The following is an episode of With a Terrible Fate’s weekly podcast discussing video-game storytelling from all angles. Find all episodes here.

Join With a Terrible Fate for a special podcast episode fully dedicated to explorations into the Kingdom Hearts series.

To many, Kingdom Hearts might initially appear to be a curious amalgamation. Its infamously complicated plot aside, the series stands out for its integration of original characters and Final Fantasy characters with the worlds and characters of Disney. In this episode, we discuss the work of our guest, media and video-game studies graduate student Anh-Thu Nguyen, who argues that Kingdom Hearts employs a tourist gaze by letting players explore a digital Disneyland.

We also join Dan Hughes in a discussion of his latest article on With a Terrible Fate, Understanding Xemnas in Kingdom Hearts II: a study in one of the most puzzling lines from the game’s finale, which Dan believes sheds light on the game’s themes of player agency and the plight of NPCs. We discuss the article itself, his philosophy of Kingdom Hearts, his analytical method, questions from his readership, and his plans for follow-up articles in the future.

(Spoiler warning for the Kingdom Hearts series.)

Continue Listening

Stefan Heinrich Simond

Stefan Heinrich Simond - Video Game Analyst

Stefan Heinrich Simond is a game studies scholar at Philipps University Marburg working on a PhD studying the construction of madness in video games. He is the host of With a Terrible Fate's weekly podcast.  Learn more here.

Dan Hughes

Dan Hughes - Video Game Analyst

Dan Hughes has dabbled in everything from playwriting to religious studies to YouTube personas. He is the seriesrunner for With a Terrible Fate's "Now Loading... The Video Game Canon!"  Learn more here.

Aaron Suduiko

Aaron Suduiko - Founder and Chief Video Game Analyst

Aaron Suduiko is the founder of With a Terrible Fate and a philosopher of video-game storytelling. He specializes in the impact of player-avatar relations on game stories.  Learn more here.

With a Terrible Fate is dedicated to developing the best video game analysis anywhere, without any ads or sponsored content. If you liked what you just read, please consider supporting us by leaving a one-time tip or becoming a contributor on Patreon.

Digital Tip Jar

Join Our Email List For All Our Newest Articles

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles


With a Terrible Fate Podcast Episode 13: Into the Mindscape

This week's podcast focuses on mindscapes in video-game fictions, follow-up on the psychoanalytic interpretation of Returnal, and romance in Final Fantasy X.


With a Terrible Fate Podcast Episode 12: What to Expect from Steam Deck

This week on the podcast: what the Steam Deck could do for interactive storytelling; Netflix gaming rumors; Super Mario 64 at auction.


With a Terrible Fate Podcast Episode 11: EarthBound’s Flavor Text

Enjoy a conversation with Max Gorynski about the latest in his Comprehensive Theory of EarthBound, plus meditations on Nintendo hardware, collectibles, and narrative metagames.