It's no secret that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be tossing plenty of series' tradition out the window in favor of a new future for the iconic adventure franchise. Apart from the positively massive open world that allows for more player choice than ever before, there will also be the introduction of other elements, such as voice acting for the first time in the series and a heightened focus on technology and science fiction.
Polygon recently caught up with series' producer, Eiji Aonuma, and he talked a bit about these new additions to the game. For voice acting, he was keen to stress that it won't be fully voiced, but that he wanted moments that leave a greater impression on the gamer than text is able to convey.
It's really difficult to leave an impression on players with just text. It's not that I made everything voiced. But I have these moments where I want to leave impressions on users. I add voice there.
All the same Link will be remaining voiceless, essentially to preserve his status as an avatar that the player projects themselves onto. Here's what Aonuma had to say:
If Link said something the user doesn't agree with, that relationship between the user and Link would be lost. That's why I chose not to go with that.
As for the heightened focus on technology, this path was chosen in order to create a nice contrast with the otherwise wild and serene world.
There is a little bit of a sci-fi element to it. Link basically adventures through a ruined world. I wanted to add technology as the opposite side of that. I thought it would be interesting for Link to use technology to explore through this wild and ruined world. I figured that would add another layer to the game.
What do you think? Are you glad that they're choosing to take some chances with this game? Do you think it'll pay off? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
"Voice acting for the first time in the series"
DID YOU FORGET ABOUT MAH BOI???
Master Sword lightsaber then?
Come back when you're, MMMMMMMMM, RICHER!
@MrCafecito Heh, I guess technically we had the "C'mon!" of Wind Waker, but I don't really consider that as counting.
That voice acting really caught me off guard. Zelda can shake things up a little, and I for one applaud these upcoming changes.
wonder if you can have the option to turn it off and be like the previous games, usually english voice acting in animes or game are cancer i hope zelda isnt like this
I am still cautious about voice acting in Zelda games. However that has more to do with my own personal aversion to voice acting in general and the fact that Zelda was my last hold out. However I'm going to trust Aonuma-san on this. I just hope you can turn it off as an option. Where is my get off my lawn sign?
Should've been fully voice acted imo. The fact that only some parts will be voice acted is disappointing and seems rather lazy on Nintendo's part.
Can't wait! That's all I have to say.
"If Link said something the user doesn't agree with, that relationship between the user and Link would be lost. That's why I chose not to go with that"
Couldn't have said it better. I agree with this statement 100%!
I'm really looking forward to this one. I think this will be the first game where they actually move forward, like they say they will with every game.
His excuse for Link not talking is ridiculous. Just look at all other games that the protagonist DO talk as Witcher or Mass Effect. Is this a issue for the player to bond with the character? Absolutely not.
These feel like natural iterations for the series. And actually they've kind of been there before. For example, would Midna have been so adorable without that voice? Also in Twilight Princess, there's that strange sci fi pixelation where the worlds of light and dark meet.
"It's really difficult to leave an impression on players with just text. It's not that I made everything voiced. But I have these moments where I want to leave impressions on users. I add voice there."
I haven't found that to be an issue with previous Zelda games. Hope there's an option to disable the voice acting.
Personally I think the technology feels out of place. The game seeks to immerse you in nature, and bringing up a digital grid pattern to use the Sheika Slate really breaks that immersion. It reminds you you're still using technology to play the game. The technology motif is ugly when juxtaposed with a serene natural setting.
@gerebris To be fair, Link isn't Shepherd or Geralt. Those are specific characters in a single narrative across multiple games. Link is an archetypal figure who 'links' separate stories across different eras and mirroring narratives.
After Spirit Tracks and Skyward Sword, technology doesn't seem new to Zelda anymore.
@MrCafecito GEE, IT SURE IS BOOOOORING AROUND HERE
Everyone seem to forget that voice acting existed since 64
Where no Link has gone before indeed.
I highly approve of the Star Trek reference here. Live Long and Play Zelda
@-Red- Lazy? The game is frickin' massive, and no game needs full voice acting anyway. I do think more will be voice acted in the final game, such as even a bit of dialogue from the Old Man, and important story events (I don't think the monks in the shrines will be voice acted, though, for example, they aren't that important... then again, they mostly say the same thing anyway, so that probably wouldn't take too much effort).
Anouma is right! I don't want to hate the opinions of my player character.
Very happy with all of that. :]
I love how they added voice acting. I mean I'm glad they chose not to make Link talk, because my number 1 problem with most games is the diolouge feeling forced or out of place with the characters. But adding it to charecters like Zelda I can agree with.
Voice acting is overrated in games honestly. For movies/anime it's different. One issue in games that voice act everything, you start to hear the same boring phrases over and over again, but well scripted voice acting during cutscenes can add impact. Super Mario Sunshine cutscenes are among my favorite in the series largely because of the narration. Sparingly is the key, like how Super Mario Galaxy, Rosalina says nothing, until the final fight, "Go Mario!" Such impact to hear her voice.
Nintendo always march to the beat of a different drummer anyway and never cared what the others were doing. As for technology aspect, it's a ruined world living in the shadows of an advanced civilization. Whether said technology is of alien or human origin is besides the point.
Also, if girl Link is available in this game, I will want to play as her, despite being male. But does female Link rescue a male Zelda???
Link MUST have a voice. You can't leave him out. Go "all the way" or don't do it, PERIOD.
@gerebris But coming up with a bunch of different speech options for every single conversation would detract from the game.
@Hamster_Overlord I like the idea of a male Link and his female twin Linkel.
Or the way modern Pokemon games allow you to make your own avatar.
I don't really like the English voice that is heard in the trailer. Zelda or whoever it is. It contrasts too much with the Japanese voice.
I might get used to it, but if there's only some voice acting here and there, perhaps they could add dual audio?
I don't generally like everything voice acted. Though that depends on the game. A game like Bayonetta is completely fine fully voice acted. But FFX was highly annoying with how everybody and everything was talking to you. FFXII and Xenoblade make it a lot better with voice acting in cutscenes but text boxes when you talk to NPCs.
nah, I think the " just text" option plus awesome background music as always it's perfectly fine for leaving an impact, but if the voice acting is kept to the minimum I won't nag... I just loved that way every character had their own "sounds"
NPCs talking is dumb. Save it for the pre-rendered cutscenes. Imagine the mountain of text in an old school RPG, if every single bit of dialogue by every NPC was voiced. Not only would it get old fast, but that much scripted voice acting would cost the developer a fortune. And you got to do it at least twice, once in Japanese and once in English. Then five more times for Europe.
Mah boi, this game is what all true warriors strive for!
@MrCafecito I sure didnt.
im entruiged about this
God, a lot of Zelda fans need to be dragged kicking and screaming with this voice acting thing. Link won't speak, other characters will, and it's only in some if the game, not all. What's the problem?
Western games have some AMAZING voice acting over the past 10, Nintendo are finally trying to catch up. They really need to too.
Looking forward to the mix of nature and Sci-fi elements in BotW.
I'n fine with voice acting in TLOZ,but i think the characters should talk in gibberish/hylian.
Most people are hyped about the open-world,but I find it really boring.Not just in this game but in all videogames.
I bought ALTTP and The Minish Cap to try a full 2D Zelda for the first time(since briefly playing the orginal TLOZ's demo in Brawl),but I got bored and didn't complete them. Linear gameplay is way more exciting for me.
@Snow-Dust That wouldn't count, we're talking about NPCs and proper story related conversations, not background/irrelevant sound effects.
Still let down by the fact that link doesn’t sound like toad.
@Lady_rosalina I hope they give us the option to use the Japanese voice-overs with English text.
@Randomname19 Going with Hylian would've been good in my opinion! And it would have saved them the trouble of dubbing it in multiple languages.
I really don't get why voice acting is such a mandatory feature nowadays. And it's also okay for people to not like it. Everyone has their own preferences. And Nintendo has many games with voice overs. They're not new to it, the same they're not new to online gaming.
Mario mostly has native English speakers providing the voices, while Zelda has Japanese dubbers. I liked that, because it makes a nice balance between two of their most known titles.
@JaidynReiman I do think it seems lazy, since they are purposely not using full voice acting solely because they don't want to, even though they acknowledge how important it can be. I doubt Nintendo has any issue saving time and money on recording for voice acting when they can just pass off the excuse they use above.
Also, it's far past time for Zelda to finally be fully voice acted. We live in a time where every other big open-world game is fully voice acted, including games that are even larger than BotW. With even several indie games being voice acted as well. It makes Zelda seem all the more dated and behind, imo.
It doesn't frikin' have voice acting!
So far we've heard a single voice for some unknown character that kinda talks over the game but ZERO voice acting on the ACTUAL in-game NPCs that we've seen thus far, the old guy and the guys in the shrines.
So, right now, I'd say it doesn't have what we would all consider proper in-game voice acting, because, unless we're morons, we'd expect that to mean all/most of the NPCs actually talk.
Right now, it lacks voice acting as I interpret it, just like every other Zelda game—and that's a BAD thing imo.
I don't need or particularly want Link to talk; I do, however, expect basically all the other NPCs to talk in a massive AAA game like this in 2016.
So, let's see if the quotes above are actually misleading or not when the final game comes out. . . .
I really hope I'm wrong but the signs available to use right now don't point to it.
@PorllM How dare you call Navi an irrelevant background sound. I'll have you know she gives the most redundant advice at the worst timing.
If you don't count those then Zelda CDi anyone
@MrCafecito WHAT'S FOR DINNER
I remember their first attempt at voice acting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_Zk_1VsmSA
Fallout 4 proved that voicing the main character can suck. Some of the options were fine but when you hear the delivery, you end up disagreeing with your own decisions.
His sarcasm was not remotely sarcasitc -that didn't help.
If they use voice acting in cutscenes, nice. But I don't care about hearing a NPC speak everytime I'm checking if he/she can tell something important.
Hope they go down the XCX route - I liked how they implemented it there.
All this new adventure in in The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild remind me of the nes exploration days., Good choice aonuma-san, Link should never talk!!
#TheLegendOfZelda #Zelda #BreathOfTheWild #Nintendo #Cheleuitte
I don't mind the few English words in the intro of the new Zelda. It sounds like the narrator in Hyrule Warriors and that one was nice. For cutscenes only. But in general it's either Hylian or silence for me. Full voice acting is a good thing for people too lazy to read, with a lack of imagination, or with reading disability, so I guess more options are good still. I personally would mute NPC voices because I let my imagination run loose with the characters.
Just because everyone else does full voice acting in open world games doesn't mean it would be a good fit for a Zelda game. Also, Nintendo isn't lazy , they are known to make fantastic voice acting for rather huge games in Japanese and English (Xenoblade Chronicles X, Bayonetta 2, Xenoblade Chronicles, Other M, etc...) They could do an amazing job for Zelda as well, I'm certain, but it's no priority until everything else is finished. I would make voice acting DLC and sell it when everything else is finished. That way you only pay for the resources went into the voice acting, and only need to pay when it's really that important to you.
@Hamster_Overlord There's a difference between something being overrated and not liking something. I wouldn't call voice acting in video games overrated just because you find them boring. Sorry, just wanted to let that out of my chest.
Personally, I like the idea for voice acting. Allow voice acting for more important scenes like ones that would impact the player sounds good.
I'm not a big fan with Aonuma's opinion on Link. It's okay if a video game character has a different opinion. Maybe it would work here in which the game is based on your actions.
I'm so glad to hear that only part of the game will have voice acting. I was worried before, but now I'm pumped.
I don't mind voice acting in more action oriented games, but in games like RPGs, dialogue takes up a good portion of the game. It really bugs me to hear them get halfway through a line before I'm finished reading the whole paragraph.
A, A, A, A, A, no thank you I don't want to hear it again, bye.
I'm fine with there being only some voice acting in the game. Having Link talk would be awkward, and I agree that it would be harder to project onto him.
I like that there's technology in the game to contrast with the rest of the environment; it makes things feel more dystopian.
@Gluff On the contrary, I think voice acting is wonderful when used appropriately. Many games however, have characters repeating the same lines over and over. Text boxes you can skip if you don't want to read them. However each videogame has a limited number of lines or soundbytes, and unlike movies, you repeat certain tasks while playing a game. Hearing a cheesy one liner uttered by a character for the umpteenth time can get grating.
That's why I personally believe voiceacting should be reserved for cutscenes and not all in game dialog. Zeldda botw uses voice acting in this manner and I feel adding emphasis in such a way is very appropriate.
Ditto for Mario Sunshine, which used voice acting in the majority of cutscenes, and the only Mario platform game to do so extensively. Strung together, it formed a nice little narrative which added charm to the game. Not much else was added during gameplay besides the usual grunts and occasional yahoo.
So, half voiced? That seems very strange, but I guess I'll reserve judgement for it until after I've experienced it. I would have much preferred full voice acting for everyone but Link though.
It's pretty clear that Nintendo has seen what voice acting and trying to impose her character on players did to Samus' character in Metroid: Other M. Nintendo lost a lot of people on that decision. It's alright for some games like F-Zero GX's story mode. You kinda expect F-Zero to be cheesy and over the top. Captain Falcon is an extreme dude. But Link and the Zelda series is a bit sacred to Nintendo. Save for the CD-i games lol.
I think Aonuma is right. Just because everybody jumps into the ocean, doesn't mean you have to do exactly the same.
I thought it was a very wonderful, pleasant surprise to hear the Goddess Hylia speak for the first time when I saw the trailer, and Aonuma is also right about the impact that makes; it is SO much bigger if you only place some bits here and there, where it matters.
Imagine entering a village and talking to NPC's and having to do that a couple of times, risking them saying the same damn thing over and over if you haven't performed the right action or haven't succeeded in some kind of challenge they offer you.
No, I'd rather have the option to simply skip through text than to hear voices. Even if you can skip them, you'll still hear parts of it, and that would be annoying to me.
And yes, I also like the idea of Link being my avatar, and as such, he should only have my voice, and not some odd Japanese or Western voice that might not suit me, so I'm happy with it.
@-Red- "since they are purposely not using full voice acting solely because they don't want to"
And who exactly told you that? Aonuma has no reason to lie and seeing he's the main person behind the series, it is probably pretty safe to say that he himself knows EXACTLY what he intended to do or achieve with the voice acting bits, so any opinion-based comment on that can more than likely be completely disregarded...
@ThanosReXXX I see no other reason why, if Aonuma himself acknowledges that voice acting leaves a greater impression.
Also, I never said he doesn't know what he's doing. It's very well possible that to him, the selective voice acting thing is a better approach, but I just don't agree with it.
@-Red- You're misquoting: he only said he wanted specific moments to make greater impressions on players.
Obviously it is fine that you don't agree, since that is your own opinion and you have a right to express that.
@ThanosReXXX I'm sorry, but I don't see how I'm misquoting. He stated that he finds it's really difficult to leave an impression on players with just text, so in specific cases when he wants to leave a greater impression, he would use voice acting.
@-Red- EXACTLY, in specific cases, because he wants to have that stark contrast between the silence and the voices, so it can make that much more of an impact on the player.
It really is clear as day, he is not speaking with a double tongue and nowhere is he saying that he wants voice acting all over, so he wasn't talking about how THAT would leave a greater impression in general, he was talking about it leaving a bigger impression in the way he has implemented it.
And since it his his game and he feels that he has achieved that goal, then I should respect that, and not doubt it or bemoan him for what he has not done.
This was how he wanted it, and for better or for worse, this is how it is going to be.
@ThanosReXXX Okay, that's what I thought you meant.
I think that voice acting and character reactions such as the old man running away from the torch Link lit in the Treehouse presentation. To me, this seems like the first time Zelda has had a living, breathing world since Majora's Mask.
I love this one.
@MrCafecito Don't forget:
"GEE! It SURE is BORING around here!"
@Flowerlark If they gave Link that line in the game as a hidden easter egg, I would flip a table and be on the floor laughing for hours. xD (doubt it would happen tho)
I'm sooo glad Link remains voiceless. As Aonuma stated, I would not have the same connection with Link that I've had with him for the past 20 years if he had been voiced.
@Kirk Saying that there will be minimal voice acting in the game because of the NPCs not talking in the demo is like saying that you see the mountains in the distance, but because you can't travel to them at this point in time, that you must not be able to explore them.
Aonuma confirmed being able to explore the mountains in the game, so you can't say that you can't travel the mountains just because you can't in the demo. Aonuma confirmed there would be voice acting present in the game, so you can't deny it that. The voice acting is restricted to special moments in the game like he said above so the moments could be special. It's like the way there is the lack of a soundtrack in the game besides the occasional piano chords; those chords release so much more emotion because of the silence that preceded them, and helps you focus more on the world that was built.
Furthermore, you may not enjoy the style of the voice acting or soundtrack (I certainly do), but others may share different opinions than yours. What your comment is suggesting is that Twilight Princess, a pretty big Zelda game, isn't good because of its lack of voice acting. Fire Emblem doesn't have constant voice acting, but in the segments that it does, it notifies the player of something consequential to the plot that is about to occur.
I enjoy the style, and I respect your opinion, but you can't base your opinion off of a demo segment that will make up 1% of the world.
@PlutoPerson No, that's the problem: He didn't confirm there would be voice acting in the way we all think, as in on the NPCs. That's just all the journalists taking his words and interpreting them as they would like to hear them. There may or may not be proper voice acting in the game, beyond just the guide character that talks in your ear, and his words don't include or exclude either possibility explicitly*. But, what we can say for sure right now is that there definitely isn't voice acting on any of the NPCs we've seen in the game so far.
*All he could be saying is "Yes, that character speaking in your ear is an example of voice acting in our game, so our game does indeed have some voice acting, and we will be using that voice some more in the game and at moments that will resonate with the player."
Read his words again, pause for a moment to fully digest them, and see if he's REALLY saying what you think he's saying. . . .
Now, I hope I'm wrong about this, but the demo hasn't given me any reason to think otherwise, and neither have his words.
Also, if there were proper voice acting on the NPCs I would of course expect there be an option to turn it off too, just as there should be an option to turn off text dialogue. To me it's real simple; it's about giving gamers what they actually expect in 2016 and then offering a few options either way.
@Kirk I don't understand your point. Just because something could possibly not occur doesn't mean that's it's not probable. In other words, you seem to be going back and forth without any information to support your claim. If there wasn't any voice acting besides the disembodied voice, he would probably tell us. He even said in the article it won't be constant. He said he adds it in here and there. What makes it more likely that he's being misleading? The demo doesn't show case any important plot points, so why would he include NPC voice acting? You could totally be right, but I don't see what evidence is leading you to that conclusion.
It seems you're just trying to find bad things to say about the game. I know that's me being judgmental and I apologize if that offends you (that's not my intention), but why don't you wait until the game has been released to criticize.
@PlutoPerson My point is i don't actually think there is proper voice acting for the NPCs in this game and nothing Aunuma said suggests otherwise imo. It just confirms the voice acting we've already heard, the in your ear stuff, and that it will be used in other moments throughout the game as far as I'm concerned. And I think you're all setting yourselves up for a fall by once again giving Nintendo more credit that it's due.
Why would he "Tell you" when what he's said makes absolute sense in the context of there being voice acting in the game, just not on NPCs?
He's told you there's voice acting in the game. We've heard voice acting in the game. He's told you it won't be on all characters but will be used more in the game and at poignant moments. I don't doubt him; I believe you'll hear that female voice again, at useful/poignant moments in the game.
Now, like I said, I may be wrong, but there is no voice acting on the NPCs right now, and until I see/hear actual evidence in the game directly that confirms otherwise, or someone at Nintendo states specifically that there will be voice acting on NPCs, I'll not believe there is.
@8itmap_k1d I disagree. Link has a name, can't be customized, has a specific connection with other characters in the franchise, I see no point of Link being silent. He make facial expressions, sometimes answer with a yes or no with his head, but no talking. This is a reason for lot of jokes on the internet, so he should talk.
@MadAdam81 It doesn't have to be 5 or 6 options of answers... just two reffered to I agree or I disagree. that's not much.
I hope it'll pay off ,and continue to bring new life to the Zelda series.
Like I've said before, this game is exactly what I described as my perfect Zelda a couple of years ago. Hyped.
@Hamster_Overlord Yeah voice acting can be extremely annoying when used wrongly. Take for instance Arkham City and Spiderman Shattered Dimensions when in combat. Batman only does the occasional grunt and gasp when fighting and it doesn't come off as annoying in any since. Spiderman however keeps shouting oneliners over and over again that it just makes you want to punch Peter Parker's throat.
@Gluff I've played Simpsons' Hit & Run as well as The Simpsons' Game, and each character had a dozen or so one-liners that got long in the tooth. Both games were fairly good from a gameplay perspective, but I wanted to mute the voice acting after a while.
Mario's grunts and moans in the 3D games are different though. They add character without getting old. Even in Sunshine's cutscenes, Mario hardly ever said a word.
But yeah, devs should keep dialog restrained to cutscenes.
@ThanosReXXX So it's been a while since I replied to you, but this conversation sort of stayed in my head for a bit, and I put some more thought into the whole topic. Overall, I've changed my stance on the topic and I can understand what Aonuma is going for with the selective voice acting.
It makes a lot more sense when I began to imagine the whole tone and theme of BotW. It's actually really cool
@-Red- Holy cr** man, you certainly took your time. I saw the topic and thought: "that must have been a couple of weeks ago". And it was. But nice of you to still respond in the way you did, much appreciated. And I think you will now also appreciate the game more for yourself as well.
Because indeed, the selective voice acting does have way more impact, like mr. Aonuma says. If all you hear is ambient sounds and grunts during gameplay and all of a sudden an important person, such as your spiritual guide or Goddess Hylia (the voice that wakes Link up) suddenly speaks, it really hits home and makes it more special, because the fact that so few people speak, apparently, probably makes these persons quite important, so you'd better sit up and listen when they do speak and to me, that really adds to the story and the whole atmosphere of the game as well.
@ThanosReXXX It mostly took so long because I kept on forgetting to respond back to you on it (I'm forgetful at times). lol. I wanted to make sure I got back to you on it though.
But, yeah. When I considered the whole idea of this being a new huge wild world, and the significance placed on the environments and nature. Along with the underlying tones of wonder, mystery and sadness, it all made a lot more sense
@Gluff Nice late response!
@Gluff happy new year... lol
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