God of War Ragnarok has a side mission that is really an incredibly moving tribute to Jake Snipes, a developer who worked on the game who passed away in 2020.
Across the Realms is referred to as a sidequest, one that you might discover while playing the game, where you are tasked with finding four ingredients in the four realms. But as shared by fellow developer Sam Handrick, the sidequest was created in memory of Snipes, his partner and colleague.
There is something about God of War Ragnarok that is most special to me. I got to pitch it and the team made everything I could have hoped for.
I had hoped to wait some time to talk about it, but want to share now, just in case.
It is the ballad of Jari and Somr. pic.twitter.com/S9itiutGbq
— Sam Handrick (@MDSVeritas) November 18, 2022
“There is something about God of War Ragnarok that is most special to me. I got to pitch it and the team made everything I could have hoped for,” Handrick wrote on Twitter. “I had hoped to wait some time to talk about it, but I 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 traveled the US together visiting theme parks, started sharing their pastries with the team at Santa Monica Studio, and how the two wanted to “leave a symbol of us in Ragnarok.” within this game that had been the reason we’d first met, our first game we’d made together. He once suggested we just make a heart, with our initials in Norse runes, carved into this world we made.”
Snipes sadly passed away in 2020 as a result of his epilepsy, which understandably left Handrick heartbroken. “But when I returned to Ragnarok, I wanted it to be all he deserved. And I hoped I could leave a piece of him in it,” Handrick wrote. “When I went back to work, I asked Eric [Williams] if we can include a memorial for Jake. He’s made so much more of it.”
“I told Eric and the team about Jake’s suggestion that we carve our initials on a heart. And he and the team came back with that and something special. A story about two men who find each other in an often cruel world, and who find a place to just belong together.”
Handrick wanted this to be a story that “a lot of strange people know,” with the game featuring a rainbow campfire that “never stops burning.”