Fable III

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
It's good to be king...

"This is my Albion. Its cities will bow to my law or they will burn. Its mountains will bend to my will or they will fall. This is my Albion. Its people will do as I say or they will die. Its future will be as I decree or it will end. I have seen what must be done, and nothing will stand in my way. We will be greater and we will be stronger, no matter what sacrifices we must make. This is my Albion, and I will see it destroyed before I surrender it."

The third game in the Fable series. Your character is the younger brother (or sister) to the tyrannical Logan, King of Albion[1] . When Logan spots you and your childhood friend (either Elise or Elliot, depending on whether your character is male or female) spying on one of his meetings, he forces you to make a Sadistic Choice over whether to kill Elise/Elliot or a group of protestors. Your Mentor, Sir Walter Beck, rushes you out of the castle so as to start a rebellion for you to replace him as monarch.

After getting the Guild Seal which allows the Hero to use magic, and gathering support throughout the land, the Hero takes the throne. However, the Hero finds out that there is a horrible monster, the Crawler, which is coming for Albion to destroy it. Logan reveals that the reason he was being such a tyrant was to raise money for an army to defeat this monster. The player may then choose to break the vows they made to become a better ruler, becoming a tyrant worse than Logan, or to keep them all, but let the kingdom die when the Crawler comes due to lack of financing for the army. Or keep all the promises, but work your ass off to try and raise enough money.

Tropes used in Fable III include:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Bowerstone Sewers are surprisingly roomy, and apparently so clean your dog can sniff out a wedding ring somebody dropped down there! Justified because Bowerstone is based off an old-style European city.
  • Actor Allusion: Where do you meet Ben Finn (played by Simon Pegg)? During the section where you fight the walking dead Hollow Men, of course.
  • Announcer Chatter: In Reaver's Mansion between Reaver and his assistant when they throw you into a deadly game.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Aurora. The citizens posted messages about how the eternal night destroyed their town as most of the populace including women and children were slaughtered. Yes, it's as depressing as it sounds.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Walter while possessed by The Crawler. He encourages the player, "Don't hold back!" when you attack him.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "It's amazing what you find digging in your back yard. Giant bones, portals to other dimensions, broken bottles..."
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: About half-way through the game.
  • Berserk Button: If you have the Ravenscar Keep DLC it turns out you do not mess with the hero's dog, even if you have him/her strapped to an electric chair and severely weakened. S/he won't remain tied down.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: There is a poster of a woman like this, and she is called "Big Bess".
  • Bittersweet Ending: The game ends with the Hero forced to kill his lifelong mentor and friend Walter, who'd been possessed by The Crawler. Also, depending on how full the kingdom's treasury was, the vast majority of Albion could be dead, and depending on how many promises you've had to break, you may have alienated some of your old friends and allies.
  • Blade of Fearsome Size: The "swords" that the Dwellers are seen using are basically supersized cleavers.
  • Book Ends:
    • The game has the beginning of your first fight and the end of you last one with Walter, and he even recites the same basic line about stories he told you of your father/mother when you were a child.

Prince/ss: "Teach me how to be a hero."

    • There's also book ends for the first part of the game.

Logan: You have the power over life and death. Now choose.

    • Your first mission involves meeting your lover in the garden and the last is burying Walter there.
    • The beginning of Fable III is about you overthrowing a monarch, at the end of Traitor's Keep, its about another trying to overthrow you, seeing you as a tyrant...the themes come full circle.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Done by the Hero during the "Darkness Incarnate" quest.

Sir Walter: Do you sometimes get the feeling someone's playing a game with you?
Hero: All the time.

  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The 5-Star Dog Potion, which is only obtainable by purchase on Xbox Live and instantly maxes out your dog's fighting and treasure-finding abilities.
  • Broken Aesop: The game is presumably trying to make a point about the tradeoffs inherent in spending limited government money and resources on defense over social programs or vice versa. Since the economy is utterly broken and it's possible to very easily make a functionally unlimited amount of money by investing in real estate, however, the moral comes out looking more like "You can have your cake and eat it too as long as you put all your trust in philanthropic real estate barons." Uh, okay.
  • Broken Bridge: Demon Doors, which contain unlockable content.
    • In Millfields there is a sidequest to fund a new bridge which will let you get to Driftwood, location of one of the four golden keys.
  • But Thou Must!: No matter how you feel about him, you can't do anything to Reaver and he'll always become your adviser.
  • Call Back: The Gnomes, one of the collection sidequests for III, are given life (and attitude) by an insulting Gargoyle from II.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Played with in minor ways in the first two games, but utterly bitchslaps you here just like they did Logan.
  • Chest Monster: Chesty from Fable II returns, challenging you to a game of chess. He eventually gets bored, and has the lifesize gamepieces attack you directly.
  • The Chessmaster: Theresa is not only behind your development as a Hero, but provoked Logan into becoming a tyrant by telling him the Eldritch Abomination that nearly killed him is coming to Albion.
    • Milton of Traitor's Keep.
  • Children Are Innocent: Invoked by a Demon Door.
  • Combo-Platter Powers: Spell Weaving. Basically, it lets you combine two spells into a single, powerful attack. And is awesome.
  • Continuity Nod: One of the first quests is called "Chicken Chaser", which was infamously the default title for your hero in the first game, and a title you could adopt in the second. Fable III also has a museum in a basement in Bowerstone Old Town that features artifacts from the first two games.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Reaver. He's making the best out of the industrial age.
  • Crapsack World: Aurora during Eternal Darkness. And how. And if your character makes the wrong choices when you become the ruler of Albion, the kingdom quickly becomes one of these.
  • Creator Backlash / Executive Meddling: If Fable III seems incomplete, Peter Molyneux has his own reasons why.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: Have fun trying to scrounge up the funds needed to fight the Crawler on a good-guy playthrough.
    • Or just invest in real estate
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Subverted with Logan. He never forgot why he was behaving like a tyrant. When you capture him, he has no Villainous Breakdown. He calmly surrenders quickly and tells you exactly why he did what he did.
  • Downer Ending: If you choose to make life better, and drain the vault, better be ready after you win to see a lot of corpses littering the land. The land is beautiful, friendly... and dead. On the other hand, be a tyrant and have everyone alive - and hating your living guts.
    • Of course, you can Take a Third Option and Earn Your Happy Ending with virtually all your citizens (minus soldiers who died in battle) surviving by keeping the land beautiful as well as working your butt off and investing smartly, coming up with the 9 million gold you need to keep the citizens alive and keep all your promises.
  • Drag Queen: One of the achievements requires your hero to dress in the clothing of the opposite gender.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Nowhere is this more apparent than in the second half of Fable III. You have become the friggin' King (or Queen) and individuals still ask you to do petty jobs. Of course, if you plan on doing all those things that deplete the country's treasury, you're going to have to find ways to make an enormous amount of money to put back into the treasury, and one way to make money to buy enough real estate for a solid income is to do those pie-making/blacksmithing/lute-playing minigames at max skill level.
    • Worse yet, in one storyline required quest, you must halt a robbery. The fellow in charge of said spoilered event scoffs at you, even though you're the freakin' King/Queen of the entire country and had to carve a bloody swathe through two to three small armies, and staged a coup against the resident tyrant, practically single-handed. Said fellow is universally agreed to be Too Dumb to Live by every player who encounters him.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: If you want to save your kingdom and be loved by your people, you're going to have to work for it. That's right, Your Majesty, I want one hundred pies done by nightfall!
  • Elaborate Equals Effective: Your weapon gets more and more decorations as it gains power.
  • Elite Mooks: Balverines are a very tough, complete with tactics and dodging, and they're faster. They also replace most enemies at night as the game progresses.
  • Enemy Chatter: The Crawler takes it a step further, not only insulting and threatening the player, but reminding the hero of all his/her failures and inadequacies in a very booming, mocking voice, NON-STOP, every time you face his horde. To quote Walter:

Walter: "Shut up, shut UP, SHUT UP!!!!!"

Lesley: Time for an evil laugh? Yeah, I think. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

The Crawler: Ahh huhahahahahahaha...

  • Evil Versus Evil: Logan's tyranny was not because he was evil, but he was committing evil acts to prevent a greater evil - the destruction of Albion by The Crawler.
  • The Evil Prince: The player character, either subverted or played straight.
  • Expy: Ransom Locke is an Expy of Sherlock Holmes, complete with deerstalker cap.
  • Fartillery: Your farts are a lot louder and longer than the past instalments, and they're capable of rendering NPCs unconscious.
  • Fascist but Inefficient: How Logan runs Albion.
  • Five-Man Band: The Hero and their main allies:
  • Full-Circle Revolution: It's possible for you to be just as bad or even worse than Logan.
  • Gentle Giant: Boulder. He likes your dog.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Mourningwood. "Morning Wood"? In a game with so much debauchery and bloody violence, it's pretty tame, but still part of the sly humour of the series, slipping in dirty puns everywhere.
    • The pub in Bowerstone is called "The Cock in the Crown," an obvious Take That at Logan. The picture on the sign depicts a rooster sitting in a royal crown, but nobody's fooled.
  • Giant Mook: The bands of highwaymen usually have a member who's about ten feet tall and built like a small mountain. And can shoot fire at you. And can perform a Shockwave Stomp fire attack.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The first half of the game.
  • The Good King: The player character's father/mother (the hero of Fable II). The player character can choose to subvert this trope or play it straight.
  • Groin Attack: One of the flourish/counter attack animations if you're fighting Dark Minions with a hammer? You swing the hammer and slam it into their groin so hard that they break apart. Hell yes. Really, the Hero of Brightwall has a vendetta against testicles.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Millfields is one of the most dangerous and aggravating areas of the game because it's utterly crawling with troops of bandits. This is very odd considering that it's the most upscale area of the game, where many of Albion's nobles and wealthiest citizens live; it should be one of the most heavily guarded places in the kingdom. There are guards there, but there are so few their presence is totally ineffective. The bandits attack other NPCs just the same as they do to the player, and if there happens to be a guard nearby, he will try to fight them off - but unless the player helps out, he will usually die quickly due to being outnumbered. On top of that, most guards are weak in combat.
  • Guide Dang It: At the end a lot of people are shocked when the countdown goes from Day 121 to the final attack and they have not had the chance to transfer the funds into the treasury, resulting in a high death toll. Instead of going forward into a war-torn Bowerstone, simply pan the camera around and go the other way, which takes you back to Day 121 to carry on as before.
  • Has Two Mommies: A new option in Fable III allows gay couples to adopt children.
  • Haunted House: Sunset House. At first it's just a pile of rubble (during the day) or a spectral image (during the night), and you can only enter it once you solve a puzzle. When you get inside, you're greeted by a skeleton hanging from the ceiling inside of a smoking, dilapidated ruin. A note from the previous owner explains what happened; the house is cursed and possessed by a demon which he burned the house to destroy. When you go to sleep in the bed up the stairs, the demon, which calls itself "Chesty", challenges you to a game of chess. Once defeated, the demon gives you ownership of the house as thanks for the amusement. Solving a puzzle in the dining room allows you to jump through the mirror into a nice, clean, intact version of the house's interior, which you can exit. The demon is still there, though, and the house remain eerie and desolate whichever side you're on. That and the area immediately surrounding the house is infested with Hollow Men and Hobbes is probably why it can't be used as a family home, can't be rented out, and only sells for 18,000 gold despite being the largest and most posh home in the game.
  • I Am a Humanitarian: Hobbes. And Lesley.
  • Ice Cream Koan: The advice the gnome collection gives.
  • If You're So Evil Eat This Kitten: Lesley will only trust you if you kill a man for him.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Fable III has an auto targeting system that leads to this for the player character. For example, you can be facing away from a Mook and hit said Mook by pointing your gun over shoulder without even looking. Reaver is shown to have similar abilities.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Before the Hollow Men battle in Mourningwood, you can find the soldiers engaged in various activities, including one playing a lute. When they break into the base, does he grab his sword? Nope. He grabs his lute by the neck and starts bashing zombies in the head with it while spouting some truly horrific music-related one-liners.
  • Interface Screw: If you pause the game during the first encounter with the Crawler or during its assault the Sanctuary will be covered in black goo, preventing you from using the map.
  • Karma Houdini: Reaver! The horrible industry boss who works people to death, puts a 3 second limit on breaks, shoots a protester three times in the very beginning, and traps you and Page in a fight to the death against various mooks for the amusement of his noble guests. Not only do you never get the chance to pay him back for all the terrible things he's done, he becomes your "evil" advisor as queen/king, prompting you to extort people just for the money and Evulz rather than to help them stand against the Eldritch Abomination.
  • Killer Rabbit: It's no ordinary chicken. It's a demonic firebreathing chicken!
    • One tombstone in the mercenary camp claims the deceased was killed by a hamster.
  • Knight Templar: Several, but perhaps most extremely Logan.
    • Turner and Milton of Traitor's Keep.
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Why do you guys want to put chickens in everything?!" The whole quest is one. From the chickens, to the nerds telling you where to go (like a certain glowing trail), and even the final scene if you play the princess.
  • Large Ham: Whoever voices the Crawler certainly seems to enjoy playing an Eldritch Abomination.

The Crawler Are you blind yet? ARE YOU BLIND YET?!

    • Nicolas Hoult (Elliot) and the female hero's voice actress during intimate moments.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: While you're exploring Shadelight in Aurora.

Walter: Um. Do you ever get the feeling someone's playing games with us?
Hero: All the time.

    • In a side quest where you act out a story narrated by wizards:

Wizard 1: Our hero resolved to talk to the townsfolk, to learn more information about the missing princess.
Wizard 2: You're kidding, right? If the hero starts talking to all the villagers, we'll be here forever!
Wizard 1: Well, some people like to hear what the villagers have to say, and immerse themselves in the story world.
Wizard 2: This is like the time you told me everybody reads item descriptions. No one reads item descriptions.

  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Poor, poor Walter. Also Captain Swift, whose death is particularly hard on Ben Finn.
  • Mission Pack Sequel: For the first half of the game, Fable III is very much this in relation to Fable II, but once you become King/Queen it changes up a little.
  • Mood Whiplash: Fable III is basically the same lighthearted Monty Python-esque game we all know, with the serious moments and emotional manipulation that we've come to expect. Then you meet The Crawler and suddenly the entire game takes a hard left into Darker and Edgier. Even the way your character is seated on the throne when you become the ruler indicates this wasn't what you were expecting.
  • Most Gamers Are Male. Lampshaded during the faux Dungeons and Dragons adventure.

"Wizard": Yeah, and the princess is really hot.

    • Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: If you're playing as a female character during this quest, the three gamers in charge of the game take notice. One of them definitely approves.
    • One of the reasons many males make female characters.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Jasper will continue serve the Hero no matter how many villagers s/he kills, how many unjust decisions s/he makes as a tyrannical ruler...and no matter how ridiculously they dress.
    • This isn't to say that he holds back any commentary. After all, his voice actor is John Cleese.

Jasper: You're dressed... as a chicken. What do you... what do you intend to do, dressed as a chicken?

Reaver: We can't call them zombies - the Hollow Men Anti-Defamation League is getting stronger all the time.

  • Old Dark House: The Sunset House plays this to a tee. To begin with, it's located in a very remote, isolated area (accessed by a lonely, easily unnoticed path from a region that is infested with angry spirits and zombies). On top of that, all you will find at first is a pile of debris from a destroyed house; but when you visit it at night, you see the intact house as a transparent, glowy white apparition sitting ominously at the top of the hill. By solving a puzzle in the gazebo off to the west side of the area, the house is magically restored from it's ghostly state and you can now enter it. But even when restored, the house still looks eerie as heck sitting atop that hill, and even after the related quest is completed, the area around it is always infested with Hollow Men and unique, creepy looking Hobbes. However, if all of that wasn't creepy enough, what you find inside makes all of it even worse.
  • Old Shame: An in-universe example, with Phillip Morrley's lost play, "The Ham Sandwich", hated by its creator, and with good reason
  • Outlaw Town: The Mercenary's Camp.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: There's a particular quest where the player must dress up as a mercenary, and pose as their comrade "Jimmy" in order to sneak into their camp. It makes sense, sort of, if the PC is male, but if female, somehow the mercenaries remain oblivious to the fact that "Jimmy" suddenly has breasts. (All outfits in the game, regardless of which sex they're meant for, have both male and female models to fit the PC's body.)
    • Ultimate it's subverted - you are in fact detected - except it's not for any of the obvious stuff. It's because your eyes are the wrong colour. One can only cite the Rule of Funny.
  • Playable Menu: The pause menu is an extradimensional space (complete with butler). The player character moves around inside to manage inventory, check quests, and examine the map.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Half of the plot revolves around this. After returning from Aurora with an entire army missing, Logan could have confided in his private council (Walter, The Hero, et al) the actual events that elapsed there. Despite what Theresa says about, "The Crawler is something you had to see for yourself", in a world where monsters roam the land and cosmic abominations from The Void are renown throughout history it would not have been hard to persuade his closest friends to trust him and help enable intelligent policy revisions to prepare for invasion.
    • Let's not forget about the families of Logan's legion of dead soldiers who make no effort to inquire as to what happened exactly.
  • Precursors: The continent of Aurora has ruins of a magnificent civilization, but the only population now is a small port town. It very likely that The Crawler was responsible for its collapse.
  • Prop Recycling: The magic music box from Fable II appears prominently as the proof Sabine needs that the main character is a Hero.
    • Also, every weapon used by an NPC other than Walter is from Fable II.
  • The Reveal: Logan hadn't gone mad with power, but mad with fear of the Crawler, and his tyrannical actions were to generate enough money for the treasury to raise an army to fight the Crawler. A treasury you will either empty to keep your promises to the people who helped you gain the throne and end up ruling a kingdom of corpses, or break them to ensure Albion and everyone in it can be saved.
    • Traitor's Keep: It is revealed that General Turner died months ago and it was Milton who orchestrated the entire plot against the king or queen, using the time with him or her to study his or her mannerisms to transform into the doppleganger of the hero to "replace" him or her, and overthrow the monarchy.
  • RPG Mechanics Verse: In a side quest, some amateur wizards teleport you into a Dungeons and Dragons-style adventure module, where RPG tropes are Lampshaded and parodied.
  • Sadistic Choice: Starts out with one in which you have to choose between your lifelong friend/lover and a group of peasants to be executed. There's no third option, either. If you wait too long to decide, all of them will be executed. You'll also have to make some hard decisions after your rise to power, whether to spend the money to keep your promises, or exploit the land and earn money to fund the defense against the shadow monsters.
    • The first sadistic choice is (only slightly) devalued when you realise there is no moral implication in making it. (Shown by the blank decision buttons, rather than them being surrounded by a soft light or fire.) And devalued further because the peasants never appear again if left alive, although your love interest will...and you have to decide whether to tell him/her to abandon their new fiancée when you end up saving them both later on in the game.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: As usual for the Fable series, it's very easy to pay your way past the guards. A mere 250 gold literally lets you get away with murder.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: A recurring villain talks like this, even when trying to bargain for his own life. His henchmen don't get it.
  • Servile Snarker: Jasper, your butler, who is voiced by John Cleese.
    • Hobson is even more snarky. If you decide to lower taxes, it depletes the treasury, to which Hobson sarcastically says, "How very...noble of you...yes, noble," enunciating the word in such a way as to make it a synonym for "stupid".
  • Super Gender Bender: if The Hero is female Milton will swap genders when he assumes the hero's form as well as gaining power
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: Walter, being psychologically hounded by the Crawler, throws his torch at the thing, causing it to cry out in pain and disappear. The fact that it easily recovers and kidnaps Walter a few moments later should be ignored.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Logan demonstrates.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The Good/Evil choices in the ruling part of Fable 3 in regards to preparing for The Crawler. Do you turn a orphanage into a brothel for the extra money therefore lessening the overall casualty rate or spend thousands turning it into a sanctuary to help the needy?
  • Stylistic Suck: Phillipith Morreley's lost play "The Ham Sandwich".
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Mercenaries for bandits.
    • Also, the possessed garden gnomes for the gargoyles. Aside from appearance, the only difference between them is that the existence of the gnomes, as well as the reason you gotta shoot 'em all, is actually explained. Otherwise, they're the same in every aspect - small immobile stone creatures who appear in odd places and shout insults at you until you locate and shoot them.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: One early mission requires you to infiltrate a mercenary camp disguised as a male merc, regardless of your character's gender.
  • Take a Third Option: Once you become King/Queen, there are, in addition to the good and evil options, options to remain neutral, which usually results in maintaining the status quo or doing something which is neither profitable for yourself or the people affected by the decision, but at least disadvantages nobody.
  • Take That: During the quest "The Game", which takes place inside a model D&D-esque setting, there is a switch that none of the gamers thought was their responsibility to rig, so it does nothing when pulled. One of the gamers suggests making a cloud of butterflies appear. His friend comments "Worst. Game. Ever."
  • Take That Me: There's a quest where you enter a Dungeons and Dragons style game. You kill the villain in this game by hitting him once with a bane-sword. One of the Dungeon Masters says "What kind of rubbish game lets you kill the villain in one blow?" As a totally random example, Fable II did.
  • Take Your Time: Sort of. Once you're crowned King or Queen, you have a full year before the Crawler arrives in Albion. But the clock for that only moves forward when you do the "Weight of the World" quest and ignores the game's day-night cycle, so you have as much time as you want to complete quests.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Mercenaries will charge the ruler of Albion. Even if the king/queen couldn't cast a spell to make flaming swords appear to kill them with one stab, it's still less than intelligent to attack a person commanding armies and the only thing standing between them and utter genocide.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The trailers of Fable III say nothing about The Crawler, just explaining the first half of the plot, deposing your brother. Also an aversion of Trailers Always Spoil.
  • Trash Talk: The Gnomes do this constantly.
  • Uncle Sam Wants You: The "Albion Needs YOU" posters.
  • Unexpected Genre Change: Oh sure, there are scary moments in all three games. But in the third game, when you visit Aurora, the game's tone shifts abruptly from goofball fantasy with dark spots straight into full-blown horror. And very well done at that.
  • Virtual Ghost: Montague Humes, the creator of Understone, has been dead for some time. His interaction with the player is due to pre-recorded messages/automated traps that are still running, not unlike a certain other mad genius from a popular video game franchise.
  • What Measure Is A Civilian: Apparently each life can be saved for 1gp.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Humorously lampshaded by Major Swift and Ben Finn.

Swift: Lieutenant Simmons! I specifically instructed you to remain buried!
Finn: Oh, doesn't anyone follow orders anymore?!

  • Yaoi Fangirl: The dead author of the in-game book "The Pangs of Sunset", a book that ships Reaver and Garth from the second game. She's mentioned to have also written a Slash Fic between Lucien (bad guy from Fable II) and Jack of Blades (bad guy from Fable I). She ships Theresa and Hammer, too.
    • If you look closely, the cover of said book is mysteriously stained with blood. Maybe one of the readers got too "excited". Or maybe the author suffered some very pointed criticism from a subject of her little stories.
  • You Keep Using That Word: The "Revolution" is more of a coup. A revolution is the overthrowing of a government, not a change in the seats of office. Likely done because yelling "Revolution!" just sounds better.
    • The plot of the conspirators in Traitors Keep is more of an actual revolution as they seek the overthrow of the monarchy and a democratic republic in its place. The DLC may have shown that the overthrow of Logan was not a "true" revolution as the monarchy is still in place, leading to the plots against you.
  1. both are the children of the main character of Fable II, the previous king/queen