Wednesday, November 12, 2008



I hate spoilers. And I especially hate the people that divulge those spoilers. You know what I'm talking about. "When you get to the end of Fable II you'll have the choice of resurrecting your sister or your dog." What? What happens to the dog?

The sister I knew about because I was past that point in the story, but the dog was something I'd only suspected. I had heard some people in another game talking about their dog dying in Fable II. I wasn't really listening as to how the dog died (I was trying to kill the enemy) so I just figured one of the players was very evil and starved it or beat it to death. In a morality game like Fable, I wouldn't be surprised if that was an option. But when I was playing with my friends and they started talking about the end of Fable I had someone spoil it for me. My dog can't die. I love my dog. I play fetch with my dog any time I'm in an open area. Whenever he finds a treasure or starts digging I make sure to reward him. I've got a pampered pooch and I'm not going to change that.

Except now when I play with my dog I feel sad. Now I know that something is going to happen to him and he won't be around anymore. Yes, I know that happens in real life but I don't have a dog in real life. I have a dog in Fable II and if my character can survive through anything then my dog should too. Every time I throw the ball I'm left wondering how much time I've got left with him. Considering how I'm still very early in the game I'm sure it's a lot. But knowing that the end of my dog's life is coming if I continue to play doesn't really make me want to play at all any more.

Do I think MadMax deliberately told me my dog would die? No. He was talking to someone else on our team about the game. He knew I had it, but he just didn't know how far in the game I really was. I don't fault him for the innocent slip up that first time. But for every time after that I do. Which is why I ran around trying to kill him even though he was on my team. That will teach him to tell me my dog's going to die. I think he learned his lesson.

Fable II isn't the only game where a major plot point has been revealed to me long before I played it. The biggest spoiler I can remember concerns Final Fantasy VII. Considering as I didn't start playing this game until a year or so ago and that it has been out a long time there were plenty of opportunities for me to accidentally catch spoilers. I try to avoid ones of games I haven't played before but I came across one for this game that I couldn't help but pay attention to. I found out Aries gets killed by Sephiroth. I even saw the cut scene for it. I didn't know when in the game it happens except that it was fairly early on. What fascinated me about this spoiler and why I probably couldn't ignore it was all the hardcore fanboys saying this was the first time a video game made them cry. When I hear something like that I've just got to know how and why. Hence the spoiler.

So when I finally got around to playing this game I already knew a major plot twist. Did it effect my enjoyment of the game. Absolutely. Why spend all that time, money and energy equipping and using that character if you know they're going to kick the bucket early on. I don't care how powerful her special attacks/magic strikes are it just wasn't worth it to me. When I got to the point in the story where she's killed I was like "so what?" and "good riddance" because that was one less character I was going to have to maintain and use. Because I didn't well up with tears at her death, does that mean I'm a cold-hearted person? No. It just means I already knew what was happening and I had that "been there, done that" feeling about it. I still think it's a moving piece in the story (not as much as some of the ones in Final Fantasy X, but then again those scenes weren't spoiled for me). But because I knew what was going to happen it didn't have the same emotional impact as what I think the developers had in mind.

One of the great things about Xbox Live's service is that you can go and see what games your friends have played recently and which ones that haven't played in awhile (yes, Zenra, I will be going back to spend more time in The Force Unleashed so you can stop asking me about it). You know what games you have in common with your friends so while you play Gears of War 2 you can talk about Fable II. The problem is unless you look at their individual achievements you don't really know how far in the game they really are. Or how far anyone else listening in are in the game. So you might accidentally spoil something for someone else. I had to play a game with my friends with the headset volume all the way down because they kept talking about games I haven't played. I still left my mic open so I couldn't tell them where the enemy was but I couldn't hear anything they said. Every now and then I'd turn the volume up to see what they were talking about now, but I had to quickly turn it down again once I figure they were still at it. It's nice to listen to get help and pointers about getting through an area in a game, but it's not nice to hear your dog is going to die.

As long as you play games and have friends that do so too you'll run the risk of hearing spoilers that you didn't want to hear. You'll have friends that get the game on launch day whereas you'll have to wait a day or two due to budget constraints. Or you get it at the same time but they can sit down and crank out 3-4 hours of gameplay while you might only be able to do 1-2 hours. They'll be ahead of you and will want to talk about the game. You will be trying not to listen because you don't want to spoil the fun of discovery yourself. It's a burden all gamers have to face. Some of us just face it more violently than others. You spoil something for me and I will shoot to kill. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!


Hester Hater said...

Max is a man. I think they're just genetically engineered to stick their foot in it sometimes. I would have done the same thing as you because no one messes with my dog either!

Zenra Nukenin said...

I didn't realize I had become such a nuisance :(

pengwenn said...

HA HA! Hester you hit the nail on the head.

Zenra you're not a nuisance, I just need more hours in the day if I want to get everything done AND play video games.