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.
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