The master guide to playing Fable TLC on Linux

Includes cutscenes and modding!

published 08/20/17

updated 01/20/18

Update 01/20/18 - This no longer works. I'll probably look into it again in the future as Fable TLC still stands as, probably, my favourite game of all time. I'll update this article again if and when I get it working again.

I have TLC through Steam, but there's no reason this guide shouldn't work for people who don't. I'm also on Manjaro, which is an Arch-based distribution. It's been a while since I've been on an Ubuntu-based distro and I've never used Fedora, so be sure to adjust any commands to suit the distro that you happen to be running.

Quick note: Only follow this guide on a fresh wine prefix. Ideally, you should have never run Wine on your current system before. I don't know why, but whenever I've tried to do this on a prefix with other software already installed, or when Wine had already been used on the system at some other point in the past, cutscenes in TLC fail to play.

If you have already run Wine on your system before, just delete your old prefixes and all config files, reinstall Wine, WineTricks, and POL. If doing that isn't an option for you, then you're just going to have to hope you get lucky and the cutscences play for you regardless, or just live without cutscenes. Modding should still work just fine either way, though.

Install WINE, WineTricks, and PlayOnLiux.

  1. Install Wine, WineTricks, and PlayOnLinux

    pacman -S wine winetricks playonlinux
  2. Install any optional dependencies that you don't already have installed. Especially for Wine. You will need them for Wine. In the case of WineTricks, install the dependency that matches your desktop. Don't install them both.

    Optional dependencies for wine
                    Optional dependencies for wxgtk
                        webkitgtk2: for webview support
                    Optional dependencies for perl-libwww
                        perl-lwp-protocol-https: for https:// url schemes

    I'm using GNOME, and I already have a lot of those dependencies installed. You most likely have quite a few of them installed as well. I need to install the following dependencies:

    pacman -S lib32-giflib lib32-mpg123 lib32-openal lib32-v4l-utils lib32-libxcomposite lib32-libxinerama lib32-opencl-icd-loader lib32-libxslt lib32-gst-plugins-base-libs samba dosbox perl-lwp-protocol-https

    If you had to install those same packages in your case, you might have noticed this message:

    Optional dependencies for lib32-ocl-icd
                        lib32-opencl-driver: packaged opencl driver

    You might need that dependency if you have an NVIDIA graphics card. I don't, I've got an AMD. So I'll skip right over this one.

  3. You will need to install Microsoft Core Fonts, if you haven't done so at some point in the past. PoL will tell you later that you don't have them installed regardless of what you do, and it will tell you that it installs them automagically, but it never does. So install them manually. In my case, I'll be downloading the "ttf-ms-fonts" package from the AUR. It may be named something else on other distros.

    yaourt -S ttf-ms-fonts

    Do not launch wine config or winetricks yet. Don't touch wine at all. I mean, you can, I just don't do it because I only use wine via POL bottles.* Having additional prefixes outside of that just creates clutter. But I should mention that these steps have only worked for me on a fresh prefix.

    *I only use wine via POL because I actually only need wine for Steam, and Steam's browser is broken in vanilla wine due to Google pushing an update that the wine team has yet to create a patch for. The POL team has released a fix, so it's just easier to use Steam through it.

Install Steam and Fable TLC

  1. Launch POL.
  2. Choose "install a program."
  3. Choose "games" and find "Steam," click "install."
  4. Follow the steps in the installer. POL will prompt you to install Microsoft fonts. It won't actually successfully install them, but if you cancel that operation it will cancel the entire installation of Steam. So just let it pretend to download them.
  5. Launch Steam. You'll be closing it again in a minute, this is just to make sure necessary files will exist on the system when you move on to the next steps.
  6. Download and install Fable TLC. Be sure to actually install TLC. It's one of those games that has a first run dialog. Make sure it runs and completes the install.
  7. Close Fable and exit Steam.

Configure your Wine bottle within POL

  1. Make sure that Steam is actually closed and that the Wine server shuts down: Back in the main POL window, select "Tools" in the menu bar, and then click "Close all PlayOnLinux software." Follow the steps in that dialog.
  2. Back in the main POL window, select "Configure."
  3. In the new window that opens, click the "+" icon next to the selected Wine version. Yes, you are about to install a newer version of Wine.
  4. Select the 32-bit (x86) version of 1.8-steam_crossoverhack (or the latest steam_crossoverhack that exists at the time you're following this guide), and click the arrow pointing to the right in order to install it. Follow the steps in the dialog to complete the install.
  5. Once it's installed, close the wine versions manager and use the "Wine version" dropdown menu to update your version of Wine to the version you just installed. POL will ask you to confirm, click "Yes."
  6. Move to the "Wine" tab and choose "Configure Wine."
  7. Make sure that your Windows version is set to Windows XP. I know that Valve is dropping support for XP, but you won't be able to use the Steam store or browser in any newer versions of Windows.
  8. Switch to the "Graphics" tab, and check "Automatically capture the mouse in full-screen windows.
  9. Apply your changes and close Wine configuration.
  10. Back in the POL configuration window, switch the "Miscellaneous" tab and set "Mouse warp override" to "force."
  11. Switch to the "Install components" tab and install the following packages:

    Note: POL might tell you that Microsoft fonts aren't installed a couple of times throughout this process. Just let it download and install them, even if you installed ms core fonts earlier in the guide. If you cancel it will cancel the whole package.

    The earlier step to install them manually was still necessary, because POL never sucessfully installs them.

  12. Once you've installed all of those components, switch back to the "Wine" tab and choose "Windows reboot." This will emulate rebooting Windows and allow the packages and programs you just installed to finish installing some additional dependencies.
  13. Once it's done rebooting, close the POL configuration window and close all playonlinux software like you did in step 1 of this section. This, again, is to ensure that the Wine server is definitely no longer running.
  14. Minimize or close the POL client.

Install a few more Windows components via WineTricks

  1. Now you're going to want to install 3 more Windows components, but this time using WineTricks instead of POL. Open a terminal.

    Determine where POL installed Steam on your system, and replace the path in the following command with your install path.

    env WINEPREFIX="/home/username/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/Steam" winetricks -q dotnet35 mfc40 xna40 --force

    In the above command, env WINEPREFIX="path/to/prefix" specifies the Wine prefix you're going to be modifying, winetricks launches WineTricks, -q tells WineTricks to install without requiring your confirmation, and --force tells it not to check whether or not the packages were already installed.

  2. Once WineTricks finishes installing those packages, open POL and run a Windows reboot again.
  3. Launch Steam again and run Fable TLC. If everything went as expected, you should now be able to play TLC with cutscenes. You will know right away if it did because, if it didn't, you'll get an error about not being able to play the intro cutscene. If it did, however, a dude will come on screen and plunge his sword into the ground for some reason, causing a transition to the LionHead logo.

    If the cutscenes don't play, and you want to be able to play with cutscenes, uninstall Wine, WineTricks, POL, and delete all configuration files for them in your ~/ directory, and then start this guide all over again. Follow word for word and everything should be good, but it's largely hit and miss, and I have no idea why the cutscenes seem so fickle. Maybe someone more knowledgeable than me can enlighten you.

    At any rate, once you've got them working, you're golden. They will all run without issue from then on. If you don't care about modding, you can stop reading now. Otherwise, close Steam again, and move on to the next section.


I'll be assuming for the purposes of this tutorial that you want to use FableExplorer and/or ShadowNet. I assume these steps would work for actual mods too, like the famous "Free Roam" mod, but most people will generally want to work directly with FableExplorer, so that's what I'll be explaining here.

  1. Shut down the wine server again.
  2. Open the POL Configuration for your Steam bottle and configure Wine.
  3. Open the libraries tab and add the mscoree library. It should be set to native and then built in by default, but ensure that it definitely is.
  4. Reboot Windows.
  5. The first thing you're going to want to do now is download the Fable Modding Application Suite. It basically no longer exists on the Fable TLC Mod Forums, but a user on Reddit and relatively-well-known TLC speedrunner by the name of /u/EtemT has hosted it on his MEGA account for all of us who still play and mod Fable TLC well after LionHead has died.


    Mirror on my MEGA account in case EtemT's vanishes for any reason

    You might be wondering why you're downloading this instead of directly downloading FableExplorer. That's a good question. has been reported for containing "unwanted software that can be deceptive and affect your system in unexpected ways." Now, personally, I don't think the FableExplorer download has been tampered with or anything, but better safe than sorry. Yeah?

  6. Open POL and select "Configure."
  7. Open the "Miscellaneous" tab and select "Run a .exe file in this virtual drive."
  8. In the dialog that opens, navigate to where you downloaded FTLCAppsSetup.exe and open it.
  9. When the setup asks you to check which components you want to install, select the following:

                    Internet Explorer 6
    Apps You Probably Want
                    --- FE Shadownet Build
                    Other Apps
                    --- Fable Explorer 4
                    --- Setup Path Editor

    De-select everything else. Unless you want to try any of the other mods and programs, in which case feel free to try them. I haven't personally tried them, but they're available to you if you're feeling adventurous.

    Click "next" and finish the installation. The setup will ask you if you'd like to install a couple more dependencies that FE and the others need, select "yes."

    If you're on KDE you might want to try the window mode hook, because Fable will crash on KDE whenever it loses focus. I personally think it might be possible to avoid that crash if the game is run in windowed mode, but I refuse to play it in windowed mode because full screen master race, so I wouldn't know from any kind of experience. Still, it's there if you want to give it a shot.

  10. Reboot Windows again. I bet you're loving that it just takes a few seconds here in Wine, eh?
  11. Back in the "Miscellaneous" tab, select "Run a .exe file in this virtual drive" again.
  12. Head to where you installed the Fable TLC mod suite. (Probably Program Files/FableTLCMod)
  13. Run "Fable Setup Path Editor.exe"
  14. Use the application to select your path to Fable TLC. Assuming your directory is identical to mine, that should be: C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\Fable The Lost Chapters\
  15. Navigate back to where you installed the Fable TLC mod suite again, and open the ShadowNet directory.
  16. Open "config.xml" in your preferred text editor.
  17. Set the "UseRegistry" option to "FALSE."
  18. Change the "InstallDirectory" to the location of your Fable TLC install. C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\Fable The Lost Chapters\ Once you're done, save config.xml
  19. Still in the ShadowNet directory, copy def.xml and paste it into your ~/ folder.
  20. Launch ShadowNet. I'd recommend trying from the terminal first to see if you get any errors, you'd do that with this command:

    env WINEPREFIX="/home/username/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/Steam/" wine C:\\windows\\command\\start.exe "C:\Program Files\FableTLCMod\ShadowNet\FableExplorer.exe"
  21. If Wine prompts you to install Mono, go ahead and do that. If it doesn't prompt you, then don't worry about it.
  22. Edit the files to your heart's content. Here's a guide that outlines some popular things people do with FableExplorer and ShadowNet, as well as some information about other modding things you can do.

    Personally, I like making the hero walk instead of jogging everywhere, so I'll walk you through that real quick too.

Actually using FableExplorer

  1. Use ShadowNet to open graphics.big.
  3. Find ANIM_HERO_JOG (ShadowNet has a search function) and open it (double click.)
  4. Export its Sub Header and Entry Data. Personally, I will be exporting them to ~/Documents/fablebak/

    It doesn't matter what you name the files, so long as they're easily identifiable. I will be using ANIM_HERO_JOG_BAK and ANIM_HERO_JOG_DATA_BAK, and I will continue this naming convention throughout the rest of the guide.

    When ShadowNet asks if you want to decompress the data, choose "yes." I don't know what difference it makes, but I've always chosen yes and never had any issues.

  5. Once you are done with that, apply changes on the ANIM_HERO_JOG dialog.
  6. Now find ANIM_HERO_WALK and repeat steps 4 and 5 with it.
  7. Go back to ANIM_HERO_JOG and, this time, import the sub header and entry data for ANIM_HERO_WALK, then apply changes.

    But, personally, I prefer jogging when I'm wielding my weapons because it is my opinion that it's more realistic that way. So I won't be modifying any of those.

    The ones that are WITH_SWORD will change your speed when you are wielding a light sword. The HEAVY ones will change your speed with heavy weapons. LONG_BOW will change your speed with long bows. CROSSBOW_PUMPACTION will change your speed with crossbows.

  9. Once you're done here, select "Actions" in the ShadowNet menu bar and choose "Save Mods and Run Fable."
  10. Wait for a bit and ShadowNet will launch Fable. Once it opens, verify that your hero is behaving as intended, and then close the game again. Also close ShadowNet.
  11. That's all. Now you can launch Fable TLC via Steam and enjoy.

    If ShadowNet displays an error message when you close it, don't worry about it. It doesn't cause any problems.