her time for using it had passed, further at the end of Myst V, she was unable to touch it. Attempting to give it to her caused it to fall through her hands.

This would seem to indicate that no one was able to use the Tablet for very long, even if they proved themselves worthy, which still renders it an unlikely tool to command a labor force.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 6:43 am 
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BretTM said:
"Esher's voice actor was David Ogden Stiers, and you can see the character was also modeled after him..."

If thats the case, does Stiers look that much like von Sydow? For Esher would seem to be his little brother.

And thus, i am compelled to believe that Stiers is Scandanavian.
So, i can't see him doing the very Texas twa-a-ang of Zandi. Texas to Denmark (or Lund, whatever) is too far a stretch).
I'm not convinced.

Actually, what you say BrettM, makes the Esher part even more remarkable, for having overcome so many little disparities.

But its too bad it wasn't von Sydow. He is terriffic.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:06 pm 
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Although Esher does bear a passing resemblance to von Sydow, his resemblance to Stiers is so exact, Stiers could probably use Esher's picture for his driver's license photo. There can be little doubt as to who Cyan had in mind when crafting the character.

Max von Sydow: http://buffy.velvet-edge.com/images/Michael.jpg

Esher: http://www.planetkodiak.com/myst/images ... pic142.jpg

David Ogden Stiers: http://images.zap2it.com/20050408/david ... 40_002.jpg

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:45 pm 
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mcbride3 wrote:
So, i can't see him doing the very Texas twa-a-ang of Zandi. Texas to Denmark (or Lund, whatever) is too far a stretch).
I'm not convinced.

He's very, very good with regional accents. Didn't you ever see the M*A*S*H TV series? His character there, Charles Emerson Winchester III, had a perfect upper-class Bostonian accent. I don't see why Texas twang couldn't be in his repetoire as well.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:15 pm 
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Look at John Hillerman in Magnum PI--Texas native...pretty good English accent (or am I just deaf)? Fooled me up until I IMDBed him.

Also, I think Yeesha's a fool if she trusts the Bahro. I doubt she's anything more to them than a tool--maybe this is unfair to the Bahro to put it so simply. Yes, the Bahro have been grossly mistreated. Yes, D'ni with Esher's mindset seem to have perpetrated the recorded crimes agains their race. However, history of humanity has taught us that revenge or similar subjugation of others commonly results from an enslaved people being suddenly freed. Of course, that's humanity. The Bahro take on the situation could be quite different. I find their lack of attempts to communicate with us to be disturbing. We are not the D'ni, and unless Yeesha's intimated otherwise to them, the Gathered are a group sympathetic to the Bahro because of the journeys we have gone on.

Isn't it odd that Uru Live is following the DRC's efforts again and not (primarily) Yeesha's. Is it because players would feel more at home with a slow-moving but relatively stable bureaucratic organization rather than be led astray by someone who seems more and more like a zealotous fool?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:46 am 
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BrettM made the point about David Ogden Stiers :
"He's very, very good with regional accents..etc"
I'm sure he is; but that particular "perfect upper-class Bostonian accent" was as much due to David Ogden Stiers' bearing as to his accent. And while it was good, it was still well done hollywood -- even though he may have been born in Bahston.

But that says nothing for aping von Sydow's distinctive "duck-nee" (as someone wittily said). If David Ogden Stiers was able to pull that same sound off, as Esher, then i will agree that he is indeed a very, very clever fellow.

However, that is a long way from Zandi. I have seen those who could slip out of the Texas twaaang (Mary Martin's son, Larry Hagman -- born in Weatherford Tx i believe -- cleansed his palate so well, that he found it difficult to pick the twaaang back up when needed, or so he said). But imitating the two-step twaaang as a foreigner is something else. Most imitators fall into Southern drawls when they try to do Tex-speak. I can't think of any who have done it well -- that is, when they were not reared in Texas.

David Ogden Stiers as von Sydow is quite a stretch. David Ogden Stiers as Zandi just ain't a fit...nearly as i can tell. Anyway, its not a matter for argument (that he played the Zandi voice part, if he did). Is it a fact or not?

Rieuco's nice comparative is more of a value judgment. His pic of von Sydow does indeed remove the resemblance to Esher out of sight. But i have put up a different comparison -- Stiers to Esher to von Sydow -- of same size mug shots. Probably Rieuco and BrettM would not see the resemblance to von Sydow, but i think there is about as much reason to argue for the one as the other, in being the parent to Esher.

I suspect, however, that troopers from the Common Wealth of Mass would be much less sanguine in accepting Esher's mug for DOS's.

Can't you see that Esher lives through the image of von Sydow, not David Ogden Stiers of M*A*S*H fame?

Ahhh me. There's no accounting, is there?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:22 pm 
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mcbride3 wrote:
Anyway, its not a matter for argument (that he played the Zandi voice part, if he did). Is it a fact or not?

Fact. From the IMDB listing for David Ogden Stiers:

Myst V: End of Ages (2005) (VG) (voice) .... Esher
Uru: Ages Beyond Myst (2003) (VG) (voice) .... Jeff Zandi

If you look down through his credits, you'll see that he's done a LOT of voice work over the years. Many of the characters have an accent of some type, American and otherwise.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:25 pm 
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I love Max von Sydow, and I love David Ogden Stiers. They are both great actors. But really, if Cyan had based Esher on any particular performance von Sydow gave, and designed the character in his image, wouldn't they have hired von Sydow to voice him too?

Actually when I searched for the photos to make the comparison, I spent more than an hour looking through photos of von Sydow for the one that looked the most like Esher, and that's the one I used. After only five mintues of looking through photos of Stiers, I found one I used for him in the comparison, looking almost exactly like Esher.

If you looked at von Sydow and Esher side by side, you would say: "Gee, those two guys look a lot alike." But, if you placed Stiers and Esher side by side you would exclaim: "Oh my god, they're twins!"

All of this makes Cyan's intentions for Esher's inspiration abundantly clear in my opinion.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:20 am 
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BrettM's facts are all in order. I must accept the fact that Stiers is a wizard of vocal illusions.

Still, that may not remove von Sydow entirely from the picture if it were that Stiers mimicked von Sydow's speech. And that is not a far fetched suspicion. But it is far from fact -- at least according to my clearly limited knowledge.

The problem that you had in comparing pics, Riuco, is that you see them in the now. Von Sydow, as you know, was a favorite of Bergman, where it is easy to remember him as 40 years younger than the pictures you are seeing -- for instance, in 'Virgin Spring' ('Jungfrukällan', 1960). But even in 'Three Days of the Condor' (1975) his relatively short role was so powerful that his is the memorable part, more than Robert Redford's.

Perhpas Stiers will tell us whether his icon for Esher was von Sydow or not?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:13 pm 
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We have seen that the native peoples of the Ages were quite capable of learning to speak D'ni, (Riven, 37th, ect.) but the Bahro are such an alien lifeform, they don't seem to be able to speak D'ni, which would be a critical flaw in using them for labor.

Even if the Bahro were a stronger labor force, the cumbersome nature of conveying commands to them would make them highly inefficent as slaves.




I believe in Myst V that Yeesha or Esher mentioned the Bahro could understand D'ni, but just the basics like Kidergarden level. The couldn't understand the more complex levels of interperitation, so it isn't so far fetched that it was the Bahro.

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