Mourning a Fallen Friend

I was going to write about the SW:TOR slicing nerf. Actually, the post is already done. But I decided to hold off a day or two to post it because A) I wanted the inital net rage to die down a bit and B) I’ve posted a lot of SWTOR related stuff recently.  So today I’m going to tell you about a close friend of mine that recently passed.  She was brave, attentive and helpful.  She was always at my side, until one day she was taken from me.  Her name was Lydia, and she served me when I became the Thane of Whiterun.

Oh what? You thought I wasn’t going for some kind of joke? What blog have you been reading? Honestly, it was indeed a shocking moment in the game.  I didn’t even know that she could die.  Every time she got beaten up she had always simply fallen over and moment after the battle ended, she stood right back up again and ran up to my side, ready to go off on our next adventure.

But lo, did the day come that I faced off against some crazy wizard elf dude in the college at Winterhold.  There was a flash of light and it knocked poor Lydia to the stone floor.  I leaped into the battle with my wizard staff and daedric blade in hand.  Through my mastery of both sorcery and blade, the foul elf was struck down, and I turned to Lydia with a grin. “Get up, time to go!” I exclaimed at my monitor. But Lydia did not move.

I waited.  I waited for five minutes.  I exited the area and returned. Hoping that Lydia would be there as she always had been.  But no, her lifeless and lootable body lay on the stone.  My heart sank.  No, not my character’s.  Mine.  It’s rare that I form bonds with random NPCs in games.  Oh sure, when they’re big characters in a very narrative driven plot I tend to grow fond of some of them.  The companions in SW:TOR, the main characters of Kingdom Hearts, even various cartoon characters are very near and dear to me.  Seems silly, especially from a grown man, but that’s the way it is.  But I don’t think I can ever say that I felt that way in a big sandbox game like the Elder Scrolls or Fallout before. So when Lydia didn’t stand up, I was sad. Honestly sad.  It was weird to feel bad for a lump of polygons and pixels, but I did.  I saved, quit the game, and didn’t play it again for a while after that.

Oh, if I took an arrow to the knee I could just become a guard. But an arrow to the heart? Well, that’s a bit harder to come back from.  This post is for you, Lydia I’m-Not-Sure-If-You-Have-A-Last-Name.

(P.S. If you can’t tell, I’m really enjoying Skyrim.)