Final Fantasy XIV players memorialize Stephen Critchlow, the voice behind Count Edmont de Fortemps


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:

Memorial for Stephen Critchlow (Edmont de Fortemps) going on in Brynhildr from ffxiv

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.

Source: Reddit, Big Finish. With thanks to John.

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Toy Clown

I’m touched by the loss of a wonderful actor. The voice acting in Heavensward really made that expansion and I loved listening to his deep, rich voice narrate the story. I feel compelled to see his and Haurchefant’s memorials together. I realize that’s crossing IC and OOC, but it fits in a way.

Ludwig Beilschmidt

Just finished the expansion, may he rest in peace.

Danny Smith

His performance was underrated at the time but in hindsight made Heavenswards levelling story. Shame you can’t say why without spoilers but you get an attachment to the Fortemps family like very few families you do in videogames.

Its a shame in general but this is at least the 3rd character whos voice actor has died in the english localisation alone. The game seems to suffer something horrible behind the scenes among the staff like once a year and it must grind you down a bit over time.

At least you can say they will be remembered. Hell even Shadowbringers has a moment that just doesn’t make sense without the Fortemps involvement. In a time in the story where you had nowhere else to turn they took you in like family and those performances and memories will last a long time.

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Playing Heavensward; his voice was there from the beginning of the expansion, it’s the voice that made me care for Count Edmont de Fortemps, his performance was indeed masterful, RIP.

Riddlemyst Gaming

I just happened to be in this part of the story line for the first time. I was in Fortemps Manor when I logged on, not knowing anything about his passing. As soon as I stepped outside, I knew something was up. Sad day and sad news indeed, but the community’s response reflects so well on the individual, the company, and the community at large.

IronSalamander8 .

This was the one I saw first:

FF14 is a rare MMO that makes me actually care about the NPCs, and he was a favorite. Sad the actor died so young too. Tributes like this are lovely to see.