Fable is a third person action RPG, set in the land known as Albion. In Albion, characters known as "Heroes" accept contracts filled out by the people of various towns and cities scattered across the land. You begin playing as a child who, through a twist of fate, becomes an orphan as the result of a bloody bandit raid. You are then then taken into the "Heroes Guild" by a man named Maze and begin your journey to becoming a hero. Your contracts will take you across the land where you will meet various people, either saving or killing them. As you become famous, you will eventually unearth a plot to destroy the world, and after an epic battle, you will have to decide whether or not to destroy the weapon in this plot, or keep its power for yourself. Fable has a unique good/evil system where your character will morph after time based on the actions that you take. For example, if you decide to go out of your way to kill every innocent bystander you see, eventually horns will grow out of your character's head and have a devilish presence about you. If you play morally, you will glow and may even have an angel's halo over your head. In October, 2005, Fable: The Lost Chapters, basically a special edition of the first game, expanded the first game by adding new areas to explore, weapons to fight with, monsters to challenge, armor to try on, and quests to complete. The additional quests continued the story of the original, while the expected technical changes like bugs being fixed made it the ultimate Fable experience on the original Xbox. The extra quests were not included in the Xbox Originals release of Fable.
Cancelled Co-Op Mode
A cancelled co-op mode would have allowed four players (one hero and three sidekicks) to be able to work together to complete unique quests. This feature was canceled in March 2004 due to limited time.
In Fable, you play as a young lad who watches his entire village and family get murdered at the hands of bandits. Just as it seems you are about to meet a similar fate, a man by the name of " Maze" saves you and decides to take you in. As it turns out Maze is the head of a guild that trains people to becomes "heroes",after a few years in the guild your character is ready to go out into the world a hero, whether or not you decide to become a noble Savior to the downtrodden or a killer of thousands is up to you. As the game progresses, you learn that not all of your family was slain and that both your sister and mother are still alive, you also learn that your character is the last of a legendary bloodline that can unlock the power of an ancient sword, a sword that can destroy the world. After a heated battle between your character and Jack Of Blades, an evil character who seeks the destruction of the world for not worshiping him in the past, you can decide whether or not you want to keep the sword, at a great personal cost, or to cast it into oblivion.
As stated earlier, Maze saves you from death and decides to take you in and train you to be a hero, as you arrive at the guild you are introduced to your roommate, Whisper, the much younger sister of Thunder, a renowned hero. Whisper greets you and says that she had never had to share her room before but she supposes she wouldn't mind. The next day you and Whisper head down to the training ring where the Guild Headmaster, not Maze, teaches you how to fight. He is less than disappointed with the effect your punches have on the target dummy and he tells you to try using a stick to whack the dummy into tiny bits of straw. You now easily destroy the straw figure with a few swings from your stick. After the dummy is destroyed, the Guild Headmaster teaches you how to defend yourself, with Whisper attacking you. After you successfully block a few of Whisper's attacks, her older brother Thunder happens to walk by and declares that his sister could easily defeat this "Farm Boy". The Headmaster thinks it would be good practice and he lets you and Whisper fight, if you defeat Whisper her brother scolds her and tells her to train harder before walking off. After Thunder walks off, an alarm bell begins to sound, the headmaster tells you that beetles are running amok in the guild forest and that it would be good practice for you to go out to the forest and deal with them. After you have slain the beetles the headmaster tells you that your true training is about to begin and that you should rest for tomorrow will be an busy day. You resume control of your character a few years later.
Just as you are getting out of bed, Whisper taunts you and says that you are going to be late for the Headmaster's tasks. As you arrive at the riverbank to talk to the headmaster he decides to train you in two other forms of combat, archery and Will. You will learn how to shoot the bow and how to perform the lightning bolt spell before the day is over. Finally, after you complete the headmaster's tests he tells you that you are almost done with your training and soon you will be a real hero. Again you resume control of your character after a few years.
You awaken to the Headmaster telling you that Maze wanted to see you in the guild forest for a final test, as you arrive Maze appears in a cloud of blue smoke and tells you to show him what you have learned all these years. He tests you in the three forms of combat, melee, archery, and will before he tells you to go the guild for your graduation ceremony. You and Whisper are the only two who graduate at this time and after Maze and the Headmaster deliver a speech you and Whisper are presented with your medals, and are explained the importance of your role in Albion. After the graduation ceremony is over, you are given your first quest; to stop a rampaging group of wasps in the picnic area right outside of the Guild. As you arrive you see peasants running in fear as giant wasps chase after them and sting them to death. You promptly jump into the fray and after a few moments all that is left of the wasps are broken husks and wings on the ground. Unfortunately, just as the last wasp hits the ground, an angry buzzing noise fills the air and the Queen of Wasps flies down into the clearing to deal with you. It is a long fight but soon you stand triumphant over the corpse of the wasp queen. You receive a hefty sum of money as well as the wasp queen's head for finishing this quest.
After you head back to the guild, you receive a message that Maze is waiting for you at an inn in the town of Bowerstone. Maze lightly jokes with you as you arrive, saying that he thought you might be too famous after killing the wasp queen to talk to him any more. Maze quickly becomes serious as he explains that there might be survivors in your family from the raid on Oakvale and that there were rumors that your sister, now blind, was working for the bandit Twinblade as a seer. Maze tells you that the entrance to the bandit camp is on the coast of Oakvale, but that you must be stealthy to gain entrance to the bandit camp. After you sneak into the camp you learn that you must have a pass to go into the inner sanctum of the bandit camp and that the only way to get it is to either pay a bandit 1,000 gold or win it off of a traveling merchant in the area. After you gain entry to the inner camp you run into yet another problem, no one is allowed into Twinblade's area except for the female hostages the bandits are keeping. Seeing no other option you kill the guard outside the hostage's cage and set them free, every bandit in the immediate area rushes after them and you are free to entry Twinblade's tent. As you slide through the massive oaken doors, you see Twinblade as well as a large group of bandits jeering at you. Twinblade says that his seer had told him that a guild-puppet would come and here you are. After a large battle you have the option of finishing Twinblade off or letting him live, either way your sister finally makes an appearance and tells you of her past, of the hardships she has endured and the things she has endured. Almost as soon as she makes an appearance she vanishes again, but not before unlocking a power hidden deep inside of you.
As you head back to the Guild, you get a message from your sister, to meet her at the Grey House. As you arrive, she hands you a book and a piece of
parchment and quickly vanishes. As you read the book, you learn that you are the last of the bloodline of the Archon, the first king to rebel against the tyranny of the court of the blades. The Archon had managed to free the people from the court of blades with the help of the Sword of Aeons, a sword he stole from the Jack of Blades. The sword had a strange effect on the King though, he rapidly began to lose interest in his kingdom and he let his children run rampant through the world destroying whatever they wanted. In the later stages of his life, the King realized what had happened and with great sorrow he fled from the throne, hiding the sword and vanishing from the world. As a member of the Archon's family, you have the ability to unlock the power of the sword and wield it, but you do not know the location of the sword so you don't think it is of too much consequence.
Once again, you head back to the guild, this time you receive a quest to help slay a White Balverine in the village of Knothole Glade. As soon as you enter the village, the Balverine attacks and to your dismay your weapons have no effect on it. After a short time in the village though, one of the villagers comes forwards and says that the White Balverine was her husband, but not anymore. She gives you an item that adds the element of silver to your weapon and tells you to save her husband from what he has become. With the silver-attuned weapon the Balverine falls with ease. The villagers of Knothole Glade are so grateful that they sign you up for the arena competition that they host. After a few rounds of ever-strengthening enemies, the arena announces that Whisper and you will be fighting back to back in order to help each other survive. Together, you make it past the final monster of the arena and seem to have finally won. Yet, Jack of Blades suddenly appears out of nowhere and declares that there will be one more round, a fight to the death between you and Whisper. After a sudden fight, you have the option to either cut Whisper down or walk away from the fight. Once the arena is over, Jack of Blades comes to congratulate you on your strength as well as you give you the title of "Arena Champion". After he gives you the bauble that comes with being champion, he vanishes from sight.
Soon, you get another message from your sister saying that your mother is still alive and being held in one of Jack of Blade's prisons. After much searching and with the help of an explorer you find out that there is a secret entrance into the prison from the graveyard. Too bad the graveyard is filled with mindless undead at the moment. Regardless, you manage to push your way through the graveyard and into the prison and you manage to get your mother out of her cell. just as you are about to exit out into the cemetery, Jack of Blades appears and seals off the exit, he laughs triumphantly and summons minions to put your mother back in her cell and you in a new one.
At the prison you are held in you and the other inmates have a race every year, the winner gets poetry read to him by the Warden of the prison. While the warden reads, you must try to find a key in one of his three diaries. The first time you had tried this you had failed and were condemned to spend another year languishing in the prison while Jack of Blades ran free. Yet this time, with some luck you manage to find the key. You start a massive jailbreak and escape with your mother in the ensuing chaos. This time no Jack of Blades is there to stop you, but instead he put a creature of enormous power, a Kraken. After you finish off the Kraken, your mother unlocks a power deep inside of you and tells you to head to a town in the frozen wastes, that there the sword is hidden, and that you must get it before Jack of Blades does.
As you arrive at the town, you find a strange barrier denying you entrance into the area where the sword is hidden. Your mother tells you to return to the guild because she has found a book that tells you how to unlock the barrier. As you arrive at the base of the tower that your mother is staying in, you hear her scream from inside. You storm up the stairs just in time to see her vanish along with Jack of Blades. The headmaster sympathizes with the loss of your mother after you just got her back but he urges you to find the sword. He says that he can use the book to unlock the barrier and tells you to hurry back to the area. Once you arrive you see Maze using a spell to trap your sister with no sign of the sword in sight. Once he sees you he stammers out an explanation that Jack of Blades is using a spell to control your sister, she yells out that it is a lie. As you stand there thinking about what to do, Jack of Blades strikes you from behind and places you under the same cage spell that Maze
is using on your sister. He and Maze begin to talk about the real location of the sword and then Jack of Blades vanishes in another teleport spell. As Maze stares at where he once stood, your sister uses some magic of her own to dispel the cage surrounding you. You must now fight your mentor Maze, and a tough battle it is. Maze frequently teleports and uses an impressive ring of fire to blast you away. Yet in the end you stand over Maze's broken body. He stammers out an explanation of why he did it, that he fears death more than anything, but that you might have a chance to stop Jack. That you must stop him from activating the Focus Sites around Albion to find out the Sword's location. You begin to chase Jack through several portals he has made to the focus sites but to no avail, he manages to activate all of them and step through a portal to the sword's location. Just as you step through the portal you are shocked to find yourself back at the guild; but it isn't the guild you remember, this one is burnt and broken. With the headmaster lying up against the wall a few feet away. He tells you that you must follow Jack into the chamber of fate and stop him from getting the sword.
As you enter the chamber of fate, you see a massive sword lodged into the ground with a green aura surrounding it, you also see that Jack is holding your mother by the neck and your sister is bound on the ground at his feet. He mocks your family and then slashes your mother's throat open. Her blood takes down the green aura surrounding the sword and Jack pulls it out of the ground laughing triumphantly. After an intense battle, you stand before you sister, the Sword of Aeons in your hand, and the portal that consumed the body of Jack of Blades to your right. Your sister tells you that you now face the ultimate choice, that you can cut her down with the Sword of Aeons and receive the power that Jack dreamed of having or you can cast the sword into oblivion. The choice is yours, and it is up to you to craft your own Fable.
Fable's combat system is reminiscent of a button masher, you press "X" to attack and "Y" to defend, if you move the left analog stick while holding down "Y" your character will dodge in whatever direction you are pushing the analog stick. As you score hits on enemies a meter will appear to the left of your screen, the combat multiplier. The combat multiplier determines how many points in each subcategory (Strength, Skill, and Will) you will get for performing an action in each respective category. For example, if you had no combat multiplier and performed a spell you would receive 1 Will point, whereas if you had a combat multiplier of 10 and performed that same spell you would receive 10 Will points. In order to continue to increase your combat multiplier you must continue hitting enemies without taking damage yourself. A common tactic as to to swing a Melee weapon multiple times and then roll-dodge to avoid an enemies attack. Of course, combat is given an extra dimension when enemies start to block your standard attacks. The best way to deal with an enemy who is blocking is to perform a "flourish", a flourish is a uniquely animated move that is able to break through any enemies' block. It can be performed after your combat multiplier reaches 2, It is ready to be used when your weapon starts to glow orange, once it does hit "B" to knock down any enemies in front of you. Be careful though, your character might take a moment to recover from the flourish at which point you are vulnerable to enemy attack.
Experience orbs are dropped off of slain enemies, they are green orbs that will cover the ground wherever you kill an enemy. Experience orbs are used to level up your character's various abilities categorized under Strength, Skill, and Will. You might remember that the combat multiplier will also give you points in each immediate category depending on what action you perform, melee is for Strength, shooting a bow is for Skill, and magic is for Will.
After you collect enough experience orbs, you can go to the Heroes Guild to decide what you want to spend your points on. Strength contains physique, toughness, and health. Skill contains speed, dexterity, guile, and accuracy. Will contains various forms of magic including self- buffs, summonings, time magic, destructive magic, and healing. Whenever you select what category you want to level up in points from each immediate category will be used up, followed by general experience.
As the player character levels up, signs of aging will become more evident. The player starts their journey as a young teen and would eventually finish it as an older character according to the different experiences in the game.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of Fable is its good/evil system. Your character will change based on the actions you take. If you decide to sacrifice someone to an evil god you will start to be known as an evil person, and the people in villages and towns will act as if you are a demon when you walk by them. Whereas if you save every person you come across who needs help, selflessly give of yourself, and donate to the church, people will cheer and applaud for you when you enter a town. Not only do the townsfolk react to your exploits out in the world but your body does as well, be evil and you will develop slanting eyes and horns will slowly protrude from your head, be as evil as possible and flies will start to follow you around. If you are good your character will have an innocent face and have a bright halo above their head, be as good as possible and butterflies will start to follow you around.
- Physique- Determines how much melee damage you inflict, allows use of heavy weapons.
- Health- Lengthens your health bar, plain and simple.
- Toughness- Reduces amount of health taken when struck by an attack.
- Speed- Increases attack speed in combat.
- Accuracy- Improves damage dealt with ranged weapons (bow or crossbow).
- Guile- Allows you to sneak/steal better and opens up discounts with various traders.
- Attack Spells- Used for offensive attacks on enemies (5 spells).
- Surround Spells- Used when overwhelmed by enemies or to help player (5 spells).
- Physical Spells- Protects hero from enemies, mainly defensive (6 spells).
- Magic Power- Lengths mana bar (just like Health attribute).
- Drain Life is an evil spell that allows you to drain the health out of most enemies, and transfer it to the hero.
- Force Push is a neutral spell that allows the hero to push everyone surrounding him, weather it be allies or enemies.
- Slow Time is a neutral spell that allows the hero to slow down everyone and everything but the hero.
- Summon is a good spell that allows the hero to summon a wasp at first, however, when the wasp kills a stronger enemy, the summon will become that stronger enemy. A summon can not become a weaker monster .
- Turncoat is an evil spell that allows the hero to take control of any target.
- Assassin rush is a neutral spell that allows the hero to quickly run behind the current target.
- Berserk is an evil spell that greatly increases the hero's strength, but it will also lower the hero toughness.
- Ghost Sword is a neutral spell that creates swords that are good at distracting enemies, however they do not do much damage.
- Heal Life is a good spell that allows the hero to restore his health, as well as any friendly characters near the caster.
- Multi Arrow is a neutral spell that allows the hero to fire several arrows at once.
- Physical Shield is a good spell that allows the hero to be surrounded by a barrier. When activated, the barrier constantly drains the hero's will, and damage will also be done to will. When the hero is out of will (or if the hero takes it off), the shield disappears.
- Battle Charge is a neutral spell that makes the hero charge forward, knocking anyone he runs into down.
- Enflame is a neutral spell that attacks all enemies surrounding the hero with flame.
- Fireball is a neutral spell that allows the hero to throw a fireball at any targets. It can be charged up depending on level.
- Lightning is the first spell learned in the game, and can attack multiple enemies at the same time.
- Multi Strike allows the hero to attack multiple times with one strike with his current weapon.
The original score for Fable was written and composed by Russell Shaw and Alan Wilson, with the exception of the first track, "Fable Theme", which was composed by the famous film composer Danny Elfman.
On December 4, 2007, Fable became available on the Xbox 360's Xbox Originals download service for 1200 Microsoft Points.
Lionhead Studios codenamed this game "Project Ego" long before the name Fable was adapted. The game also had the codename "Wishworld" at one point during development.
Originally, Fable was to release on the Sega Dreamcast before Microsoft stepped in.