Sable spins the anecdote since the start of her interest in clothing and fashion design, because the very first thing she ever produced was a set of animal crossing items new horizons gloves for Mabel--who promptly set them on her ears, because small sisters will be little sisters--but frostbite? Hello? It explains why Mabel's the Able Sisters' saleswoman, instead of joining her sister behind the sewing machine.
The Ables' backstory does not end there however, because there's another one of them: that's right, Label, the sister who left Sable to increase Mabel and ran off to the city. Introduced in City Folk, she encountered at GracieGrace--Gracie's fashion shop --under the title Labelle. There is not much to her she is pleasant, polite, and also something about her certain looks awfully familiar, but speaking with her alone shows little about her past.
It's not the sisters' full backstory is unveiled. Talk to Sable for 10 days in a row and she will tell you that their parents passed Mabel was too young to recall whatever, leaving Sable--who is 10 years older than Mabel, though the age gap between herself and Label is unknown--in control of the family. At some point, Label and took on the name Labelle and Sable had a debate and Label left to produce a life where she met with Gracie. City Folk has Label sending letters to Mabel in hopes of reconciling with her loved ones, but while Mabel wants them to get along again, she is not too optimistic about Sable's feelings toward their husband. Talk about profound lore!
Fast forward again to New Leaf, and everything appears to have worked out. Gracie runs GracieGrace by herself in the TT Emporium because Label's working at the Abel Sisters, selling accessories from the extension to the main store.
Feeling unhappy about the Able sisters yet? It's true that their history is a little out of place in a setting where gamers' biggest problems have to do with expanding their McMansion. For those who feel as though this kind of backstory is too dark for Animal Crossing, do not worry--somebody in the team must agree with you, since New Horizons retcons their backstory. While I think Mabel and Sable's parents continue to be very much dearly departed, as far as the match reveals, Label left the family business with her sisters' blessing to start her very own designer brand"Labelle".
Frostbite trauma, nada. Feelings of betrayal and jealousy, zilch. Nope, tense reconciliation. New Horizons spins the sisters' history into something more optimistic, tying in with the game's tendency of turning Tom Nook into a sympathetic figure and making the villagers significantly more straightforward and more easygoing. There is lots of mixed feelings about that moving around the playerbase, and it is about time the Able sisters' backstory made a dash in that fantastic big ongoing argument.
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