GDC: Molyneux's Fable 2 revelation

One man and his dog.

Peter Molyneux has finally let slip one of his big secrets for Fable 2, revealing at GDC that you will have a canine companion to follow you throughout your adventures in Albion.

The Lionhead boss believes this furry fellow will tug at our heart strings and help the Xbox 360 title imprint itself in our memories.

The four-legged tail-wagger will behave exactly as you'd expect: it hates cats, unconditionally loves its master, fetches balls, does tricks, sniffs other dog's bottoms and even responds to voice commands - something Molyneux wasn't ready to show yet.

It will also have a more practical use, acting as a scout to guide you (in the absence of the mini-map and HUD from the first game), point out previously unexplored areas and pick up an enemy's scent. You'll even be able to turn into the beast in various mini-games.

Get into a fight and good old Rover will steam in, providing a welcome distraction but no real combat prowess. While it will sustain injuries in combat, it won't die - although Molyneux hinted that man and beast might part ways later in the story.

The dog will also grow to visually represent your alignment, which Molyneux promises won't be so clear cut this time around. If you're a nasty sort, your dog will resemble a Doberman, but if you're an angelic type it'll take on an unbearably cute Sheep Dog look.

So, perhaps there's more to this than meets the eye, and early demonstrations point to a robust and non-intrusive companion.

Pet themed downloadable content was also hinted at, as was the opportunity to meet other people's canine creations, which Molyneux promised will never be identical.

He also let slip other bits and bobs for his upcoming sandbox role-playing game. For instance, you'll be able to play as a man or woman this time around, wooing and possibly sleeping with the opposing sex for fun or for family. If you do pop a little rug rat out, it'll mostly stay at home, but will naturally idolise you and follow in your good or evil footsteps.

You'll also be able to buy any land you see in the game, snapping up properties to unlock new quests. Dynamic regions will also be introduced, meaning towns can grow from one hut into a prospering city, devoted to you if you helped form the original foundations.

Meanwhile, money will be much harder to come by this time around - but if you buy absolutely everything, you can even end the game as Emperor, banishing clothes and passing barn dancing laws, or something.

Will Molyneux actually be able to deliver on his promises this time around? Or will hell freeze over?

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