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Analysis of the fable video game

Video game elements encompass everything from the saving function to the spawning of enemies. Game developers have been adding more and more to their content and making them better, by analyzing what they can do, for years. They’ve even gotten to the point where the developers go into detail about how mechanics should “ feel” to the player (the differences in Spiderman’s web slinging in his varying video games are a good example of this). Looking at older games gives much insight into the varying stages we’ve journeyed to make the games we have today. We’re not going so far as the beginning in the 80s, but rather a more modern classic. The target today is Fable, a game released in 2004. It’s a role-playing game where the character ages throughout the story, first playing as child, then a teenager, all the way to adult hood where you are the best hero you can be… or the worst if that is how you chose to play the game. In Fable offers you choices in almost every quest you do and those choices are the basis of the entire game. When talking about having choices in video games people assume that you mean choosing what you wear and ability’s you have. In Fable, players have those options as well as being able to choose the main character’s morality in not just the over-arching story, but in side quests and even in the overworld.

The Game Fable, released originally in 2004 on the original Xbox and for the PC and was later released again as Fable anniversary on the Xbox 360 in 2014. The amount of time I’ve spent playing this game is well over a few thousand hours, trying to find every way to break the game, finish every possible area, fight every fight, and take every possible route. Fable is an RPG where you start out as a child doing odd jobs around town to earn enough money to buy your sister a box of chocolates. To complete this goal, you can choose to do good or bad deeds, each giving you the same rewards just by different means (either a gold coin immediately for bad deeds or a gold coin from your father for good deeds). These morality-based actions immediately take effect. If you do both good and bad deeds the towns folk will talk about how they never know what you’re going to do next; if you do good deeds they will rattle off on how you’re such a good kid for your father; if you do a bad thing (like breaking a barrel) a town guard will chase you around the entire town screaming, “ There’s the little rascal! I’m going after ‘ im.” This theme of morality follows the player to the end of the game where you have the choice to kill your sister for untold power or to toss away the most powerful weapon in existence. In the game you play as “ Chicken chaser” (although you do get to change your name by buying titles) a young boy has the blood of Hero in him. Heroes in Albion (the mythical land where you base your adventure) are not a mystery or come once every hundred years; they are just people born stronger than the average person by a wide margin. Some Heroes have the ability to do magic, but all do great things. Heroes are so common place that they have an established guild in Albion where people can hire a Hero to do tasks for them like slay giant wasps, find their missing grandson, or steal some stone tablets from farmers.

Throughout the game, you find out that your family holds a secret, a great power passed down through blood, the ability to locate a weapon of great power that is completely evil in nature. You go about your journey with the help of many people (your best friend and fellow Hero Whisper, your long-lost sister, and the Guild Master) to stop the evil Jack of blades who never shows his face. The Guild Master acts as your mentor and guide, your sister gives you relevance and knowledge of the story (like where your mother has been imprisoned), and Whisper acts as your best friend and rival (who you can later choose to murder for a large amount of money).

In the game you can level up, buy new weapons, change your equipment, learn magic, kill townspeople and guards, become a mayor, and (similar to the opening of the game) the more (good or bad) deeds you do, the more the world acts accordingly. Buying a house represents a neutral deed, but breaking down someone’s door and stealing things counts as bad, and the more bad deeds you do, the more you change the player character physical appearance. Depending on what choices you make you could gain horns and red or yellow eyes for being evil or have blue eyes and a halo surrounded by butterflies that appear whenever you stand still for being good. Even gaining levels changes your character: using magic grants Chicken Chaser strange blue cracks (called will lines) all over your body and increasing your strength gives you more and more muscles the game. In Fable there is always something that changes due to the choices you make.

While playing Fable, the more main story quests you do the older you get. The game is always changing and it gives the player a sense of time; your hair turns white, it gets longer, it gets shaved when you get thrown in prison and the longer you stay there you grow a beard. The game mechanics function well when playing, but every game has glitches. Glitches in Fable go from the hair physics flipping the hair into your eyes to turning your skin green to gaining every ability in the first hour of the game. The biggest glitch in Fable (which has been used over and over again) is getting the end game sword (without doing the quest) as your first weapon after completing your training in the Hero’s guild. It makes for a funny end of the story when the villain Jack is trying to summon the very weapon you currently have on your back and then having two of the oldest sword in existence in your inventory. When choosing which one to throw away or kill your sister with makes for some emersion breaking wonder. With all that, this game is not broken by its glitches as often as it could be. Fighting with this RPG is simple and intuitive (you hold a button, pick a spell, and attack with your sword or bow) even making decisions is easily understood (find a victim to replace the boy in the cage with or kill the fairy keeping him hostage). These simple choices make a big impact to the experience and the player character even if they don’t make a massive impact to the end product.

In short, this game has a lot of features and a content that most people would always see. What it lacks are small features that not a every person who plays this game will see. While there are things like legendary weapons to collect, special quests available in specific circumstances, and being able to choose how to do things, this game isn’t filled to the brim with collectables and hidden content for players to search for. One thing Fable lacks, in particular, is that after finishing the game, unless you bought the Lost Chapters version of the game (which came out a year later and added extra content to the game much like DLC does in today’s games), you can’t do any more quests once the credits roll (even if you didn’t finish every quest you wanted to). This fits with the idea that during the course of the game, everything you do has been the Hero’s life, but it can stop people from discovering other parts of the game that they’ll only be able to experience by re-playing the game.

Looking back, the developers were probably thinking that they should add more and they did just that in their 10th anniversary version where they did add small things little dialogue options more things to see that make players come back to the game and explore.

Conclusion

In Fable the features are all focused on what you did and/or did not do, which worked well for the game; it was a fun romp through a mystical land with evil creatures and sarcastic townspeople with Monty Python-like humor who make fun of you until they need you, and it has character ageing, all wrapped up in classic RPG game-play. The team that developed this game did a good job, but as with everything else in life, there are always things that could have been better after looking back on the finished product. You can see where games have changed looking at this older title and you can see where they haven’t.

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