Fable 2 will release for Xbox 360 next week, on Oct. 21, and to say Xbox 360 owners are looking forward to the action RPG is a lot like saying Bill Gates has a few quarters hidden in his sofa. Considering the anticipation leading up to Fable 2’s release, gamers already know a lot about it. It has online co-op (but not at launch). It includes several pub games in which players can earn in-game money. It’s got a dog. It’s been “Molyneuxed” — an adjective we created to describe a product whose creator is its biggest pimp. But amid all those well-known tidbits, a few interesting factoids about Fable 2 are still unknown by most gamers. Until now.
We’re knee-deep in the world of Fable 2, and we plan to have a full review of Lionhead Studios’ game next Monday. But while we hack, slash and marry our way through the world of Albion, we wanted to share with you 10 things you don’t know about Fable 2 — but do now.
- The dog in Fable 2 was inspired by the dog in a 1987 game called NetHack.
- The dog’s AI is built on the same principles of the creature in the popular PC game Black & White (also a Lionhead-developed game, by the way).
- Fable 2 allows players to plant an acorn in the ground and watch it grow into an oak tree during the course of the game. This feature was promised in Fable 1 (which was also Molyneuxed), but after literally receiving threats from fans over the exclusion of acorns in Fable 1, Lionhead made darn sure to include it in Fable 2.
- Lionhead hired actors to interact with a crate of beer and studied their mannerisms before creating the emotional interactions between in-game characters and the dog. The crate of beer represented the dog. The actors then proceeded to go home and train their real-life dogs to “roll over,” “sit” and “tap the keg.” OK, so that last bit isn’t true….
- The world of Albion, in which both Fable and Fable 2 take place, is named after the most ancient name of Great Britain. The name is of Celtic origin.
- Lionhead employed a self-proclaimed “sword master” to work on the combat in Fable 2 and demonstrate to the development team how “real sword fighting is done.”
- The environment designs in Fable 2 were inspired by the forest scenes from martial arts films.
- Character design and appearances were inspired by the film “The Brotherhood of the Wolf.”
- Lionhead Studios hired real actors and Hollywood director Mark Travis (from “The Facts of Life”) to stage scenes in Fable 2 before the scenes were animated and produced. DailyGame will give $50 to the first Xbox 360 owner who finds the Natalie and Tootie Easter Eggs.
- In the middle of development, Lionhead challenged fellow Microsoft developers Rare to a soccer (football) match. Lionhead won 2-0.
So there you have it, 10 things you didn’t know about Fable 2, but do now. We’ll have some exclusive screens in the days ahead leading up to the game’s launch, but in the meantime, we hope we’ve enlightened you on some interesting facts about the game’s development process.
— Jonas Allen