This Is Why The Main Character In Each Core Pokemon Game Never Speaks

According to Takao Unno, the director of Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2, the protagonist in each of the core Pokémon games never speaks because the developers want the player to feel he or she is that main character. By keeping the main character silent, Unno hopes players develop strong bonds with the Pokémon and trainers they come across on their journey.

“As you know, the protagonist in the game never speaks. The idea is to make it feel like the player is that character as much as possible. By doing this we’re also hoping that the player has a better bond with the Pokémon they encounter, as well as the people they meet inside the game.”

-Takao Unno, director, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2

120 thoughts on “This Is Why The Main Character In Each Core Pokemon Game Never Speaks”

          1. Uhmm, the Pokémon series, Chrono Trigger, Monster Hunter (through not a complete RPG), some Final Fantasies. There are quite a few.

  1. Ehhh… Okay? Kinda had that figured out.
    But still, that’s great. Good idea, it has worked before… Also the last fifteen years…

    1. Not really. Samus has a very good back story and mythos to work from, you can make a Metroid with a story as good as something like Uncharted, just takes work and not stupid decisions -___- Samus is always called Samus too.

      With Zelda, i think its slightly the same thing, although i always call him Link when i play, but voice acting should be added, if its done very well, but Link should remain mute imo, its just its style, its how its always worked.

        1. Nah man, thats how i always see it. I never picture myself as Link, i just play the game and enjoy the story, almost like a guardian helping Link through his journey.
          Thats why the whole Zelda/Link romance theme worked so well in Skyward Sword. I wanted to help Link.

      1. I’m a hardcore Resi fan, but I have to say I’ve been disappointed since RE5. Revelaitons was good, but I still was disappointed the Zombies were white goo.

        I hope ZombiU does well. I’m not happy with Capcom for destroying RE by killing off one of the greatest Villains of all time, turning Survival-horror into a FPS, and screwing with the game mechanics.

        The did it to compete with COD’s Zombie sidegame, but they just ended up fucking themselves over.

        1. Revelations was perfect apart from the slightly over used character models for enemies lol. There was a few types but they could of put in more… Revelations is the best after 4.

  2. I’ve always wondered, but I figured that out a while back since I realized too that Link doesn’t talk either. It makes you feel like you don’t have to be specific, and you can free roam and be…well…FREE! I like that! But in one of the games in the future I think they should, not in the main series though of course.

  3. Well if you want us to bond with main trainer and feel were them. Then give dialouge chooses to personalize said character and customize them as well. I know for fact I’d never look that sporty like that chewbacca looking trainer in black/white 2. I’d go more basic or perhaps look Like Wes from coliseum

    1. Exactly. Don’t bullshit Nintendo, you’re just lazy. Why would I feel like a mute 10-year-old? If you really thought this, you’d give me options to have an adult character who says things that I choose (obviously this is always very limited in games, but still).

    2. I agree. They can do their characters like Sega and Dimps did with sonic chronicles the dark brotherhood: give the lead character up to 4 or more personalized dialogue choices.

  4. Not true. You always say Yes and No xD

    But yeah, this makes perfect sense, although id be interested if they to a leaf out of Biowares book, and have multiple responces, that change the story and battles ect.

        1. MGS HD collection FTW . I have finished the ps2 ones back in the day and I have peace walker on my PSP , but I stil bought the trilogy and Snake eater 3d . And ofcourse the ultimate MGS4 on ps3. Oh and I have twin snakes on gamecube !!
          Just need the super old retro ones to have a complete MG colection ! oh wait , there is a few spin offs on PSP aswell…..

        1. Thats fair enough bro :) , just pick it up next year when you maybe decide to trade in some wiiu games or you have generated money :) .

          I got a bit of money atm , so I can afford it XD .

            1. No, but well done to Gamespot, same with Destructiod, the site that are actually ran by real gamers, not money taking reviewers.

              1. Skyward sword got a 7.5/10 on Gamespot So after that , I just cannot even think about their reviews :/.
                IGN gave resi 6 7.9/10 so thats Good.

                Btw I am still hammering borderlands 2 !! I am level 19 now with Zero and I’ve made him the ultimate headshot and accurate sniper .

                But next I will do Maya , is she good bra ?

                1. What? Are those French people too lazy to get a Mamoswine by tvlerseihes? If Nintendo is going to disttribute an event pokemon they should at least make it rare. Is there anything special about this Mamoswine?

    1. Or even from Bethesda’s book. Every protagonist you create in their games are silent up until you make them respond to something.

      We even have silent protags from the Shock games. And no, I’m not just talking about the Bioshock kind.

  5. In Pokemon, it works. But I feel that other games try doing this when they should rather be focusing on making a character that’s well… actually a character.

    1. No, they gave an honest review. The game is bad. You can tell all the reviewers do not like the game, but due to either obviously being paid by another reviewer, or wanting to like it, its got a better review than they did. I mean it got a 7.5 or something from IGN. Fucking IGN, for a Resident Evil game, even Operation Raccoon city did better.

      Its a BAD game, get over. Its a jumbled mess, anyone who played the demo would know that.

      1. This is how reviews should be. Not this arse kissing bullshit that COD gets, that incourages no innovation, because if they get a good review anyway, they dont have to try. But now Capcom do. Capcom NEED to make the next resident evil good, or its going to die.

          1. Coming from someone whos enjoyed pretty much all the Resi games, including 5 (i platinumed that on my ps3), 6 just felt wrong. I literally turned off the demo when i got to the QTE car scene, i couldnt do it, i just felt bored, and forced to do something so awkward and annoying, AT THE TIME, i hated it.

      2. Their Skyward Sword review was perfectly honest as well.

        Actually, no, it wasn’t, but the game definitely was not as good as how every other person was saying it was.

        1. Its opinionated due to wii motion plus . Some people struggle to use it and blame the games mechanics allthough if used properly are flawless.

          And some don’t like the fact there is No hyrul field , i personally thought skyward sword is one of the best zelda games ever made and the joint best wii game along with Mario galaxy 1 and 2.

          1. ” Some people struggle to use it and blame the games mechanics allthough if used properly are flawless.”

            Flawless? No way in hell, yes the mechanics were spot on, half the time. I actually don’t hate the game, but I do think its one of the worst (yes ill rxplain)

            I played the game for maybe an 1 hour and it would play great, but then randomly start jerking around. I understand it has the calibration thing to recalibrate it and that didn’t work (I had new batteries do that wasn’t it) I had yo turn off and on my wii every couple of hours for it to work properly again.

            I know for a fact I’m not the only one this had happen to, so if a game is broken then its hard to plauly it, let alone enjoy it.

            I heard a couple reviewers went through this too. Gamespot beign one of the.

            PS: the harp was a mess (it should’ve been utilized like in oracle of ages)

            1. The harp was the only truly broken part of SS.

              The rest stemmed from being used to pointing at the screen when aiming in first person mode, when the game didn’t use the IR pointer at all, and Nintendo’s slightly crazy decision to take whatever direction you were pointing the remote when entering first person mode as the centre.

  6. I think this is pretty dumb. I never feel like the pokemon trainer when I’m playing, I never feel like Link, I never feel like Samus, or any non-speaking characters in a game. When I play games I feel like an outsider who just entered a new world and just so happen to see a story play out in front of me. While I play the game, I get to know the world and the characters and I eventually feel like a part of it and start caring and crap. This is why I like the way Fire Emblem and Baten Kaitos handles things. You’re never the main character, just someone who happens to be there. To me, the approach now seems like the developers not wanting to take too much of a risk with their characters.

  7. i was really hoping it was because the main character had his tongue ripped out by soldiers in nicaragua in the 80s while looking for pokemon in the jungle.

    1. In Blackest Day, in Brightest Night, beware your fears turned into light. Let those who would destroy what’s right, burn like my power… Arkillo’s Might!

  8. I already kinda knew this, though the Pokemon Special Manga kinda defeats the purpose of them being silent in the games, seeing as the characters in the manga are the main characters from the game. That and they do speak.

    I always think I’m Red when it comes to Pokemon Trainers, cause he’s awesome. Still, this is the closest I’ll get to being a real Pokemon Trainer, and I’m happy with that.

  9. I got out of the pokemon series with the defeat of pokemon pearl, but i still remember feeling less like the trainer and more like a puppet master indirectly guiding some sort of avatar through my own will.XD

  10. Its true, it works very well, its one of the many reasoms why I love pokemon. Also its one of the many reasons I love halo too. Because master chief rarely speaks only a few words are muttered here and there. It makes you, in both games, feel like the character. It alows me to think my ideas and feelings instead of having them conflict with a main character from another game that acts differently from you.

  11. It doesn’t work with me :( .Maybe they should have creatable characters .But for some reason when I played mmbn2 I felt like the main character and he talks

  12. If you really want me to feel like I am the character, Game Freak, let me create my own character and make collectable accesories that can be used as clothes for our trainer. Implement acquiring those items to some sort of fun minigame. I don’t know why this hasn’t been done in any main pokemon game…

  13. This is what makes a game really immersive surprising a lot of western companies haven’t figured this out, when a protagonist to a game doesn’t talk it allows a player (me atleast) to imagine what he is thinking, make up why he chose what he chose in a situation and even (in games like skyrim) think up a back story to the protagonist even tho their story is never majorly explained. That makes a great immerse style of gameplay by just not speaking-Zelda, skyrim, and Pokemon are three exceptionally great games/series for this feature in their gameplay

  14. Someone, quick! Forward this memo to square. They DESPERATELY need it. The recent releases of Final Fantasy would probably be 1000 times better if the characters did NOT talk.

    1. What Square needs to look at to make a better Final Fantasy is to just simply look at Lost Odyssey. Their former master is still kicking ass.

  15. It’s not bad in theory but for me, I never have this connection. I’m used to using established characters, and I do the same for Link and Pokemon. Link is slowly getting more personality in the games, so he’s starting to feel like an established character on his own.

    As for Pokemon, honestly it’s a dumb ideal. I never believe that I’m the trainer. That’s why I never name them after me. I just use the anime names.

  16. This should’ve been obvious. It’s been that way in the video game industry for years. It’s also the reason Link from the “Legend of Zelda” never speaks. It think it works in most cases but can fall flat in others. Leave luck to heaven.

  17. I definitely feel like the trainer in Pokemon games but in Zelda games I have never felt like Link. I have always felt like I am just watching his story play out. I like it that way though. If I wanted to be Link it would probably be easy to pretend as I play.

  18. I think it is overstated, you identify with people all the time that look and sound different. All the kids dream they are Superman but neither look nor sound like the man of steel.

  19. I feel like this is an excuse to not use/pay for voice actors. I do hope Link never gets a voice though *punches the CD-i* or at least not one like the anime.

  20. I don’t “Identify” at all with any of the main characters since Red and Blue to this day.
    Why not give us the option of creating our own character and also choose how the characters in the game sees you as either good or bad or something else.
    I’m so bored alwyas being someone who looks lika a skinny skater.
    I don’t like being “nice” in games

  21. i believe i understand the feeling myself of being the main character when i play. Also I think the only time the character ever talked was in the CopyCat’s house when you talk to her.

  22. I swear, nothing makes my blood boil more than the word “Nintendrones”. It’s so god damn annoying, if I ever hear anyone say it in real life, I will fucking chain him to a spiked fence and then wire electricity to the fence, and let that fucking bastard sit there and fry until there’s only ashes left… Whew, got that out of my system.

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