We recently talked to God of War's director and sound designers around exactly how the memorable World Serpent's voice was produced.

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When you initially accomplish Jörmungandr the World Serpent in God of War, Kratos looks ready to rumble, as if all the dastardly boss fights throughout the series dealing with gods 50 times his dimension have actually him primed to anticipate as soon as danger would certainly strike. But the World Serpent ends up not being a danger of that magnitude; the massive pearlescent snake is instead a friend. And when the intimidatingly large serpent speaks, it shakes the people.

Backstage at the DICE Awards 2019, I spoke through lead sound designer Mike Niederquell, dialogue lead Leilani Ramirez, and also director of God of War Cory Barlog to gain to the esophagus of the World Serpent"s realm-shaking voice. The voice, not so surprisingly, has actually strange beginnings.

"Cory came to me and also he sassist he wanted it to sound prefer a Tuvan throat singer, via like," Niederquell demonstrates a guttural "uhhhhhhhh" sound of its harmonic, overtone singing, "It type of stemmed from tright here, and also trying to recreate that with what he wanted and also carve it to where we felt we were happy. That"s wright here that came from. When it spoke, he wanted it to be prefer something you"ve never heard prior to and impactful because this point is so alien, so substantial, and also it"s an ancient tongue, as they say in the game, so he wanted it to represent that."

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The World Serpent is always a nice friendly confront to view in the distance. | Caty McCarthy/USG, Sony Santa Monica

Of all the sounds in last year"s God of War, the voice of the World Serpent is maybe the a lot of memorable. When it speaks to Kratos, Atreus, and the disembopassed away head of Mimir, it is at as soon as incomprehensible, intimidating, yet additionally type. You know immediately that the World Serpent bears no malicious intent, yet instead the opposite.

"Honestly, we messed approximately through the World Serpent"s voice for nearly a year, simply trying to number out what it was and then at one point, just said, "You know what, simply go ameans. I"m simply going to number something out. I"ve obtained an idea,"" Barlog claims. "He combined a little little bit of the Tuvan throat singing, yet he found all these programs and also he supplied his very own voice to test out and perform this stuff, and I think in the end it"s actually his voice that is doing the point bereason it was simply so great. His initially kind of pass once he clicked with all these various concepts, it was simply impressive. They have actually favor 30, 40 thousand also dollar speakers in the sound pod, so the wall surfaces were shaking and also rumbling, I deserve to see his key-board rumbling, and also I was prefer "Okay, this is best. That"s really excellent." It was cool. It was a very neat moment."

The final sounds that ended up making the World Serpent were dominantly sourced from pets, according to Niederquell, through most layering to create the memorable voice. But as via all sound design, the voice was just the tip of making the World Serpent not only look alive, yet sound alive too. "Tright here was many dragging objects alengthy the ground and also messing via frequencies to make it feel bigger than it actually is," claims Niederquell. "There"s choose rock debris when it moves versus the mountain that you pitch down to make it feel larger. Its voice has many mouth squishes and also movements to acquire the jowls of its jaw to make it feel really huge. There"s a ton of layers that go right into the sound of the World Serpent."

For some of the various other creatures in God of War, Ramirez states Old Norse language was an essential inspiration too in the decision making of which creatures would sheight, such as the serpent, and also which wouldn"t. "In general through all the creatures within the game, tright here was earlier and also forth talk about which creatures actually sheight," Ramirez claims. "That was a continued conversation that we would have actually via Cory and also the style team in basic to figure out." Even significantly smaller points, choose Kratos walking on dirt in his signature moccasins, took the majority of iterations.


Niederquell emphasizes that the sound architecture of God of War, which took home the night"s Outstanding Sound Design honor at the DICE Awards, was a significant team effort. "Leilani offers us feedearlier, and everyone plays the game and also they tell us just how they think it sounds and what they think it should be, so it"s the amount of its components for a game team," he claims.

So the following time you hear the World Serpent"s Midgard-trembling voice, you can image a team of sound designers wrestling via animal yelps, Tuvan throat singing, and also the sound of Niederquell himself, all helping make it all come together.

For more on God of War, be sure to check out our comprehensive interwatch with director Cory Barlog from previously this year. We likewise recorded up with Barlog and stars Christopher Judge (Kratos) and also Sunny Suljic (Atreus) at the DICE Awards to chat around what the most memorable scene to film was.

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