When it comes to video game characters, personality isn’t the only thing that breathes life into them. During our time at gamescom asia 2023, we had the golden opportunity to speak with Faye Mata, the voice of Street Fighter 6‘s poison-loving assassin, A.K.I.
Faye Mata is a veteran in the voice acting scene, having numerous roles in both anime and video games; with the prominent ones being Aqua from KonoSuba, Astolfo from Fate/Apocrypha, and Petra Macneary from Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
Getting the Role of A.K.I.
According to Faye, Capcom didn’t let anyone know what the audition was for, but upon realizing that the mysterious game that she had audition for turned out to be A.K.I from Street Fighter Fighter 6, she was ecstatic, considering she’s been a big fan of fighting games since her childhood; growing up with playing Street Fighter, and even joining two esports teams just for fun.
However, the excitement also comes with lots of pressure as the role meant a lot to Faye.
“It felt like a lot of pressure in some way because it’s something that means so much to me that I didn’t want to do it wrong, or I don’t want to let the fan base down or even myself down because it was a game I knew that I was going to play. So, if I played the game and I wasn’t happy with my voice, then it’d be a hard time playing the game.” she explained.
Fortunately for Faye, it eventually turned out well, and the Capcom team was very accommodating to her being creative with the role as well.
Adding A Personal Flair
One of the fun things about voice acting is bringing your own personal flair to the characters. We asked Faye about bringing said flair to A.K.I.
“There’s different ways you can read the exact same lines. But knowing her personality, I applied what I thought meant to me, and it came out the way that it did.” she explained.
Faye mentioned that she wanted to give A.K.I a more fun personality, rather than the typical deadly assassin who usually speaks in a monotonous voice. She continued by saying she gave A.K.I a more “Yandere” vibe because she cares so much about her master.
During serious moments, Faye wanted A.K.I to be like a mad scientist, being obsessed with her poisons and seeing people as just experiments.
“When she finds something successful, she wants to make sure that her master has seen it, almost like a golden retriever’s energy, all of a sudden it’s like there’s these big levels of wanting to get praised.”
Personal Experiences With F.A.N.G
Now, we’ve previously mentioned A.K.I’s master throughout the interview. But for those who might not be familiar, A.K.I is the apprentice of F.A.N.G, the second-in-command of Shadaloo.
With A.K.I. being so obsessed with her master, we asked Faye if she had any personal experience that she’d channel into when A.K.I gushes about F.A.N.G.
To which, while Faye knows F.A.N.G as a character, she’s not too familiar with him in terms of the meme culture surrounding the character. But she did mention that it was nice to have people in the booth to direct her.
Being well-versed in the fighting game community and the memes surrounding it, Faye joked about bringing a similar energy to A.K.I’s obsession with F.A.N.G and related it to the Melty Blood players in the bathroom at EVO.
For those who might be confused by the Melty Blood meme, it was a real thing that happened where there were no more rooms at a tournament venue for a side tournament, thus the Melty Blood players had to improvise and set it up in the bathroom.
It eventually became a big part of Melty’s Blood’s reputation that they even made a real bathroom set at one of the recent fighting game tournaments.
— Arcade Press 🐉 (@ArcadePress) September 30, 2023
“I thought about people like that, it doesn’t matter if nobody else likes this. I love this and these people love this. This was kind of for the F.A.N.G players, all three of them in the world, this one’s for you.” she continued jokingly.
To Faye, instead of just making A.K.I be independent from F.A.N.G, she highlights how even small communities have things that are important to them, and if you truly love something, nothing else matters.
Can We Fix Her?
The internet works in mysterious ways, with the recent trend of the satirical memes on the stereotypical romantic preference with fictional characters exhibiting psychopathic and dangerous behavior.
With that being said, we asked Faye what were her thoughts after the reveal of A.K.I’s trailer where the internet collectively went “You cannot fix her”.
Upon hearing the question, Faye burst out laughing saying that it was a funny meme, even before everyone applied that meme to A.K.I.
Faye mentioned when the meme dropped with the trailer, she thought it fit well with A.K.I. considering how she’s not even going to care about you unless you’re her master or her experiments.
“In which case you’re not doing the fixing, she is the doing the fixing or breaking.” Faye followed up.
Faye continued by saying it’s cool to have a character be related to memes like that, with her voicing other characters who also have a lot of memes tied to them like Astolfo in Fate/Apocrypha and Aqua in Konosuba.
“It’s just kind of correct for A.K.I to have memes too. I welcome all the memes.” Faye exclaims.
With Faye mentioning that she had been a big fighting game player throughout her life to the point of joining two esports teams, we had to ask her if she ever wanted to go professional playing fighting games.
To which, Faye replied by saying that she originally wanted to, and tried to set realistic goals where she experienced being the best in her friend group and at school, but get 0-2’d in a real tournament. However, that’s where Faye learnt about the competitive scene.
“That in itself was so fun and intoxicating in its own way where the more you play, the more you realize you’re getting slightly better and better. It’s not really about being pro, but rather continuously feeling like you’re getting better.” Faye explained.
She mentioned that feeling can be applied to lots of different things, and she did that with voice acting.
Faye reiterated that she wanted to be a pro player, but in the sense that she loved that it took hard work to get to where they are. While people are passionate, sometimes passion change and for Faye, although she’s still passionate about gaming, she knows that realistically she doesn’t have the time to put into playing professionally, and also the raw talent and skill to get that far.
Advice to Aspiring Voice Actors
With our interview with Faye drawing to a close, instead of asking her one last question about her role as A.K.I., we figured it’d be best to end things off by asking her if she has any advice to give any up and coming voice actors who wish to dive into the video game industry.
“When it comes to voicing video games professionally, you have to have a balance of hard work ethic, but also don’t forget to have fun.” Faye expressed.
Faye mentions that it’s important to make sure that you shouldn’t focus too much on the technicalities as it loses the charm. But at the same time, you shouldn’t be completely silly without any training either.
Another advice that Faye shares is to just go out and experience things, even the things that you’re afraid to do. Faye brought up her personal experience where she didn’t like dancing but still went to a club just to see what it’s like.
She mentions that if you’ve never experienced those things, you’d have a hard time coming up with the scenario and acting will be harder. People will connect with something that sounds real, so if you have a real opinion on something and when that comes up in a script and you have to talk about it, it’ll be more real.
Wrapping up the interview, Faye parted one final message to aspiring voice actors.
“Aspiring voice actresses should just go and have fun, explore. Anything you do in life can apply to acting because it becomes a memory that becomes something you can pull and put into your performance.”
Thus ended our interview with Faye Mata. With Street Fighter 6 gaining popularity rapidly it was nice to talk with someone that’s actually part of the game. We would once again like to thank Faye Mata for taking the time to answer our questions.