The first game in the Fable series, the initial Fable game focuses on the "Hero of Oakvale."
The game starts off peacefully enough, with the main character looking for ways to obtain a gift for his sister's birthday. But once he has, bandits attack his home village of Oakvale and all things go to hell. The youngster hides from the bandits, but his family are not so fortunate. His father is killed, his mother missing and his sister abducted. A member of the Heroes' Guild, Maze, stumbles upon the boy and saves him from certain death. Telling him that there is nothing left for him in Oakvale, Maze takes the boy to the Guild to be raised as a hero.
The game was later re-released as Fable: The Lost Chapters, which extended the storyline, added new content, and contained an expansive Playable Epilogue ending to better conclude the game (which is considered canon as of Fable II).
Another update was later released in February 2014 for Xbox 360, and on PC via Steam in September 2014. Titled Fable Anniversary, the HD remake has the game's visuals rebuilt entirely, a Fable II/III-inspired control scheme, leaderboards and the update pack The Lost Chapters. The Anniversary trailer can be watched here.
This game includes examples of:
- A-Team Firing: Rolling (or just moving around, really) can severely impact enemy accuracy, causing their shots to often fly several feet away from you.
- All-Powerful Bystander: The Knothole Glade chieftain. There's no explanation why someone who can tank 20 punches from a maxed-out Hero while being able to down said Hero in 2 (in comparison, other fist-fighters can only take about 3-8 punches) would even need the assistance of the Heroes' Guild.
- All Trolls Are Different: Trolls in this game are similar to golems, being large creatures made of earth, rock or ice, having massive amounts of health and not flinching from attacks, and causing lots of knockback with their attacks at the cost of being extremely slow and immobile.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: The bulk of the plot centres around trying to defeat Jack of Blades. At the end of the extended storyline, the Hero can end up becoming Jack of Blades if he doesn't destroy Jack's mask quickly enough. The exact nature of the transformation is unclear, though - the entry that appears in the story logbook is written from Jack's POV, stating that the Hero is now dead, while the ending narrative states that Jack and the Hero are actually Sharing a Body, and you still get a Playable Epilogue. In game, the mask does nothing aside from making you permanently evil aligned and unable to wear helmets.
- Annoying Arrows: Zig-zagged. At the start of the game ranged weapons can be very painful for the Hero, but they rapidly drop off when he gets some health and armor. Meanwhile, the Hero's own archery skills can become absolutely devastating with the right equipment and magical enhancements.
- Arbitrary Mission Restriction: The "Boasts" for most quests. Before embarking on a quest, the player may pick and choose any or all available Boasts to attempt, which include conditions like "Don't take any damage," "Do the entire quest naked (i.e., without any armor)," or "Do the entire quest in a chicken suit." They aren't necessary for the success of the quest, but completing them grants extra gold and renown.
- Armor of Invincibility: Archon's Armor, found in the Necropolis in the expansion, is easily the best possible armor in the entire game. For the main game, plate armor with a chainmail helm serves this purpose.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Multiple:
- Screamers drain life directly, ignoring both armor and Physical Shield.
- Piercing augmentations give increased damage against heavily armored enemies such as Trolls and Summoners.
- Artificial Stupidity: It's particularly clear when fighting in the Arena, but enemies are entirely unaware of any traps that might be present in the battlefield. Enemies that only have melee attacks will approach you and get hit by traps every single time if you're right behind it. This, for example, allows the player to defeat Whisper in the Arena without landing or receiving a single hit, by just letting her hit herself with the spinblade traps.
- Attack Its Weakpoint: Arachanox takes massively reduced damage from all attacks except those that hit its face while it's charging its strongest attack.
- Authority in Name Only: The Hero can become the mayor of Bowerstone. Outside of gaining access to the castle, there is absolutely nothing that is affected by this and the Hero gains no political powers whatsoever.
- Awesome, but Impractical:
- Infernal Wrath and Divine Fury do ridiculous amounts of damage, but only in a small area after a lengthy charge-up. And if you're hit while charging, the spell fizzles out if you don't have Physical Shield active.
- Two handed weapons do more damage per hit but are much slower than one handed weapons, meaning they often do less damage overall. That they are also more expensive and require three levels in Physique before being usable doesn't help, though both can be taken care of fairly early in the game.
- Badass Back: If you block an enemy's attack from behind, you parry without even turning around.
- The Bad Guy Wins: It is entirely possible to have a play through where you retrieve the Sword of Aeons, then later don Jack's mask and become possessed by him. Thus allowing him to achieve his ultimate goal of reclaiming the Sword of Aeons.
- Bald of Evil: Literally. The horns evildoers sprout cause a receding hairline. Averted in the later games, wherein Ghoulish players will still have a full head of hair when they sprout their horns. Some sort of twisted demonic evolution at work?
- Black Dude Dies First: Or rather, black chick, if you decide to kill Whisper in the arena. Thunder is also the first of the three heroes you can kill to get a soul to power the Bronze Gate in TLC.
- Black Swords Are Better:
- Obsidian weapons and Master weapons are the two highest grades of non-Legendary weapons. The former are black with red and silver highlights while the latter are very dark gray with blue and gold highlights.
- The Sword of Aeons has a black blade and is an ancient Artifact of Doom.
- Boring, but Practical:
- Buy mass quantities of goods cheap then sell them right back for a profit. While it can take some time, you can have the best armor (barring the end of the expansion) and second best one-handed master weapon or best two-handed master weapon before even starting the first quest.
- Several spells fall into this category:
- The first spell you learn is Lightning. It doesn't do a lot of damage, but at higher ranks it can hit multiple targets at once and also paralyzes them while they take damage.
- Assassin's Rush teleports you behind your target, thus getting around enemies that block almost everything. It's especially useful when combined with Multi-Strike. It's also useful for running long distances quickly.
- Physical Shield makes you take no damage so long as you have Will to power it. That alone makes it moderately useful, but it also knocks back enemies who hit you, prevents you from getting knocked back when hit, and protects your combat multiplier (resulting in more experience gained). It's arguably the most useful spell in the game and approaches Game Breaker territory.
- The most efficient way to kill a single enemy is almost always to simply hit it with your melee weapon.
- Speaking of weapons, one-handed weapons are generally considered superior to two-handed ones. While they don't do as much damage, they attack much much faster, allowing players to rack up damage quicker. Furthermore, it's generally better to use master weapons with augmentations than legendary ones. Legendary weapons do more damage but they can't be augmented. While the Sword of Aeons and Avo's Tear are tied for highest damage among one-handed weapons, keeping a few backup weapons with silver, piercing, or fire augmentations for specialized foes like Balverines or Trolls can make difficult fights a cakewalk.
- The Frying Pan. It deals pathetic damage but has four augmentation slots, more than any other weapon in the game. A mage with a Frying Pan and Master Bow/Crossbow filled with Mana Augmentations will pretty much never need mana potions again, barring the final boss.
- Broken Bridge:
- Demon Doors only open when specific conditions are met. Some of these can be easily managed; others are plot-restricted.
- Unlike the rest of the Cullis Gate Portal Network, the Gates to the Witchwood, Hook Coast, and the Northern Wastes require special measures to activate and can't be used before the plot makes them available.
- Bully Hunter: Both in childhood and as an adult, the Hero can protect people by driving off their bullies with violence or mockery, or, if leaning towards Evil, can join the bullying instead.
- Bullying a Dragon: In Bowerstone Quay, there's a man who convinces the player to get a ridiculous haircut, beard, and mustache in order to meet his daughter. Afterwards, he admits his daughter doesn't even exist and he lied to make the Hero look stupid. Since this can be done at any time, the Hero could easily be a Living Legend who's built like a bear. The only thing keeping many players from killing the man is the fact NPCs are immortal in Bowerstone.
- Bystander Action-Horror Dissonance: By midgame, the Hero's combat prowess becomes outright frightening to many NPC witnesses. This leads to situations where he rescues merchants from bandit attacks, only for the merchants to cower away from him.
- Chain Lightning: The Lightning spell bounces to additional enemies at level two or higher, along with dealing more damage.
- Challenge Run: The game allows the player to make boasts before quests, where the player gambles money on being able to complete it nude, unarmed, or with some other added challenge.
- Character Customization: One of the key points of the game is being able to spend your experience how you like, creating a Fragile Speedster, a Stone Wall, a Squishy Wizard, a Magic Knight, an Arcane Archer, a Bow and Sword in Accord character, or some other combination. You can also change your hair and beard style, but unfortunately can't change your face.
- Charged Attack:
- Bows and crossbows can be charged up for greater damage. Skorm's Bow is unique in that it doesn't have a maximum charge, meaning even Jack of Blades can be killed in one shot if charged long enough.
- From level two onward, Fireball can be charged up to deal greater damage. At level three and four, a charged Fireball also explodes to do area of effect damage. On the flipside, a Fireball that isn't charged deals identical damage to a level one Fireball.
- Commonplace Rare: There is only one blueberry pie in the entire game, and only 7 cooking apples.
- Compete for the Maiden's Hand: The Romance Sidequest for Lady Grey requires the Hero to duel a rival suitor for her hand: Thunder, a fellow Hero, who's been hostile to the Hero throughout the game.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: During the side-quest "Hobbe Killing Contest" where you compete with Whisper for most Hobbes killed, you'll find that Whisper does not need to give the coup de grace to fallen Hobbes; they simply die instead. This becomes egregious when you defeat a Hobbe only for her to steal the kill.
- "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Leaving the Bronze Gate in the Northern Wastes shut would have stopped Jack from endangering the world. Jack himself lampshades this.
- Crippling Overspecialization: A dedicated archery build is amazing at burning down tough enemies but struggles against swarms of weaker opponents. By contrast, a dedicated magic build is great for swarms of enemies and even useful against an Elite Mook or two, but has trouble against a lot of bosses due to higher magic resistance.
- Cutscene Incompetence: The Hero finds his mother, also a Hero imprisoned by Jack Of Blades, who then confronts them with a group of henchmen. Both of you have regained your Heroic powers and it is surely time for the Final Battle. Nope, you both surrender and tormented by Jack for a year.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: The Summoners fall to their knees when defeated, then explode in a wave of lightning. On top of the hefty damage, it can reset the Hero's combat multiplier, denying them most of the XP for the win.
- Degraded Boss: Several enemies such as Balverines, Earth Trolls, Rock Trolls, and Summoners first appears as bosses or at least a Mini-Boss only to become fairly common enemies almost immediately afterwards.
- Demoted to Extra: Thunder if you choose to expose Lady Gray.
- Devil, but No God: In an odd variation, the Humanoid Abomination Jack of Blades is functionally the devil but, according to the Oracle, neither Skorm nor Avo actually exist and their temples were simply built in areas where magic tended towards evil and good respectively.
- Disc-One Nuke:
- Master weapons and plate armour can be bought or stolen before completing a single quest. The latter will never be replaced barring the expansion and the former will function well for most of the game.
- The legendary pickhammer can be obtained early just by being evil or eating several baby chicks in front of the right Demon Door.
- The legendary cleaver (which is stronger than all non-legendary one-handed weapons except a master katana filled with sharpening augmentations) is found in a Demon Door just before Darkwood.
- With a little luck, Skorm's Bow, the best possible ranged weapon in the game, can be gained before completing a single quest.
- Downplayed example that doubles with Easy Level Trick, you can get the Harbinger longsword, the 3rd best 1-handed sword in the game, before having to fight in the arena. There are 2 ways to get the sword: either by maxing out all Strength attributes, or raising physique 5 times, health 2 times, and toughness 3 times after your first attempt at pulling the sword from the stone. If you don't upgrade any Strength attributes before your first attempt, you can then upgrade your stats accordingly (only ~42,000 strength exp) and pull out that sword on your second try! This trick does require you to play roughly half the game with minimum physical stats, not impossible but a bit challenging.
- To a lesser extent, three Elixirs of Life and Will Master's Elixirs * can be found very early and only one of each has any significant requirements (five silver keys), though one Willmaster's does require the hero be obese to access.
- Both an Ages of Might potion and an Ages of Skill potion* are available in the first areas of the game. Getting a decent combat multiplier then drinking both will allow melee or archery builds to gain several levels in their skills right away.
- By exploiting the Hero Save function, it's possible to earn the Murren Greathammer, the third strongest weapon in the game, before completing the Orchard Farm mission. Alternately, it can be earned much more easily before completing the Trader Escort mission.
- Doomed Hometown: Oakvale is burned by bandits at the end of the prologue; if it wasn't expected by being the Hero's idyllic origin, his sister's dream of something happening just means doom is obviously coming. However, by the time the Hero is an adult, it's been rebuilt larger than before.
- Easily Elected: If you expose the Mayor as a murderer, a City Guard offhandedly offers you her job, never mind that you're an itinerant hero-for-hire. That said, while your predecessor is an Ultimate Authority Mayor, you have no duties or privileges other than a cutscene, a nice sword, and a bedroom.
- Elite Mooks: Minions and Summoners show up later in the game and can handily outclass most people besides the Hero; the former become Jack of Blades' preferred troops and the latter are Mini Bosses in their own right.
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: The Oakvale Trader will sell you a box of chocolate for "fwee gold pieces".
- Enchanted Forest: Albion's forests of Greatwood, Darkwood, and Witchwood are home to dangers such as mundane bandits, Nymphs and Hobbes, Balverines and The Undead.
- Escort Mission: The game contains a few of these. Several quests also have making sure certain NPCs survive as an optional objective. One main quest mission involves escorting two traders through Darkwood. Shortly after entering the forest, you encounter a third trader who has been mauled by a balverine, and begs you to take him with you. One of the traders you're already escorting points out that he's been infected, so that's probably a very bad idea. If you choose to let him come with you anyway, which is considered the "good" choice, he transforms into a balverine if you take too long to complete the quest, and has a good chance of killing one or both of the other traders, causing you to fail the mission. You can avoid this extra aggravation by simply refusing him, but this is considered the "evil" choice.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The main character is always either referred to as "Hero" or whatever title he currently has.
- Everyone Is Bi: The men, at least — in the original game, the male Hero can marry any male or female villager, although the former tend to be harder to persuade.
- Evil Is Hammy: Jack of Blades gains a level in ham in TLC.
- Evil Pays Better:
- Some quests have good and evil versions or choices, such as protecting or attacking Orchard Farm, sparing or killing Whisper, and escorting or rescuing a deathrow inmate. Almost universally, the evil option pays more gold than the good option. Three powerful weapons (two of which are Disc-One Nukes) can only be acquired by committing evil acts.
- Skorm's Bow can only be obtained by sacrificing people at Skorm's Temple. Said bow is by far the strongest weapon in the game, ranged or melee, due to it's ability to charge up more power infinitely.
- Expecting Someone Taller: When first meeting the Hero, Whisper mentions that he's shorter than she expected.
- Eye of Newt: Subverted for laughs in The Sick Child. A witch needs four rare Blue Mushrooms to brew an antidote for the child. When you deliver them, she already has the antidote, but keeps the psychoactive mushrooms anyway...
- Eye Scream: The protagonist's sister has her eyes sliced out during the bandit raid in the prologue when she refuses to tell them anything about her brother.
- The Fair Folk: Albion's Nymphs are malicious, childlike buggers with raspy voices and a penchant for human sacrifice.
- Finish Him!: Multiple:
- Jack of Blades orders you to kill Whisper in the Arena after defeating her in a fight. You can refuse, although you forfeit a cash prize. If you go for the kill, she stands back up and fights to the death.
- After his defeat, Twinblade goes from telling the Hero to Get It Over With to begging for his life. Theresa's comments about his loss are strictly neutral, but could be interpreted as this.
- Flavor Text: In Anniversary: Multiple, usually for key items:
- Rosie, the teddy bear for a girl in Oakvale, has this:A child's toy, almost disgustingly cute.
- The Chocolates for the Player Character's sister:Who can resist such sweetmeats?
- Rosie, the teddy bear for a girl in Oakvale, has this:
- Foreshadowing: One of the new quests in TLC involves a group of Minions attempting an unknown Summoning Ritual. This ends up hinting at Jack's relation with the Summoners.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the graduation ceremony, one of the murals is filled in prematurely, showing that Maze works for Jack of Blades.
- Friend-or-Idol Decision: The game has a couple:
- After defeating Whisper, you can choose to kill her like Jack says despite promising her you wouldn't. Doing so will net you a lot of money but is considered a massive evil act
- When you beat Jack for the first time in The Lost Chapters you can choose to sacrifice your sister in order to get The Sword of Aeons. While sacrificing your sister is obviously considered evil, one could claim it's justified as the sword will be a big help in destroying Jack permanently.
- Game Mod: Has a minor community during the time at its release, although it has faded out by 2009. While not extensive, they manage to hack around to remove scarring, aging, and runes.
- Ghostly Wail: The wraithlike Screamers have a permanent Ghostly Gape and a shriek that inflicts Life Drain.
- Glass Cannon: Screamers can bypass armor and Physical Shield to drain your life directly, but are weak against every element and augmentation to the point they'll always be killed with a single attack.
- Gold and White Are Divine: The Bright armor/clothing in this game is gold and white, and gives you good points if you wear it.
- Good Armor, Evil Armor: Most Player Character armor has "Bright" and "Dark" variants that have the same defensive statistics but benefit or penalize the Karma Meter, respectively. NPCs tend to react happily or apprehensively to the PC's presence as a result.
- Good Pays Better: Multiple:
- A good Hero can master Physical Shield and Summon, which are among the best spells in the game. Evil Heroes, meanwhile, can master Berserk, the only evil spell worth using.
- A downplayed example. It’s easier to get the good version of the wizard hat than the evil version, since good books are much more common.
- The Goomba: Wasps appear as the most common enemy in the early game, are very weak, and can even be handled by wandering traders.
- Grim Up North: The Northern Wastes in the expansion has no traveling merchants, only a single town, and is otherwise completely filled with Minions, Wraiths, and Frost Balverines.
- Guide Dang It!: Armor sets protect differently against different kinds of attacks. For example, a Will User's Outfit (especially with a hat) offers the best defense against magic, lightning, and AoE attacks, while Platemail is great against melee and ranged (non-magical) attacks but weak against magic and worse than being naked against lightning. Unless you spend hours comparing, you'll likely never realize this unless you look it up.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Plate armor, the best armor before the expansion, doesn't include a helmet. Most players simply wear a chainmail armor to get around this.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Presumably this is the reason why swords weapons are always strongest. Cleavers, longswords, and katanas are the strongest onehanded weapons while greatswords are the strongest twohanded weapons.
- Heroic Fantasy. Also shades of other fantasy genres like High Fantasy and Dark Fantasy.
- History Repeats: In a very bad way. Jack of Blades is an immortal entity that attaches itself to a new host each time the old one is destroyed by tricking the owner into wearing its mask. Fortunately, you can end the cycle for good—and in fact, Fable II reveals that it's Canon that this happened.
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
- The Guildmaster for a Hero who kills him, in an odd way. In his youth, he was one of the Heroes who rebelled against the idea that heroes absolutely had to be good, arguing that heroes had to be free to make their own choices. (The ideology of choice is a big thing in Albion.) If your hero becomes an evil monster who turns on his mentor, it produces a certain irony. Combined with Fridge Brilliance, as the Guildmaster goes into a rant about the morality of your character's actions. One wonders if at any point the Guildmaster had a similar speech aimed at himself, being warned that destroying the laws governing a Hero's actions would create a force that would destroy him. Ultimately, this immorality in many Heroes leads to their destruction on the advent of readily available firearms when people don't need heroes any more and don't put up with their rampages.
- Jack is rendered Deader than Dead when you use his own mask's function to take his soul after you kill him in dragon form; preventing him from going to another host, and then throw it in lava.
- Honey Trap: With a bit of Incredibly Conspicuous Drag, the Hero can spring one on the lecherous Darkwood Bordello owner to learn where the Bordello deed is hidden. His eyesight's quite poor, apparently.
- Horns of Villainy: Your character will begin to grow horns once he reaches a certain level of evil.
- Hub Under Attack: In the endgame, the Guild of Heroes is singlehandedly overrun by Jack of Blades. He's finally defeated in the Chamber of Fate, where the player character is first named a Hero.
- 100% Heroism Rating: Zig-zagged. No matter how gloriously good your actions in the story have been, if you've still murdered enough people to push your Karma Meter deep into the red, the villagers will have no inhibitions about telling you just how they feel about their "hero." On the other hand, that bad karma can be bought off with good deeds as trivial as going on a tofu binge.
- Idiot Ball: Twinblade, you really should have worn some back armor.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!: A Demon Door that asks you to perform an evil act in front of it. You can eat little, defenseless baby chicks to increase your bad karma.
- Infinity -1 Sword: Master weapons along with the legendary cleaver and pickhammer can be obtained extremely early in the game and generally won't be replaced until the hero gets the Sword of Aeons or Avo's Tear. The Harbinger longsword (if you get it early), with its high damage and augmentations, is also strong enough to last the second half of the game.
- Infinity +1 Sword: The Sword of Aeons, in the regular version of the game, is the strongest weapon in the game. In the Updated Re-release, it's only the strongest one-handed sword, as its attack power is halved. Avo's Tear is equal to the Sword of Aeons, and similar in appearance, but it's gotten in a much nicer way.
- Intercom Villainy: During fights with Jack of Blades' minions, he constantly taunts you telepathically, with cruel but hilariously accurate imitations of your own Annoying Video Game Helper guildmaster.
- Jack of All Stats:
- Of the five augmentations that boost damage, sharpening augmentations fall into this category. Piercing, fire, lightning, and silver augmentations boost damage considerably but only against a certain enemies. Sharpening augmentations always boost your weapon's damage by a flat 10% against everything, making them an ideal choice for your primary weapon. Though carrying back up weapons filled with the other augmentations is a good idea too.
- Among the offensive spells, Enflame. It's more mana intensive and slower to cast than Lightning or Force Push but less so than Infernal Wrath, Divine Fury, or Fireball. It also deals less damage than Infernal Wrath, Divine Fury, and Fireball but more than any other spell.
- Joke Item: If you dig up the frying pan without having all the clues, it will have no sockets and deal zero damage. Hitting someone with it will cause it to bounce off harmlessly.
- Juxtaposed Reflection Poster: The box art shows the young Hero of Oakvale looking into a pool. Looking back up at him is a menacing older version, reflecting the player character's moral choices and subsequent destinies. To drive this home, alternative versions of the box art show other life paths the hero's life can take.
- Karma Houdini: The Knothole Glade Chief's eldest son in the good ending of the Ransom quest. Even if you expose his plot to have the Chief's youngest son murdered, nothing seems to happen to him. Unless, of course, you Pay Evil unto Evil. Preferably while he's in the woods surrounded by bandits waiting for you to deliver his younger brother.
- Katanas Are Just Better: For each weapon grade (Iron, Steel, Obsidian, or Master), katanas are the strongest one-handed weapon, doing slightly more damage than longswords, axes, maces, etc.
- Kill Enemies to Open:
- The Hook Coast Cullis Gate connection is a Broken Bridge that requires the Hero to destroy a wave of undead in the Darkwood, reactivating a nearby Gate with their Life Energy.
- One of the Demon Doors believes that Strength Equals Worthiness and only opens for a Hero who can withstand the waves of progressively stronger Hobbes that it summons.
- At the beginning of the "White Balverine" quest, Knothole Glade is locked down and won't open its gates until the Hero defeats the waves of Balverines in the forest outside. Justified since the gates are there for that specific purpose.
- Knee Fold Fall of Defeat: The Summoners fall to their knees and face the sky when defeated. It gives the Hero a moment to get clear before they explode.
- Lampshade Hanging: The story of Aarkan. If you donate the book to the teacher in Bowerstone, he will begin reading a story about a young boy whose family is slaughtered and his village burned, who then goes on to get revenge. He'll stop reading and call the story "unoriginal tosh".
- Last Episode, New Character: In the original release, Briar Rose only showed up during the final story mission which involved fighting off Jack of Blades' minions alongside the other heroes. Since she had a unique character model, name and voice you would be forgiven in thinking that you missed a sidequest somewhere that introduced her despite this being her only appearance. The Lost Chapters amended this by giving her a proper introduction cutscene, a sidequest where you bonded more and then gave her an important role in dealing with Jack's resurrection. Namely that you can choose to kill her and take her heroic soul.
- Lethal Joke Item: The "Hidden Booty Hunt" Sidequest has six components, three of which are quests in themselves, and rewards the Hero with... a frying pan. However, it's the best piece of Socketed Equipment in the game, and can be filled with enough augmentations to make it an incredible Stat Stick.
- Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Early in the game, spells have decent power but a low mana pool means you'll spend half your time using your melee weapon anyway. Meanwhile, it's almost pathetically easy to unlock master and even legendary weapons before completing a single quest, which will do far more damage than any spells. Come late game, you have a massive mana pool and mana augmentations to refill it quicker, resulting in the ability to spam high level spells endlessly, whereas physical damage stops increasing between halfway and two-thirds through the game.
- Locked in the Dungeon: The Hero needs to rescue his mother the MacGuffin Super-Person from a remote island prison owned by the Big Bad, who's had them trapped for years. After the first attempt fails, the Hero spends more than a year locked there himself, including lengthy scenes of Controllable Helplessness in an Anti-Magic cell.
- Loud of War: The Hero is tortured by listening to the Bargate Prison warden read homegrown poetry, which all the other characters treat as worse than the standard whips and chains in the torture chamber.
- Love at First Sight: While more common as good or neutral, eventually the you become such a Living Legend that people will be willing to marry you the moment you meet them.
- Machiavelli Was Wrong: Maze spared the young Hero's life because he hated being Trapped in Villainy by Jack and hoped that the Hero would grow up powerful enough to defeat him.
- Magikarp Power: The Summon spell. At first, all you can summon is a wasp, the weakest enemy in the game. However, if your wasp kills a stronger normal enemy, your summon will then take the form of that enemy. The best summoned creature in the game is the White Balverine, a Lightning Bruiser miniboss with 3000 hp and deals 100 damage per strike.
- Master of All: Unless doing a Self-Imposed Challenge, most players will have almost every skill maxed out simply due to the sheer amount of experience they have available to spend.
- Medieval European Fantasy: The main setting of this game.
- Memory Match Mini-Game: One of the in-universe pub games has you match eight unique card pairs in a 4x4 grid within a time limit. Matched pairs stay visible, but unmatched cards immediately flip back face-down. You can bet on your performance to earn money.
- Mighty Glacier:
- Trolls hit hard and have high defenses and health, but are immobile and don't attack quickly.
- Wraiths in the expansion are extremely slow, but have truckloads of health, hit exceedingly hard, and have Force Push to knock away heroes.
- Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Jack of Blades does this in the end of the expansion pack to the game, replacing the Guildmaster's nominally helpful input with taunts and insults.
- Multiple Endings: Four note , though the Updated Re-release continues the story past that, and makes which you chose less important by weakening the Sword of Aeons if you choose to get it, and giving you the identical Avo's Tear if you choose not to.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Unless you take the boast to not kill any bandits, the easiest way to sneak past the bandits at the beginning of the Twinblade quest is to simply snipe them with your bow or fireball.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Hero can have his pick of these from the Title Vendor, but special credit goes to "Necromancer", which can only be won through regular Human Sacrifice to the God of Evil.
- Night of the Living Mooks: These are slow enemies that hit hard and like to come in numbers, sometimes from a Clown-Car Grave.
- No Hero Discount: Particularly obvious since the only way to get the most powerful weapon in the game is to shell out enough gold to buy a city block. Also, you can be a walking legend in Albion, but you still have to pay the Title Vendor or you'll go down in history as Chicken Chaser.
- Nondescript, Nasty, Nutritious: Tofu is described as "Vile-tasting but undeniably good for you" and looks like a featureless pale cube.
- No Sympathy:
- The lack of sympathy shown to the Hero about his Doomed Hometown and family: Maze teleports him out of Oakvale, away from the destruction of everything he's ever known. When the boy vomits on the ground, either Stress Vomit or Teleportation Sickness, Maze just says he thought he would have a stronger stomach and there is nothing to return to. In the morning, Whisper says he was talking in his sleep and must have had a nightmare, and she and the Guild Master chide him for not getting up earlier. The hero can't say "I'm sorry, I'm a small child who just saw my family, friends and neighbours slaughtered and my hometown destroyed", but no-one seems to give him any thought for it.
- In the expansion, Briar Rose is quite cavalier about telling the hero to go steal his dead mother's soul to power the Bronze Gate.
- Non-Indicative Name: "Summoners" do not actually use any form of summoning magic, their name comes from the fact they were the product of such magics in ancient times.
- Not Completely Useless:
- Force Push. It deals very little damage even at level four and affects all nearby NPCs. However, it doesn't interrupt movement or charging a ranged attack and knocks back enemies, making it useful both for archery builds or just rushing to a quest objective. It can also be used in the Arena against Whisper to prevent your combat multiplier from dropping between rounds.
- Heal. It's extremely inefficient compared to just drinking a health potion, but it can be used to heal an NPC on an Escort Mission. At level 3 and 4, it heals all nearby allies at once.
- Nothing Is Scarier: If you ever return to Bargate Prison after escaping from it, you will find it abandoned and completely, utterly deserted. Which somehow makes it even creepier than it was when it was infested with undead.
- NPC Random Encounter Immunity: Averted — Intrepid Merchants travel the forest roads and are frequently beset by bandits and hostile wildlife. Lampshaded in an Escort Mission when two traders argue over why they bother to risk their lives on the trip instead of opening a shop in town.
- Offerings to the Gods: The Hero can offer up money at the Temple of Avo in exchange for good karma, renewed youth, the title of Paladin, and a cool weapon. The Temple of Skorm, however, only rewards Human Sacrifice.Priest of Avo: Please be generous with your golden offerings.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: While the Berserk spell is active, all two-handed weapons are wielded one-handed. The spell also turns every swing into a Flourish.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Most named characters simply have nicknames: Guildmaster, Maze, Twinblade, Archaeologist, etc. The only exceptions are Theresa, Lady (Elvira) Grey, Amanda Grey, Brom, and maybe Briar Rose.
- Optional Sexual Encounter: The Hero can talk a spouse into coming to bed, buy some company at the Darkwood Bordello, and pull a Honey Trap on the Bordello owner. One Demon Door only opens for a Hero who's had sex at least ten times, but the encounters otherwise yield nothing but a Fade to Black and some rather odd dialogue.
- Optional Stealth: The Bandit Camp quest starts with a section where players have to sneak past a trio of guards but it's considerably easier to just shoot each one.
- Our Banshees Are Louder: Screamers, floating female ghost-like creatures which, true to their name, will scream at you with their mouth outstretched as they rush in to attack.
- Outlaw Town: Twinblade's Camp is comparable in size to a small town, complete with vendors and hirelings.
- Pamphlet Shelf: The Hero can find and collect books that range from Foreshadowing to in-universe plays. A quest in The Lost Chapters has the Hero donate books to restock a school library, with the teacher doing a small recitation from each.
- Paper Tiger: Screamers are introduced with one chasing a group of villagers in a mini-cinematic, much like Balverines and Trolls are, suggesting it is a Mini-Boss at least. In reality, they do moderate damage but will die instantly to any attack available to you at that point in the game.
- Peninsula of Power Leveling:
- Early on there's the Hobbe Cave. Buy some meats, go in and knock heads for an hour. Rinse and repeat, bonus points if you can get a high combat multiplier.
- Later on there's a spot in Lychfield Graveyard with infinitely respawning undead. If your Enflame spell is at rank 2 or higher then you can basically just stand in place and rack up the kills.
- While chasing Jack of Blades, there's also an infinite number of opponents to fight. Even better, the chase ends in the Heroes' Guild.
- Permanently Missable Content:
- If you turn in Lady Grey rather than marry her, you can never get through the Demon Door near her home. There is also a Silver Key that can only be reached by fighting Thunder for her favour. In the original game, you also couldn't get the Silver Chest in her house, but in The Lost Chapters/Anniversary Edition you can still get it without marrying her.
- Also, if you give all your Silver Keys to the Demon Door in the Necropolis before you've collected all of them and opened all the treasure chests, you will never be able to open the chests afterwards as there won't be enough Silver Keys left in the world for you to collect.
- The 20 Key Silver Chest in the Guild. In the original game, if you didn't open it before facing Jack of Blades then it would become unavailable, but in The Lost Chapters/Anniversary Edition you can still get it after fighting him.
- Phosphor-Essence: Very good/pure characters develop a faint aura.
- Playable Epilogue: After completing the main quest, the Hero can go back to finish off any overlooked sidequests or treat the world as a sandbox. In The Lost Chapters, this is only enabled if the player sits through all the end credits after the main quest, otherwise they get bumped to the loading screen.
- Point of No Return: Once you choose to remove the barrier in Hook Coast, you're locked into the endgame and can't do any side-quests until the Playable Epilogue.
- Power Tattoo: Magical runes adorn The Hero's body as you level up your magic.
- Power Up Letdown:
- The Lightning augmentation is a downplayed example. Most of the game’s tougher enemies are not vulnerable to lightning damage (some are even resistant to it!) except guards, which good heroes will rarely have to fight.
- Ronok the Axe can only be acquired after marrying Lady Grey, which itself is a long, convoluted side quest. The axe itself only has 2 augmentation slots (compared to the 3 all master weapons have, which you probably have one of at that point), one which is silver. Too bad you acquire it after fighting most of the werewolf expies in the game. The only other enemies vulnerable to silver are undead, which are all very slow and generally only found in Lychfield Graveyard.
- Wellow's Pickhammer is easily the weakest legendary weapon in the game. Not only is it noticeably weaker than the Cutlass Bleutane, which can be acquired a few minutes later, it's also weaker than some master weapons.
- On the lower end, the Steel Pickhammer, which deals the exact same damage as every iron weapon (barring the Katana, which is stronger), and less than every other steel weapon.
- Purposefully Overpowered: The Sword of Aeons in the original version of the game. Since the credits rolled upon receiving it and there was no more story content afterwards, only aimless freeplay, the creators gave it an insane 550 base damage. As the expansion pack continues the story afterwards, the Sword of Aeons got a Nerf in Lost Chapters, down to a more reasonable 230 damage, leaving it the strongest one-handed weapon in the game, but no longer nearly twice as strong as even legendary two-handed weapons.
- Quieting the Unquiet Dead: The main quest has the Hero calm Nostro's ghost by returning his stolen grave goods, then later give him and his undead True Companions the warrior's deaths they were denied in life. A Sidequest also has the Hero avenge a ghost's murder and deliver her last gift.Ghost: At last I can take that nap. Goodbye, dearie!
- Rapid Aging: Your character gets a little older every time you level up. This isn't to scale with anyone else, which lead to somewhat disconcerting scenes where you finally meet your long-lost sister who appears to be a young woman while you're a geezer. If you rank yourself enough, you'll look older than your mother when you finally see her!
- Rare Candy: The Ages of Might, Ages of Skill, and Ages of Will potions each grant a thousand of that type of experience. A limited number of each is available in the game, but the experience is multiplied by the Hero's combat multiplier at the time of consumption.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Dark armor/clothing in the game is red and black, and gives you evil points if you wear it.
- Riddle for the Ages: Jack being a spirit with his mask as a Soul Jar, just who was he possessing throughout the game?
- Scars are Forever: Unless you use the shield spell throughout the game to avoid taking health damage, or are a master of dodging and blocking attacks, you can expect your face and body to be a canvas of permanent scars by the end of the game.
- Scary Black Man: Thunder. He's the biggest, burliest bastard in the whole of Albion, and he hates your guts no matter what you do, even if you take mercy on his sister in the Arena.
- Sharing a Body: Jack of Blade and the Hero, in the evil ending of The Lost Chapters.
- The Kryndon tattoo looks very similar to the Superman logo, and "Kryndon" sounds a bit like "Krypton," Superman's home planet.Description: The Kryndons are an old order of assassins who live normal lives by day.
- One of the weapons looks a lot like the Scythe from the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- When you attack the guards, they occasionally say "It's just a flesh wound!", almost certainly quoting the Black Knight of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
- College Roomies from Hell!!!: One of the early quests has you searching for blue mushrooms, and there are a couple of men hanging around talking about the mushrooms of truth.
- The Flavor Text for a carrot is "The carrot has mystery," a reference to Withnail and I: Uncle Monty wears a baby carrot on his lapel instead of a flower.Uncle Monty: The carrot has mystery. Flowers are essentially tarts; prostitutes for the bees.
- One of the tombstones in Lychfield Graveyard belongs to Captain Jack Sparrow; another reads "No one can hold their breath for ten minutes".
- The Katana Hiryu. This might be a shout out to Strider, or it might just be that the developers thought the name was cool (it means "Flying Dragon" in Japanese).
- A number of the achievements in Fable Anniversary for Xbox 360:Whilst dressed as an Assassin, be silent but deadly
- The Kryndon tattoo looks very similar to the Superman logo, and "Kryndon" sounds a bit like "Krypton," Superman's home planet.
- Simple, yet Awesome: Enflame. It doesn't do as much damage as Infernal Wrath, Divine Fury, or Fireball but it's faster to cast than any of them, less mana intensive than the first two, and not as easily dodged as Fireball. Enflame also deals reasonable damage and hits all nearby enemies in a decent range while looking really cool. For offensive spells, Enflame tends to be the go-to spell throughout the game.
- Speak Friend and Enter: The Guild's Demon Door tells you that "Your path is dark. Only a light will reveal it, and you are not bright enough." Is it referring to your Renown level? Your purity of heart, in a setting where Light Is Good? Your intelligence? Or the lamp that's automatically in your inventory?
- Symbolic Weapon Discarding: This is part of the Last-Second Ending Choice — throw the Sword of Aeons into the Void forever, or murder your sister with it to claim its power yourself. Needless to say, rejecting the lure of power is better for both the Karma Meter and the future of Albion.
- Technicolor Blade: The unique and powerful Legendary weapons come in green, bronze, and red, besides the normal colours.
- Teleportation Sickness: Possibly the reason the hero vomits after being teleported away from his Doomed Hometown, assuming it's not Stress Vomit.
- That Russian Squat Dance: One of the expressions the Hero can use is "Cossack Dance".
- Unwitting Pawn: Unknown to the hero, Jack of Blades spies on him through his Arena champion's seal for much of the game, leading him straight to Teresa - even, somehow, if the hero mounts the seal over his mantlepiece and never visits his house again.
- Updated Re-release: The Lost Chapters, which adds many more side-quests, new areas, another fight with Jack of Blades and several new weapons.
- Useless Useful Spell:
- Turncoat has an absurdly long casting time that only turns an opponent into a temporary ally that you’ll still have to kill later on.
- Drain Life deals the least damage of any offensive spell* and heals for much less than Heal or just using a health potion which are cheap and plentiful. Having to wait for the stolen health to actually reach you doesn’t help at all, nor the fact that many of the game's more dangerous enemies are outright resistant.
- Ghost swords summons some magic swords around you that randomly slash at any nearby enemies for Scratch Damage. There are better spells to either distract or outright kill multiple enemies.
- Heal Life is another downplayed example. At low levels, it restores very little health but drains your mana pool by a ridiculously huge amount. At higher levels, the spell restores more health but you’ll have more useful spells available, in addition to more health potions, a longer health bar & better armor. Its only use is to heal your companions during Escort Missions. And level 3, it can do so without targeting them.
- Lightning Augmentation increases damage against only a few enemy types, most of whom take extra damage from other, more generally useful Augmentations such as Flame or Piercing. The one enemy type that only takes extra damage from Lightning Augmentations is wasps which are so weak that even the strongest ones are oneshotted by basically any steel quality weaponnote or above.
- Experience augmentations give 10% more experience per kill for each one you have equipped, adding up to a maximum of 70% more experience. However, except for one that can be earned early by exploiting the Hero Save function, it's impossible to get any until shortly before the final quest of the original game, by which point you're almost guaranteed to have every skill you want anyway and are better off using other augmentations.
- Useless Useful Stealth: Required to get the warden's key in Bargate Prison, pretty useless everywhere else. Worse, maxing out Guile (which improves stealth) makes functionally no difference from putting zero points in it. Even the one other quest where it's suggested, it's easier to just snipe the guards with your bow or a fireball.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential:
- Find a woman that adores you; shower her with gifts, praise, affection and love; bring her on a trip to Darkwood; and then sacrifice her to Skorm, ensuring that she will spend an eternity suffering unimaginable agony. Fun for the whole family!
- One quest seems to exist purely to invoke this trope - it involves helping bandits to slaughter everyone in Barrow Fields for no apparent reason. Though, to be fair, this will leave Barrow Fields permanently deserted, and the merchants will never respawn.
- Violation of Common Sense:
- The only way to face a Succubus Queen (the strongest type of Nymph) in the Northern Wastes is to reach the continent while still low level.
- In the Anniversary edition, "I Did This For A Cheevo" requires you wear a dress and wig, have a beard, and get a headshot on any enemy.
- The Virus: A human bitten by a balverine is doomed to transform permanently into a new balverine, though, thanks to Gameplay and Story Segregation, this only happens to one Posthumous Character and to one NPC in a Scripted Event — the Hero and all other NPCs are safe.
- Walking the Earth: If you spare Whisper, she ends up leaving Albion to find her own path in life. According to the Oracle in The Lost Chapters, she eventually settles down and becomes a famous guardian of an unknown land in the west.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: YOU (the player), potentially, as in a lot of cases doing something evil will give you some new item which can be used to fight Jack and his forces, making it somewhat justifiable. The biggest example would be in The Lost Chapters where after beating Jack the first time you can sacrifice your sister in order to get the Sword Of Aeons. While this is obviously an evil act, one could justify it by point out that the sword will be a big help in destroying Jack once and for all and likely saving millions of lives.
- White-and-Grey Morality: The Heroes' Guild. Functionally, it is a neutral organization, with the Guildmaster holding a philosophy that heroes should be able to choose between good and evil, and the Guild offering both good and evil quests simultaneously. Despite this, most the other heroes belonging to the guild have generally good intentions, some have problems with pride or arrogance, and almost all of them are against Jack of Blades.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Although it's not part of the ending, conversing with the Oracle in The Lost Chapters will tell you the fate of several characters from the main game.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: You can get into a dress and wig to complete one sidequest by seducing a bordello owner for information, to the gratitude of the bordello ladies. Could stray into Creepy Crossdresser if you're Evil and/or opt for the Dark dress.
- You Can't Thwart Stage One: Even though you have a virtual army of Guild mates (including Thunder, depending on your previous choices), you're always just a few seconds too late to stop Jack from activating the Focus Sites.
- You Killed My Father: The Hero's reaction says it all when Jack of Blades slices Scarlet Robe's throat in order to obtain the Sword of Aeons.