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The voice of Encarta MindMaze
February 16, 2014 4:11 PM   Subscribe

Last weekend I caught up with a friend that I hadn't seen in a while as we drove to a wedding together. Over the course of swapping tales, she told me that when she was around nine years old, she was paid a small sum to record her voice to be used in the MindMaze game buried in Microsoft Encarta, but that she'd never been able to find the recording as an adult to listen to again.

To that I replied "This sounds like a job for the Internet!" So I set up Windows 98 in a virtual machine, got an Encarta 98 CD-ROM from eBay, and played the game. The problem is... no voices, just horrible MIDI loops. I also verified that sound was working in other apps, and searched the disc for WAVs, but nothing interesting came up. Before I start trying to get other versions of Encarta I thought I'd ask you guys if this sounds familiar at all.
posted by endquote to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I should have added what she said: It was something like "congratulations" for answering a question correctly, and "don't worry, you can try again" if it's wrong. After not hearing anything like that after playing the game a while, I asked her if she was the end boss or something, but she said she wasn't.
posted by endquote at 4:18 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


My memories of that game don't involve any voices, just the MIDI "Greensleeves" or Greensleeves-esque tunes. Did she ever hear it back then? Perhaps they recorded it but never used it in the final version or something.
posted by papayaninja at 4:30 PM on February 16


It could have been something they originally planned, but later dropped for some reason or other. A lot of that happens.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:38 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Here's a link to a play through of the game. I watched a few parts of the play through and didn't see any voice over action. Maybe email the dude who made the video and see if he remembers any parts that did have speaking parts?
posted by itsamermaid at 4:43 PM on February 16


I definitely remember hearing a girl say, "The world is your oyster!" because I had to ask what that meant.
posted by Marit at 6:27 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Hm, Marit's quotation finds some hits on google: here, various other potential voice bits on Reddit here, and another Reddit comment here. No video or audio though...
posted by papayaninja at 6:42 PM on February 16


Also, I would have had an earlier version of Encarta, probably pre-96. I don't know why they would take voices out in later versions, but I guess it's a possibility.
posted by Marit at 6:50 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


I don't know... I feel like I remember turning the voice off when playing MindMaze, but I was a kid, and I'm not sure if I remember correctly or if I just want to remember it.
posted by snorkmaiden at 7:07 PM on February 16


Aaaand... now that the last few comments have loaded: "Confucius says..." as reported in a reddit comment linked above sounds even more familiar.
posted by snorkmaiden at 7:12 PM on February 16


There's another mention in these comments, but this one specifically mentions a woman's voice saying "Confucius says...."
posted by papayaninja at 8:10 PM on February 16


We played MindMaze obsessively! There was a girl's voice on the version my daughter and I played-Just like Marit said. We had Encarta 93. It is probably still in our garage somewhere!

The voice also said other things at random times including something similar to what your friend mentioned...it was something like 'congratulations, you've answered well' or close to that. That game was the best!
posted by W.S (disambiguation) at 9:48 PM on February 16


I remember voices (of course it could just be my brain adding voices to the text dialogue), I remember Confucius says and a really snooty woman saying "even a broken clock manages to be right twice a day", don't remember any children but doesn't mean there wasn't one.
posted by missmagenta at 11:54 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


100% remember voices and a little girl voice. I sunk a lot If time into that game. They took out the voiced version well before '98, because I was using it via Windows 3.11. Try the one just called Microsoft Encarta or Encarta "96.
posted by griphus at 3:23 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Thanks guys, glad to hear I'm not crazy on this one. The oldest versions I can find on eBay are 95 and 96 so I'll try those and report back.
posted by endquote at 11:07 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


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