Fan Expo Day 2: Master Chief and Solid Snake Meet Up for the First Time in Fan Expo’s Greatest Crossover Event and More

Years ago, Wizard World was the place for video games, whether you wanted to check out Razer’s newest tech or participate in a tournament. Fax Expo is trying to get back some of Wizard World’s video gaming glory days with tournaments and events set up by Icon Gaming. Meanwhile, if you’re into tabletop and board games, Dico Dojo has free play set up where you can try out a number of board games, with Dice Dojo staff on hand to help you get into your game of choice.

There were also a few video game related panels, and we’ll catch you up with some of our favorite moments at the Video Game Voices and Genshin Impact Panels.

Steve Downes and David Hayter at Fan Expo Chicago 2022. Photo: Marielle Bokor

We had a chance to see one of the greatest crossover events in video game history at Fan Expo: Master Chief from the Halo series and Snake from the Metal Gear series met up to talk about voice acting and the impact their voices have had on the gaming industry. Of course, Snake is voiced by industry vet David Hayter while Master Chief is voiced by Chicago’s own Steve Downes, who was also a DJ on local station The Drive for almost two decades. In fact, Downes credited his DJ gig for getting him into voice acting. Downes also credited the late great Don LaFontaine for inspiration to his voiceover work. So next time you hear Master Chief, you can imagine a bit of Don LaFontaine in it: “In a world where CORTANA!” 

Despite the breadth of Hayter’s work, most of the conversation was dominated by Halo

It turns out that David Hayter is also a Halo fan, and told a story about how his friend Nathan Fillion would play on Xbox Live under the handle Captain Mal. Hayter did talk briefly about some of his non-video game work, notably as the promo voice for the Playboy channel in the 90s, and his stint as Captain America on the Spider-Man: The Animated Series show.

Finally, when asked what their dream role would be, Downes said he “wants for nothing more” and has already been voicing his dream role. On the other hand, Hayter said, “I’d like to play Master Chief.”

Zach Aguilar at Fan Expo Chicago 2022. Photo: Marielle Bokor.

We headed over to another gaming panel, Gaming, Genshin Impact and More! Q&A with Zach Aguilar, but despite the popularity of Genshin Impact overall and the popularity of his role as Aether in the game, the anime fans were there in force, and the Q&A was decidedly more geared towards Aguilar’s role in Demon Slayer. 

It suited Aguilar and the audience perfectly, as Zach himself is a huge anime fan and spent a lot of time gushing about his favorite animes, like Naruto and Inuyasha that got him into the world as a fan, though there was some slight rumbling felt in the audience when he also mentioned that even though it’s not technically an anime, Avatar the Last Airbender was his favorite show of all time. 

While it makes sense that the attention turned to Demon Slayer, with the upcoming Demon Slayer panel being the first time the English cast has ever appeared together, it didn’t leave lots of room for talk of Genshin, meaning people who were fans of the game may just have to hit up a few more panels to get into deeper conversations about it.

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Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, and video game historian.
He is also a small streamer, occasional podcast guest, and writer.