Who is your favorite silent protagonist?

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#1 Posted by NTM (11903 posts) -

I'd have to go with Doom Slayer because his actions speak just as loud as his words could; you know what he wants through every gesture he makes. I feel like that's lacking in most silent protagonists. I would say a character like Isaac Clarke, but he ended up being voiced by Gunner Wright (which I personally think was a fine decision). Now for a little rant, I don't dislike Gordon Freeman, but him as a character feels weird to me because he's just some scientist dude that always saves the day somehow. I understand what Valve was going for, but there's nothing to him that makes me feel he is an entity and there's a bit a gap there to me. At most, he's just a mystery to me.

The point of a silent protagonist most of the time, from what I understand, is to make you feel more immersed in the world as if you're the one in the characters shoes, and as much as I love Half-Life, Gordon Freeman just doesn't really work for me because there are so many questions one can ask about him which I think is an issue (unless there's some hidden story reason behind it that we've never learned). I just think he works as the total opposite as intended, which is to immerse the player if you delve into it. Honestly, I still find it awkward that he won the majority of peoples favorite character of all time on the GameSpot polls years ago. Another one I want to point out is The Point Man from F.E.A.R. He's a bit one dimensional, but I had no issue with him; his silence was fine. I also just wanted to mention F.E.A.R. because it's an awesome game, ha ha.

Anyways, I just wanted to mention more than one, but yeah, Doom Slayer from the 2016 Doom and the upcoming Doom Eternal is my favorite. What about you? Do you have one? I'm not a huge fan of silent protagonists in some types of games so I think that's why Doom Slayer works as he totally has a character to him despite the lack of voice. I don't really have an issue with characters like Link though.

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#2 Posted by cikame (2949 posts) -

Freeman, his apparent knowledge of firearms combined with the HEV suit gets him through one of the more unique video game situations in the first game, then he disappears for some 20 odd years and returns to find his story became legend, and fuel for an uprising in a world he inadvertently helped create.
I like how the efforts of the player in the first game are so heroic that people and even aliens in the sequel revere him, except when Freeman re-appears on that train nobody knows who he is, it's only once he meets up with his allies that word gets out and the revolution can truly begin.

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#3 Edited by NTM (11903 posts) -

@cikame: I like that too, but to me, it's more about the events of the story rather than the character itself. Maybe that's all it is though, an every man (nerdy scientist) that saves the world with the help of his suit and later on allies. To me, Gordon is simply put up on a pedestal in the games as monolithic, that I find interesting, but it's just not something that makes me go 'yeah, Gordon's a cool character'; it makes me go 'this is an interesting aspect to the story'. It's hard to really convey what I mean, but to me, it's not really his character that's likable, it's merely the events that take place and the people that surround him that make the experience.

It's not really Gordon as a character that triumphed over those events, it's me as a player that did. On the other hand, I feel like Doom Slayer has some personality despite his lack of voice. Maybe my issue is the issue that always pops up which is 'why does he not talk?' and 'what's the backstory as to why he knows how to shoot so well?' His abilities to take on enemies due to his suit is a good enough reason I suppose for getting around so I don't really question that aspect. It's just the story, not his character I find interesting.

I'm not saying people are wrong for liking him, but I think when people say they like Gordon Freeman, they're pretty much saying they like the experience of what Gordon goes through rather than Gordon himself because he doesn't have any personality aside from what you as the player can control. He does, however, have a backstory which is kind of interesting, but there's not much to go on to decide that he's a great character because of it.

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#4 Posted by Junkerman (538 posts) -

Gordon Freeman by a large margin is my vote.

I for one am excited for Half-Life 3 to be resolved in an HBO series in a decade or two.

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#5 Posted by stantongrouse (243 posts) -

I haven't played it in some time but I seem to remember the strange silence of my character against the constant gabbing of the Pawns in Dragon's Dogma being quite entertaining. But the ones that really stick out are Wind Waker Link and Metroid Prime. I didn't get to play Half-Life & 2 until a while after their release so maybe the impact was lessened through seeing other people playing them.

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#6 Posted by Efesell (4633 posts) -

The version of Mario specifically from Super Mario RPG because if he has to 'talk' and explain things he and the cast perform an elaborate pantomime scene.

Which is a good enough gag to temporarily dispel my severe distaste for all silent protagonists.

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#7 Posted by FacelessVixen (2706 posts) -

Charlie Tunoku.

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#8 Posted by Justin258 (15693 posts) -

@ntm said:

what's the backstory as to why he knows how to shoot so well?' His abilities to take on enemies due to his suit is a good enough reason I suppose for getting around so I don't really question that aspect. It's just the story, not his character I find interesting.

I just want to point out that having a PHD in physics and knowing how to use a variety of guns are not mutually exclusive - it's entirely possible that those were Gordon Freeman's primary interests growing up and now they're serving him well. He sure as hell wasn't spending that time partying. I just assume that guns are clearly a part of his backstory. That doesn't explain how he knows how to shoot some of the weirder guns, but he probably has a pretty good idea.

Same goes for Lara Croft, she's filthy rich and clearly grew up as an outdoors-y, athletic sort of person, it's certainly reasonable to believe that she's been taught how to use guns. Now, exactly how she upgrades a WWII rifle to a modern one is just a wee bit suspect, but that was never the part that people found unbelievable.

As far as favorite silent protagonists go, I kinda don't like the idea of a silent protagonist in the first place so I don't really have an answer for this. If I'm given dialog options to choose from, I don't consider my protagonist silent (so the P3/4/5 protagonist, Dragon Age Origins protagonist, those aren't silent as far as I'm concerned). But having characters talk to you and have reactions to you without you ever saying a word? That's weird and really drives a wedge between the story and my interest in it. It doesn't kill my interest in them - Chrono Trigger and Half-Life are some of my favorite games ever - but it's definitely a bit of a sore point.

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#9 Edited by BoOzak (2681 posts) -

Samus Aran if we're discounting Other M, Fusion... and I guess the manga.

If that doesnt count then Amaterasu.

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#10 Posted by Shindig (4984 posts) -

Gordon Freeman. He's a theoretical physicist who also happens to be great with every type of firearm. He will never tell us how he got there.


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#11 Posted by stabfreely (55 posts) -

Either Samus from Super Metroid...or I guess the Protagonist from FarCry 5...I am blanking on his name...Which is really sad since I played it 4 months ago...anyway I think the only time he says something is when he catch's a fish.

I never like characters who do not speak...Never liked Half life 2 as much as Farcry in part because Gordon couldn't speak.

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#12 Posted by cikame (2949 posts) -
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#13 Posted by OMGFather (1066 posts) -

Claude from GTA3, because I always thought he just didn't give a fuck about anything.

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#14 Posted by Captain_Insano (3540 posts) -

Claude from GTA3, because I always thought he just didn't give a fuck about anything.

Yeah this was my original thought. Crazy politician? Sure I'll blow shit up. Mafia boss? No problem, I'll do it.

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#15 Edited by Jonny_Anonymous (3676 posts) -

Are we counting create-a-characters like the Dragonborn? If we are then I would probably go with the Nerevarine from Morrowind and if we aren't then its Link from the Legend of Zelda.

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#16 Posted by SilentRipper (7 posts) -

Gotta go with Amaterasu or Hotlime Miami's protagonist. they really dont even need to talk.

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#17 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2119 posts) -

Probably Link. The wind Waker version.

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#18 Posted by Adol_The_Red (3 posts) -

Caim from Drakengard.

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#19 Posted by DodoBasse (114 posts) -

The protagonist of Hollow Knight.

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#20 Posted by rocketblast0063 (324 posts) -

Samus Aran.

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