Posted on July 21 2016 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
The story I am about to share is equal parts sad as it is joyous. Obviously those of us around the Zelda Informer office have been completely enamored by
Breath of the Wild. All of us also grew up with the series and many of us have fond memories of times when the Zelda series helped us out during life’s toughest moments. For Zelda fan Corey Austen, he gets to do something pretty unique thanks to the Wolf Link amiibo, Twilight Princess HD, and Breath of the Wild. You see, Corey Austen recently lost his little brother to epilepsy on May 31st, 2016. Losing anyone to such issues is always tough to swallow, especially when his brother, Matt, was truly so young. Yet, the story he shared with us is really touching. Here it is in Corey’s own words:
Since the day my little brother, Matt, learned to hold a controller, he loved the idea of living out an epic, magical adventure. My brother and I have always been Nintendo fans (each of us have rooms that look more like shrines than bedrooms) and our game of choice has always been Zelda. For me, my favorites of the series were The Legend of Zelda (NES) and A Link to the Past (still have my original game cartridges). Matt loved Twilight Princess. He loved the darker spirit and the wolf transformation mechanic. He once told me that it spoke to him as he always identified with the heart of the wolf, the fierce loner.
But it was the new “Zelda Wii U” that had us so excited. The whole game was shrouded in mystery and we were always talking about what it could be; discussing rumors, from the plausible to the impossible.
Matt was diagnosed with epilepsy in 6th grade, and on May 31, 2016, he unexpectedly passed away in his sleep after experiencing sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). He was 23. I was the one who found him in his room that night. There isn’t a word for how I felt after that.
The last conversation we ever had was about June 16th and how we were going to text through the entire presentation, taking apart every piece of the new Zelda trailer and the gameplay. So with a heavy heart, I started the E3 live stream while at work. I knew it was going to be bittersweet, but I was blown away. The game was literally everything we had both hoped it would be. The technology, the open world, the weapons, all of it. He would have loved it.
But there was one part that got me. The Wolf Link amiibo. When they revealed that the game data from Twilight Princess would be used in Breath of the Wild as a companion, I broke down. Right there. At my desk.
It was so unreal. My brother and I could still play the new game. Together.
His amiibos have given me something that nothing else could. They captured a piece of his spirit. They allow our most precious childhood memories to live on. I never have to give up my brother. He will still be with me, right where he always loved to be. I felt revitalized after E3. It was the first time I had felt anything resembling happiness since he died. This is what will keep me going.
Matthew was my greatest friend, the Luigi to my Mario, the Wolf Link to my Link. We have decided to have his ashes made into the Spiritual Stones to honor his memory and his love for Hyrule. In doing this, his spirit will be with us, always, in the way he would have wanted.
So thank you Mr. Miamoto, Mr. Aonuma, and everyone at Nintendo who have given me the memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. It is because of your creativity and desire to make innovative games that I will never have to lose my brother. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.