Today is a good day to retrieve the answer Troy Baker recently gave Gamereactor regarding mute characters and narrative games without dialogue. They're the words of the industry's most popular voice, right when Link, who without uttering a word again, is about to co-star in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity on Nintendo Switch, a game that seems to include more dialogue and story than most of you main entries to The Legend of Zelda.
"The same thing could be say for a lot of games", points out the interpreter. "Link is not alone, Link is a character that's been able to be iterated upon; when you play Breath of the Wild, it's like 'oh my god', the character in this world, in this entire narrative that's so exhaustively, it's effervescent in the perennial well of lore and magic and entertainment. But then you look at something like Inside: the same thing, there's not a single line of dialogue within that character, or you take something like The Pathless (check out our review here), which is going to be a nonsensical language, a fantastical language".
"But I think what it shows us", continues The Last of Us' Joel actor, " is that, ultimately, what is more relatable, and what's more relevant, is just the stories that are being told, characters that we can somehow identify with, and hopefully, especially their player character, become, or form relationships with, whether those be antagonistic or protagonistic. So that ultimately, the game that we're playing, the experience that we're having, is one that is reflective of the human condition, and is one that makes us not just want to sit down and play it, but finish it. (...) Those are the kind of experiences that I'm drawn to: the ones that give me a world, and give me characters to play out a story".
Interestingly, The Legend of Zelda series was one of the precursors of using movie-like narrative devices in video games (mostly with Ocarina of Time), but Link was and will remain for now a mute character, even if he's been surrounded by more and more talkative characters in his latest adventures.
What do you think about the main character's role (talking or not) in games? Will Link talk in Breath of the Wild 2?