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Molyneux, mo' problems

"Time travel is absolutely possible."
Eurogamer Are there any features you haven't talked about?
Peter Molyneux

Funny you should ask that question, because there are.

[Dramatic pause]

Eurogamer Can you talk about them now?
Peter Molyneux


Doing press just before the preview copies go out, and before the review copies, is difficult, because you can't build things up any more. You've got to talk about how things work.

So the thing I haven't really talked about is levelling up. I've talked about GUIs and story and all that, I haven't talked about levelling up. So we might as well just load the game and have a look.

[Fable III appears on the TV screen]

Eurogamer Look, there's a dog! How surprising and unusual.
Peter Molyneux

Note that I haven't talked about the dog at all.

Eurogamer And you have yet to officially unveil the parrot we talked about previously. Is that still on the cards?
Peter Molyneux

Ah yes, we spoke about doing a parrot, a cat... I don't like cats. We did speak about a parrot because it would be enormously funny to have a parrot on your shoulder. But we haven't done one.

But it would be the best parrot in the world ever, and there would be a huge emotional link to the parrot.

Do you think Peter's biggest fans call themselves Molynerds?
Eurogamer Would you make the player fall in love with the parrot?
Peter Molyneux

I'd make you cry when the parrot fell off his perch. Wait... We should have had a parrot! Because of John Cleese! We could have done the parrot sketch in the game! SH** [bangs fist on table].

Eurogamer But anyway, back to the levelling up...
Peter Molyneux

Part of the problem is we're definitely a role-playing game but we're still an action adventure game. We have this one thought in mind; we never want to take you out of the Fable world.

I love levelling up. I used to be one of those kids at school you would never talk to because I used to be writing down Dungeons and Dragons on bits of paper. I was a dungeon master.

Eurogamer Going round saying, 'This is going to be the best game of Dungeons & Dragons ever...'
Peter Molyneux

Oh absolutely. In fact mine was. No one understood it, but there you go.

Eurogamer Inventing your own version, Dungeons & Doggies...
Peter Molyneux

Yes. And back then I loved the concept of levelling up and feeling more powerful. But the problem with levelling up, in all games, Fables or whatever, is - what do you actually level up?

You go from level 1 to 2 to 3 to 4. You get more powerful, but so do the enemies. So actually you're staying the same level the whole time. We wondered about that, so we invented this thing.

[On-screen we see the protagonist of Fable III, and his dog, standing on a path in front of several sets of gates.]

See, the thing I hate about levelling up is it doesn't take account of the story and what's happened. At the very start of Fable III [gestures at screen], this is rolled out to you.

This path is like your levels. Each one of these gates is a level. You need these things called followers to get through these levels. These followers are what you need to take on the king.

Camper than Christmas. At Elton John's house.
Eurogamer So how do you choose which gate to enter?
Peter Molyneux

Here's the thing: what is Fable to you? Is it a combat game? Is it a simulation? Is it about getting married?

In each of these gates are these chests where you can create your own Fable experience. In each of these chests is a gameplay feature. If you want to use friends to get followers rather than fight, open that chest. If you wan t to make it into a combat game, open the other chests.

So this allows you to make your own Fable experience, by levelling up through those gates.

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About the Author

Ellie Gibson avatar

Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.


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