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Mute Link Needs to Go

In Zelda games with voice acting, does Link need to speak too?

  • Hell yes

    Votes: 384 26.5%
  • Keep him mute

    Votes: 1,066 73.5%

  • Total voters
    1,450
Sep 22, 2019
41
I have grown tired of silent protagonists... breaks the immersion when everyone is talking except the character you are playing as. Although in Zelda it is barely noticeable since even BotW story is pretty nonexistent.
 

Z-Beat

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,005
He's not mute in-canon. He talks in comics and whenever you initiate a conversation it's implied that he's replying back to them. In games like BotW you get to determine the reply.

Chell is mute in-canon, if GLaDOS calling her a 'dangerous, mute lunatic' is any indication
 

decoyplatypus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,411
Brooklyn
Link should stay mute. It's not an obstacle to storytelling (see, e.g., Majora's Mask and Wind Waker or, further afield, Chrono Trigger), and the absolute last thing the series needs is more dialogue.
 

Tbm24

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,497
Straight up don’t want a talking Link. I don’t care for Link’s personality outside how he is. I don’t need to hear his thoughts. I just want to go be a hero.
 

Enduin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,686
New York
I don't understand this mentality at all. Link being mute is not what's wrong with some of the cut scenes in BotW, it's poor scene direction, mediocre writing and a failure to utilize quality facial animations and expressions for him which paled in comparison to TP, let alone WW.

Him being mute is pretty beneficial and key to the story telling in the series. It keeps the story and events focused on the adventure and not some internal personal drama within Link. Him talking would add nothing to the series but baggage and dead weight.

How on earth people think Link talking with the average at best dialogue writing and voice acting would be a good thing is beyond me.
 

KarmaCow

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,773
The solution is to have less dialogue so it doesn't come off like a one sided conversation.
 

Gustaf

Member
Oct 28, 2017
6,915
Twilight Princess Link had more emotions/reactions than BotW Link in cutscenes most of the times. Zelda team needs to fix that.
huh, i think it fits.

tp link is just a farm boy who loves the people of his town.

botw link is the son of the royal guard captain and chosen one of the master sword.

even before being chosen by the sword, people expected a lot from him.
 

Nessus

Member
Oct 28, 2017
789
Only change I'd like to see is for all NPC dialogue (aside from Link) to be voiced, not just a few cutscenes.
 

Kuro

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
5,505
I kinda wish they'd go all in and give him sign language to communicate.
 

Bjoern

Member
Oct 26, 2017
603
Germany
More heroes need to stay mute, in my opinion.

Dead Space 2 is a good representation of what happens if you give a formerly mute character a voice. It feels weird and awkward.

The dialogues would feel way too different if the main character is suddenly voiced. Just let Link stay more forever.
 
OP
OP
TreadTalks

TreadTalks

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
1,991
United States
I don't understand this mentality at all. Link being mute is not what's wrong with some of the cut scenes in BotW, it's poor scene direction, mediocre writing and a failure to utilize quality facial animations and expressions for him which paled in comparison to TP, let alone WW.

Him being mute is pretty beneficial and key to the story telling in the series. It keeps the story and events focused on the adventure and not some internal personal drama within Link. Him talking would add nothing to the series but baggage and dead weight.

How on earth people think Link talking with the average at best dialogue writing and voice acting would be a good thing is beyond me.
You’re overstating the benefit of it and understating the problem of voice acted characters interacting with a mute mannequin.You’re spot on that he needs to be more expressive, but even “silent type” characters have some minor responses. I’m not saying he needs to give a monologue, but either give him some voice acted responses, or make all the characters text only.

Edit: OR make him officially, literally mute. :-)
 

Mory Dunz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,432
a lot of mentions of TP and WW but few of SS, which at least to its credit had the best cutscene expressions
 

VanWinkle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,954
It's super dumb watching a cutscene with a talking emotive secondary character and the protagonist saying nothing to anybody ever. Truly bizarre. Who would want to be friends with this person?

If you design the game and characters around the fact he doesn't talk, then that's fine, but that's not at all the case.
 

domthybomb

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,311
There is no incentive for Nintendo to change Link and start having him talk at this point. BotW made Zelda as big as the franchise has ever been and making changes just opens the door for Nintendo to make mistakes, upset fans with how they I nterpretate Link would act, or otherwise alienate the fan base.

I just don’t see any real benefit and a lot of risk. Personally, I don’t feel the need in Link speaking in a game. If they ever decided to do a TV Series or movie, then I may feel different, but it would be very difficult for them to handle IMO.
Making changes is what got you BotW.
 

matrix-cat

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,309
Either everyone talks or nobody talks. Dialogue scenes where other characters talk to the player, the player says NOTHING, and the other characters respond like this is a totally normal thing are awful. Silent protagonists are done. Don't need'em any more.
 

Dark Ninja

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,520
He's not mute in BOTW its documented in the game. Pretty much one of the reasons why everyone wants him in the game too. Stupid Sexy Link.
 

Yerba_Sutra

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,859
Appalachia
Link being mute is not what's wrong with some of the cut scenes in BotW, it's poor scene direction, mediocre writing and a failure to utilize quality facial animations and expressions for him which paled in comparison to TP, let alone WW.
This is where I'm at. If you're gonna have a character not audibly speak (which I am totally okay with), you gotta direct your cutscenes around it.
 

Rockodile

Member
Dec 7, 2018
59
I dunno, you're really playing with fire there. Remember when they gave Isaac Clarke a voice in Dead Space 2? Fucker wouldn't shut up.
 
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Enduin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,686
New York
You’re overstating the benefit of it and understating the problem of voice acted characters interacting with a mute mannequin.You’re spot on that he needs to be more expressive, but even “silent type” characters have some minor responses. I’m not saying he needs to give a monologue, but either give him some voice acted responses, or make all the characters text only.

Edit: OR make him officially, literally mute. :-)
Not really. It's pretty much all down to bad scene direction. An expressive Link provides all the communication that's needed in most situations and the series really shouldn't rely heavily on cutscenes in the first place, least of all long and wordy ones. Voiced dialogue should have been a boon for BotW as text based cutscenes are a slog that drag scenes out due to the slow speed and constant interruptions of text, which was a real detriment at times to the story heavy entries like SS and TP, but they screwed it up and went too far with their use of it in BotW. The cutscenes in BotW were oddly placed in the game as just flash backs, often too long and wordy. That the scenes predominantly featured Link and Zelda interacting one on one didn't help either. Most scenes were just Zelda talking to him with no real action or events happening. That's bad scene direction. BotW was an amazing game that did a whole lot right, but they really got the story telling and use of cutscenes wrong and it's really not because Link doesn't talk.
 

Nanashrew

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,316
Not really. It's pretty much all down to bad scene direction. An expressive Link provides all the communication that's needed in most situations and the series really shouldn't rely heavily on cutscenes in the first place, least of all long and wordy ones. Voiced dialogue should have been a boon for BotW as text based cutscenes are a slog that drag scenes out due to the slow speed and constant interruptions of text, which was a real detriment at times to the story heavy entries like SS and TP, but they screwed it up and went too far with their use of it in BotW. The cutscenes in BotW were oddly placed in the game as just flash backs, often too long and wordy. That the scenes predominantly featured Link and Zelda interacting one on one didn't help either. Most scenes were just Zelda talking to him with no real action or events happening. That's bad scene direction. BotW was an amazing game that did a whole lot right, but they really got the story telling and use of cutscenes wrong and it's really not because Link doesn't talk.
What's needed, imo, is to look back on previous games and see what worked for the cutscenes, how dialogue was handled around a mute character. But even then, you don't even have to look at past Zelda titles, you can look at stuff like Cross Code or Iconoclasts in how dialogue and scenes are handled around a mute protagonist.

Link can be mute, and I'd even prefer it. But it's as you say, the directions and how they handle dialogue, character expression and body language is lacking.
 

DSP

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,088
You think you want this, but you really don't.

Writing good dialog is not exactly Nintendo's strength, just keep everything simple works best.
 

MistahS

The Fallen
Sep 2, 2018
937
I think it’s been too long for him to get a voice now. It’s been built up for too long and whatever voice actor they choose will piss everyone off because everyone will have a different idea of how Link should sound. They’d alienate everyone.
 

RochHoch

Member
May 22, 2018
4,996
The voice acting in BOTW sucked. Link being mute was a blessing, and that's how he should stay. It's just a part of his character.
 

ze_

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,032
I really liked how BotW handled Link and I never felt any of the cutscenes were awkward because he was silent. He emotes plenty.

I like characters that are sometimes just quiet. Sometimes you don't have anything to say. Sometimes you just want to listen. Link is a bit of that, with a dash of playfulness. And he's also pretty awkward! As a character, he is an avatar that provides comfort and strength. He does not need to interject.

I find his silence touching at times, too. See: Marin reacting to Link's silence in Link's Awakening.

I also hate the idea that the protagonist needs to be voiced in order for players to immerse themselves.

Lastly, Zelda games are not supposed to be epic dramas. The stories are written with Link not speaking in mind. You don't need to know what he wants to say.
 
Last edited:

Shroki

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,731
The greater problem is that no matter what Link sounds like, any voice would be jarring.

The story in BOTW is extremely minimal by design. There are some good character moments with the champions, but it's not a significant part of that game. There's no ambition for it to be a significant part of the game. This is just a bad idea.
 

Heyrule

Member
Oct 31, 2017
1,487
I’m on my phone at work so this will be short but he needs to stay mute. Why is he androgynous? Why is his design such that most people can see themselves in him? Because Link isn’t his own character. You are Link, this is your adventure. BotW especially underlines this line of thinking.