Final Fantasy 14 players are gathering together for vigils to honour one of the game's voice actors, Stephen Critchlow, who died at the age of 54 earlier this week. He was known for his roles in various Doctor Who and Torchwood audio dramas, as well as voicing Bana in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and providing additional voices in World of Warcraft's Battle for Azeroth expansion.
To Final Fantasy 14 players, Critchlow was best known for his performance as Edmont de Fortemps in Heavensward, the game's first expansion. His character serves as the narrator, telling the story through excerpts from his memoir. He's fantastic in the role, and his narration and character's importance is a huge element for many in what makes Heavensward so great.
In memory of Stephen Critchlow, the voice of Count Edmont de Fortemps, the FFXIV community on Mateus (and other data centers/worlds) has made a vigil in his honor. We will miss you and you will always be in our hearts, Stephen Critchlow. #FFXIV #FF14 pic.twitter.com/CKl0nuYgijSeptember 21, 2021
Players have thus travelled from servers all over the world to gather outside of Fortemps Manor, a regular destination during Heavensward's main story and where Edmont de Fortemps could often be found, to pay tribute to Critchlow. Numerous reddit and Twitter posts have cropped up from players attending these vigils, showing characters lined up outside the building. Many are wielding the House Fortemps shield, also changing their character's title to 'Knight of House Fortemps.'
Things were looking a little quieter on EU servers this morning, though I popped by on Odin and found a small gathering. Players sat around the manor's entrance, most in front of campfires. It seems to be an increasingly common way to pay respects to a prominent figure passing, with many also standing or sitting at campfires for the passing of Berserk's creator Kentaro Miura earlier this year.
Final Fantasy 14's community continues to be one of the best things about the game. Small moments like these, where players can band and mourn together, feels rather touching. Being there today, even in a relatively small gathering, I got a sense of how much this game and those who breathe life into it matters. Heavensward wouldn't have been what it was without Critchlow and Count Fortemps, and players won't forget that.