Is Beloved Villager Tortimer Dead in the New 'Animal Crossings' Game?

Abi Travis - Author

Apr. 16 2020, Updated 11:35 a.m. ET

animal crossings tortimer
Source: Nintendo

If you’re a fan of the Animal Crossings franchise, you are undoubtedly already counting down the days until New Horizons comes out. You probably can’t wait to catch some bugs, check out the new crafting mechanic, and (obvs) invest your turnips in the Stalk Market. We’re certainly not trying to put a damper on anyone’s excitement about the game, but there’s something you should probably know: The beloved villager Tortimer might be dead in the new game.

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Is Tortimer dead in ‘Animal Crossings: New Horizons’?

Now, before anyone freaks out, you should also know that Tortimer’s death has not been confirmed by Nintendo. But, well, while people were watching the new Nintendo Direct, they noticed something disturbing. If you look closely, you’ll see a gravestone on the island:

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Can we just talk for a minute about how we really don’t need a gravestone in an Animal Crossings game? Most of us play relaxing, repetitive games like Animal Crossings (and Harvest Moon. And Stardew Valley) to distract us from thinking about our own mortality. Not to be reminded of it constantly with a physical marker of death! Just let us pick our flowers and decorate our tent in peace, Nintendo!

Anyway, since Tortimer is an elderly tortoise character in the Animal Crossings games, people have naturally started to assume that it is he who has shuffled off his in-game mortal coil. His Tortal coil, if you will. But don’t forget — it might not be Tortimer’s grave! 

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Some fans think the grave might actually belong to Joan.

OK, this isn’t necessarily good news. It’s just different news. The tombstone might not be Tortimer’s, after all! Some eagle-eyed viewers noticed that there’s some kind of rotten plant on top of the grave. Could it be a turnip?

tortimer dead animal crossings joan
Source: Twitter
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If it is a turnip, that seems to confirm the theory that Joan, beloved turnip trader of Animal Crossings, is no longer with us. If that’s not enough to convince you, consider this: We don’t see Joan in the Nintendo Direct. We do see someone dealing in turnips, though, and it’s new character Daisy Mae. Could she perhaps be Joan’s daughter? Or granddaughter?!

Actually, now that we mention it, the new character C.J. looks an awful lot like Chip, and the new character Flick (who appears to be in charge of the Bug-Off) is some kind of lizard (just like Nat). Could it be that several of the original Animal Crossings characters have died off, leaving their children to fulfill their roles on the island? 

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We honestly don’t even want to think about it. We’re not ready to deal with those ideas quite yet. If only we had a new Animal Crossings game to play in order to distract us from such unpleasant imaginings!

Hey, you know what? Maybe that gravestone isn’t even a gravestone! Maybe it’s just one of the pieces of decor you can craft in the game! Everyone loves putting spooky sculptures made out of rocks in their home, right? That’s probably it. Definitely just decor. And as soon as we all start playing New Horizons, Tortimer’s “Heh heh horf” is going to be the first thing we hear.

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