Fable IIFable II is an action role-playing open world video game in the Fable game series developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360. It is the sequel to Fable and Fable: The Lost Chapters, it was originally announced in 2006 and released in October 2008. A compilation of the game, and its two downloadable content packs, was released on 24 October 2009, titled the "Game of the Year" edition.
The game takes place in the fictional land of Albion, five hundred years after Fable's original setting, in a colonial era resembling the time of highwaymen or the Enlightenment. Guns are still primitive, and large castles and cities have developed in the place of towns. Unlike the original, the player may choose to be either male or female.
Creative Director Peter Molyneux played a major role in presenting this game to the public, as he did in the lead-up to the release of the original Fable.
Fable II PlotThe game begins in the city of Bowerstone, where the protagonist, a young child known as Sparrow (the player is able to select their gender) lives in poverty with his or her older sister, Rose, and dreams about living in Castle Fairfax, the home of Lord Lucien. Their fantasies are cut short when they hear a commotion down at the market. A man who goes by the name of Mystical Murgo is selling 'magical' wares, such as a mirror that makes one beautiful (though only in complete darkness) and a magic box that grants a wish. Rose scoffs at the idea of magic, but an old woman named Theresa tells her otherwise, suggesting it may in fact be magic.
Interested and curious, Rose and her sibling, Sparrow, decide to collect the five coins required for the box, doing odd jobs such as collecting warrants and posing for a photograph. During this time, they save a dog getting abused by a bully. When they finally collect the money needed, they buy the box and wish that they could live in Castle Fairfax. The box then disappears in a flash of light, apparently not working. Dismayed, the two go to their hovel and discover the dog waiting for them.
In the middle of the night, they are awakened by a guard, who escorts them to Castle Fairfax on Lord Lucien's order. Overjoyed that their wish came true, the two follow eagerly. After meeting Lord Lucien and telling him of the box, he asks them to step in a circle on the floor. A blue light emits from the edge of the circle, and to Lucien's anger turns red upon his touch. Proclaiming that they are not any of the three, and one of them is the fourth, he shoots Rose, and afterward shoots Sparrow, who falls out of the window.
Upon waking up, Sparrow learns that she or he had survived the fall due to her or his heroic line, and was rescued by Theresa and the dog. Ten years later, Lucien has been rebuilding the Tattered Spire, which grants the user enormous power. Sparrow is told by the elderly woman that they are the descendant of a great hero, and destined to bring Lucien's downfall. However, Sparrow must first find three heroes in order to defeat Lucien with their combined powers. Given the quest to stop Lucien's plans, the Hero begins a great journey. She or he travels to Oakfield and finds Hammer, a monk who is upset at the fact she is not allowed to fight. When she turns out to be the Hero of Strength, she accompanies the Hero on his or her journey.
Then they set out to find the Hero of Will, Garth. When the Hero goes to his tower, they witnesses Garth's capture. She or he then becomes a guard in the Spire for ten years before they can rescue Garth. When they do, he kills the prison's warden then proceeds to the Hero of Skill, Reaver.
Reaver, who is a former pirate living in Bloodstone, tells the Hero to take a Dark Seal to his 'friends' in Wraithmarsh (the region surrounding and including the long-destroyed Oakvale from the original Fable). The Seal turns out to be an item marking its bearer for sacrifice to the Court of Shadows so that Reaver can be young forever. The Hero has a choice of sacrificing his or her youth, or the youth of a young woman who is trapped in the Court.
The Hero returns to Reaver at his mansion when Lucien and his army attack, brought by Reaver who wished to collect the bounty on the Hero. When Reaver learns that Lucien will also kill him, however, they escape together through a tunnel and Theresa convinces Reaver to join them until Lucien is defeated.
The Heroes perform a ritual on the hill above the old Guild of Heroes, but Lucien attacks them in the middle of the ritual, killing the Hero's dog and the Hero before capturing the others.
The Hero is taken to a dream-like paradise where she or he, transformed back into a child, spends a day playing with their sister, Rose. Once night falls, however, otherworldly music begins to play. The hero can choose whether or not to follow the music, while Rose pleads for him or her to stay. However, she or he must leave, forcing their way through her or his nightmares, if they ever wish to return to Albion. The Hero then acquires the music box from the beginning of the game. They are taken to the Spire where the Heroes are having their power absorbed by Lucien. The Hero defeats Lucien with the music box and then may shoot him, though delaying this too long will cause Reaver to revive and shoot Lucien instead, sarcastically asking the player if he or she had wanted to do that.
When Lucien dies, Theresa appears and grants the Hero one of three wishes: "Sacrifice", to resurrect the thousands of people killed in building by the Tattered Spire, but not their own loved ones; "Love", to resurrect their dog, sister, and if the Hero was married, his or her family, killed by Lucien while the Hero recruited Reaver; or "Wealth", the gift of 1,000,000 gold pieces delivered to the Guild Cave. Afterward, Hammer either congratulates or admonishes the player based on her or his choice and alignment, then the Heroes part ways and Theresa tells the player that Albion is hers or his to enjoy, but warns them that the Spire is hers. Only the "Love" ending allows post-credits play with the dog, though the "Knothole Island" DLC allows the player to resurrect the dog at Cheet-Ur's Crypt if one of the other endings is chosen.
In the DLC See The Future, the hero visits the spire once again, this time Theresa shows the hero a vision of the future. The vision shows the hero as Queen or King of Albion, this also hints towards Fable III as Theresa mentions that the child in the crib by the throne will become a great hero.
Fable II GameplayThere are both interactive and non-interactive cutscenes in the game. According to Lionhead Studios, the non-interactive cutscenes consume less than five minutes of game time.
In the fully interactive cutscenes a player can use their expressions during the dialogue or even run away from the scene, thus skipping it; afterward the player can return to the cutscene location to start it again. If the player runs away from a cutscene which contains important information, the character will await the player's return.
The player's companion is a dog which the player befriends as a child. This dog follows the player almost all of the time during the game. The dog can learn tricks, fight enemies and find treasure, and lead the way to quest objectives (when required, though this is rare; typically the player is led to objectives via a sparkling gold "bread crumb" trail). It can also aid in combat situations by attacking downed enemies. The dog cannot be killed, but can become injured and ineffective, requiring healing by the player.
The appearance of their dog will also mirror the player's choices and changes color depending on the player's alignments; if the player is neutral it will remain gray, being good will turn the dog's coat to golden and evil will turn it to black. There are no other animals in the game, save neutral rabbits and birds, a fact commented on by one NPC who notices the oddness of carriages with no horses.
In the downloadable content "See the Future", it is possible to change the dog's breed with potions. The three choices are Dalmatian, Bloodhound and Husky.
ReceptionFable II received positive reviews citing its adherence to the original, while praising the changes that redefined the game system.
Eurogamer welcomed the "bread crumb" trail feature in the game, "as leads you ever onwards to your next objective, but even though you can't get lost it still allows for deep exploration." OXM lauded the game as "probably the most consistent sequel ever made" and suggested combat is "great when you're winning and nothing but irritating when you're losing."
Edge ranked the game #52 on its list of "The 100 Best Games To Play Today", stating that "With a quest that tugs you through to the plot and a bucolic paradise ripe for exploration, never before has so much work been put into making sure the humble player feels special."
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) praised Fable II for its animal-friendly nature, giving it the Proggy Award for the most animal-friendly game of 2008, saying they enjoyed the game's pro-vegetarianism, giving the player purity points for eating non-meat products and corruption points for eating meat. However, there are also achievements encouraging players to hurt particular animals.
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