As the first-ever Zelda title to feature voice acting, Breath of the Wild opted to leave the series' protagonist, Link, without any lines of dialogue. While the hero has traditionally never been voiced outside of a few grunts and yells, the reoccurring antagonist Ganon certainly has – albeit through dialogue boxes. As a result, some may have been surprised that Ganon was left without a voice or even a single line of dialogue, with the developers instead opting to go with a more monstrous version of the villain.
During a recent email interview with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, I inquired as to why it was that Ganon was decidedly left unvoiced by Nintendo. According to the dev, the raw and intimidating form of the beast is ultimately what lead to the exclusion of any voice acting for the baddie.
GR: Most of the main cast in Breath of the Wild had speaking roles, which helped add another layer to the storytelling that many really enjoyed. So why wasn't Ganon, the main antagonist, given the same treatment and given a voice? What made you decide to keep Ganon merely as a force of nature as opposed to a more fleshed out character?
"When we were imagining both the scenario and the gameplay we didn’t feel either required that Ganon be voiced this time around. On the scenario side he exists as an overwhelmingly powerful force of evil, and on the gameplay side he’s a formidable enemy to combat; both of these functions are the results we were seeking."
Ganon, in the form of Calamity Ganon in Breath of the Wild, is a force to be reckoned with and keeping him voiceless helped to establish the Triforce of Power holder as such. Indeed, it makes sense from a narrative level, but it's always interesting to see the thought process involved with those responsible for bringing such a well-received game to life.
Fujibayashi also helped narrow down Breath of the Wild's placement on the Zelda timeline in the same interview, so stay tuned to Game Rant for more information from this exclusive back-and-forth in the coming days.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is currently available on Nintendo Switch and Wii U.