Are our TSW characters actually mute?

TSW players are well-acquainted with the fact that our characters never talk, and usually that’s mentioned as a way to both save money and to allow us to insert our own inner voices into that character (instead of having a VO artist do it for us).

But what if there’s another, possibly more interesting explanation?

I read this today and it kind of really makes sense: “The Bees took our voices, and that’s why we’re all silent protagonists in cutscenes. The blessing of the Bees comes with a price, possibly as far as losing almost all communication skills.”

Maybe that’s why our characters only communicate via facial gestures and hand movements, and why NPCs don’t seem too surprised (and are usually bemused) that we do not talk.

Just a thought.

9 thoughts on “Are our TSW characters actually mute?

  1. Rowan February 24, 2015 / 2:04 pm

    I don’t know. It seems like plenty of NPC bees speak. Now I’ll have to think of examples.

  2. ChaosConstant February 24, 2015 / 2:04 pm

    Interesting theory. I’ve often wondered about this in oldschool (NES/SNES-era) RPGs. You didn’t have the voice actor argument, as everything was communicated through text. The story was sort of on rails for most games, so it’s not like you could imagine your character being much other than a selfless paragon of virtue.
    In one of my favorite old and rather obscure Sega Genesis RPGs, Shining Force, the protagonist is mute throughout the whole game. In the Gameboy Advance remake, however, the protagonist actually talks at the beginning, but then suffers a traumatic experience that makes him mute for the rest of the game (spoilers: until the very end when he gets his voice back just long enough to cast a teleport spell to save his party from certain doom). I guess most characters in (MMO)RPGs have been through a lot of crap; there’s bound to be some PTSD symptoms at some point.

  3. Tyler F.M. Edwards February 24, 2015 / 3:07 pm

    Interesting theory, but very unlikely. There’s at least one cutscene where our character is clearly about to speak but gets cut-off, and NPC bees aren’t mute. Sarah, for instance. She talks about hearing the Buzzing, so she’s clearly one of us, but she’s plenty chatty.

  4. Syp February 24, 2015 / 4:08 pm

    Well hold on a moment. If the bees flew into our mouths/throats just a week or so ago game-time, then our character will have the instinct to want to talk — we wouldn’t be a life-long mute, but a newly formed one. And Sarah? Who knows. Maybe the bees flew in her ears, we didn’t see it.

    And it might not be that all bee-affected people are made mute, but that *we* were in this case.

  5. Tyler F.M. Edwards February 24, 2015 / 5:24 pm

    As I mentioned in a comment on a previous post, we’ve been bees for much longer than a week. The “one week earlier” in issue ten is a callback to the same message displaying at the beginning of the game (referring to the time between becoming a bee and joining a faction). John’s vision was meant to be a twisted echo of the game’s opening.

  6. Syp February 25, 2015 / 10:35 am

    Not THAT much longer, though. The time frame of the game is pretty limited, if we’re going by the Tokyo event. More than a week, less than a month, and still stuck in 2013.

  7. Ocho February 25, 2015 / 11:23 am

    I don’t know, remember during the Whispering Tide event, that big filth fight with Zuberi yelling at us to “Get to the next platform!” … then Sarah, of course, and the rest of the “super-team”. So yeah. But I like it otherwise. I mean, I like it that our characters don’t speak in the first place, but then having a real reason for us not to do so would also work well. 🙂

  8. Sylow February 26, 2015 / 4:04 am

    But if our characters are mute, then why do we have the “say” command in chat, which clearly indicates that we are able to speak?

  9. Syp February 26, 2015 / 7:33 am

    What if they’re writing simple words on a notepad or their smartphones? They don’t get into conversations about these subjects, they just prod the subject to go on about a topic.

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