Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown was just released last Friday and already, there are memes made, around the strange, still image of a Golden Retriever present in cutscenes that are filled with well-rendered planes and characters. An odd 2D image surrounded by 3D models.
See for yourself below. The dog appears around 21:40.
As wacky as it sounds, it turns out there is more to the dog — lovingly dubbed JPEG Dog by the internet — than meets the eye.
On Twitter, Ace Combat’s Brand Director Kazutoki Kono posted a message in response to JPEG Dog becoming an internet sensation quickly after the release of the Ace Combat 7. Which is unsurprising as the cutscene happens pretty early into the game and the pooch is not exactly subtlely placed.
Kazutoki’s message was then translated by the game’s writer James Galizio, revealing a sad backstory behind the beloved JPEG Dog.
"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." https://t.co/hGrxRAMYpe
— James Galizio (@Theswweet) January 21, 2019
Galizio’s tweet explains that the now famous Golden Retriever in Ace Combat 7 passed away shortly after the photo was taken. However, it seems that the sad backstory has not stopped fans from having fun with it.
Here are some of JPEG Dog memes that have spawned since the game’s release:
— Randall (@watchsymphogear) January 18, 2019
Even Bandai Namco has joined in the fun, asking popular gag account @dog_rates for their opinion of the dog.
— BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Nordic (@BandaiNamcoNO) January 18, 2019
Rest well JPEG Dog, we hope you are having lots of fun beyond the rainbow bridge.