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Even Stardew Valley’s creator can’t fix its saddest bug

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Poor, poor Pam

pam from stardew valley ConcernedApe

Stardew Valley isn’t the lighthearted game it appears to be on the surface, as anyone who’s sunk dozen of hours into the farming sim can tell you. One character’s tragic backstory only gets moreso, however, due to a glitch that’s plagued the game since release — and it sounds like a solution will never be in the works, making it all the sadder.

Pam is Pelican Town’s bus driver. Well, she was, until the service stopped running. When the player meets her, she instead spends her days hanging out at the saloon, drinking beer and waking up hungover the next day. When she’s not at the bar, she’s in her trailer down by the river, where she lives with her bookish daughter, Penny.

The trials of Pam and Penny have tugged at players’ heartstrings since the game’s release, with some working to give them a better life. That’s not as hard for Penny, who is one of the town’s eligible bachelorettes. Pam, meanwhile, is a single mom and will always remain so. The player can’t wed her, even if they build up a strong enough relationship.

That’s led players to create mods like “hot Pam,” which give her a sultrier look; and one that allows them to wed the beleaguered bus driver. For some players, helping Pam with her depression is just that crucial, despite her tough exterior.

A glitch that has remained unsolved seems to confirm that maybe Pam is just beyond saving, though. Several players have reported over the last year-plus that they have stopped by Pam’s usual haunts one day, only for her to be gone. Pam disappears, and she is never seen again.

No one has been able to fix this bug, and that includes Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone, the man behind Stardew Valley. In an Ask Me Anything session on Monday about the game’s recent Switch port, one player took the chance to ask if Barone would help rescue the missing Pam.

“I think this is actually a bug that's been in Stardew Valley from the very beginning,” he wrote, “and I've still never figured out why/how it happens.”

Welp. That means Penny is left without a mom, the town without a bus driver and players without their favorite tortured soul. It’s a sad way to go for an already heartbreaking character.

The glitch is inexplicable, but it doesn’t seem too common. But maybe don’t get too attached to Pam, lest she up and walks out on you forever.