Exploding Barrels

Exploding Barrels
Exploding Barrels

Hilary Goldstein | 15 May 2012 21:00
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Whether there's a lot of Martian lumber to chop or meat to butcher, the research station has its fair share of chainsaws. Even in the future - one where man has colonized Mars -- chainsaws run on gas. But you can't exactly set up drilling platforms on Mars. Oil comes from Earth, which must be a pain in the ass to ship all the way to the red planet. You can't buy gas as the need suits you - you've got to buy in bulk. With limited storage space, sometimes you just have to put barrels wherever they can fit and if a demon invasion comes unexpectedly, so be it.

Those Chickens Won't Deep-Fry Themselves
The world of Fable's Albion is full of chickens. In fact, there's virtually no other livestock to be found but chickens, solving the age-old riddle, "Why does everything in Albion taste like chicken?" (Answer: Because it is chicken.) While an industrious hero can get his leg muscles a workout punting fowl, your average peasant knows chickens are for eating. I can't speak for you, but if I'm going to spend my life eating chicken at every meal, it's damned well going to be fried.

Why else would Albion be littered with highly explosive barrels, ones often found in the most unlikely of places (like a cave full of gnarly Hobbs)? Deep-fried chicken is a staple food of Albion. A traveler can't be expected to lug around vats of oil on his back. That would be ridiculous. So barrels of the stuff are kept in places where the good folk of Albion might have need of a way to fry their poultry. "Can a chicken make you feel?" Peter Molyneux asked early in the development of Fable. Yes, Peter. Yes.

Sir Francis Drake Loved his Sea-Doo
Then there's the curious case of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. The murky canals of the Drowned City feature floating barrels that erupt when shot. This ancient city, founded by the Spanish four centuries earlier and later visited by the Nazis, wouldn't seem like a place for keeping explosives on the waterways. Of course, you don't know much about revered explorer Sir Francis Drake, who hid the treasure El Dorado in the sunken city because he didn't believe in sharing.

As any historian worth his snuff will tell you, Sir Francis Drake loved the sea. And like any sailor, he couldn't depend on the changing winds to get around cities. Motorized transportation was the only reliable way to get anywhere four centuries ago and Sir Francis was a lover of his tiny two-seater motorboat. There's nothing worse than running out of gas halfway across a sunken city, so Drake left himself numerous refueling stations. It makes sense if you know your history. It's either that or developer Naughty Dog was just plain stupid putting these barrels there. That's simply not something I, as a learned individual, can believe.

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