There was a time when voice acting in video games was a rare occurrence, but in recent years it has become incredibly commonplace. The Zelda series has always eschewed this trend (with the exception of grunts and exclamations, as well as some occasional fake language from characters like Midna), but Breath of the Wild is all about rethinking Zelda‘s conventions, and that includes a new approach to voice acting.
Zelda game opens with Link hearing a voice from an unseen female character, and Nintendo has confirmed that other characters will have voices as well. Speaking with Polygon, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma revealed why he decided to give a voice to Hyrule’s denizens in Breath of the Wild, and he also explained why Link remains silent.
“It’s really difficult to leave an impression on players with just text. It’s not that I made everything voiced. But I have these moments where I want to leave impressions on users. I add voice there.”
— Eiji Aonuma
Rather than making the game fully voice acted, Aonuma wants to use voices to add depth and meaning in key moments of the game. Aonuma recalls that early on in the game’s development, a particular voice acted scene
“touched [his] heart” and “was really striking emotions.” However, Aonuma has no intention of giving Link a voice.
“If Link said something the user doesn’t agree with, that relationship between the user and Link would be lost. That’s why I chose not to go with that.”
— Eiji Aonuma
Are you happy with Aonuma’s limited approach to voice acting? Do you support the decision to keep Link as a silent protagonist? Sound off in the comments!