That Time Kim Wexler From Better Call Saul Was In A Magic: The Gathering Video Game

The real star of Better Call Saul was Kim Wexler. I loved Jimmy, even at his most irredeemably villainous, but it didn't take long for his co-conspirator to emerge as the show's most fascinating, complex character. Not only was Kim superbly written, but Rhea Seehorn played her perfectly. The nuance and depth of her performance only grew more impressive with each season, and if she wins that Emmy it'll be well deserved. I'd never heard of her before Better Call Saul: now I'll watch anything she's in. But I was also curious about what she did before her career-defining turn as Slippin' Kimmy, leading me to a surprising (and amusing) discovery.

In 1997, MicroProse launched Magic: The Gathering, a video game based on the collectible card game of the same name. Veteran designer Sid Meier, of Civilization fame, worked on it—but ended up uncredited after jumping ship to form his own studio, Firaxis. The game was well received, and is arguably the first ever digital deck-builder. But its demanding system requirements, abundance of bugs, and mystifying lack of multiplayer kept it from greatness, and it has since drifted into the realm of the forgotten PC gaming curio. However, there's been a renewed interest in the game thanks to the presence of a certain actor.

In the mid-to-late '90s, FMV was everywhere. It was so popular that some studios even managed to rope in established Hollywood actors to ham it up for their games. Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, John Hurt, and Jeff Goldblum are just a few big names who appeared in comically low-res cutscenes for mostly crappy point-and-click adventures. But for games with a smaller budget, up-and-coming actors were often hired—including, in Magic: The Gathering, a twenty-something Rhea Seehorn. Decades before she became hotshot lawyer Kim Wexler, a fresh-faced Seehorn inhabited the role of—wait for it—Tutorial Witch.

Being a strategy game of some complexity, MicroProse included an FMV tutorial in the game to teach new players the ropes—and it was hilariously bad. Blue-screened against a fake-looking dungeon backdrop, Seehorn wears a Halloween robe and tries her damndest to do an English accent. She's clearly an inexperienced actor at this point in her career, and sounds quite different, but that deepeness her voice has is instantly recognisable. After watching back-to-back Better Call Saul, it's a strange sensation hearing Kim Wexler earnestly saying stuff like "A deck consists of between 40 and 60 cards!" and swooshing a gold-lined robe around.

Amazingly, this tutorial is almost 2 hours long, almost certainly making it one of the longest FMV cutscenes in video game history. I doubt Seehorn looks back on this job as a career highlight, but hey, you gotta start somewhere, right? Her Better Call Saul castmate Giancarlo Esposito (who played stony-faced fried chicken enthusiast Gus Fring) recently landed a starring role in Far Cry 6 as dictator Antón Castillo, which is a slightly better video game debut. That said, perhaps Seehorn will end up in a video game now that she's established herself as an actor to be reckoned with: but hopefully with a better role than Tutorial Witch.

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