Fable is a series of fantasy RPGs where players can choose a “good” or “evil” path.

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Sex, Drugs & Rock n’ Roll

Violence: As a kid, you can bully younger kids (you also have the option of rescuing them from other bullies), but adults will get upset at you. The guards will track you down and apprehend you. This theme continues as you grow up; choosing the evil path will make people angry.

While the violence in the series isn’t particularly graphic, players may choose to hurt children and animals if they are embarking on the evil path.

Sexual Content: It is possible to marry and have sex with a partner, though the “sex scene” is simply a fade-to-black with  bedroom noises—grunting and moaning, springs creaking—in the background. Nothing explicit is depicted. However, in Fable II and III characters can contract STDs if they do not use protection, and may also have children.

Prostitution is present in all three games. Players, if taking the evil path, may buy a brothel and use it as a source of income, or in Fable III turn a local orphanage into a brothel. If taking the good path, players can choose to free the workers, and in Fable III, turn the orphanage into a boarding school.

One character, Reever, is implied to be sexually deviant (there are chains and handcuffs in his bedchambers, and defaced posters around the city say as much as well).

In summary, although sex is present in the Fable games, it is non-explicit, extramarital sex will generally be considered an “evil” trait, and there are consequences to failing to use protection.

Strong Language: Strong language is present, as well as the word “wh*re” when referring to sex workers.

Substance Use: Characters do consume alcohol.

Crude Humor: The Fable series contains a fair amount of crude humor. It’s pretty tongue-in-cheek.

Player Interaction: Players can choose to play online with another Hero, but it is considered an extra, and not integral to the main gameplay.

Savepoints

 In Fable 1 players cannot save until they leave the guild at the beginning of the game (an hour or so in) unfortunately; aside from this, the games save automatically at certain points (particularly after traveling).

Story & Themes

The Fable series takes place in a medieval (with elements of the Enlightenment and Industrial eras) fantasy setting called Albion. Some have likened the atmosphere to Terry Pratchet’s novels. Bright, a bit cartoonish, and riddled with tongue-and-cheek humor, the Fable world is unusually comical for an RPG of its nature. The first game starts with a great loss; the protagonist loses his family. He eventually becomes a “Hero,” and the player must make choices about whether to be a good or villainous Hero. These choices include options like sparing or killing his rival, Whisper, or murdering his older sister in order to gain greater power. There are also choices of lesser import, however—choosing to take bribes or not, and bullying younger kids or rescuing them from bullies, for instance.

The character’s appearance will change based on his actions; evil deeds will make him uglier, while good deeds will make him better looking. Increasing skill prowess will cause the character to become taller, and engaging in hand-to-hand combat will create scars. Eating pies and drinking alcohol will cause the Hero to become fatter, while eating celery and tofu will cause him to become thinner. The second and third titles in the series follow this basic formula, though players may choose the Hero’s gender.

Players may also buy the deeds to houses and shops in order to make money, take odd jobs, and start a family.

The Creators

Lionhead Studios

Controversies

 Fable stirred up controversy with its inclusion of same-sex relationships, but the very fact of sexual content (with condoms, STDs, and the resulting children) was fairly controversial.

Conversation Starters

  •  Were you ever uncomfortable with some of the evil actions your character could take? If not, why?
  • Do you think Fable’s depictions of relationships is in any way realistic? All you have to do to make people fall in love with you is give them presents and make them laugh—might this be a problematic concept?
  • Real life isn’t as black and white as the “good” and “evil” paths in Fable. Is there a way that the games might have been more realistic, or do you prefer knowing whether you’re doing the right thing?

 

Keezy Young

Keezy Young

Keezy is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.