Video game voice actors often go unnoticed for their contributions to a game's success. Unlike movie and television shows in which actors - animated or live-action - get top billing, most games don't highlight the contributions of their voice casts.

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However, how a game is experienced can be greatly influenced by the voices behind the animated characters. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is no exception, and its illustrious line-up of talented voice actors have impressive backstories and resumes in their own right. It's time to take a closer look at some individuals who brought Tears of the Kingdom's heartfelt story to life. Odds are you're probably more familiar with their work than you realize.

Link with a New Arm on a Sky Island in Tears of the Kingdom

As one of the only Japanese actors in the English voice cast, Kengo Takanashi appears in several translated iterations of Tears of the Kingdom. Link is a famously quiet character; any dialogue he does have is typically silent and only indicated via hand gestures. Yet, Takanashi brings Link to life in other ways, particularly through his battle yells, groans of pain, and labored breathing.

Takanashi has also voiced the swordsman of few words in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Patricia Summersett as Princess Zelda

Princess Zelda in Spirit Form in The Temple of Time

Perhaps the most recognizable voice in Tears of the Kingdom is Patricia Summersett, a veteran voice actor who also played the role of Princess Zelda in Breath of the Wild. In fact, Summersett holds the honor of being the first official English voice of Princess Zelda in Nintendo's history.

With a storied educational background and formal training in classical acting, Summersett imbues Zelda with a royal demeanor and deep sense of justice for Hyrule's citizenry. You can practically hear the suppressed sobs in Zelda's voice as she pleads for Link to find her. Outside of video games, Summersett sings in an art-folk ensemble and holds championship titles as a professional ice dancer.

Matthew Mercer as Ganondorf

Ganondorf's Corpse Reanimating

Ganondorf is back! And, boy, does he have a bone to pick with Link and Zelda. Matthew Mercer takes up the mantle of the infamous man from the desert after producing and acting in numerous video games, from Fire Emblem to Persona 5.

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Mercer's expressive voice and business acumen played a central role in the development of Critical Role's diverse and engaging world-building. He also was the mastermind (and voice actor) behind Amazon Prime's The Legend of Vox Machina. With several Behind The Voice Actors (BTVA) awards under his belt, Mercer undoubtedly will bring a level of energy and casually expressed cruelty to Ganondorf's iconic character.

Catherine Higgins as Purah

Purah in Glasses in Front of Lookout Landing's Tower

Everyone's favorite child scientist, Purah, is back for more action in Tears of the Kingdom. And now, her pre-adolescent body has morphed into that of a highly fashionable young adult.

Catherine Higgins embodies Purah's effervescent energy and no-nonsense demeanor in Tears of the Kingdom. Known for several English anime voice roles, Higgins also has brought Tails from Sonic the Hedgehog to life in various iterations of the Sega franchise. Currently, Higgins also lends her voice to Disney's Princess Aurora (a role in which her experience as a singer likely helps).

Joe Hernandez as Yunobo

Yunobo in Armor

As Yunobo, the enterprising Goron sage, Joe Hernandez brings out the big lump of rock's personality and grit. Hernandez is no stranger to the Legend of Zelda franchise, having voiced characters in Breath of the Wild and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity before.

His credits also extend to several anime films, games, and shows, including Hunter x Hunter, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, and Berserk. With Yunobo, Hernandez creates a true character who has to learn the hard way (no pun intended) that his actions have consequences.

Andi Gibson as Impa

Impa Standing in Hyrule Field

In The Ocarina of Time, Impa was a relatively young woman charged with protecting Princess Zelda from the forces of evil. In Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, Impa's days as a warrior are long over. Her sharp mind and sharper tongue make her a powerful force within Hyrule and its fight against Ganondorf.

Andi Gibson returns to voice Impa, a role she's held in both Breath of the Wild and Hyrule Warriors. Based in Santa Monica, CA, Gibson has also written musical numbers for shows like Bugs Bunny Builders.

Elizabeth Maxwell as Riju

Riju with Her Sword

As one of the best female characters in The Legend of Zelda franchise, Riju is voiced with characteristic precision by Elizabeth Maxwell. At the start of her career, Maxwell appeared in short internet films and eventually transitioned to dubbing anime. She has also played parts on Criminal Minds, Attack on Titan, and Attack on Titan: Junior High.

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In Breath of the Wild, Maxwell voiced both Riju and Urbosa, the champion Link fought alongside after defeating Divine Beast Vah Naboris in the Gerudo desert.

Jamie Mortellaro as Sidon

Sidon at Mipha's Spring of Wisdom

Sidon is perhaps the most memorable royal figure in Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom (aside from Princess Zelda, of course). With shiny white teeth and a glint in his eye, Sidon is the heroic champion of the Zora and best warrior buddy of Link.

James D. Mortellaro, also a voice director for Breath of the Wild, gives life to this charming character. Along with The Legend of Zelda, Mortellaro has lent his voice and directing chops to another Nintendo stand-out: Detective Pikachu.

Cristina Valenzuela as Tulin

Tulin of the Rito

As spunky and plucky Tulin, the young Rito sage, Cristina Valenzuela represents the next generation of Hyrule warriors with her voice performance. Tulin's infectious energy and motivation to prove himself worthy of the Rito legacy is a shining standout in a story rife with tragedy and division.

Valenzuela also played another role that fans of the Disney+ series Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir will surely recognize. As Marinette Dupain-Cheng, Valenzuela brought the same level of earnestness and confident capability to Ladybug's alter ego as she does in Tears of the Kingdom with Tulin.

Chris Hackney as King Rauru

Rauru in Spirit Form on a Sky Island in Tears of the Kingdom

The founding monarch of Hyrule, King Rauru guides Link and Zelda through their journey to defeat Ganondorf. Known for Mobile Suit Gundam Seed and The Tower, Chris Hackney lends his veteran voice acting chops to the kingdom's eponymous dead ruler. With a resume including Attack on Titan and Scarlet Nexus, Hackney is familiar with playing soulful animated characters that pop off the screen into players' living rooms everywhere.

Although it's possible to play Tears of the Kingdom on mute, its stellar cast of voice actors is a big reason to avoid doing so. Without sound, you'll likely miss out on some of the finer emotional nuances and humorous quips from the storyline. After all, how can you be expected to find and save Princess Zelda if you can't even hear her whispers over the rush of Hyrule wind?

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