“It’s really difficult to leave an impression on players with just text.”
When The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launches next year, it will create franchise history by being the very first title in the Zelda series to feature voice acting. Previous games in the series have had some measure of voice work, thanks to characters grunting and yelping, as well some some, such as Midna from Twilight Princess and Fi from Skyward Sword, speaking in made up languages, but the games have by and large stayed away from full blown voice work.
Why change that with Breath of the Wild, then? Speaking to Polygon, franchise producer Eiji Aonuma explained the reasoning behind this decision. “It’s really difficult to leave an impression on players with just text,” Aonuma told Polygon. “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.”
Aonuma did add that the famously mute series protagonist, Link, will continue staying that way, and that the addition of voice work won’t suddenly make him chatty or anything. “If Link said something the user doesn’t agree with, that relationship between the user and Link would be lost,” said Aonuma. “That’s why I chose not to go with that.”
On a different note, Aonuma also explained the appearance of some high concept technology, and other science fiction elements, that seem to be in the game, judging by the trailers and gameplay footage that we have seen so far. Their inclusion, he states, was deliberate.
“There is a little bit of a sci-fi element to it,” he said. “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,” he concluded, teasing that the technology in Breath of the Wild‘s Hyrule may have something to do with the state of decay the kingdom finds itself in currently.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is due out in 2017 on Wii U and Nintendo NX.