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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
OP
OP
TreadTalks

TreadTalks

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
1,995
United States
I get where OP is coming from. It's one of my biggest glaring issues with Breath of the Wild. Mute protagonists work when you do something aching to dialogue choices ala rpg where even if your character doesn't talk when you have folks talking at them there are lines you can choose to keep the conversation going. Cutscenes are limited and tend to just be for setting up a situation where dialogue from the lead is not necessary. Think showing the bad guy walking in, a battle scene, or something else where the lead talking is not necessary.

If you're going to keep Link mute, you need to either not have characters talk to him in such a manner that a back and forth is necessary, or when responses are naturally expected give text based dialogue options to choose from such as when the Owl or deku tree asks you something.

If you had text based options to have more natural conversations with folks when needed in some of these bigger Zelda titles, then for the most part you avoid the issue even if you can't really create Link to your preferred image like a character creator. But you get to dictate their personality to a degree like supposedly Nintendo wants.

Breath of the Wild outside of cutscenes did a decent enough job. Link is supposed to be a man of few words but has plenty of personality with his emotes and even with the text dialogue choices you have here and there. It isn't much but there are times you can make him sound hilariously impatient or rude, such as demanding the glider from the old man over and over again.

The cutscenes on the other hand were plenty awkward. Characters directly talking with you, with full voice acting, and Link staring back blankly. Nintendo tries to excuse it by having a journal entry say that link
took a vow of silence or something
but that's them conveniently side stepping the issue which didn't solve it. You can solve the issue for the most part by having cutscenes not expect Link to respond to a degree to people talking to him and any conversation he might have keeping it to text boxes with others.

Voice acting is nice but it isn't like a game changer and I'd rather have more consistent dialogue choices than voice acting any day of the week.
Yes! Exactly this! 100%!
 

DrROBschiz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,808
Ya know

I looked at that poll and at first I thought it was an easy answer.... then I go to click and I hesitate

DAMNIT

I can't do it! What I can do is continue to bitch that we need a game with Playable Ganon and Zelda adventure!

In fact make a Zelda game where you play from the perspective of all 3!
 

jett

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,796
If BOTW represents the level of voice acting quality we can expect in future Zelda games, then frankly everyone should be mute.
 

arlu

Member
Nov 1, 2017
190
Venezuela
I kinda wish they'd go all in and give him sign language to communicate.
Lean in on his muteness and make him talk in sign language.
I remember thinking this when watching the cutscenes of BotW. They could even made the signs up, because hylian is, afterall, a fictional lenguage. Also, I somewhat feel Link was a champion of "minorities" being left-handed. So making him partly deaf or mute, could bring that aspect back.
 

quesalupa

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,377
US
He talks when it's necessary, he's just a quiet guy. I like how botw made it canon that dude is actually going around not responding to people. I always thought they were just letting us fill in the blanks.
 

Leo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,876
He does talk in the game, you just can't hear it. And he doesn't do it very often. Also he's got a lot of sass judging by the dialogue options, but that doesn't detract from the character precisely because you can't hear it. I love it.

I think it works very well, better than in Dragon Quest, for example (which doesn't bother me either).
 
OP
OP
TreadTalks

TreadTalks

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
1,995
United States
Dont know if its a generational thing or what but silent protagonists generally dont bother me
I’m likely of your generation - it never bothered me (and I’ve preferred it) until you started having cut scenes with voice acted, expressive characters talking to Link in BotW. He just stands there like an expressionless blinking thing...
It's easier to project yourself onto a mute character.
It is during text dialogue where you’re choosing responses. It’s not in the voice acted cutscenes where Link’s lack of responsiveness just makes for bad scenes.
 
OP
OP
TreadTalks

TreadTalks

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
1,995
United States
He talks when it's necessary, he's just a quiet guy. I like how botw made it canon that dude is actually going around not responding to people. I always thought they were just letting us fill in the blanks.
That works with text dialogue. It doesn’t in the cutscenes.
He does talk in the game, you just can't hear it. And he doesn't do it very often.

I think it works very well, better than in Dragon Quest, for example (which doesn't bother me either).
It works really well in the text dialogue — in the cutscenes its just plain awkward and bad.
 
OP
OP
TreadTalks

TreadTalks

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
1,995
United States
So rare dialogue lines and incidentals that make sense. Basically some kind of affirmation people are talking and he's listening.
Yes! Exactly this!
I would agree with you that link being mute in a game with voice acting is awkward, but the solution isn't to give link a voice, it's to eliminate the other voices in the game.
hey, I’d go for that too.
We really don’t need Link ruined by some lame attempt to characterize him through voice acting and (god forbid) Link having direct interactions in cutscenes. I’m Link, damnit. And so is everybody else in this thread. Let’s not strip away that magic.
It’s not magic when you have a mute mannequin with characters interacting directly with him. You at least would admit that Link is far too expressionless for those scenes, no?
 

Neoxon

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
28,437
Houston, TX
I don't trust NoA with voice acting enough to give Link a voice (the problem is that they're way too inconsistent, especially as of recently), so I say keep him mute for the time being.
 

Andri

Member
Mar 20, 2018
3,552
Switzerland
Truth is Link isnt mute.
He just remembers every Link that came before, so he rather not talk at all, else he would totaly break down if he had to talk the the 5173 reincarnation of a friend.
 

-PXG-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,560
NJ
At most, make him like our guardians (you, the player) in Destiny, where their dialogue is almost non existent, except in rare moments where they may interject or ask a question. Our guardians have only had a few minor lines of dialogue in the last FIVE years. Literally just a few words here and there. The supporting cast and NPCs do all the heavy lifting.
 

RPGam3r

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,186
I want all Nintendo characters to talk more to be honest. They usually have a voice, so just use that in conversations.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,772
Yeah. Either cut the dialogue or let Link participate in it. This awkward dead zone where Link stands around like a mannequin while people talk at him is just...bad. Worst of both worlds.
I agree. I found it to be the worst at the end of Twilight Princess when Zelda and Midna were talking to him and he's just standing around blankly not reacting. I honestly thought it was like he's mentally handicapped.
 

Lua

Member
Aug 9, 2018
734
No, actually. Remove all the voice acting as well, it worked better when there were only sounds and text.
 
Oct 28, 2017
7,923
Silent Link Forever.

What I really want is the ability to toggle what language other characters speak. I would have much rather have turned on Arabic Dub for all the Gerudo tribe. Italian for the Zora, etc.... That would have been the best.


Silent Link Forever
 

TrueHero

Member
Feb 24, 2018
46
Link already has a personality, he's a generic stoic hero (in botw). There was basically no reason for them to make link the only mute in the game besides making the cut scenes awkward. If they were gonna switch over to more traditional cut scenes and add voices to the game they should have just went all the way and had link voiced too, he doesn't even need to talk that often, just when it's really appropriate.

edit: or the best of both worlds, have him unvoiced but have dialogue in very important moments, he can still be the silent type. (or just go back to no voice acting at all).
 

PtM

Member
Dec 7, 2017
1,253
I just finished Breath of the Wild (wonderful game) with all the memories.

The game has one glaring issue for me: Link as a mute does not work where there is actual voice acting. You can get away with it when it’s just text, but it’s so damn weird to watch everyone, especially Zelda, effectively talking to themselves while Link stares blankly at them.
Oh well, I'm fine with going back to text.
 

CrazyDude

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,026
Give him a voice and he’ll just be a generic shone protagonist with voice acting everyone hates. Just make him more expressive and build cutscenes built around that or get rid of VO.
 

SoulBlayze

Member
May 23, 2019
209
No, because it will means more money for useles actors and they will think they are the most important people in the world.
Probably they will take more money than the current project.