Everything I’d heard so far about Fable II talked about the townspeople, the shallow interactions, the unfair bad guy, and the dog. There’s one thing in the game that nobody talked about, which surprised me a little, and that is the fat woman.
I don’t use “fat” chick in a derogatory manner, but as a descriptor. The first hero that you recruit to your band, Hannah/Hammer, is a rather large woman. She’s tall and strong but also has a large belly and pudgy legs. She’s definitely fat – also useful, likeable, confident, friendly, and the game itself respects her.
I cannot recall ever having actually seen this before. There are fat characters in video games, sure. There’s Rufus from Street Fighter – his story makes him look like a joke but he’s a reasonably good fighter – and Honda who is fat due to sumo. There are also “big boned” women who are curvy and a little on the overweight side, but they don’t usually have bellies to speak of. And there are women who are fat, like the evil Queen in Final Fantasy 9, but they aren’t respected: being fat is just another way of showing how evil, or how ridiculous and goofy, those women are. And even those women are few and far between. Far more likely is the sexy, skinny Ultimecia-type evil queen.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with attractive characters, which I’ve said before. But there’s some room in the world for fat chicks too. And that’s why I’m a little surprised that nobody talks about Hammer: a woman who happens to be fat, but her story arc is not about the fact that she’s fat. Instead, she goes on a quest to help her village, and then finds herself having to avenge the death of her father, which is a properly heoric story. In other words, it’s a story about a fat woman, but it’s not a story about how she feels ugly and wants to become skinny so a guy can take her to prom. (It’s also not a story about how she uses the power of her fat sass to show someone the ways of sass, which off the top of my head is the other acceptable MOVIE you can have starring a fat woman.) OK, one guy called her a troll, but he was obviously a bad guy and I wasn’t supposed to respect him.
That isn’t to say the entire game is respectful about how it handles fatness, but it’s more weird than anything where it comes to your avatar, so I’m neutral on it. Eating any food more substantial than a carrot or tofu (such as delicious meat pie) adds to your “fatness” score, wherein I lose, by my guess, one point of “attractiveness” stat for every five points of “fatness.” This applies unless the villagers looking at me are “fat-loving” in which case I believe it is the opposite relationship; a few people have this attribute. What’s weird is the fact that no amount of exercise, walking to every village or getting in tons of combats, can take away this fatness from eating one item, but if I eat celery it removes fatness. I’m pretty sure the first Fable worked like this too, though I haven’t played it. Overall I prefer how The World Ends with You handled food and eating but Fable is obviously an abstraction.
But people have talked about how weird that is. Nobody talked about Hammer and I think it’s one place where I can say: thumbs up, more like this. She wasn’t even annoying when I had to ESCORT her, and that’s saying something since escorts are usually pretty obnoxious.