If we could all love something as much as Davide Soliani loves Nintendo, the world may be a better place. As director of Ubisoft’s surprisingly cool crossover game Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Soliani was on hand during the publisher’s E3 2017 press conference, where Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto himself praised the project. Both Soliani and Twitter’s heartfelt reactions to the moment have now been immortalized by the power of memes.
“When I met Davide-san, who is the creative director of this game,” said Miyamoto through his translator, Bill Trinen, eliciting an enthusiastic round of applause from the crowd. Soliani stood up in acknowledgment, eyes welling with tears, prompting only further cheers from the audience.
Soliani’s a huge Nintendo nerd, so hearing one of his idols mention him in such laudatory terms has to be the best thing ever. As the video above from YouTuber CrazyDopetastic mentions, the game director has no shame about his Nintendo fandom.
“When I finally met Mr. Miyamoto, the creator of my favourite game and the inspiration of my whole career, I felt like I was divided in two — the passionate Nintendo player, and the Ubisoft creative director,” Soliani told GamesIndustry during E3. “I was split between the urge to ask for an autograph, and the responsibility to represent the game in the most professional way.”
(The first time he met Miyamoto, Soliani recounted, was 12 years earlier — when he waited for him in the rain for 10 hours. That’s dedication.)
Viewers showed a surprising level of empathy for this emotional display. “Don’t cry Ubisoft man,” tweeted a user called Kyou, attaching a screencap of Soliani that encouraged others to retweet. It’s got more than 500 comforting replies and counting now, more than a week later.
Yesterday saw the apex of this campaign.
“Back in Italy, the team gave me this awesome T-shirt,” Soliani tweeted, alongside a picture of himself and his amazing collection of Nintendo swag. It’s a pretty solid shirt indeed, and it’s got a familiar face on it: his own, with the hashtag #Don’tCryUbisoftMan at the top.
Back in Italy, the team gave me this awesome T-shirt pic.twitter.com/bhdmoUaRB6— Davide Soliani (@DavideSoliani) June 19, 2017
Any good meme ends up on a T-shirt eventually, but this good meme is also a sweet one. It’s safe to say that both we and Soliani will remember this goof for much longer than the average E3 joke. It helps that Soliani has been so consistently endearing about the privilege he feels to be working on a Nintendo project, even one as superficially weird as Kingdom Battle. The game’s out on Aug. 29 for Switch, and we imagine Soliani will tear up on release day, too.