Rick May, Passing of a Gaming Legend
May 12, 2020
Rick May was the voice of many iconic characters. The most iconic voices being Peppy Hare and Andross from Star Fox 64 and the Soldier from Team Fortress 2. You may recognize some of these lines. “Do a barrel roll!” and “You were good son, real good; maybe even the best.” Unfortunately, Rick May passed away on April 8, 2020, due to complications from COVID-19.
Rick May was born on September 21, 1940. He grew to be an excellent theatrical actor. He participated in many plays and was often a critical role. Some of his roles include Brutus in “Julius Ceasar,” Theodore Roosevelt in “Bully!” and even Captain Hook in “Child of The Night” a TV film. In the 1990s, he started voice acting. Some of his most famous roles include the Soldier from Team Fortress 2 and Peppy Hare from Star Fox 64.
Rick May’s most impactful role is arguably the Soldier. The Soldier is a class from Team Fortress 2. Team Fortress 2 is a fictional player vs player game that takes place during the 1960s. There are a total of 9 classes in the game. The Soldier is an American powerhouse who plays an offensive role. He has an exotic backstory. The Soldier wanted to desperately fight in World War II, yet he was rejected from every branch of the U.S. Military. This; however, did not kill his spirit and pride in his free country. He bought his own ticket to Europe and taught himself how to load a variety of weapons. Soon after, he began a Nazi killing spree. He was awarded several medals that he designed and made himself. His rampage ended in 1949 after hearing the war had ended in 1945. The Soldier is best known for his primary weapon, the rocket launcher.
The Team Fortress 2 community has created hundreds of online tributes in order to honor Rick May. Rick May’s voice acting was a big part of creating the crazed brute character of the Soldier. The Team Fortress 2 game has had very few content updates for the past 3 years. The long-awaited class update for one of the classes (Heavy) has not shown any signs of being near release soon. So it is fair to say receiving updates for the game is rare. The team working on the game; however, released an update almost a month later on May 1. This update honored Rick May and his impact on the Soldier class, and the game as a whole. It introduced a new main menu music track named “Saluting the Fallen.” The menu has been locked to show only the Soldier on the main menu’s background. They have also added statues to most of the main and popular maps in the game. This statue is of the Soldier, saluting. When you approach it, a voice line of the Soldier will play. The statue also holds a commemorative plaque dedicated to Rick May. These game tributes will last until the end of May. John Patrick Lowrie, the voice actor for the Sniper, made a eulogy for Rick May. “I knew the man whose passing leaves a huge hole in my heart and I believe so many others.” That was a small excerpt from his Facebook post telling how close they were as actors and friends.
Rick May was a great voice actor, teacher, and person. It took a global pandemic to take him down. He will be anything but forgotten.