Dark Knights come together to pay respects to Kentaro Miura, who was a light in their lives.

Yesterday, manga and anime fans were shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Kentaro Miura, as publisher Hakusensha issued a statement explaining that the creator of Berserk passed away two weeks ago. The suddenness of the revelation, coupled with the amount of time that’s passed since Miura’s passing, has left many struggling with how to come to grips with the situation and find closure, and in order to do so the Final Fantasy XIV community has been holding gigantic impromptu memorial gatherings to honor the departed artist.

While there’s no official connection between the Berserk and Final Fantasy franchises, one of Berserk’s most enduring and iconic visual motifs is of protagonist Guts wielding his gigantic greatsword. Final Fantasy often employs similar imagery, and in the case of Final Fantasy XIV the greatsword-wielding Dark Knight class, when equipped with shadowy-hued armor, can bear a particularly strong resemblance to Berserk’s hero.

Final Fantasy XIV’s user-friendly class change system makes switching to Dark Knight class a relatively easy process, and so across various in-game locations on multiple servers, Final Fantasy XIV Dark Knight players have been lining up or otherwise arranging themselves in formation, often striking identical poses, as a final show of respect to Miura.

▼ A memorial gathering in Final Fantasy XIV’s Midgardsomrmr

▼ Balmung

▼ Ul’dah

Final Fantasy XIV employs an accelerated day/night cycle, and after in-game sundown the memorials took on an additional touching quality as many mourners summoned the Wanderer’s Campfire minion, which was introduced via an update patch last month. A non-mobile companion, the Wanderer’s Campfire creates a gentle patch of light on the ground in front of the player, and together the gathered Dark Knights’ flickering flames of remembrance wrapped the cities in a bittersweetly warm glow.

According to Hakusensha, a private funeral has already been held for Miura’s family members, and no planned public service has currently been announced. But with Miura being a well-known video game fan himself, he’d likely be touched to see what a special place his manga has in the hearts of people with similar passions.

Top image: YouTube/Artorikus
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