Brigo encounter via IGN
Content Warning: Discussion of suicide.
Nintendo’s Breath of the Wild is a gorgeous, sprawling game, but don’t let it’s size fool you — it’s filled with tiny, clever touches that are making players stop and take notice. Take Brigo, here.
Brigo is an NPC guard that hangs around a bridge. His job, he’ll happily explain, is to keep that bridge clear of monsters, but helping out is more than just a career for him. If Link ventures too close to the edge, close enough to seem like he might be considering jumping, Brigo is there to intervene.
If you stand on the edge of a bridge, this guy will try to talk Link down from suicide. He even offers to help talk you through it pic.twitter.com/c2xkY6HgzB
— Tristan Cooper (@TristanACooper) March 11, 2017
After Dorkly editor Tristan Cooper documented the exchange on Twitter, it became a hot topic for Breath of the Wild players. In a Reddit thread about the scene, users shared their own stories of suicidal thoughts, suicide prevention, and loss. One user shared HelpGuide.org tips on what to do when you’re worried someone you know might be suicidal. Another user pointed out an important but often overlooked resource:
Also suicide lines can help you too.
I woke up and one of my friends who had been very depressed after moving away, coming out, and being disowned by some members of his family, had left me a message thanking me for being his friend and saying goodbye. We weren’t in the same state and I had no idea what to do. I actually got online and talked to one of the people who worked one of those lines and they walked me through things to do.
That story had a happy ending in a later post. Some of the stories shared in the thread didn’t, but other users were there to offer support.
With Brigo, Nintendo has also drawn attention to real world heroes who may have inspired his creation, like retired California Highway Patrol officer Kevin Briggs (who may have inspired Brigo’s name) and Chen Si, a Chinese logistics company worker who has helped hundreds of people safely off the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge.
Brigo may seem like a silly inclusion in Breath of the Wild — after all, Link isn’t really considering suicide if he’s on the edge of that bridge — but its real world impact can’t be denied. Brigo’s efforts start conversations, remind players that their lives have value, and model good behavior for helping and listening to friends or strangers in need.
That’s a lot more than you’d normally expect a digital good Samaritan to do.