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Fable III: Heavy is the Hungover Head which Wears the Crown

Albion’s struggled through some hard times: constant balverine attacks, the infamous Jack of Blades, the rising of the undead in all their bony and ghastly glory, Pandora’s music box, thriving bandit and hobbe communities, a coup d’etat, husbands with multiple wives, wives with multiple wives, multiple children…CHILD SUPPORT! So when the king, who also happens to be a hero, has a chance to lift his subjects’ spirits by lifting the restriction on how often they might lift a cup of spirits to their ladling lips, there is no greater moment in drinking which can be more lauded … or sensationally repugnant.

It all seems so simple. Hobson, the royal aid assigned to Albion’s usurper in Fable III, poses a choice to the crown as demanded by the daily docket: abolish drinking altogether to get some sweet prohibitionist PAC funds with which to pad the royal treasury (frowning peasants be damned!), leave the fair but restrictive law as it is, or pay a hefty fee to lift the liquor limit altogether and thereby raise general morale. To fully understand the implications of this dire decision, the following must be understood: Albion’s just underwent a revolution! There are cannonball holes in roofs, houses without facades (and families), toppled monuments, impassible roads … you get the picture; infrastructure has collapsed, and a little distraction is needed whilst Albion collects itself. What better to fill empty stomachs than alcohol?

Oh, but there’s the rub. Sure, everything seems delightful when drunk on hope, but that’s only because there’s nothing solid in the stomach to absorb the sheer intoxication of the moment: the freedom promised, promised, promised. Swept up in (or rather along by) the overthrow of oppression, the citizens of Albion throw their restraint into the wind, or rather the bar’s till, and subsequently onto floors, sidewalks, streets … wherever they might be presently standing or bent over or curled into a ball crying for their mommies. And this is how their hero-king, bearing the The Weight of the World, comes to see them.

Strolling about his dominion upon any given daybreak, noon, dusk, or evening, the king, wherever he ventures—for quest or leisurely stroll, comes upon his bowing subjects. The stench, however, was something unanticipated. “My people are party people,” the king exclaims while pinching his nose and laughing on his run through Bowerstone Industrial. “There’s a shadowy threat that will most likely end us all, so drink on, chums!” He says this in his own head, of course, but finds himself repeating it in the next town, and the next. Soon, the King’s stride slows to a stroll. He unpins his nose and lets his jaw hang loose. “Everyone, everywhere, is drunk,” he exclaims. The people along every corner and thoroughfare, outside every tavern and mobile liquor merchant, and in every inn are dizzy with the euphoria of liberation. “Death is no crux to them. Come what may, victory is ours,” says the king, “And I made it possible.”

On the first Friday of every month (or occasionally on the hazy, hung-over Saturday directly following), Ani-Gamers blogger Ink tackles an anime, manga, or video game through the theme of alcohol in our column “Drunken Otaku.” Look out for “Beer Googles” (reviews), “Great Drinkers” (character profiles), “Drinkin’ Buddies” (interviews), and “Great Moments in Drinking” (more or less). To read previous entries, click here.

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