My brother Ben and I had always bonded over video games. We always used to take turns on our gamecube when we were younger, starting with games like sonic adventure battle 2 and super mario sunshine. Growing up, we always had to share consoles, which was always hard because we are twins and have always had the same schedule as each other. Flash forward to our first ps4, which we both shared, and didnt really have a problem with at the time. We couldnt decide on the name for the account, so we settled on a pairing of both our names: Nolan_or_Ben. Destiny was then released and it proved much harder for us to share with each other. After our drive home from school, we would race out of the car and into our house to try and get the first turn on the ps4 in order to play destiny. It wasnt uncommon for us to get in a fist fight over the controller, and whichever brother had to sit and wait their turn did so with their eyes glued to the TV criticizing every move the other made. I had always played a Titan and rushed in too fast and died, while he mained a Warlock and insisted "warlock jump: best jump."
Just before HoW was released, I lost interest in Destiny which allowed Ben to have all of the playtime he wanted unopposed. He would play ToO every weekend, and sometimes he would ask me to turn off all of the devices in our house so he could get a better connection. After a few months of him playing non-stop, I would make fun of him for playing destiny and asked him why he still plays. I am now thankful that he ignored me.
When the time came for going off to college, we encountered a problem. We only had one ps4 and even though we went to the same school, we both knew we wouldnt be able to share like we used to anymore. I ended up giving him the rights to the machine, because he still liked to play destiny and I didnt want to take it away from him. A few weeks later however, we were in math class together and he starts talking up a storm about how hyped he was for the Taken Kings release. He got me excited about it too, and I thought it would be a great way get back into the game, as well as reconnect to Ben. Later that day, I went out to target and dropped almost all of my money on a brand new ps4 and a digital copy of destiny. Every day up until the release Ben got on and helped me level up all my brand new characters, so I would be ready for the TTK release. It was all we talked about, and it felt good to connect with him in this way that we always have in the past as children. TTK finally dropped and we were both blown away, and raced to get ready for Kings Fall.
Our first run of Kings Fall was a blind run, which we had organized with 4 other people in our clan at that time to start as soon as it was available in the directory. The experience was magical. We made it all the way through Warpriest and the maze, until we were finally stopped by Golgoroth. In the days to come we eventually found teams to complete the raid with, but everything changed when Hardmode was released.
"LF4M experience required", the reddit post that completely changed the Destiny experience for me and Ben, and that would emerge the LL Rahool J's, a clan of Destiny raiders, that would eventually turn into a family. Me (BlindTucan), Ben (Nolan_or_Ben), FabledSmith13, Just_SUGGIT, dediilus, and Bearegrinus all loaded into the raid, and soon we all realized the chemistry we had together. After that very successful run, we all just agreed that we needed to abandon our current clans, to start the LL Rahool J's.
Every week for about 2 months we would all get online on reset day and run all 3 of our characters through KF HM up until Oryx when we would stop (he was just too much of a pain in the ass). We listened to 90's jams through Fabled's headset and joked around and shared about our lives. We started a groupme, which we text in every day to talk about destiny and life in general. This family was a huge factor in the growth of the relationship between me and Ben.
I dont think I have ever felt closer to Ben than when he guided my through my first ToO Card. He gave me advice like "always prioritze revives over chasing a kill" and "dont be afraid to use your super". We went flawless on the first weekend of trials that year on Bannerfall, which happened on my first Trials card ever, and is an experience I will never forget. When we won our last round we screamed and yelled like our team had just won the superbowl. ToO is what Ben and I kept coming back for, and we played every weekend with some of the LLRJ's. We started to get pretty good at PvP and went to the lighthouse more and more often, so I thought I would start a twitch stream. Every weekend you could come watch us mess around in the crucible (and some of you did!) and some sparrow racing (Ben was a very good racer and the one good thing about his death is that now I and the rest of the LLRJ's finally have a chance at winning a race). He was the biggest supporter and biggest fan of my stream, and always was there to help me adjust audio levels by watching from his phone. He was my first donator and was always there in my stream messing around.
On Feb 4th, we drove home to help our mom move a new house. We were tasked with bringing all the boxes inside that came from our old childhood home of 18 years. We later planned to go pick up a household appliance on craigslist. Me and Ben's car went off the side of the road and flipped over, and shortly after we were both rushed to surgery. I had a serious concussion, a completely broken femur and a severely sprained ankle, and sadly Ben died later that day from his injuries.
The LLRJ's were and still are a major source of strength for me and even my real life family, and we are all devastated by Ben's death (and his inability to see Age of Triumph and Destiny 2).
After the accident I went and grabbed all of the Destiny highlight footage he had saved which mostly is comprised of Queenbreakers Bow footage (his favorite weapon) and I built into his montage video. In that video, you will always see at least one of our clan members fighting alongside him, and often his entire team is comprised of a combination of us.
I am so thankful for Destiny, the LL Rahool J's, and all of you who make this community so special. I feel content that I truly knew my brother and shared something special with him before he had to leave this earth.
Some words from the clan:
Dedi: "It all started with a reddit post; two odwallas, a bear, Sugg, a Fable, and ded… dedii… dediilius? King's Fall was still fairly new and random runs were generally awful. But born of that post was the LL Rahool Js. And the two years of fellowship that followed forged a family. We have lost Ben, one of our odwallas but we continue to remember and honor him. I listened and watched as he went from an obnoxious teenager to a brilliant and thoughtful college student. And though we never met he is someone I will never forget."
Fabled: "I don't think I've ever played another game for this long and that wouldn't have happened without you guys. It's weird that a random post on Reddit would lead to something like that. Ben was not only an awesome player, he was also willing to help with anything and made each game and activity more fun. Guardian down but never forgotten and each god we slay throughout the rest of this Destiny universe will happen with him in mind."
Bear: "Ben was the Inviter. He was often the first party invite I would get, even right after I logged on. He gave me the feeling the I was welcomed and wanted in the party, even on days I felt alone or cut off in real life. Ben just seemed to love being WITH people. He was the invitation at the heart of our little community, and I hope to honor that by being more like him."
Sugg: "Ben was a fun loving, kind, and caring young man. Having the opportunity to get to know him over the past two years was nothing but an absolute pleasure. It would brighten my day to hear Ben's voice on the microphone. I never thought a friendship like the one we had, would have come from a random reddit post. Ben is much more to us all than a clan mate and a friend… He is family. Ben will always be remembered and loved in our hearts in the PlayStation/ Destiny community."
Chandler: "When I first met you guys in the clan through Bear, Ben was the first one to shoot me a friend request, to talk to me, and to actually play destiny with me. He made me feel really welcome and was amazing to play with."
Saulsie: "When i got back on destiny I wasn't really thrilled to play it again. felt like it was just gonna be repetitive like always. But, playing with all you guys, and especially Ben. You all made me enjoy a game I thought to be dead and made me pick it up again. Whatever it was, whenever playing with Ben, he always made me feel like I was playing the game on opening day. You all make me. feel that way and I hope to be able to take on the new destiny with all of you and Ben in heart. We may have a guardian down, but our fireteam still stands strong."
I never thought that video games could have such a profound impact on peoples real lives, and would be able to forge such real friendships. Ben will forever be the guardian angel for my family, including the LLRJ's. And finally, because he was the first of our raid team to go down, the rest of the LLRJ's and I are obligated to tell him "GG Flawless".
TLDR; my brother Ben passed away 2 months ago, I am glad the we got to bond through destiny and the friends that we made in the Destiny community.
My family has also set up a scholarship for aerospace engineers (Bens major) at CU Boulder. Link here if you would like to contribute:
http://imgur.com/8UAH7X5 me on left Ben on right