Final Fantasy 14 players are holding vigils in honor of Stephen Critchlow, one of the game’s voice actors, who died earlier this week at the age of 54. He was best known for his roles in the audio dramas of Doctor Who and Torchwood, as well as voicing Bana in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and providing additional voices in World of Warcraft’s Battle for Azeroth expansion.
Critchlow was best known to Final Fantasy 14 players for his role as Edmont de Fortemps in the game’s first expansion, Heavensward. His character tells the story using excerpts from his memoir as the narrator. He’s fantastic in the role, and the importance of his narration and character in Heavensward is a big part of why it’s so good.
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/CKl0nuYgij— ✨ Deranan ✨ | Commissions Open! | Spoilers Ahead (@jackaboi_art) September 21, 2021
Players have traveled from all over the world to pay tribute to Critchlow outside of Fortemps Manor, a frequent destination during the main story of Heavensward and where Edmont de Fortemps could often be found. Players who attended the vigils have posted pictures of their characters lined up outside the building on Reddit and Twitter. Many people are wielding the House Fortemps shield, and their character’s title has been changed to ‘Knight of House Fortemps.’
On EU servers, things were a little quieter this morning, but I stopped by Odin and found a small gathering. The majority of the players sat in front of campfires near the manor’s entrance. It appears to be an increasingly common way to pay respects to a prominent figure who has passed away, with many people standing or sitting around campfires to pay their respects to Berserk’s creator Kentaro Miura, who passed away earlier this year.
The community in Final Fantasy 14 is still one of the best aspects of the game. Moments like these, where players can band together and mourn together, are quite touching. Being there today, even in such a small crowd, gave me a sense of how important this game and those who keep it alive are. Critchlow and Count Fortemps were integral to the success of Heavensward, and players will never forget that.