|Fable: The Lost Chapters|
September 17, 2007 | David Peck
Once upon a time there lived a boy in the magical land of Albion and not just any boy. This boy was special although you'd never guess it by first appearances. But with hardly a care in the world, his life was good. We enter the story at a formative time in this lad's life where choices present themselves that will force him to choose between good and bad, right and wrong. These choices will have lasting effects on his demeanor and reputation as this individual matures to adulthood.
But suddenly in a precipitous moment, the good life is turned upside down as everything important to the boy is ripped away and his family and village are lost. But with the help of a mysterious benefactor, the boy escapes with his life and by necessity finds a new home at the Hero's Guild, a place where do-gooders, more commonly known as Heroes are trained to make a difference in the world and ideally to make it a better place. This could be the start of a fable.
In fact Fable: The Lost Chapters is the Role Playing Game (RPG) developed by Lionhead Studios and being ported to the Mac by Feral Interactive about a Hero, on the road to destiny with the quest of discovering the fate of his family and making choices along the way that will either transform him into a great hero or a menacing villain.
Unlike many RPGs, that allow for multiple characters and customization choices at the start, in Fable this boy- the future Hero, is the game's starting point. But by virtue of equipment, clothing, actions, choices, and combat over a lifetime, his appearance will dramatically change. This includes a variety of customization choices such as hair styles, facial hair, tattoos, how often he is injured while fighting, and even if he over-eats. But an even more important aspect of appearance is your Hero's alignment towards good or evil.
Along with a compelling story, combat in Fable is outstanding. In the early game your hero is taught combat skills at the Hero's Guild that focus on melee, ranged, and magic. In the practice arena your character develops sword attacks and the coordination to effectively block, and pull off evasive moves in a learning environment against another student. At the archery range, bow skills are honed against moving targets in third and first person perspective. And beginner's magic starts off with a bang as lightning bolts erupt from your finger tips. Training ends with tests in all three skills until the newly vetted Hero graduates and is turned loose into the world to go forth and accomplish deeds, hopefully for good, but maybe not.
The world needs you and at this point the quests start rolling in. They start simple and progressively become more difficult, but your Hero accrues experience and new skills to meet the challenge. Along the way in search for the fate of his family, choices continue to present themselves allowing your character to save the day or be a bad boy.