Stories of redemption or second chances, if told and done well, are attractive for most people for a number of reasons. Just like when we enjoy seeing the good guy win in the end, we like to see who we think are formerly irredeemable characters turn a new leaf and walk the path of good. There are struggles the character undergoes to either forgive himself or herself for the sins of their past, while also changing the minds of those who don’t believe the person can truly change. Whether the character really does change or not is another part of the journey that’s worth waiting to find out.
Playing the current episodes of The Wolf Among Us has me intrigued by Bigby Wolf. Based on the comic book series Fables by Bill Willingham, Bigby is the sheriff of Fabletown who is in charge of keeping law and order over the exiled fairytale characters who now reside in the harsh streets of New York City. Many have to use an expensive spell known as Glamour to conceal their real identities in order to blend in with the mundies or non-Fables to protect the Fables’ secret.
It becomes quite clear that Bigby was once known as the Big Bad Wolf from such stories as Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs. Having a reputation for terrorizing and eating his victims in his past life, Bigby isn’t the most liked or trusted citizen of Fabletown.
The first two episodes of The Wolf Among Us allows the player to see that everyone isn’t exactly thrilled to have Bigby in charge of making sure the Fables keep a low profile to keep the mundies from finding out who they really are. Everyone remembers what kind of person or creature Bigby once was and many don’t let him forget it either.
Bigby is a rough around the edges kind of guy, and the way I’m playing through the conversation and action choices in the game, I’m making sure he’s a character who deeply regrets who he was in his old life and is doing his best to make it up to everyone in his current life as sheriff. I don’t really have Bigby use force or harsh threats unless it’s absolutely necessary, or I think the suspect he’s dealing with actually deserves a punch to the face. Bigby is a tortured soul who I think regrets everything he has done and sees the way people look at him. Everyone either fears him or hates him. Maybe both. He wants the people of Fabletown to see him as a different person and not the scary wolf he once was. Trying to prove that to everyone is difficult and he knows that.
Characters who have to reconcile the person they were before with the person they want to be now is an internal struggle. Watching characters like Bigby Wolf not give into what everyone expects him to be and working hard to transform into a better person is an interesting case study of will he or won’t he eventually cave under the pressure from external influences and become the creature everyone believes him to be. The road to redemption is never easy, which is why it’s made even better when a character defies everyone’s expectations and become who they want to be and not what other people expect them to be.
Only two episodes of The Wolf Among Us has been released by Telltale Games so far and it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen to Bigby’s character by the end of the story, as he investigates a murder and a threat in Fabletown.
I’m rooting for Bigby’s triumph over his dark past and walking closer to the light––changing everyone’s mind in the process by going against what they believe he is capable of. At the end of the day, the one who has to be satisfied with the life he has led is Bigby himself. Everyone deserves a second chance, just as long as the change toward a better life starts with the individual themselves.