R.I.P. Josip Idromeno

Nothing in video games this year filled me with more respect and unbound enthusiasm for the medium than when comrade-in-arms Josip Idremeno died in my arms. It was dark, late in the evening, when I found him buttoned down by enemy fire on a starlit African hillside. I immediately opened up with my AK, drawing fire away from my Buddy and eventually turning the tide of the battle.

I didn’t see Josip again until the last body fell, a few short meters away from his prone, writhing form. I rushed over to help, feverishly pumping syrette after syrette of healing fluid into my wounded friend. Alas, my efforts proved to be in vain. Josip expired a short time later and I could do no more than watch helplessly as my in-game counterpart gently brushed his hands over Josip’s eyes, closing them for the last time.

A strangely hollow feeling overwhelmed as I followed my map to the nearest safe house. Not quite raw grief, but something considerably more powerful than disappointment that my African adventure through Far Cry 2 would continue on with one less ally at my side. In short, I had somehow come to care for my virtual friend’s well-being.

Prior to his death, Josip and I had collaborated on a number of operations. I saved his life several times before his untimely passing, often throwing myself into greater danger than I normally would simply to draw fire away from him. He in turn offered me multiple opportunities to build my reputation, making my search for the notorious arms dealer known as the Jackal that much easier. A real emotional connection had been established through these shared experiences.

Even the creeping presence of gameplay constructs didn’t diminish the impact of Josip’s loss. It was clear after I hit him with the first healing syrette that a happy ending was not in store for Mr. Idromeno. Normally a guaranteed life-saver, the syrette did nothing on this occasion. So I hit him with another. And then another. I knew they wouldn’t work – especially since my stock of three syrettes did not change after each injection – but it didn’t stop me from hoping they would.

When it was at last clear that nothing could be done, a final syrette was used – this time depleting my stock by one – to ease Josip’s passing. The only difference between that final injection and the failed life-saving attempts which preceded it was that I’d elected this time (with a button press) to send my Buddy into the sweet hereafter. Despite this very obvious element of artifice, I just couldn’t shake that hollow feeling as I trudged to my safe house save point.

It’s the strongest emotional gut-punch I’ve experienced from a video game since the death of Aeris in Final Fantasy VII. Only this time the choice was left entirely in my hands. Artificial or not, my connection with Josip was one I had actively cultivated by choosing to work with him and coming to help when asked. Far Cry 2 isn’t exactly being hailed as the year’s ultimate gaming experience, but I don’t have to think for more than a second or two when asked what the standout gaming moment of the year was for me.

Did anyone else out there in the ‘Sphere have a similar experience with Far Cry 2? Or any other game? If you had to pick one standout gaming moment for 2008 – not a full game mind you, but rather a single memorable event – what would it be?

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7 Responses to “R.I.P. Josip Idromeno”

  1. Tribunal Power Says:

    As irony would have it, I found this page because I was searching online to find a way to pevent Josip from dying in my game. After doing a mission together, I found him on the ground surrounded by bodies. I had specifically made certain to stock up on syrettes, should he need one when the time came. The feeling I had when the first did nothing was complete confusion, but by the second injection, I understood. I reloaded a saved game just before I healed him, and chose to make his death as fast as possible, doing him one final favor with a Desert Eagle.

    It sucks. Oddly enough, I miss him. However, my moment for 2008 would have to be Left 4 Dead. While playing with a group of friends, system linked in my apartment, we chose to play one of the harder campaigns on a harder difficulty than we were used to. It went very well at first, conserving ammo and healing one another, working well as a unit and effciantly cutting down swathes of zombies. But then, while waiting for the armored car to arrive to take us to freedom, we began to wear thin as we held down our farmhouse. One by one we ran out of ammo. Then, Don became swamped, and we were unable to save him in time. As Lorenzo dove for Don’s dropped health pack, a Smoker constricted him with its long tongue and dragged him outside.

    Just then, the truck arrived. Corey and I burst through the door, and I focused my assault rifle on the Smoker that was shredding Lorenzo. I killed it, but Lorenzo was wounded, and if I left Corey to go heal him, we probably would all have died. So I stayed with Corey, making for the vehicle as Lorenzo became enveloped in zombies.

    I set foot in the back of the armored car and Corey approached behind me. But just as he came close, a Hunter dove atop him and knocked him to the ground. I turned to fire on the Hunter, but as soon as Corey was knocked from the ramp, it closed, sealing me in and them out. I was the only survivor.

    Needless to say, it was rediculously intense. Not one of the four of us had our voices after that night, screaming to each other for help and hollering out warnings all night long. That was, by far, the best moment in my gaming career of 2008.

  2. *claps* Just experienced it myself. Very underrated moment in video games. RIP. Josip.

  3. yeah , happened to me too man , i didnt expect it … i cant believe it , this death of a character in a video game has to have had the biggest impact on me , i didnt want josip to die , he was probably the best virtual buddy i will have in the gaming world … R.I.P Josip Idromeno , i even marked the exact place where he died on the map , i come visit it from time to time … 😦

  4. gamertag: CJP11 Says:

    so… no one kows how to prevent our dear freind from the dead?

  5. This an Great wordpress post, I will save this post in my Del.icio.us account. Have a good evening.

  6. Daniel Osborne Says:

    Josip is dead fro me to. He died while i was killing the police chiefs brother.
    Man, how i wish i would have been closer to him so that i could have given him a syrette sooner.

  7. This game is very depressing for me, first because of Josip, and now all of my old buddies are probably dead, because of me. It keeps bothering me, I wish there was a way to save them.

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