We all know that Skyrim modders typically go above and beyond to create engaging new content for Bethesda’s open world epic, but a dog companion mod called “Murphy” might just be the most touching of them all.
As reported by Eurogamer, Murphy isn’t just another simple companion mod – it actually serves as a tribute to creator Daniel’s own greyhound, who sadly passed away last year. Losing a pet is, of course, utterly devastating, but the way in which Daniel chose to remember his faithful companion is truly beautiful.
Here’s the mod’s official description:
On April 14th, 2018, my beloved dog, Murphy, passed away. As soon as I was able to collect myself later that same day, I set to work doing what I knew I needed to do. I needed to immortalise him, the only way I knew how: through Skyrim modding.
The mod has been around since May last year, but was hidden from view for a number of months as Daniel needed time to think about what he wanted to do with the project. After a recent update and subsequent re-release, Murphy is back in action and has the attention of the Skyrim community.
You can check out the project over on Nexus Mods, where I fully recommend you make a point of scrolling through the posts, which contain a number of tributes to Murphy, as well as fellow dog owners sharing their own losses. There’s even a letter written by Daniel addressed to Murphy, which is heartbreaking and incredibly sweet all at once.
Daniel told Eurogamer that Murphy was the first dog his family ever owned, which made for an especially powerful bond. Adopted from an organisation that re-homed retired Greyhounds, Daniel’s family cherished the former racing dog for nearly a decade.
He and I were very close and we kinda understood each other in a way I didn’t even understand most humans. As you can imagine, his loss was very devastating to me personally. I shut myself out from the world for weeks, and working on this mod was my only solace for a while.
The mod, Daniel told Eurogamer, was chosen as his form of tribute because it’s what he’s “best at.” He assumed that working on the Murphy mod and releasing it publicly would help him through the loss, which he says it ultimately did.
For reasons I probably don’t need to explain to you, Murphy can’t be harmed in the mod. As a tribute to the hound’s gentle nature, the in-game version of Murphy is also un-aggressive, merely helping you with gear and offering passive effects that vary depending on the weather. There’s even a spell that lets you summon Murphy wherever you are in the world.
Daniel praised the way the Skyrim modding community shared their own stories of grief, and offered messages of support and sympathy to help him through his recovery process, and is happy he was able to create a “small little environment of just peace and love.” I can’t think of a better tribute for an animal that was truly cherished.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.