Wow, it’s been — soon anyway — 10 years since the first Fable game was released. Remember? The one they actually released for PC as well. Not that I’m holding a grudge or anything. No really. I mostly played it on the original Xbox but I’ve heard rumours that they’re making the re-mastered edition an Xbox One Exclusive.
I remember the original Fable game fondly and in honour of Lionhead Studios impending release of the re-mastered Fable: The Lost Chapters, titled Fable Anniversary I though I would play the original, except on PC this time. Steam’s — by now infamous — Summer Sale is on and you can get Fable: The Lost Chapters for a measly £3.49.
May contain story specific spoilers.
I remember the first time I saw Fable; I sat next to Mr. Cruise, watching as he — neither of us having heard of this game before — played through the entire game. He, like most of us, — I imagine — kicked every chicken he could find whilst playing the childhood section. Neither of us knew that you start out with the title “Chicken Chaser”, we in fact didn’t even know one had titles.
As he comes to Bowerstone for the first time he is greeted oddly as… well… some villagers call him a “Chicken Chaser” and well… his response is, how shall we say? Less than friendly? It didn’t take long before he starts punching everyone, which of course the guards don’t appreciate and apprehend him for his crimes and… well… “Deathbringer” is born.
Good old “Deathbringer”, Puncher of Doors and Small Children. Stabber of Guards. Heckler of Poor People. Sword-stealing Sister Killer.
Needless to say, Mr. Cruise did the “evil” playthrough, which included highlights such as marrying Lady Grey — the seductive, voluptuous, but villainous Mayor of Bowerstone — and then punching her repeatedly because he couldn’t get her to put out.
Slaughtering his entire — childhood — village of Oakvale, because they obviously had it coming, sitting there being all… ummm… village-y? With taunting windows and doors?
So, when I got to playing Fable myself, I tried for the “good” playthrough, which as it turns out is pretty difficult when faced with temptation and also nobody was watching me. Damn it.
I ended up doing more of a morally grey playthrough. Steal people’s books for profit and punch the occasional child? Sure. Kill your sister to get a sword? Maybe not.
But that was years ago. Now I have aged and matured, realised the error of my ways and all that. This would be the time I play through an entire game of Fable with unscrupulous morals. Right?
Off we go. “New Game?” Why yes, don’t mind if I do. “Profile Name?”
In true Fable spirit I will call myself “Chicken Chaser”. Obviously.
No? Annoying arbitrary character limit of 11 says “No” and I end up having to call myself “Chicken Cha” instead. But I suppose it could have been worse… I suppose I could have been “Arseface”.
Come to think of it, I should have really gone for “Arseface”.
After a lengthy exposition — I didn’t remember it being this long — I am greeted by my father, who informs me that it’s my sisters birthday which I’ve obviously forgotten and he consequently sends me out to do “good deeds” to make enough gold coins to buy my sister a Box of Chocolates, from our local sleazy salesman.
“Oh, I’ll stay out of trouble all right, you— Oh. Right. I was going to do a ‘good’ playthrough. Damn it.”
“Fine. Yes, dad, I’ll stay out of trouble.”
Crimes Committed within the following five minutes;
“Destruction of Person’s Vendibles.”
“Violent Conduct Towards a Person or Persons Without Guard’s Permission.”
“Accessory to Improper Man and Lady Behaviour.”
“But surely my childhood doesn’t count because… ummm… I said so?”
I manage to gather enough good deeds to get me the Box of Chocolates. Chocolates that are never fully enjoyed anyway since shortly thereafter our entire village is attacked by bandits who do what bandits do best; Pillage, Rape and Murder. But mostly the murder part as I find my father lying exactly where he stood earlier. Expect also dead.
“Oh, dad, why didn’t you at least try to run away? Why did you have to stay perfectly still as a bandit undoubtably stabbed you in the face?”
These and many other questions will forever be left unanswered as a bandit charges — sword held high in his hand — towards me to add a +1 to his “Rape & Murder” streak. But he is stopped mere meters before me as a mysterious stranger appears and shoots him in the back with lightning.
“Come with me, if you want to live”, I imagine he says in a stoic voice as his hand reaches out to mine.
“Arnold Schwarzenegger? No? Peter Dickson? Okay, I’ll come with you. This place has gone pretty downhill since this morning anyway.”
A quick but vomit inducing teleportation later the mysterious stranger — who calls himself Maze — welcomes me into the Guild of Heroes with promises of vengeance and cake.
Soon I had no thought other than training, and I became stronger and more agile with every passing year. My days were filled with gruelling exercises. My nights, with studies in the library. Finally, I was ready to become a Guild Apprentice, just as Maze had foreseen.
The real training was about to begin.
“What do you mean ‘real’ training? I though that was the real training. Where’s my cake bitch?”
The following morning I can finally put away my stick as the Guildmaster gives me an “Iron Longsword” and tells me to fight the girl I’ve — pretty much — grown up with and by this point know better than my dearly departed sister.
With thoughts of cake I soon defeat Whisper, in front of her own brother even — like that isn’t going to come back to bite me in the ass later — who then berates her in front of all of us.
I thank the Guildmaster for his — clearly — well-thought-out plan by — again — breaking my promise of good and punching him in the face, which triggers a cut scene where I am told by Maze that the only fighting allowed at the Heroes’ Guild, is combat training
“I hope you’re not going to make a habit of doing this.”, he then proceeds to ask me.
I steal every book I can carry from Maze’s quarters before leaving for my final test.