By Otacon 61 Comments
Remember in Mario Sunshine, that though the story was on the light side, all cutscenes were fully voiced? This is a rarity for Nintendo, a company that still keeps to some age old traditions of game design. Despite having the technology to include features such as voice acting Nintendo has for the most part shied away from including it in many of its games. I'm sure many of you will be happy to never hear Bowser talk again, but there are those that would love to see Nintendo's most epic franchise, The Legend of Zelda get the fully voiced treatment. Then again there are also those who believe the series shouldn't have to move with the times in every regard and that there is nothing wrong with characters remaining mute. Here are the reasons for and against a fully voiced Legend of Zelda.
Zelda should be voiced:
Link doesn't have to talk
Link is not a mute, yet we never see a line of dialogue in his name. There is a simple reason for this, Link is the every man that the player transposes his or her thoughts and feelings onto. However, everyone responds to him as if he is at least reacting to what they say. So those worrying that Link will sound like poor old Sonic the Hedgehog did when they gave him a voice box needn't worry.
Zelda needs to move with the times
What big budget action adventures aren't voiced? Struggling? Exactly. Text based interaction back in the day was a necessity, audio files literally couldn't fit on game carts, that's why we also had the nostalgia inducing MIDI music as well. So now games are going on discs that can store gigabytes of data, that problem simply doesn't exist any more. There are no restrictions now so Zelda should hurry up and join every other game of it's likeness and include voice work.
Voiced characters can add new dimensions
Actors. Zelda has never had actors. In a rich interactive experience, shouldn't characters have the extra depth that a voice actor can bring? Zelda characters, even the small ones, in fact especially some of the small ones, have incredible design and personality. You want to talk to NPC's because they are so interesting, that's a lot more than can be said for a few other games. So voice work can give these characters even more personality. Imagine if the Happy Mask salesman had an equally creepy voice to him, perhaps he would give you even more nightmares.
One creepy guy
Zelda shouldn't be voiced
I've just raised the example of the happy mask salesman, I'm sure you have an idea of what he sounds like if you've played Majora's Mask and I'm sure it's scary beyond reason. So if the game was voiced, yeah he might have a creepy tone, but would it match what's in your head? Not likely. It's like when films are based on books, everyone who read the book says, 'oh I didn't expect him to look like that, or sound like this'. Truth is, we all probably have the perfect voice for Zelda character's in our heads that is individual to us. This argument doesn't only work for old characters that we already have conceptions of either, our imagination is in a wonderful teamwork with what is presented to us visually so we can build some of the character ourselves. Nothing wrong with a bit of imagination.
Humphumum... Ha Ha... Hyyaaa!
No, I haven't just lost it. These are sounds that Zelda character's make, little inklings of information about their voice that give us a bit of extra character. Why not go the whole hog? Well, because that would screw about with my last argument wouldn't it? These little sound bites don't get in the way of your own interpretation of a character but can perhaps give you a bit of guidance as to what was intended with the character, just so we don't think Tingle has a Jamaican Accent for example.
Just because everyone else does it doesn't mean Zelda should
In direct contrast to what was said about moving with the times is the argument that art is art. That voice or no voice, neither is actually better than the other, just a different artistic choice. Zelda can stick to its guns if it wants, it doesn't make it archaic.
They could really screw it up
You know, everyone could be walking around with Ye Olde English accents. Or worse, this. Or even worse, THIS.
So what do you think? Voice or no voice? Personally I do like the quirky style that Zelda has and I think that too much tampering could ruin that. Then again I'm not opposed to change, I was even one of the few that actually liked the Wind Waker when it first came out. Perhaps with the Wii U we will see a big change in Zelda.