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Heroic Mime

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Link is more of the strong, silent type.
"... ..."
Red, Pokémon Gold and Silver (and every game he's an NPC in thereafter)

All too often in video games, it seems like designers feel that the best way to get players to relate to the main character is to have said character have absolutely no dialogue at all. Even though you can't say a word, it seems like every NPC around you instantly understands what you need like you're Lassie or something.

Heroic Mime is a video game-specific variant of The Voiceless or The Speechless. In many RPGs, the main hero doesn't seem to talk (Visible Silence might be used). The official explanation for this is that the main character is the player, and dialogue would either interfere with the player's train of thought or knock them out of the viewpoint of that character (compare the Featureless Protagonist). An aversion of this would be to allow the player to actually talk to the characters through a microphone or the AI be able to comprehend any text entered, but this is beyond current technology, except in online games where you're talking to other players instead of AIs — or through the limited means of a Dialogue Tree.


Some characters might be like this when under the player's control, but perfectly normal and talking characters as NPCs, or even just when they aren't the leader of the group. And some characters do talk when the player chooses how to answer a question.

Nevertheless, this often results in the fandom discussing whether or not a character is mute. Most of the time when somebody makes a Novelization or a Webcomic of the Game, odds are that it'll have the character speak in Visible Silence and be treated as The Silent Bob.

This trope can get very frustrating when the character has, for example, undergone an Involuntary or Emergency Transformation, and has allies who weren't there to see it. It's also hard to grow too fond of a Heroic Mime since they don't show thoughts or feelings that can't be expressed with grunts, sighs, and body language. This is one thing when they're fighting all alone, without so much as an Exposition Fairy or a Voice with an Internet Connection to listen to, but when there are other characters around it's a different story. Even The Stoic says something.


One fairly common variation of this is to suggest that the main character actually does speak, we just can't hear them or see their text boxes. However, the other characters in the game can, and we can sometimes infer what was said from their reactions. Another common variation used to compromise between immersion and characterization is to allow the player character to speak, but only during non-interactive cutscenes.

How well you take this trope can often depend on how you approach video games in general. If you like to imagine you "are" the character, as the developers seem to expect, it could arguably increase immersion. On the other hand, many players prefer to imagine themselves in a role similar to that of a movie director; controlling the action without being a part of it. To them, having a Heroic Mime is like being saddled with a boring, wooden actor in the lead role.

In more plot-heavy games, they will often be paired with an Exposition Fairy who does the talking for them. Is not the opposite of Monster Clown or Enemy Mime.

This trope occasionally crops up in other media, but it may be more difficult to pull off unless done comedically.

They may or may not be an Audience Surrogate.

See Silent Antagonist, for when the villain is like this. Being a Heroic Mime does not necessarily preclude Voice Grunting or Speaking Simlish. This trope is often used in conjunction with an Unbroken First-Person Perspective.


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    Action Adventure 
  • Metroid: Samus has internal monologues in Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, and Metroid: Zero Mission, as well as text dialogue near the end of Fusion, and makes audible grunts when taking damage in the Metroid Prime Trilogy, but is otherwise entirely silent, only having audible dialogue in Metroid: Other M. In Super Smash Bros., Zero Suit Samus can speak during taunts.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link never says anything, apart from the player's Yes/No choices, but other characters sometimes react as if he had. In Twilight Princess, for instance, he tells Mayor Bo about the problem with the Gorons and what Renado had said just by nodding. This implies that his dialogue is possibly meant to be imagined by the player, which makes sense seeing how his muteness was intended to allow players to project their personalities onto him. In later games, he often has an Exposition Fairy that speaks in his stead during cutscenes, asking questions and so on.
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link has three occasions where Link is shown speaking. Link actually says, "I found a mirror under the table," in the town of Saria, "Looks like I can get in the fireplace," when entering a chimney, and "Kasuto. Strange... It is deserted," when reading the signpost at Old Kasuto. And given the way a scene at the fountain in Nabooru is worded, Link is either talking to himself, the fountain is actually talking to Link, or Link is talking to the player: "Want to get some water?"
    • Likewise, Link's Awakening lampshades his silence ("Aren't you going to say anything?") but actually seems to have a fairly talkative Link, as indicated through Repeating So the Audience Can Hear. In one key instance, Link even appears to be Suddenly Speaking; when he reads the relief that reveals the true nature of Koholint Island, his response is "...What? Illusion?"
    • In Oracle of Ages, he botches a joke, though we never actually see the joke he apparently told.
    • This became amusing when Link appeared in SoulCalibur II. Ivy can taunt him with "You're all talk!" ...when he hasn't even said a word.
    • Generally, the Link of The Wind Waker seems to be the most "talkative" one, even disregarding his "Come on!" vocalizations, since much of the game's dialogue, as well as that of direct sequel Phantom Hourglass, works by characters asking questions and the player picking an answer for Link from two choices. The choices are never just "Yes" or "No", but tell rather a lot about Link's true feelings regarding the topic. More than often, both answers would even actually mean pretty much the same, giving Link some actual dialogue, in theory. In fact, there's one point in Phantom Hourglass where you blow into the mic so that Link can shout through a brick wall to check if anyone is on the other side; it shows a dialogue balloon along the lines of "HEY! ANYONE OVER THERE?", so yeah, Toon Link can talk. He's just usually quiet.
    • In Twilight Princess, there are a few cutscenes that show Link and another character chatting, but none of the words are texted or vocalized. It's also lampshaded near the end when Midna notes Link's silence at the restoration of her true form by saying "What? Say something! Am I so beautiful you've no words left?"
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Link can be seen "speaking" (with mouth movements) during some cutscenes, but the game displays no text to show exactly what he is saying. Presumably, the developers intended that the player would understand the gist of what he was saying since you would have already seen what he was talking about. Miyamoto and Aonuma have actually stated that the reason the game didn't have voice acting was that they thought having voiced characters would clash with having a Heroic Mime. Occasionally, like in Wind Waker, the player is also given dialogue options other than "Yes" and "No," and the character you're talking to will react accordingly. For example, the very first time Link encounters Groose during the events of the game, the dialogue options are "Give him back!", "Bring it on", and "Nice hair."
    • True to the franchise's lore, Hyrule Warriors features Link once again silent, although he's insinuated to be actually quite talkative if he wasn't so introverted. He instead converses to the rest of the cast through a proxy fairy named ... Proxi, who telepathically understands all of Link's thoughts and feelings. While Proxi also speaks for Young Link, Toon Link has his sister Aryll do his talking.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Link remains silent despite the game finally introducing full voice acting for certain characters. This time, his silence is justified: The burden of being The Chosen One and all the high expectations for him to succeed has led him to put on a stoic front and hide his emotions. His general silence is noted in Zelda's and Mipha's diaries, and Teba also brings up what he interprets as Link's nervous silence before the battle against Vah Medoh. However, the dialogue options do make a comeback from Skyward Sword, and it seems that no matter how heavy his burden is, Link will take advantage of snarking his way through everything. Sometimes Link can get forced choices with only one dialogue option to choose from, making the trope downplayed.
    • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity has two heroic mimes instead of one: not only does Link never speak, but neither does the diminutive guardian Terrako (unless its R2-speak counts).
    • To this day, the only Link in a game that had his talking restriction lifted was the one from the CD-i games. And once he started, he did not stop.
    • Note that this only applies to playable Links; he tends to talk more when you're not playing as him, as in the case of his Lorulean counterpart Ravio and the Hero's Shade, who is the deceased version of the Hero of Time from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.
    • Staying true to the games, the trope is kept in most Zelda-related manga, novelizations and adaptations where Link isn't completely Adapted Out, though the Twilight Princess manga averts the trope completely and gives Link actual dialogue and a revamped character arc.
  • Cave Story and its silent robot protagonist, Quote. There are several scenes where he's implied to have spoken, but we weren't allowed to know what he said.
    • Inverted in the WiiWare port: Curly Story gives Curly Brace several lines where Quote had none previously. Quote is still mostly mute (scenes involving him have Curly speak for him), except for one situation in the Plantation; performing a sidequest required to access the Bonus Level of Hell actually gives Quote a couple of lines.
  • Not really a hero (unless you go for the not-so-evil ending), but the new overlord in Overlord I never says anything either. This continues in the sequels and prequels, with none of the Overlords ever speaking (Lord Gromgard of Dark Legend yawns in the beginning at least, though this is before he even becomes an Overlord).
  • Tsumuji in "Shounen Kininden Tsumuji" is also a Heroic Mime, though he doesn't say a word, in-game cutscenes showing his expressions can easily describe what he might be saying.
  • Amaterasu in Ōkami never says anything, being a wolf. Instead of the sidekick, Issun, acts as her mouthpiece... at length. Ammy's own emotions generally get expressed in appropriately canine ways, including gnawing on Issun when he gets too rude. A rare justified example: all the Brush Gods that appear to talk in animal form are in fact communicating through telepathy, and Ammy's own dialogue is never shown because it cannot be heard from the outside.
    • Often, and amusingly, Issun will interpret Ammy's intentions even when she shows no outward indication of a response, particularly when accepting a quest when she is usually just panting and looking around nonchalantly. Though this is because Amaterasu is talking telepathically to Issun, and the player, being an "outsider" cannot read her mind.
  • Ecco the Dolphin uses his voice for just about everything: echolocation, defense, activating ancient technology, and initiating conversations. Of course, the player never hears his half of them beyond the original generic sonar cry.
  • Mike Jones in Startropics has an odd variation of the trope, but only in the first game. He manages to carry on numerous conversations without us directly hearing what he says. Instead, the game uses the rather clunky solution of having a narrative box pop up in place of Mike's dialog, explaining what Mike is saying ("You tell her that you are looking for your uncle.") The character will then react in normal dialog, often repeating what was just explained. ("Oh! So you're looking for your uncle!") One wonders why the game didn't just give us Mike's dialog if it was going to explain it all anyway, but then again it is a Nintendo title, and they've not huge fans of chatty protagonists. In any case, Mike begins talking in Startropics 2, directly to the player.
  • The protagonist of Alundra 2, Flint, is a mute and he only communicates by hand gestures.
  • In Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg Billy is completely speechless (if you exclude his occasional "ok!" and "good morning!").
  • Daryl Whitelaw of Super Daryl Deluxe never speaks, almost never changes his facial expression, and does not use body language. People asking him direct questions and receiving no response at all is a Running Gag.
  • Justified example in Blasphemous. The protagonist has taken a vow of silence as part of his atonement.
  • Played with in Yoku's Island Express: although NPCs converse with Yoku as though he is speaking to them, Yoku never says anything that the player can read.
  • Dane, the protagonist of The Quiet Man, never speaks. In this case, it's justified because he's deaf and communicates via sign language.
  • In the PC adaption of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry only uses his vocal cords for spell incantations and never participates in conversation.
  • Justified in Owl Boy: Otus was born physically mute. The ending reveals that he's not a self-insert and has personality: once he dies and turns into a ghost, he is no longer subjected to his physical condition and starts speaking regularly, having a full dialogue before the credits roll.

    Action Games 
  • Both of the Gungrave games give protagonist Beyond the Grave no lines whatsoever - he doesn't even let out so much as a grunt when taking damage. Most of the time the only sounds you ever hear from him are either gunfire from his twin pistols or the strange squeaky noise of his coffin weapon when he moves. He's fully capable of speaking, he just chooses not to, making gestures (such as raising a finger or nodding his head) that only his ward Mika seems to understand. The only time he ever speaks comes at the end of Overdose, in which he says exactly one line—to Mika, the one person who has no need for him to speak.

    Interestingly, this trait was (mostly) carried over in the anime series - Grave and by association, Brandon Heat rarely speaks, but he does get at least a little use out of his vocal cords, in the very few lines he gets. This was also carried over into his appearance in the Massive Multiplayer Crossover strategy-RPG Chaos Wars; he has no lines of dialog beyond "......", and is the only character with no vocals when acting in combat. It is specifically commented on and lampshaded by other characters at several points. Much Hilarity Ensues when the protagonist Hyouma (who is not this trope) tries to get a meaningful response (whether it be asking Grave why he doesn't eat to flat out asking him if he's mute or not) out of Grave, only to be shot down by Grave giving Hyouma his "negative" expression and an ellipsis. It's not that Grave is ignoring Hyouma, Grave is just being himself, and Mika usually has to explain to Hyouma why Grave acts the way he does.
  • Rookie One in the first Star Wars: Rebel Assault game isn't completely silent, but he says very little, outside some exposition during the introduction to the training course and other things like "yes sir", etc. He gets lines in the sequel, though.
  • The Rookie in Ghostbusters: The Video Game never talks. Clear effort is put into his facial expressions and mannerisms, though; it's obvious what his thoughts on any given matter are, it's just that the others don't really care since he's only there for his willingness to test stuff that might explode, not for scientific input.

    We don't even get his name. As Venkman explained, he doesn't want to get attached in case something happens, referring to the "last new guy" as if something bad or fatal happened.
  • Yuu Kajima, the protagonist of the Gundam video game Blue Destiny, is silent in his own games (as well as most of his appearances in the G Generation series) due to his status as a player surrogate; that's also the reason for his Punny-slash-Meaningful Name, a homophone of "You". However, in adaptations like the novelization and manga, or cameos in other manga, he does have a voice and a distinct personality.
  • Played with in Magicka, where multiple times the players are tasked to talk to someone but end up saying nothing, with their silence resulting in needless violence. Vlad points out as much on several occasions, complaining after your visit to Niflheim that "you have no social skills whatsoever!", and noting in the between-level narration after fighting Fafnir that the heroes are "still incapable of forming sentences in stressful situations".
  • The eponymous Mr. Shifty never talks, replying to everything with "...".
  • Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King subverts this in that the protagonist almost never directly speaks, but then she does say a few lines at key points later in the game.
  • In Astral Chain, there are two playable characters to choose from, a twin brother and sister, and whichever one you choose to play as becomes a customizable silent protagonist. The character you don't choose is given the name "Akira Howard" and becomes the deuteragonist of the story, and speaks normally. The player character does do a voiceover narration during the ending, speaking in the voice they use as Akira when you're playing as the other character.
  • The Princess Remedy series: Remedy can speak at the end of the games, if certain conditions are met, but is silent otherwise:

    Adventure Games 
  • The nameless protagonist of Sierra's Quest for Glory speaks only a handful of times in the span of five games: telling the potion maker about the dryad in the first game, grumbling to himself in the first game, and saying "Right", "Just the facts", and "What's a pomegranate" in the second game. Otherwise, he's your standard Heroic Mime.
    • Lampshaded in the Fan Remake of King's Quest II, when King Graham (who was a Heroic Mime himself in the original version) triggers an Easter Egg unleashing the Quest for Glory hero. "You don't say much, do you? Surely, you might speak to me of your adventures!"
    • The fan remake of the second game has an onscreen image of your character baby talking to Simba. The kid shuts you up with a complex commentary about poltergeists.
  • In the case of Angel Devoid, your PC literally CAN'T talk, since you've been given surgery to make you mute and look like the Big Bad before being dumped into the mean streets. Your "dialog" choices consist entirely of two buttons that allow you to act either intimidating or receptive in response to conversation.
  • 1213 never says anything, but his thoughts are often conveyed to the player in text boxes anyway. Westbury hangs a lampshade on it by yelling at 1213, "WHY DON'T YOU EVER SAY ANYTHING?! I know you can! We taught you! Just a 'yes'! A nod of your head! A grunt! Just tell me you UNDERSTAND!"
  • Roger Wilco in Space Quest started out as one; starting with Space Quest IV, he has since been given regular dialogue. Incidentally, this is also the first "talkie" game of the series.
  • In Journey, you are the Red Robe. You travel through the desert, release cloth creatures, avoid getting caught by the war machines, and never give up on your goal without a single word coming out of you.
    • The game's most innovative feature is its form of multiplayer. At any level except for the beginning, there are high chances you'll meet a companion in the game online, regardless of his/her appearance or gender. Unlike most other multiplayer games, you can't see the other player's names, so the only way to communicate is singing a note - there is no text or voice chat in the game, so you must rely entirely on your in-game abilities to work with your partner. He/she may help you over the course of the game if the player wants to.
  • In Dark Cloud, Toan gets no dialogue, though he clearly carries on conversations with other characters. It gets ridiculous, with him making hand gestures to indicate he's saying something, but nothing comes out.
  • The main character in Lone Siren never says a word. The exceptions are 'Oh!' and 'Ah!', though they're just sound effects.
  • Played with in Knytt Underground. The main character is mute and has a bit of trouble with it until chapter 3, where she gets two fairies (a nice idealistic one and a cynical snarky one) that talk for her. It's also possible to learn magic in the game, but you can't actually use it because it requires speaking.
  • In The Journeyman Project trilogy, the protagonist Agent 5 never says a word in the first game. In the second game, your version of Agent 5 (now known as Gage Blackwood) never says anything, but you have several interactions with Gage's future self who talks quite a bit. In the third game, Gage talks in live-action cutscenes and, apparently, talks to other people through the Chameleon time-suit's voice modulator that adjusts his voice to match a projected image. Then again, we don't get to hear that voice. The third game is the first to allow interaction with characters from the past thanks to the Chameleon's suit holo-projection technology. Attempts to interact with characters in the second game in the old-fashioned bulky time-suit result in a Non-Standard Game Over (French knights will kill you, while pre-Columbian Mayans will worship you as a god).
  • Obsidian does the same thing as the above game. You play as Lilah Kerlins, who doesn't talk in-game but has video logs and audio diaries on her PDA with full speech included. Although she does visually show a little shock when watching the Obsidian structure begin to pull her inside.
  • The titular princess of Tsioque doesn't say a word, having a wide range of expressions, from a determined pout when thrown into the dungeon to a nervous smile waving at an Imp guard after she escapes. She does start to get some bits of unvoiced inner monologue in the second half of the game, though.
  • Minecraft: Story Mode: When you choose what Jesse says during a conversation, there is a choice named '...' that makes Jesse say nothing when you choose it. If you choose '...' when you're asked to pick a name for your Endercon group, you will be called The No-Names, because the Endercon staff are Comically Missing the Point.
  • Played with in Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes; protagonist Lilli isn't mute, but is so meek and unassertive that she never gets out more than a quiet "Ummm..." or "Ahhh..." before being interrupted and talked over by whoever she's speaking to. She finally snaps in one of the three endings; after objecting enough to characters trying to force her to choose between two options, she finally yells "STOOOOOOOOOOOOP!" and goes off on a massive tirade about everyone telling her what to do, refuses both options, and tells everyone to shut up and leave her alone - including the game's narrator.
  • Spirits Of Anglerwood Forest: Edgar almost never talks. The few times he does, the scene either cuts to after he's finished or we simply just don't hear him. Most of what he says is understood through Parrot Exposition.
  • Infested: The player character, thanks to the lack of a talk button and no things that would want to talk to him anyway. He can mumble to himself, though.
  • In So Far, the protagonist is presumably capable of speech, but any other people you meet are either hostile or simply incapable of communicating with you. You get to speak once, at the very end.
  • While the titular protagonist of the Henry Stickmin Series can speak, it is usually in short phrases, and often Henry remains silent. It is downplayed in that Henry often does things that are not considered heroic- such as attempting to break out of jail or steal a priceless diamond- but he is still the main character, so this qualifies.

    Driving Games 
  • Roundabout plays the trope for laughs. Georgio, a limo driver, never utters a single word and only makes various facial expressions and adjusting their body language at their passengers. Not only are the passengers are fully able to understand what Georgio is conveying, but the narrator also lampshades Georgio's silence as being their strong point in communication.

    Fighting Games 
  • In the Super Smash Bros. series, some characters can speak full sentences, while others simply blurt words, are restricted to grunting and growling, or make absolutely no sound at all.
    • Taken to a ridiculous extreme in Brawl's Subspace Emissary, where nearly everyone is a Heroic Mime plotwise. Even the villains. Even the characters who do speak in their own games. At times it seems like the characters are communicating telepathically. You had to read the official website just to find out what was going on. The only exceptions are Snake (who gets one line - "Kept you waiting, huh?") and a few instances of Calling Your Attacks.
      • In the interest of fairness, the reason for the necessity of All There in the Manual is due to two scenes that were removed from the final version. Most of the plot and character interactions can be inferred from their actions... just not the most important ones.
  • Def Jam Vendetta has four generic protagonists with the exact same story and cutscenes, and not one speaks a single word except for the occasional "Yeah!" or grunt. Very awkward, especially considering all the smack talk, threats, and jabbering dished out by everyone around them.
  • Mac from Punch-Out!! actually spoke in the original games but come the Wii reboot, he barely utters a word.

    First-Person Shooters 
  • BioShock
    • Jack from BioShock has one line of dialogue during the intro movie and then never speaks again, unless you count the audio recording of the time he, as a child, was forced to kill a puppy. He does make sounds of pain, and pants after the plane crash.
    • Subject Delta, protagonist of the sequel, is completely silent besides occasional shouts of pain. This time, it might be the process that turned him into a Big Daddy also changing his vocal cords; all the other Big Daddies in the game are also silent.
    • Averted with Booker Dewitt from BioShock Infinite: while he's still completely first-person and his face is never seen in cutscenes (though the game's cover shows it), he does have a few lines of dialogue here and there.
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has two player-controlled characters, USMC Sergeant Paul Jackson and SAS Sergeant "Soap" MacTavish. Both are unable to respond verbally, although when you get a choice you can respond physically (such as, at the end of the tutorial level, choosing either to go back up to redo the course or heading over to the monitors with everyone else to end the level). There's also a pair of flashback missions where you play as then-Lieutenant Price, and he doesn't speak while you have control of him despite talking as an NPC. The only character who talks under the player's control is the thermal-imaging TV operator of the AC-130 from the mission "Death from Above".
    • This gets even weirder in multiplayer, where other players on your team will shout out useful information such as "grenade", "changing mag", or "planting claymore" when they're performing these acts - but when YOU do them, you don't hear yourself say it, but your teammates are able to hear you say it. This can end up getting you killed, as the other team can also hear your chatter, which can give away your position.
    • Lampshaded in World at War - while crawling through a burnt-out building in Berlin, a bunch of soldiers start complaining about the smoke, at which point Sgt. Reznov tells them to shut up, mentions how he and Dimitri (your character) "crawled through smoke and rubble in Stalingrad", then asks them "do you hear him complaining?"
      • In the very first mission, when you are playing as Miller, your Japanese captor taunts you by asking, "You think because you say nothing, you're strong?"
      • The very first game also lampshaded this when the British player character and Captain Price infiltrate the Tirpitz; Price, while discussing the plan to sabotage the ship, asks that "unless your German's improved, let me handle the talking".
    • Interestingly enough, Soap MacTavish is the player character's NPC squad leader in Modern Warfare 2, which means he has actual, pre-written characterization. This in itself isn't all that bad, and indeed is a clever Continuity Nod, but Soap's personality is sure to have conflicted with what some players imagined him to be while playing as him during his Heroic Mime phase. For other players, it was Soap's ridiculous hair that conflicted with their ideas.
      • Call of Duty: Black Ops has every protagonist speaks during gameplay, allowing them to actually communicate what they see and do to the rest of their group. It also had Dimitri Petrenko return as an NPC with both his face shown and his voice revealed, as well as a semblance of a personality, in the flashback mission "Project Nova."
    • Modern Warfare 2 and 3 are all over the place with this trope.
      • In MW1 you play as a Soap MacTavish, and you spend the entire game mute. Then, in MW2, Soap is an NPC and your commander, and now is just as talkative as anyone else. Later on, you play through a mission as Soap again, and once again, you're mute.
      • In MW3, you start the game from Soap's perspective, still mute, though this may be because you are currently bleeding to death from the wounds taken in the last game's climax. Later on in the game, you play from someone else's perspective and Soap is now talking again.
      • Several missions have you playing as a character named Yuri. While the player controls Yuri, he is a Heroic Mime, but in cutscenes and one mid-mission flashback, he talks. However, in the last mission of the game, you switch to Captain Price. You then play alongside Yuri, who is now just a talkative on-mission as Price is. Even more interesting is that, when you're playing as Price, you can clearly hear Price speaking to Yuri.
    • Call of Duty: Ghosts plays this painfully straight. Primary Player Character Logan Walker remains dead-silent throughout the entire game. The missions where you switch to another character are no different-even Elias Walker, who is otherwise very talkative, is completely silent during the flashback mission where you play as him.
  • Doom:
    • Doom 3. This is sometimes awkward when the NPCs are talking to the marine in ways that invite a response. It's especially noticeable in the final cutscene, where a group of marines ask the protagonist if he's okay, and he just stares at them, looking dazed. On top of that, in neither Doom 3 nor its expansion Resurrection of Evil was the character given a name, as they're both referred to as simply "Marine", which gets used practically as their names.
    • The original two Doom games, of course, featured no interaction with anybody at all, so this trope doesn't even get a chance to apply. Conversely, the Doom Comic-Book Adaptation made him very talkative... and this version of him is quite the loony.
    • DOOM (2016) plays with this in a rather amusing way. Doomguy is completely silent, but his utter contempt for anything to do with hell or the UAC are made glaringly obvious by his actions; the beginning even has him throwing away a terminal when the person speaking through it tries to give him exposition. You get the sense that Doomguy doesn't speak simply because he feels it's a waste of time when dealing with demons or idiots. In his guest appearance in Quake Champions, his lack of talking is even treated as a second passive ability - since he doesn't say anything, he doesn't give away his position to the other fighters by announcing his presence. The sequel Doom Eternal reveals he can talk, but he only does in flashbacks. Probably justified, as he's not completely sane.
      Jim Sterling: The Doom Slayer is more expressive and communicative without uttering a line of dialogue than most fully voiced video game protagonists.
    • The mod Brutal Doom and especially its offshoot Project Brutality throw Doomguy's "man of few words" shtick out the window in favor of portraying him as he is in the comic, in all his energetic, bombastic, sadistic glory.
    "I'm the man! I'M SUPER MAN!"
  • Halo:
    • The Rookie from Halo 3: ODST, to the point where he doesn't even have a credited voice actor. This is lampshaded by Dutch when he hands you the silenced SMG:
    Now's one of those times, pays to be the strong silent type.
    • However, it does feel odd when the Rookie finally finds Dare, but just gives a little nod in response to her questions about the situation. Nonetheless, she seems satisfied with that. He does talk a little in the Halo: Evolutions short story Dirt and the novella Halo: New Blood, though.
    • Fireteam Crimson from Halo 4's Spartan Ops campaign. They never speak, and get no characterization, except for being highly efficient at their job. Indeed, given that they are the players' multiplayer avatars manifest into a canonical setting, the variation of possible Fireteams Crimson is too heavy to be able to give them a set character of any sort.
  • In Marathon, the main character never talks in-game, leading to the conclusion that he is a heroic mime. He doesn't even type anything on the terminals; Durandal just talks for him. However, in the chapter screen from "Simulacrums," we see him talking to a few BOBs, but again, no dialogue is actually heard.
  • Speaking of WWII FPSes, this also applies to the Medal of Honor games. In fact, the series' first PS2/Xbox/GC installment, Frontline, sort of pokes fun at this: During the mission Nijmegen Bridge, a fellow soldier asks you to disarm some charges placed along the bridge, and quips "Good. I'll take your silence for a 'yes'."
    • Joseph Griffin in Rising Sun gets a physical appearance, yet he's still a heroic mime in the cutscenes.
  • Nick Mason from Urban Chaos: Riot Response is not only mute but aside from the second news report and a few photographs that may or may not be him, you don't even get to see his face in game. One gets the feeling that the only reason that he has a name at all is so the enemy characters can shout things like "Eat a bowl of f#@*, Mason!"
  • Gordon Freeman from the Half-Life series is one of the most famous. Being a Valve game, there is heavy Lampshade Hanging, with characters remarking that Gordon is a man of few words or offering to do the talking for him. He apparently also makes off-camera expressions that the Non Player Characters will react to (for example, viewing some of the objects in Black Mesa East will prompt different lines from Eli). He does, however, express concern over getting shot, burned, hitting the ground after a long fall and drowning with moans, grunts and other noises that living creatures use to make others know that they are, as a matter of fact, in pain.
    • Barney is an example that speaks when the player isn't controlling them, as he doesn't say anything in Blue Shift yet is quite vocal in Half-Life 2 and Episode One. If Adrian were ever to return to series (please?) it's most probable he would finally be able to speak as well.
      • Blue Shift goes out of its way to make it clear that Barney is in fact speaking, but that we simply can't hear him.
      • The Opposing Force tutorial does the same with Adrian: "What is your name, soldier?!... SOUND OFF LIKE YOU GOT A PURPOSE!!!... Corporal Shephard, eh?" Unique from the others, not only we never hear Adrian speaking but we don't even see his face, as he's wearing a gas mask during all of his screentime and no concept art exists either, except this pre-release image.
    • Oddly, we do get to hear the voices of Gina and Colette in Decay, though that might be because there are two of them.
    • Finally averted in Hunt Down The Freeman and Half Life: Alyx though Gordon appears in HLA's ending and is still this trope.
    • Naturally, this is mercilessly mocked and parodied in Concerned, which states Gordon can command squads of La Résistance soldiers by staring hard enough in a certain direction. When Frohman tries this, however, it's just creepy.
    Rebel: He has the gift. I've got the urge to run.
    Another Rebel: I'd like to back away slowly. Does that count?
    • Played around with in Freeman's Mind, in which we get to hear what Freeman is thinking, if not saying. It shows, as per the show's tagline, that it's perhaps for the best that he kept his thoughts to himself.
      • Season 2 does confirm that Freeman is actually speaking; when Alix says her "Man of few words, huh?" line, Freeman gets confused, but then states that yes, he does talks a lot, out loud. Turns out that the people around Freeman either are too stupid to respond to Freeman's words or ignoring his ranting.
  • John Blade in SiN Episodes is a semi-silent protagonist (apart from a few voice clips and one-liners that don't always make sense in context), rather disconcertingly because in the original game and its Expansion Pack Wages of Sin, he never shuts up. Before future episodes were canceled, the developers mentioned in an interview that they thought John Blade worked better like this but were surprised both by the negative reaction they received and by the fact that opinion seemed literally split down the middle. Had the second episode been released, Blade would've had a much more robust voice track hearkening back to the original game... and an option to turn it off.
  • BJ Blazkowicz is depicted this way in Wolfenstein 3D and in the PC Version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein. The console version of RtCW and Wolfenstein (2009) give him a voice, but only in cutscenes. Starting with Wolfenstein: The New Order, Blazkowicz speaks freely both in cutscenes and in gameplay.
  • Quake:
    • The Ranger in Quake I is pretty much a straight 3D conversion of the classic Doomguy - he has a nickname given to him after the game came out, he has a set appearance, but that's it. He never says anything beyond grunts from jumping, getting hit or dying.
    • Quake II looks to avert this in the opening cinematic, where the player character speaks quite clearly and often during his descent onto Stroggos. He also has an actual name, rather than just a nickname, as turning around at the start of gameplay shows the name "Bitterman" emblazoned on his drop pod. However, after losing contact with HQ during the opening, he never says a word in actual gameplay. He doesn't even really get a physical appearance like the Ranger until his guest appearance in Quake III: Arena.
    • In Quake IV, outside of a single cutscene before he's taken by the Strogg, the protagonist, Matthew Kane, never speaks, not even when reacting to other characters. It's possible afterwards that he may not even be able to talk normally, though it doesn't explain why he talked so little before that even as people talked to or about him every time you find them, and even asked him questions. Probably the only sign of any personality, at all, in the game happened in the cutscene where he saw a new kind of enemy, the female cyborg zombie and the first on-screen female in the game - she didn't do anything at first, so he got closer, then lowered his weapon and reached for her face with his free hand. That's it. That's all. Generic Space Marine Stoicism all the way.
  • In First Encounter Assault Recon, the main character Point Man is both unnamed and never speaks, despite having a radio. The other FEAR operatives respond to this by talking about you in the 3rd person while you are listening in and in the loading screens.
    • In the sequel F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, main character Michael Becket also never speaks. If he could speak and report his findings to his squad, quite a few of their problems would have probably been avoided.
    • In the DLC F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn, the main character Replica Foxtrot 813 can be heard responding to other Replicas during the first third of the DLC. However, Foxtrot 813 stops talking after his first encounter with Fettel. Foxtrot 813 speaks in a normal (although slightly deeper) Replica voice, but his last spoken words are in a voice which strongly resembles Paxton Fettel's.
    • Pointman still doesn't speak in F.E.A.R. 3, he seems to communicate solely with glaring and nondescript facial expressions. Nobody even notices that half the time those expressions are directed at Fettel's ghost, who none of the other NPCs in cutscenes can even see. Becket, however, returns from the second game, and he does get to speak this time.
    • Paxton Fettel is an aversion, even when you get to control him in F.E.A.R. 3.
  • TimeSplitters: Future Perfect has wormholes that you can walk through that allow Cortez to interact with his past or future self. While future-Cortez throws out a multitude of one-liners during these segments, when you actually play as the future-Cortez he never talks, but the past-Cortez does instead. It gets especially confusing when Cortez gets backup while hacking a terminal from three future Cortezes, requires you to play all four, one after the other, muting the Cortez each time.
  • In Geist, player character Raimi, who was separated from his body and ended up on a game-long Body Surf, doesn't speak even when he's trying to convince a friend that he's Raimi. Instead, he gives the friend a secret handshake, and somehow all relevant information is transferred; Bryson knows that the nurse is Raimi, who is a ghost, who is going to get him out of there. Raimi's not actually mute, though - late in the game he makes a parrot say "Die!" and a dog trainer say "It's okay boy!"
  • Turok in the first two games, where the only words he says are "I! Am! Turok!"
  • Present in Unreal but avoided in Return To Na Pali where you character has audio logs between missions. Unreal II: The Awakening's main character John Dalton speaks quite frequently. The Unreal Tournament games, being multiplayer-focused, give you the option whether to play this straight or avert this, whether manually through the voice-command menu, or automatically with a menu option to always taunt after a kill or acknowledge a completed objective.
  • Nomad in Crysis has dialogue, but Alcatraz in the sequel doesn't. He suffered fatal injuries in the introduction (including his lungs and vocal cords) and only the Nanosuit is keeping him alive. Subverted at the end, when Alcatraz appears to speak... but Prophet has taken over his mind. As such, this trope is totally averted in Crysis 3 and Prophet is completely talkative.
  • Arran Danner from Killzone: Mercenary is completely silent throughout the entire game. The four player characters from the first game and Thomas Sevchenko from the second and third games downplay this trope-they do speak during cutscenes, but are totally silent during actual gameplay.
  • The game Singularity has an interesting example: the main character is mute for the majority of the game, with one major exception: near the beginning of the game, you are saving an unconscious man in a burning building when you hear an NPC yell out, specifically imploring you not to save the man. Then the NPC gets killed by falling rubble. You later find out that this was yourself, from the future, having gone back in time to try and prevent the mess you're about to create.
    • And to prevent the player from figuring this out early, both that character and your NPC partner Devlin are voiced by Nolan North, meaning that when the player hears the shout, he'll likely think it's Devlin shouting.
  • Metro 2033's protagonist, Artyom, says one word and one grunt when he isn't narrating. Since a railcar is about to crush him at the time, it is, of course, a Precision F-Strike.
    • The only other time you hear him is when the game's starting gun (appropriately called a Bastard) jams or misfires due to overheating, which is when you'll hear him quietly mutter - "Shit."
    • His silence is lampshaded by other characters, especially Khan.
    Khan: Not saying much? You're becoming a true ranger.
    • Note that the game is adapted from a book series. The first book has Artyom not silent, while in the second, he never appears (though another, completely different Artyom appears and has full dialogue). In the third book (Metro 2035), the original Artyom returns... and he's silent like in the games.
  • Legendary: The Box: Charles Deckard never speaks, aside from grunts of pain.
  • Whichever of the dozen protagonists you choose in Far Cry 2 doesn't speak in-game. The rest of them do show up as buddies and are capable of speech. Far Cry 3, Far Cry 4 and especially Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon avert it with each main character speaking when interacting with NPCs, particularly Rex "Power" Colt, who constantly spouts Bond One-Liners. Played straight in Far Cry 5 with the Junior Deputy and in Far Cry: New Dawn with the Captain.
  • Jericho Cross in Dark Watch never utters a single word besides grunts and screams. With that said, it's implied that he can speak normally, as there is a dialogue option available during one level (which is completely skippable) where we don't hear his voice, but he seems to communicate normally.
  • Played with in Prey (2017). The protagonist, Morgan, speaks in audio logs and recordings, and their personal Operator January speaks using a replica of their voice. Despite this, during gameplay, Morgan never actually speaks, even when interating with other characters. This is justified during The Stinger, as the events of the game are revealed to be a simulation being played out by a Typhon, and Typhon are unable to speak.

    Hack and Slash 
  • Caim from Drakengard becomes a heroic mime after the opening stage when Functional Magic dissociates him from his voice in return for the allegiance of a powerful red dragon. A fair trade-off, some would say. This carries over to the second game, where Caim is still mute - but the new protagonist, having made no such deal, talks quite frequently. NieR, Drakengard's true sequel, has no heroic mime either, and likewise does Automata which however doesn't even have a true protagonist.
  • The Hundred Knight from The Witch and the Hundred Knight, due to it not being human. This is a problem for its master Metallia since she can't comprehend any report the Hundred Knight tries to convey.

    Light Gun Game 
  • Time Crisis 4 introduces dialogue to gameplay segments, yet during those segments only NPCs will speak; the main characters will only do so during cutscenes, like the protagonists of 2, 3, and Crisis Zone.
    • Richard Miller in the first game and Project Titan plays this trope completely straight, never speaking a single word, cutscene or not.
  • Silent Scope played this straight with Falcon in the first game and the player character in Silent Scope EX, but averted it for both Falcon and Jackal in the second game.

    Mobile Games 
  • The protagonist of Kingdom Hearts χ downplays this. Since the player decides their name, appearance, and which Union they belong to, the game refers to this character with second-person narration quite often. It's shown that the protagonist is speaking, given that other characters frequently repeat what the protagonist apparently said. However, the game rarely shows what the protagonist is actually saying. The few times the protagonist is shown speaking include when they introduce themselves to Ephemer ("I'm [name] of [Union]"), a short "Let's go" when pursuing Dark Chirithy, and a "No More Holding Back" Speech to their Foreteller when they're tricked into believing that Ephemer has been killed. Lampshaded by Ephemer when talking to Ava:
    Ephemer: You know, I made a friend from another Union today. They don't talk much, but I think they're just shy.

  • Very common in the genre, due to the emphasis on character creation.
  • Final Fantasy XI has a really strange version: Communication is vital for players, so everyone is able to chat. Story-wise, however, you're essentially a Heroic Mime, only given dialog choices that are never actually spoken in the story, anyway. While different NPCs will infer that you have said something, you never see your character say it in the storylines. You normally have no choice in HOW to respond, either.
  • Final Fantasy XIV works similarly, and even lampshades the player character very rarely speaking:
    Thancred: ...You might try to look a little disappointed! Or do you mean to give me another one of your stoic nods? You do, don't you? *sigh*
    Player: *nod*
    • However, the Heavensward storyline has the player character showing more emotion and having more dialogue choices that reflect the changes, which may be a sign of the character being one of their own instead of just a simple projection of the player.
    • And lampshaded all to hell and back when Lord Hien struggles to find something to say to his victorious subjects, and the player can say "If you won't say anything, I will."
    • Played with to great effect throughout the Dark Knight job quests in the Heavensward areas. The level 50 one blows it open by having your inner anger and frustrations manifesting itself into a mirror image of yourself. When the manifestation talks, its nameplate uses your name to show that, in a way, it is you speaking. Of course, your actual character still doesn't talk.
  • Lampshaded in The Secret World, where one character refers to you as "the strong and silent type" and another complains that one of her visitors spoke too much and too loudly, a trait she's glad you don't share.

    Platform Games 
  • Various Nintendo characters, but especially the Mario Bros and company usually function as heroic mimes during play. The humorous extremes occurs in Super Mario RPG for the SNES and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for the GBA. They pantomime everything. Most of them, Mario included, do speak, though it's usually in the form of catchphrases and one-off bits of dialogue. Many games have text that show what the characters are supposed to be saying, while the characters themselves just grunt and say short words or phrases that usually aren't even close to matching the text. Promotional things outside of video games often have Mario speaking at length, like this tour of the Nintendo 3DS. (and yes, it is Charles Martinet).
    • Luigi himself is inconsistent, even when he's playable; in Super Paper Mario, he talks. In the Mario & Luigi games, he doesn't. In Super Mario Galaxy, the NPC Luigi talks, and the PC Luigi (who is actually a different character... sort of) doesn't; Super Mario Galaxy 2 only features one playable Luigi, who talks, but only while you're controlling Mario.
  • Jak doesn't speak during the first Jak and Daxter game, though he amusingly enough does periodically open his mouth as if about to say something... only to have Daxter speak for him, as well as make vocalizations during gameplay, such as saying "ouch" when getting hit or whatever that noise is he makes when you do a spin in the air. There is a single line he says during the fishing mission in the jungle, saying "I'm almost there" when he nears the end of it. He becomes a lot more talkative starting from the second, after a long and traumatic stint as a live experiment. Just before he speaks his first line, Daxter begs him: "Say something, just this once!" Daxter makes occasional references to Jak's previous silence throughout the games ("Maybe he's mute, like you use to be").
  • Crash Bandicoot never spoke a single word (not counting his "Uh-oh!" in the first game), communicating only by his actions and, in the later games, nonsensical babbling... however, in the ending of Crash of the Titans, he does actually manage to speak one word, "Pancakes". Based on the reactions of the other characters and even his own reaction, it seems very likely that this is the first time he's ever spoken a single word.
  • Zeke from The Haunted Mansion video game. He doesn't speak during the adventure, but he does narrate the opening and closing scenes.
  • Classic Sonic in Sonic Generations, due to the fact he never spoke in the Genesis games.note  Modern Sonic never shuts up, which makes seeing them both converse in cutscenes a little weird. Many characters do lampshade hanging with this when trying to get the mime to talk.
  • LittleBigPlanet's Sackpeople (and other playable characters in the third game) don't speak, only making high-pitched grunting noises when popping themselves. Whether online voicechat/typing counts is debatable.
    • In the third game, it gets lampshaded:
    Marlon Random: We gotta tread carefully, my silent co-star.
    Newton: How touching, Bunkum's silent heroes helping their fallen leader.
  • In Ori and the Blind Forest, the titular protagonist does not speak, nor does the antagonist Kuro. The former vocalizes in yelps when injured, the latter shrieks like a hawk despite being an owl. The characters that do speak do so in Simlish, with only the Spirit Tree and Sein having English subtitles. Averted in the sequel, where Ori is the Narrator All Along.
  • The eponymous Hollow Knight doesn't speak throughout the game. This is highly relevant to the plot: like all the vessels, they can't speak. This gives away their true nature to several characters who are in the know, though the player doesn't discover their true nature until quite late in the game.
  • Although one of the core gameplay mechanics of Oh Jeez, Oh No, My Rabbits Are Gone!!! is calling out instructions to her rabbits, the Rabbit Lady only has one actual dialogue box in the game, which simply says "...".

    Puzzle Games 
  • Chell from Portal, another Valve game. Mind you, she doesn't have anyone to talk to but a mad AI trying to kill her and a cube.
    • It's lampshaded by GLaDOS, naturally. Chell's lack of response to her monologues leads her to say "Are you even listening to me?"
    • The game's co-writer Erik Wolpaw suggested she's just in a sulk:
      I always had this feeling of Chell as a character who's just pissed off the entire time at having to do this, and just not giving them the pleasure of saying anything. She probably can talk.
    • Portal 2 parodies it in an early scene where Wheatley asks Chell to speak, and a prompt appears telling you to press the button that you usually use to jump, to speak to him. Obviously, once you press the button, Chell just jumps instead. This is Played for Laughs starting when Wheatley suggests that Chell has suffered brain damage from her long sleep, and then continues to hint at it throughout the rest of the game. After completing a small puzzle: "It just goes to show, that people with brain damage are the real heroes." Also, both he and GLaDOS say that she's a mute.
    • At one point, GLaDOS calls Chell a "dangerous, mute lunatic" to her face.
    • At another point, early in the game, GLaDOS delivers a thinly disguised insult, and then a few minutes later decides to spell it out for her, because "You didn't react, so I was afraid it sailed right over your head".
    • A cut scene has GLaDOS stop the elevator halfway down and ask Chell if there's anything she feels like apologising for. The player (presumably) can't respond. GLaDOS gives up after a few tries and say she'll "ask again in a few decades."
    • Lab Rat, a comic tying together Portal and Portal 2, goes slightly out of its way to preserve this: the page of her personnel file where she's asked a question reports "Subject refused to answer."
    • Only in the first game, although this example might be a developer oversight, if Chell is ever hit by physics objects, she'll utter a grunting sound, which is a few recycled soundbites from female Non-Player Characters from Half-Life 2.
    • At one point during the development of Portal 2 (when the developers were still working out how they were going to end the game), the game ended with Chell resolving the stalemate during the final battle, not by pressing the stalemate button, but by overriding the stalemate with a verbal affirmation from Chell. The idea was great on paper: the only time Chell has ever spoken! But the ending greatly confused playtesters, because it subverted their expectations of the controls (pressing jump instead actually had Chell say "Yes", instead of jumping like in the apple scene above) and it introduced a voice they had never heard before and had no idea it was Chell's. That, combined with the final effect being extremely underwhelming, caused the developers to scrap the idea entirely.
  • Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative: Once again, Aperture Science manages to find a mute test subject. Nigel lampshades this and comments that the test subject's file notes they don't talk much.
  • The protagonist's silence is justified at the very end of Sequesterhe hasn't spoken a single word since his sister died. Even when he has nightmares (like the one the whole game may have been), he doesn't scream in his sleep.
  • Q.U.B.E. features a protagonist who is alone and who has a damaged radio that can only receive, so there wouldn't be any point in replying to other characters anyway.
  • In The Spectrum Retreat, the player character's only "line" of dialogue is a sharp intake of breath when he wakes up from the simulation, and even that will happen only in one of the endings.
  • The Rookie from LEGO DC Super-Villains is a Villainous Mime who can later become a hero when given the choice, and it's lampshaded frequently. The reason for this is actually explained in their character card: they have Power Copying from the Amazo project and it robbed them of their ability to speak.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • In the single-player component of World in Conflict, the player takes on the role of Lieutenant Parker, who never speaks and in cutscenes is seen mostly from behind, hiding his face. Or something else prevents a clear view of his face.
    • It's actually strongly implied that it is Parker who provides the Narration between missions, but as far as gameplay itself is concerned, he's a Mime through and through.
    • Taken slightly further with the Soviet Assault counterpart Lieutenant Romanov, who never even is present for the cutscenes.
  • The Blood Ravens Force Commander in Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is both voiceless and nameless, referred to only as "Commander" by the other Space Marines.
    • While the first campaign was ambiguous on the matter, Chaos Rising made certain that he was a "talks but isn't heard by the player" variation, as he makes frequent inquiries during the mission briefings. Retribution moved away completely from the trope, however, as every character except The Ancient speaks and this is due to a vow of silence he made.
    • The Force Commander does speak in the intro, although it's hardly canonic.
  • John Wick Hex: John. While Hex, Charon and Winston are fully voiced (the latter by the original actors), John never says a word. Fittingly.
  • The original commanders in StarCraft are all silent and nameless (only referred to by their title: Magistrate/Commander, Cerebrate and Executor), and hence don't really have much say in their comrades' actions. The Protoss Executor was retconned to be Artanis while the Terran and Zerg commanders appear to have been removed from continuity entirely, replaced by Raynor and Kerrigan acting independently.
    • For clarification. Both the Zerg Commanders were Cerebrates, the one in the main game was killed by Zeratul, the one during Brood War would have been likely killed off by Kerrigan after the events of the Brood War. The Terran Commander of the main game was the Magistrate of Mar Sara, in a novel s/he was stated to have left Raynor's Raiders after escaping from Mengsk. The Terran Commander in Brood War was a UED Captain who either died to Kerrigan's Swarm or managed to be one of the few survivors. The Protoss Commander of Brood War has yet to be elaborated upon (as Artanis only returned to an executor position during the last mission of the game), though there's a theory in the fandom that it could have been Selendis (who is introduced in StarCraft II as Artanis's protege).
  • The Commanders from Command & Conquer. The live-action cutscenes are shot from their POV, and most of them have the player-characters standing in the same room as the other characters. But they never say a word or react to anything that happens around them, despite the other characters' constant interactions with the Commanders.
  • Pikmin went back and forth with this. In the first game, Captain Olimar provides exposition and comments on the Pikmin and their properties. In Pikmin 2, this role was taken over by the Hocotate Ship's AI, leaving Olimar (and his new sidekick Louie) silent. Rescuing Louie at the end of the game, though, lets the player read Louie's logs on every creature in the game (and how to properly cook and eat them.) By Pikmin 3, he's back to speaking again, and the new player characters speak as well.

  • The Protagonist in Baroque is... confusing. He initially starts off without talking and is even established as being unable to speak in an early cutscene and NPC dialogue. Then, later in the game, he starts talking in cutscenes. This is about normal for the game.
  • Justified example in Dead Cells. The protagonist is a sentient clump of cells possessing a headless body. Since he has no mouth, he's unable to speak. His thoughts are visible to the player, but when communicating with others, he uses gestures.
  • Lampshaded in Zettai Hero Project: Unlosing Ranger vs Darkdeath Evilman during the ending when the main character is asked for an interview after saving the world. The Anti-Hero asks the question 'Can he even talk?' to which the supporting characters take a moment of confused silence followed by the credits.
  • In the first two Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, the only time your character actually gets proper lines is in the ending (When they say goodbye to their partner), as they resort to implied speech and inner monologues otherwise. Attempting to speak to them while they're in a dungeon in Explorers only gets you some Visible Silence, while in Rescue Team, they use the same generic quotes any other Pokemon of their species would.
    • There's another minor exception in Explorers' "Sentry Duty" minigame, where the PC is the one who shouts "The footprint is [Pokémon]'s! The footprint is [Pokémon]'s!"
    • The protagonist in Gates to Infinity is largely a heroic mime, communicating through gestures or internal monologuing. However, the protagonist in this game has a larger speaking role throughout the entirety of the plot, including a few times where they carry on conversations!
    • In Super, the player’s internal monologue more than likely seems to pop up while characters are conversing with the player when the player responds to the characters or when the player asks the characters questions that they respond to, even in the postgame, examples including the player’s conversation with Ampharos, the conversation the player has with Xatu from the Rescue Team games, and the first conversation the player has with Mew. Eventually, the player gets a line of dialogue (complete with a unique nametag that is exclusive to that one particular scene).

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Growlanser I, III, IV, V, and VI feature a silent protagonist. The player can select many dialogue options, but there is no voice acting for them nor do they speak in cutscenes.
  • Crono from Chrono Trigger is the big one — so big, in fact, that this is lampshaded in one of the endings (his first and only line of dialogue is met with a surprised "Crono talked!"), though a ghostly version of him in Chrono Cross did speak.
  • The main character in Chrono Cross has the title "Silent Protagonist" in his status window. When the he switches bodies with the false antagonist Lynx, Lynx begins talking through Serge, with Serge's mugshot accompanying. A few party members will point out that Serge had, up to that point, never said a word, but still remain entirely fooled. Of course, Serge never says a word as Lynx.
    • The only times Serge is seen even possibly talking are threefold: twice, it fades to black as he supposedly is explaining something, and once just before he passes out, though all that's displayed in Serge's text box is a question mark.
  • In Super Mario RPG, Mario generally does not speak, and is described as "the strong, silent type!" by one character. However, when the plot dictates that he needs to fill someone in on what happened elsewhere, he would depict the other characters by literally turning into them, pantomiming the events of whatever he's recounting. One example is when Mario's describing the actions of Bowser, and suddenly Bowser's standing there, voice effects and all, sending the Toads in the room cowering for cover. However, Mario, like all characters, does say "Thank you!" as part of his animation when you use an item on him.
    • Lampshaded when one boss has the ability to create clones of Mario and his party members. Using Mallow's Psychopath ability, which can read an enemy's mind with good timing, on a Mario clone will throw up a message box full of ellipses.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door parodies the trope in Chapter 4 where Mario and the fake Mario, aka Doopliss, swap bodies and Mario has to find a way to get his name and body back. When you find the fake Mario and the real Mario's allies, one of the allies mention how weird it is for Mario (the fake) to be suddenly chatty when he's been quiet all this time.
  • The Mario & Luigi series plays with it in that Mario and Luigi are plenty talkative, and fully voiced, the player just isn't privy to what they're actually saying outside of token catchphrases and names, though they can infer based on NPC reactions.
  • In the GBA Golden Sun games, Isaac and Felix are Heroic Mimes when you play as them, but have a number of speaking roles when you're playing the other. Both have speaking roles in the ending, where you're not playing as either, Felix also says "why" once when you are in control of him in one particular scene (which might have been a translation goof since he originally just said "?").
    • One scene in The Lost Age has Jenna and Sheba demanding Piers to tell them his age and they tease him over it when he refuses. Piers begs Felix to stop the girls from teasing him but Felix says nothing, causing Piers to think Felix is in on the girls' shenanigans.
    • Isaac's first speaking appearance in The Lost Age shattered quite a lot of notions fans had about him from the first game— up until that point he'd been presumed to be a total Nice Guy from his actions, so it was a little startling for him to start snapping at people.
    • Subverted: in The Lost Age's ending scene, Felix is Suddenly Speaking and has 2-3 lines. This is probably explained by the scene being the ending for the entire duology, thus the player no longer "is" Felix, nor Isaac, but just observing
    • Matthew is as silent as his father and uncle, with lots of Lampshade Hanging. Also like his uncle, the American version makes one noticable exception late in the game. Though we're not told exactly what he said.
  • Rudy Roughknight, from Wild ARMs for the Playstation. This becomes even more apparent in the remake Wild Arms: Alter Code F for PS2, where Rudy never speaks, but his two companions never shut up, even when they're all by themselves and are the sole party member controlled by the player. He has one whole line in the original if you skip Cecilia's intro and keep playing as Jack, allowing you to talk to him.
    • He does have one other line, where he apologizes to Calamity Jane for saving her life.
    • Downplayed in Wild Arms Million Memories for Rudy, who is still silent, though he does have dialogue options (which were absent in the first game).
  • The main character in Legend of Mana, who is given a yes or no option (although some of the variations have quite the attitude in them). It is even parodied in the quest Gilbert: School Amour, where the hero/heroine tries to convince the kids to return to school. One states that "Adults are boring and they only answer questions with a yes or no. I bet you're no different, aren't you?" Your only responses are "Yes" and "No".
    • They do get a single line of dialogue at the end of the Jumi quest line. After being cured of their petrification, they return home and tell Bud and Lisa "I'm back!"
  • Dragon Quest:
    • The heroes of every game, aside from the Dragon Quest Heroes games, are heroic mimes, which is quite ironic since they often get to become kings and rule fairly large countries in Dragon Quest I, Dragon Quest II, Dragon Quest III, Dragon Quest V and Dragon Quest VI (the "State of the Kingdom" speeches must be quite short) and also often become role models for characters who happen to speak A LOT.
    • Dragon Quest III: Played straight in the original Famicon version, averted in the English Nintendo Entertainment System, where Erdrick yells for a kidnapped couple to run away from Robbin' 'Ood. Also, your party members, although there's one clear aversion: after returning from Gaia's Navel, the party member in the second position will have a comment/question about your experience, dependent on their class/gender. If you sent a party member to the dungeon and put the Hero in the second position, he/she will have Visible Silence instead.
    • The main character of Dragon Quest VIII is not only a mute, he falls in love with a princess who spends most of the game whinnying due to being turned into a horse. Though, you do see him chatter with other characters during cutscenes. He actually pantomimes a lot, making one think he is actually mute rather than just a silent hero. Which is sort of odd, because there is a (voiceless) scream ability in combat. Probably justified as the curse he got at the start of the game had a side effect that made him actually mute.
    • In Dragon Quest IV, each chapter has a different main character - the main character for that chapter doesn't speak, but if you meet main characters from other chapters (e.g. Torneko can meet Ragnar in the Endor casino) then they talk like normal. The only exception is Chapter 4, where Maya and Meena, the two main characters for the chapter, speak freely between themselves. The DS port also had the "party talk" option that greatly expanded the main cast, but this was cut from the English release to keep the localization budget low. The game even lampshades this when the hero is asked by a master merchant what the secret to success is.
      Conrad 'Ilton: "Wot's the single most important thing when it comes to business?"
      Hero: "...?"
      Conrad 'Ilton: "I couldn't 'ave said it better, meself. You're right! Silence is golden, as they say."
      Hero: "???"
    • Played with somewhat in the ending of Dragon Quest Swords. After the heroic mime defeats the villain the City of Avalonia is in celebration. Anlace and Fleurette encourage the hero to say something inspirational to the assembled masses. The hero's father Claymore then puts in his own opinion, "Take no notice of them, lad. Now's not the time for words."
    • The Hero's real world counterpart in Dragon Quest VI is able to speak normally when you meet him.
    • Interestly, in Dragon Quest V there's a point where due to Time Travel, you meet your older self as a child, and your younger self as an adult. In both cases, the "other" you speaks freely.
    • In Dragon Quest XI the main character is very much one, though not much is made about it during the game. It is lampshaded however in the short character bios that appear in the loading screens. Cole a young boy who idolizes the main character is said to have attempted the strong silent type act and managed an impressive three days before he had to stop. Similar to Dragon Quest V, you also meet the hero's younger self thanks to time travel, and he talks to you and his father in the brief moment you see him.
  • Ryu, from the many Breath of Fire RPGs. In Dragon Quarter Ryu talks, and this time, Nina is silent for plot-related reasons.
    • In Breath of Fire I, Ryu has two lines. When you briefly gain control of Nina, you can talk to the sleeping Ryu who will mumble a few words about his sister. He also says, "Well, there is one thing..." when asked by the King of Winlan what he wants as a reward for saving the King and Nina.
    • Ryu actually does talk in IV's ending, when he reunites with Fou-Lu and becomes a full dragon. He's also quite verbose, with a sprite that actually shows him talking...but not actually letting you see what he says. Other characters react as if he just explained something quite complicated, and you get the impression of what he said, but really, Capcom? Averted in the manga adaptation even before the fusion.
  • Adol from the Ys RPG series always has his dialogue summed up in the third person; for example, "Adol explains what he saw at the shrine".
    • Ys III: Wanderers From Ys gives Adol many lines of his own in the original version. The new age remake Oath in Felghana changed that to bring it more in line with the rest of the series.
      • In the PC Engine CD version, where most characters are voiced, he only speaks in text.
    • He also speaks once in II: "Wait! I Was Once a Man, Dalles turned me into a monster."
    • He has one speaking line in Ys Seven, when he's switched in as the active character he will say "All right!" This game even gives you an option to turn even that off, so he's completely silent, adhering to tradition.
    • It’s downplayed in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. During gameplay, Adol does have some voiced lines, but during cutscenes, what little dialog he has is almost always either shown in third person narration, or dialog options. There are two occasions where he does speak normally, once when he gives a speech to the party right before a boss battle, then again at a climactic moment near the end, though you still get to choose his dialog.
    • Even the Ys anime has Adol silent and a third-person narration explain what he says.
    • Yunica Tovah and Hugo and Toal Fact from Ys Origin avert this trope.
    • Ys IX: Monstrum Nox has two Adols, both of which are silent. Once they fuse with each other, the fake one speaks, while the real one does not, but the trope only gets averted for one scene because the real one takes control after that. The clone Atola is created from Adol's personality and memories, but averts the trope.
  • Ari, the protagonist in Okage: Shadow King is perfectly capable of speaking, but is so unimpressive that no one pays any attention to what he says anyway, overshadowed by his own shadow. Also every dialogue choice aways offer a choice of "......" or a line in that's only spoken in his head.
  • The player character Trainers in the Pokémon series don't talk a lot, although there's a short and very confusing conversation with a mimic in Pokémon Red and Blue in which the player character does say a couple of lines, asking the mimic girl if she likes imitating people. It's also lampshaded in Gold and Silver, which ends with fighting Red, the protagonist of the last game, who only speaks in ellipses.
    • In HeartGold and SoulSilver, the mimic girl returns, "imitates" the main character saying that s/he will help her find her doll, and then adds that she knows that's not what you said, but wants you to help all the same.
    • Was also lampshaded in Ruby and Sapphire when an NPC asks where the player came from, but the only options are "Yes" or "No", leading to some awkward responses.
    • Also in Red and Blue: If you talk to one of the chefs on S.S. Anne, he'll ask you what you want to eat, and when you don't respond he'll announce that you are "the strong silent type".
    • The player characters do speak occasionally, as gathered from NPC's responses. Based on the Repeating So the Audience Can Hear nature of the responses, though, the PCs are The Unintelligible when they speak at all.
    • Lampshaded again in HeartGold and SoulSilver - you can talk to your Pokémon and one of the responses is "[Pokémon name] seems nervous. Want to say something?" If you say "Yes" it responds, "Whoa! Your Pokémon seemed surprised!"
    • In Black and White, there are two instances of what might be Hilda/Hilbert speaking aloud to themselves, in which they express curiosity as to the source of the sounds coming from the top of Dragonspiral Tower. The messages are expressed in an unusually personal-sounding tone, and appear in unique text boxes at the top of the screen rather than the bottom. Their true nature, though, is ambiguous, as no other characters are around to "hear" them.
      • Also, while you are silent, there's a lot more implied talking than in other games.
    • In Black 2 and White 2, the player character still keeps their traditional silence throughout the main course of the game. As an actor at Pokéstar Studios however, the character is able to recite full lines of dialogue during the movie.
    • In Pokémon Colosseum, this is usually the case. Wes doesn't speak, except during Pokémon Battles when the player uses the Call command, a game mechanic unique for this game, most often used to make a Shadow Pokémon snap out of the rage it tends to fly into due to the dark corruption that Shadow Pokémon are cursed with. When this happens, Wes simply shouts its name.
    • The protagonist in Pokémon X and Y is the most vocal yet. You still have no real pre-created dialogue but several times throughout the game you're given options with dialogue. It also plays with the usual nondescript Yes/No options when the non-selected player character asks you a question.
      Serena/Calem: Was someone from Team Flare here just now?
    • Lampshaded again in Sun and Moon when the protagonist encounters Final Bosses and Vitriolic Best Buds, Red and Blue. Any question posed towards Red is answered with "..." and eventually results in the much more chatty and outgoing Blue saying "As silent as ever, eh?" It's also revealed to be a character trait since Blue's the only in-game person who can understand him, and barring exceptions like Pokémon Origins, the franchise has acknowledged that Red's Heroic Mime trait to be his actual personality rather than a gameplay mechanic.
    • Red is similarly quiet in Pokémon Masters, while all other trainers you meet, including other past protagonists like Rosa from Black/White, are fully voiced. Even his female counterpart Leaf is fully voiced and distinct from him, reinforcing that being silent is Red's actual character. On one occasion, another character complains about Red's refusal to talk during a trainer battle, resulting in Red's only line of actual dialogue... in which he says his Pokémon can already understand him perfectly, so talking is completely pointless.
    • Red's silence is so distinct to him that Bulbapedia, which keeps a script of everything that any major character has said, filled his Quotes section with ellipses, as seen here.
    • The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games are generally aversions; although your characters don't speak (except for the endings, which are usually Tear Jerkers), they are rather talkative in their heads. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, the protagonist has rare dialogue but asks questions at various points).
  • In EarthBound, whoever is the current party leader (which varies between chapters) won't utter a peep, but will promptly start speaking once the leader role changes. However, NPC's do imply your character saying things, such as a Cultist saying to Ness "What? You're saying I can only stand in one spot? That's not true, see?"
  • Also done in Mother 3 where the character the player controls never talks, but will once the player is controlling someone else. The one exception to this rule is Salsa, who never talks regardless. He's a monkey, sure, but your human main characters seem to have no trouble understanding any other animal. (Boney, Lucas's dog, is a playable character who actually gets a surprising amount of "dialogue", translated for the player's benefit.)
    • In one scene, which takes place at the start of Duster's chapter, is a repeat of a scene from Flint's chapter, with Flint actually saying something this time around, to symbolize the role of player character moving to Duster, who doesn't speak for the rest of his chapter.
    • Lucas, as the main character, actually does have a single line of dialogue during the time you play as him; however, it's easy to miss as he's repeating a line an NPC said. Most players won't check the name of the person saying it and dismiss it as Welcome to Corneria.
  • The same thing happens in Legend of Legaia. Noa, the second of three main characters, is a Heroic Mime when you play her alone, but when she joins full-time mime Vahn, she immediately becomes a No Social Skills Genki Girl.
    • Legaia 2 is a subversion similar to Mass Effect: Lang never speaks without a dialogue choice, though he says a longer version of the dialogue prompt after selecting it and continues the dialogue scene on his own.
  • Both the main Shin Megami Tensei series and its various sub-series (Digital Devil Saga, Persona, etc.) use this.
    • Persona 2 has a variation of the trope. The main characters of Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment (Tatsuya and Maya, respectively) are party members in the other's game. Each one is mute in the game where he/she is the protagonist, while being able to talk in the other game. Anyone who played both versions can confirm the strangeness of hearing a previously mute character talk, which is quite interesting. This is stranger with Maya, who in Innocent Sin is established as being chatty and scatterbrained, but doesn't utter a peep in Eternal Punishment (other than the occasional player-selected responses). At least Tatsuya always maintains his calm, cold personality, even when he starts talking.
    • The protagonist of Persona 3 is a borderline example who seems to be The Quiet One in-universe more than a straight-up Heroic Mime, rather befitting his Emo Teen design. He'll call out the names of Personas and has a few lines when using items in battle, and the player must make him respond to other people's dialogue, but he never speaks more than one sentence at a time and his dialogue options are usually laconic and blunt. Around SEES, he's generally rather quiet, sticking to one-on-one conversations with the rest of the cast, causing Shinji to lampshade his general quietness; he does talk outside the player giving him lines (small talk and discussions with Social Links/other SEES members), but the player never sees these lines. The alternate female protagonist's dialogue prompts paint her as significantly less quiet and more cheery, but her conversations with characters aside from player-chosen prompts are similarly glossed over. The use of battle tactics would suggest that the protagonists are commanding the rest of the party in real time, but the player never hears them aside from saying "Persona" or the name of said Persona. Meanwhile, Aigis in The Answer averts this completely and talks freely with visible text boxes, making her the first Megami Tensei protagonist to talk like this (and the only one, unless you count Tatsuya Suou in the Tatsuya Episode of Persona 2 EP's PSP remake or Itsuki in the Tokyo Mirage Sessions Spiritual Crossover with Fire Emblem).
    • The protagonist of Persona 4 similarly only has voice acted lines in battle when summoning his Persona, though some personality can also be gleaned from the dialogue options; he's a bit less curt in his dialogue options than the P3 hero, and the option of telling people to 'calm down' comes up repeatedly, almost to the point of it being a bit of a running joke. In a number of group situations and meetups, the protagonist is seen talking among the group quite casually and easily, although, again, this dialogue is simply glossed over. While spoken dialogue is almost non-existent, in-universe he's reasonably chatty. He completely averts this trope in the subsequent spin-offs, where he is Suddenly Voiced and quite the chatty charmer as well, his dialogue being akin to or actually the "funny" options the player can choose for him.
    • Downplayed even more with the protagonist of Persona 5, who has a tiny amount of voice-acted dialogue in major story cutscenes and interjects some brief lines when navigating menus, in battles, and exploring the world. The game's narration, while written with very little personality, is also presented in first person as his thoughts, rather than previous games that used second person (though narration is used far less often than Persona 3 and 4, with Morgana usually pointing things out instead). However, he still never voices his Dialogue Tree lines, never speaks with full text boxes like other characters, and has the fewest spoken lines of any named character in the game, despite being the one the audience spends 95% of the game with. In spite of that, he does have a clear personality one can especially see when in a Palace or in Mementos: he's surprisingly Hot-Blooded, has some shades of being a Blood Knight, and even is a bit hammy. It's implied the reason he's rather quiet is from feigning meekness after the Miscarriage of Justice that got him landed in probation, in an attempt to keep his head down and avoid more trouble. Interestingly, he has far more frequent dialogue options in the new Confidant scenes added in Persona 5 Royal compared to the vanilla game. So far, he's the only protagonist that's remained silent in spinoff games; even in P5's anime adaptation, he's rather quiet. Atlus said that they "gave too much personality to the P4 hero in the anime and spin-offs", so they took a step back to keep Joker more of a self-insert, although Joker is still more extroverted than his male P3 counterpart.
    • Adaptations and spinoffs tend to zigzag this. The P4 protagonist speaks freely and rather frequently in the anime, manga, and spinoff games as a charismatic extrovert, while the P3 and 5 heroes tend to be more quiet, though it's justified with the P3 male hero actually being an emo while Joker keeps things under wraps unless fighting or performing. In Persona Q, the protagonist that is not chosen as the player character speaks freely, while the player-controlled one remains silent. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the P5 hero is, ironically, one of the talkiest members of the cast (though the nature of the game restricts most of his dialogue to general Trash Talk). In Q2, the female protagonist of 3 is presented as very chatty, and likewise are Yu and Makoto, though Joker doesn't talk.
    • Serph, the main character of Digital Devil Saga, does not make so much as a noise in the first game. He gets a sort of confused grunt near the beginning of the second, which may not be enough to prepare the player for the flashback sequence in which he is downright chatty. The talkative Serph in the flashback is not actually the player character, but the man (now dead) your Heroic Mime was based on. Your Serph is always silent. And it is actually a plot point, hammering the point the two are nothing alike. That said, Serph does have a few text options that are more than Yes or No. One of them even prompts hilarity from Heat. Subverted however, as Serph is just a silent Decoy Protagonist. He falls in the EGG and dies, then Gale and Sera take the spotlight and they talk with visible text boxes even as protagonists. And before the final dungeon, Serph fuses with Sera to become Seraph, who is a fully voiced character.
      • Unlike many Megaten protagonists, however, Serph completely averts this trope in the novel adaptation Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner, where he has full dialogues and even his thoughts shown to the reader from the start. Most lines spoken by Gale in the game are spoken by Serph in the book, as the author Yu Godai herself said Gale was created just to speak the dialogue that was meant for Serph, and didn't want to include him in the book as Serph is not silent there. Unlike most protagonists from Persona adaptations, Serph is not Demoted to Extra, and not even The Quiet One in the book: Heat has less overall lines than him. This has the side effect of turning Gale into The Artifact in the novels, only there because he existed in the game as shown by the fact that Gale's real self is never mentioned in book 3 and may not even exist at all in the book continuity.
    • The Protagonist of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is actually quite talkative, and in fact this is a major gameplay aspect for recruiting demons, but all of his dialogue must be chosen by the player. While out in the field, with few people to talk to, all his lines occur in Demon Negotiation unless he's receiving instructions from other Strike Team members in the area; during plot scenes, he will restrict himself to choosing from several alignment-defining options, but is otherwise The Stoic as far as the crew is concerned. He has no voiced lines during dialogue sections and cutsecnes however, but in Redux has all of his lines in combat voiced where he is very talkative, yelling multiple orders and attacks to his demons as is instructed of military officers to do so. He does far more than just Calling Your Attacks.
    • Flynn's voice lines from Shin Megami Tensei IV are limited to just saying Burroughs when he opens the menu and very rare bits of combat based dialogue. He does however have several bits of dialogue the player can choose that are important in driving the story. He is fully voiced in the sequel Apocalypse while Nanashi takes over as the heroic mime.
    • The Protagonist of Devil Survivor is this as well; however, he has many dialogue options, some that can even influence events that take place. His default characterization seems to be stoicism, however, although with a hidden Deadpan Snarker tendency and a degree of Medium Awareness as he gives an Aside Glance to the player whenever they choose certain dialogue options.
    • The Protagonist of Devil Survivor 2 is this as well, but his dialogue options are often expressive. He's more silent in the anime adaptation, where he's named Hibiki Kuze, than he is in the game!
    • In the Raidou Kuzunoha games, Raidou only grunts when in battle. During conversations, his dialog tends to go like this:
      "Raidou explained the circumstances of the investigation to * insert name here* "
      • Raidou is Suddenly Voiced talks when met as a superboss in the secret dungeon of Soul Hackers. The actual protagonist of Soul Hackers doesn't speak however audibly, and is limited to choosing dialogue as is standard.
  • Fable: The hero has no dialogue, but he says single words (such as "Follow" or "Shit") when you use certain commands, and mouths "Mum!" when his mother is killed right in front of him.
    • The Hero of Fable II has no speaking lines aside from grunts and screams and the occasional "Yeah!". These mostly appear when performing expressions. The Hero of Fable III however has several lines of dialogue though they are few and far between.
  • Solar Boy Django is almost silent in the first Boktai game. (This gets a bit strained in the longer cutscenes — Otenko or Sabata has to do all the talking for him.) He has a few lines in the sequel, and in Lunar Knights, where he and Sabata are on a more even keel as protagonists, he has plenty to say.
  • Kevin in Kakurenbo Battle Monster Tactics; Toppy is his Ninja Butterfly.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy I: For the most part, your entire party has no lines, and given their ambiguity, you won't really notice or care. However, reading the description for the Rat's Tail yields a pretty funny conversation between them, where they almost consider throwing it away. "No!! Don't do that!!"
    • Gogo in Final Fantasy VI is a literal heroic mime, who talks to you a couple times. He (or she) can imitate anything the other characters can do right after it is done. Also, in the prologue of FF 6, the protagonist is called ????????? and doesn't speak because she's manipulated by Kefka through a device called a Slave Crown, making the player think she would be a heroic mime. Subverted in both cases: Gogo is one of the least important party members in the game (alongside Umaro and Mog), and the player can decide not to have him in the party at all, while Terra, despite being the closest the game has to a protagonist, is only silent in the prologue. Once her Slave Crown is removed, after the prologue chapter, her name is revealed and she becomes a fully speaking character.
    • With the obvious exception of the MMO games, however, the series has averted this trope. Even Firion from 2 and Luneth from 3 were speaking characters from their first appearance.
  • In Lufia: The Ruins of Lore, Eldin reacts a lot, and vocalizes a lot of "..." and "?" and the like, but only gets one speaking line: "I'm Eldin."
  • Played with (and possibly deconstructed) in the Japan-only Digimon video games for the Wonderswan. Ryo Akiyama starts off talking normally, but Taichi notices that he stopped responding to people once he reveals that the D-1 Tournament was actually just an elaborate Training from Hell so that Ryo could go defeat Milleniummon for the umpteenth time. In Digimon Tamers: Brave Tamer, he says his name and "card slash", but that's about it. It's implied to be voluntary, as he's been pretty traumatized in these games.
    • Meanwhile both of the Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth games give us an odd example in that, while the protagonist's spoken dialog is never explicitly written outside of dialog choices, they're shown speaking during cutscenes, and their inner thoughts are laid bare for the player to read.
  • Breath of Death VII ruthlessly parodies the concept with the mute skeleton hero Dem. Other characters constantly go against his desires and suggestions since he can't express them, and the one character who can understand him, a mind reader, ignores his opinions anyway.
  • Russel, the protagonist of Dubloon, also speaks inexplicitly. When you take control of Riley and Ricky, you can talk to Russel to get the "..." response.
  • The main protagonist in Dark Cloud. Although the game is text based he is never seen speaking more than an occasional Ellipsis or two. The other playable main characters do speak during cutscenes and other times, while playing as them in a dungeon they are silent save for a few attack noises. Averted in the sequel.
  • Hero's Realm takes this Up to Eleven by having sixteen heroes… with not one line between them.
  • The Fateless One in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is able to hold entire conversations without actually saying a word aloud.
  • Despite no one having any voiced lines in the game Metal Saga (All dialogue is in text form) the player character gets special mention because he says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING the entire game. His normal line is "...." If he sees something curious he goes "...?" Something startling? "...!" A giant peach emerges from the sand wielding a knife? "..?!" Of course, he has answer choices with plenty of "dialogue," but it is unknown if these are merely his thoughts, or if he is communicating them some other way, like writing it down.
  • For the Tales of... series:
    • The Descender in the Tales of the World Radiant Mythology Series as well as the first in the series in general. Like Ludger he/she may do some calling of attacks in battle and their Mystic Artes. The Descender also has various dialogue choices to choose during story dialogue and skits.
    • As a first for the mothership titles in the series, Ludger, the protagonist of Tales of Xillia 2 is completely silent, save for some grunts, yells, and the usual calling of attacks in battle (though even in that case, he only ever says the attack's name, leaving out the usual Badass Creed from his solo Mystic Artes, and letting his partner say it for the dual Mystic Artes). The only actual lines you can hear from him are for the dialogue choices you pick in skits and cutscenes, and they aren't actually voiced until you enable the option in a New Game+. On the few instances where Ludger runs into an Alternate Self, however, they do talk.
    • The Savior Allen from Tales of Link doesn't speak until Chapter 5.
  • The New Kid is this in South Park: The Stick of Truth, and the other characters all treat him as if he can speak but is merely choosing not to, usually out of some misplaced sense of entitlement. Even his own father gets irked at his silence. The only time he speaks is in the ending, where when the guys ask him what he wants to play next, he tells them "Screw you guys, I'm going home". The New Kid's muteness continues in South Park: The Fractured but Whole, with the rest of the kids having gotten mostly used to it by now and having to follow along with his physical gestures to get what he wants to do. The adults still treat him like he can, but won't speak, however. At some point he does need to pray to Jesus Christ, but even if his lips move, not a sound comes out. The New Kid, however, makes up for it with social media hashtags and by emoting more often than the last game, and even smiles a bit more too!
  • Red from Transistor is ironically a professional singer who never says a word, though at least there's an in-universe explanation of her having her voice stolen at the start of the game. Tracks featuring her voice actress singing still feature prominently throughout the game, though, and she's still capable of humming along to the BGM when prompted. She also gets her voice back just in time to say exactly one word at the end of the game.
  • Live A Live:
  • Brave Story: New Traveler's protagonist, Tatsuya, only utters brief one-liners in battle, and otherwise has no dialogue throughout the game.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X has a completely customizable avatar, who, despite having a selection of seven voices per gender, never speaks in cutscenes. His/her dialogue options also are of the "do this/do that" type rather than being actual lines only unvoiced. He/she, however, is just a supporting protagonist, as the story's actual main character is Elma. His/her actual role in the plot is so little that it's Elma who appears in a Xenoblade 2 DLC as the cameo boss that represents of this game, rather than him/her.
    • Word of God stated that Shulk from Xenoblade was meant to be this trope when the game was in development, though Nintendo decided to have him speak to make him stand out from the rest of the party.
    • Like Shulk, Rex from Xenoblade 2 and Lora from the Torna DLC are all aversions.
  • Endir from I Am Setsuna doesn't speak at all, but most of his choices are But Thou Must!. He can be considered a Supporting Protagonist, as the story, as the title implies, focuses more on Setsuna herself.
  • The Dark Souls series has a completely customizable player avatar. Though there's far less dialogue in those games than in most JRP Gs, and the emphasis is more on exploration and lore than on the main plot.
    • The trope continues in Dark Souls II, III and Bloodborne.
  • The protagonist of Code Vein, like the God Eater protagonists, is a silent player avatar until the ending.
  • The custom character, AKA the Glaive, from Final Fantasy XV. In a strange inversion, however, while being the main character in the special episode Comrades (which is multiplayer-based), the Glaive is by far the latest and least plot-relevant party member to join the actual main character Noctis Lucis Caelum in the main game, being only available in a part of Chapter 14. The Glaive even stops appearing in cutscenes in the final dungeon. He/she doesn't even take part in the final boss fight against Ardyn Izunia, who is dueled by Noctis alone, and the ending revolves around Noctis, Ignis, Gladiolus and Prompto rather than him/her.
    • Noctis himself has dialogue options, but he's an aversion.
  • The Arisen from Dragon's Dogma, being completely player-created. The Pawns are aversions but they're still customized by the player. The Arisen in the 2020 Dragon's Dogma anime is named Ethan and, for some reason, averts this trope.
  • The protagonist from Mortal Shell. Justified, as, like in most Soulslike RPG, he has few people to talk to.
  • Walter Feng from Front Mission 5 is a downplayed example, with some voiced lines in animated cutscenes but really few, and mostly talking through dialogue trees. Previous M Cs in the Front Mission series have consistently averted it.
  • YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG added the option to turn the protagonist into one. One of the game's biggest criticisms was the extreme amounts of prose-filled Inner Monologues the main character gives throughout the entire game. A major update added the option to reduce the amount of monologues or make him completely silent.

    Simulation Game 
  • Ace Combat in general is populated by a parade of extremely heroic and extremely silent Ace Pilots as in the last five games in the universe the leads have yet to utter so much as a grunt...
    • Blaze in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War is apparently only capable of saying yes, no, and giving basic orders to his wingmen. This becomes especially noticeable in missions where the flight leader must speak; in those cases, another character takes over as lead. He apparently speaks enough for one character to be able to recognize his voice.
  • Protagonists in Harvest Moon rarely speak aside from "Yes" or "No" answers. They do appear to speak at times, but no dialogue boxes are shown. Some later games give Inner Monologue.
  • Style Savvy: The girl used to represent you doesn't talk in any of the games aside from text choices (ie. "yes" and "no" responses); this is obvious in the first game when Godfrey appears at Strata and while Renee says hi to him, your character greets him silently.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • Even the iconic, richly-characterized Solid Snake of Metal Gear fame used to be one of these, back in the original game. While not entirely mute, he spoke a single line, which served more as proof the computer was responding, whenever he attempted to contact an ally via his radio communicator - "This is Solid Snake. Your reply, please...". Oddly, even this little line is so at odds with his later characterization (he was retooled from a refined, cynical Bond-type into a bitter, highly-intelligent Warrior Poet, although easily for the better) it's difficult to imagine him saying it, even knowing what his voice sounds like.
  • Dishonored has Corvo, though ironically most game critics and reviews state that his lack of speaking is a detriment to this game, as he pretty much has no personality beyond how much of a taste for bloodshed the player plays him to have. He becomes Suddenly Voiced in Dishonored 2.
  • In Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf, we have Ralph, although he's more of an anti-hero. Curiously, he does speak in some of the shorts from the original cartoon series, it's just the game that renders him mute. All we ever hear from him in the game is some grunts and heavy breathing.
  • The real protagonist of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is a newly-hired Abstergo Entertainment employee whose task is to go through the extracted ancestral memories of Desmond Miles and find good footage for a video game. In this case, the life of pirate/Assassin Edward Kenway. Unlike the games before this one, the protagonist is this trope, and all modern-day gameplay is done from first-person. Justified, as he/she is a Decoy Protagonist to the non-silent Edward Kenway. Subsequent games, like Unity, Rogue, Syndicate, Origins and Odyssey, all have their assassins (or in case of Rogue, Templar) non-silent and completely drop the modern-day part.
  • The Player in Hello Neighbor never vocalizes anything. The Neighbor, on the other hand, is a Silent Antagonist but does vocalize a few gasps (when he sees the player) and crying (in the ending of Alpha 3).

    Survival Horror 
  • Torque of The Suffering is one of these. It even gets lampshaded by a pot-smoking corrections officer:
    Sergei: What? Did you say something? No, I only think you did, hehehehehe... you're a quiet man.
    • Interestingly, they give him several lines of dialog in the sequel.
  • Jennifer in Rule of Rose isn't entirely mute, but she never takes part in any conversations, just passively listening to the other characters, probably to show how detached she is from the rest of them. She only speaks to call for her dog...until near the end of the game when she's finally had enough, and tells exactly what she thinks about the "Aristocrats".
  • Ib: Ib herself. The only speech we get from her is when the player answers a question, and implied speech (for example, when she first meets Garry, he asks her name, pauses and then says "Ib... Ib you say").
  • The Witch's House: Viola never says a word throughout the game, even to the Cat, choosing to walk away as an answer when he gets too abrasive. She doesn't even speak when reunited with her father. Subverted in the True Ending, when she gloats over the real Viola's efforts to try and get her body back.
  • None of the protagonists of the Five Nights at Freddy's series speak during gameplay, though Jeremy and the Fazbear's Fright Guard will have audible heavy breathing at times. It's averted with The Child and "Eggs Benedict", as the Child has text boxes in the between-nights cutscenes and Eggs gets a short voiced monologue at the end of the game, swearing to come after his father for what he'd done.
  • Outlast: Besides grunting, heavy breathing and the occasional scream, Miles does not actually speak, even when directly spoken to.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Isaac Clarke in Dead Space speaks little except in anguished screams of pain or grunts/yells of exertion while using melee attacks. He does, however, take notes on his mission objectives in the main menu. According to the dev team, the debate between this approach and having Isaac speak continued right up to the game's launch. The only time he speaks proper is when he yells a distorted "Come on!" at the end when the door to the shuttle's bridge is locked.
    • According to the aforementioned notes, Isaac has the expected reaction when trapped on a space station that's crawling with mutated undead. He's scared out of his mind.
    • Isaac drops this in all subsequent games in the franchise, the dev team having apparently decided that the Heroic Mime trope wasn't working for them.
  • The Silencer of Crusader doesn't even shout a warning to his fellow Silencers before they're gunned down, he's such a Heroic Mime. He does grunt when he gets hurt.
  • Cobra, the main player character in Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, is completely silent, without even so much as voice grunting. Gabriel Logan, the protagonist of most Syphon Filter games, is almost never this trope.
  • In Warframe, the Warframes never speak. At best, they can roar as is the case with the Draco, Rhino and flayed-alive Valkyr warframes; all others are completely silent. Alad V lampshades this in the 'The Profit' trailer, calling the players 'mute peasants'. Eventually subverted in 'The Second Dream' Wham Episode, where while the Warframes never speak, their Tenno operators do.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Most of the main characters of the Shining Series are heroic mimes.
    • It's taken to the point of absurdity in Shining Force III, which rotates the viewpoint through three main characters. Each one has scenes where he's implied to be saying something, but all that displays is "...", and the other characters get Repeating So the Audience Can Hear lines to show the player what the main just said. And then there are the scenes where two main characters talk to each other - despite the fact that there's a script for both characters, and everyone in the scene reacts as if both of them are talking, the main character's dialogue just displays ellipses, meaning you have to play through the same scene twice just to hear what everyone in the game can understand fine both times.
    • Max actually does speak in Shining Force'' (at least, in the GBA Remake)? He only becomes mute because of plot circumstances.
    • Bowie, the Hero in Shining Force 2, is not entirely mute, either. His lines are few and far between (sometimes hours of gameplay apart) and mostly gratuitous, though.
    • The playable character Arthur from Shining the Holy Ark is for the most part completely silent. The player does get the choice of some Yes/No answers but regardless of what answer you give the same thing will happen, just with a slightly different conversation.
    • Shining Wisdom has yet another mute hero, Mars. What's particularly annoying is the princess is turned into a swan and replaced by a fake and the fake pretends you recused her. You can't say anything so the fake steals a special object that almost certainly dooms the kingdom.
    • Shining Tears features a rare aversion with Xion.
    • In Shining Wind, the hero Kiriya is back to being silent as per tradition. The anime Shining Tears X Wind, however, instead of focusing on him and giving him dialogue, or doing a Cipher Scything and adapt him out completely, simply goes for a Perspective Flip with another character named Souma and turns Kiriya into a recurring cameo character who is The Voiceless.
    • Yuma Ilvern from Shining Resonance is a rare aversion.
  • Revya, the main character from Soul Nomad & the World Eaters. Sociopathic Hero Gig usually speaks for the both of them, often to the great disadvantage of the player and usually followed by some rather sharp, pointed and violent disadvantages to any offended parties resulting from Gig's verbal lambastings.
    • The protagonist does, however, have a fairly clearly defined personality; it's just that his/her lines have no voiceovers, probably due to the fact that he/she can be either male or female, which would effectively double the amount of dialogue to be voiced.
    • Revya makes a cameo in Disgaea 3, however, in which her lines are nothing but Visible Silence. This drives Mao utterly nuts to the point of fighting her for it. Almaz comments that Revya's role as Silent Protagonist on her original game is most likely the reason why she can't speak. Mao then thinks why a game company would do that.
  • Commander Agress from Vandal Hearts 2. Playing with the trope, she is not the main protagonist. In fact, you get her rather late. It seems she's just very softspoken; one party member actually gets angry when another tells her to speak louder. The main protagonist of Vandal Hearts 2, Joshua, is an aversion.
  • The main heroes in the Suikoden series tend to be mute. Kinda weird given they command large armies in their games. It's clear that they actually do talk because whenever your character is given a decision to make (even answering a simple yes-or-no question), you're given specific dialogue options what the hero will say in response. Sometimes you're even given only one dialogue "option" to choose. Though even after voice acting was implemented in the series, you won't hear them speak the lines you pick. Since outside of these situations they pretty much have other characters speak in their place, apparently the heroes of the "main" games are each The Quiet One. Except for Suikoden III, which has three main heroes, all of whom have plenty to say in-game. In the adaptations, most Suikoden main characters are still silent, but Tir Mc Dohl in the Suikoden 1 manga isn't.
    • The Prince in Suikoden V has a lot of personality for a Heroic Mime, though. Like the other characters, he has a very detailed character model, so while he never says a word, his body language and facial expressions speak volumes.
    • The player character in Suikoden Tierkreis talks A LOT, and has a very hyper, gung-ho, Hot-Blooded and almost-keetish personality. "We won't know until we try!!"
    • Kyril also talks. In Kyril's game, if certain conditions are fulfilled, Suikoden IV's protagonist Lazlo appears, and suddenly talks.
    • Tir McDohl (the hero from Suikoden) also talks in Suikoden II.
  • The Fire Emblem games have done this on three occasions:
    • The Tactician in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade is a straight example of The Silent Bob (but is more of a NPC Mime than a Heroic Mime, since he's not directly playable and Eliwood, Hector and Lyn all have more story presence than him).
    • The original Japanese release of Fire Emblem Awakening plays this strangely; when creating your customizable Avatar, AKA Robin, you're given several voice options, one of which is 'silent', which causes them to become a Heroic Mime. This didn't make it into the localization, and is actually non-canon (as Robin is shown speaking in Fire Emblem Heroes and other games, e.g. Super Smash Bros.).
    • The protagonist of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Byleth, is a Heroic Mime, as they're never voiced during cutscenes. They do have dialogue options, and when you combine those with what other characters say about the protagonist during the storyline, it's clear that they do have a canon personality. They're a seemingly emotionless character who cares about others more than they let on. Only the bare minimum necessary for them to function as a protagonist is provided, however, as otherwise they're as generic as can be. Like Robin, Byleth speaks in Heroes and Smash.
  • Played completely straight for the Commander of XCOM 2. They're present in almost every cutscene, the player witnesses everything they do from their first-person perspective, and they get directly addressed by the other characters countless times, but they don't utter a single word in the whole game. Since they never actually take to the field in person, there's also not even the occasional grunt of pain or exertion.
  • In Age of Empires: The Age of Kings for the Nintendo DS, all of the campaign heroes are this, at least in their own campaigns. (Saladin and Richard have dialogue in each other's campaigns, and the heroes for which Minamoto and Genghis are stand-ins (Takezaki and Kublai respectively) have dialogue in the last level of each other's campaigns.)

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • "Claude," the main character in Grand Theft Auto III, does not say anything throughout the game, in contrast to the later Tommy Vercetti of Vice City and Carl Johnson of San Andreas. Interestingly, he has a cameo appearance around a third of the way through San Andreas, where he still says absolutely nothing, causing CJ to call him a "mute asshole".
    • Later on, the same goes for the Online Protagonist of Grand Theft Auto V. Now, while you can see their mouth moving in case you speak through your microphone during the game, every character refers to them as a mute, often calling them creepy and weird for it.
  • The protagonist of Saints Row does not speak for the majority of the game; various friends and the occasional enemy lampshade it repeatedly during the storylines. You get one sentence in the cutscenes at the end of each gang storyline, and it's startlingly satisfying whenever he opens his mouth (including interrupting a Motive Rant - which includes a threat on his life - to ask if the ranter can speed things up so he can go get something to eat). Turns out he was just being a good henchman, and got very tired of being walked all over because of his good henchmanness - in the second, third, and fourth games, s/he's much more vocal, as befitting being the new leader of the Saints.
    • For the first mission of the fourth game, the Boss can’t speak because of a broken microphone. S/He is speaking and responding to the others, but their radios can’t hear him/her. After the first mission, the player is allowed to customize the character and give them a voice.

     Non-Video Game Examples 
  • While he was a talking character in Metro 2033, Artyom from Metro 2035 has been retconned as this, similar to his portrayal in the games. Averted in Metro 2034 because the Artyom in that book is Artyom Popov, not Artyom Chyornyj.
  • Played for huge drama in the 2017 movie The Shape of Water (unrelated to the novel of the same name): both main characters are mute, and their mutism is what caused them to empathize with each other. Unlike most examples, the two have a justification to be this trope and are never implied to talk normally.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya! has the protagonist Kirby unable to speak like in the games. Another justified example, as Kirby is a child and hasn't developed a complete personality.
  • The 1976 film Mohammad, Messenger of God (aka The Message) treats its main character this way, as any depiction of the prophet Mohammed is considered offensive in Islam. Rumors that Mohammed would be depicted on-screennote  led to its being a Troubled Production and even a threat from an extremist group during the film's US premiere.
  • The central gimmick of Secret Girlfriend, a short-running Comedy Central series, was that "you" were the main character: the camera would routinely switch to a first-person viewpoint and characters would address "you" to move the plot along, leaving the viewer to figure out what the response was by their reactions.
  • Sandman From Rise of the Guardians remains completely silent during the whole movie, playing an heroic role.
  • From Phineas and Ferb, Perry the Platypus seems like a normal housepet...but is actually a hyper-competent secret agent. This does not mean that he can talk, however. He makes up for this with expressions of pure gold.
  • Latchkey Kingdom, a parody of "Legend of Zelda" type games, naturally parodies this trope. In the first chapter, heroine Willa Dragonfly doesn't say a word until the last page, where it turns out that she wasn't speaking due to jinx (as in "jinx you owe me an elixir!"). Though in the next chapter a few supporting characters seem to have the impression that she is mute, and truth be told she doesn't say much.
  • The titular character from Heroman is a robot who never speaks in any single moment from that series.
  • Seki, the titular character from My Neighbor Seki is this, because his games do not allow the leisure of speaking. He's shown talking when his friends are around, but the readers never get to see him talk. As the series progresses, the same holds true of his mother and younger sister.
  • In SilverHawks, the Copper Kid has mime-like facial markings and is said to come from the Planet of Mimes. Really.
  • The original version of The Thief and the Cobbler has both of the title characters as mutes. Executive Meddling infamously changed this.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: There's Dexter's lab monkey, who moonlights as a superhero and stars in his own spinoff short series Dial M For Monkey. He still isn't able to communicate with anything but grunts and shrieks, though.
  • In the Disney adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane never actually speaks beyond a few screams and some warm-up chords. His thoughts are explained via the narration.
  • The G Mod Idiot Box shows what happens when two Heroic Mimes get in an argument.
  • Pay close attention to Prince Phillip in Disney's Sleeping Beauty, and you'll notice that he has absolutely no dialogue for the entire second half of the film, which focuses mostly on him.
  • In the webcomic Blitzcrafter, which is inspired by classic SNES RPGs, Hikaru appears to be completely mute, although others seem to understand them just fine.
  • In the Fighting Fantasy Gamebook Creature of Havoc, the titular protagonist is a hulking monster created by a Baleful Polymorph who's incapable of speech, which causes several surreal "It Can Think?" moments when people realize that it can understand them and is trying to communicate.
  • Erma: The titular Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl is never seen talking on panel. It's implied that she can talk but prefers acting things out or drawing pictures, and any time she's about to talk she's conveniently interrupted.
  • Taylor in Silencio is an incredibly literal example. Her trigger event left her mute (the damage to her vocal cords is later fixed by Panacea, but she still projects a sound-dampening field) and gave her Your Mime Makes It Real powers. She takes the cape name Marceau and dresses as a mime for her heroics.
  • The Legend of Zelda fancomic A Tale of Two Rulers gives a Fridge Horror explanation for Link's muteness: when his memories of his past incarnations awaken, the experience is so traumatizing that the current incarnation never speaks again. This has horrifying implications for the current incarnation, the rather cheerful and chatty Rinku, Zelda's daughter.
  • In Kendrick Lamar’s semi-autobiographical album Good Kid M.A.A.D. City, Kendrick (K-Dot) is present during all of the album’s many skits, but doesn’t ever speak.

Alternative Title(s): Silent Protagonist, Silent Hero, Heroic Mute


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