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Soundtrack review: Fable legends – A tale of two sides (Russell Shaw – 2016)

Game scores

Soundtrack review: Fable legends – A tale of two sides (Russell Shaw – 2016)


“Fable Legends” is a cancelled cooperative action role-playing video game developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Microsoft Studios for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One. The game was based around four Heroes and a Villain. Each role may be filled by a player via online multiplayer or by an AI. The same game experience was possible regardless of multiplayer or single player (with four AI). All of the game’s story and quests could have been played single player, using AI heroes as sidekicks or enemies. It was possible to play through the game’s content as either a Hero or as a Villain. During each quest, the four Hero characters must use teamwork to succeed in their objectives, while the Villain player opposes them with an army of creatures. It is part of the Fable franchise and Russell Shaw wrote the score for “A tale of two sides”.

The music box title theme welcomes me like an old friend for one last visit. And what do you know; this might be my favorite version of the main theme. I like the unrestrained passion in the music I like how the orchestra riles me up and the haunting choral work. It’s not just the main title; right from the start of the score it’s obvious that we are dealing with a different kind of composition that the previous “Fable” scores: darker, more powerful and more complex. The cue titles alternated the two sides, the heroes and the villains and it’s a very rewarding musical back and forth. The music it’s no longer playful; it’s proper fantasy goodness with the epic motifs and the penetrating choral inserts. The “Lady of Rosewood” vs “Queen of roses” battle ends with two spectacular “Pinnacle

The next pairing of cues and situations is “Ancient stones” and “What lies behind”. Their conflict doesn’t have the intensity of the previous one but “A frantic fight” will satisfy every fan of the fantasy genre. The next adventure also provides memorable moments in “Something wicked: Time to die” and the pinnacle. “A terrible cost” from the “Lady’s revenge” section makes me change my favorite cue from this score once again and this kind of race is my favorite kind.

The musical story of “A tale of two sides” makes this the best and most spectacular “Fable” score yet. When I think of how this franchise started musically, light and playful I marvel at where Russell Shaw took it. It’s the equivalent of great character building through years of TV. The best thing about it is that the evolution felt natural and honest and this conclusion was the best score of them all. Fantasy fans rejoice! Can’t wait to see what Russel Shaw does next.

Cue rating: 94 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 53 / 78

Album excellence: 69%


Title Theme

The Lady of Rosewood: Will You Dance

Queen of Roses: Awakening

The Lady of Rosewood: Wisps

Queen of Roses: A Prick of Thorns

The Lady of Rosewood: Pinnacle

Queen of Roses: Pinnacle

Ancient Stones: A Frantic Fight

What Lies Behind: In the Dark

Ancient Stones: Pinnacle

What Lies Behind: Pinnacle

Something Wicked: Time to Die

Fae Tales: Pinnacle

Lady’s Revenge: A Terrible Cost

Lady’s Revenge: Pinnacle

Heroic Adventure: So It Begins

Heroic Adventure: To Battle

A Twist in the Tale: Cursed

Heroic Adventure: Pinnacle

Brightlodge Battle: At the Gates

Brightlodge Battle: Defend the Town

Brightlodge Battle: Pinnacle




Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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