Final Fantasy 14 community gather to pay tribute to beloved Heavensward voice actor

Characters sat in a semi-circle outside Fortemps Manor, with most sat in front of a campfire.
(Image credit: Square Enix)

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.

See more

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.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.