Welcome to this week’s article of The Good, Bad, and What The?, where we took a good, long look at characters in movies, video games, anime, and books and put them on the judgement table to see if they are worthy to be in their respective stories. I strongly believe that well developed characters are more important than anything else in a good story, so I always judge them hard. At the end of every character’s evaluation I will give them one of four ratings: Good for those characters that are developed and deserve their place in the story, Bad for those characters that have no place being made or interacting with anyone else in the story, What The for the characters I just can’t figure out, and then the characters who are dull as dishwasher will get the rating of Sack of Potatoes. Today on the judgement table: Sheriff Bigby Wolf the main character of “The Wolf Among Us.”
Sheriff Bigby is the Big Bad Wolf of fairy tales. Everyone is kind of afraid of him because of his violent past, eating Red Riding Hood and blowing down pig houses and all that jazz. Now, however all the fairy tale creatures live in New York City in their own section of the city to try and deal with the Mundy world while avoiding it at the same time. Bigby is now the sheriff in charge of keeping things under control and keeping the Fables safe from each other. Nothing, of course, can go smoothly, as Bigby finds the head of a murdered prostitute on his doorstep, which launches a search for the killer and the motive.
The beginning of the game has you talk to a man named Toad (he is literally a toad who walks around on two legs and is three feet tall) and you have to tell him about the rules. Toad doesn’t have a glamour on to make himself look human. All Fables that don’t look human are required to have these glamours. As you talk to Toad, it is very clear people still really don’t like Bigby. His past makes it hard for him to go from villain to protector and some of the Fables just won’t buy it. You see Bigby constantly struggle to act in the proper way and uphold the laugh when he really just wants to punch some people. This game has a big emphasis on choice, so many times clocking someone in the face does become an option. But there’s a catch. If you act violent, people become more and more fearful of you. Bigby has a hard time striking a balance between getting the job done and not being too big and bad. His personality is rough and tough and he curses people out and takes nothing from no one, but he is still a guy with feelings. He gets depressed or frustrated as people continue to say how mean or bad he is. You can really feel that Bigby is fighting an uphill battle. The guy is trying to rock climb while the other Fables are throwing boulders over the side that he has to dodge. He always has a look on his face like he is trying to figure out if he is doing things the right way or not. Everything Bigby does is in a huge gray area that he can’t figure out.
The other side happens when Bigby does let loose. He goes into wolf form and starts messing people up. No one can really stand up against him because of how powerful he is when he uses his wolf abilities. After going through big fights and sometimes doing things that can get really violent, he has to relax. When Bigby starts to get to relaxing, he realizes what he had done and starts to really think. His nature is to run around as a beast and tear stuff apart, but that isn’t who he is anymore. He is trying to to show people he is changed and a helpful guy, but then he goes all wolf berserk and it’s hard to convince people. There are so many points in time where you feel like you just wanna walk up to Bigby and be like, “It’s all good bro, we know you did what you had to.” The player controlling him only makes you feel some of the hits harder when people really lay into you. You want to say something to them, but you gotta be careful.
Now, does Bigby really change and become a better person? Well, it’s hard to say. Much of the events are under the effect of player decision, so some things can change but Bigby is still his own character. He is a guy who much like the other Fables, he is very very old (they live forever) so he is kind of set in his ways. Trying this new life in the city isn’t exactly a tiny change for anyone there. Bigby has it the worst because of how drastic of a change he is making. There are some points where you really think Bigby is doing a good job in becoming nicer or more gentle, but then you get into a fight with a guy and decide to tear his arm off in the heat of the event and its like, “Well…that was my fault, but I really was feeling like the wolf there.” You get so into his character that you start deciding to do things in a more violent way because you want to see Bigby in action. So stating if he has really developed or changed by the end is kind a hard point to make. It really comes down to how much change you put in your choices during the game. In the end, though, I would say that Bigby does become a bit better of a person regardless of a lot of the stuff you did do. He just wants to help Fables more than anything now.
The verdict on Mr. Bigby Wolf is Good. He is a character with a lot of moral gray spots that you get caught up in. He is someone you really feel hard for when people start getting mad at him. Most importantly, he is a character who you want to help be a better person but you still struggle with the idea of just tearing some fools up when legal ways aren’t working. Bigby is the kind of character who in the end really makes you think long and hard about the choices you make for him, and about him in general. As I said before in my Mechanically Beautiful article, I highly recommend this game to anyone who is big on some good story and choice.