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Fable II: Knothole Island

Interview: Lionhead discusses the just-launched DLC

Fable II's Knothole Island DLC pack is finally up for download for 800 Microsoft points (£6.80). Here's why writer Mark Llabres Hill reckons it's worth your cash.

As you've probably gathered the pack adds a new area to explore, the remote island of Knothole. "Only a hero can face the trials of the three shrines to bring back the sunshine," says the pack's official blurb.

To mark today's release we managed to get some questions 'answered' (we use the term loosely) by Fable II writer Mark Llabres Hill, who entertainingly dodges all of our queries on what we should expect from the pack, and Lionhead's plans for the future. At least you can download it now and find out for yourself.

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How did the concept for Knothole Island come about?

Hill: We knew we wanted to return to the Knothole Glade village from the first Fable. And we knew we wanted to do an island. After months of heated meetings and tortuous concentration, we realised we could combine both ideas to create one super-idea.

After that, the rest (creating new regions the player can affect like never before, designing and creating tons of new items and characters, and writing and recording hundreds of extra lines of dialogue) was easy.

Did other ideas get shelved behind the island?

Hill: For every idea that makes it into the game, there's a whole bunch that are left out. They stand outside our office building, noses pressed against the window glass like hungry orphans.

We'd rather not reveal any in case we ever bring them back in from the cold. Well, there was the notion of calling it "DLC Island" (pronounced Duhlka, of course). Oh, how we laughed at that one.

Right. How does DLC Isl... erm, Knothole fit into the storyline then?

Hill: We wanted everyone to be able to experience the new content no matter how much or how little they'd played of Fable II, so the new quests are independent from the main story and you will unlock them throughout the course of the game.

As a whole, they do tell their own self-contained tale, and you will be able to play them in one go if you've already completed the game.

Some pretty "unique" items are promised for the pack. Can you give us any examples?

Hill: We'd rather not give too much away, but the new outfits, weapons and potions really do make the Hero feel rather different.

What about 'major choices'? Are there any more head-scratching decisions to be made on Knothole?

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Hill: At the end of the Knothole Island tale, you will come across one of those juicy moral choices kids today just can't get enough of.

We wanted to fit in more mindless violence, but we're reliably informed that ethical dilemmas is where it's at these days. That, and yo-yos.

How much extra gameplay (in hours) can players expect?

Hill: As with everything else in Fable, it very much depends how you approach it. If you just want to blaze through it, it will probably take a couple of hours. If you want to discover everything on offer, it will take over four.

Have you learnt any development lessons during the creation of the DLC?

Hill: Yes, that the meeting room at the back of the office (known as Oakvale) is haunted. Also, never spill hot chocolate over your keyboard, as it can make it very sticky and uncomfortable to work with.

Can we expect more premium DLC for Fable II?

Hill: If only we could see into the future...

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