Fables 101: who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Imagine a world where the tales of fable and legend are true and the heroes and villains of these stories are living among us, but we are none the wiser to their secret existence. Welcome to the world of Fables.

DC comics and Telltale games are bringing this mystical world to the PlayStation 3 this summer in a game entitled " The Wolf among us," but what exactly is Fables and why was it chosen to be made into a videogame ? I'm going to give you a quick overview of the history of Fables, its main characters and rich world so you can see why its well suited to a videogame adaptation.

Fables started life as a DC comic book in 2002 written and created by prolific author Bill Willingham, which has just reached its 127th issue, though the game will be set before the stories in the comic began. Its success lies in the simple idea that all the creatures from legend, books, poems and folklore have been exiled from their homelands by a powerful adversary and now live a secret life in New York, specifically an area they call Fabletown.

As you can imagine such a divergent group of characters all living in secret can cause tensions to run high and Fabletown is run by strict rules to prevent humans discovering its existence. This is where the game's hero Bigby Wolf comes in; as sheriff of Fabletown it's his job to keep the peace among its inhabitants and make sure everyone gets on, while never ever letting slip to the real world that they exist.

Bigby Wolf, or the big bad wolf as he used to be known, has reformed and now no longer terrorizes pigs of any kind. In addition, he also possesses the useful power to appear as a human being. As well as being strong and an excellent detective he can still call on his trademark "huff and puff," an ability derived from the fact he is the son of the North Wind.



Bigby takes his orders from Snow White, the deputy mayor of Fabletown, who having murdered the seven dwarves and survived other hardships is no simpering Disney princess. Instead, Snow is a tough bureaucrat who knows Fabletown needs strict rules and a hard sherrif to survive, which is why she employs Bigby in that role.



Fabletown itself can be either a powder keg of culture and inter-species rivalry ready to explode into murder or a home where exiled Fables try to live as normal life as possible, while longing to return to their homelands. It is a colourful mix of characters all trying to peacefully co-exist; you might meet Prince Charming who is a habitual womanizer, see flying monkeys working as office clerks, listen to Boy Blue play the jazz trumpet and over hear rumours about Cinderella the world's best secret agent.

But will any game be able to stay true to such a rich and imaginative comic? Telltale's CEO and co-founder Dan Connors has this to say.

"Developing ' The Wolf Among Us, ' based on the Fables universe has allowed our studio to build upon all of the hallmarks of what makes our episodic series so engaging for players."

" Through an evolution of our approach to choice and consequence , we can further explore the complexity of each and every iconic character in a universe rich with untold history from the darkest sides of the storybooks," he added.

Indeed, Fables looks set to build on Telltale's success with "The Walking Dead " franchise and deliver more great adventures in a rich new world. I for one can't wait for one of my favourite comics to come to the PS3 and win a whole host of new fans with what promises to be an exciting game.

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Richard Archer is an Assistant Editor for PSU, when he's not being a full-time gamer, comic book nut, and Doctor Who fan.
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