There Will be Voice Acting in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, But Link Stays Silent

There Will be Voice Acting in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, But Link Stays Silent

In a recent interview, Eiji Aonuma talked about voice acting in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

In an interview with Polygon, producer Eiji Aonuma addressed the addition of voice acting to the Legend of Zelda franchise in the upcoming release, Breath of the Wild. The decision was made because "it's really difficult to leave an impression on players with just text," adding that while not every bit of dialogue will be accompanied by voice acting, there are instances where the team wants to "leave impressions on users." For those instances, Aonuma says "I add voice there."

Link, however, will remain unvoiced. In my personal opinion, this is a smart move - Link, as a character, has always served as a conduit for players, an actual "link" between the player and the story. Aonuma appears to agree, as he wanted to maintain the relationship between the player and the Hero of (yea, we still don't know his Hero Title yet).

"If Link said something the user doesn't agree with, that relationship between the user and Link would be lost," said Aonuma. "That's why I chose not to go with that."

Also in the interview, Aonuma talked about the game's sci-fi elements, saying that he wanted to add technology to offset the ruined and very natural world that Link is adventuring through.

"Link basically adventures through a ruined world. I wanted to add technology as the opposite side of that," he said. "I thought it would be interesting for Link to use technology to explore through this wild and ruined world. I figured that would add another layer to the game."

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is set to be the largest game in Zelda's 20 year run, with Nintendo getting some assistance from Monolith Soft with the development process.

You can check out my hands-on impressions of Breath of the Wild from E3 (spoiler - they were good) here.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will release in March 2017 on the Wii U and Nintendo's new system, codenamed NX.

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Ten bucks says it's just common vocals like laughs, reactions or murmurs, or that the vocals are all in some mysterious gobbledygook language made for the game.

Dr.Awkward:
Ten bucks says it's just common vocals like laughs, reactions or murmurs, or that the vocals are all in some mysterious gobbledygook language made for the game.

actually they seem to have done some decent work based on game play i watched during E3 I was worried they would have link voiced at first xD

I kinda want people to talk like Midna. Enough voice acting to get across emotion but foreign to us to maintain a strong sense of this being an unfamiliar world.

Lizzy Finnegan:
"If Link said something the user doesn't agree with, that relationship between the user and Link would be lost," said Aonuma. "That's why I chose not to go with that."

I wish someone had told Bethesda this when they were making Fallout 4.

OT: This game looks awesome, it's definitely making me consider finally getting a WiiU.

As someone who incredibly unfamiliar with the LoZ series, that title confused me for a bit.

Dr.Awkward:
Ten bucks says it's just common vocals like laughs, reactions or murmurs, or that the vocals are all in some mysterious gobbledygook language made for the game.

Then you owe everyone $10. Considering they.. You know.. Already previewed the voice acting.

Which is about what I expected. So it's the Half Life 2/Dishonored treatment then.

but did they say if the voiced cahracters will refer to link as "Link" or will it go the way of P3 and 4, that doesn't voice names? in which the text line will say "my buddy canape here" but the voiced line says "my buddy here"

In other words, Link's wild breath would scare everyone away if he so much as opened his mouth. That or Shadman traumatised him.

Benpasko:

Lizzy Finnegan:
"If Link said something the user doesn't agree with, that relationship between the user and Link would be lost," said Aonuma. "That's why I chose not to go with that."

I wish someone had told Bethesda this when they were making Fallout 4.

OT: This game looks awesome, it's definitely making me consider finally getting a WiiU.

Why get the Wii U when it is coming out with the NX next year? Why get the inferior version on the older hardware?

I'm guessing that he'll still delight us with his usual "Hyaah! Haaah! Heeeeaaaah!" though.

teh_Canape:
but did they say if the voiced cahracters will refer to link as "Link" or will it go the way of P3 and 4, that doesn't voice names? in which the text line will say "my buddy canape here" but the voiced line says "my buddy here"

The gameplay footage has a voiced character refer to him as Link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZj8q9PqzzY

ScrabbitRabbit:

teh_Canape:
but did they say if the voiced cahracters will refer to link as "Link" or will it go the way of P3 and 4, that doesn't voice names? in which the text line will say "my buddy canape here" but the voiced line says "my buddy here"

The gameplay footage has a voiced character refer to him as Link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZj8q9PqzzY

I know, but I still hold out hope it was just for the demo
dangit, I really don't want them to take this away from me
don't take away ganon saying "I have once again been defeated by donglord, the hero of ttme"

Orga777:

Benpasko:

I wish someone had told Bethesda this when they were making Fallout 4.

OT: This game looks awesome, it's definitely making me consider finally getting a WiiU.

Why get the Wii U when it is coming out with the NX next year? Why get the inferior version on the older hardware?

Because the Wii U still has games for it? Yeah, the games for the Wii, for the Wii U combined with the eshop makes a sizeable library. The reason to buy a console is for the games, but right now we know nothing about any games exclusive for it, there were the rumor of four Wii U titles will get a NX version, then there were those news that Beyond Good and Evil 2 was gonna be a NX exclusive as a launch title, but both Ubisoft and Nintendo neither confirmed nor denied it. And considering how much everybody is pressuring Nintendo to forget the Wii U, aka remove backwards compatibility completely, the Wii U is still a good console for the exclusives.

teh_Canape:

ScrabbitRabbit:

teh_Canape:
but did they say if the voiced cahracters will refer to link as "Link" or will it go the way of P3 and 4, that doesn't voice names? in which the text line will say "my buddy canape here" but the voiced line says "my buddy here"

The gameplay footage has a voiced character refer to him as Link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZj8q9PqzzY

I know, but I still hold out hope it was just for the demo
dangit, I really don't want them to take this away from me
don't take away ganon saying "I have once again been defeated by donglord, the hero of ttme"

Yeah, I know the feeling. :( I like being able to name my character and have it reflected in the dialogue. Fuck voice acting, it should be banned forever.

*imagining CoD with text boxes*

I really have nothing in particular to add one way or the other about the voice acting - I could have taken or left it, but at least Link remains a silent protagonist.

But what the hell is wrong with the texture on the cliff face in that first preview image there? I know the WiiU is old tech at this point, but damn, that wall looks bad on the left near the camera.


I am not the biggest LoZ fan, but I am happy they are keeping Link silent, aside from his usual grunting.

Also, the way the article is worded makes it sound like Link himself is remaining silent on the subject of the games voice acting.

The more I hear about this game the more quietly excited I get

Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to get this game because I'd be a fool not to, and I don't mind a silent protagonist, but I don't feel a connection to 'Link' one way or another, because Link constantly does things I don't agree with. Mido's in the way and we need to save Saria... time is short, so why not just deck the guy in the schnoz and explain things later? Yeah, yeah, I know we're supposed to be the 'good guy' and all that, but would a good guy peacefully talking things through and then proceed to wreck the townsfolk's pottery or pumpkin harvest?

This seems like a decent compromise to bring voice acting to the series. I mean it worked pretty well in Metroid Prime 3

-Dragmire-:
I kinda want people to talk like Midna. Enough voice acting to get across emotion but foreign to us to maintain a strong sense of this being an unfamiliar world.

I'd be most happy with this, but either way I'm mostly just pleased that Link will remain unvoiced. Not only does it feel kinda weird if he had one (The Games that Shall Not Be Named, for example), but I'd like to encourage more unvoiced protagonists in modern gaming. Much more flexibility in writing and possible responses.

I don't really care either way. Voice acting, even only for some key characters and lines, would be an update the franchise has needed for a long time, but I've been fine with the dialog boxes for the most part. There's only been a few times were the shape, color, speed, and timing of the dialog text wasn't able to fully convey the emotion voiced (and decently acted out) dialog could have, like the scene near the end of Wind Waker where...

If they did ever give Link a voice, they would be wise to test it out with the localization teams in different markets to see how well it works and be prepared to scrap the voice or the whole idea if it doesn't work, or let the localization teams change what needs change to make it work in their region. This is a good baby step if that is LoZ's future, but I don't think Link needs to have much more than a few spoken lines if Nintendo does eventually run down that route.

Whatever they do should be good, as long as Link isn't delivering horrible monologues stating the obvious or not speeking up when being told by his guide to go into Death Mountain Crater without wearing the Goron Tunic (when he has one). I'm just thankful that, so far, stupid stuff like the chanting of everyone in Malo Mart wasn't voiced.

Saulkar:
In other words, Link's wild breath would scare everyone away if he so much as opened his mouth.

So, is his campfire cooking is really nasty, or is he a Dragonborn?

Alex Baas:
This seems like a decent compromise to bring voice acting to the series. I mean it worked pretty well in Metroid Prime 3

I agree. Link and Samus are player avatars. They don't need to talk a lot, since the player is supposed to know what they know. (Although, I do like the intro dialog Samus gives in a few of the games and Fusion's closing dialog. I just prefer that the writers keep anything like that at only the very beginning and very end of a game.)

They should just pull a Fallout 4 and go for a voice-acted Link. Except give him only one option.

Good, voice acting is something the series has needed for a VERY long time. It always helps any given series to have voice acting that didn't have it before because of how voices greatly aid the emotion presented in the dialog, and if the voice acting is bad enough as a whole that one preferred if it stayed silent then most games that have it have the option to turn them off entirely anyway.

As to whether Link needs it or would be detrimental with it, it's not as though he's much of a player avatar in the first place. The player just runs him through one dungeon after another killing things usually in a predetermined sequence until the game is over, they are only very rarely allowed to choose his responses to anything and the other characters never act like he says anything, even outright ignoring what he says when the player gets to choose and looping the dialog until you say what you're supposed to say. Link is basically a functional mute as far as the plot or any characterization for him is concerned, with Skyward Sword being the only Zelda game that so much as tries to allow the player to give Link an actual characterization. An actual player avatar would be able to actually do and say things the player wants them to even in a limited fashion, rather than be forced to do and say everything.

The problem with Silent Protagonists is they are intended to allow the player to step into the shoes of a given protagonist, but then by necessity said protagonist has barely any input or actual relevance to the plot that every other character just orders around while almost always at the same time ironically pretending said character is important somehow. In the end, if Link is one day voiced the player base would probably complain endlessly just because what they wanted Link's characterization to be isn't what the voiced Link's was and called it awful on the basis that alone even if it was the best voice actor and the best characterization in the history of video games, but that's a ridiculous reason NOT to give any character a characterization and voice. Whether Link being voiced would be good or not would depend on the effort Nintendo put into hiring a competent voice actor and script writer, it could never be bad on it's existence alone.

immortalfrieza:
Good, voice acting is something the series has needed for a VERY long time. It always helps any given series to have voice acting that didn't have it before because of how voices greatly aid the emotion presented in the dialog, and if the voice acting is bad enough as a whole that one preferred if it stayed silent then most games that have it have the option to turn them off entirely anyway.

1. Fallout fans beg to differ.

2. I've literally never played a single game that allows you to turn off voice acting without just muting the game entirely. What games do this?

Almost all games voice acting is lost on me as I tend to read everything before the voice actor is able to speak their lines. This just makes it to where you hear small bits of dialogue and make them sound like they have some sort of speaking disorder.

I'm ok with this. I have a feeling should they made him able to speak properly, people would complain how he sounded like and aswell the usual pro/ against the vocal.

rgrekejin:

immortalfrieza:
Good, voice acting is something the series has needed for a VERY long time. It always helps any given series to have voice acting that didn't have it before because of how voices greatly aid the emotion presented in the dialog, and if the voice acting is bad enough as a whole that one preferred if it stayed silent then most games that have it have the option to turn them off entirely anyway.

1. Fallout fans beg to differ.

These are the same sort of people that give some very arbitrary game as a limit to the where the series should have stopped. The series has always had voice acting from day one, the addition of voices for the main characters was a natural and much needed step for the series to take, one nobody would have whined about in the first place if it had always been that way. One can argue that they didn't take advantage of this as well as they could have, but one cannot argue that it's implementation in itself is a bad idea.

2. I've literally never played a single game that allows you to turn off voice acting without just muting the game entirely. What games do this?

I don't know what games you've been playing, but I can count on one hand the number of games I've played that haven't let you mute voices specifically. In fact, it happens so frequently I barely notice the option is there anymore.

Hairless Mammoth:
.

Saulkar:
In other words, Link's wild breath would scare everyone away if he so much as opened his mouth.

So, is his campfire cooking is really nasty, or is he a Dragonborn?

He never brushes his teeth. In fact, he went to the dentist with his pearly nasties, left with some polished oak.

It wouldn't fit with LoZ.

But I still find this way of narration stupid as fuck. Really. Extremely stupid.

Guess I don't fit with LoZ, anymore.

 

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