If the name Xbox is mentioned, most players will probably think of the space hit Halo, the great racing games of the Forza brand or the disastrous E3 presentation of Xbox One (here our gameplay hopes for 2020). However, we suddenly think of many wonderful game moments that we were able to experience in the charming and unique world of Albion. Many of these moments lived from a wild mix of dark fantasy elements, a typical British humor and a particularly free feeling. In Fable, we are allowed to customize our character much more individually than is the case in most other role-playing games. The role-playing game suffered from the unearthly ambitions and promises of his forefather Peter Molyneux, despite all this, the Xbox title is considered one of the most important games on the Microsoft console. In this retro special we look together at the first part and the game content that made the action RPG so extraordinary.
Once upon a time in Oakvale …
Source: PC Games
"Deep in Albion's forests was the small town of Oakvale, unchanged over time and untouched by the sword." With this first sentence, millions of video game fans were led into the imaginative world of Albion in 2004. The lands filled with fairy tales and myths were once run by a royal bloodline. The source of their power was a mysterious sword, but over time the bloodline brought the empire closer to the abyss. Many years later, Albion is a country divided by lawless forests. Hidden from the horror in the middle of these forests is the small farming town of Oakvale, where our hero's family lives a peaceful and idyllic life. The adventure around the man later to be known as "Heroes of Oakvale" begins strikingly harmoniously. As a little farmer boy we roam the streets of the village with the aim of finding a suitable birthday present for our big sister Theresa. A big help is our father, who promises us a gold coin for every good deed in the village. For example, an angry wife wants us to look for her useless husband who can hardly be seen at home. An unrealistically short walk away, we find the newt behind a house wrapped in the arms of a young girl. Do we tell the wife about the secret lover or do we keep what we see to ourselves? In the first few minutes of play, Fable shows how strongly the focus is on moral decisions – but more on that later.
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otherwise expected, the sword finds its way to Oakvale in a brutal way. A band of robbers from the surrounding forests attacked the farming village and murdered almost the entire community, including our beloved father. Our sister Theresa and our mother, who is known worldwide as a heroine, are among the few survivors. Unfortunately, the two were kidnapped by the attackers and so we are on our own in the burning and robbery-infested Oakvale. At the last second we are saved by a magician named Maze. He then takes us to the Heroes' Guild, an academy where we are taught sword fighting, archery and even magic. The story of Fable is told nicely, but you shouldn't expect a highly complex fantasy epic with many twists and turns. After successfully completing our education, we trace our family members' traces, learn more about our role in history, and even uncover the identity of the puller behind the atrocities of our childhood.
The stony path to the hero
One of Albion's most prominent institutions is the Heroes Guild mentioned above, which is not only the linchpin of the gaming experience, but also serves as our new home. Over time, we develop a strong bond with the place and the many great characters like the guild master, our roommate Whisper or the magician Maze. In addition to emotional reasons, we are always asked playfully to return to the guild. We can only invest experience points here in new skills. They are divided into the three areas of strength, skill and willpower. This includes common attributes such as physique, health or cunning, but also special skills such as summoning ghost swords. Anyone who thinks that the Fable skills system offers few possible combinations is almost as wrong as the husband at the beginning of our trip, who thought that his affair would not make the rounds in the tiny coastal village of Oakvale at some point. Our hero can be a warlock adorned with war ax and washboard belly, but
Source: PC Games
r also a crafty archer who becomes a berserk at the push of a button. Another reason for us to return to the Heroes' Guild after experiencing adventures is the map room, because this is the only place where we receive new main and side quests. By the way, we also have the opportunity to draw additional glory (or ridicule) on us through so-called great deeds. For example, if we brag about completing a mission completely naked, we will get more gold and additional celebrity, which will make our name more popular in Albion. In addition to our fighting spirit, there are many other ways to adapt our character to your own ideas.
Who, how and what do I want to be?
Source: PC Games
Every decision in Fable can affect our appearance, reputation, and social relationships. This can be very simple and simple and, for example, refer to our diet. If we stuff too much cake and beer into our bodies, we have to live with the fact that it becomes plump and unattractive. In addition to armor value, items of clothing also have other factors to consider. Some make us more attractive to the outside world, while others increase our creep factor. The most important decisions are of course of a moral nature. In the first few hours of play we learn about a fruit farm that was targeted by robbers. It is entirely up to us whether we want to join the protectors of the fruit farm or prefer to work with the attackers. The deeper meaning of our behavior is usually peppered in the face with the frying pan, but that's perfectly okay. Fable is not as bitterly serious and profound as other moral apostles in the video game cosmos due to his funny humor and his easy presentation.
A core feature of the action role-playing game is that our morals have a serious impact on our appearance. If we are a really bad boy, we have horns on our heads and a swarm of flies is a constant companion. With a positive orientation, however, a halo adorns our head and the flies are exchanged for butterflies. A lot of what we do in Fable has a strong impact on our character. In addition, there are various hairstyles, beards and tattoos that also have a strong influence on our appearance among the people. If you don't want to die alone and lonely, you should definitely think about your everyday life in Albion. Because in Fable we can expect many other activities and experiences as well as the intense adventure of love.
What it takes for a good life
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Who does not know the situation? You finally come home from a dangerous adventure and the first thing that comes to mind is the desire for good company and a cold beer. The tavern in the capital, Bowerstone, is a perfect place in Albion to indulge in the passionate world of flirting. Through different "expressions" such as laughing, popping or the iconic "Are we going to myself?" hearts can be conquered step by step. If a love relationship really develops from this, we can even marry our dream partner by handing over a wedding ring and move them to a house of our choice. Sex is also possible, but children only produce Fable 2 and Fable 3 in the successors. This is all very minimalistic, but it gives the whole gaming experience more depth and so Fable feels less like a trip and more like a virtual life – Sims greetings!
Apart from the social aspect, Albion lives from its many secrets. All over the world there are so-called demon doors that hide rare and exciting treasures. The trick is: They only open when we know what the living door actually wants from us. The demon doors are not only a nice pastime, they are usually also very funny and they fit perfectly into the overall work. There are also countless treasure chests to discover. Some of them are magically sealed and require a certain number of silver keys. These are also distributed all over the world. From time to time they are very conspicuously placed and immediately catch the eye when you first enter a new area, elsewhere you have to dig, fish or search intensively for them. Myths and legends are an integral part of Fable. For example, near the town of Knothole Glade, which is haunted by werewolves, there is a legendary sword that is mysteriously stuck in a stone. How do you get that out of there? No idea! Fable is full of pop cultural allusions and clever ideas. If you want to explore the game world of Fable intensively, you are forced to deal with the many books and documents. It hides many little stories and explanations about the personalities, places and monsters in Fable.
A fairytale land full of hobbs and balverines
What makes Fable so special besides the many playful freedoms is the creative fairytale world and the creatures and creatures that inhabit it. In addition to the balverines (werewolves), there are many other monsters such as the scary screechers, the fairy-like nymphs or the iconic hobbs. The parasites, strongly reminiscent of goblins, are known beyond the borders of Albion for kidnapping children and even primitive social structures can be discovered in their caves. According to legends, many of which can be found in the countless documents in Albion, the first Hobbs were human children whose souls were swallowed by dark nymphs. The Albion packed out of many small tube areas is not as big as the game worlds of other role-playing games, but it lives from its pretty fairytale presentation and its many exciting stories and personalities. Another advantage of Fable is that the game world changes over time. The Oakvale of our childhood is hardly comparable to what we visit as an adult. Combined, all these small fragments result in a feel that is still unique even many years later.
Source: PC Games
Of course, not everything in Fable was successful. The hose level principle already mentioned is far less impressive than other game worlds. In addition, the camera often turns out to be annoying, which means that attacks are all too often in void. Overall, the gameplay would have been more precise, complex and demanding. Ultimately, of course, everyone who deals with video games knows that Fable suffered greatly from Peter Molyneux's many empty promises. They even gradually tore the franchise deeper into the abyss – at least for the time being. But without the great ambitions and visions of Molyneux, Fable would probably never have arisen. And if it does, then certainly not as creative and unique as fortunately it was.
What is your opinion on the very first fable? Did you also fall in love with the wonderful world of Albion back then? Or do you want to catch up with Fable? Let us know what you think of the Xbox RPG in the comments.
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