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Greatest Tributes in Gaming

“Gone but not forgotten” is a cornerstone of many funerals. In the fantasy worlds of video games, those who have been lost may live on, with developers and players creating loving tributes in the person’s honor. Sometimes a line of dialogue references a fallen player, sometimes it’s more.

With that in mind, here are the six greatest tributes to have ever been immortalized in games.

Robin Williams – World of Warcraft

Robin Williams World Of Warcraft Tribute

Possibly the best actor/comedian of all time, World of Warcraft players launched a petition shortly after Robin Williams’ passing for Blizzard to add an in-game tribute. With the company already having immortalized others in the past, and with Williams being a WoW fan, it sounded like a reasonable request. But Blizzard went above and beyond.

Inside the Warlords of Draenor expansion pack, Blizzard added a new island and crammed it with references to Williams’ work. Rubbing a lamp would conjure a familiar-looking blue genie named Robin to complain about “INFINITE POWER” but “itty bitty living space.” Amongst other artefacts, the island includes a few toys and an egg-shaped spacecraft in reference to Mork and Mindy.

Pauline – Minecraft

As a sandbox game, Minecraft gives the player near-limitless ability to construct whatever they dream of. If playing online, players can give and share blocks to create structures.

In 2013, Pauline, the wife of a player known as Gas Bandit, sadly passed away from ovarian cancer. To cope with his grief, Gas Bandit designed and built an enormous tribute to her in the game they once played together. Although his friends helped gather materials, the entire structure was built by him alone.

Inside the hall is a music box that plays a simple piano piece and above a coffin with her avatar’s name, Chikii, stands an angel structure. Although the inside is touching, the roof of the structure hosts an incredible, perfectly to-scale replica of Chikii in a minecart with a pickaxe in one hand. With Redstone blocks for hair and hundreds of torches around the monument, it will always be lit for as long as the game runs.

Sarah’s Jenner – Mechwarrior Online

Note the teddy bear and rainbow.

One of the best players of Mechwarrior Online was a five-year-old British Columbian named Sarah. After passing away in 2013, Piranha Games decided to honor the fallen warrior with a personalised Jenner Mech. The customised Jenner had a colourful paint job, including a teddy bear, pink peace symbol, and rainbows. Over the summer, Piranha Games sold the mech for $10 each with all proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society. In just two months, they raised $122,330.

Tribute to a Vault Hunter – Borderlands 2

During the development of Borderlands 2, Gearbox received a touching email from a hopeful player. Fellow Vault Hunter, Michael Mamaril, had passed away at 22 from cancer. His friend asked Gearbox for one final favor: could they record a eulogy with Claptrap’s voice? Gearbox went one better.

Michael Mamaril Borderlands 2 Tribute
Michael John Mamaril R.I.P.

After recording Claptrap’s farewell, they brought Mamaril into their new world. Now an NPC, he spawns in random locations in Sanctuary, the good guys’ main base. If you find him, he’ll offer you a new weapon for your collection and grant you the “Tribute to a Vault Hunter” achievement.

Rall Oldroar – Guild Wars 2

Testimonies of guilds and ally players sound like tales of olde. But they all pale in comparison to Gaiscioch. Founded by Roger “Oldroar” Rall in Dark Age of Camelot, Oldroar hoped that his family could find a new home in Guild Wars 2. Sadly, he passed away before the game would be released. But his guildmates didn’t quit on him.

Sanctum of Rall Banner

Banding together, past and present members lobbied ArenaNet hard, sending in hundreds of letters about their memories of Roger. The group also organised a ‘CookieZerg’, sending thousands of goodies to the developers. Overwhelmed by the emotions (and possibly because of the snacks) the team set to work. Their first tribute was in naming one of the servers “Sanctum of Rall”. They also added a Charr historian who tells stories of Tribune Rall Oldroar. Wise beyond his years and never losing in battle, this historian gives a peaceful end to the warrior’s days.

Rall Oldroar Memorial
The memorial for Rall Oldroar

“He retired to teaching at fahrars, and eventually passed into the Mists with an honored soldier’s salute,” the historian concluded. “There will never be another like him.”

Leonard Nimoy – Star Trek Online

If you shed a tear when you heard that Leonard Nimoy had moved on to greater adventures, there’s a place you can pay your respects. When news first broke of his passing, Star Trek Online players gathered around a fountain on Vulcan to mourn together. Cryptic Studios realised the new significance of the spot and replaced the structure in the centre of the fountain with a stone statue of Leonard Nimoy’s Spock. The inscription around the base of the statue reads the familiar “live long and prosper.”

Star Trek Online Leonard Nimoy Memorial Fountain

New Romulus received a similar statue, but a different quote – “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Spock was passionate about reconciling the Romulan and Vulcan peoples. A memorial plaque accompanies both statues that pay tribute to Nimoy and other key Star Trek personalities who have passed away. Majel Barrett (Nurse Chapel, Ambassador Troi, the computers and other roles), James Doohan (Scotty), DeForest Kelley (Bones), and Gene Roddenberry are all included. Players can interact with the names to read the dates of birth and death and a small quote from each. Although no longer around, black flags of mourning were hung in Earth Spacedock, Qo’noS, and New Romulus in silent tribute.


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