There are not many instances where Animal Crossing breaks my heart, but this TikTok creator has managed to do just that by sharing the story of their first online gaming friend.
TikTok user @tattletav has taken to the social media platform to participate in a trend where users talk about their online gaming memories. In their video, Tavi explains how, back in 2006, they had a friend on Animal Crossing: Wild World (released for the Nintendo DS back in 2005) called Kathleen who would regularly visit their island to catch up.
The pair's origins start after Tavi opened the gates to their island and invited a few members of an Animal Crossing community forum to visit. Tavi was so proud of how they had organized their town and looked forward to showing off their recently bloomed hybrid flowers. Unfortunately, this visit didn't end up as wholesome as it should have been after two people they considered "friends" arrived in their town and completely trashed the place.
@tattletav ♬ original sound - Tavi 💕
According to Tavi, this then led them to make a post explaining the situation and warning other players in the same forum. This is where kindhearted Kathleen comes in and offers to come over to Tavi's town to help them clean up the mess the others had left - along with a few other trustworthy players. This blossomed into a friendship between the two, resulting in them meeting up in the game every day for "well over a year," explains the TikTok creator.
Fast forward to 2007, and Tavi has just started college. One day, the Animal Crossing fan explains, Kathleen was late to their regular meet-up. After waiting for hours and opening their gates for the next eight days, Tavi then gets a visit from Kathleen - except it's not Kathleen, it's Kathleen's daughter who tells Tavi that her mother recently passed away.
If this wasn't heartbreaking enough, Tavi explains that Kathleen had left a note for her daughter (who wasn't as familiar with video games as she was) with step-by-step instructions on how to visit Tavi's town so she could deliver the sad news. "I play video games a lot," Tavi ends the video, "and there is not a single time that I play online that I don't think about Kathleen."
We don't blame you if this story made you tear up.
PSA: Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be unplayable in 38 years.