The scourging of the Fable 2 story continues here. You might want to read part 1
if you missed that yesterday.
In the comments, someone has pointed out that It’s “Lucien” not “Lucian”. Didn’t have time to fix it since then, so please bear with me.
Having successfully recruited Hammer the Warrior, Theresa sends you to find Garth the mage next. He’s living in a big tower, as wizards do. Lucian’s men get there just moments before you, and kidnap Garth by teleporting him away.
What are the odds? Ten years of no activity, and now Lucian just happens to get everywhere five minutes before you do. It would only have taken a moment to paint over little contrivances like this.
|Leave behind all your gear, your powers, your dog, all your property, your money, the mini-games, the fun combat, the treasure hunting, and the amusing sidequests. That’s what happens when you go to the Spire. It’s also what happens when you stop playing the game.|
So Lucian now has Garth and has taken him to the Spire. Theresa concludes the the only
way to get Garth back is to go to the Spire yourself. Not by sneaking in, but by joining Lucian’s forces. And to join, you have to win the Crucible. (A Gladiator – style tournament.) Lucian apparently only wants people tough enough to win the Crucible in his army. In order to even attempt the Crucible, you must already be famous.
Once you have enough fame, you compete in the Crucible and are then allowed to board the boat that will take you to the Spire. All of your weapons and items are taken away, and you set sail for the Spire. You get off the ship with a load of other new recruits.
Once again, walking in the front door seems like the most stupid and pointless way of doing things. Stow away on a ship? Sail out in your own? Have Theresa use her own teleporting powers to take you there?
No. Give up all your awesome toys and walk in the front door, ignoring the risk that Lucian might recognize you. Or that they might have some way of detecting heroes. Or maybe they’re just feeding new recruits into a giant woodchipper as they step off the boat, just for laughs.
And while we’re at it, where did all these other recruits come from? Are these generic dudes all somehow incredibly famous Crucible champions like me? Or did the writer just not think this through?
As you walk towards the entrance you meet Bob, another recruit who seems to have joined up for… money? I guess?
It becomes clear that once people enter the Spire they never, ever leave. Which makes it all the more absurd that Lucian continues to find waves and waves of new recruits. A crucible champion is a proven badass and a celebrity. They should be able to find some sort of work in the world. The idea that all these champions would sign up to go work in the big evil tower no matter how many people go in and don’t come back out is just silly.
The recruits gather at the entrance and Lucian appears. He drones on about his plans to re-make the world and end all the chaos, and then casts sleep on the lot of you.
Because of course, once you’re standing five feet from your sister’s murderer, you’re going to stand still and listen to him give a speech rather than lob a fireball at him. This is classic plot myopia. The entire reason we’re screwing around gathering up these heroes is because they will somehow (?) help us stop Lucian. But here he is, a few feet away and flammable. At the end of the game I took him out with a single lightning bolt, but the game won’t let you do that here. No, the writer wants you to listen to the evil guy monologue without your stupid character intruding on his beautiful story.
|The Commandant requires instant and unquestioning obedience. He doesn’t care if you stand ten feet away and give him the finger, though.|
When you wake up, you’re wearing an obedience collar that will torture you (and drain abilities and XP) if you disobey. The Commandant – Lucian’s second-in-command – then “breaks” you. In an interactive scene, he beats on you with a sword and you must humiliate yourself by thanking him. Then at the end you must beg for mercy. Failure to do so will drain XP away from you.
You work as a guard in the tower, overseeing the half-naked, starving slaves that are building the place. The guards are all strong, hulking, well-fed, and wearing obedience collars.
Lucian, you drooling buffoon: You have collars on happy, well-paid(?), well-fed guards, and no
collars on your abused, starving slaves? Which group is more likely to revolt? Actually, what do you need the guards for? Put collars on the slaves and you don’t need
guards. Then add the crucible champs to the pool of slaves and spread the food around evenly. Well-fed slaves will work faster than starving ones. And everyone will work harder with collars on. I thought you were in a hurry to build this tower?
Of course, things are this way because the writer wanted to make sure the player understood that Lucian was, like, really super extra double evil. Apparently the designer was worried that you were too stupid to have figured that out by the way he shot a twelve year old girl who visited him because she thought she was going to get to live in a castle.
Yes, we get it. Lucian is evil. So evil that he makes idiotic plans and then executes them with stunning ineptitude.
The evil guy who tortures his own workers is an old trope. It never works for me. Imagine if the evil guy bought a bunch of work horses, and then had them… tortured to death? The evil of the deed is far overshadowed by how pointlessly idiotic and self-defeating it is. You don’t think, “Ooh! Evil!” You think, “Idiot.” And fighting idiots is no fun, even when you win. Give me a cunning villain any day.
|Build cells. Put workers in cells. Assign rotating shifts of guards stand and watch over the cells for weeks until the workers starve to death. What exactly is the point of all this again? You know you can just shoot people, right Lucian?|
Some groups of slaves are thrown into prisons and starved to death. On purpose. For no discernible reason. (In Star Trek-style forcefield prison cells, no less.) At one point you must watch over some starving slaves, who you have been told “won’t survive the night”. You can pull a lever to feed them and endure another dose of torture and XP drain, or you can stand there, and not feed them. Either way, you have to wait there for three real-world minutes (I made coffee) while listening to the endless cries for food.
If you don’t feed them, you get a pile of evil points, apparently because it’s evil to avoid being tortured for feeding people who are going to die tomorrow anyway. They’re being starved to death on purpose
. Feeding them will prolong their torment. You can’t save them. Not pulling the lever doesn’t make you evil, it means you’re not a complete idiot.
Not feeding them while feeling regret at their plight is fundamentally different from not feeding them because you’re some nefarious douchebag that loves making people suffer. But only if you’re trying to play your character. And by now you should have learned to stop messing up the writer’s awesome story with all your silly role-playing nonsense.
Garth is here in the tower, also wearing a collar. The two of you live in the tower for ten years. You as a guard, him as a prisoner. Then Garth breaks free of his cell, destroys his collar, a guard, and your collar. But then he’s out of magic juice and you have to do all the fighting. You battle your way up to the Commandant’s chamber past waves of armed guards.
You’ve been a guard for ten years. You’re supposedly an officer by now. Yet in all that time you’ve never been issued a weapon. The Commandant had to hand you one earlier for another one of those be-evil-or-lose-XP choices where he wanted you to kill Bob the guard.
But six seconds after you have your collar off every single guard in the tower suddenly has a sword and a firearm.
And what was the point of feeding all those unarmed guards in the first place, Lucian?
You give the Commandant a beating and put him down. This is the only time in the entire game that you’re really allowed to get revenge against someone who has wronged you. Once he falls, Garth regains his powers. Then the two of you flee the tower.
Once again: Focus people, focus! What is our quest again? To kill Lucian, right? Well, we’re here. We have our powers. We’re badasses and we’re mowing through these guards. We just put down his second-in-command. Let’s just head upstairs and pop him now before he has a chance to recover or rally his defenses.
Even if my character is an idiot who does everything Theresa tells him to, Garth has no reason to walk away when he’s so close to the bad guy. This is senseless.
You battle your way down to the docks, nick a ship, and sail back to the mainland. As you come ashore, Theresa and your dog are waiting for you.
Your spry and happy twenty year old dog.
Theresa convinces Garth to join without really giving him any good reasons, then she teleports away with him.
Oh, now you can teleport away with him? Man, that might have come in handy about ten years ago.