Rick May, the voice of Team Fortress 2’s Soldier, has died after contracting Covid-19 virus. He was 79. He voiced several game characters in his career, notably Peppy Hare in the Starfox games, but he was best known as the growly, rocket-toting military man in Valve’s online shooter.
His passing was reported by Rekindle School, an arts college in Seattle where he was teaching until February before suffering from a stroke. He’s thought to have contracted the Covid-19 virus while he was rehabilitating in a nursing home. He was moved to a hospital, but ultimately passed away.
I played so much Team Fortress 2 that his voice was a nightly companion for much of my life. Some of my fondest thoughts of TF2 are soundtrack by his wonderfully silly takes on the Soldier’s military barks. No-one could drop a “maggot” like the Soldier could. He made that word his own. The “Meet The… Soldier” video is an extended joke that’s beautifully told and serves as a fitting tribute to his work.
I’m not the only one taken aback by this. There have been numerous tributes to the man on Twitter and Steam, but my favourite was via a Reddit video of a server performing a military send-off. There can’t be many people out there where such a tribute would be appropriate, but this is perfect.
He will be missed.