Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. It wasn’t long before the internet discovered something it could turn into a meme. During one or two cutscenes in Bandai Namco’s arcadey flight action game, a dog makes an appearance, but look closely and you’ll notice it’s simply a 2D photograph embedded into the scene. This isn’t a major issue, but it definitely looks odd when it stars alongside several 3D, fully animated characters. Earning itself the name JPEG Dog, it’s been embraced by fans and forum goers alike. Even the game’s publisher is in on the joke:
However, it didn’t take long for Ace Combat’s brand director, Kazutoki Kono, to take notice. He took to Twitter to shed some light on JPEG Dog, and the update is somewhat sobering. Translated by games writer James Galizio, the tweet explains that the dog belonged to one of the developers on the game, but is sadly no longer with us: “So, I have a bit of depressing news to share. It’s about our now famous, loyal, canine companion. I heard from the rest of the staff that he had passed away shortly after the photo was taken. We are truly blessed to have known you. May you rest in peace.”
— BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Nordic (@BandaiNamcoNO) January 18, 2019
Sad news indeed, but it’s at least nice that the pet has been immortalised in Ace Combat 7 for the world to enjoy. Rest in peace, JPEG Dog. We love you.