Monday, November 08, 2004


With Halo 2 coming out tonight at Midnight (Terror level is elevated to AWESOME), I felt it would do us all some good to take a look at how far we've come, now that we're on the verge of the future. Tonight we'll take a wee look back to the year 2004 and explore the world of... Fable.

Remember this game? In Fable, you took the role of a young man whose village is razed by mysterious brigands. Yes, BRIGANDS. These weren't just regular, run-of-the-mill brigands, either. These were FAST BRIGANDS. And they had fire!

As you played the game, you could become anyone you wanted, as long as it was male, had brown hair, and looked a bit lumpy in the extremities. As you grew up, you would wander in a straight line through tiny little areas. And, true to the marketing, every action had a consequence, usually a loading screen.

Remember how you could do whatever you wanted? You could help villagers or kill them, and true to the Actions/Consequences thing, anyone you killed would eventually respawn as if nothing ever happened. Then you could go kill them again. The coolest thing was that you had two ways to become either good or evil: 1) You could go through the game laboriously doing good or evil deeds, watching your morality meter slowly crawl left or right, or 2) You could go to the appropriate temple and drop a bunch of money. Which is a lot like actual church, come to think of it. Damn this was a realistic game.

The NPCs in Fable also reacted to the things you did, calling you "Chicken Chaser" regardless of whether you chased chickens at all, and if you paid money to a specific vendor, the people, wherever they may be in the world, would immediately call you whatever name you paid the vendor for. Consequences! You could also get hair, facial hair, or tattoos, also with consequences: Sometimes your bald character bought the ponytail hairdo, and the consequence was that he suddenly had a big damn ponytail.

There were other consequences, as well. If you tried to play the game without investing in ranged attacks, the consequence was that you couldn't win the game no matter how hard you tried. It really made you think about your choices: "Hrmm. I could continue to put points into melee stuff, but it would ironically gimp me all to hell in the end." Sweet.

Oh, another consequence: The consequence for winning the game was that you got to sit through 24 FREAKING DAYS WORTH OF CREDITS. It's like the entire population of India worked on the game. Which isn't that unlikely, really.

Strangely, Fable came and went without much fanfare; it enjoyed a couple of weeks in the limelight, but then it "petered" out. Get it? I said "petered." Like, Peter Molyneux. Cuz he was the...

Never mind.