They say it attracts chicks, but when it comes to the value of scars in Fable 2, Peter Molyneux's betting gamers will prefer to display the unblemished flesh that signifies fighting prowess instead.
The volte-face to traditional masculinity concerns the way Lionhead's founder and his design team have decided to approach the tricky concept of death in the Xbox 360 sequel to the three-million selling Xbox role-playing game.
"In Hollywood, the hero doesn't die," Molyneux said in his Innovations in Game Design at the Develop conference. "Rocky's face looks like a battered melon, he's down on the canvas, and it seems to be all over, but one look from his wife, and suddenly he's back on his feet and swinging again."
Fable 2 will take a similar dramatic approach to the concept. Drained of health points and laid out on the ground, players will have the choice of losing experience points - the game's key method of building up a selection of fearsome fighting moves - and immediately jumping up to regain the action, or letting the enemy close in and work them over with stabs, kicks and punches. "You will feel violated," said Molyneux. Worse than that, when you eventually get up again to fight another day, the marks of your beating will remain for all to see.