Could voice acting work in The Legend of Zelda series?

Posted on December 3, 2011 - 4:20pm by Ryan Conway

The potential use of voice acting for the Legend of Zelda franchise has always been an interesting topic of debate among many Zelda fans. Some think that the use of spoken dialogue could help make the stories more engaging, while others believe that it could take the charm away from the Hyrule inhabitants.

Should voice actors be brought in to give the characters more depth? Or would taking away the giggles, sighs, grunts, and emphasis on body language take away their respective personalities?

GameInformer’s Phil Kollar had the chance to ask two of the most important members of Zelda’s development team, producer Eiji Aonuma and Nintendo sound group manager Koji Kondo about the issue.

Where do these gentlemen stand? Well, Kondo said he thinks giving Link a voice would damage his connection to the player.

"The most important thing about the Zelda series is that the player becomes Link. One of the challenges with full voice is that if we’re trying to convey the player’s emotion through Link, but you hear Link talking in somebody else’s voice, that creates a disconnect between you and the role that you’re taking on."

What does Aonuma think? Well, he agrees that giving Link a voice would also be a bad idea. However, his reason is a bit different. He thinks that it would look just a little too strange if Link remained a silent protagonist, as everyone else became more vocal. However, he didn’t completely rule out the possibility of voice acting become a new staple for the series somewhere down the line.

"Of course, this was the first time we went with fully orchestrated songs in the game, and we’ve seen what that can do to help bring the world alive and make the game that much more fun. We’re continually looking at ways that we can evolve the series. We’re not confident that we can find the right balance with full voice, so we’ll see."

He also joked about how even if there were voiced actors brought in to fill the roles of these characters, they would have to be speak Hylian, which no gamer could possibly understand.

But all joking aside, it seems that we aren’t going to see (or hear in this instance) voice acting in a Zelda title any time soon. Which is too bad. I mean, I can’t see how giving an epic hero like Link a voice could be anything but a positive.

Yup. Nothing can possibly go wrong in that situation. Absolutely nothing….

 OK. So, maybe that was a bad example. But surely if Link, Zelda, and the rest of Hyrule Kingdom were given speaking roles in an actual game made by developers that had Nintendo’s approval, then things would turn out better right?….Right?….Why isn’t anyone answering?

 Sigh. On second thought, maybe the citizens of Hyrule were never meant to talk. 

In all seriousness though, I don't see how Nintendo couldn't keep Link as the silent hero and have a talented voice cast fill the rest of the roles. Maybe they can make Link's voiceless tendencies a pivital plot point?

But hey, I can see why they wouldn't want to change an established winning formula. I mean if it aint broke, don't fix it, right?   

That's all I have to say about this topic for today, as I must go, for it is time for DINNER!

What do you think about this g1s? Should Link be given the gift of speach?

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