Sometimes, it’s best to leave things unsaid, and in the case of these video game characters, truer words have never been spoken. There is a rather popular character type that exists in the video game medium, that being silent protagonists. Video game characters that lack a voice can be brimming with personality based on the actions of the character, or the player in control.


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There could be many reasons why a video game character that does not speak should remain silent. Some may fear the official voice that could be introduced, whereas others prefer intimate storytelling that evokes its own emotion without the use of an actor.

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9/9 Samus Aran – Metroid

Samus Aran is often regarded as one of the most popular video game characters. Many remember the first reveal in Metroid, where Samus was revealed to be a woman under that bulky armor. Thanks to Samus, there was a clear road paved for female protagonists, and by lacking a voice of her own, Samus gave one to millions.

The ever-popular Metroid series has heard a few lines from Samus, whether that’s in rageful war cries, grunts, or dialogue in a fictional language. However, what Metroid does so well, is to contain Samus’ voice and keep her as one of the most famed silent protagonists in gaming.

8/9 Chell – Portal

No one has time to talk in the Portal series, as GLaDOS is not interested in conversing with insignificant organic lifeforms and would rather put them through bizarre tests involving portal guns, turrets, and sometimes acid. Portal features Chell as the playable protagonist, a character who does not speak.

What makes Chell’s silence such a great concept for Portal is that it allows her to be anyone. Chell may have her character model, but in essence, she is the embodiment of the player. The player’s mind pushes them through the many puzzles of the game, and a voice isn’t needed for that.

7/9 The Tarnished – Elden Ring

An aspect of gaming that FromSoftware does so well is kicking the player’s butt with everything and everyone out to kill them. Elden Ring doesn’t stray from that path, and like the other FromSoftware titles, it features a player-created protagonist. Players have made many great creations in Elden Ring. From Shrek to Doc Brown. The uniqueness comes from how, visually, the Tarnished can be anyone, and the lack of voice is perfect for it.

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Players don’t have their immersion in this complex world broken by having someone speak for them. Dialogue options are scarce and mainly restricted to yes and no. By having the Tarnished as a silent protagonist, each player has a unique experience through The Lands Between.

6/9 Jack – BioShock

Jack is one of the many instances in gaming where the player never truly meets the person they are playing as. Jack is a silent protagonist, and his character model for the majority of the game is seen through his hands. Despite his lack of conversation, Jack is a rather important character in the BioShock games.

Yet, as a silent protagonist, Jack adds further thrills to BioShock. Who he is, and his purpose does not feel important at the introduction to the game. As a survivor of a plane crash and a new addition to the underwater city of Rapture, Jack wants only to survive the man-made horrors below the sea.

5/9 Gordon Freeman – Half-Life

For a theoretical physicist, Gordon Freeman certainly prefers the use of crowbars to his words. The character doesn’t utter a line in the games he is in. Not even a grunt. Gordon Freeman is the protagonist of Half-Life, and his conflict with inter-dimensional aliens is one that not many can say they have experienced. However, they have experienced them through the glasses of Gordon Freeman.

Freeman is another example of an effective silent protagonist. Players don’t need the character to quip and come up with fun one-liners to understand the horrors of the Black Mesa incident. Half-Life is great at its map design, and Gordon Freeman navigates them like a pro.

4/9 Dragonborn – Skyrim

One of the many things that Bethesda got right about their Elder Scrolls series is the fact that the protagonist was silent. It allowed players to give their characters a visual identity, as well as a voice that they saw fit. The boundless dialogue options were as text, meaning players could read them and hear them in the voice of their choosing.

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When it came to 2011’s Skyrim, players were once again given the freedom to explore the world with their character. The use of silence means that the Dragonborn has any identity that the player sees fit. Skyrim has seen life on three generations of consoles, and the unique protagonist of every player may be one reason why.

3/9 The Player – Pokemon

The vastness of the Pokemon world expands with every generation. Yet, there is one cosmic understanding amongst all of these games, which is that the player never speaks. The player has had many names over the years in the Pokemon games. Starting with Red and ending with the name that the player chooses.

The player in Pokemon games just listens to people rather than engage in conversation. By never speaking, the Pokemon protagonist remains the person holding the controller that is playing the game. After all, players have got to catch them all, rather than speak.

2/9 Doom Guy – DOOM

The universal constant of the DOOM franchise is that there must be a plethora of ripping and tearing rather than dialogue, and it can be played on basically anything. Doom Guy has spoken before, but only in broken and rageful sentences. Doom: Eternal saw the Doom Slayer engage in a few words, but never enough to make audiences question his character or his love for his rabbit Daisy.

As a silent protagonist, players can enjoy rageful encounters against demons in Doom: Eternal, as they do nothing more than rip and tear. By not speaking, Doom Guy expresses his amazing personality as someone that even the deadliest of Hell’s army fears. He doesn’t speak or flinch; he only kills, which makes him perfect.

Other than grunts and yells, Link remains true to silence. The Legend of Zelda has seen a lot of acclaim over the years, and with each title, Link says nothing. It benefits the franchise to have Link silent, as players can project themselves onto him, fill his shoes, and swing his sword. Most notably, this works in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, in which Link is actively involved in cutscenes but still never speaks.

Throughout Breath of the Wild, fans of The Legend of Zelda will be joyous to know that the green cap-wearing adventurer and protector of Zelda doesn’t utter a word. It makes him stoic and full of burden, but at the same time, it shows that the player is Link.

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