There aren’t many companies that go out of their way to do things that aren’t motivated by PR or money, so it’s all the more touching when you hear of stories such as that involving Michael John Mamaril, the Borderlands fan who died of cancer last year. After his friend contacted Gearbox letting them know what had happened, the Borderlands developers delivered a eulogy using their iconic Claptrap robot. At the end of the speech, it was stated that Mamaril ‘would live on forever in the Borderlands.’
Now, it seems that Gearbox have come good on their word, by creating an NPC based on Michael. He’ll be pottering around the town of Sanctuary, and talking to him will result in the player getting a piece of loot of a blue rarity level or higher. It’s safe to say then, that Michael will grow to become a pretty popular character in the Borderlands, which seems like a fitting way to honour the life of someone who was clearly one of the biggest supporters of the game. Gearbox, we salute you.
The tribute doesn’t end there however, as the player will also receive the ‘Tribute to a Vault Hunter’ trophy or achievement, meaning that Micheal’s memory will effectively become a part of the online leaderboards on both Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.
It’s a genuinely touching move by Gearbox, who have previously also used the iconic, mildly grating voice of Claptrap for a wedding proposal. Hats off to a company that seems to enjoy going that extra mile for their players.
You’ll get to meet Michael and all the other crazy inhabitants of Borderlands 2 from September 18th.