As you go along playing Spiritfarer, you will meet lost spirits from different islands who won’t be able to pass into the afterlife until you help them complete their final requests and come to terms with their own deaths.
But how did these spirits pass away in the first place?
In this article we’ll go over the backstory of each spirit and their eventual passing.
Gwen is not only the first spirit you’ll meet in the game, but she’s also one of the people closest to Stella in her past life. Due to her mischievous attitude, Gwen picked up smoking at an early age, which unfortunately led to late-stage lung cancer in her 40s.
During this time, Gwen went back to her parents’ manor (Villa Maggiore) in order to commit suicide. However, Stella reached out to her in time, and helped her accept her fate instead of taking her own life.
As a spirit, she’s portrayed as a deer with magnificent-looking antlers, symbolizing not only Stella’s admiration for her, but her brilliance in her own career during her past life.
As Stella’s paternal uncle, Atul is always positive and playful, often teaching Stella everything he knows as a handyman and avid fisher.
Unfortunately, it’s implied that Atul suffered from depression deep inside, and couldn’t find a way to escape it. This led to his disappearance when Stella was in her early twenties, and she never learned what really happened to him.
As a spirit, Atul is portrayed as a joyful frog that’s always fixing things on the boat. Unfortunately, he’s the only releasable spirit who you won’t get to take through the Everdoor, as he will also just disappear without a trace once his storyline is complete, implying that he might have committed suicide in his past life without people knowing.
However, this also implies that after the dinner party you prepared with him, he felt content enough to finally leave, even without saying a last goodbye.
Summer was Stella’s aunt in her past life. Working as an agronomic engineer, her career led to her heavy use of chemicals, which caused her to unfortunately develop breast cancer.
Due to this sickness, she moved into a farm and studied biodynamic farming alongside her wife.
By the time her wife passed, however, Summer became lost, and wasn’t able to fight anymore when her cancer came back.
As a spirit, Summer becomes a snake, and carries her love for nature aboard the ship. The events she also introduces (the dragons) are also a representation of her cancer, and how she learned to eventually live with them during her final days.
Astrid, along with her husband Giovanni, acted as Stella’s surrogate grandparents during her past life. As a woman raised in World War II, Astrid devoted her life to helping others before passing away at a very old age with Stella by her side.
She also had a very tumultuous relationship with her husband, who had always been unfaithful to her.
In the spirit world, Astrid is represented as a lynx, with her spirit flower (mallow) synonymous with how much she loved the people she helped in life.
Giovanni is Astrid’s husband and Stella’s surrogate grandfather. After nearly dying in World War II, Giovanni dedicated the remainder of his life to having simple pleasures, even if it meant being unfaithful to his wife Astrid. In Stella’s memories, it’s shown that Giovanni died via a heart attack, with Astrid by his side until the end.
He appears as a thick-maned (and still unfaithful) lion in the spirit world, representing the charm and bravado he’s always showing. By the end, however, it’s revealed that all of it is just a facade for everyone else around him.
Alice was a stay-at-home mom and Stella’s patient in her past life.
While she spent all of her adult life as a domestic person, she soon developed dementia, where she fell into Stella’s care.
She soon became the first patient to die in Stella’s care, making the latter all the more dedicated to her vocation as a nurse.
Alice appears as a hedgehog in the spirit world, representing how unobtrusive and soft-spoken she is. Before passing through the Everdoor, Alice would once again show signs of dementia, often mistaking Stella for her own daughter.
As Stella’s friend and a somewhat snooty art curator, Gustav enjoyed a brilliant career in his past life.
Unfortunately, Gustav also developed multiple sclerosis early in his life, which is a condition that paralyzed him.
While it’s not outright spelled out, it’s assumed that this disease eventually ended Gustav’s life.
He appears as an aloof owl on the ship, mostly keeping to himself and focusing on his own art projects. However, it’s eventually revealed that all of his projects are made to be enjoyed by everybody, as Stella realizes how selfless he actually is both in his past life and in the afterlife.
Bruce & Mickey
Bruce & Mickey are a troublesome brother duo who came under Stella’s care during her senior year as a nurse.
When they arrived at the ward, Mickey is already in a vegetative state due to an ongoing coma (caused by gunshot wounds in a car chase), while Bruce stayed by his side up until his anger made him commit suicide.
As spirits, Bruce & Mickey are represented by a hummingbird and bull, showing their connection to each other.
However, Bruce always “speaks” for his “mute” brother and carries him everywhere, as he’s incapable of accepting that his brother can’t be saved anymore. Bruce also wears a heliotrope, showing his neverending devotion to his brother.
By the time Stella met Stanley, he was already losing the fight against a fatal disease.
Despite this, Stanley remained cheerful and strong, even surprising Stella with how much wisdom he possessed at his young age.
As a spirit, Stanley grows from a seed and becomes a mushroom, showing his neverending curiosity around the things that’s surrounding him.
Elena was a teacher in her past life.
Known for being extremely strict, Elena made sure that everyone learned from her, no matter what it takes.
Soon after, she became one of Stella’s final patients, and while the game never revealed what her illness was, it’s clear that her palliative care was fatal and didn’t last very long.
She remained as a teacher in the spirit world, appearing as a dog that’s often giving challenges to Stella.
She’s also the only spirit that dislikes being hugged, and would only be impressed by Stella acing her tests. Her Everdoor moment also shows that she willingly accepted her death without any hesitation.
Buck is the only spirit in the game that Stella never met in person, as he already died long ago as a teenager.
This is the reason why Buck stays with Stella until the end, as he’s already passed the Everdoor before.
He’s also shown as a basilisk in the spirit world, representing his eagerness to live in the fantasy world all the time. Despite this, Stella looked up at his adventurous side and geeky personality all the time, recounted via Lily’s stories of him.
As Stella’s sister, Lily is the only spirit who’s actually still alive, and only appears in the afterlife as the representation of Stella’s connection to the living world.
Lily appears as a bundle of flowers and butterflies that becomes alive, and guides Stella into finally accepting her own death and crossing over to the Everdoor.
In the real world, it’s shown that Lily and their mother stayed by Stella’s side as she died from her disease.
Beverly is one of Stella’s closest neighbors, often telling her stories about the life she’s lived and all the wonderful people she spent it with.
Through her old age Beverly also suffered from Alzheimer’s, which explains why she kept forgetting little details and repeated many of her stories to Stella over and over.
She appears as a little bird in the spirit world, retaining her blunt but sincere personality.
Because of her disease eating away at her memory, her quests revolve around documenting those memories for others before she completely forgets about them and passes through the Everdoor.
Jackie is Stella’s co-nurse in a psych ward, in charge of taking care of a special patient named Daria.
Working alongside Stella, Jackie always envied her constant positivity and ability to deal with difficult patients, as he himself often neglected his duties.
This led to him being fired and briefly moving in with Stella, before dying not long after. While the game states the cause of his death as a “car accident,” his immense self-loathing and guilt implies that the accident is self-inflicted, presumably with him walking onto the road and purposely getting hit by a vehicle.
Jackie appears in the spirit world as a hyena, representing his resentment of his life as a tired and overworked healthcare worker.
Daria is the final spirit released in Spiritfarer, and is Jackie’s patient when Stella worked alongside him at the ward. She suffered from a condition called chromesthesia, or sound-to-color synesthesia.
This caused her to be institutionalized, and is also implied to be the cause of her death later in life. Despite this, Stella did her best to care for her after Jackie’s firing, helping her become more stable and peaceful before she succumbed to her health conditions.
As a spirit, Daria appears as a bat, and could only communicate with Stella via her “mind palace” minigames.