Most Nintendo games aren’t known for their stellar voice acting (or even have voice acting), so when one features voice-acted cutscenes, it’s usually a big deal. But while Nintendo is still getting used to producing titles with vocal performances, at least the company knows how to properly cast the roles themselves.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the first time a Zelda game featured good voice acting. And when Nintendo announced a sequel, audiences hoped it would live up to that legacy. From what we’ve seen so far, Tears of the Kingdom’s most prominent characters won’t be recast, and some new faces will join them, one of whom is arguably the best casting choice we’ve seen in a long time.
Below, you’ll find a rundown of the major voice actors you need to know from the new Zelda sequel. This is far from an exhaustive list, but we are limited in what we can confirm. For instance, Yunobo (Joe Hernandez) and Teba (Sean Chiplock) were important characters in Breath of the Wild, but they haven’t appeared in any marketing for Tears of the Kingdom, leading some gamers to assume that they won’t appear in the game. However, the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, so we do not know if they will show up or not, let alone who will voice them if they do.
Ganondorf – Matthew Mercer
The King of Thieves. The Demon King. The King of Darkness. He is known by many titles — all of which involve the word “King” — but he is the one and only Ganondorf. Judging by what little we’ve seen of him in the trailers, Ganondorf will start Tears of the Kingdom as a desiccated lich, somehow rehydrate himself, and then set out to conquer Hyrule. Again. Old habits die hard.
In what is arguably the greatest casting choice in Zelda history, Matthew Mercer (real name Matthew Miller) will voice Ganondorf. Many audiences probably recognize Mercer as the host/DM of the Critical Role web series, but he has a long history in voice acting. He has played Chrom in several Nintendo games — most notably Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Fire Emblem: Awakening — Cassidy in Overwatch, and Sylas Briarwood in the Critical Role adaptation The Legend of Vox Machina. Most importantly, Tears of the Kingdom isn’t Mercer’s first time portraying Ganondorf; he dressed up as the character in Escapist’s There Will Be Brawl webseries (and directed the shorts, too).
Link – Kengo Takanishi
You are probably wondering how Link can have a voice in Tears of the Kingdom if the character has never spoken once in his long history. Well, Link might not speak, but he certainly utters a lot of “Hyuts” and “Hyahs” while adventuring. And Link will do that in Tears of the Kingdom.
Since Link only grunts in Zelda games, Nintendo only needs to hire one actor per title, and for Tears of the Kingdom, the company went with Kengo Takanishi. This casting makes sense since he played Link in Breath of the Wild, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. You might have also heard Takanishi as Emmanellain in the Japanese version of Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, as well as Nelson in The King of Fighters XIV and the fourth male avatar voice in Jump Force.
Princess Zelda – Patricia Summersett
Princess Zelda is the namesake for the entire Legend of Zelda franchise. Sure, she’s not always present in a Zelda game, and she’s rarely playable, but Zelda is in Tears of the Kingdom. It’s difficult to tell what role she will play, as the trailers make her look like a damsel in distress yet again. However, rumors suggest that Princess Zelda might be playable in Tears of the Kingdom, so only time will tell.
Patricia Summersett will reprise her role as Princess Zelda in Tears of the Kingdom. Summerset previously played the character in Breath of the Wild and Age of Calamity, but those aren’t her only prominent roles. Gamers probably recognize Summerset as Ash from Rainbow Six Siege/Extraction (and Ash in Arknights), Wenja in Far Cry Primal, and Mist-that-Burns in Wasteland 3.
Tarin – Rob Riddel
Well this is certainly odd. Many Legend of Zelda veterans likely remember Tarin, but not from Breath of the Wild. Instead, he is the character who looks like Mario in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. In that game, he saved Link from the beach, then got turned into a racoon (because magic). What does this Tarin have to do with the Tarin in Tears of the Kingdom? Probably nothing, but it’s still weird to see two unrelated characters share the same name.
Rob Riddell will voice Tarin in Tears of the Kingdom. This is his first major voice role. Riddell has played parts in other shows, such as The Magical World of Disney, The Dukes of Hazzard, and an episode of VH1’s My True Crime Story.
Prince Sidon – James Mortellaro
In Breath of the Wild, Prince Sidon is the son of King Dorephan and the younger brother of Mipha. Sidon is enthusiastic and proud, and he helps Link enter Divine Beast Vah Ruta. Judging by marketing material, Sidon won’t change much for Tears of the Kingdom, but the third trailer indicates he will fight alongside Link instead of just swimming around with Link on his back.
James Mortellaro originally voiced Prince Sidon in an uncredited role, likely because Mortellaro also served as the game’s voice and casting director. According to the IMDB page of Tears of the Kingdom, Mortellaro will voice Sidon yet again. While Mortellaro isn’t a prominent voice actor, you have likely heard the result of his work in games such as Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War: Ragnarök, Detective Pikachu, and Hitman. Mortellaro served as the voice and casting director in those titles, too.
The following characters have been confirmed for Tears of the Kingdom, but their actors have not:
Tulin – Cristina Vee
When players meet Tulin in Breath of the Wild, he is a tiny chick who hasn’t quite gotten his wings yet, more figuratively than literally. Despite this issue, he is still able to help Link enter Divine Beast Vah Medoh. Teaser images indicate Tulin will have grown significantly and can fly in Tears of the Kingdom. Moreover, if the game’s third trailer is any indication, he will join Link in a dungeon.
Originally, Cristina Vee (real name Cristina Valenzuela) played Tulin and Hestu in Breath of the Wild, and Vee has quite the voice acting resume. Gamers probably recognize Vee as Nell in Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp and Hasabe in River City Girls 1 and 2, but Vee also has voiced characters such as Ladybug/Marinette in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. Oh, and Verosika Mayday in Helluva Boss.
Riju – Elizabeth Maxwell
In Breath of the Wild, players need Riju and her Thunder Helm to enter Divine Beast Vah Naboris. Riju is a young girl in the game, but despite this, she is also the chieftain of the Gerudo. Judging by teaser images and third trailer, Riju will be aged up quite a bit for Tears of the Kingdom and will even dual-wield scimitars. Although, we don’t know if she will sport the same Amazonian proportions of most Gerudo.
Originally, Elizabeth Maxwell played Riju in Breath of the Wild. Maxwell also played Winter Schnee in RWBY, Ymir in Attack on Titan, and Caulifla in Dragon Ball Super. Currently, we don’t know if Maxwell will return to play Riju in Tears of the Kingdom.