last night the European XCOM program suffered its first tragedy. raise a glass, TAY, to the ironically-nicknamed Captain Klaus "Tombstone" Hahn.

he'd been with me since the 2nd mission, a veteran assault trooper with an expertise in alien capture. he was personally responsible for the capture and study of 4 different ETs; an effort for which the XCOM scientific community is eternally grateful.

12/3/2012: in a daring raid on an underground alien base, Tombstone was in his usual point position, with what we thought was solid backup. he pushed forward fearlessly, stumbling into a cluster of chrysalids... the first was ventilated by sniper "Drifter" Lin. the second fell to gunfire from heavy "Papa Bear" Mansoor. the third and last was blasted point blank by Tombstone, and refused to fall. my support ("Strings" Willems; she and Tombstone were rookies together) gave suppressing fire, but the turn ended and the final living chrysalid was able to get his attack in.

Tombstone was critically injured and poisoned, but still alive. he and "Strings" ran towards each other, the loyal support readying a medical kit, but the distance was too great and the poison too deadly. he collapsed merely a few tiles from his would-be rescuer. RIP, soldier.

my girlfriend (who's been playing FF Tactics on her GBA) asked me why i didn't simply load the save i'd made at the beginning of the level. i thought about it, and then told her that tragic death was a part of the story i wanted this game to tell. there has to be stakes. while i wish he could've lived on into a happy old age, that's not the world of XCOM. his death was significant: he died leading the charge, with his comrades right behind him. i wouldn't have it any other way... bad luck and aliens will get you every time.

anyone else want to pay tribute to their fallen XCOM soldiers?