View Full Version : Main characters who don't talk

Lone Wolf Leonhart
09-18-2017, 07:38 PM
A long time ago I read a "Video Games and Philosophy" style book. The author hypothesized that one of the reasons people might like Link so much is because he doesn't talk. Because he doesn't say anything, you can create any personality you want for him to make him your ideal hero. The only things you can really infer about how he feels are based on the objectives of the game. You can tell he wants to help people, save the world, and take care of his horse. Otherwise, it's really on your personal decisions.

Maybe it's true for some people. It was enough of a theory that I've never forgotten about it.

If given the option, would you prefer it if characters like Link or Crono had dialogue?

Del Murder
09-18-2017, 09:27 PM
Link and Mario do it best. Crono and the DQ heroes also do it well. It has to suit the game. BotW works because it is about the world and exploration and less about Link as a character. However, it would be very strange to have a main character in a Mass Effect game with no dialogue since half the game is about how your character interacts with the various factions and responds to certain situations.

Xenoblade is another great example. In Chronicles, Shulk was fully voiced and the interactions with the other characters were meaningful, but he was still green enough that I felt like I was part of his journey. In Chronicles X, they went with the silent MC which just did not suit a game with a ton of people asking you about things. Choosing text dialogue options with no voicing or personality really fell flat for me and turned me off of that game.

Crono and DQ are a little different since they are RPGs with tons of characters and interaction. But they were written in a way that doesn't make a point in asking the MC their opinion on everything which makes you feel along for the ride, and they are also supported with great supplemental characters (CT) or a strong sense of adventure (both) that works.

Wolf Kanno
09-18-2017, 10:21 PM
Del pretty much said my idea on the subject, though I'll point out that characters like Ryu from Breath of Fire and the main heroes of Suikoden also benefited from either having interesting body language moments or really interesting dialogue choices that often help paint them as more than just mute husks to project on them. You can tell that Tir is being emotionally drained from his interactions and dialogue options in Suikoden, and it's hilarious to watch the little things Ryu does in the background during dialogue sequences in BoFIII and IV to help paint a more clear idea of what they are like.

Even Crono surprisingly gets some interesting moments if you look at the production art or check out some of the alternate endings.

09-18-2017, 11:09 PM
I probably would have preferred Link wouldve talked back in the day, but now its too late. It'd just be weird now

Lone Wolf Leonhart
09-19-2017, 06:33 AM
I do like the Breath of Fire 3 idle animations. Ryu doing things like eating an apple helps bring about slow times realistically, they don't just stand there waiting for you to move them.


09-19-2017, 08:10 AM
I really have zero problems with silent protagonists and find it weird that so many people do. Like everything, they can be done well and they can be done wrong. It really all depends.