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Season 6 is the fourth season[note 1] of Friends at the Table, also known as Twilight Mirage. Yes, that doesn't make sense.

Originally planned to be the actual sixth season, Twilight Mirage was moved up the line after the Friends decided that Bluff City was more suited to being a bonus series for supporters of the show on Patreon than as the podcast's fourth season. As of now, the group plans for season five to be the third and final Hieron season.

Concepts Edit

This season is partially a response to 'We could have made them look like anything, but we made them look like us,' a phrase often repeated in COUNTER/Weight. Instead,Twilight Mirage starts with the assumption that some beings are very, very different from humans.[1]

Similarly, much of Friends at the Table is dystopian, but Twilight Mirage relies on the idea that "this place that is ours is fundamentally good. It might be in disrepair, it might be falling apart, it's under attack, but it was good for us."[2]

Instead of a firmly technology-skeptical show, the season's goal is to explore when technology is operated correctly and by people representing the best interests of everyone. Could they build a world that was better for everyone? They want to talk about ecology, science, and technology in a way that isn't only "What can it do for us?". They're hoping to hit on decentralizing humans, focusing on post-humanism, not transhumanism. "What would the world look like if we could do anything?"[3]

Influences Edit

Twilight Mirage is fantasy-influenced sci-fi, like Star Wars, with a broader palette than COUNTER/Weight's cyber-noir.The planet-side game cites a bright, colorful vibe of sci-fi adventure. It's less alien, less "investigating the ancient cave," more "small town on the distant horizon where the sun sets"; it's melancholic, but melancholic looking out onto a place that you want to go to. "The world is so big. What is my place in it?" Monster Hunter and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were referenced for inspiration.

The space game looks toward a cosmopolitan society, a collection of diverse, unique places, separated by distance and bonded by cultural exchange. There is some slight drawing on steampunk-adjacent stuff. The Mesh and the augmented reality of the Mirage is very important in establishing this aesthetic.

Despite other departures from COUNTER/Weight, Twilight Mirage is still going for an anime-influenced tone, referencing Escaflowne and Nausicaä (and Studio Ghibli, in general). DC One Million , a DC Comics arc, is also a mentioned touchstone. Video games like Nier: Automata are also a big influence.

Artwork mentioned includes Simon Stålenhag's depictions of rural life juxtaposed with occasionally horrifying sci-fi, Jakub Rozalski, and Nicolas "Sparth" Bouvier (the piece Pendul City in particular).

Music wise, Frank Ocean is referenced multiple times (and is also quoted in every episode description). Austin Walker put together playlists for each game: Dusk (for the Beloved Dust), Dawn (for the Myriad crew), and Twilight (both games together).[3]

References Edit

  1. Episode 00, 0:13:25.
  2. Episode 00, 0:15:50.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Episode 00, 0:18:25-0:34:35.

Notes Edit

  1. Not counting the interlude season of Marielda.