God of War Ragnarok has a side quest that is such a beautiful tribute to a developer who passed away

Spoilers for a side quest in God of War Ragnarok ahead!

God of War Ragnarok has a sidekick that is a beautiful tribute to Jake Snipes, a gameplay developer at Santa Monica Studio who passed away in 2020.

The side quest in question is called Across the Realms and its meaning was shared on Twitter by the user Sam Hedrick, a senior gameplay developer at Santa Monica Studio who was also Snipes’ partner.

“There is something about God of War Ragnarok that is most special to me,” Handrick wrote. “I have to present it, and the team has done everything I could hope for. I was hoping to wait some time to discuss it, but I want to share it now, just in case. It’s The Ballad of Jarry and Somr.”

Those who traveled the world of God of War Ragnarok may have noticed the first signs of the side quest from the green hearts painted on rocks in the kingdoms and their origins and the quest started with an idea by Handrick and Snipes formed years ago .

The two would talk about how much they would like to leave some symbol of us in Ragnarok. Some clue within this game was the reason we first met, our first game together. He once suggested simply a heart, with our initials in Norse runes, carved into this world we made.’

Sadly, Snipes passed away in 2020. Once Handrick was able to return to work, he knew he wanted to make God of War Ragnarok “everything [Snipes] it was worth it.” He also wanted to ensure that Snipes’ memory would live on in the game forever.

Snipes asked God of War director Eric Williams if it would be possible to include a memorial for Jake in the games, and he “made it much more so.”

“I told Eric and the team about Jake’s suggestion of having our initials engraved in a heart,” shared Hedrick. “And he and the team came back with this and something even more special. A story of two men who find each other in an often cruel world and who find a place to just belong to each other.

“I wanted this story to be something that many queer people know: traveling through a world that doesn’t always understand you to find a place that truly feels like home. And sometimes that place is just a person. And something as simple as a recipe can be a link back to that home.”

During the mission, you will find yourself in a rainbow fire that “never stops burning”. This is part of Jake’s memory that will last forever.

“That fire never stops burning,” Hedrick said. “Through the coldest days, through the nights you don’t want to live. It will stand in this world we at @SonySantaMonica created forever, carrying the story of a man in whom I found something anonymous. Something you still carry now” .

The quest, for those curious, has you traveling the realms to find four ingredients that will create a Comfort Meal that permanently increases all of your stats by five. It is a “delicious creation that warms the body and soul”.

For more on God of War Ragnarok, be sure to check out our review, how its puzzle-filled level design is a godsend, and how some of the team said, three months before the long-awaited sequel, “holy crap , the game is not good.”

Do you have a tip for us? Want to discuss a potential story? Send an email to newstips@ign.com.

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and up Drawing.

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