Beyond all the other ways Breath of the Wild evolved the Zelda formula, the latest game in the series took a bold step by adding voice acting. Limited to special cutscenes and action sequences, the voice over of Breath of the Wild has been the focus of scrutiny both before and after release. So, as we’ve now had plenty of time with Zelda series’ first official foray in voice acting, would you have changed or improved anything about how it was executed?

Some fans may feel that certain voice actors were not the proper choice for the role they were given; and others may have directed particular actors to deliver their lines differently. In my opinion, more dialogue should have been given to certain characters over the course of the game. For example, I quite enjoyed the voice acting for Daruk, but I only remember a few short scenes in which I could hear him speak. I would have liked a few more scenes featuring Daruk and his gravely tones.

There are plenty of tweaks one could make to voice work of Breath of the Wild. To cut the voice acting altogether might even be a valid answer. Where do you stand? Would you have made any changes to the game’s VO? Share your answers in the comments!

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  • Corey R

    I’ve heard many people trash Breath of the Wild’s voice acting and I’m not sure why, I really liked it. I got excited everytime a cutscene started because I knew I would get to hear a character’s voice haha.

    Honestly, I also would just want more scenes that involve voice acting. Like you said, some characters we only hear speak very little and I feel hearing them speak more would bring us closer to them as characters.

    That being said, I felt some actors performed better than others. I was impressed by the voice acting of characters like Revali, Princess Zelda, and Mipha, though some others I feel could’ve delivered their lines better. On the other hand I’ve heard that some of the voice acting is great in other languages. Unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to understand much from other languages 😛

  • Red-tuniclink

    I would get rid of Zelda’s nasty fake British voice acting before anything, and maybe change Mipha’s Va so she can actually show some emotion. Really, I don’t think the main issue is the Va’s themselves, but the direction they were given. It honestly would not surprise me if each voice line only got like two or three full goes before they went ‘good enough’ and went with it.

    • Dylan

      its definitely the voice direction because the actors themselves are pretty good.

  • Do you want rants?

    Because THIS is how you get rants!

  • Christian Beach

    I would’ve recast Mipha.

    That’s it.

  • Jebradiah Drake

    I had honestly forgotten they did that lol

  • JasonBall

    I’d have removed it all

  • Max Savage

    I didn’t mind the voice acting, I thought some of the voice actors were sort of over acting though, they could have talked a little more natural.. I think it would be cool if they voice actors actually spoke in Hylian!

  • Vados

    I would’ve included the option to select a different dub right from the start. I kinda feel sorry for all of you native English speakers. Not only does the English dub sound awful, it’s also horribly translated.

    Generally speaking though, I liked the voice acting. I was mostly exposed to the german and japanese dub and they were both amazing. My only gripe is that they still try to make Link a silent character, even though in voice acted cutscenes it just doesn’t work at all. Link doesn’t seem like someone who refuses to talk, he just comes off like an actual mute at this point. I know they tried to give an explanation for that in Zelda’s diary, but outside of those cutscenes, Link is expressive as hell…he gets way more excited about food than anyone should and looking at his many dialogue choices in the game, Link is back to his usual jokingly straight-forward personality. He doesn’t seem like someone who’s concerned about ”silently bearing any burden”.
    I love the way Link acts in the game, but during cutscenes, he seems to have reverted back to being the piece of wood, he was in OoT again.

    • Dylan

      the English dub isn’t that bad.

  • Anyaira

    Well, I can’t say it’s brilliant, but it’s not horrible either, I’d say it’s… mediocre. And as it is mediocre, I’d revise how the story should be told, and where else should the voices appear instead of just during very select scenes. As for the voice acting itself, it depends on the language, and I’d say the ranking is:
    JPN>SPN>GRMN>US/UK>FR>LTN (Haven’t tried in any others, so this isn’t really accurate even for me)
    As for why Spanish(Spain) is second… well, they used AAA dub actors usually exclusive to movie blockbusters, people who have dubbed most of the Ghibli movies, among other things, so they fit perfectly, if not for some awkward acting mostly due to a bad dubbing direction and/or translation.

    So it’d be pretty much a fix on how the voicing fits within a Zelda game, this was their first and it wasn’t bad, nor good, thus, I say, give them time to get used to it.

    Besides that, I would’ve changed Zelda’s character completely, as she is now, it’s hardly possible to give her a voice that people can be really satisfied with, “proof” of this is how each zelda in each dub is so different voice-wise.

    • Anyaira

      By the way, I’m not sure everyone knows but, if you play on a 2.0 or 2.1 sound system, if you set the Wii U to 5.1 output, you’ll hear the game normally, but the voices will magically disappear, leaving the game as the rest of the series has been from OOT. I’m not sure if this works on a Switch though.

  • HyruleBunny

    I generally enjoyed the voice acting. It was a good addition to the series, especially since they kept Link silent. That being said, there were some voices that could have been a bit better, such as Mipha. She felt way too forced and had a lot of awkward pauses in her dialogue. I also felt that the voice acting could have been a lot better if the game was bit more story focused. I wish we’d had more cutscenes of the Champions, we don’t really know all that much about them. If we did, I feel like the voice actors could have gotten more accustomed to their roles seeing the characters in different situations.

  • I really like it and think all the voices suit the characters well. I wish there was more of it. It evokes a stronger emotional response and makes me feel more attached to the characters.

  • Squirrel on crack cocaine.

    I’ve not heard such bad English voices in a game since Shenmue on the Dreamcast. Oh and Mipha, good God that was terrible.
    But at least they finally added voices after only 17 years behind everyone else. Better late then never I suppose.

  • Pikastroff

    While this is very general, an improvement on the actual quality of the voice acting would really have helped.

    OK, just a warning, my oncoming opinion might be a bit controversial compared to what usually happens in Zelda, and also what I usually believe, but here it is: it would have been better if Link had been given a voic-*gets impaled by all other users’ Royal Swords and Ancient Arrows*.

    Ok, ok. Before you kill me, here’s a little disclaimer: before Breath of the Wild, I was one of those people who would have absolutely refused to give a voice to Link. But after seeing BotW’s Link, the only feeling I had was that without a talking Link, it just felt awkward.

    SPOILERS AHEAD

    Most of the memories involve Zelda talking to Link. If you explore the game well, you’ll understand that Link does have a backstory (his father was a Royal Guard, Mipha is his childhood friend, etc…). It is clear that Link, in this game, is beyond a simple avatar: he is a character. Now, seriously, watch all of the memories back to back. All I see is Zelda doing monologues talking of her issues about not being able to awaken her power, while Link is like a therapist who just stands there listening. There is even a moment where Zelda repeats quote on quote what Link said to her, just so that we listen to Zelda awkwardly repeating what he said since he has to be a silent protagonist. In her diary, Zelda often describes Link, for instance saying that he is a gluton, proving that he does have a personality. OK, they did give a reason as to why he did not talk in that diary, but even then, I felt like every single memory cutscene felt awkward since whenever only Link and one other character was involved, it basically was just a monologue.

    To me, if Link had the right personality and well written lines, those cutscenes would not only have been less awkward, but the Champions’ and Zelda’s relationships with Link would have been more powerful, in my opinion.

    • Oscar Yasser Garcia Juallek

      Did you also know that the description of the memories in the Japanese version of the game are written in first person? AND Link actually has stuff to say about things in them?(as in, personal opinions)
      WHY does Nintendo religiously and sacredly adhere to the idea that Link is an avatar. He just ISN’T anymore.

      • Dylan

        that would of been awesome to here him actually talk.

      • Translations please…

        Like right now. I need this.

        • Oscar Yasser Garcia Juallek

          https://www.reddit.com/r/NintendoSwitch/comments/6wouvr/til_in_the_jpn_ver_of_botw_the_quest_journal/
          Here are some of them

          Man, this translation was particularly…special about changed content.

          • Words cannot describe just how angry I am with Nintendo after reading this.

            This would have easily, in leaps and bounds, made up for Link being a piece of cardboard in the cutscenes, but no, let’s change it because why let people have nice things?

            …:/

            It even makes the Tunic of The Wild seem more worthwhile to get.

    • Dylan

      I Agree, I pretty much am convinced that it was the voice direction that needs to be done better. I would of added regional accents as well as lines for Link [tightly written of course]. pretty much couldn’t of said it better myself.

  • Gooseph Fame

    While I was not a fan of many of the voices in the game. I liked that they were there. If I could have changed anything it would have been to have everything voice acted. And not just certain lines.

    • Dylan

      baby steps my friend.

      • Gooseph Fame

        I don’t think that would be a huge leap to do in the next game or even the dlc

        • Dylan

          mean either but its Nintendo! them even giving Zelda a voice among other characters fully done is pretty dang awesome.

          • Gooseph Fame

            True

          • Dylan

            and Nintendo is known to be a bit stubborn when it comes to voice characters in their games.

  • KingDeizzi

    I generally enjoyed the voice acting. It was a good addition to the series, especially since they kept Link silent. That being said, there were some voices that could have been a bit better, such as Mipha. She felt way too forced and had a lot of awkward pauses in her dialogue. I also felt that the voice acting could have been a lot better if the game was bit more story focused. I wish we’d had more cutscenes of the Champions, we don’t really know all that much about them. If we did, I feel like the voice actors could have gotten more accustomed to their roles seeing the characters in different situations.

  • pedrobrvs

    I’d make it so it was made with better voice acting, tbh. I don’t mind the addition of VA when done as sporadically as it was, but I think it should’ve been done more competently.

  • David Mitchell

    I was really surprised when I found out about voice acting in the game, it was a very bold step but it added more drama and emotion to the story. I am now convinced that voice acting has a place in future Zelda titles

  • Midnafan

    I mean for the first time ever I think it was pretty great. Not great in overall voice acting standards but great for giving voices to iconic characters who have literally never spoken before. And I think it was good to give people language options if they didn’t like the english voice actors. I think the only one I really wasn’t a fan of was Impa, she takes way too long to talk. But i liked Zelda mostly because for me its one of those moments where you hear her voice for the first time and to me it just felt right. Not perfect, but right–human, I guess. And I’m still not over that first trailer where we heard her speak for the very first time, not knowing beforehand that there would be voice acting in the game, it just gave me chills back then. I think there’s room for general quality improvement but I look forward to seeing more just like it in the future.

  • Sentinel

    Honestly, I thought it was pretty bad all around. The only one I give props to was Sean Chiplock as Revali.

    Mipha’s actress didn’t sound comfortable in the slightest, as did Zelda’s VA. Seriously, if they wanted a British accent for Zelda, then they should have gotten someone who naturally has one, because the one they got did not sound comfortable in the role.

  • Delphi

    It was… a step in a direction I guess. Maybe good, maybe not so good. It’s hard to tell.

    Nintendo’s, well, everything gets kinda shafted when it gets translated into English (‘donuts are my favorite!’). That coupled with the fact that a lot of VA’s in the industry were on strike against poor treatment by a lot of game devs and that Japanese stuff usually gets VAed poorly in English and you end up with a recipe for continual disaster, at least from an English speakers prospective. I have no idea the quality for other languages since I don’t know them well enough to determine if it’s poor acting all around.

    In adition, Nintendo doesn’t have a lot of experience when it comes to voice acting in their games so I feel like they didn’t handle the scenes correctly. Almost every cut scene is a monologue of some sort, which would be okay if it was just one or two, but it’s all of them. One sided diologue is the hardest to get right, and the language barrier just makes it worse.

    I know it’s different in Japan and they tell stories differently, but in the western world story is about conflict and one thing that I’ve been told over and over is that you should show your audience the conflict, not tell them about it. When your story is mostly one sided monologues, it’s almost impossible to introduce a conflict without outright telling the audience about it.

    I guess what I’m saying is that the voice acting could have been better if the story wasn’t shown so shallowly. Skill or quality aside, just giving the voice actors more to work with would have greatly improved their ability to portray it, so I would have completely revamped the cut scenes to be less monologue and more actual cutscenes.

  • Just change Yunobo’s voice. I can’t stand it. No offense to the VA mind you, I just don’t think it matches a Goron.

  • RYAN22

    I would’ve recast Mipha.That’s it.

    • Christian Beach

      Seriously? You’re copying my comment.

  • Invisible Opinion

    At first I thought I heard Justin Roiland’s voice (Rick & Morty, Lemon Grab, Blendin, etc.) as Yunobo’s (The Goron in the thumbnail), and then I realized just how well his voice would have fit for Yunobo.