As a Final Fantasy XIV player reportedly lay dying in the hospital, friends and strangers within the game gathered to pay their respects as he passed.
According to a real-life friend of Codex Vahlda, a level 50 bard on Final Fantasy XIV's Gilgamesh server, the 29-year-old player behind the character had been brain dead in the hospital since Friday, kept alive so family and friends could say goodbye. Redditor Pattmyn, who initially posted about the situation on the site's Final Fantasy XIV board, Codex's condition due to complications arising from renal failure. "The odds were one in a million something like this could have happened; Everything was otherwise under control and a donor was lined up already (his brother)."
Imgur user Aenemius, a member of Codex's Free Company on the Gilgamesh server, documented the steady stream of players arriving at the Free Company house to pay their respects. First one:
Then a dozen:
And then so many that the game couldn't keep up with them all.
Oh a beach near the Free Company house a group of players spelled out Codex and put on a light show. Twitch user Spicule livestreamed the event, capturing this video of the light show set to one of Final Fantasy XIV's more moving pieces of music.
In a post on the FFXIV forums, players from other servers joined in, posting pictures of their in-game vigils.Here's the Balmung server:
And from the Reddit thread, Hyperion:
According to Pattmyn, a real-life friend of Codex, the stream of the event made it into the fallen player's hospital room, so at the very least his family was aware of the massive outpouring of support. Pattmyn told Kotaku the machines keeping Codex alive were turned off earlier today. May he rest in peace.
I did not know Codex Vahlda. I couldn't tell name a single person in any of these images, character or real life. But I know the MMORPG community, having been playing the damn things for 15 years, and I know that whoever Codex Vahlda was, every single person in these images — in his final moments — cared for him like they were his dear friends. When a group of people is deeply invested in a virtual world, be it Eorzea or Azeroth or Norrath or wherever, there's a bond there that crosses any and all real-world lines.
Update: Codex's real-life friend Pattmyn reached out to Kotaku to clarify the details surrounding Codex Vahlda's death. Rather than collapsing on Saturday as originally reported, the player had been in the hospital since Friday, kept alive via machines after suffering brain death. He was kept alive until today to allow family and friends to pay their respects.
The story has been updated to reflect this information.