Since his untimely death, details surrounding Robin Williams and his life and appearance, or likeness, have been requested just about everywhere, including the world of video games. Many longtime fans have looked for new ways to honor the successful actor and outspoken gamer. Some fans have now taken to the Internet and Nintendo to ask for a very specific honor to be bestowed postmortem on Williams. This is following a separate petition that has already convinced Blizzard designers to place a tribute of some kind in their expansive online world as well.
A petition was distributed through social media means, gathering traction and signatures everywhere until 90,000 names were added in less than a week. The purpose of the petition was brought to Nintendo, one of the three biggest video game and home console publishers, in a request to have Williams appear in the upcoming Legend of Zelda game in some way. The Zelda series, one of the oldest and most storied in games today, is well known for friendly, light-hearted characters, qualities that fans and friends of Williams would readily use to describe him.
Nintendo responded quickly and solemnly to the request, acknowledging his death as a tragedy. “Robin Williams was loved at Nintendo,” a representative said. “We appreciate the outpouring of support from the gaming community,” their statement continued, “and hear the request…to honor him in a future game.”
The response went on to extend their condolences to Zelda Williams, but stopped short of directly appeasing the petition by simply saying this wasn’t the proper time to discuss possibilities for future games. Their statement ended saying the company will “hold our memories of Robin close.”
Robin Williams was not a video game lover by appearance alone; he was known for readily speaking about any of his favorite titles when requested. The Legend of Zelda series was so loved by the actor and comedian that he named his daughter after the main heroine of the games, Princess Zelda. In an ad done for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D release on Nintendo 3DS, Williams called both Princess Zelda and his daughter “pretty magical.”
Another of his favorite series, World of Warcraft, has already confirmed that it has a Williams tribute in the works. Ian Hazzikostas, lead designer on the massively-multiplayer online game, offered a statement for the company, calling them all “massive Robin Williams fans.” The company was also well aware of his presence within their online world. As far as the tribute itself, there’s nothing set in stone, as of yet, but it may end up being either a character or a series of characters based on his past roles.
The requested Robin Williams appearance in popular video games from thousands of people stands as a testament in the eyes of major companies such as Nintendo and Blizzard. He said once that he treated games as a way to escape from the grind of daily, rigorous life. He was joined by many other people that loved to share these imagined worlds with Robin Williams. No timeline was released by Blizzard on when their tribute would appear.
By Myles Gann