Link has always been the silent guardian of Hyrule. With the exception of his grunts and groans from executing tasks his communication is entirely non-verbal, making do with facial expressions and gestures to connect to the player. Some players have become pretty frustrated at Link’s lack of communication, not agreeing with the notion that The Hero of Time doesn’t need to say a single word while saving the land of Hyrule. The reality is that Link has been deliberately lacking any dialogue throughout the series so that each individual playing the game can have a different interpretation of him.

Over the years many have asked why Link never speaks, and if this will ever change in a game. The only instance where Link has spoken substantial dialogue was in The Legend of Zelda animated series from 1989. Of course, no gamer would reference that show as evidence to change the character, but rumors and speculation of a new television series has given rise to this debate once more. How exactly would Link be portrayed in a modern television show, and would he speak? Would having Link speak ever benefit the gameplay of a new title?

Now Eiji Aonuma, the producer and manager of The Legend of Zelda games, has weighed in, saying, “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.”

“…that air of proud independence he has because he doesn’t speak is a precious part of the individuality of his character.”

Clearly Mr. Aonuma thinks that there could be an instance where speaking benefits the character, but also realizes that making such a change would be a drastic departure from the established traits of Link. While I personally believe that Link’s vow of silence is an essential part of what makes him so intriguing, Aonuma has obviously had doubts about maintaining that vow in all instances. Let’s just hope that if Link ever does speak in a future installment it serves the character and game well.

Share with us how you feel about the idea of Link speaking in a Legend of Zelda game!

  • GoronCraft

    He does talk though! In Wind Waker he shouts, “Come on!” at companions, in Twilight Princess you can see his mouth move as he talkes with other people, in Skyward Sword you pick the dialogue you want him to say! The latter is probably the best example, maybe they can further build on that to a point it actually changes the game a bit. That’ll be cool.

    • kitty

      ??

    • Al

      In Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Trakcs you also choose the dialogue you want he says, just the first words, the rest is up to your imagination.
      Indeed Link speaks in all games, beggining from A Link to the Past, you choose a phrase (most times “Yes” or “No”) to say to NPCs. Some phrases heavily inplicates he is talking very specific things.

  • Noshpan

    I know that there are folks out there who want full VA for the Zelda games, but I feel that voice acting can take away some of the charm from a game. The downside to that is that you will lose the ability to give Link whatever name you want… Unless NPCs avoid addressing our Hero by name. That isn’t to say that I don’t want voice acting, in fact I’m curious to see how it would be pulled off, but I feel it lessens a game a little.

    • Gmoyajp

      it will take the charm and agree with you.

  • veeronic

    STOP ASKING THIS QUESTION!
    He’s a blank slate, an avatar, god damn it.

    • Shona

      If that’s truly the case, would you like the ability to customize him the way you can create a character in a lot of other games?

    • Oscar Yasser Garcia Juallek

      Except he isn’t.
      Was he not, he could be everything between a jerkass, stoic, or even villanous or anti-heroic. Instead, he¡’s always the nice guy, brave, a little naive, a little impulsive, eager to smile, good with children and a hit among ladies.
      Proof he’s more of a defined character than a blanks slate exists.

  • Gmoyajp

    Hope he never’s speak!! it whats make’s the legend of zelda!! no thank you, keep link silent!!! seriously don’t change it like other game’s made the characters speak and it was awful, no thanks!

    Link must just stay silent and keep his grunt and emotions on his face, that’s enough!

    • Oscar Yasser Garcia Juallek

      “It could turn out bad, so they never should try new things”
      In a nutshell, frugality.

  • Micho

    The grunts he makes are the closest thing to a voice. We all know what he sounds like, there’s really no point in using a voice for him in game. I guess if they wanted to they can make Link say one word on occasion but I still like the idea of him being silent. The player is taking on the role of Link so it’s supposed to be you who speaks for him in a way. I’ll always prefer Link being silent but I’m not going to say that I’m against the idea of him speaking in game in the future. It’ll just have to suit the game well.

  • kitty

    honestly I don’t think I’ve seen any main character speak ever expect in sonic,mario,and kingdomhearts and so on but it seems like all the nintendo games are like eh they don’t need voices no one cares right? well we do apparently if people keep asking why

  • rusVan

    Tired of this question. WE ARE LINK!! How could he ever talk????

    • Oscar Yasser Garcia Juallek

      Because he’s not the player? Was he the player, he would have much more customization allowed, but he’s always a heroic figure of a specific type.

  • Catqueen25

    I wouldn’t mind Link speaking. Yes, it would be a big change, but often times, change is good. I often visualize adult Link with a deep voice and child Link with a high voice. Everyone has their own voice for Link so there will be some tears from disappointed fans over the fact he doesn’t sound like they want him to.

  • Andrew Defty

    If they do go with a talking link, we should have the option to switch it off. Also, if they do, cut scenes should only have him heard when the camera is not on his face. As this would spoil the experience for those who chose to disable the voice in the options.

    I feel this is the only way it will work for everyone… But I do hope they don’t, as I am Link, you are Link, we are Link!

  • The Missing Link

    I think it honestly depends upon the game. If you go for a more cartoony style like Wind Waker, I don’t think it’s problematic that Link doesn’t speak. In fact, it feels so much more natural in that capacity. But Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, to me, just… felt like there was something missing with his being mute. I felt like so much more could have been conveyed. So if Zelda ever bends towards a more realistic style, Link not talking really pulls me out of that Zelda moment.

  • Shona

    I have no problem with Link speaking. In the early games, there wasn’t a ton of dialogue and any that was from Link was either implied or the occasional option to choose a response. In games like Ocarina of Time, having a character say “What’s your name? Link eh? That’s a funny name” implies that Link replied with his name. I honestly though that voice acting would be a natural progression for Zelda games as technology improved. I can understand why Nintendo has held back – they’re cautious, and bad voice acting can be pretty ridiculous. But I never expected them to hold back for so long, or for this idea to develop that Link is silent/mute.

    I know that Link is meant to be an avatar of sorts, but I view Link as a character in his own right. I like when he has a story (unlike say Twilight Princess where it was the Midna show). If he’s honestly going to be a totally blank slate, then I’d rather create my own Link avatar the way I can with other games. Or I’m thinking of something like the Witcher games where you take on a character (Geralt) but you can make choices and play him how you want.

    Also, trying to convey Link’s responses through facial expressions was really awkward in Skyward Sword. It was kind of cute in Wind Waker, but I also wasn’t expecting voice acting in that game. All of Link’s slack-jawed derp faces made me cringe.

  • Gure Okami

    I don’t want Link to speak!!! Because this is who link is!!! It what makes him the ever charming hyrule saviour~ If u don’t get this feeling then u r not a true zeldamer (zelda gamer)

  • Golden Fenrir

    Dude…It’s time. The Zelda games are getting stale. it’s been 30 YEARS and every single game follows the same formula. It’s time to re-invent the series! The series needs voice acting!