With a Terrible Fate

With a Terrible Fate

Welcome to the podcast home of With a Terrible Fate, your first and final source for literary studies of your favorite video games. Subscribe for a range of accessible deep-dives into the storytelling of specific video games, as well as the theory of video-game narrative more broadly. Find all our written, audio, and video content, along with options to support us, at https://linktr.ee/withaterriblefate.

Episodes

July 4, 2024 70 mins

***WARNING: THIS EPISODE IS HAUNTED!*** The characters in the first game we discussed were haunting our podcasting software, so please excuse some small technical difficulties throughout the episode and a rather abrupt kickoff on account of a lost introduction. We jump directly into spoilers for Inscryption, a game that ought to be played without spoilers, so we strongly recommend only listening to this episode after playing! (Or, ...

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On this episode of the With a Terrible Fate podcast, we celebrate Dan's birthday with a conversation ranging from becoming a real boy to becoming a... real old man!

We begin with a postgame analysis of Lies of P in which it takes Aaron and Dan a hilariously long time to uncover that, contrary to their first impression based on each other's perspective, they'd actually chosen different endings to the story! This lays the foundation ...

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This week, With a Terrible Fate's podcast is a romp ranging from adaptation to serialized storytelling to metafiction. We kick off discussing Lies of P in the contexts of Pinocchio, Miyazaki-inspired games, and philosophically-minded stories as Aaron nears the conclusion of his first playthrough. (He's since wrapped this up, so stay tuned for overall first impressions!) Later, Dan presents his latest views on how to read the eras a...

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This week on With a Terrible Fate's podcast, we celebrate the communities, black sheep, and arduous challenges of gaming! We begin with Aaron breaking down With a Terrible Fate's lecture on bosses at PAX East last month, along with broader reflections on everything from cosplays to upcoming indie games you won't want to miss. All the talk of bosses leads us to Dark Souls II, one of the subjects of the lecture, inviting a broader di...

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This week on With a Terrible Fate's podcast, Aaron and Dan take a deep breath and dive into their very first, unfiltered, spoiler-rich thoughts about Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. Save this episode until you've finished the main scenario and are ready to dig into its microscopic and macrocosmic implications! We're already eagerly planning new analyses centered on this latest addition to the Final Fantasy VII corpus, consistent with th...

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February 22, 2024 67 mins

On this special edition of the With a Terrible Fate podcast just ahead of analyst Dan Hughes' wedding, Dan and Aaron wrestle with the marvelously multifaceted problem of how we can best come to understand the nature of characters in our favorite video games. What draws us to specific protagonists in party-based games? How can game-based conflict actually help us to better appreciate the characters that have been cast as bosses? How...

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This week on With a Terrible Fate's podcast on the storytelling of video games, we kick things off with a discussion of Dan's recent journeys through Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, only to discover the game as a surprisingly illuminating throughline for a rich diversity of reflections on the structures of serial video-game stories, the interpretation and analysis of our personal experiences within video games, and the evolving cul...

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February 7, 2024 86 mins

On the latest episode of With a Terrible Fate's podcast, Dan Hughes and Aaron Suduiko fire up the mics two weeks after their vacation in Japan to share stories from their journey and reflect on how their latest adventure through the cultural progenitor of so many video games has informed how they think about the medium! From stumbling upon the mythological origin of the Triforce to witnessing the inseparability of politics from rel...

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December 15, 2023 100 mins

This week on With a Terrible Fate's podcast about the study and culture of video-game storytelling, we take a reflective look at the good, bad, and ugly of what it means to talk about games. Where does lore analysis end and literary interpretation begin, and how can streamed "book clubs" of games help create good-faith homes for a positive mode of analysis among common fans and thinkers? How might a game award show need to look dif...

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December 5, 2023 67 mins

With the last month of the year upon us, join the With a Terrible Fate podcast for December-themed game reflections! From the culture developing around the Game Awards, to analyzing what counts as a "holiday gaming experience," to reflecting on evolving standards around game demos, spoilers, and recommendations, this episode is stuffed with plenty of gifts for the literate gamer.

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November 21, 2023 65 mins

Do you find yourself bouncing back and forth between multiple games, or running a few different playthroughs at the same time to support different mindsets or moments throughout your day? Take a listen to this latest podcast episode, in which Dan and Aaron explore the many reasons for which we might bounce gymnastically between multiple games, and the many consequences (good and bad!) this might have for our playthroughs. From sere...

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November 14, 2023 69 mins

Welcome to the latest incarnation of With a Terrible Fate's podcast: unstructured, organic conversations about current gaming experiences, how they inform our understanding of the world, and how they relate to the broader language of video-game storytelling! In this inaugural episode, Dan Hughes and Aaron Suduiko discuss their recent adventures in the Tales and Pokémon series, and they wrestle with the difference between series tha...

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October 31, 2023 76 mins

On the spookiest day of the year, join With a Terrible Fate in a free-wheeling conversation about the past, present, and future magic of horror storytelling in video games. In a brand-new podcast episode, Dan Hughes and Aaron Suduiko haunt you with reflections on the good, bad, and ugly of scary interactive stories, including:

  • Old and new glitches, from MissingNo. to headless Marvel heroes
  • Dan's six-year-old ire for Five Nights...
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This Friday the 13th of October on Pokémon Rose: from MissingNo. and a skeletal Kabutops to Drifloon and Gengar, take our hand on the spookiest day of the year and wander with us through the pokégraveyard. Stay on the lookout: if we're unlucky enough, we may just be visited by the origins of ghost stories, Ghost Pokémon, and the spooky folklore that wove its DNA into the Pokémon series and early-2000s internet gaming culture alike.

...
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This week on Pokémon Rose: an exposition of mythopoeia, a study of the Pokémon world's perennial quest for meaning and explanation in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, and how mechanics of exploration, Pokémania, and myth equip players to confront one burning question: "How do we dream in a shapeless void?"

Credit to Qumu Music for the music in this episode.

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This week on Pokémon Rose: an introduction to Generation 4 of Pokémon (Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum), the value of taking your childhood passions seriously as you grow up, and the surprising perspective of falling in love with a game as an adult only because you chose not to play it in your childhood.

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This week on Pokémon Phi Rose: five-time Pokémon world champion Dan Hughes reflects on Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and contemplates what might have been if he'd taken a different path and adopted a different dream.

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This week on Pokémon Rose: the story of how Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire turned the series' rivalry paradigm on its head through a new kind of character—and a new kind of role for the player.

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This week on Pokémon Rose: studying how the enemy teams of Pokémon developed from mobsters into a trenchant lesson on the limitations of personal dreams.

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This week on Pokémon Rose: a deep dive into the game mechanics of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire that gave birth to the modern Pokémon metagame—and a study of how those mechanics unexpectedly enhanced the heart of the series' storytelling.

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