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Why Rauru's Voice Sounds So Familiar In Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom

"Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" wowed critics and quickly became one of the best games of 2023 thanks to an amazing narrative and gameplay that both built on the success of "Breath of the Wild." This story was brought to life thanks to the excellent voice acting of its talented cast. Some, like Patricia Summersett, who voiced Zelda, returned from the previous game. Some, on the other hand, are new to the series.


One of these newcomers is the experienced Chris Hackney, who joined the series to play the wise and mysterious Rauru. While a newcomer to the "Zelda" series, Hackney has already made a name for himself in the world of voice acting. Thanks to his talent and range, he's been a part of numerous major titles in both television and video games. As such, Rauru, while definitely a new voice for the "Zelda" franchise, is sure to sound familiar to more than a few fans.

Hackney got his start with Sailor Moon

Chris Hackney began his career back in the '90s when he voiced Kakeru Ohzora in "Sailor Moon S: The Movie – Hearts in Ice." This movie would be the character's only appearance in the entire "Sailor Moon" series, and Hackney had the chance to bring him to life.


Hackney would go on to land more roles in anime series in the 2000s, voicing characters in "Mobile Suit Gundam Seed," "Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny," and "Toradora!" with more to come. He would regularly return to various "Mobile Suit Gundam" series and debut in other anime over time; some of his notable anime titles include "Sword Art Online," "Hunter X Hunter," "K," a few "Naruto" titles, "Tower of God," and so many more. As his career developed, he would also make his way into video games. This move would begin with roles in some very big titles. While these early credits were for relatively minor characters, they would undoubtedly set the stage for what was to come. 

He broke into triple A video games with World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

In the late 2000s, Hackney started his work in video games with some minor titles like "ZEN Pinball" and "Heroes of Newerth." It was in 2012, however, that he earned his first triple A appearance by joining the cast of one of the biggest games of all time.


Hackney voiced multiple minor characters in the "World of Warcraft" expansion "Mists of Pandaria." He would later return to the hit MMO to add more voices for the "Battle for Azeroth" expansion and, in between these "World of Warcraft" appearances, he also worked on other hit game series.

Among his bigger roles, Hackney voiced Blast Man in "Mega Man 11," Miles Arbeck in "Valkyria Chronicles 4," and Dimitri in both "Fire Emblem: Three Houses" and "Fire Emblem: Three Hopes." These performances, along with numerous others in games, shows, and movies, would keep him very busy and earn him a reputation for talent and range in the 2010s.

He made a name for himself in the anime and gaming communities in the 2010s

After establishing himself with his early appearances, Hackney went on to some truly outstanding successes. His credits now include dozens of roles, and he has become so well-known and respected in the gaming and anime communities that he's gotten his own entry on TV Tropes. There, he's listed as an example of the trope "Man of a Thousand Voices" thanks to his remarkable vocal range that has allowed him to portray a variety of different types of characters over the years.


Hackney told Screen Rant in 2022 that he likes playing any character who is very different from himself — and this includes both heroes and villains — so he's surely enjoyed getting to flex his acting muscles with many different archetypes. In the same interview, he also described himself as a gamer, so it's fitting that he's managed to become so prolific in the gaming industry. 

It was in the 2020s, however, that Hackney's career moved skyrocketed even higher.

He joined the cast of Tears of the Kingdom in 2023

Hackney has clearly been an accomplished voice actor for decades now, but in recent years, he's been landing bigger roles and roles in bigger titles. 

In 2022, Hackney lent his voice to multiple characters in Horizon Forbidden West, the sequel to the hit adventure title "Horizon: Zero Dawn." He followed this up only a year later with his portrayal of Rauru in the highly anticipated "Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom." Fans were quick to recognize his voice from the trailers even before the game released and were delighted to hear him taking on the role of such an important character. Many also noted his previously established love for the "Zelda" series, something he's expressed on Twitter, and so many were happy for him to be able to join the series. 


For his part, Hackney has voiced his gratitude at getting to join such a "meaningful and special" franchise. As the game is already being hailed as a major hit, and Hackney seemed to enjoy the experience and win over fans with his performance, it wouldn't be surprising to see him make a return in a future title. Whatever happens next for "Zelda," however, Hackney is sure to continue seeing success for his superb performances.