Warning: our spoiler reporting about the future of the Fable series, as glimpsed in this week's DLC, and what Microsoft has to say about it, lurks below.
Now we've seen it and started asking questions.
This is your last SPOILER warning.
The Fable II DLC suggests that the future of the series could either be grander or more intimate than what players have experienced in the first two Fable games. Those games starred the player as a ground-level hero, a legend among towns of peasants, a man or woman capable of starting a family or three.
See the Future allows your hero to meet a soothsayer who narrates a playable sequence that puts this character in the future. The hero wears a crown and cape and is described as a king. He walks among his knights and subjects. A narrator, Theresa, talks about how he deals with the "responsibility of an entire kingdom."
The hero's throne is shown, and the implication is that Fable could be embracing lead creator Peter Molyneux's god-game past (see Populous, for example), expanding its scale to let the player's decisions not just affect their character's body or property but the lives of a kingdom.
Then the camera turns and the narrator says: "But this is of the least importance… this is the real future, his child, not yet born, but destined for greatness. A child on whom the fate of Albion will depend one day. As will the fate of Aurora."
The player is shown a baby in a crib. (You can watch all this on YouTube.)
What's it all mean? Is Fable going to become a child-rearing adventure? Who or what or where is Aurora? Is the first part of the tease misdirection, or is it the latter half?
A representative for Peter Molyneux deferred such questions to Microsoft.
A Microsoft rep told Kotaku via e-mail that "See the Future does give a glimpse of Albion's future, fictionally speaking, but we can't comment on what's next for the franchise."
We followed up asking if players could at least expect more Fable II DLC that would maybe shed more light on this. The rep replied: "We have nothing new to share right now as it relates to more content for Fable II."
Did we just see Fable III early? And if we did, what does it mean?