Around 15 years ago, Enix America closed its doors, leaving many RPG fans to wonder what would become of SNES titles available in Japan but not yet in the U.S., like Dragon Quest VI and Tactics Ogre.
At the time Nintendo Power encouraged readers to send in their thoughts about the shuttering, and the magazine printed several letters, including this one:
"I’m now 76 years old. I may not live long enough to see Dragon Quest VI unless someone takes action soon.” - Edith Jeter, Puyallup, WA
Tactics Ogre eventually saw a North American release on the PS1, but Dragon Quest V and VI remained exclusive to Japan until their DS remakes. A year after Dragon Quest VI's DS remake shipped in Japan, it's finally coming to the States on February 14 (coincidentally, a Tactics Ogre PSP remake also releases the day after!).
While that will make for a fine Valentine’s Day gift for RPG enthusiasts, what of Edith? Racketboy forumer Urban Champion-e recently came across the NP article while flipping through an old issue he found at his parent’s house, saw the elderly gamer’s note, and wondered if she would finally get to play the game 15 years later.
Unfortunately, after a search on Google, he found that Edith had passed away on January 3rd (“peacefully at her home”), at the age of 91. Her obituary tells us:
"Edith enjoyed reading, playing video games, and was an author of a family genealogy book that she proudly distributed to her family.
Surviving are her children, John Hillstrom (Cindy) of Puyallup, Marge Workman (Dick) of Port Orchard, brothers Gene of Port Orchard, Bob (Leslie) of Port Orchard, Richie of Auburn and several grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren.
As Edith would say, ‘Think Beautiful’.”
A couple (incomplete) fan translations for the original of Dragon Quest VI exist, but it’s unlikely Edith ever grabbed the ROM, patched it, and ran it in an emulator.
And while it’s terribly unfortunate Square Enix, Nintendo, and 8-4 weren’t able to get this English release for Dragon Quest VI out and into Edith’s hands before she departed, it’s heartwarming to read some of the messages fellow gamers have on this online memorial:
"Your letter in Nintendo Power Volume 82 was the first thing I thought of when I heard DQ6 was finally coming to America. I never knew you, but you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.” - Joshua Kanary, Mentor, Ohio
"Hearing this story has touched my heart. I wish I could’ve met this fellow video game lover in life. As a fellow gaming girl I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed speaking to Edith. I pre-ordered a copy of Dragon Quest VI and will now have her wish on my mind when I hear the game’s music start its chorus.” - Emma Coppedge, Dallas, Texas
"May your gaming in the hereafter be fruitful." - Alex Huber, New Jersey
"She is known in the video game world as the 76 year-old-lady who wanted a release of DQ6. I am saddened, since a remake of this game will be released on 2/14, and I was tuly hoping she would be here to play it with us all. Godspeed to you — may the Lord almighty have a special copy waiting for you in his kingdom!” - Steve Raineault, Newport, New Hampshire
I wonder if her great grandchildren (and great great grandchildren) inherited her love for games and will be playing Dragon Quest VI when it releases?
Make sure to keep Edith in your thoughts when you pop the RPG in your DS in two weeks!
Preorder: Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation
[Thanks, Brent! Image via pixiv]