Originally posted by: Hostile Creation
You've obviously never played Super Metroid or Metroid Fusion. We see some emotion at the end of MP1, presumably for the Chozo temple. We see some for the marines in MP2. We see little, of course, because she's always in the suit, and she is hardened and ruthless. But it's there, it's just this thing that some of us like to call subtlety.
No, I never played the originals, nor do I think that doing so should be a prerequisite for enjoying the Prime games.
As for subtlety and ciphers, I think it's the cowardly way out of handling a character. Rather than risking developing a character and presenting to the audience a personality they might not like, they choose to instead chicken out completely and leave the character as blank as an unused canvas. The minor emotions these characters demonstrate is only apparent because they're "safe" in regards to not being able to read terribly much into them: no one will be "mad" at Samus for a twinge of sadness, nor will they scowl at Link for saluting a giant skeleton warrior in dismissal.
I don't like ciphers. I never have and I never will. My favorite games have always been those with characters who aren't uncharacteristically silent for fear of alienating the audience. Games with ciphers don't risk their sales with characters which lack "universal appeal" but as a result, my connection to those games never transcends the realm of "entertainment medium" into something more engaging.
Games where a character actually has an opinion, personality and a voice do risk alienating some of the audience, but in exchange for that risk, that is a game which people who relate to the character will carry with them for far longer than a game with a cipher-protagonist.
After all of my friends had completed Eternal Darkness, we actually discussed the imagery, the implications of what the ancients were, some of the loose ends in the plot, the characters and their depth, and whether or not there was a colossal secret ending which none of us had found. Same with MGS, same with Phoenix Wright.
You just can't do that with a great deal of games because, when the lead character has no implied personality, there's nothing to relate to.
Clinging to an empty shell and saying, "Well, maybe there's really something inside it after all!" is the epitome of sadness.