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Moving tributes to Nintendo President Satoru Iwata flood the Internet

He touched thousands of lives.


Michelle Jaworski


The Internet is still in shock after learning that Nintendo President Satoru Iwata died on Saturday after a battle with cancer.

The tributes are pouring in for Iwata, who began his career as the programmer behind Kirby and the Super Smash Bros. series and rose to lead Nintendo from 2002 until his death. Through both good times and bad he was a trusted leader, even when his health declined, and he was the driving force for some of our favorite video games. At one point during a rough patch for the company, he chose to cut his salary in half instead of cutting jobs.

He was roundly respected by others in the industry, and his colleagues and competitors shared their grief on Twitter.

Nintendo of America pledged to stay silent on all of its media channels in remembrance of Iwata.

Since news of Iwata’s death broke Sunday night, fans have issued an outpouring honoring him. They played the video games he made popular and shared his words of wisdom, but they also poured their grief into moving messages and touching fanart. He created their favorite characters, their favorite games. He wasn’t just the president of a powerful company. He was also a gamer. He was one of us.

The most popular type of image? Numerous Nintendo characters, usually programmed to attack or kill each other, coming together in solidarity for the man who helped bring them to life.

But the fans weren’t just mourning Iwata. They were thanking him for the joy he helped give him, and soon #ThankYouIwata began to trend on Twitter, often accompanied with fanart.

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Shigesato Itoi, the creator of EarthBound, posted a touching tribute to his friend on his website.

“No matter the farewell, I think the most appropriate thing to say is, ‘We’ll meet again,’” one English translation by Daniel Coniglio reads. “We are friends so we”ll see each other again. There is nothing strange about saying it. Yeah. We’ll meet again.”

A rainbow appeared over Nintendo’s headquarters in Kyoto, Japan early Monday morning. While it’s most likely a coincidence, fans may get some comfort in imagining Iwata on Rainbow Road.

Screengrab via Eurogamer/YouTube

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The Daily Dot