God of War Ragnarok features a sidequest that is really an incredibly touching tribute to Jake Snipes, a developer that worked on the game who passed away in 2020.
Across the Realms is said sidequest, one you might discover on your playthrough of the game, where you're tasked with finding four ingredients across the four realms. But as shared by fellow developer Sam Handrick, the sidequest was made in memory of Snipes, his partner and co-worker.
There's something in God of War Ragnarok which is the most special to me. I got to pitch it and the team made it into everything I could have hoped.— Sam Handrick (@MDSVeritas) November 18, 2022
I had hoped to wait for some time to talk about it but want to share it now, just in case.
It's the Ballad of Jari and Somr. pic.twitter.com/S9itiutGbq
"There's something in God of War Ragnarok which is the most special to me. I got to pitch it and the team made it into everything I could have hoped," wrote Handrick on Twitter. "I had hoped to wait for some time to talk about it but want to share it now, just in case. It's the Ballad of Jari and Somr."
Handrick went on to talk about their relationship, how they travelled around the US together visiting theme parks, began sharing their baked goods with the team at Santa Monica Studio, and how the two wanted to "leave some symbol of us in Ragnarok. Some indication within this game that had been the reason we'd first met, our first game made together. He once suggested simply a heart, with our initials in Norse runes, carved into this world we made."
Snipes unfortunately passed away in 2020 due to his epilepsy, leaving Handrick in an understandably heartbroken state. "But when I returned to Ragnarok I wanted it to be everything he deserved. And I hoped I could leave some piece of him within it," wrote Handrick. "When I returned to work I asked Eric [Williams] if we could include a memorial to Jake. He made it so much more."
"I told Eric and the team about Jake's suggestion of our initials carved into a heart. And he and the team returned with that and something even more special. A story of two men who find each other in an often cruel world, and who find a place to belong simply with each other."
Handrick wanted to this to be a story "many queer people know," with the game containing a rainbow campfire that "never stops burning."