Yesterday, it came to light that Square Enix had put in a memorial to the late David Bowie in its latest patch for Final Fantasy XIV. I thought it might be a good time to take a look back at some of the other memorials in video game history.
Death is never easy to deal with and everyone handles it differently. Video games, as a medium, offers players and developers a unique way to honor their fallen fans, employees and family members.
The team at Blizzard has memorialized so many of their loyal fans and employees over the course of World of Warcraft’s 12 year run that you may not have heard of everyone. Some of the honored include the late actor/comedian Robin Williams, a PVP player from vanilla WoW named Boom, and even Lonesome George who was the last giant tortoise from Pinta Island in the Galapagos. For every memorial, its location, and how each person was respected check out this guide on WoWhead.
Back before its release, Borderlands 2 developer Gearbox received an email from on of their fans saying that his friend Michael, who was also an avid Borderlands player, had passed away from Cancer. Gearbox went above and beyond and added Michael into Borderlands 2 as the NPC Michael Mamaril. He appears randomly around Sanctuary and will give you a gun if you speak to him as well as the Trophy/Achievement “A Tribute to a Vault Hunter”
If you ever played ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2, you might have run into a Char Historian that tells the story a Tribute of Rall Oldroar. This is a reference to a player that went by the same online handle who passed away before the game’s release. His guild that had formed in a previous title lobbied to get Rall added to Guild Wars 2, even going as far as to send baked goods to ArenaNet’s office. In addition to the Historian, the developer also dedicated a server to the fallen gamer; the appropriately named, Sanctum of Rall.
Say what you will about Destiny, but when Joshua R. Stokell (who’s online handle was TheSquashPHD, His PhD having been earned in biology in 2013) passed away after a life long battle with Cystic Fibrosis, the community rallied around its fallen Guardian. When Joshua’s clan, The Dads of Destiny, put a out a call on the Destiny subreddit for video clips from the community to pay tribute players answered back with videos of 21 gun salutes that the Dads then edited together.
Minecraft users have created all kinds of things since Notch let his 8-bit addiction loose on the world. One of the most touching came from Player GasBandit who lost his wife to ovarian cancer. GasBandit decided to build a memorial to his wife in the favorite game that they shared together. Once word of this got around other players started donating their resources to make the memorial possible. On the outside, players will find a giant avatar of his wife’s character and on the inside there is a candle filled tomb with an in memorandum plaque.
Edit: I have received several comments asking which server the Minecraft memorial is on. Please see the comment from Gas Bandit answering that question.
Hello Seth - I am the Gas Bandit. Thanks for including Pauline’s memorial in your article. The server was a private whitelisted server run by a friend for a website/forum I help administrate. It was a vanilla survival server, so the whole thing took a couple months. For more info, here’s the reddit post I made about it back when I completed the memorial.
The server has since been reset, but I still have a copy of that world saved at home.
Are there any in game memorials that you know of that you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments.