Link has always been a character of few words, so it almost seems like a joke to say he's had 11 voice actors voice him over the years, but it's absolutely true. We're talking from the time Jonathan Potts first gave the character a speaking role in 1989's The Legend Of Zelda television series, all the way to Breath Of The Wild. Here are some facts on these voice actors who landed the gig of the century as they net money just grunting and screaming their way through a game.
The Most Prevalent Actor In The Franchise Is Sachi Matsumoto
I guess we should say actress, as the female Matsumoto is known for her voicing of "Toon Link" in the Legend Of Zelda franchise. In total Matsumoto has voiced the character in 8 games, and only two of those games are canon (Windwaker and Phantom Hourglass). Hilariously enough, Matsumoto has voiced the character in more Smash Bros titles (if you separate Wii-U and 3DS versions) as she has actual Zelda games.
Beyond Toon Link, Matsumoto is also the voice for Skull Kid in every game he's made an appearance in...which makes me wonder whether or not Skull Kid is what Toon Link becomes in the future? That's a game theory certainly worth looking into.
The Voice Actor Between Young Link And Adult Link Is Always Different If They're In The Same Game
This is probably a no-brainer to some, but I personally always thought that Nintendo might just pitch up the voice of the adult voice actor, and it turns out they hire a completely different person for that role.
The Adult Link Voice Actor Changes With Link's Look
Weirdly enough, the voice of Link appears to change when Link's general look changes. The earliest video game voice actor for Link, Nobuyuki Hiyama, voiced the adult version of the character from Ocarina Of Time all the way too his final performance in Soul Caliber 2, and not much had changed.
Things don't start to get goofy though until we get to Twilight Princess where Akira Sasanuna takes on the character until he is replaced by Takashi Ohara in Skyward Sword. This is the first time we see the voice actors for adult Link flip-flop over the years, which is weird because it has never happened before.
Takashi Ohara takes on the role in Mario Kart 8 which makes sense because he's the new adult Link, but then Sasanuna returns for Super Smash Bros Wii U. The only real difference I can tell between the two interpretations is that the Smash Bros link resembles his Twilight Princess character more:
Is Nintendo really so picky they have to have the exact actor for Link depending on the interpretation? This makes it seem like they do, or it could just be a weird coincidence.
The Guy Who Voices Link In Hyrule Warriors Also Voices Eren in Attack On Titan
Yuki Kaji has only voiced Link once, but he's arguably the most popular Japanese voice actor to do so. For anime fans who enjoy subtitles over dubs, Kaji is the voice of Eren Yaeger on Attack On Titan:
This might be why Link screams with such intensity in the game:
While his appearance was a one off thing, I definitely have to say if Link does speak in a future game, we have to bring back Yuki Kaji to voice the character.
One Of The Voice Actresses Is A Rock Star
Mitsuki Saiga, who voices Link in A Link Between Worlds and Tri-Force Heroes actually has a band that's charted a few singles in Japan. Saiga's highest chart-topping hit is the song "Phantom" which showcases the particularly low register voice she uses for voice acting:
That a LOT deeper than Nintendo typically goes with younger Link voice actors, which is probably why we don't hear Link scream a lot when he swings his sword in either game, which asks the question why she was picked in the first place?!
Got any other cool facts on Link voice actors? Feel free to share them below.