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Top 10 Silent Protagonists in Videogames

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Max Bledstein

Top 10 Silent Protagonists in Video Games

These characters are “strong, silent” types—literally. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Silent Protagonists in Videogames. For this list, we ranked the best video game protagonists whom we rarely, or never, hear speak. We’re sticking to one per franchise, and we’re ruling out characters like Dovahkiin from Skyrim as he talks through text boxes, as well as characters that started as Silent Protagonists, but started speaking in later games, so Issac Clarke and Samus Aran are out too. Inarticulate grunts and yells are fine though.

#10: The Rookie “Halo 3: ODST” (2009)

Some gamers found this installment in the FPS series to be unnecessary, but it introduced us to this stoic protagonist. In the campaign, it’s up to him to figure out where his missing teammates went, and he has to do it based on limited evidence, like a lamp post with a sniper rifle hanging from it. As his name suggests, he doesn’t have much experience, but he does have a cool ODST visor that helps him find clues about his buddies.

#9: Doomguy “Doom” series (1993-)

This legendary horror FPS franchise is filled with terrifying demons, but this space marine is there to take them down. He’s officially anonymous, but fans of the series dubbed him “Doomguy,” and the name stuck. Though he was less muscular in “Doom 3,” he still had his trademark green combat armor, and he was just as capable of wiping out baddies without saying a word, even when the series now had voice acting for all the NPC’s around.

#8: Corvo Attano “Dishonored” (2012)

If you ever feel like your life is hard, be thankful that you weren’t framed for murdering a princess you were supposed to protect . That’s what this character is up against, as he has to clear his name for murder by … murdering a whole bunch of other people … errm Ok. Whatever, they all totally have it coming. It’s not all bad though: on top of some sweet gear like a retractable sword and badass mask, he’s been given supernatural powers that allow him to blink thru space and even stop time. Maybe being “Dishonored” ain’t so bad after all.

#7: The New Kid “South Park: The Stick of Truth” (2014)

We always wanted to get a more hands-on “South Park” experience, and we finally got it through the eyes of this character, who gets the unflattering nickname of “Douchebag.” Not long after Douchebag arrives in the town, he finds himself fighting in an epic quest for the titular Stick of Truth. This one’s noteworthy because the game actually makes fun of the silent protagonist trope, and highlights just how awkward one would be in real life.

#6: Crono “Chrono Trigger” (1995)

One of the games that made our best games of all time list is lead by this non-talker. He travels through time with fellow adventurers to prevent the future from becoming a wasteland of despair. If his spikey hairstyle looks familiar, that’s because he was designed by Akira Toriyama, the creator of the Dragon Ball manga. Despite not speaking, he’s somehow able to score a date with a princess during the Millennium Fair. Though if only he could have spoken when he was on trial, that could have really changed the game.

#5: Claude “Grand Theft Auto III” (2001)

Though this infamous sandbox game featured voice actors as famous Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Rappaport, this character won us over without the benefit of speech. He’s a bank robber who gets left for dead by his girlfriend Catalina, and he has to navigate Liberty City’s vicious crime world after escaping from prison with his fellow prisoner 8-Ball. It still comes off as rather awkward when he approaches all these mob bosses and just follows what they say with a thoughtful nod, but I guess it conveys gravitas.

#4: Chell “Portal” series (2007-11)

These unique puzzle FPS games are known for their witty dialogue, but none of it comes from this character. Despite her silence, she’s still an unforgettable hero, thanks to her being one of the strongest depictions of a woman in video games. She has to navigate through both games using the portal gun, which allows her to move objects, or herself, across great distances. She may be quiet, but she’s gotta be clever to make it out alive.

#3: Jack “BioShock” (2007)

Ok so we do hear from this character briefly in the beginning of the game, but he isn’t heard from again. Technically, that voice could be some guy next to you on the plane anyway. Whatever the case, his journey is just too memorable to leave him off. He allows us to see the beautiful underwater city of Rapture, and he’s got the gutsto take down whatever terrifying inhabitants get in his way. He’s also got the friendly voice of Atlas to guide him around, or so it seems…

#2: Link “The Legend of Zelda” series (1986-)

Remember when we said that grunts and exclamations are fine. This is what we were talking about. It’s hard not to include a character who’s game series is considered to be one of the best in all of gaming. After all the green-clad warrior goes on a numerous of epic journeys to save the titular princess of Hyrule from the evil Gannondorf. He does break his silence once … if you count a point of telling a funny joke that no one can understand as breaking his silence in Oracle of Ages. Never the less having travelled across the land and even through time to save the world is more than enough to get him this high. Before we get to our number one, let’s take a look at some honorable mentions: Protagonist “Limbo” (2010) Red “Pokemon” series (1996) Roach “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” (2009) Tim “Braid” (2008)

#1: Gordon Freeman “Half-Life” series (1998-2007)

The Debate for top spot between Gordon and Link was a close one. But the guy with a PhD that can rally an army just nudged ahead. In the first game, he has to fight off aliens from the dimension Xen when they wind up in the Black Mesa Research facility. If you thought things couldn’t get any worse, he has to save humanity from the authorial police state instituted by the alien Combine in the sequel. Don’t worry, though, because he’s always got what it takes, Just don’t ask him to give a rousing speech in Half Life 3. Or maybe he’ll be voiced by Nolan North, who knows? Do you agree with our list? Which silent video game protagonist can you not stop talking about? For more not so quiet top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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Transcript
Script written by Max Bledstein

Top 10 Silent Protagonists in Video Games


These characters are “strong, silent” types—literally. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 silent protagonists in video games.
For this list, we ranked the best video game protagonists whom we rarely, or never, hear speak. We’re sticking to one per franchise, and we’re ruling out characters like Dovahkiin from Skyrim as he talks through text boxes, as well as characters that started as Silent Protagonists, but started speaking in later games, so Issac Clarke and Samus Aran are out too. Inarticulate grunts and yells are fine though.

#10: The Rookie
“Halo 3: ODST” (2009)


Some gamers found this installment in the FPS series to be unnecessary, but it introduced us to this stoic protagonist. In the campaign, it’s up to him to figure out where his missing teammates went, and he has to do it based on limited evidence, like a lamp post with a sniper rifle hanging from it. As his name suggests, he doesn’t have much experience, but he does have a cool ODST visor that helps him find clues about his buddies.

#9: Doomguy
“Doom” series (1993-)


This legendary horror FPS franchise is filled with terrifying demons, but this space marine is there to take them down. He’s officially anonymous, but fans of the series dubbed him “Doomguy,” and the name stuck. Though he was less muscular in “Doom 3,” he still had his trademark green combat armor, and he was just as capable of wiping out baddies without saying a word, even when the series now had voice acting for all the NPC’s around.

#8: Corvo Attano
“Dishonored” (2012)


If you ever feel like your life is hard, be thankful that you weren’t framed for murdering a princess you were supposed to protect . That’s what this character is up against, as he has to clear his name for murder by … murdering a whole bunch of other people … errm Ok. Whatever, they all totally have it coming. It’s not all bad though: on top of some sweet gear like a retractable sword and badass mask, he’s been given supernatural powers that allow him to blink thru space and even stop time. Maybe being “Dishonored” ain’t so bad after all.

#7: The New Kid
“South Park: The Stick of Truth” (2014)


We always wanted to get a more hands-on “South Park” experience, and we finally got it through the eyes of this character, who gets the unflattering nickname of “Douchebag.” Not long after Douchebag arrives in the town, he finds himself fighting in an epic quest for the titular Stick of Truth. This one’s noteworthy because the game actually makes fun of the silent protagonist trope, and highlights just how awkward one would be in real life.

#6: Crono
“Chrono Trigger” (1995)


One of the games that made our best games of all time list is lead by this non-talker. He travels through time with fellow adventurers to prevent the future from becoming a wasteland of despair. If his spikey hairstyle looks familiar, that’s because he was designed by Akira Toriyama, the creator of the Dragon Ball manga. Despite not speaking, he’s somehow able to score a date with a princess during the Millennium Fair. Though if only he could have spoken when he was on trial, that could have really changed the game.

#5: Claude
“Grand Theft Auto III” (2001)


Though this infamous sandbox game featured voice actors as famous Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Rappaport, this character won us over without the benefit of speech. He’s a bank robber who gets left for dead by his girlfriend Catalina, and he has to navigate Liberty City’s vicious crime world after escaping from prison with his fellow prisoner 8-Ball. It still comes off as rather awkward when he approaches all these mob bosses and just follows what they say with a thoughtful nod, but I guess it conveys gravitas.


#4: Chell
“Portal” series (2007-11)


These unique puzzle FPS games are known for their witty dialogue, but none of it comes from this character. Despite her silence, she’s still an unforgettable hero, thanks to her being one of the strongest depictions of a woman in video games. She has to navigate through both games using the portal gun, which allows her to move objects, or herself, across great distances. She may be quiet, but she’s gotta be clever to make it out alive.

#3: Jack
“BioShock” (2007)


Ok so we do hear from this character briefly in the beginning of the game, but he isn’t heard from again. Technically, that voice could be some guy next to you on the plane anyway. Whatever the case, his journey is just too memorable to leave him off. He allows us to see the beautiful underwater city of Rapture, and he’s got the gutsto take down whatever terrifying inhabitants get in his way. He’s also got the friendly voice of Atlas to guide him around, or so it seems…

#2: Link
“The Legend of Zelda” series (1986-)


Remember when we said that grunts and exclamations are fine. This is what we were talking about. It’s hard not to include a character who’s game series is considered to be one of the best in all of gaming. After all the green-clad warrior goes on a numerous of epic journeys to save the titular princess of Hyrule from the evil Gannondorf. He does break his silence once … if you count a point of telling a funny joke that no one can understand as breaking his silence in Oracle of Ages. Never the less having travelled across the land and even through time to save the world is more than enough to get him this high.

Before we get to our number one, let’s take a look at some honorable mentions:


Protagonist
“Limbo” (2010)

Red
“Pokemon” series (1996)

Roach
“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” (2009)

Tim
“Braid” (2008)

#1: Gordon Freeman
“Half-Life” series (1998-2007)


The Debate for top spot between Gordon and Link was a close one. But the guy with a PhD that can rally an army just nudged ahead. In the first game, he has to fight off aliens from the dimension Xen when they wind up in the Black Mesa Research facility. If you thought things couldn’t get any worse, he has to save humanity from the authorial police state instituted by the alien Combine in the sequel. Don’t worry, though, because he’s always got what it takes, Just don’t ask him to give a rousing speech in Half Life 3. Or maybe he’ll be voiced by Nolan North, who knows?

Do you agree with our list? Which silent video game protagonist can you not stop talking about? For more not so quiet top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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