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X3F interview: Peter Molyneux

In another of our rapid fire, 4 minute interviews with Microsoft VIPs, we had a chance to chat with Peter Molyneux, mastermind behind Fable and the upcoming Fable 2. During our chat, we go in depth with Molyneux about the new scarring system employed in Fable 2. We also discuss the property system (which Molyneux is particularly fond of) and seafaring. And, just for grins, we ask about ninjas. If you'd prefer to listen to this interview (as well as interviews with Frank O'Connor, Brian "Ske7ch" Jarrard, and Peter Moore himself), you can check it out in our latest Fancast. Otherwise, read on.

So Fable 2, you showed of scarring.

Scarring? Right. It's great! (If you could see the smile on this man's face)

So, you mentioned the money thing for paying it off.


About a 1000 gold is what you pitched as an example. You also mentioned EXP, as in experience. So, if you do experience, would that be easier, in that one could just basically, "Okay, I'm using EXP, then I'll just grind a bit to get my level back up." For that matter, is it even a choice? Is it gold or XP? Is it a little bit of both?

You can grind and get gold. You can grind, and it's your choice, man! You know, what you're saying makes the game exactly like it was. All you're doing is fit to be taking a step back, to redo your game. It's your choice, and remember that's the whole thing that Fable had. For every choice, a consequence. And if you choose to go and grind, absolutely, but let me just talk to you a bit about why experience and why gold. There was one other but I wasn't saying it during the interview because it confuses people. You can choose to pay gold, experience, or renown. Renown is your fame, how famous you are. So, the more renown you spend, you get less and less famous. Now that's pretty interesting. Gold, why do you need gold? You need gold to buy stuff, you know, to buy houses.

Unless you're a thief ....

Unless you're a thief. My favorite feature in Fable 2 is probably the idea of buying everything in the world. You can buy everything in Fable 2 and be known as Lord Emperor of the whole of Albion and all the realms.

Achievement unlocked?


Achievement unlocked?

(Laughs) Achievement unlocked, yeah definitely. There'll be an achievement unlocked. It will take you about ... to do that it will take you about a thousand hours of gameplay


But you'll own the castle and you'll get quests to do in the castle. You own the temple, you'll get quests to do in the temple. You even ... you've got a little homage to Dungeon Keeper, a game I did a long time ago. You can own dungeons, and you can have baddies in the dungeons. You can run and you can own the dungeons and that's quite cool too. Paying your gold, you're forgoing that. That's one thing with gold. The other thing with gold: you've got dependents, man. You've got a family. You've got a wife and kids. They've got to eat. What are you gonna do? You're going to be this big hero and you come back and your kids are all starving. I mean what sort of hero are you going to be?

But you have a pretty face, so, you know, it depends on how vain you are, right?

Exactly! That's exactly what I want. I wanna get to you.

Now, talking about the scarring. I mean, obviously a lot of people have trouble watching it themselves, you know.


It bothered me in Fable when I got scars, I didn't like it.

Right, right.

But what effect does it have on the world outside?

What the scarring?

Yeah, do people treat you ...

Absolutely. I mean, you know this was gonna happen. You know, we started it in Fable 1. We didn't do it particularly well. We're doing it a lot more in Fable 2. You know, people will look at you and they will go (holds arms in front of face), "Oh my God! I can't look at that face."

Can renown counter scarring?

Yes. In fact, if you get the balance right, you can be cooler.

Sort of like the badass biker.

Also there's a place in Fable 2 called Bloodstone. It''s the home of all these pirates. And they're all pretty evil guys. If you go in there with a lot of scars, you know, they're thinking "hey, you're cool, man."

Chicks dig scars.

Yeah, right. Depends on where they are. (laughter)

Speaking of pirates, with the pirates in the concept art we've seen, is there seafaring? Can you talk about that?

What I've been doing as a designer more and more is cutting things. Because I want to make sure that we've got less features to polish brilliantly. And one of the things we cut was seafaring. We were gonna have seafaring, allow you to be the captain of a ship, but it was just so much work that we cut it. There is swimming.

(The bell rings. Time for one more quick question.)

Since you have pirates, are there ninjas?

Ninjas? We're not saying anything about ninjas. It's funny you should ask that question.

(Our time is up. We'd like to thank Peter for his time.)

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