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Aonuma unsure about having Link speak in Zelda games

Posted on January 29, 2016 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News | 0 Likes


In an interview with GamesMaster this month, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma shared some thoughts about the possibility of having Link speak. He does believe that this could be a good idea, but at the same time, he also “feels that that air of proud independence he has because he doesn’t speak is a precious part of the individuality of his character.”

Aonuma’s words in full:

“We’ve had a lot of requests from fans to hear [Link’s] voice, and while in some ways I do feel that it could be good to have a game where he speaks, part of me also feels that that air of proud independence he has because he doesn’t speak is a precious part of the individuality of his character. I want to think long and hard about whether changing that would be for the better or not before I make any decision.”

Link has been known throughout the history of Zelda as being a silent protagonist. If he were to be given a voice, that would definitely have a notable impact on the series. How would you feel if Link spoke in a Zelda title?

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  • wof

    he wouldn’t be able to get that past miyamoto, thats for sure

  • TanukiTrooper

    No. Link should remain silent. If he gains a voice he is no longer an avatar for the player and rather a character in a game.

    Besides we know how well Samus went when she stopped being so silent…

    • MusubiKazesaru

      Over the years Link has become his own character in several games, but I do agree that he shouldn’t speak.

    • AquaBat

      Samus talked in more than just Other M, bud.

      I especially found her monologues in Fusion to be a very interesting experience.

    • Logan Wayman

      It just depends on the writer and the actor, so it could work…

      Same with Samus. If we had the right writer and have Colleen Clinkenbeard voice her, then that would be amazing.

      • lucaslink2

        Fan of her work, but I think she is more suited to tomboy characters or boys voices, Though She did a good work with Hawkeye in Full metal and Erza in Fairy tail.

      • Samus always had some dialogue though (at least from Super Metroid onward), so she was never truly a silent protagonist.

        Also uh, Samus’s VA is already Jennifer Hale. (ignoring Other M, a fictional game which never existed EVER)

        • Beanagespan

          I agree so much. Femshep FTW!

    • He already is his own character.

      “…precious part of his individuality of his character.”

    • Velen (Not WoW)

      -and to this day I maintain that Samus’ deadpan narration is because she is narrating it from a future perspective, as if her time on the Bottle Ship is a past event.

    • RoadyMike

      Link is a character though…and he’s in a game..
      What are you on exactly?

    • MagcargoMan

      While I agree that Link shouldn’t talk, he’s clearly no longer an avatar when Nintendo clearly treats him as a character.

      Also Samus talked in Fusion and that game was fine.

  • Wendigo

    Wouldn’t mind voice acting for other characters though

  • Mewshuji

    Link hasn’t really been an avatar proper for the player since the NES, if you ask me- he’s shown too much personality ever since LTTP. So I don’t think that having him talk would be bad per se. I do think if he did talk, they’d have to give different options ALA WRPG games on how to respond, if they want to avoid alienating too many people.

    • MagcargoMan

      Yeah, Link stopped being an avatar a long time ago. It’s weird to me how characters call him what you named your file in the games; Nintendo clearly treats him as a character.

  • Justin McQuillen

    As long as he doesn’t speak words, I’m good with it.

  • YoungTheFish

    Who ever requested that should be exiled…

  • Justin McQuillen

    There was that one time in Zelda II.

  • dannyxzero

    This again… what year is it?!

    • MagcargoMan

      The current year!

  • R.Z.

    So either Link won’t talk in Zelda WiiU or they are even further form completing the game than I thought.

    And on the matter, I don’t really care for a talkative Link.
    However I am against a solution where only NPCs are dubbed, because after playing XCX, I understand what a bad idea that is.

  • Logan Wayman

    Well, I wouldn’t mind hearing Link’s voice. I mean, it’s been years since the CD-i games, and they have more than enough time to learn from their mistakes. The voice actor? Definitely Viggo Mortensen.

  • link2metroid

    It’s a tough call. I wouldn’t be adverse to seeing it tried in 1 game. The thing is it would have to be done right. Having voice acting could make the game more dramatic and give the story a jolt of life. In the past it has been boring the way the stories have been told, with just a nod from Link or another character conveying what Link said.

    • Linkle isn’t Link, why would they use her to try a talking Link?

      • link2metroid

        Never said Linkle is Link.

        • I didn’t mean to imply you did, sorry, but why would they use her to try to attempt a talking Link?

          • link2metroid

            I mean if she got a game, it’d probably be a spin-off in the same way Hyrule Warriors is. She’s viewed as a female Link. They could test the waters and get feedback for the main series.

          • Oh, I see thanks. Not sure how I feel about a Linkle game though. I like the idea of Linkle being a secondary character, but I’d fear for what it meant if a game starring Linkle was made and was well received, as I don’t like the idea of a fem Link, which is kinda what I fear for her in general is that they’re using her to test the waters to change Link; I hope that isn’t the case.

            That said, I think in a possible scenario where Linkle got her own game, assuming Link himself wasn’t in it, I think it’d reflect somewhat poorly on the idea of Link talking, as people who are against the idea who are also against a fem Link, would see the game as a double blow. Then again who knows. I think Hyrule Warriors should have tested this idea, the little comments on the bottom of the screen don’t offer a huge amount of personality from what I’ve seen, and we’ve already seen bits of Link’s personality and how he talks through the Hero’s Shade and Gramps, so if Link had occasionally blurted out things like “Hey, I need help over here!” instead of using Proxy, I don’t think people would have cared that much.

    • MagcargoMan

      “I do think Hyrule Warriors was a great missed opportunity to experiment with voice acting as it’s a spin-off and isn’t cannon.”

      This so much. Hyrule Warriors would have been perfect for voice acting.

  • AquaBat

    I can’t say I like the cardboard cutouts we’ve been fed over the years, but even the more dynamic Links benefit greatly from being silent protagonists. Toon Link in Wind Waker focused on expressions, and it was great!

    Sometimes the characters talking all around a mute character is bad, other times it works. Equally so for protagonists that talk. If they can make it work, they can make it work. If they can’t, then they can move on.
    I think they should focus on how people respond to dialogue before looking for voice actors, though.

  • KnightWonder

    Nah, keep him silent. What I admire about the LoZ series is its ability to tell a story with no verbal dialogue. This means the animators have to really focus on non version communication through the character’s movements, especially their faces. For instance, in both WW and SS, though Link and Tetra never verbally spoke, they gave the characters their personality through their movements.

    • AquaBat

      Tetra spoke frequently in Wind Waker.
      I’m not sure whether or not you’re referring to Skyward Sword or just made a typo, but Zelda also spoke in that game. It’s Link that has always been silent.

      • KnightWonder

        I’m talking about verbally. You know, having a voice.

        • AquaBat

          What? She had a typical grunting noise voiced by a voice actor and the text appeared. That’s talking. Zelda games have never had full voice acted dialogue. I have no idea what you’re referring to.

    • Reggie

      Tetra spoke verbally in Navi Trackers, though I’m just nitpicking here.

  • Onesimus

    If Link is allowed to speak, he better have a good voice actor in the English version. A bad voice actor will only ruin people’s expectations of Link.

    • link2metroid

      Let me think.

    • YoungTheFish

      This is the power of the Master Sword!
      I can feel the power!
      I’m really feeling it!


  • link2metroid

    Bobcat Beats could voice Link and Janice Wheeler could voice Zelda. Guaranteed 10,000,000+ seller. “Oh my God”.

    • Jack Red

      Gilbert Gottfried? as in the same Gilbert Gottfried who voiced the parrot in Aladdin and Digit in Cyberchase? That Gilbert Gotfried?

    • wiki443556

      I’d pay good money to hear Link speak in Joe Pasquale’s voice XD

      • wiki443556

        also, Link2metroid, I’ve come to the assumption that you’re Irish. Am I correct?

  • GLA

    If they wanted to experiment, they should use the remasters as an opportunity to do so, and even then, make it an option you can turn on and off. Personally, I don’t want him to speak – it adds to this game’s sense of using your own imagination with it.

  • I don’t think it’s a good idea, but I don’t think Link’s been a avatar since like the first game, and is fully his own character nowadays, so I don’t think the reason for not doing it should be something that is severely outdated and no longer true.

  • Kyle8497

    If Link talked, he wouldn’t be Link.

  • NintendoPSXTheSecond

    WHY IS THE TEAM ALWAYS FOCUSED ON LINK’S VOICE?! You CAN keep Link silent! BUT you can make everyone ELSE in the game speak. Why is this a thought that no one in the dev team ever has?! Or anyone else for that matter??

    • Reggie

      I think when Aonuma was thinking that over, he was thinking more along of the lines of written text for Link’s speech like every other character, not necessarily full voice acting.

  • Velen (Not WoW)

    -or maybe it wouldn’t be so bad for him to say simple phrases that don’t really develop his character in a significant way?

  • Ervgotti85

    Well excuse me princess…I mean Aonuma.

  • Peter Jackson

    If they make him talk, they may as well take away the green tunic.

    …though I guess they’re already doing that in Zelda Wii U.

    • I really hope he get’s his tunic in Zelda U, Link without his tunic is like Mario without his overalls it’s just weird and a unnecessary change.

    • wiki443556

      do you even watch trailers/gameplay videos? We’ve seen Link wearing green in Zelda U

  • Satam

    It would not be such a good idea to make Link talk in the games. All they should do is give Link more grunts, moans, screams, etc.

  • Well I’m sure they aren’t getting requests for keeping him silent because it’s not up for question. I bet if there was a survey the majority would prefer a silent Link.

    I don’t mind text, but I wouldn’t mind other characters being voixed as well. It works for TES. The only concern I would have is how many voices would be annoying (like people who run shops and games).

  • Kira – HylianKeyblade

    I am not sure if this is a good idea though… but it could maybe be possible to create a Hylian language based on hyaas, kyaas and additional similar sounds is the same vein as Chinese you could say.

    Of course we would need subtitles in order to understand what they said, but it should be possible as I think a fair amount of people watch anime with subs and we always have subtitles in games anyway :-). I wouldn’t mind having a Hylian language in the Zelda series in this way, but I do agree that using English as a base language could be pretty risky.

    Still you never know I guess ;-).

  • No. Never. Things are perfect with everyone else having some form of voice, and Link being silent. Heck, I like things with just minimal sounds from everyone.

  • wiki443556

    I liked what they did in Super Mario Galaxy with characters such as Rosalina having written text speech and only occasionally having voice acting. that could work.

    • MagcargoMan

      I remember finding that odd and inconsistent. I wish her lines were fully-voiced.

  • Tlink7

    Please don’t have Link speak… ever 😛

    • MagcargoMan

      Link shouldn’t speak, but a cheesy cartoon and a crappy game not made by Nintendo shouldn’t be used as evidence to why.

      • Tlink7

        It was a joke 😛 I prefer Link the way he is, without voice.

  • Locky Mavo

    I’m fine with Link remaining mute forever, but I do think everyone else could use a voice, instead of those short noises and grunts they make. Even though Hyrule Warriors is a spin-off game, I really do feel that it needed some sort of voice acting, badly. Where’d they idea of creating the Hyrulian language? That’d be neat.

  • Jag Gentlemann



  • spaniel

    All you need to say is Link is a mute telepath. Therefore he can understand what is spoken to him, but his voice is only heard in the mind of whomever he is speaking to or replying to. Simple enough.

  • Kaine Morrison

    Link “speaks” plenty in the games. Always has. Should Link be VOICED? No.
    However, everyone else should be voiced!

  • Operative

    Honestly, I don’t think they should ever add voice acting. Nintendo doesn’t really put much effort into casting people for games that do have it (NoA).

    But if we’re talking Link having text-based speech? I actually think it’d be cool. The skyward sword comic had him talking if I remember right, and it was pretty badass.

  • MasterSully

    This reminds me of hearing the Zelda CDI Link voice acting lol

  • slihm

    Please, keep everyone silent.

  • windstar

    I don’t know if I want the characters speaking a particular language. But maybe if they did the Midna thing where a Japanese person speaks in English but they mix the syllables around so it sounds like a unique language, it would be cool.

    But I have to admit, I don’t hate this:

  • Don’t listen to the fans, Aonuma. Don’t listen to the fans ever again.

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    delay incoming people..if Aonuma decides Link should need a voice after all, they’ll delay the game just to at least include a voice actor for him with a 2017 release date. better hope he doesn’t say yes or it’s gonna be yet another long wait for Zelda U-assuming it will remain solely on Wii U as they’ve said in the past.

  • RoadyMike

    Well, according to ‘fans’, Link is just an avatar. He doesn’t need to talk; or else people wouldn’t be able to identify with whatever he would say 🙂

  • Isacco

    hell, NO.

  • pancake

    My opinion is that the games will not benefit from voice acting since the story and cinematic elements are not top priority. This shouldn’t be a bad thing, however.
    1) the silence gives characters more universal appeal. There is a beauty with how the emotions are portrayed through the use of body language, rather than full on voice acting– which would probably come with different accents that would complicate the characters. Simplicity is key.
    2) the time and resources that do not go into voice acting (for more than one language) can be used for more polishing, features, and the like.
    3) the silence accentuates the music, which helps tell the story and adds more value to the tune that plays.
    4) If complete voice acting was in the series, we wouldn’t have absolute precious gems like this (please adjust your volume)
    5) Link shouldn’t have full on voice acting/script not necessarily because he’s an avatar, but because it will be easier to connect with and empathize with him. This makes story and game immersion more natural, so you’ll end up enjoying and loving the game quite a lot, since games are an interactive media.

    Since Nintendo plans to further establish their franchises into the mainstream, you can expect plans for movie and tv adaptations for their IP’s. In this case, having full on voice acting would be essential, as the whole point of a movie or tv show is to tell a story, and have the actors engage the audience with their performances.

    So, in short, full voice acting is not feasible for the games, because the simplicity makes the experience unique and beautiful, but is feasible for most other media where interactivity/gameplay isn’t a possible means to engage the audience.

  • MagcargoMan

    I’d rather see Zelda and Ganondorf speak. As in actual voiced dialogue.

  • Vittorio Pugliese

    He should talk: in my opinion games are “interactive novels”, interactive representations of a story that can also be written as a book or a movie, and silent protagonists are exactly the reasons why JRPGs are still videogames and not a respectable method of telling a good storyline.
    I want Link to talk and the whole story to change in order to be focused on huim instead of the woerld around him.
    I freaking hate when games focus too much on the world instead of the protagonist as it makes them impossible to write as books.