Animal Crossing Tragedy

So I saw this on Digg: Animal Crossing Is Tragic (mirror) (mirror 2)

I wouldn’t exactly call it a tragedy, but it was really touching and sad. I typically don’t find YTMND sites to be that interesting, but this one truly has been nicely done and the soundtrack they added is a true tear jerker along with the story told by comic strip panels.

Anyway, as with most things, I get obsessed with finding the source. The story itself is already touching, but if it was indeed true, it would make it feel that much more real. I noticed the comic strip text was replaced with English and and the original text was whited out. On one of the panels, there was some Korean text and that gave me an idea of where to start searching.

I found the source story: 동물의 숲과 한 북미 유저의 이야기. It is indeed a Korean site and story, but English translation was provided:

About two years ago, I bought the game Animal Crossing. It was fun for awhile, me and my brother played it for about a month, then got tired of it.

I’m always trying to convert my parents to videogames, however, and thought that Animal Crossing would be simple enough for them to get into. I let my mom set up a house, and she soon got into the game in a big way. (As a kid, she had polio, and now she had multiple sclerosis. She was largely homebound, except for the once our twice when she’d either leave to go shopping or to church.) Spending all day at home in a wheel chair bored her, so the relief Animal Crossing provided her was kind of amazing. She’d spend so much time playing it, that it became something of an obsession. She played it so much that she was constantly getting kidded by the family. She payed off her house in the game, she collected all the fossils, etc. Whenever I saw her playing, I thought that the game must have long since stopped being interesting to her, yet she kept playing- even after me and my brother had long since stopped.

Her condition got progressively worse, and she eventually stopped playing. About a year ago, she passed away.

I had forgotten about Animal Crossing, I hadn’t played it in over a year and a half. Today, however, I decided to visit the village again and see what was up. Weeds had grown everywhere, the villagers wondered where my mom and I had gone.

Then I came to my mailbox, it was full of letters with presents- all from my mom. Every letter was pretty much the same. “Thinking of you. Thought you’d like this present. Love, Mom” Even though I’d stopped playing, she continued to send me presents. I look back now at how I made fun of her for playing even after she’d done everything, and I realize now that she was probably spending her time getting presents for me.

Anyway, I know it’s probably cheesy, but I was just amazed at how much this affected me and I thought I’d share. Show your parents as much love as you can, while you still can guys.

Going through the trackbacks in the comment area, I found the original comic: 한 북미유저와 동물의 숲. Different music was used with this page, but it was equally sad. The original comic is located on thisisgame.com, but I have a backup copy here:

animal crossing tragedy comic strip

It appears this is from a comic called This Is Game. This particular strip is #18 and titled: 동물의 숲. According to Babelfish, that translates to: Forest of animal, probably something related to Animal Crossing.

This story turns out to be quite old. Given that the original story was posted on December 14, 2005 and the comic strip was posted on January 2, 2006, I guess someone just happened to have come by this recently and made it into a YTMND page.

If anyone can tell me what the music is, I’d really like to know.

UPDATE: Thanks to DefaultName, Vudhai, Jake, and Mike for pointing out that the music is the opening sequence from Final Fantasy X. It’s titled To Zanarkand. You can listen to the music performed by an orchestra in this video: 03 – To Zanarkand. This was apparently taken from the Tour de Japon DVD.

UPDATE #2: According to Dan, the Japanese version of Animal Crossing was called Animal Forest, and the Korean version might’ve been named the same way. According to Wikipedia, Animal Crossing in Japan is called どうぶつの森 (Doubutsu no Mori), which does indeed translate to “Animal Forest”. どうぶつ is the hiragana form of 動物.

UPDATE #3: DathVader, the owner of blog that posted the comic states the story is indeed true.

19 thoughts on “Animal Crossing Tragedy

  1. I just saw this 20 minutes ago and it really moved me. I too lost my mom a few years ago. Thank you for finding the original story.

    The music is Final Fantasy X – To Zanarkland

  2. Thanks all for telling me where the song is from.

    Jake, I’m really sorry to hear about your mother. I hope all is better now, as losing a someone so dear must’ve been devastating.

  3. “According to Babelfish, that translates to: Forest of animal, probably something related to Animal Crossing.”

    The Japanese versions of Animal Crossing were named Animal Forest.

  4. haha! he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. nintendo sends those messages to people. it is also, sad, though. but live on, animal crossing!

  5. when you create your character in Animal Crossing, you select your favorite relative: Mom, Dad, Grandmother, Grandfather.

    Then periodically the game will send you random items in the mail from the “favorite relative” you selected, saying things like “Just thinking of you, Love, Mom.”

    Most likely all the letters he got were generated by the game, not by his mother.

    It’s an example of great game design, not maternal love.

  6. I know this thread is pretty old, but just wanted to mention a little more on the comic.

    I was the one who found the comic and translated it into original words. What I mean by “original words”, I mean that it was in English to begin with. It was written by some member in the IGN forum, and I was able to find the original post too. But that was long ago…

    A show of proof, this is where I posted the translated comic:
    http://nekox2paradise.livejournal.com/24139.html#cutid1

  7. This story is UNTRUE! The game is programmed to send your character presents in the post with those GENERIC messages. It wasn’t his mom, it had nothing to do with her it was just the game doing what it was programmed to do. The person who posted the original story obviously didn’t know and i’m pretty sure someone told her it wasn’t her mom. She was probably too heart broken to delete or update the post because most of the people who will read it won’t have played the game and thus won’t know the truth so it’s best to have something positive happen from a lie than to not.

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