Fable: Ending

By Shamus
on Sep 11, 2007
Filed under:
Game Reviews

I’m going to summarize the plot of Fable. Especially intuitive readers might be able to discern my feelings towards the story along the way.

Note: Total spoilers!


The game starts of with your character in a perfectly nice little village where nothing bad ever happens. By the time you’re done setting up the controls bandits have arrived, murdering and burning as bandits tend to do. Your nameless protagonist is rescued from the carnage by a man named Maze.

Maze brings you to the “Heroes Guild”, a place that takes in children and trains them to be nondescript heroes with no particular goals outside of going out and kicking as much ass as possible. In the first half hour of the game (a sort of tutorial) you grow from a little boy into a man. Nobody else seems to age, or indeed even move from their given spot.

They make no effort to teach any sort of moral code or even instill a basic allegiance to the guild itself. When your nameless orphan hero graduates, the guildmaster mentions that the graduates may choose good or evil. He doesn’t seem to care one way or the other. despite the fact that he, and everyone else involved with the place, seem to prefer good people to evil. I guess it never occurs to any of them during the decade-long training process that they might be able to influence which way students choose to go.

Once graduation is over, you take a few jobs from the guild. Maze reappears and hints that your sister – who you saw for about twelve seconds at the start of the game – might still be alive! You fight your way through an army of bandits, and liberate her. She is so glad to see her brother that she delivers a little cryptic plot exposition and then wanders off. Looks like the bad guy (she never gets around to telling you WHO) murdered your father, then captured and tortured your mother and sister. He also blinded your sister.

You eventually learn that the guy behind all of this is named (Sigh) Jack of Blades.

Maze gives you a few more hints about what you need to do next, and you eventually rescue your mother, who has been a prisoner for the last decade or more, and who has been regulrly tortured for most of that time. She joins you, and the two of you fight your way out of the dungeon. You hack your way through dozens of minions, but just before you reach daylight Jack of Blades appears! He teleports in with a grand total of four henchmen.

Now, taking into account the following:

  1. You’ve just killed an army of these henchmen. They are not a serious threat to you.
  2. You are at last face-to-face with your enemy who killed your father, tortured your blah blah blah. This guy has been a phenomenal jerk to you all your life, and this is your first chance at revenge.
  3. You have your long-lost mother with you. This is her first chance at freedom since you were a child.
  4. You are an amazing badass. The most powerful hero in a generation.
  5. Your mother was once a member of the Heroes Guild, and quite the butt-kicker herself in her day. In fact, when it comes to having the title of world-champion badass, she’s the one who held the title before you.

Taking all these facts into account, you… surrender. (The game doesn’t give you a choice. It’s a cutscene.)

You and your mother are then thrown back into prison where everyone enjoys another round of torture. Actually, a year of it. Then you escape. With your mother. For whatever reason, Jack of Blades doesn’t teleport in, and you make it to freedom this time.

Your mother then wanders off to figure out how to locate Jack of Blades.

Later you arrive at the Heroes Guild. Jack of Blades (JoB) then teleports in, recaptures your mother, and teleports away.

You then catch Maze (the guy who rescued you at the start of the game) trying to recapture your blind sister. He reveals he’s been working for JoB all along! JoB needs the blood of your sister, your mother, and you, in order to get the Uber-Sword so he can DESTROY THE WORLD. It turns out the attack on your hometown years ago was done in order to capture the three of you. Even though he orchestrated the attack, (at the bidding of JoB) Maze spared you and took you to the Heroes Guild. But now that you know the truth, he decides he must kill you.

Let’s back up and see if we can figure out what Maze is doing:

  1. Maze joins forces with JoB, because he’s afraid of JoB. Maze figures it is better to help JoB destroy the world than to resist him and… maybe… die?
  2. Maze organizes the attack on your hometown. After slaughtering many people, he suddenly decided to disobey JoB. Now, if he killed you the prophesy would end and JoB’s plan would fail. If he hid you away JoB would never find you and thus his plan would fail. So Maze takes you to the Heroes Guild, where you will become a very famous badass.
  3. Despite his cowardice at standing up to JoB, Maze is brave enough to take you to be trained as a hero. This is a gutsy move, considering how he just got done destroying your hometown.
  4. Once you were a fully trained morally ambiguous badass, he started giving you information on how to rescue your sister.
  5. Once you rescued her, he then set about trying to re-capture her.
  6. Despite the fact that he saved your life and saw to it that you became the world’s foremost badass, he blabs his plan to you and then decides to kill you.

Once you kick his ass, with his dying breath he gives you an exceedingly long speech about how he did all of the above because he is “a coward”. (And at this point I really hope you’re enjoying reading this because I am experiencing physical pain trying to put this into words without sustaining brain damage.)

Where was I? Right. Next you go fight JoB. Actually, you have to run all over the gameworld while he teleports around. No matter how fast or slow you move, you’ll always arrive just in time to see him teleport away. (Thankfully, you don’t surrender to him again.)

Eventually he goes to the Heroes Guild to claim the Uber Sword. He has both your mother and your sister. Just as you reach him, he kills your mother in front of you. Then you have a long-multi-stage boss fight with varying attack patterns until JoB becomes vulnerable and you kill him.

You sister then reveals that you have two choices:

  1. Cast the sword into the abyss, destroying it forever. OR…
  2. Kill your sister, claiming the sword as your own. She presents this choice to you the same way she might suggest that you could have the chicken or the beef. She really doesn’t seem too invested in it one way or the other.

Note that even if you do take the sword you do not get the power to RULE AND / OR DESTROY THE WORLD as Jack was planning to do. You just get a sword with better stats than the one you have now. Note also that we’re at the end of the game and the utility of a better sword is somewhat questionable. It doesn’t occur to either of you that you could just walk away with the sword and NOT kill her with it.

So there it is. That’s the plot of the game, such as it is. I could tell you that the plot “could have been better”, but only if today was Enormous Understatement Day. (I think that falls just after Halloween this year.)

This was probably most infantile plot I’ve run into in an RPG. Even the mindless shooters of yesteryear handled their stories with more finesse than this. Most of the plot hinged on Maze and his actions, and the guy made not one bit of sense. His service to Jack of Blades was irrational. Allowing for that, his betrayal was then irrational or at lest inexplicable. His help to you was irrational, and then working against you after helping you was irrational. And finally his trying to kill you after all of the above was sad and comical.

The storytelling was all over the place. It tried to incorporate heavy, serious subject matter – such as the prolonged torture and maiming of close family members. And yet the story itself had all the sophistication of Smurfs / Scooby-Doo crossover fan fiction. The plot was childish, so they tried to make it more “adult” by throwing in grim torture. The villain was about as deep and interesting as Skeletor, so they had the villain dedicate his life to being an absolute ass to you, in hopes that they could get you to care.

I know some people are going to object to me berating the game like this. This is very similar to my review of Transformers. Stop taking it so seriously! It’s just supposed to be fun! I suppose that works if all you want is action, but I can’t help looking at this beautiful game and thinking how much better it would be if there was a worthwhile story to go with it.

This doesn’t mean the game sucks. I had fun with it. I enjoyed the combat. The scenery was pretty. I played through twice. But when the plot took center stage it was a painful thing to witness. This was a showcase of plot devices so lame they need hospice care. The dialog was so tired it could fall asleep in a mosh pit.

I really don’t think I’m asking too much. This game could have had an interesting plot, and it wouldn’t have cost them a dime. It didn’t need to be longer, or have more voice acting, or more missions or scenery or music or spells or special effects. All they needed was to treat the story with the same respect and seriousness that they expected from the player.

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20201858 comments. It's getting crowded in here.

From the Archives:

  1. Dan says:

    so…you liked it?

  2. Joe M says:

    Hey, at least it’s not Knights of the Old Republic 2.

  3. Doug Sundseth says:

    “I guess it never occurs to any of them during the decade-long training process that they might be able to influence which way students choose to go.”

    Dude, telling the player what to do would be, like, totally railroading. Not like the cutscene surrender, which is just a plot point.

    8-)

  4. Gothmog says:

    I know I’ve posted this linky before, but the Zero Punctuation guy has a funny video review of Fable here: http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/reviews/

    I think you’ll agree with his assessment of the game whole-heartedly, Shamus. :D

  5. Lefty says:

    Evidently the plot is from the school of “plot twist”-based narrative. This approach just has the most shocking thing happen in any given scene, irrespective of any previous content/character continuity.

  6. Did you play the “extended” portion? It doesn’t make any sense either, trust me.

    I had fun with the game, but I agree about the torturously inane plot. I just stopped listening to what people said and just did whatever my quest log told me to do. Saved me a lot of grief.

  7. Erik Lund says:

    The Smurfs/Scooby Doo crossover fan fiction link is broken.

  8. John says:

    I didn’t much like Fable either. Beside that completely un-engaging story, it wasn’t much of a challenge. I seem to remember that by about 20% of the way through, you had the 2nd best sword, the best bow, good enough armor, and enough mana potions that nothing could touch you.

    I think the combo was shield spell + slow time + multi-attack + lots of mana potions.

    I’m not one to min-max to get the last 0.01% advantage, but I do like to put a little thought into what gear to use and how to approach certain fights.

    Bah… Chicken Chaser…

  9. Mordaedil says:

    Knight of the Old Republic 2 was far better than Fable. It was just more akin to Empire Strikes Back than a New Hope.

    Though honestly, Fable was the worst RPG I’ve played… But I haven’t played a lot of bad ones.

  10. Roy says:

    The villain was about as deep and interesting as Skeletor, so they had the villain dedicate his life to being an absolute ass to you, in hopes that they could get you to care.

    Hey, come on now! At least Skeletor only wanted to rule Eternia, not destroy it. Plus, there was the whole “Is he or isn’t he He-Man’s uncle?” thing.

    Skeletor was way more interesting, is all I’m saying.

  11. CJG says:

    I got 5 minutes into fable and decided I didn’t really want to play it.

    There seems to be strong evidence that my instincts were correct.

  12. -Chipper says:

    “I guess it never occurs to any of them during the decade-long training process that they might be able to influence which way students choose to go.”

    Off topic, but it’s scary & sad the parents I see with the same attitude toward their own kids.

  13. Bard says:

    Thanks a lot for that, mate. From all I’d heard about all the ways you could interact with your environment, I thought Fable must be some glorious proto-fusion of Ender’s fantasy game and Heir Apparent (the latter being a pretty obscure book, but it’s basically kickass VR where your actions affect the plot in huge ways). Without the plot, yeah, that’s a no-go. Though it obviously helps that your distaste showed a bit above the cut.

  14. Andy P says:

    Spot on assessment. Basically fun and very pretty game with a horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible plot that makes no sense.

    The bit about “kill your sister or destroy the sword” was particularly ridiculous not only because of option (c) “keep the sword but don’t kill your sister” but also because, the whole point of the game up until that point was to become more or less good or evil. Then you reach the final point and can, if you so wish, ignore absolutely everything that went before and act completely out of character. (So much for “role-playing). Jaw-droppingly poor.

  15. Nilus says:

    That not the end. You can get the Fables: The Lost Tales expansion and play another quest where you do more dumb things and then fight a Dragon. No its not worth getting.

  16. Apostate says:

    Totally agreed. The best contrast to that I can think of is the plot to _Planescape:__Torment_. In that one, the villain was truly a bastard, and the characters all stayed true to who they ultimately proved to be….even if it was a bit confusing in the beginning.

    _Fable_ was pretty and it was amusing to run around seeing just who you could kill, but the lack of quality plot or dialog kept me from playing it again. If I wanted that kind of torture, I’d volunteer for a root canal instead. I don’t mind minimal/no plot in a pretty game, but when it’s that badly put together, it really detracts from my ability to care what happens to the characters or enjoy the game itself.

    I do have to say, though, that I LOVED getting to see how far I could kick chickens….even as a good hero!

  17. Dev Null says:

    Hey! You promised us plot spoilers! There wasn’t anything in there that I would describe as plot…

  18. PenguinOfDoom says:

    Argh “summerize”. Fix it fix it fix it fix it. You can kill half the world’s population and also insult my mother, but NEVER make that typo again. Please.

  19. Shamus says:

    Penguin: It’s just me and my spell checker here, you know? Anytime you hook 1700 words together you’re bound to have the odd mistake. Particularly if you’re me.

  20. The Gneech says:

    I see you’ve been spoiled by _Jade Empire_. Good on ya. :)

    And even if you don’t want to say Fable suck, I’ll gladly say it.

    FABLE SUCKED!

    -The Gneech

  21. IronCastKnight says:

    I absolutely loved Fable, but I also concur with this article; The story was shit. On the subject of Maze, I think the point is that only the blood of the main’s mother and sister, considering that you get the powered up but useless ULTRAHYPERMEGAMACGUFFINBLADE after capping both of them, so Maze allowing the main to live until he gets in the way is just another bit of “Meh, whatever” plotpathy instead of an entirely contradictory bit of gibberish.

    Now, if he was so afraid of death and Jack of Blades(Is that like ACE OF SPADES?), why didn’t he just walk into town one night and blow the hero, and his entire family, straight to Planescape? Ding, one AOE spell, world saved, town saved, JoB cockblocked.

  22. Poet says:

    Shamus, you should’ve picked up Fable: The Lost Chapters. It continues on with another, oh, six hours of gameplay. You travel into the frozen north, fight some ice-type enemies, and eventually confront Jack of Blades in the form of a dragon, which is a mildly more entertaining fight than just kicking his ass in a big round room. Also, you get a chance to kill Thunder, if you’re evil, and I’ve got to say, every word out of that man’s mouth made me want to. Not because he was putting down a character with which I had no emotional bond, but because he was a damn lousy voice actor.
    A rundown of The Lost Chapters, at least, as much as I can remember:

    Another year passes. It should be noted that this has no affect on anything in the game, as all your standard quests that you haven’t finished (saving kidnapped merchants, that kid who popped some shrooms, etc) are all still waiting for you. An ancient member of the Guild who you may or may not have run into during the introductory chapters, depending on whether or not you decided to head up to Maze’s room, has returned via some kind of magical hologram to deliver a message of doom. If you elected *not* to slay your sister and get rid of the sword, you shortly find that the question was moot, as there’s a bigger, better sword, and all you have to do for this is make your way to Maze’s room, then to the the Memorial. FanTASTIC.
    A few quests later, you’ll find your way in the frozen north, working for a corpse. Your first job is a standard Dungeon Crawl in the Necropolis to look for four Runes that, I shit you not, appear to be the letters Y, M, C, and A.
    The subtle reference to a song by homosexuals (possibly about homosexuals) must be some kind of comment on the plot by the game designers. Thanks, guys. Thanks a million.
    Eventually you’re given three ambiguous quests, wherein you can further cement (or blur) the line between good and evil, all the while with Jack of Blades advising you that the Dark Side has cotton candy.
    All of this leads into what should be an epic confrontation with a giant dragon who can fly and breath fire, but still conveniently lands so you can smack in the face him with a sword. My feeling is that it’s a 14 year old asthmatic Dragon who plays too many computer games, so he can’t stay in the air too long. Once he’s defeated, you are once more presented with a Save the World/Control the World choice, followed shortly by the credits and the theme music, which will forever be *my* favorite part of the game.

  23. Taellosse says:

    Well, while I can’t really argue with your summation of the plot (I’m playing the game again for the 3rd time right now, actually), you left out the “Lost Chapters” which make little more sense, but explain where Jack comes from (about as well as everything else is explained, I have to say), and does provide you with a chance to use the uber-sword if you decided to keep it.

    Also, I’m pretty sure you actually can choose option c at the end if you want to–I’ve walked out of the hall with the sword in hand, leaving the sister alive–she just doesn’t mention that choice to you. There’s even an ending scripted for that option, as the cut scene that runs after you leave is different than the ones where you toss away the sword or kill your sister. Its basically the middle path–the voiceover at the end says you are going to try to use the power of the sword to be a good guy, but its unlikely to happen because its evil and corrupting, blah blah.

    Also, can I just say that it is a bit irritating to me that all of the murals depicting major events in the hero’s life seem to depict him–at least as an adult–with long flowing locks, but there’s no hairstyle allowing one to choose this in-game? The closest you can actually come is the “ponytail” style, and that hair is only slightly longer in the back than the “normal” style.

    I am looking forward to Fable 2, though. Maybe it’ll even have a better story, in addition to prettier graphics, and the option of being female.

  24. Carl the Bold says:

    Okay, I’m convinced. I won’t play this game that, until today, I had never heard of.

  25. Tim Keating says:

    > This game could have had an interesting plot, and it
    > wouldn’t have cost them a dime. It didn’t need to be
    > longer, or have more voice acting, or more missions
    > or scenery or music or spells or special effects. All
    > they needed was to treat the story with the same
    > respect and seriousness that they expected from the
    > player.

    So what you are saying is . . . GOOD writing is not a skill and therefore free? I have to call bullshit on that.

  26. Penn says:

    KOTOR2 is a great game, that is sadly missing an ending. Up to about 3/4 of the way through it’s a better game than KOTOR in many respects, but then it suddenly stops. No ending, just nothing.

  27. Marty says:

    GOOD writing is not a skill and therefore free?

    I’m pretty sure that’s not what he’s saying.

    I think it’s more along the lines of “It’s easy enough to come up with a trite, hackneyed plot that at least makes sense… so why not just do that?”

    It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare… It just has to have some internal logic, even if it is trite/cliche’d/unorginal.

  28. Shamus says:

    Tim Keating: You probably know better than I do that the difference in salary between a bad writer and a good one is going to be very, very small in a game with a budget like this. When compared to the cost of voice actors and teams of programmers, the cost difference between a great writer and a lousy one is – while not ZERO – so small as to be just noise to the accountants.

    EDIT: I suppose a better way to say that would have been: WRITING IS NOT A GOOD PLACE TO CUT CORNERS. Me? If I was trying to save money during production I’d fire the first programmer who came in and suggested, “OMG! We just HAVE to add support for DirectX 12.3 and implement interpolated fractal pixel mipping shaderz!” I’d fire that guy with a catapult.

    But that’s just me.

  29. chiefnewo says:

    I think a good place to start firing people from catapults would be Peter Molyneux. Not only do you save money you can spend on writing, you don’t have to worry about the inevitable backlash when the public finds out it really *isn’t* all that and a bag of chips!

  30. Daemian_Lucifer says:

    So,the plots just something like icewind dale or HoMMV?I wonder how those writers ever manage to keep their jobs.

  31. Ozy says:

    Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines did the “different possible endings” thing better, in that you were not allowed to ally with people you had generally shown a great deal of contempt towards throughout the entire game.

    Although, when I played it, I actually did get to choose from all possible endings on account of my policy that, if I’m not shooting them in the face just this moment, I may as well be polite.

  32. James says:

    You forgot the part where you get bored with the main plot and marry someone from every town and warp around, having sex with them in turn, giggling because your husband is the bottom.

  33. icekatze says:

    hi hi

    The plot of Fable can be accurately summarized by the ramblings of a four year old child that I heard while at a BBQ several years ago. This child was running around the playground with a stick all the while describing the plot of his imaginary quest.

    “And then we have to find the Gold Sword, which is bigger then the biggest sword that’s bigger then biggest, an it can cut anything in half!”

  34. Mari says:

    You mean there was more to the game than boffing Lady Grey and seeing what happens to your face when you become the ultra-evil force-user guy that leaves glowing motes of brimstone behind him with every step? Because I could have sworn that was pretty much it. No, I take it back. There was also the point after I killed my sister and took the sword that I teleported all the heck over the place and killed every living thing I saw, thus destroying the world in my own way with much more personal satisfaction and much less fireworks. But then, I’ve always been a fan of giving vent to my frustrations with the odd fantasy ultra-violence. And the game gave me a lot of frustration that needed venting. Not the least of which was sitting through three or four HOURS of freaking end-credits.

  35. Andre (xero) says:

    I found the juxtaposition of the adult themes with the childish treatments in the game to be puzzling.

    I mean, here we have cut scenes that explicitly reference torture (and imply rape), and then we have a wooing minigame where the object is to convince someone to develop a schoolyard crush on you. And they call that love. Oh, and the sex? They treat that with all the style and subtlety of a 1960s sitcom.

    I did find the gameplay fun, though, and when they weren’t sticking you on rails, the open-ended gameplay was entertaining. I wouldn’t call it a great game… more like a great demo for a great game that never was.

  36. Darth says:

    Hehe. Yeah. Fable didn’t really stir the imagination pot.

    But why the Skeletor diss? I would’ve preferred Skeletor.

    Although, Shamus, I think you are disappointed in this for one reason:

    The names of the characters and places got hooked up with some vowels.

  37. Zaghadka says:

    WRITING IS NOT A GOOD PLACE TO CUT CORNERS.

    I agree. But programmers, texture artists, 3d modelers, sound engineers, voice actors, etc. are a terrible place to cut corners.

    I don’t think the corners are cut right at the project start. They’re cut when the product invariably breaks its budget.

    When your game is going over budget, the only people you can cut is the writers. Without writers, you have a poorly written game, without the art teams and programmers, you have no game. Given the choice between mediocrity and failure, I think any sane manager would choose mediocrity.

    What I really don’t understand is all the games that have poorly conceived and/or presented endings because they had to be written at the last moment. If I were developing games, I would make sure the beginning and the ending got top billing, and just cut stuff out of the middle if we went past deadline or over budget.

    As it is, way too many games seem to just crap out at the end, because that’s what was being worked on when they went past deadline. See KotOR 2 for the classic example.

    I think it’d be smarter to shoot things out of order like a movie production team. It makes the middle better when the team has some idea where the whole thing is going.

  38. sleepyfoo says:

    My favorite part of fable (never played, just laughed at someone who was) was the door that said you must commit an evil act in front of it for it to open, and my friend on his 80% or so evil char just walked up and it opened.

  39. Arson55 says:

    I found leading your wife to the door and killing her in front of it was not enough for it to open. I was disappointed.

  40. Dylan Zimmerman says:

    I enjoyed the game, but I agree the plot was rather torturous. My win combo was Slow Time – Hulk Up (whatever it was called) – Assassin Rush.

  41. Christian Groff says:

    Oh, so that tactic is done in real-life and wasn’t just some joke done by that crazy producer in the ancient Pokemon anime episode, “Lights, Camera, Quack-tion”, where he films the big battle in the end first.

    ASH: Why are you filming the end first?

    *laughs*

    Anyways, I really didn’t plan on playing Fable anyways, since it looked like more of Peter Molyneux’s clap-trap. I have Black and White’s Deluxe Edition, but never played it because I hate computer games – even though I have two Harry Potter games for the PC. (They were cheap, sue me!)

  42. Josh says:

    My assessment of Fable (never played it, but watched my wife play it) was that despite all the talk of choosing good or evil was so much marketing spin, and those “choices”, ultimately, didn’t amount to much more than costuming and set dressing.

    Anybody who argues to me that CRPGs are superior to table-top gets pointed to Fable. The so-called “consequences” from acting like an evil prick were hollow.

  43. My own review of Fable TLC:
    http://www.dansdata.com/fable.htm
    …covers just about everything that Shamus didn’t. Which is to say, it’s a review from the point of view of someone who never pays any attention to the plot anyway, but immediately checks to see if it’s possible to rip off merchants :-).

    (It is!)

  44. KingMob says:

    Watch the Zero Punctuation review.

    Yeah, I’m with most of the people in this thread, Fable had a very disappointing plot… but the gameplay was fun, and I’m getting Fable 2. Hmm, guess I’m the one to blame for bad games…

  45. Nanja Kang says:

    Well, I just remember the HYPE that surrounded this game for a year before it came out… and it was huge (at least to my friends and I) we wanted this game because it gave us the choice and we could do whatever we wanted and with those options available the plot hardly mattered… until we played the game. I beat the games story line so fast that I played it again just using magic. Then I never played it again. I didn’t care about all the extra crap I did half of that just by playing the game, and the other half wasn’t worth it. I just remember back in the day, the hype was pure and good. Good times… :P

  46. Puffinstuff says:

    FYI Shamus: When I go to the Videogame archives everything after “Sins of a Solar Empire” is blank. I can see the date added, but I can’t open the links as they are absent.

  47. Tonko says:

    Excellent–video games are like horror movies for me, I don’t generally want to play (or watch) but I like to know the plot. Specially when it’s delivered as entertainingly as this. Thanks for enduring the brain-break to write this up :P

  48. Mr. Son says:

    Ah, Fable. I haven’t played it completely through so far, but I loved what I did get to play of it.

    …Then again, I was kind of ignoring the plot except as a device to unlock new bits of the game world.

    The gameplay is fun, at least.

  49. LintMan says:

    For the $20 I paid for “Fable: The Lost Chapters” extended version, it was a decent (thought quite flawed) game, IMHO. If I had paid more for it, I’d probably be more disappointed, but I guess I kept my expectations fairly low.

    A couple other comments; my understanding of the plot is surprisingly different than yours. (Perhaps the Lost Chapters version changed things?). As I understood it:
    – Maze didn’t start working for Jack of Blades until sometime during the latter part of your quest. He was searching for an uber-sword to fight JoB, but basically gave up and decided he couldn’t win, so if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
    – JoB was going to unleash some demons or something bad like that, but wasn’t planning to “destroy the world” as such.

    A funny note: in the TLC version, if you don’t kill your sister and destroy the sword, you almost immediately get a brief quest which gives you a nearly identical “good” sword. So the killing your sister part is just for fun.

  50. Pugio Rosso says:

    The prison section was were the game stopped being fun for me: as it was pointed out, the cutscene where the main character and his mother surrender after having demonstrated that they could easily take all of them out is probably the best example of REALLY BAD Gming, because the players’ freedom of choice is taken away, and in a pretty blatant way. Plus, if you actually cared for your character, the fact that after this he gets tortured without trying to resist, or anything, is even worse, since it’s almost like the game punishes you for caring.
    There are many ways to railroad, some good, some bad, but this is one of the really bad types of railroading since not only the game makes a choice that does not take in consideration the way you played, but it even “tease” you on how your character is powerless and there is nothing you (player) can do to stop it.

    There is one game that I remeber did something similar, only good: Deus Ex. (mild SPOILER ALERT)
    At a certain point in the story the character and his brother are ambushed by a large group of heavily armed soldiers ordered to capture (or kill if necessary) them. When this happens, unlike Fable, you can run or even fight them. If you fight them and win (or run), you will face, a little while later, an even bigger force and, if I remeber correctly, you still can choose to fight them or to surrender. Fighting them is rather pointless since (I think) they keep respawing until you lose, and you can’t escape since they isolated the entire area. In the end you still end up captured, but you can actually choose to resist and fight it out (and lose).
    Plus most choices you can make are morally ambiguous and have actual consequences.

    In both cases the player is railroaded, but the way this is done is different.
    Fortunately I have never played a game were the GM screwed up badly as the storywriters did with Fable. :)

  51. Yunt says:

    Was it just me or was Fable uneven on the difficulty? I’m still playing it on the default and I can slice and dice through a hundred bandits and then one of those damn troll things shows up for some reason and it’s a half an hour of slogging through it.

    I thought I was going to be clever and use my summon spell to capture the troll-thing as my pet and it is for inexplicable reasons, the only thing I’ve run into which is immune to soul-capture. Werewolves, bandits, hobbes, anything you could put down with as much as 5 hits is capturable but anything that might *actually* help is a no-go.

  52. DM T. says:

    I saw fable on a friend’s PC and after about 10 minutes of him showing me around the game world, I decided to pass.
    Looks like I took the right step.

  53. Sara says:

    Hey, I totally agree with you on most of this but, (yes there’s ALWAYS a but)If you choose to kill your sister and you wait till the end of the excrucatingly long credits you get to keep on playing, without any objectives of course, but you do get to kill things easily….ok I think I just officialy talked myself out of the little sympathy I had left for fable…:(

  54. ArchU says:

    I’m glad I got “The Lost Chapters” version. The player can go on with the game after fighting JoB and get to do more stuff that is fun but equally nonsense!

    You get to make proper use of the sword, too but there’s a better one out there for sale(!).

  55. Dan Hemmens says:

    As far as I can tell, Fable was one of Lionhead’s famous moral thought-experiments disguised as a game. And it has the usual CRPG problem of assuming that a decision can only carry moral weight if it’s accompanied by glowy lights and a big sign saying “Evil Points Gained: 240”

  56. FlameKiller says:

    they came out with a collectors editon that had you go to the north pole and fight JoB as a Dragon.

  57. marriage now says:

    i think the lowering is fine and realistic. if i ever run a 3:40 ill still be thrilled! however, the tiered thing is sort of weird.

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