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Duck Detective screenshot

Duck Detective owes everything to its excellent voice acting

Home » Features » Duck Detective owes everything to its excellent voice acting

Last weekend I had the pleasure of casually sleuthing through the brief yet charming Duck Detective: The Secret Salami, a game that’s a self-proclaimed hybrid of the adorable office anime Aggretsuko and puzzle game Return of the Obra Dinn. It also gave me all kinds of Paper Mario, The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog and Ace Attorney feels.

Without too many spoilers, our plucky protagonist (sorry!) has been hired by a bus company run by quirky employees to solve a seemingly open-and-shut case mystery about a missing lunch. But something sinister lies beneath the thin white-collar veneer. Something to do with “salami”. 

It’s a charming little game chock-full of noir satire, nonsense duck knowledge and a surprising twist. Moreover, it provided a nice break from my typical fare of “kick-punch-block” gameplay. However, one element of the ephemeral experience hooked me the most: the unexpected human-like sounds coming from our titular duck’s beak. 

Happy Broccoli Games’ decision to assign voice actors to Duck Detective’s anthropomorphic characters was not only a stroke of genius, but their choice of cast was impeccable. 

Duck Detective screenshot
Screenshot: GameSpew

The minute I heard our duck-tective, I knew I recognised his voice from somewhere. It reminded me of the melodious voice of Chris Parnell. After a little digging, I unearthed Sean Chiplock, an American voice actor with an impressive resume of anime and video game credits. This was the same guy who’d spoken to Link as the towering Great Deku Tree in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, uttered menacing magic as Dorohedoro’s Shin, and more recently, as the manic Kinger in The Amazing Digital Circus

On top of Chiplock, Duck Detective’s other voice actors lend their characters equally dynamic personalities with individual touches, like the geeky Freddy’s slight lisp and quintessentially British accents of Margaret and Rufus. I especially like the foreign flourishes of the bus driver Boris Petrovic, played by Hades voice actor Cyrus Nemati. 

Screenshot: GameSpew

However, these actors not only made their characters truly feel alive, but they were right in line with the noir genre itself. From the game’s onset, we hear Eugene McQuacklin’s rich world-weary pipes narrate his current financial predicament, as well as his relationship woes. Classic hard-boiled stuff. Coupled with its melancholy jazz soundtrack, the game’s opening scene could’ve been lifted straight from a Raymond Chandler novel — well, minus the bit about the bread. 

It’s hard to imagine a version of Duck Detective without its valuable cast, and I really don’t want to. In fact, I’d probably approach any change to Eugene’s current vocal talents with the same rage I experienced when I learned Chris Pratt would be voicing Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. 

I can only hope that another food-related crime is committed in the near future that requires the services of our down-on-his luck duck. If you haven’t played it, I heartily recommend taking a quack — er, crack — at it. Sorry, couldn’t help it. 

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