Live Long and Prosper: Leonard Nimoy and Gaming
Leonard Nimoy is someone I thought would outlive us all. The wisdom of Spock didn’t seem to end when Nimoy was off-camera. Rather, it seemed that the character was an extension of this kind-hearted actor. Even if you weren’t a huge Star Trek fan (I like it more than Star Wars but I’m far from a hardcore fan), you could at least appreciate the life Nimoy led, maybe with the exception of Three Men and a Baby (he directed it, and that’s the worst thing I can say about the man). He was a beautiful soul, and I’ll miss him dearly.
I’ll admit, I need to start putting together these lists when the person I focus on is still alive, lest I be known as the guy on this site who writes about the gaming appearances of deceased folks. Maybe I’ll start writing random top six lists (since I pretty much exhausted arcade games with childhood memories attached to them). Regardless, here are the best six appearances of Nimoy in gaming, some retro, some not.
6. Star Trek Online: I’m not a huge fan of MMO games, or this would be probably be higher on the list. Regardless, he does lend the game some credibility by appearing as Spock.
5. Star Trek: 25th Anniversary (Gameboy): You don’t get his voice on the tinny speakers, and it’s hard to tell if that’s Spock on the tiny screen. Regardless, this gets points due to me playing it (along with Super Mario Land and Donkey Kong 94) on a camping trip in the summer of 96, which I mostly remember because my friend’s older sister was beyond cute.
4. The Kingdom Hearts series: Nimoy plays Master Xehanort, who is one of the best villains Squaresoft has created. No seriously, I’ll put Xehanort right up there with Kefka for dastardly, hate them but are secretly charmed by them baddies. Listen to his voice work: He really puts his heart and soul into the character, and the series is better for it.
“That power,” Eraqus asks, weakened by Xehanort’s power. “Has the darkness taken you Xehanort?”
“Not your concern.”
Spoken like a true gentleman, I mean, badass villain.
3. Civilization IV
A friend once described Civilization games as being prime rib to SimCity’s bologna. While that debate is open for discussion, I love that they grabbed Nimoy and his fantastic voice to do narration work. This game is about the dawn of civilization and building empires: Nimoy’s voice fits that mold perfectly.
2. Star Trek: Judgement Rites
OK, the voice work in this game is far from perfect (Shatner sounds like he’d rather be anywhere else but here), but Computer Gaming World loved it back in 1996, ranking it 96th of all time. And it’s the last time you got to see DeForest Kelley play McCoy in non-archive form. It really is a fantastic little PC game that, while similar to 25th Anniversary (playable on the Internet Archive) does it much better. The Smithsonian gets attacked by terrorists, by far the best plot in any Star Trek game.
Yes this is number one. It’s Leonard Nimoy narrating a game on the Sega Dreamcast about a fish that talks to you. Spock. On your Dreamcast. If you can’t understand why Seaman is number one, you might as well try telling me that the dress is white and gold.
It’s a silly little game, but I appreciate that Nimoy had a good enough sense of humor to do vocal work for the game. Perhaps Seaman is a better window into his mind than anything else.
“My name is Leonard Nimoy, and I will be your guide. If you get tired of my voice, you can press start at any time.”
I’m never pressing a start button again.