The Silent Protagonists Who Talk in Sequels wiki last edited by daveyd on 05/21/14 08:15AM
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Many RPGs and first-person shooter games have a main character who says absolutely nothing, either as a game design choice (so the player feels more immersed by not having their dialogue written for them) or due to limitations of the game (for instance, media constraints preventing much spoken dialogue, forcing conversations without branching). The games on this list, however, are rare in that they are part of franchises where in one game, a character is a silent protagonist, yet in a sequel/prequel to the same game, the same character can talk. This can happen when in a sequel the silent protagonist is no longer a main character, thus the game is justified in writing lines of dialogue for them. This is usually ignored as far as storyline, with no explanation for why the character became/overcame being mute. Sometimes, though, a best-case scenario plays out where the writers simply choose to make a silent hero into an actual character while keeping them as the playable character.
An interesting facet of this transformation is a redefining of the character, once supposedly a representation of the player, now as their own being. As a silent protagonist, the most they can usually do is perform various gestures and facial expressions. Once they are re-written in the sequel/prequel, however, they are free to express themselves in any way they see fit. This is a challenge for game designers, as the character must be given their own identity, yet still one that fits in with their prior role in the story.
In some games, the sudden urge to talk by a formerly mute protagonist becomes a recurring joke.