Though I came to playing video games late in life in 2006, I’ve certainly made up for this since then. What started as just playing Animal Crossing Wild World, soon branched out into many, many other games.
So I felt sure I had enough to draw from writing about my most touching video game moments, but surprisingly, I had to think long and hard!
I know I tend to shy away from games that promise an emotional journey ( Ostrich here, remember? ). Still, sometimes I get surprised by a game that turns out to be a tear jerker! And looking at my choices below, I guess there’s a thing they have in common. What gets to me most, is losing someone you love…
Story of Seasons
At the day that I wrote this I was travelling home from work by train, a precious couple of hours that I always use for gaming. And all of a sudden the game surprised me out of nowhere.
I was heavily into Story of Seasons, the first game under the new name after Harvest Moon New Beginnings. I got my farm that I needed to bring back to life, and there wasn’t an old ornery mayor teaching me the ropes, but my neighbour. Elderly and very sweet, Madame Eda, taught me all I needed to know.
I’d made a point of visiting her from time to time, because she always missed her family and chatting made her feel happy. When I visited her the last day of Autumn we had a nice cup of tea, and I thought she looked a bit tired, slumped at the table.
The next morning Veronica dragged me out of bed because Madame Eda was very ill and asked to see me. There she was on her deathbed, saying her goodbyes to everyone. I know, I know, we’re talking about a bunch of pixels here, but there I was, in the crowded train, with tears in my eyes. Having lost someone very dear to me not that long ago Madame Eda suddenly became very real, and I was really sad to see her pass away.
The Stillness of the Wind
I didn’t really know what the expect when I picked up The Stillness of the Wind. It seemed like a farming sim, but a different one than usual. Pretty soon I noticed that this wasn’t an average farming sim. The farm is small, with only a goat and a couple of patches to plant seeds. And the farmer is a woman, all alone, in a world that looks like a post apocalyptic desert.
Talma is old, and this means she is forced to take it slow. Which means, so must you in the game. This is the first thing that struck me about the game, as I had never played as an elderly before. I’ve read comments online of people not liking the game for it, but it struck a chord for me.
You see, my mother is 85 and isn’t very mobile anymore. She cannot go out on her own, depending on us to take her anywhere she needs to go. But she can still manage by herself in her little apartment, using a walker to get about. Things go slowly. Every chore she does takes a long time. Doing what little laundry she has, setting the table, making her bed. And even though my brother and I are there for her as much of we can, she is still alone. Has been, since my father died 7 years ago. And she never got used to losing him.
The Stillness of the Wind brings that realisation home to you: you are all alone. And you can’t rush. You just have to do what you can, and try to be content with it. Even though the loneliness is weighing on you and every building and item you touch conjures up memories.
I think that’s what stayed with me the most, the utter loneliness in the game. I played it to the end, and it stays with me, even now!
Animal Crossing Wild World
You had expected this, right? How can I not mention my first ever game that brought me where I am now. I have met amazing people from all over the world through this game, and a lot of them are still wonderful friends to this day. And a couple of them I am still in daily contact with!
Some time ago I read a story online about Animal Crossing that caught my eye, and after reading it, tugged at my heart. SIt’s a story about a mother who kept on playing the game long after her daughter stopped, and kept sending het in-game letters and gifts. The mother was very ill, and after she died, her daughter picked up the game again and found all the letters.
So sad to lose someone that is so precious to you, as I guess most of us have experienced. And I experienced the power of the game years later, when we lost one of our AC friends unexpectedly. As I’d saved all the letters friends sent me in Wild World, I checked for hers too, just like in the story above. So powerful to see them and to read her thoughts, not knowing back then how it would end!
So, there you have it, the three games that had the most touching moments for me!
This was such a sweet post! <3 I remember feeling a tug at my heart when a sweet neighbor in Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life passed away! Even though she wasn't a real person, I still felt bad about it. You and I have talked before how we memorialized our departed loved ones in Tomodachi Life… it's always bittersweet to visit them there. <3
Yes, I remember! I don’t often visit Tomodachi Life but when I do, it’s a bit of a wonder to me how he’s having a life of his own in there. Such a strange feeling! How have you been? Pop in to the Discord!