Thousands of players gather online in Final Fantasy 14, Dragon Quest 10 and more to mourn legendary artist Akira Toriyama

Akira Toriyama Tribute in DQ10
(Image credit: Twitter user りょうま, Square Enix)

After the surprise death of Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama at age 68, players across online communities have gathered together to pay tribute to Toriyama's decades of beloved and influential work across manga, anime and videogames.

Alongside Dragon Ball Z, Toriyama is well-known for his iconic designs for the Dragon Quest series—including the cover art and characters for each game dating back to 1986, and of course the lovable blue slime—as well as other games from RPG developer Square Enix like Chrono Trigger. While Toriyama didn't directly contribute to Final Fantasy, the games may not exist without his art.

"I was personally a huge Akira Toriyama fan, and I read the Weekly Jump Magazines every week," Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi said in an interview. "A game designed by such a dream team felt way out of my reach, which is why when I started the Final Fantasy project, I hoped to at least get somewhere close to Dragon Quest." The two later collaborated on Blue Dragon, a game that put Toriyama's art front and center.

And of course there have been dozens of Dragon Ball games based on Toriyama's manga over the decades, ranging from fighters to RPGs. Since news broke of Toriyama's death, players in Final Fantasy 14, Dragon Quest 10, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 and likely elsewhere have gathered to mourn his passing and celebrate his work. Here's how some of them are paying tribute.

Final Fantasy 14

In the video above, a player walks along a lengthy line of players standing in respect to Toriyama, as players in the public chat discuss Toriyama's contributions to games like Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger.  

The same thing is playing out on other FF14 servers like Leviathan. In this Twitch clip you can see how many players have stuck around for minutes or possibly even hours, placing a fire in front of them and using the “pray” emote to pay their respects. In this longer video of music being played at Balmung's vigil—including Dragon Ball theme song Cha-La Head-Cha-La—you can see how many players have stayed rooted in place.

Here are more posts about vigils held across Final Fantasy 14.

Dragon Quest 10

MMO Dragon Quest 10 was released in 2012 in Japan, but unfortunately has never made its way west. It remains popular in Japan, though, and is full of Toriyama's designs. Naturally Japanese players have gathered to pay their respects.

The vigil even made it onto Yahoo! News in Japan

This helm wearable in-game represents the way Toriyama would often draw himself.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2

This online multiplayer Dragon Ball game doesn't have particularly packed lobbies eight years after release, but you can still find players paying tribute by doing the spirit bomb pose. 

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).

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