Created by Asciiware, played on SNES

Abject Suffering Episode 12 (6/6/2013)

Recommended by Vivienne


Kole invites Gary into his shed behind his house. The shed is full of newspaper clippings and colored string indicating a pattern. Gary is worried, but Kole assures him the articles are from the life section. According to Kole's examinations of Catcher in the Rye, the next game they are playing is Spellcraft for the SNES.

Gary: Fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff…
Kole: Gary, your balloon's leaking. Your balloon's leaking.
Gary: …fuck.
Kole: It popped.


Kole is pleased that they always have to do a sketch, Gary tells him not to edit Abject Suffering too much. Kole talks about Frog Fractions. Gary and Kole introduce themselves, Gary states the names of all the Duckfeed shows. Gary mentions that this game was never released, and that he told Kole not to research to much about this game because of a fun surprise. Gary was trying to find information about this game, even a FAQ, but could not. Kole suggests putting a GameFAQs bounty on this, which Gary compares to the Roman games. They discuss if someone likes this game, and that this is their white whale, and someone else's regular whale. Gary jokes that he didn't download a ROM of this game. This is an unreleased conversion of a DOS game, released by Asciiware, which the hosts were not familiar with. Gary points out that Asciiware doesn't even show up as a link on Wikipedia. It is compared to obscure things such as the Kitten Hour public access show or Watch out for Fireballs. Gary talks about public access TV, particularly a show about a woman who films her cats and does voice overs.

Gary talks about the original DOS Spellcraft, comparing it to Populous. He compares this Spellcraft to the game the Immortal. Kole compares this game to a game with crappy Toejam and Earl navigation and crappy Punch Out combat. They talk about the combat, which is bad. They wonder if the combat is bad because funding was pulled before they could finish. Gary describes a woman in the game as a "poodle-haired barfly", comparing her to the female doctor from Captain Novolin. Kole refers to her as a "lady type", making Gary refer to her as the lady type Pokemon Jynx. They discuss the terrible spells you get at the beginning of the game, and how the power narrative in this game starts out worse than in Metroid or Deus Ex. They discuss 0-level D&D spells that would at least be useful in this situation. Gary wishes the protagonist could donate money to the schools that these enemies went to, in order to stop the problem at the source. Kole attempts to describe the plot. They say the name of the magic realm in Spellcraft, Valor, sounds like a car name. The primary NPCs in this game are Garwain, who looks like he should be painted on the side of a van, and Selena (the poodle-haired barfly) looks like she's from a Vegas game or as previously mentioned the lady from Captain Novolin. The cover of Spellcraft is real side of a van, and it belongs in a pack of third-rate trading cards. The problems with the narration in this game are discussed. Kole took careful notes while playing Spellcraft for some reason. The random drop and quest system in Spellcraft is derided at length. They like the pugil stick weapon, comparing it to a therapy stick or American Gladiators.

Gary has two favorite things about this game. Before listing these, he mentions that he enjoys Kole taking serious notes about a bullshit game. Gary supposes that when Kole is murdered he will have to use his notes to find the killer. His first favorite thing about the game is how the life bar is set up as "you" and "them". Second, is how the second time you die you go to a Hell level, which Kole compares to Planescape: Torment, and Gary incorrectly compares it to the Disney Hercules game on PS1 (he was describing something from the Lucasarts game Herc's Adventures). Gary likes the giant skulls that shoot flames out of their eyes. Kole holds this game to unrealistic standards. Kole reads the notes he took on the game. He believes this game should have a Chick tract about it. Gary thinks it would be funny if someone set up a trap-filled basement like this game and kidnapped children to force them through it. Neither host got any spells in Spellcraft. They discuss the spells from reading a spell faq about this game, and compare some of them to D&D.

Gary talks about the secret messages hidden in the code of Spellcraft. Some of them are just general thanks from hopeful people. There is a sad message from a programmer to his ex-girlfriend, which is discussed at length. There is another message to another ex-girlfriend, from either another programmer, or one very sad programmer. The tragedy that these messages are in an unreleased game does not go unmentioned. Gary compares Asciiware's programmers to the true urban legend about the hanging corpse of a suicide victim used as a haunted house prop. The inappropriateness of this is compared to Daniel T from the Mike Tyson's Intergalactic Power Punch episode. Gary reads the rest of the secret messages, which are luckily just goofy and fun for the most part. Kole thinks this would be amazing in a Frog Fractions-style game, and could be an IGF winner. Gary thinks this could be a good detail for an Internet horror story. For some reason, the secret messages also contain the level names from Smash TV. Kole looks at the discussion board on GameFAQs, but can't find anything that tops the secret messages. They speculate on the futures of the sad programmer and the women in the message, and speculate that it's in the code of other terrible games.

Vivienne gets a "go fuck yourself".

They are not looking forward to the next episode, the Uncanny X-Men for NES.


Gary: Praise the sun.
Kole: So the world might be mended.

Other bad games referenced

Captain Novolin
Home Improvement
Mike Tyson's Intergalactic Power Punch
Simon the Sorcerer
Bubsy 3D
The Uncanny X-Men

Inside Jokes

GameFAQs - GameFAQs is mentioned briefly.
Skeletons - This game contains multiple skeletons.
Daniel T - The FAQ about Power Punch 2 dedicated to the author's dead great aunt is compared to the secret messages in Spellcraft.
Dark Souls - Gary praises the sun. Kole signs off with a quote from Demon's Souls.
Sad Spellcraft Guy - First appears in this episode, a man (or possibly two men) leaves a message for his ex-girlfriend in the code of Spellcraft.

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