Has a Spoiler Ever Allowed You to Enjoy a Game More?

Accidentally reading a spoiler for 'Pyre' allowed me to sit back and enjoy the ride, rather than stressing out.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/7xxwna/has-a-spoiler-ever-allowed-you-to-enjoy-a-game-more

If anything has a dog in it, finding out the dog lives means I can focus on the story and everything without worrying if anything bad happens to the dog.


I hate horror. I can’t stand it. I can’t deal with it. Gone Home plays on horror tropes for effect. When I heard that I knew that I couldn’t play that game. It was only by spoiling the ending for myself that I thought I should maybe check it out. I still played it with my headphones off and with the lights on but at least I played it.


I also had a spoiler help me enjoy Pyre more. Knowing how many liberation rites there are in the game helped stress less and plan better. Btw Pyre is my personal game of the year.


“There are no do-overs, no restarts. If you lose, you lose.”

This isn’t true in Pyre. You can restart any rite from any time in the options menu, and you can even restart a match right after you lose. Also, there is not penalty for restarting.

I definitely took some advantage of this, but only for the liberation rites. The normal matches if I lost I kept going.

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not enjoyed more, but it’s certainly helped me move past games i’ve dropped for some reason or another.

Is that really a spoiler, though? I don’t think that counts.
Anyway, sticking to the question itself, literally the only time I was actually down with a spoiler was finding out Velvet’s fate in Tales of Berseria, 'cause it’d be pretty BS to hype up the first game in the series with a solo female protagonist only to kill off said protagonist by the end. Other that, I find spoilers to be detrimental to my enjoyment of any fiction.

I have some weird feelings about this article and spoilers and I think they center around 2 points, so here goes.

I guess I think the article is factually wrong? Pyre actually consistently does tell you that it’s fine to lose. It was advertised as well; the third bullet on its Steam store page is even as follows: “A Branching Story with No Game Over - In Pyre, you will never be forced to lose progress. Whether you prevail or you fail, your journey continues. The interactive narrative is expressed through a story that no two players will experience in quite the same way.”

It also specifically tells you this in-game the first time you try to restart a Rite mid-match, anticipating that you might be trying to save scum.

Beyond that I’d say it doesn’t sound like the spoiler part (regarding Liberations) helped you as much as being told something the game openly advertised (that losing is fine). Which maybe opens up a discussion of something clearer in a game’s advertising being a spoiler (this brings to mind things like Limbo, where more is said about what it’s about outside of it than in it), but I digress.

Spoilers have pretty much never been helpful to me. I am very, very bad at forgetting spoilers. A lot of the time my anxiety plays into this as well- I start fixating on the spoiler and hoping to get it over with, or thinking about how it plays into things more than I should, and that disrupts my enjoyment of the game. I know some of that’s on me, but still.

There’s an argument (that I’m super oversimplifying here) that being spoiled is effectively letting you read/watch/play something as if it was your second time the first time through, and that can be more enjoyable because of foreshadowing, etc. etc. But I have some issues with this. First off: I wanted that first time through! Particularly if I’m paying for the content I’m experiencing! And I think there are plenty of works where the second time through actually doesn’t hold up, but that’s actually ok because the first time through works well and that’s enjoyable even if it’s a mess when you look back on it critically. That’s not even mentioning works where figuring things out yourself - or being directly misled - is part of the experience and now you’ll never know how you would have felt, just vaguely what other people said you would feel. There are times when being spoiled really doesn’t cover the journey - I’ve been heavily spoiled for the original Nier but have loved my time with it and been surprised by what I didn’t know (though I wish I knew nothing) - but sometimes it can easily sour the whole experience.

In any case I’ve been getting better about this - I was spoiled for several huge twists in Persona 5 and enjoyed that game regardless - but even then it still seriously hurts my enjoyment most of the time. And even then, Persona 5 is one of those games I mentioned above where the second time doesn’t hold up. The Akechi twist has absolutely 0 resolution after much of the game being setup for the twist- and so I knew the whole twist the entire time, which made the game’s obvious hints even more obvious, and then in the end I got little enjoyment out of that storyline because when it was finally revealed 3/4 of the way through the game I didn’t even get to enjoy the fact that the game finally told me about it because it did nothing with it. I’d still be annoyed if I hadn’t been spoiled but at least the twist in itself would have been more interesting.


I got into Persona 4 because of learning the twist and see the choices the game had to offer.

This happened to me too! I was playing P4 and got about 3/4 through it when P5 came in the mail, and of course moved on to that. While I was playing 5, I was just looking up things about the persona series out of interest and found out the big twist ending, but I think that let me experience the game in two different ways, later having experiences like “woah I’m in the same room as the killer, that’s crazy!” But also having that mystery and intrigue from the beginning.

In this specific case, I deeply respect the ability for a spoiler to reignite my love in a game. But in this case, Patrick’s love for Pyre had a falling out and needed a rekindling, and I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced a spoiler being that needed motivation before. Normally I would consider “wouldn’t it have been better if I could have naturally experienced this for myself” but in the case where I have reached the point where I no longer had the motivation to play this would be unreasonable. That worry that I’ll never be able to get that pure reaction back still my go to “what if” thought when I hear a spoiler and it subsequently alters my conception of a piece of media.

I think it depends on how you define spoiler, I suppose? I think talking to folks about a game, and getting maybe some hints or direction, is really nice. I rarely feel like reading a “spoiler” on the internet has increased my enjoyment; however, feedback from folks over the course of a discussion has been helpful.

Recently, I had found 119 shrines in Zelda and I was getting frustrated with the last one. I hadn’t looked up any locations, and I was (am) proud of that fact! I didn’t want to quit, or get annoyed with the game, so I showed my map to someone who had looked up the location of all the shrines. That person pointed me to the general area (by identifying the nearest tower) and I was able to localize my search and find the shrine. This meant that I avoided a ton of potential frustration, and also didn’t completely spoil myself on something I thought was cool.

So, yeah, that was helpful and fun. It felt more organic than just looking up a location on the internet.

it’s not a spoiler per se, but with Wolf Among Us my familiarity with the comics gave me a sense of the level of tragedy I could expect and that freed me up to embody the role of a guy trying his best, making mistakes, and dealing with the consequences where normally that sort of gameplay stresses me out and has largely kept me away from the genre.

Knowing that Spec Ops: The Line does what it ends up doing is why I played that game in the first place. I didn’t much enjoy the gameplay, but I was glad to experience the game and would definitely not have made it to the end were it not for that knowledge.


I have said on here before that I dropped Red Dead Redemption after I got to Mexico because I didn’t like that the game made me work with the obviously bad army colonel . It was only reading about the ending 3 years later that made me pick it up again. I’m glad I pushed past that and got to see the rest of the game.

No one I know is willing to play Nier unless I give some semblance of a hint about how it works in regards to its ending(s). Not that I blame them, it’s a rough play otherwise.

It started with the Red Wedding. I had fallen behind and wasn’t sure I was ever going to catch up, because I just found the show too stressful. Then I saw a spoiler in a Buzzfeed “wishful casting” article the day after it aired [“Well, after last night’s episode, we know John Actor is done with GoT, so now he can be Billy Actionstar in this other movie!”].

At first I was extremely annoyed, but then I realized I couldn’t wait to actually watch it. Now I always read Game of Thrones recaps before watching the episode. I do it for a lot of shows, but GoT is the one I’m most religious about.

I get too stressed when I watch the show and don’t know what’s going to happen. This way, I can just enjoy watching the events unfold.

ETA: while I don’t care about Game of Thrones spoilers myself, I do think it’s weird and kinda shitty the way Twitter peeps treat it like a live sporting event. Like, there’s lots of places online where you could react to it live with people you know are watching it, too. Do you really think your particular Damn, I can’t believe Dany’s dragon ate Sansa! is so insightful that you have to force it on thousands of people, some of whom couldn’t even watch yet if they wanted to?

Yeah, actually, and a spoiler that Patrick gave me.

Back when he was at GiantBomb, he talked about Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc during the Best Story discussion of GB’s Game of the Year podcast. And he, essentially, talked about how it ended.

Now, the ending was such an absurd and amazing idea, a twist I’d never imagine a game like that having, that I had to see how it got there, if it earned the right to end like that, which was a very ballsy move in my opinion.

Lo and behold, I played Danganronpa and found it extremely satisfying. Knowing how it ended made me enjoy it more because the curiosity now was: how does it get there? For some reason, I found it more appealing than “how does it end”?

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This is a good one. I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but I know there have been times when the spoiler-filled GB GotY discussion made me more excited to play something.

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A very nonspecific one, but Nier Automata wouldn’t have held up very well for me if I hadn’t been told about multiple playthroughs deepening the story over time. In route A, I wasn’t really doing the side quests, and everything else was very surface level and light hints about a deeper level. But that deeper level wasn’t anything to write home about.

If I hadn’t heard Patrick and Austin evangelise for it so hard, I’d have assumed it was just another video game that was better written than most and riding on that wave. But it really does deepen over the whole game.

I regularly read the Wikipedia entries of games I want to play to have a diagonal look at the plot of the game.