Meet the Voice Actress Behind Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Ayu Larassanti was shocked when Ember Labs cofounders asked her to read for Kena, the main character, in their upcoming video game Kena: Bridge of Spirits. She had previously done voice-overs on everyday projects, such as a class video. Larassantis professional voiceover debut would be her senior year at UCLA. However, she was already very connected to the game in another way.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits, an action-adventure video game, is inspired by the Japanese culture and Balinese culture. It will be available on September 21. It follows Larassanti, a young spirit guide who uses magic to help dead people transition from the physical world to the spirit realm. Born in Los Angeles, Larassanti was raised in Bali and California. Her family spent a year in Bali before she moved to America for eighth grade. She was chosen for the role as Kena because of her connections with these cultures (her mother is part Japanese).

Larassantis father, Dewa Pudu Berata and Emiko Saraswati, Larassantis' mother, are also directors for Gamelan Udamanian Ensemble of musicians and dancers. They are based in Pengosekan (Bali). Ember Labs collaborated on the game soundtrack with udamani after Kenas composer Jason Gallaty listened to udamanis songs for inspiration and reached back to them in 2017 in order to work together. After the music recording was completed, Larassanti received a request to read for Kena.

Larassantis knowledge about Balinese culture is largely inherited from her father. She learned how to approach temples and communicate with others, as well as how to carry herself. Larassantis interpretation of Kena was influenced by her father's knowledge. The themes and emotions of Kena are closely linked to her own experiences in Bali.

How Kena Embodies the Balinese Spirit

She explains that Bali is, as you all know, lush, green and hot. Kena's world is very familiar to her. It felt very familiar to her. She says her approach to Kena would not have been as deep or rich without that.

Larassanti's ability to speak both informal and formal Balinese was a great help when communicating with other characters. For example, when speaking to an elder, Larassanti would use a more formal tone than she would when talking to younger cousins.

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These are the emotions I tried to convey to my characters when I spoke to them about their relationship with Kena, Larassanti said.

Kena has small spirit companions, called the Rot. They help her accomplish tasks and fight against enemies. Larassanti also took inspiration from Kena's experience of speaking to sacred spirits in Balinese culture, where they are represented in temples in the form masks and headdresses. Dancers often ask for protection and blessings from the Sesuhunan and also put on masks to perform large ceremonies.