Throughout the Fable series, players have had same-sex relationship options.
In the first game, this was reportedly a coding “accident” that designers decided to leave in. NPCs are coded as being able to like the Hero, and if they like him enough, they fall in love with him. Male NPCs are not coded to not fall in love with the Hero, so it is possible for them to fall in love and marry the male player-character. However, when they get married there is not a cut-scene or dowery as there is when he marries a female NPC.
Moreover, in Fable I, the player’s sexuality is listed as “unknown” until they marry or have sex with someone.
If the player marries a male character, their sexuality changes to “gay.” If they marry a female character, their sexuality is listed as “heterosexual.” And if they marry an NPC of each gender, they are listed as “bisexual.” Players can have multiple spouses in the game, but the only sex they can have outside of marriage is with sex workers. More about the way this works is explained here.
In contrast, in Fable II, the player can choose a male or female protagonist, but the player-character’s sexuality is not listed.
Instead, each NPC has a pre-coded sexuality which determines their response to the player’s advances.
In Fable II, unlike Fable I, regardless of the player-character’s gender or who they marry, there is a brief (gender ambiguous) marriage cut scene.
In Fable III, though the romance options work the same as they do in Fable II, the game starts with the player-character in a heterosexual relationship. The players is given a choice of playing as a male or female hero (pictured below).
Soon after the game starts, the player-character meets their love interest: Elise (if a male avatar is chosen) or Elliot (if a female avatar is chosen). They are ultimately forced to make a decision that will affect the “love of their life” (Fable III Storyline). Throughout the rest of the game, however, the player can romance any character whose sexuality marks them as potentially interested in the Hero. Moreover, unlike in the prior games, in Fable III players and their same-sex partners can adopt children. Also unlike in Fable II, in Fable III players can have multiple happy spouses in the same town.
LGBTQ references in this game series:
Fable II (2008): Potion of Transmogrification
- Greer, S. (2013). Playing Queer: Affordances for Sexuality in Fable and Dragon Age. Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, 5(1), 3-21.
- Flanagan, J. (may 16, 2014). The complete history of LGBT video game characters. Retrieved from http://www.dailydot.com/geek/gay-characters-video-games-history
- Gamewit. (2010, December 17). Love, marriage, and ‘Fable III.’ The Press Democrat. http://gamewit.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/12807/love-marriage-and-fable-iii
- LeJacq, Y. (2015, June 26). A Brief History of Gay Marriage in Video Games. Kotaku. Retried from http://kotaku.com/a-brief-history-of-gay-marriage-in-video-games-1714251913
- Masaki, L. (2007, July 17). Same-sex marriage in the Fable games was no big deal for Peter Molyneux. The Backlot. http://www.thebacklot.com/same-sex-marriage-in-the-fable-games-was-no-big-deal-for-peter-molyneux/07/2007
- Ochella, B. (2006, december 8). Boy On Boy Action – Is Gay Content On the Rise? Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/130180/boy_on_boy_action__is_gay_content_.php?print=1
- Shaw, A. (2013, October 16). The lost queer potential of Fable.Culture Digitally http://culturedigitally.org/2013/10/the-lost-queer-potential-of-fable
- Warn, S. (2010, October 26). The Backlot. http://www.thebacklot.com/gay-families-live-happily-ever-after-in-fable-3/10/2010