As the new Animal Crossing game, New Horizons, is about to hit the shelves, gamers have spotted what might be a tribute to one of the series’ most devoted fans. We sincerely hope it to be the case, since it would be heartwarming (and we all could really use a little heartwarming news right now).
We have an official name for the new Wolf villager in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and her name is Audie! She may be named after the grandma who went viral last year for her 3500+ hours in New Leaf. 🥰
— Animal Crossing World 🛩️🏝️ (@ACWorldBlog) March 17, 2020
Just over a year ago, I covered the story of “Animal Crossing grandma,” a lovely older gamer named Audrey who somehow managed to log over 3500 hours in her Animal Crossing: New Leaf town. I suggested at the time that Nintendo should reward her devotion by making her an NPC in the next Animal Crossing game (there was then a big push for Bethesda to pay similar tribute to “Skyrim grandma,” hence where the idea came from). Well, I had no idea I wielded this kind of power, but apparently so, because an NPC in New Horizons is named Audie, the same as Audrey’s New Leaf mayor avatar.
Redditor koolwala spotted the NPC, a blue-eyed wolf, apparently in a Nintendo World Report review of the new game. Nintendo hasn’t officially confirmed that Audie is named after Audrey, but given how popular the story was — and given it came to light at the same time when the company would still have been working on the game — I wouldn’t be surprised if an appreciative member of the team slipped the name in as an Easter Egg.
But assuming she is, that is officially the sweetest thing I’ve seen in gaming so far this year. It’s worth noting I wasn’t the only person asking for this, as there was a movement on Reddit and similar forums to add Audrey/Audie to the game. Besides the fact that the story is a cool one — gaming is still not really considered an older generation’s pastime, so octogenarians who not only play games but like them are still a rare story — Audrey won the community’s heart by just being, well, better than all of us. Like I said last year, her amount of playtime and in-game swag indicated she must have spent several hours tending her town every single day over the course of four years. We should all aspire to that level of devotion.
Audrey’s grandson, Paul Hubans — who originally spotted her playtime and showed off her town to the world — told Twitter that Audrey, now 88, is doing well and that he “choked up” when he saw Audie in the game.