Why Won't These Legend of Zelda Characters Talk To Us?

Illustration for article titled Why Won't These Legend of Zelda Characters Talk To Us?

Today's Speak Up on Kotaku actually involves speaking up, as commenter Tengen Toppa Duck Face laments over the lack of voice acting in the latest Zelda game.

To be totally honest, I'm really disappointed that (The Legend of Zelda) Skyward Sword doesn't feature any voice acting. In my opinion, Skyward Sword will be the best looking (not necessarily stylistically, but in terms of textures, quality, etc) and sounding (once again, I mean the fact that it's orchestrated, not that it'll have the best songs) Zelda yet. I never want Link to speak, but I was hoping everyone/thing else would. Maybe I'm just shallow, but a voiceless Hyrule (or... Skyloft, whatever) is starting to feel archaic. I wouldn't even care that much if they went with a made-up language, a la Shadow of the Colossus or Animal Crossing, just give me something. I know it's not the most important part of the game, but I wouldn't play Mass Effect, BioShock, L.A. Noire, and many other games if the voice acting sucked/didn't exist. I'm still getting Skyward Sword, but I hope the Wii U Zeldas do things differently.

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To those that can't stand even the thought of any voice-acting beyond mere giggles/grunts/exclamations in a new or future Zelda game, whether it be out of an oh-so-precious "nostalgia", a desire to retain "charm," a concern over Nintendo "wasting resources", etcetera...


I don't have any particular desire to hear Link speak, but it's about damn well time to hear the rest of the cast talk. Dammit, they've already put effort into animating characters' mouths in Twilight Princess, and by all indicators, they've been doing the same thing in Skyward Sword. At the very least, use a kind of linguistic method similar to what was done in Shadow of the Colossus/ICO; expand on the gibberish found in Midna's dialogue, and do it with the rest of the speaking cast.

Nostalgia? Charm? We've already had so much of that for most of the franchise's history through gameplay elements and music, we don't need anymore. What's so damn wonderful about sticking to video game audio innovations circa 1998?

Nintendo "wasting resources"? They are only one of the most profitable video game companies in the world. They've had 200 or so people spending time on a game (Skyward Sword) that's started development at least 4 years ago, if not more. Surely they can devote some extra effort to include some voice-work. I mean, would ADR directors be so tied to a game's development that that would diverge from gameplay resources, making it for lousier gameplay?

Past precedent of NOA's voice-acting shouldn't matter so much, especially when you consider what little of it there has been. (whatever one says of M:OM's scripting, I'd say the voice-acting of it is pretty damn fine.) Past voicing of Zelda characters, whether it be the out-of-house CD-i games or a Zelda cartoon out of the 1980s, should ESPECIALLY not matter.

Nintendo has to finally get up to industry standards on this when it comes to such a high-profle, story-oriented game. And if you, Nintendo, are somehow worried about fan backlash? Provide an option to turn the voice-acting off. It's as simple as that.