[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hrah.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Activate your SuperMode, bring on the grunting]]
-->-- '''Link''' in just about every ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' game

Voice acting is ubiquitous in video games today, but in the old days, when budgets were smaller, sound hardware was more basic, and disk/cartridge space was limited, developers had to resort to text. In games where story was emphasized, they figured some of the drama was lost when a potentially emotional scene was pantomimed like a silent movie. So some games incorporated "sort of" voice acting, in two forms.

One form is a sort of beeps at various pitches, generally speeding up or slowing down depending on how quickly the speaker is talking. The other form is basically short voice clips over relevant text boxes. Examples: "Yeah!" over "Alright, guys! Let's do it!", "Oh no!" over "I can't believe I was fooled for so long!", "Aaaaaaaaah!" over any number of alarmed outbursts, and the ubiquitous grunts, battle cries, and double-takes when facing down a boss. This type of voice grunting is often featured in games that have a handful of key scenes that are fully voice acted.

Not to be confused with a particular stage teenage boys tend to go through.

Compare SpeakingSimlish, when Voice Grunting is turned into a ''language''.


* Every cutscene in the ''VideoGame/{{WarioWare}}'' series.

[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* In every 3D ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda'' game since ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', all characters of importance (and some lesser ones) will do this, be it a laugh, grunt or a single word (Why hello there, Navi). The only pre-''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild Breath of the Wild]]'' exceptions are [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Midna]] and [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Fi]], who have full lines of [[SpeakingSimlish gibberish]] that are picked at random each time the line is said.
** Link is so famous for this trope, some people can find it jarring if they see media where he ''actually speaks'' (even in text!).
*** The GBA remake of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' utilized this to the point where it got [[MostAnnoyingSound rather irritating]]. The original game only had standard [[AudibleSharpness sword]] sounds, but the GBA remake had the poor guy yelling so much you'd wonder why his vocal cords weren't screwed up for life.
*** In addition to his usual grunts and screams, Link also says "Come on!", "Hey!", and "[[ItMakesSenseInContext Meow!]]" in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker''.
** Used as a case of subtle foreshadowing due to SignificantDoubleCasting in ''Ocarina of Time''. [[ItWasHisSled Sheik is Zelda]] and thus the two share a voice actress.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'', when Zelda learns that the BigBad has taken her body and intends to [[DemonicPossession possess it]], she gives a very audible "Iyaaaaaaaa!" (That's Japanese for BigNo.) Presumably it was left alone in the various translations of the game because it could be understood as just a generic "Eeeyaaaaugh" scream.
** Even though ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' is the first game in the series to have full voice acting during certain parts ([[CanonDiscontinuity No,]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaCDIGames the CD-i games]] [[CanonDiscontinuity are definitely not part of]] ''[[CanonDiscontinuity Zelda]]'' [[CanonDiscontinuity history, so don't bring them up]]), most of the lines still feature this trope instead of being fully voiced, with Link himself having zero lines of spoken dialog.
* ''VideoGame/{{Geist}}''. Only during cutscenes will people actually say all their lines. Soldiers will generally have "Sir!" if you're inhabiting a man, "Ma'am." if you're inhabiting a woman, and "Hey boy!" [[BodySurf if you're inhabiting a dog]]. Gigi will always say "Raiiii-mi" or giggle. In one particular case when you're possessing an engineer, his irritable boss says "Walters!" each and every time you talk to him.
* Par for the course in any VideoGame/LegoAdaptationGame. ''VideoGame/LEGOBatman'', for example, involved many scenes where Batman just goes, "HMMM!"
** As of ''LEGO Batman 2'' onwards, they're SuddenlyVoiced.
* Franchise/{{Metroid}}:
** ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'': Samus never actually speaks, except for when they die or suffer an injury, despite being voiced by relatively well-known voice actor Jennifer Hale. Samus had a fully voiced [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG4ei3it8B0 intro narration]] that was ultimately [[WhatCouldHaveBeen unused]] in the final game.
** In most of the games Samus didn't have anyone to talk to, and the one game she did talk (''VideoGame/MetroidFusion''), there was no voice acting. But she does talk in ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'', and she gained a few short voice clips as taunts for ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Brawl]]''.
* ''VideoGame/HenryHatsworthInThePuzzlingAdventure'' uses this, but most characters (oddly enough not including Henry) have one legible phrase they'll throw in at the ends of their sentences. Cole has "guv'ner", [[AbhorrentAdmirer Lady D]] has "Yoohoo!", and so on. Weaselby, most noticeably, has an EvilLaugh.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' all the characters seem to be speaking like they are drowning (yes, even when standing on the land!) while the text appears at the bottom of the screen. Amaterasu just barks, whimpers, growls, and howls.

* ''VideoGame/ZackAndWiki''. Grunts and squicks, as WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation put it in his review.
* ''VideoGame/{{Starbound}}'': {{Non Player Character}}s grunt when they say something (with the actual dialogue supplied in a speech bubble), with the sound dependent on their race and gender. Humans tend to make high-pitched squeaks, Florans growl, and Glitch make bleeping noises.

* This is common in fighting games, as well as those that straddle the border like WWE games.

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* There's a very simple reason why the bog-standard enemy soldiers in the ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'' series are called ''Grunts''. In fact, most of the humanoids and other creatures in the ''Quake'' games make ''some'' sort of random unintelligible sounds, but nothing complex enough to be considered as any sort of a language.
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', if your previously chatty buddy is reduced to spamming default voice commands, odds are that they are an enemy Spy.

* Most ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' games since ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', with a few exceptions.
** There's one line in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' where we hear Peach yell "Oh no!", over a text box reading the same. Mario himself has, as usual, a few lines like this, particularly with "Oh yes" and "M'hm".
** ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga]]'' and the subsequent ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi'' games have the plucky plumbers SpeakingSimlish (of a [[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign vaguely Italian-sounding]] nature) with a few English phrases such as "Oh yeah!" or "Oh No!" thrown into the mix.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'' features full voice acting for Peach, Toadsworth, and the Toads.
*** Bowser and Bowser Jr. also talk for the first time in the (main) series.
*** Mario himself is a lot more chatty in [[DummiedOut unused voice cues]].
** Kamek and Baby Bowser speak in dialogue boxes, accompanied by a "wallawalla wallawalla" sound effect in ''[[VideoGame/YoshisIsland Super Mario World II: Yoshi's Island]]''.
** To evoke the feel of games such as these, ''WebAnimation/SuperMarioBrosZ'' uses the same technique (notably, Mecha Sonic's voice clips are supplied by [[Anime/DragonBallZ Cell]].
** Toads in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' utter a little "Oh, no!" when giving bad news.
** ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' plays around with Mario's voice clips a little bit. At one point, Tippi asks Mario some yes-or-no questions. The clip of "Oh, yeah!" is played for affirmative answers, and the clip of "No, no, no" is played for negative answers.
** When the Mario Bros. find Peach in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory'' in Bowser's stomach, the princess yells out "Mario!" and "Luigi!" over a text box with the same words.
* Featured in handheld ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games: ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDissonance'', ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow'' and ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin''.
* Most dialogue in ''VideoGame/MischiefMakers'' takes the form of text boxes with [[SpeakingSimlish accompanying beeps at varying pitches]] representing characters' "voices", but Marina and most other important characters have several exclamations or other short lines of actual voice acting. Some of these are surprisingly distinctive, like Lunar's "Eat lead!" or Marina's "STOOOOP!" and her "Shake Shake" though that one is said during gameplay rather a cutscene.
%%* ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}''.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'', Chell will scream if hit by a cube that damages her but does not kill her. Other than that, she does not speak, even when being shot by Sentry Guns (or we might not be able to hear her over the bullets).
** She grunts if hit by bullets. And there is at least one sound clip that [=GLaDOS=] claims has her speaking. If it is her speaking, no wonder she doesn't talk that much.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** The Wii version of ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'' makes Sonic sound like he's dropping a massive turd every five seconds.
** The first ''Sonic Rivals'' game also makes use of it. The sequel (which is much, much larger) has fully-acted voice lines over the text boxes instead, but the poor voicework means you'll just be missing the previous version instead.
** ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'' also includes this for Sonic's pals when talking to them in the overworld.
** Also in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'', whenever you talk to an NPC.
* ''VideoGame/{{Zeliard}}'' uses beeps for dialogue in cutscenes and building screens, but not for narration or talking with [=NPCs=] in towns.
* ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxterThePrecursorLegacy'' used this for the mute-at-the-time title character; much akin to Zelda, he would grunt when jumping, performing attacks, and generally any action/reaction event during gameplay.[[note]]This made it rather silly when spinning in the air, as he'd shout a cacophony of "Hya-Hoo-Hwua-Hya!" during his descent.[[/note]] In the Japanese language track, he was given several more expressive vocalizations at certain moments. In the sequels Jak decided to start talking, so his gameplay grunts were replaced with air-whooshes and wisp sound effects.
* The voice acting in ''VideoGame/RogueLegacy'' is limited to nondescript shouts when the player is attacking and grunts of pain.
* ''VideoGame/ShovelKnight'''s dialogue boxes are accompanied by beeping noises approximating the speakers' voice. Specter Knight's beeping sounds metallic and ethereal, Plague Knight's is high-pitched ("hee, hee!"), diving suit-wearing Treasure Knight's is metallic and [[HornyVikings Polar Knight's]] "voice" is appropriately gruff, among other examples.

* Ludger from ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'' is the closest thing the ''Tales'' series has to a SilentProtagonist. He [[CallingYourAttacks calls his attacks]] in battle, says short answers like "yes," "right" and "got it," and occasionally grunts or gasps during skits and cutscenes. Nothing else.
** Though, there is an option to give his dialogue trees voice acting in NewGamePlus.
* All [[VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn three]] ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' games. Hilariously, the third game didn't do a thing to resolve the ViewerGenderConfusion over Rief, who used a high-pitched voice squeaking usually reserved for girls.
* This is actually the ''only'' type of voice acting in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI''. No words, just grunts.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'':
** During the opera performance, the performers' singing is rendered as vocal grunting.
** Kefka's famous {{Evil Laugh}} is voiced, which probably contributed to its fame. Uwehehehehehe!
* The ''{{VideoGame/Izuna|LegendOfTheUnemployedNinja}}'' games have a lot of this, though the sequel does have a small amount of actual voice-acting as well.
* The ''Franchise/BaldursGate'' series is an especially odd example. Some dialog is fully voiced, but most of it is only partly voiced, with just the first sentence or page of dialog being spoken in a conversation.
* ''VideoGame/RuneFactory3'' has voice clips for everyone, mostly short phrases that correspond with what they're talking about ("Sorry" and "Hello" and the like). A few of the plot-important cutscenes are voiced, but not all of them.
* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' does this during every instance of textboxing. There isn't any form of beeping or booping, but there are little snippets of dialogue, laughing (or girlish giggling in Joshua's case), grunting, gasping or any other one-second sound a human can make as well as little questions and phrases like "Ask Away" or "Alright. It's Time". For really important moments, the game breaks out cutscenes with full dialogue.
* ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'' uses bleeps with different pitches to indicate the voice of the current speaker.
** Also, in its predecessor, ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', when you name the characters, the confirmation noise is a clip of creator Creator/ShigesatoItoi saying "Okay desu ka?" ("Is it okay?")
* In ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesII'', some scenes are full voiced out, but most of the minor scenes have Avan saying "I'll do it!" even when it doesn't make sense.
* ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'' includes a few short lines for each character used in random circumstances.
* ''[[Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei Persona]]'':
** While ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' features full voice acting in most of the cutscenes, things like talking to VA'ed characters outside of cutscenes and in Social Link scenes will just have them chime in with short voiced snippets from time to time. You know you've almost completed a Social Link when the character gets particularly talkative.
** ''VideoGame/{{Persona 5}}'' also uses this trope outside of cutscenes. However, all characters have full voice acting in the first and last scenes of their Confidants. [=NPCs=] also speak with audible voices to each other when the protagonist is in their vicinity. A returning feature from the [[VideoGame/{{Persona}} first]] [[VideoGame/Persona2 two]]/[[OneGameForThePriceOfTwo three]] ''Persona'' games is that enemies (unbound Personas) can be [[BefriendingTheEnemy persuaded during battle to join the team as Personas]], and they also have their own voice clips when talking to the protagonist.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'' and ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsCoded'' (the DS remake) both use this during the in-game rendered cutscenes. The [=FMVs=] use full voice acting, though.
* This is the only voicing you'll hear in ''[[VideoGame/MagicalVacation Magical Starsign]]'', and only as exclamations during battles.
* While there is some full voice-acting during the animated cutscenes in ''[[VideoGame/{{Boktai}} Lunar Knights]]'', most other instances of consists of grunts and short phrases during dialogue.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' does this when you order characters around outside of cutscenes, and in combat. Notably, Alistair seems to do his [[MostAnnoyingSound "Alright, let's go!"]] thing every. Single. Combat. The game lets you choose from several voices per race for your character, but all they are ever used for is voice grunting and short quips when you order your own character around.
* All of the non-generic characters in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' have these in the "short voice clips" form.
* In ''VideoGame/TheTwistedTalesOfSpikeMcFang'', every character talks with different-pitched beeps.
* In ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'', the player characters make grunts in the same way [[{{Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda}} Link]] does. You can even choose from several different voices for your character to grunt in!
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' lacks voice acting, though a small handful of scenes feature a short voice clip, every major character has a unique "voice". Some of these "voices", including the one on the GameOver screen, belong to characters you only actually get to meet much later, if at all.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel'' and its sequel have a lot of voice acting and there's plenty of CallingYourAttacks, but this doesn't stop this from being used a fair amount in battles, probably as a stylistic choice. Rean tends to do it a fair amount, particularly when using his Spirit Unification ("ogre power"). Angelica is another character that does it a fair bit.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsInTheSky'' only has this in battle or as a victory quote. The text sounds don't distinguish between characters, it can be hard to tell what a character's supposed to sound like with so little to go off of. Subverted with Kloe, she actually has a bit more to say in battle with some full sentences. The Evolution remakes have full voice acting, characters also get voice acting in Alternative Saga, a crossover fighting game with ''Franchise/{{Ys}}''.
* In ''VideoGame/FairyFencerF'', your characters will often voice grunt once they've reached enough tension to [[SuperMode fairize]], though they'll just as often as not simply say something.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Miitopia}}'', in addition to SpeakingSimlish, Miis may also make grunting, laughing and yelling sounds depending on what's going on.

* The ''VideoGame/TraumaCenter'' series does this for every notable character in the game. Voice clips for Dr. Stiles range from the short "Yeah" and "What!" to full sentences like "Let's begin the operation" or "I WILL save this patient!" Different characters also yell out "Dr. Stiles!" when they need your attention or if you messed up something. ''New Blood'' adds full-voice acting for everyone.
** At one point in ''Under the Knife 2'', Angie's voice clip says "Yes!" while her text box says "no."
* Many ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon'' games since ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonAWonderfulLife'' have characters who make a noise when talked to.

* ''VideoGame/MarioGolf'' Advance Tour and ''Mario Tennis Power Tour'', both based off of the VideoGame/GoldenSun engine, use the same type of bleeping text. They also include stock voice clips for all the players.

* In ''VideoGame/DontStarve'', every character is voiced by a musical instrument. For example, Willow is voiced by a flute, [[MightyGlacier Wolfgang]] is voiced by a trombone, and WX-78 sounds like a synthesizer.

[[folder:Visual Novel]]
* The ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' games have voice clips just for the series' famous catchphrases. OBJECTION! HOLD IT! TAKE THAT! GOTCHA! EUREKA! NOT SO FAST! Other than that, everyone uses beeps and boops for speech, with females and children typically having higher pitched beeps than adult males. Interestingly, especially in the later games, the beeps come in several different octaves (male, female, old male, old female, and so on). One character, Dee Vasquez, appears to have smoker's lung - she uses the male beeps.
** This is lampshaded in one of the commercials, where Maya and Phoenix have an aside conversation using the beeps, and Edgeworth complains that they should stop doing that.
** They start playing around with it more in ''Spirit of Justice''. During the first trial, a character ''[[CourtroomAntics sings]]'' his testimony, and his voice beeps change pitch to play the melodic line. Once his personality takes a 180 and he becomes a HeavyMetal rocker, his voice beeps become bass blips.
* In ''VisualNovel/FleuretBlanc'', characters have a variety of short lines and exclamations that they say at certain points, sometimes directly quoting the actual text and sometimes not. A few of these are repurposed for BossBanter.

[[folder:Other Media]]
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in the {{OVA}} adaptation of ''Gestalt''. "[[ManicPixieDreamGirl Manic Pixie Slave Girl]]" Ohri, coprotagonist along with the straight man Oliver is [[CuteMute mute]], [[spoiler: having had her voice and mystical might stripped away some time before the beginning of the narration]]. While she can still grunt and whine, she usually uses her residual voice along with a text box popping on the screen, and acting as she were fully aware of it, using grunts and facial expression as you could expect from an RPG character during gameplay. The other main characters are fully aware of this oddity, and despite express initial shock and surprise they're fully able to understand her.
* The Indian telefilm ''Shorr'' has Kankoo, a CuteMute and ManicPixieDreamGirl. She's mute, but not voiceless: she usually gets along with a huge lot of Voice Grunting and made-up HandSignals, and she's still able to be somewhat understood.
* In ''Anime/HidamariSketch Honeycomb'' Episode 3, when [[MindlinkMates Hiro and Sae]] communicate in a PsychicLink, their mental conversation appears on the screen, with the words being accompanied by beeps.
* Part of ''WebOriginal/GwainSaga'''s charm.