The usual spoiler warnings apply.
|Oh, it is such a bother being as incredibly awesome as I am.|
Lucian’s men make it down into the tunnels, and Reaver is cavalier about mowing them down with his ‘leet marksmanship. Oh, I have to kill waves of men using my fabulous skills. How droll. Aren’t I awesome?
As a bonus, Reaver talks down to you constantly, demeaning you and insulting you even as you fight to protect him. And since you can’t speak, you can’t respond in kind.
Once again: Lucian wants this Reaver guy alive. Theresa has never explained why we need him. He’s given you three reasons to kill him now and is obviously a massive liability. There is no justification for not immolating him and walking away. This was by far the most frustrating part of the game for me, as I “fell” for his stupid schemes by designer fiat.
I actually wouldn’t object to a character this annoying, as long as:
1) You get to settle up with him in the end.
2) He doesn’t kill the momentum of the game by overshadowing the main villain.
So it’s a double fail for Reaver, although if he’d been a regular mid-game villain instead of a mandatory albatross of an ally he could have been a lot of fun.
You exit the escape tunnels and find yourself on a beach where you join up with Hammer and Garth. Now all four heroes are together in one place. Reaver keeps insulting everyone and trying to leave. He doesn’t care about any of this, and would like to get back to his life of hedonism and treachery as quickly as possible.
Lucian pulls out all the stops, and throws everything he has at you.
The battle ends, and Theresa teleports in. She talks Reaver into joining by pointing out that if Lucian destroys the world, Reaver won’t have anyone to sacrifice to the Shadow Dudes. Reaver agrees, and then she teleports all of you back to the Guild Cave.
Back at the rock spire you’ve been using as a base of operations, your group gathers on the stone roof for the Ultimate Ceremony of Ultimate Destiny. You stand in the middle, the three heroes stand on pedestals around you and beams of light shine, with you at the nexus.
Then, Lucian teleports in. Theresa teleports away. Lucian does a little requisite bad guy posturing, and then the other heroes are all kidnapped via teleport.
Lucian then taunts you with the knowledge that he just got done murdering your entire family. Again. Spouse, kids, everybody. Then he kills your dog. Then he shoots you in the face.
Anyway, what exactly does this guy have against the player, really? His senseless bloodlust negates the one minuscule thing that his character supposedly had going for him, which was that he was so distraught over the loss of his wife & daughter that he wanted to bring them back to life or re-shape the world or whatever. But if he’s so upset about their deaths, then how is it he has the desire to gun down defenseless women and children who aren’t even a threat to his plans?
You awaken in a dream world. You’re a kid, living on a farm with your sister. She suggests the two of you run around the farm and play together all day.
After playing with sis and romping around the farm, you go to bed. You are awakened in the night by music. You leave the farm and head down the road. Eventually you come to the music box, the one that fizzled at the start of the game. As you pick it up, you hear your sister say, “You’ve passed the test. Your reward is the opportunity to face your enemy, and the means to destroy him.”
Suddenly, you are back in the real world, at the entrance to the Spire. You’re holding the music box.
It is the quintessential Deus Ex Machina: Suddenly, you are winning for no reason.
Victory was taken from you by writer fiat. Now it’s being foisted on you by writer fiat.
|The ceremony of ultimate (albeit ambiguous) destiny takes place on a precarious platform at the heart of the Spire. Only good guys use handrails.|
You can then shoot him once and win the game. He falls and dies off screen.
Whatever you do, do not waste time listening to what he says, hoping that some logic will emerge from this wreck of a character. If you take too long, Reaver will kill-steal the final boss from you and no that is not a joke.
Theresa will then teleport in…
…and stand where Lucian was standing. She says the Spire is now ready to deliver a wish, and as the big hero you get to make it. Will you:
- Bring back to life everyone who died in the making of the tower? Thousands of people.
- Bring back your loved ones. Your sister, your family, your dog.
- Get a big bunch of money. According to Theresa, it is “more wealth than you can possibly imagine”, etc.
Before you get all click-happy and make your choice, know that:
- Those “thousands” of people never actually appear anywhere. You just get a generic letter from “The People of Albion” thanking you for bringing their loved ones back to life. And good points. I saw no other difference in the gameworld when contrasted with the other endings.
- You don’t actually get to see your sister again. I wanted my sister to come back and live in the Castle, like she wished for at the beginning. No, you just get a letter saying she’s happy and doing fine here in not-part-of-the-reachable-gameworld-ville.
- “More money than you could imagine” is blatant false advertising. You get 1 million. There is actually a property in the game that costs 1 million (Castle Fairfax, Lucien’s old home and where sis wanted to live) so it’s entirely possible to make this wish and be broke five minutes later. My evil character has just finished his trip to see the Shadow Dudes for Reaver, and he’s got 6.8 million. A million bucks isn’t really enough to tempt him into giving up his beloved killer black dog. There is just no reason to pick this.
And while we’re at it: I can bring back thousands and thousands of people I don’t know, or a couple that I care about? How does that work exactly? Why can’t I wish for the return of “everyone killed by Lucian”? Surely adding my few people onto the Spire Death Tally isn’t going to push the magic wish machine over some arbitrary limit.
Actually, screw that: My wish is for Reaver to drown in his own urine. Or maybe I want to do that “nuke the world” thing that the last guy wished for. Or maybe I’d like to have my youth back that Reaver stole from me.
The wish made, Theresa then teleports the other heroes away. Reaver poofs away to the other side of the world and nobody asks if you would like to, you know, settle up with him. In fact, nobody ever mentions your lost youth, ever.
Theresa then declares that she owns the Spire and teleports you away. “Begone”, she tells you.
If you were wondering why your character obeyed this idiot woman no matter how much her goals ran contrary to yours, now you know: The writer didn’t actually have the brains to outsmart you, so he simply railroaded you into doing stupid things.
If you actually want to outsmart a player then you need a good writer with a fine touch. And then you can fool some of them. (You’ll never fool all of them. You can’t beat people in aggregate.)
Allow me to present the first ever Twenty Sided Goldun Riter award for egregiously bad storytelling.
(I considered retroactively awarding this to the original Fable and Indigo Prophesy as well, but I didn’t want to steal Fable 2’s thunder by making it share the limelight with the narrative blunders of the past.)
This four-part series, unlike Fable 2 itself, has a surprise ending:
I liked Fable 2, even though the story was award-winningly horrible. I realize this sounds like heresy coming from a “story first” critic like myself. Perhaps you feel like I’ve betrayed you by claiming to have enjoyed the game after dragging you through this four-part, seven thousand word odyssey of inanity. I’ll try to justify my appreciation in another post, which will hopefully soothe your rage and earn your forgiveness.
I wrote this series because I think stories are important. I don’t expect Lord of the Rings when I start up a game, but I do expect the story to relate world that is internally consistent, with characters that have reasonable motivation. (Particularly the player character.)
Also, I’ve written it as a service to you. I found the game much more enjoyable once I knew the plot and I stopped expecting it to deliver satisfaction. It is my hope that if you do play the game at some point, this series will blunt your misery and allow you to focus on the parts that can provide entertainment. Perhaps you will even have a laugh at the expense of the writer.
The award winning writer.
Shamus Plays LOTRO
As someone who loves Tolkein lore and despises silly MMO quests, this game left me deeply conflicted.
Two minutes of fun at the expense of a badly-run theme park.
Even allegedly smart people can make life-changing blunders that seem very, very obvious in retrospect.
Blistering Stupidity of Fallout 3
Yeah, this game is a classic. But the story is idiotic, incoherent, thematically confused, and patronizing.
Quakecon 2011 Keynote Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.