Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Soppy Fable

Not long after the announcement of a Walking Dead videogame, the same company announced it was going to produce a game based on the long-running Vertigo series Fables. This will likely bear no resemblance to the other Fable of similar name.

Unlike Walking Dead, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out which game would best represent the Fables universe. While the former has a consistent theme throughout, Fables changes its genres with each book. As Bill Willingham said, the first book was a murder mystery, the second a conspiracy thriller, the third a caper story, and so on. While the most obvious choice would be to go the RPG route considering its fantasy setting, it still seemed too limiting considering its source.

So then I thought, “why reduce myself to one genre? Why not include all of them?” Below is a chronological summary of how a Fables V-game could go:

Visual Novel

>>It was another routine day in my sherif’s office as protector of law & order in the little village of Fabletown. I was once the feared figure known as the Big Bad Wolf before the threat known only as The Adversary came and invaded our homelands, forcing the majority of us to travel to other worlds before settling here.

>>Suddenly a figure came huffing and puffing in my front door.

>>It was Jack.

>>Jack was the titular character of known classics such as Jack & the Beanstalk, Jack the Giant Killer, and Jack be Nimble. All the Jacks in every Fable story comes from this man. At least, that’s what he claimed...

>>I didn’t trust him. He was something of a con man, and already alarm bells were ringing in my sensitive ears.

>>“Bigby... you gotta help me!”

>>“Calm down. Jack. What’s the scam now?”

>>“No scam! My girlfriend, Rose Red’s just been murdered!”

>>Rose Red was Snow White’s lesser-known sister. She and Snow had a falling out that went far beyond sibling rivalry. She’d started going out with unsavatory Jack in an attempt to increase her ire against her sister. Apparently, she’d gone further in her attempts than she ever though.

>>I didn’t have to look far for my next move. I already had an idea.

>>“Jack, I’m arresting you for the attempted murder of Rose Red.”

>>His guilty reaction was just as expected.

>>“What?? Don’t you even want to inspect the crime scene first? Look for a few clues with your heightened senses and everything?”

>>“Don’t need to. I don’t like you, and you just gave me the perfect excuse to lock you up.”



Spy Game

Snow White: Okay don’t panic. You’re trapped on an Animal Farm where there’s been a breakdown in authority and a swine-based dictatorship’s sprouted up when nobody was looking. And the only way out is across that scary forest full of cute animals with claws and fangs ready to rip me apart at any moment’s notice. Fortunately, there’s a surprising amount of weaponry available. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to use a gun. (looks around) Maybe they won’t notice me moving around this cardboard box.
Shere Khan: I can still smell you, you know.
Snow White: Crap.

Fighting Game

Prince Charming Vs. BlueBeard

Round 3. Fight!

Prince Charming: You tried to have my ex-wife killed for insulting you at your party. I take offence to that. I challenge you to a duel!
BlueBeard: Please. You couldn’t beat me at the training exercise. What makes you think you can beat me now?
Prince Charming: Oh, I don’t know... maybe the fact that I was holding back? Back then, I couldn’t cheat, but here, anything goes! (Launches into a flurry of lethal combos, ending with a riposte and strong finish)

Prince Charming Wins!


Side-scrolling Platformer

Prisoner: Thank you Boy Blue! But our Emperor is in another castle!
Boy Blue: No problem. With this magic cape, I shouldn’t have much trouble finding him eventually.
(20 warp pipes, 50 Star roads and 4 magic whistles later...)
Boy Blue: This is ridiculous! How many castles and worlds does this guy have under his thumb? Screw this, I’m changing genres.
Pinnochio: Don’t I even get to play as Luigi?
Boy Blue: No, you’re dead.
Pinnochio: Oh yeah.


Boy Blue: Feared Emperor, destroyer and conqueror of our lands, I have arrived under disguise of my invisible cape to challenge you in single combat, forgoing all your guardians, sub-bosses, 8 robot masters and dragons to a fight to the death...
(swings his sword)
Boy Blue: ...and defeat you in a single sword swing. Talk about your anticlimaxes.
Snow Queen: Not so fast. You’ve got me to deal with. (Traps Boy Blue in a shell of ice) Now to bring you to the REAL power behind the throne. Your quest is over. We present you with a new quest. Press button B to select a world.

Lawyer Game

Prince Charming: Let’s start the negotiations over preventing a war against The Empire versus FableTown.
Hansel: HOLD IT! Before we get started, I want to discuss prisoners. You have some of our soldiers as hostages in this peaceful-looking town of yours.
Prince Charming: NOT SO FAST! If you want your alleged soldiers back, we want a fair exchange. We want the location of all our families who were lost when we escaped the Adversary.
Hansel: OBJECTION! It would take us years to find everybody you’re asking for.
Prince Charming: Well then, you should get started. TAKE THAT!
Hansel: (tiny voice) What?
Prince Charming: No, I think an overblown overreaction would be more appropriate. Something like WHAAAAAAAAAAT?????? with plenty of screaming and pounding while wind dramatically blows against your funny hat.
Hansel: I don’t have to sit here and listen to this.


Gob: Enemy alert! There’s a flying ship laying waste to our portals! They’ve also been destroying all our towers where the “B” button is pushed. Other than not being able to run faster or attack, we won’t be able to select a world anymore!
General: So shoot down the little thing.
Gob: We’ve been trying! We’ve thrown everything against it - dragon raiders, gryphons, harpies, albatrosses, Medusa heads, bats, huge insects, flying turtles, broomsticks, pigeons and red balloons. As soon as any of them get within firing range, they’re immediately assaulted by more bullets than a Touhou boss.
General: That’s ridiculous! We should be the one with unfair ammunition! Are they trying to win the war on purpose?


Bufkin: Okay, for BufkinTown, there should be at least 10 statues of me on every corner, encased in solid platinum, with an organ grinder cranking out the melody to Ding Dong the Witch is Dead. Then on the next block -
Magic Mirror: You’re just a winged monkey. What makes you think you deserve all that? You didn’t help at all during the war effort; just fling poo around and unlock the liquor cabinet.
Bufkin: Hey, a guy can dream can’t he?

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