For ages upon ages (about twenty years) it has been a common gimmick in games to have the main character be essentially mute.
The idea is that by giving the main character no character, so to speak, the player becomes the character. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it’s lame.
Here I have compiled a list of the five coolest mute characters.
First I should tell you exactly what I mean when I call a character mute, because they are not actually mute. What I mean is that
the person never talks unless you are given a dialog choice, and the dialog choices must be fairly simple, usually just yes or no. Also, they
may talk, as long as we don’t see the text or hear what the character says. So following this formula, the Fallout character cannot be included
because even though he/she only talks when you choose a dialog choice, the choices are quite verbose. Additionally, if there is a movie, TV show,
or comic book based on the game and the person talks in that medium, they are still eligible to be in the list. Groans, screams, grunts, etc.
don’t count. It also helps if the character’s muteness is obvious.
Link, (Legend of Zelda Series)
Not once in any Zelda game that I am aware of has Link ever spoken a complete sentence of dialog. I first noticed this in Link to the Past, and was
annoyed by it in Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Having Link be mute seems to me to be a poor choice because the story is already thin to begin with;
taking away Link's ability to speak makes me care less about him and the story because he has no personality. In this case, I think the decision to go mute
decreases the immersion rather than increases it, like a mute main character should. However he is still on this list because
the games are great, and it's fricken Link.
Mario, (Most notably mute in: Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario)
Except for the, “It’s’a Me! Mario!” at the beginning of Mario 64, have you ever heard or seen Mario talk in anything other than interjections?
Me neither. In Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario his muteness is very noticeable. There were some pretty funny gags centered on the fact that
Mario couldn’t speak. In one memorable scene Mario had to give some information to Toad, and instead of talking, Mario went through an elaborate
game of charades to get his meaning across.
Crono, (Chrono Trigger)
Crono’s muteness is not as noticeable in Chrono Trigger as it is in other games. In fact many people don’t even realize it until they’re told
that he never ever talks. This a testament to how well written the plot and character that surround Crono are. I must note that there is at least
one exception to Crono’s muteness: in one of the many special endings to the game, Crono makes a comment to the Marle and Lucca who are rating the
“Studliness” of the guys in the game.
Gordon Freeman, (Half-Life, Half-Life 2)
Crowbar wielding, PHD from MIT holding theoretical physicist: Gordon Freeman. And mute. I’m sure that Gordon isn’t
really mute, but he never says anything in either game. In reference to his conspicuous silence, when he first meets Alyx in Half-Life 2, she
remarks that he is, “A man of few words.” Valve says they did this because they want you to be Gorden Freeman. They wanted to create a transparent
hero, and let you take over and create the character for yourself. I think it worked pretty well, although it is a little silly at times.
Ness, the main character of Eathbound, is yet another protagonist who does not say a single word throughout his entire game. The games does nothing
to hide that fact. Often people will say things like: “Oh, I can see it in your face, there’s no need to talk...” There are a few funny moments in
the game where Ness muteness comes into play. The game almost seems like a parody of other RPGs out at the time, and having Ness be mute fits right in
with that theme. The game manages to be hilarious and compelling at the same time, and is one of the best examples of how a mute main character should
be done. In the fighting game, Super Smash Bros., Ness does say two things while in battle: “PK Fire,” and, "PK Lightning,” but I’m not holding it against him.
If you have any other cool mute characters that you think should be added, feel free to leave a comment and let everyone know about them!