The Final Fantasy XIV community is in mourning this week as English actor Stephen Critchlow has passed away at the age of 54. Critchlow was well known for his theater and TV work, but MMO gamers will know him best as the performer for FFXIV’s Count Edmont de Fortemps and the narrator for Heavensward; MOP’s Chris Neal called him a “masterful performer” who was “pretty much the emotional core for the Heavensward expansion.”
“[Critchlow] had an intensely powerful performance after [the Count’s] bastard son died,” MOP FFXIV columnist Eliot Lefebvre explained. “Edmont de Fortemps broke down in tears when he heard of Haurchefant’s death. He tries to maintain his composure and talks about how proud he was of his son, and then he just starts collapsing over the fact that his son is dead. And [Critchlow] handled it perfectly, giving you a sense of how Ishgard operates while also not being exactly a typical man of his station.”
In a show of appreciation for Critchlow’s work, the FFXIV community has been sitting for vigils this week across multiple servers. One player even gave a eulogy, saying that through his acting, Critchlow “touched our hearts and our souls.” The memorial thread on Reddit has dozens of images from multiple vigils in the game:
Before his death, Critchlow had begun a fundraiser for the UK’s National Health Service charities in gratitude for care he’d received after a stroke. Currently, FFXIV players are pouring money into that in his memory.