Fable II: Saint or Sinner

 October 17, 2008 - Lionhead's Fable II ships next Tuesday. To celebrate the launch of the long-awaited RPG, we've given you a week's worth of features. Previously, we looked at swords, guns, magic and social interactions. We close out the week with a look at the differences between good and evil.

Morality plays a large role in Fable II. The choices you make not only have an impact on the world around you, but affect the way people perceive you. It's important to note that there are two levels to morality. Of course, there's a good/evil meter, which measures how you act in the world. Kill innocents and make selfish choices and you'll push the meter towards evil. Donate to the Temple of Light and put the needs of others above your own and the needle will lean more towards good. But there is another measure of morality -- pure vs. corrupt.

Purity and corruption are more subtle aspects of good and evil. Stealing, being lazy, eating excessively -- these are corrupting acts that will make you less attractive. Giving gifts and eating well are ways to keep your body pure (and sexy). And yes, you need to watch what you eat. If you want to be pure, then you can't eat meat or drink liquor. It ain't easy being pure. Before you get cranky about this, consider that in reality drinking, smoking, and eating bad food can all affect your appearance negatively. Kudos to Fable II for throwing in a bit of the real world with the fantasy. 

There's no reason why you can't be a completely corrupt (and perhaps morbidly obese) hero who makes all the right choices when it comes to saving the world. And on the flip side, you could be the most insanely evil vegetarian the world has ever known. A special title is awarded based on these ratings. This title can be found in your logbook, in the personality section. If you're completely evil and totally corrupt, you'll be "The Ghoul," a character who is "as degenerate as he is evil." On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is "The Saint," who is "as pure and benevolent a being as Albion has ever seen." There are a number of titles in-between, but you'll have to play Fable II to discover them.

At their extremes, your character will have a menacing appearance and horns growing out of their forehead or a beatific look and a halo above their head. Not only will your appearance change, but that of your dog's. As we all know, a pet is often an extension of his owner. An evil owner's dog will morph to look similar to a Rottweiler with red eyes and a nasty disposition, while a good hero's pup will grow to look like a yellow lab. And don't think your children are exempt. They mimic their parents. Before having kids, consider that you may be giving birth to a little hellspawn. You won't really see horrible actions from your kid, but there is definitely a difference between a child born of goodness and one born to a wicked parent.

Peter Molyneux has promised that he's going to make it really hard to be good. He is true to his word. There are some malevolently fun things to do when you're evil. The primary task is sacrificing innocents at the Temple of Shadows. Get a group of trusting individuals to follow you and lead them to the Temple's circle of sacrifice. Pull the wheel to determine their fate. Will they die by electrocution? Be impaled? Beheaded? Turned into chickens? Or will they experience a sudden sex change? There's only one way to find out -- spin the wheel!

Good people get to, uh, donate to the Temple of Light. Awesome?

Your path to good or evil, purity or corruption opens new expressions and can have a very real impact on the world around you. We'll leave these instances for you to discover, but promise that there are several distinct moments and they do change the future of Albion.

Check back Monday, October 20 at 6am PST for our review of Fable II.