Videogame / Dark Parables

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These aren't the bedtime stories you remember...

The Dark Parables are a series of hidden object games (or, more accurately, fragmented object games) inspired by classic fairy tales. Produced by Blue Tea Games and Eipix Entertainment, and distributed by Big Fish, the games feature a nameless detective (you) who specializes in solving mysteries connected with those fairy tales.

The first game, Curse of Briar Rose, takes the story of Sleeping Beauty and transports it to modern Scotland, where an abandoned castle has a massive briar plant growing underneath it which threatens to engulf the nearby community. According to legend, Princess Briar Rose still sleeps in the heart of the castle, and in order to stop the plant and save the locals, you must break her enchantment and set her free.

The direct sequel, The Exiled Prince, takes place in the Black Forest of Germany, where a chancellor's daughter and her bodyguard are the latest in a series of disappearances. It's believed that the Frog Prince is responsible; they say that he still lives, centuries after his fairy tale was said to have taken place, and rumors also circulate about a fantastic palace under the Black Forest. You must solve the mystery, remove the prince's curse, and save the missing people.

The third game, Rise of the Snow Queen, takes place in the Bernese Alps of Switzerland, where a horrendous snowstorm has finally ended. As it did, the residents of a mountain village discovered that all of the children had gone missing. Reports of a beautiful woman in the snowstorm suggest the first appearance of the eponymous Snow Queen in more than a century, and it's up to you to infiltrate her frozen kingdom, rescue the children, and apprehend her.

The fourth game, The Red Riding Hood Sisters, takes place in the Vosges Mountains of eastern France, where for centuries the Order of the Red Riding Hood Sisters have protected the locals from wolves and other dangers. But now a woman known as the Wolf Queen has emerged, controlling a small army of creatures called mist wolves, determined to bring endless night upon our world. The detective must seek out the remaining members of the Sisterhood and help them stop her.

The fifth game in the series, The Final Cinderella, takes place in the Matese Mountains of southern Italy, to which the detective has been summoned following reports of young women being turned into glass statues and sightings of an evil individual known as "the Godmother." The Godmother is said to be searching for a girl known as 'the final Cinderella.' Katherine, the stepsister of the latest victim, asks the detective for help, but the Godmother appears and captures Katherine. The detective must find out what the Godmother is doing, uncover the even more sinister plot beneath hers, and save the world once again.

The sixth game, Jack and the Sky Kingdom, takes place in Alblasserwaard, South Holland, where the legendary Sky Kingdom manifested one day and immediately starting breaking up into pieces over the town. The detective is summoned to figure out the reason for the destruction and must seek help from Jack, a legendary treasure hunter, to infiltrate the Sky Kingdom and find out what's happening to it - and why.

The seventh game, Ballad of Rapunzel, takes place in the Mount Sněžka region of Czechoslovakia. A mysterious cloud of pollen has descended on the region, causing anyone who comes in contact with it to fall deathly ill. The detective is tasked to prevent it from spreading further, and has traced it to the lost kingdom of Floralia and its princess, Rapunzel, who may hold the key to the mystery.

The eighth game, The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide, takes place on the island of Crete off the coast of Greece, where a deadly purple tide has appeared. The odd phenomenon is endangering the local fishing villages, and the detective must find the source of the tide and stop it. Her explorations take her underwater, to the remains of the lost kingdom of Prasino... which is not as empty as she might have expected. Unlike previous installments in the series, this one is a joint production between Blue Tea Games and Eipix Entertainment.

The ninth game, The Queen of Sands, now released solely by Eipixnote , takes the detective to the village of Montafleur in Provence, France, where shadowy purple mists have taken over the village. The detective once again joins forces with her old friends the Red Riding Hood Sisters, who are on the trail of a mysterious beast that's been sighted near the village. What do the two developments have in common, and how can they set things right?

The tenth game, Goldilocks and the Fallen Star, takes the detective to the fictional country of Barsia. Long ago, a star fell to earth, and when the Sun Goddess and the Moon Goddess could not agree which of them should have it, they split it apart. Legend says that if anyone should put it back together, the star will grant them one powerful wish. Now, a strange artifact has surfaced, and Barsia is threatened by mechanical stags from their neighbor and longtime rival, Olesia. Queen Valla declares that she will go to war to protect her people; she's supported in this by her sister, Princess Leda, who has the golden touch. But when Jack (from Sky Kingdom) appears, he warns the detective that the problems run much deeper than she can possibly imagine.

The eleventh game, The Swan Princess and the Dire Tree, brings the adventure to Dire Island, where the noble Swan Guard is sworn to protect the goddess Flora, who oversees balance in nature. The Black Swan, once the most trusted member of the cadre, has stolen a magical seed which is critical to the goddess's well-being, and Dire Island is slowly being sundered by massive cracks in the ground. Aided by the Brave Little Tailor, the detective must recover the seed and bring the perpetrator to justice. But as usual, all is not what it seems, and a surprise reunion with a prior acquaintance makes that all too clear.

The developers confirm that the twelfth game, The Thief and the Tinderbox, is set for release in fall 2016. No formal hints have yet been given as to what story will be featured; however, the title suggests that it will include The Tinderbox. The ending text of Swan Princess states that the Fairy Tale Detective will be returning to the Swiss Alps and has been invited to a royal wedding, and the official Eipix Facebook adds that she must "clear the dark clouds from the Snowfall Kingdom" before the wedding can take place.
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     Tropes present throughout the series 

Tropes present throughout the series include:

  • 100% Completion: You pretty much can't fail at these games, if you try long enough, but the first seven games include the optional challenge of finding all twenty of the cursed objects, which will speed up the recharge time on your hint button. A second challenge is added starting with the third game; see All There in the Parables, below.
    • Starting with Ballad of Rapunzel, the games also include unlockable achievements. From Little Mermaid onward, Eipix has changed the format by removing the cursed objects, and including other items to be found instead. They've also made the parable tokens considerably more difficult to locate than in the previous installments; they now often shift appearance in the same manner that the cursed objects of earlier games do.
      • To balance that Difficulty Spike, however, they've also added another new feature. Once you've completed the game, the bonus features menu on the start screen will allow you to return to the relevant scenes in the game to acquire any collectibles or parable tokens you missed during gameplay, rather than requiring you to start a new game.
  • All Fairy Tales Are True
  • All There in the Parables: From the third game onward, you'll collect tokens which, when you have all of each kind, will explain how things got to be the way they are. There are five such parables in each main game, with anywhere from three to six pieces to be found for each, and a sixth (and sometimes a seventh) in each bonus game.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: There's no indication of when these games take place, nor how much time passes between each. It's confirmed that Ballad of Rapunzel happens ten years after Rise of the Snow Queen, and Swan Princess takes place a few years after that. The Final Cinderella, according to an invitation found in the game, takes place on July 20th, but the year is unknown. This results in a mild case of Anachronism Stew, since the fairy tales all have the same timeless feel of happening "once upon a time" but the detective herself is clearly a modern individual.
  • Another Side, Another Story: In the main game, the player always takes on the role of the detective. However, sometimes the bonus chapters are told from the points of view of other characters, giving the player a view of stories that the detective would not see for one reason or another. For instance, the bonus chapters of the third, fifth, sixth, and eleventh games all take place long before the detective was even born, while the one in Ballad of Rapunzel happens just after she leaves Floralia.
  • Badass: Practically every significant character in the series falls under this trope in one way or another.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Sometimes this overlaps with Haunted Castle; sometimes it doesn't. But there's at least one in each game.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The unlockable achievements starting in the seventh game, which serve no other purpose.
  • But Thou Must!: You're not given any options about anything, you just have to do it.
    • Averted slightly in Ballad of Rapunzel, which does give you the option to select which of three magical artifacts will be used. Each artifact is tied to one of the Multiple Endings; unfortunately, two of them are bad endings, so if you want the characters to have their happy ending, your only real choice is to use the sword.
  • Call Back/Continuity Nod/Foreshadowing: Each game contains a few hints or references concerning what will happen in the next game in the series, and each of the later games contain references to things which happened in previous installments. This also includes the bonus game in each collector's edition, as they contain extra information about characters or circumstances. If it seems important to the overarching storyline, it will almost certainly be appearing or at least mentioned again.
  • Canon Welding: All fairy tales are true, as noted above - and they all take place in the same reality. The majority of them are actually chapters in the same story, with characters from one fairy tale appearing in another. In fact, some of the characters from different stories are actually the same person.
  • Comic-Book Time: The games seem to be using something like this. Very few characters have been shown to age at all (though some have that hand waved by immortality), and no specific dates have been given for any of the games. The only thing we know for sure is that Ballad of Rapunzel is set ten years after Rise of the Snow Queen.
    • It may be a case of Year Inside, Hour Outside, since it hasn't been formally confirmed that the passage of time in the fairy tale kingdoms happens at the same rate as the passage of time in the real world. Ten years for Gerda, who lives in the Snowfall Kingdom, could equate to a much shorter period of time for the detective, who is from our world.
  • Composite Character: Sometimes done with characters from different fairy tales turning out to be the same person. This is probably the most ridiculous with Snow White, whose story incorporates Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Snow-White and Rose-Red, The Snow-Daughter and the Fire-Son, and The Snow Queen. She is also one of The Frog Prince's brides, although in his original story he only had one.
  • Connected All Along: Happens repeatedly in the series, since each new installment has a tendency to reveal new details about characters or situations encountered in previous games.
  • Curse: As in the original fairy tales, but with some twists.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Similarly turned on its head, because the traditional means of breaking the fairy tale curses don't quite work the way they should.
  • Difficulty Spike: Seen in the difficulty selection menu. The first eight games offer Easy, Moderate, and Hard, with some games also providing the option for Custom difficulty. Beginning with Queen of Sands, the options are Custom, Easy, Hard, and Insane.
  • Digital Distribution: On the Big Fish Games website, and a few other places too.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: Many of the items you need to progress through the games are broken up into fragments, which you must reassemble by solving the hidden object scenes in which they've been scattered.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first two games are very different in some respects from the rest of the series. They're the only ones which offer the New Game+ feature, they don't include the parable gems/tokens to enhance the game's backstory, and they end with one of the characters telling you about your next case. They're also the only ones that begin with the detective having already arrived at her destination, instead of being en route, and take place solely in real countries.
    • Curse of Briar Rose is especially different from the other games; it has the fewest cutscenes and the most chapters of any game in the series, with many of the chapters being extremely short. While other games in the series have elaborate shrines dedicated to various members of the Fantasy Pantheon, this game has an Ambiguously Christian chapel (it has a small cross and angel statuary), suggesting that the religion of the game world was established later. It's also the game with the smallest cast; the only NPCs the detective encounters are Briar Rose herself and the ghost of the Evil Godmother.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Rather, you have to earn everyone else's happy ending for them, because of the faulty Curse Escape Clause situations.
  • Everyone Calls Her Detective: Overlapping with No Name Given; NPCs only ever address the player character as "Detective."
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Every game in the series features at least one princess somewhere in its story.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Seeing as these are fairy tale princess-related games, there are a lot of sparkly shiny objects - tiaras, scepters, jewels, carriages, you name it.
    • Even some of the more common tools, like hammers and axes, are Gem-Encrusted.
  • Fairytale Motifs: Of course.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: As the series has progressed, it has revealed more and more nature-based deities in this universe, all of whom are identified as female.
    • God Is Good: Thus far, the goddesses introduced are all presented as benevolent beings, or neutral at worst.
  • Featureless Protagonist: In addition to being nameless, the player character has no other identifying characteristics. The most that is seen of your avatar most of the time are gloved hands and jacket-sleeved arms. However, the gender of the character is revealed in bonus material; see below.
    • Vague Age: Along with knowing practically nothing else about her, we don't know how old the detective is, but we can make an educated estimate. There is no clear indication of how far apart the games take place, only the order of events. Thus far, the only attempt at dating the games is confirmation that Rise of the Snow Queen takes place ten years before Ballad of Rapunzel, and Dire Tree is stated to take place a few years after that game. It can be approximated, therefore, that the series has been happening for roughly fifteen to twenty years in-universe. Licensed private investigators must be at least 21 years old in most jurisdictions, so by the time of Dire Tree the detective has to be close to 40, if not older.
  • Fictional Country: The first two games take place strictly in real countries (Scotland and Germany). Starting with the third game, however, the adventure begins in a real country, identified at the start of the prologue, but at some point the action transfers to one of these; the ninth game subverts it somewhat by taking place entirely in France, but in a fictional community. From the tenth game onward, the stories take place completely in fictional countries.
  • Flower Motifs: As the series has progressed, it has started to ease away from using these, but the first several games feature flowers (especially roses) quite heavily.
    • Each Guardian chosen by the goddess Flora has an individual flower motif to go with their powers, such as Briar Rose and her Thorned Rose, Ross Red and his Fiera Rosa, and Belladonna and her Deadly Nightbloom.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Several of the puzzles require you to find all the parts of a collection, such as the six plant potions in Exiled Prince, in order to solve them.
    • In Ballad of Rapunzel, collecting the entirely optional flower stones is the only way to get the good ending.
  • Happily Ever After: What's missing from these fairy tales.
  • Hidden Object Game: Most of the puzzles are of this sort; they're integrated into the story, however. Instead of hunting for individual items in a picture, you hunt for the fragments which are assembled to forge an item that you actually need in the game.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The series has, over time, evolved into this. Curse of Briar Rose is extremely straightforward and, except for the fact that she tells the detective about the Frog Prince, leaves no major plot threads hanging. But as the subsequent games unfold, the increasingly complex storyline begins to weave itself together and slowly show connections where the player never knew about them.
  • Jump Scare: These are used sparingly in the early games, but happen more frequently as the series progresses. They're never terribly scary, but they often do startle the player - especially the ones involving Giant Spiders.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Each game is available in a Vanilla Edition and also one of these. The collector's editions provide bonus content, such as wallpapers, a Concept Art Gallery, and music. More importantly, however, they include a bonus chapter to each Dark Parable which reveals more of the story. Essentially, while the Vanilla Editions will give you the basic games and are satisfying in their own right, you almost have to play the collector's editions if you want to get the entire story.
  • Loading Screen: Only at the very beginning of each game, to load the main menu. They're worth mentioning because they each contain artwork related to the game that is never otherwise seen.
  • Locked Door: Several, and they can only be opened with their own specific keys.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: The games are pretty much this for fairy tales in general.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The men in the fairy tales who are introduced in this series each have some of this going on. Prince James in Exiled Prince and Prince Ross in Rapunzel are a couple of Hunks, while Jack in Sky Kingdom bears a strong resemblance to Indiana Jones. Eric, in Queen of Sands, also turns out to be this by the end of the game, along with being a Walking Shirtless Scene. Meanwhile, Kai and Prince Gwyn in the bonus chapter of Rapunzel have both grown up to be very Pretty Boys.
  • New Game+: Finishing the basic mode of each of the first two games unlocks a second 'hard mode,' which follows the same storyline but with a higher difficulty level; playing this grants the player access to bonus material. Later games avert the trope.
  • No Fourth Wall: Played with. Because you play as the detective, it does make sense that the characters look directly at you when they talk; however, since the detective's body is occasionally seen in the games, it makes the exposition scenes seem a bit like this trope.
  • No Name Given: As note above, the player character is only ever addressed as "Detective." Later games have started to also call her "the Fairy Tale Detective." The first few games also have NPCs whose names are never revealed. Starting with the fourth game, however, pretty much everyone our heroine encounters has a name.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The games are set throughout Europe, but very few characters speak with any sort of an accent.
  • Notice This: On the easiest difficulty setting in each game, hidden object scenes and other puzzles will sparkle to catch your attention.
  • One Degree of Separation: Many fairy tale characters are revealed to be related, or to be the same character altogether.
  • Original Generation: The one thing tying every single installment together, the only character to appear in every game, is the Fairy Tale Detective herself. She was created for the purpose of entering the fairy tales and fixing what went wrong.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The fourth and fifth games send the detective into parallel dimensions, accessed via a number of different kinds of entrances.
  • Overly Long Name: Considering that the proper name of each game is Dark Parables: [Subtitle], the titles in this series are all pretty long.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Many fancy dresses show up in these games, all fit for a princess.
  • Posthumous Character: At least one major character in each game is this. Averted in the third game by Snow White's son, who is implied to be this until the detective finds him.
  • Private Detective: The player character, a detective who specializes in fairy tale mysteries. Surprisingly, there's actually a call for that in this universe.
    • According to the Dark Parables wiki, she works for a detective agency which specializes in the paranormal. Following the events of the first game, the detective decides to exclusively devote herself to cases related to fairy tales, and she becomes known by reputation as "the Fairy Tale Detective."
  • Production Foreshadowing: Every game contains hints as to what fairy tale will be the focus of the next game in the series.
  • Purely Aesthetic Era: Overlaps with Anachronism Stew. The detective usually arrives for her cases in a horse-drawn carriage or a boat; the most prominent science seen in the games is alchemy; and the attire of the characters the detective meets is hard to pin down to any one particular time period. At the same time, however, the detective herself wears leather jackets and gloves, and receives her instructions from Mission Control via tape recorder.
  • Really 700 Years Old: A number of characters throughout the games are this, and frequently The Ageless as well. Curses in the game world seem to prevent people from growing old or dying, which explains several of these instances; others are eventually revealed to be the blessing of a specific goddess.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: Many of the hidden object puzzles result in you assembling things like crowns and scepters.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The detective encounters many characters who possess Royal Blood, and almost all of them are very proactive (for good or ill). The ones who aren't are usually under some kind of curse or enchantment, and releasing them from it brings them back to this trope.
  • Running Gag: The games always begin with the detective listening to her directives from Mission Control. In many (though not all) of the games, as soon as she's finished receiving the information, she is immediately attacked by demons/animals/magic/rocks falling from the sky, which causes her to lose control of her transport and falls.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The unlockable bonus content in the collector's edition of Curse of Briar Rose includes three different novelizations of the Sleeping Beauty tale - one by the Brothers Grimm, one by Charles Perrault, and the one affiliated with the Dark Parables games. According to the Dark Parables novelization, the Fairy Tale Detective is female. In later games, NPCs refer to her using female pronouns.
  • Save the World Climax: In the first two games, the detective merely had to save the locals. From the third game onward, she has had to save the world.
  • Scenery Porn: These games are gorgeous.
  • Sequel Hook: Each game ends with a hint as to which fairy tale will be primarily featured in the next one.
  • Series Resemblance: You'd be forgiven for thinking that this game series was inspired by the television show Once Upon a Time, what with all the characters from different fairy tales interacting with each other. But the first Dark Parables game debuted more than a year before the show did. (Possibly the creators of the show are familiar with the games, although this is not confirmed.)
  • Speech Bubbles: A few games add these for NPC dialogue outside of cutscenes. Cutscene dialogue, as well as dialogue in those games which don't employ the bubbles, appears as subtitles.
  • Strategy Guide: These can also be purchased and downloaded for each game; they come included in the collector's editions.
  • Tangled Family Tree: As noted above, many characters from different stories are the same character. Additionally, several characters are related to one another, by blood or marriage, in ways that weren't part of their original fairy tales.
  • Time Skip: Seen in the beginning of most games. The opening cinematic shows the plot beginning to happen, followed by a black screen stating the location and how much time has passed (e.g. "the next day") between the cinematic's events and the arrival of the detective.
  • Trespassing Hero: The detective will, more often than not, investigate a place without the owner's permission to be there. While some characters will threaten the detective, and a few have outright harmed her, nobody really does anything to seriously block the investigation or remove the detective from the premises.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: The fairy tale characters are so beloved by generations, and so believably presented, that it's very difficult not to care about what happens to them.
  • The Voice: The woman whose recorded voice provides all the information about the current case at the start of each game. She represents Mission Control - specifically, the paranormal detective agency which employs the increasingly famous "Fairy Tale Detective."
  • The Voiceless: The detective is not voice acted; all of her dialogue appears on the screen as subtitles.
    • Averted slightly in Little Mermaid, where the detective's voice is heard for the first time. She gasps on a few occasions when she's knocked to the ground by other characters.

     Curse of Briar Rose 

Tropes present in Curse of Briar Rose include:

  • The Ageless: Briar Rose. She's been asleep for a thousand years by the game's start. The seventh game explains this - she's one of the immortal handmaidens of the goddess Flora.
  • Animal Motif: There is a recurring theme of lion imagery seen throughout the castle, such as the courtyard fountain. (See Genius Bonus on the Trivia page.)
  • Bizarrchitecture: The castle has symptoms of this. In particular, there's the fact that Briar Rose is sleeping in a tower... which can only be accessed by going down into a room hidden underneath the royal cemetery.
  • Bookcase Passage: A section of wall-mounted bookshelves in what seems to have been the castle throne room opens to reveal one of these.
  • Daddy's Girl: Briar Rose may have been this, if her father's tombstone is any indication. Though not completely legible, if you study the inscription closely enough, you can see that it's a poem about a rose being plucked "from the garden at our feet." There's something to be said for a father who loved his child so much that his own epitaph is about losing her.
    • It's actually a clue to the fact that the secret entrance to Briar Rose's tower is in the cemetery. The inscription, such as it remains, says that Suddenly a flower sweet is awoken from the garden at our feet.
  • Doomed Hometown: Edinburgh is apparently where the paranormal detective agency is headquartered. The opening recording from Mission Control explicitly warns the detective that if the situation is not resolved within seven days, the briars will completely engulf and destroy "our city."
  • Double In-Law Marriage: According to the unlockable bonus material, Briar Rose and her sister Ivy would have had this, if the prince who kissed the sleeping princess had succeeded in waking her; Ivy married his brother, Prince James.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: When the prince kissed Briar Rose, everyone in the castle woke up - except her.
  • Due to the Dead: Seen only in the bonus chapter. After the prince kissed Briar Rose and woke up everyone else, he succumbed to the effects of her curse and died. The grateful residents of the castle honored him with a beautifully constructed memorial; it can only be viewed in the New Game+ after the game is beaten once.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Playing hard mode grants access to a secret room filled with bonus goodies. The words on the wall of the chamber identify it as the "Secret Room."
    • The Evil Godmother, who is never identified by any other name.
  • Fairy Godmother: Part and parcel of the tale of Sleeping Beauty, of course. In this case, however, it's a bit more complicated, as later games in the series gradually reveal.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: Implied by the ending. The poor girl's been asleep for a thousand years, after all. The game novelization which can be unlocked in the collector's edition notes that she's absolutely in awe of the city of Edinburgh, which has developed around her castle.
  • Foreshadowing: In the entrance courtyard of the castle is a large statue of the princess holding a rose-tipped staff; when her spirit appears to the detective, she's holding one there as well. It seems to be a mere case of Requisite Royal Regalia, or Flower Motif. Later in the series, however, you learn that Briar Rose is actually a Guardian of the goddess Flora, and has plant-based magic powers she controls with said staff.
  • Giant Spider: There's one blocking the progress in the chapel storage area.
  • Girl in the Tower: Briar Rose, of course.
  • The Godmothers Did It: The only way to explain a few things in the game, which otherwise would make no sense at all, is to ascribe them to the magical workings of Briar Rose's fairy godmothers. Probably the best example is the Bizarrchitecture entry above. Some things become more comprehensible when the player continues exploring the series and learns more about the characters; but for a first-time player who has little understanding of this universe, it's just simplest to default to this explanation for anything they don't get.
  • The Hedge of Thorns: The thorny plants surrounding Briar Rose's castle have started to threaten Edinburgh, and the detective is sent to investigate the phenomenon. The true origin of the briar plant, however, is a secret that doesn't get revealed until the seventh game.
  • Longer-Than-Life Sentence: The detective ventures into the castle prison at one point, and discovers the chained skeleton of a prisoner who was apparently forgotten in his cell when the castle was abandoned. He starved to death.
  • Mood Lighting: The surroundings in this game are considerably darker than its sequels, which employ a great deal more color. The color scheme here is deliberate and appropriate; the castle has been empty for a thousand years, everything is crumbling to dust, and the darkness lends itself to the sense that the place has been essentially frozen in a lost era.
  • No Name Given: We never learn the name of the prince who tried to revive Briar Rose, nor any names for her godmothers other than what might be regarded as titles. The inscriptions on her parents' tombstones do give their names, although they're very difficult to read; the family name is Stewartson, and their first names appear to be Liam and Elsa.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Although the gloomy atmosphere and somewhat creepy music lend themselves to the idea that the Evil Godmother is on the scene and may endanger the detective, it never happens. In a way this is almost worse, because first-time players may expect danger around every corner and never actually find any.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: When the spirit of the sleeping Briar Rose addresses the detective, all her dialogue is like this.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: When Briar Rose didn't wake from her magic coma, her good godmothers united their power to seal the briar plant - and the Evil Godmother's power - in the castle for one thousand years. The detective is called in to deal with the situation because the thousand years are over, and the seal has broken.
  • Theme Naming: The only two of Briar Rose's good godmothers who are identified by any sort of name are the Godmother of the Rose and the Godmother of the Ivy. In the bonus chapter of the first game and the second game, you learn that Briar Rose had a sister named Ivy.
  • True Love's Kiss: Averted. Not only did the kiss fail to wake her, but the bonus chapter reveals that the prince that kissed Briar Rose ended up dying from her curse. In Ballad of Rapunzel, it's revealed that the reason the kiss failed was because it wasn't true love's kiss - the prince's intentions were good, but he and Briar Rose were strangers and didn't know or love one another, so it didn't fit the requirements to break the spell.
  • The Unfavorite: Curiously, this is vaguely hinted at in the collector's edition bonus material. A doll found in a cabinet is identified as "Sister Ivy - the Forgotten Princess." There is literally no other mention of Briar Rose's sister in the entire game, suggesting this trope. However...
    • Shoo the Dog: The Dark Parables wiki reveals that it was actually a case of this. Ivy is the younger of the two princesses, and when she was born, her parents were afraid that the Evil Godmother might do something to her as she had done to Briar Rose. At some point in her childhood, Ivy was sent away to Germany, and all evidence of her existence - except that doll - was removed from the castle. Presumably she and Briar Rose kept in contact nonetheless, given how much they clearly loved one another. The second game brings Ivy into focus and spells out more of her story, and still more details about both her and her sister are revealed in the seventh game.
  • Villain Decay: The Evil Godmother, in life, was a powerful sorceress who was definitely a threat to Briar Rose and anyone else who got in her way. A thousand years later, she's just a shadow of her former self - almost literally. She's way less effective than your average ghost, and even though Briar Rose's spirit form warns the detective that the Evil Godmother is haunting the castle and will stop her if she can, she's not able to do anything at any point. She shows up once as a weirdly-colored raven, and then the detective doesn't see her again until the final puzzle, in which she's destroyed for good.
  • Warp Whistle: A "mysterious arcane symbol" allows the detective to teleport at will between the alchemist's tower and the castle courtyard.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Godmothers of the Rose and the Ivy, as well as the other godmothers, are never mentioned again, even though Ballad of Rapunzel goes further into the backstory of both princesses.
  • The X of Y
  • You Have to Burn the Web: It's the only way to get past that giant spider in the chapel storage room.

     The Exiled Prince 

Tropes present in The Exiled Prince include:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Princess Ivy is the princess from the story of The Frog Prince, but she hardly comes across as the spoiled brat who tried to kill the frog when he asked to sleep in her bed. The flashback she shows to the detective depicts her willingly giving him the requested kiss which made him human.
    • The earliest forms of the fairy tale have the princess throwing him against a wall. Later adaptations have her kissing him. The developers obviously chose to adapt the less violent version for the game.
  • The Ageless: Prince James by accident; Ivy's kiss conferred her immortality onto him, which is why he can't grow old or die. He's at least a thousand years old in this game, since it was his mortal brother who tried to revive Briar Rose. Ivy should have been this.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Cinderella's rooms include a massive walk-in closet filled with nothing but shoes.
  • Animal Motifs: The Swan Lake Princess's house has an unsurprising swan motif inside.
  • Animorphism: Prince James was cursed into a frog, then turned back into a prince by True Love's Kiss... then became a frog again when his wife died. Lather, rinse, repeat; he went through the cycle four times. The corpse he leaves behind when he finally dies is a frog instead of human.
  • Antagonist Title: The Exiled Prince is the detective's primary opponent in this adventure right up until the endgame.
  • Anti-Villain: The Frog Prince
  • Baleful Polymorph: The Frog Prince, and the others enchanted to be frogs.
  • Beneath the Earth: Where most of the game takes place.
  • Blinding Bangs: Prince James's red hair covers almost half of his face, though it's not clear why this is or how he can see anything.
  • Bookcase Passage: Not seen until near the end of the game, but vitally important to saving Marie and her bodyguard.
  • Brainy Brunette: Cinderella is implied to have been this, since the prince built a library in her memory.
  • Cartwright Curse: The Frog Prince has a form of this. Since he's immortal, he outlives each of his wives - the original princess from his fairy tale, the Swan Lake Princess, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, and Cinderella. (Except as it turns out in the third game, one of them is Not Quite Dead after all.)
  • Damsel in Distress: Marie, the chancellor's daughter; gender-flipped with her bodyguard.
  • Death Seeker: The Frog Prince is hoping to concoct a potion that will remove his immortality and allow him to finally die.
  • Due to the Dead: The Frog Prince constructed his underground kingdom as a massive shrine to his five wives, including an elaborate tomb for his first wife.
  • Evil Costume Switch: In flashbacks, it's shown that Prince James's clothing was white or light-colored. His present-day outfit is black or dark brown, complete with tattered cloak. When he dies, his clothing goes back to being white again.
  • Evil Redhead: The Frog Prince has reddish hair. YMMV on just how evil he really is, though.
  • Find the Cure: Or rather, make it so that Prince James can finally die. He's done all the research already, but for some reason it's up to the detective to actually make the potion.
  • First Girl Wins: Princess Ivy, the Frog Prince's first wife, is still his favorite.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Princess Odette's dress is a white tutu trimmed with white feathers.
  • Friendly Ghost: Princess Ivy. She even tells the detective her backstory and gives hints as to do next.
    • James is this in the bonus chapter.
  • Ghostly Goals: Princess Ivy asks the detective to help Prince James achieve his goal to kill himself, since he seems unwilling or unable to do this on his own.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Averted; the sisterhood between Briar Rose and Ivy is acknowledged, but only in ways that make it sound like the sisters were extremely close. In their first conversation, Ivy thanks the detective for helping "my beloved sister, Briar Rose."
  • Green Thumb: The Frog Prince appears to have magical control over vines, and grows them at will to block off escape routes and other places he doesn't want the detective to go. It's revealed in the seventh game that he received this ability, as well as Ivy's immortality, when she kissed him.
  • Happily Married: The Frog Prince and each of his five wives, in turn. However, Snow Queen shows that his marriage to Snow White eventually crumbled.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: The Frog Prince has been trying to assemble the ingredients for a potion that will help him die, but for whatever reason, he's not been able to actually complete the project.
  • Immortality/Immortality Hurts/Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Frog Prince's real curse.
    • But not his original one. His original curse is what transferred Ivy's immortality to him. He seems to have been happy with his other four wives, though the game doesn't state how he felt about living as a frog in between marriages. It's not until Snow White leaves him and he is unable to touch anyone ever again that his immortality seems to have really gotten to him; it's downright dangerous to friendships and makes romantic relationships impossible when the people you touch, even accidentally, become frogs. He's become incredibly bitter as a result of having to live centuries with no human contact, and his experiments on people he's turned into frogs may be a sign of Sanity Slippage. It's a wonder the guy didn't Go Mad from the Isolation.
  • Interspecies Romance: Considering the nature of the Frog Prince's curse, this is a given.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Everyone turned into a frog, including the prince. James's curse went haywire after Snow White left him, so that he turned others into frogs instead of reverting back to his frog form.
  • Karma Houdini: Arguably, the Frog Prince. He spends centuries haunting the Black Forest and turning people into frogs, until he's finally Killed Off for Real at the end of the game. Since all he really wants throughout the whole game is to die, this isn't really punishment, especially since it reunites him with Princess Ivy.
  • Magic Mirror: Implied but ultimately subverted. There is a mirror in Snow White's cottage which appears to be trying offer a warning to the detective, but its words are completely unintelligible.
  • Meaningful Name: Princess Ivy's name means "faithfulness." She has been dead for centuries, but has been watching over her beloved husband the entire time. It's also meaningful in another way, although that's not revealed until the seventh game; in life, she was the Guardian of the English Ivy, appointed by the goddess Flora.
  • Mercy Kill: The Frog Prince begs the detective to kill him, which she does.
  • Ms. Exposition: Princess Ivy fills this role. She gives their backstory as well as telling the detective why James's curse changed. She does not, however, bother to mention that his curse caused him to gain immortality from her - that doesn't get revealed until later in the series.
  • Noodle Incident: How James was cursed in the first place is never revealed; then again, in the original fairy tale it's never stated how this happened, either. It's also not revealed in this game how he became immortal or acquired his Green Thumb powers. However, in Ballad of Rapunzel it's revealed that Ivy was the one that originally had those powers. Just as Briar Rose's curse killed James's brother, James's curse stripped Ivy of her powers and made her mortal. A plaque in that game indicates that she gave him her powers willingly so that they could be together.
  • No Name Given: Averted by Prince James and Princess Ivy, neither of whom had a name in the original story of the Frog Prince. Played straight by three of James's other four wives - in this game. Subsequent games in the series have revealed that his wife known as Cinderella was actually named Agnes, the mermaid he married was named Naida, and the Swan Lake Princess was indeed named Odette.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: Literally, there is a door in the palace with a plaque stating exactly this. (It can only be entered on hard mode, when the requisite MacGuffin has been acquired.)
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: The Swan Lake Princess, as depicted here, and of course Snow White; the other three princesses shown in the game all have brown hair. The Frog Prince apparently likes brunettes.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When he's first seen, the Frog Prince has glowing red eyes.
  • Reflecting Laser/Mirrors Reflect Everything: Used in the palace armory to unlock a hidden panel.
  • Title Drop: Princess Ivy, in her second piece of exposition, refers to the Frog Prince as "the exiled prince."
    • Marie, in the opening cinematic sequence, also mentions "the exiled prince." She's even carrying a book that details the story of the prince since he made his home in the Black Forest.
  • Together in Death: All the Frog Prince really wants is to die and be with his beloved first wife again.
  • Unfinished Business: It's heavily implied that Snow White's ghost has some. Except that she's not actually dead...
    • The unlockable bonus game has a more pleasant example. Though his spirit is seen departing the world after he dies in the main game, Prince James returns as a ghost at the outset of the bonus game. He uses his powers one last time, to shatter the ice wall which previously prevented the detective from entering the part of his castle beyond Princess Ivy's tomb.
  • What Happened to the Frogs?: While Marie and her bodyguard are rescued and returned to human at the end of the game, the very beginning of the game hints that the red-eyed frogs the detective sees were also victims of James's curse (he has the same red eyes when he uses his powers). When James dies, Princess Ivy tells the detective that all of the frogs have now been transformed back to humans. She then provides the item necessary to free Marie and her bodyguard.

     Rise of the Snow Queen 

Tropes present in Rise of the Snow Queen include:

  • The Ageless: The Snow Queen. It's not revealed until the seventh game that Snow White is one of the immortal handmaidens of Flora, like Briar Rose and Ivy.
  • Anti-Magic: The Golden Child is a child born with the ability to resist all forms of magic.
  • Back Story: The bonus game, featuring Hansel and Gretel, explains how the legend of the Golden Child came to be.
  • The Chosen One: Gerda is discovered to be the fabled Golden Child, whom the Snow Queen has been seeking.
  • Daddy's Girl: The Snow Queen is revealed to be this even after she used dark magic to turn her father into a beastly henchman.
  • Doting Parent: Snow White's father, and Snow White herself.
  • Due to the Dead: Outside of the chapel, there is a large monument to the memory of a crowned boy carrying a bow and arrow. Another, even more cryptic memorial is located inside the chapel. This boy is eventually revealed to be the son of Snow White and The Frog Prince - and he isn't actually dead, just in an enchanted sleep.
  • Famous Ancestor: Gerda, as it turns out, is a direct descendant of Hansel.
  • Feathered Fiend: The Snow Queen has a large bird of prey, an eagle, as an aide and companion. In Ballad of Rapunzel, the bird reappears to assist her son, who identifies it as "my mother's familiar."
  • Giant Spider: In the bonus game, Hansel encounters one in the room whose door bears the insignia of the Spider King.
  • Ghost City: The Snowfall Kingdom is a Ghost Realm. It's eventually clarified that most of the citizens fled for their lives, and those few who remained out of loyalty to the King froze to death. Only the Snow Queen and her henchman remain.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!
  • Guilt Complex: It's revealed that Snow White's father developed one over not having protected her from her Wicked Stepmother. That's why he continues to protect his daughter, even after she enchanted him into a beast. It's revealed later in the series that it was Prince James who rescued Snow White (while still a frog!) from the stepmother; because of this and the fact that his daughter's marriage to James ended badly, he most likely feels that if he'd protected her in the first place, none of the game's events would have happened and his child wouldn't be in misery over her own child's illness.
  • An Ice Person: The Snow Queen is often shown using ice-themed magic, such as creating walls of ice and creating a blizzard to kidnap children. The origin of her powers is revealed in the seventh game.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: The Snow Queen has one.
  • Irrational Hatred: The Snow Queen has this for her late husband, blaming him for the incident that almost killed their son. It may or may not be justified; see Noodle Incident, below.
  • Karma Houdini: Similar to the Exiled Prince example, Snow White gets away scot-free with her crimes - in this case, because they were done with "good intentions."
  • Kill It with Fire: The only way to get rid of the frost wolf blocking the palace entrance.
  • Legacy Character: The Golden Child. The powers are bestowed once every silver moon on a direct descendant of the original Golden Child, as explained in the bonus game.
  • Magic Mirror: Before blocking the entrance to the palace, the Snow Queen's henchman informs the detective that "the mirror foretold your arrival." It turns out that there are two mirrors, the Truth Mirror and the False Mirror; it was the False Mirror which did the foretelling, as the Truth Mirror never appears in this game.
    • The Truth Mirror shows up in the next game. Snow White gave it to the Red Riding Hood Sisters as thanks for rescuing Prince Gwyn.
  • Noodle Incident: The exact circumstances which led to Snow White's son falling into a magic coma are never made entirely clear, but she's convinced that it was her husband's fault.
    • The incident becomes un-noodleized in the fourth game, where it's revealed that he was attacked by a mist wolf, and only the intervention of the Red Riding Hood Sisters prevented him from being killed outright. Snow White had been worried when the prince went off exploring on his own and didn't return. She asked James to send his guards out to look for Gwyn, but for whatever reason, he didn't do this fast enough for her liking. Either before or just after the guards were sent out, a Red Riding Hood Sister brought Gwyn back to the castle, injured and comatose. Snow White believed that if James had dispatched the guards earlier, Gwyn would have been fine; whether this is actually true or not is speculation, but Snow chose to blame James anyway.
  • Older Than They Look: Considering that the Snow Queen has been seeking the Golden Child for at least a few hundred years, Snow White's father has to be at least several centuries old. There is no explanation for his longevity, though being cursed into a beast by his daughter may have halted the aging process, just as the coma apparently did for Prince Gwyn. Since Gwyn reappears later in the series as an adult, presumably the removal of these enchantments enabled both characters to resume aging.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: A villainous example. The Snow Queen has Mystical White Hair, but when she's freed of the False Mirror's control, it returns to its natural black.
  • Pretty in Mink: Being in the middle of winter, many people are wearing fur-trimmed coats, but the Snow Queen's fur coat is pretty grand.
  • Regent for Life: The Snow Queen is sort of this for the Snowfall Kingdom, at least according to a statue in the courtyard. It's engraved with the King's own words that "I am gravely ill. My daughter Snow shall rule in my stead." It's noted in a diary entry elsewhere that the place went very much downhill after she took over.
  • Savage Wolves: The Snow Queen's henchman uses a magic spell to summon one made of ice, to keep the detective out of the Frozen Palace.
  • Send in the Search Team: In the beginning of the game, the detective encounters the remains of a knightly searching party whose arms and carriage bear the insignia of the Frog Prince, from the second game. He sent the search party to find the Snow Queen a long time before the events of the game.
    • Since it's just one wagon and a few knights, it's reasonable to assume that it was an envoy sent to convince Snow White to return to him.
  • Single Tear: All that's needed from the Golden Child to undo an enchantment.
  • Snow Means Death: The Snow Queen's everlasting sorrow threatens to freeze the entire world. Ballad of Rapunzel shows that she already had snow and ice powers due to her blessing from Flora; the mirror was able to make them go haywire.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: In the bonus game, Hansel must assemble the ingredients for a sleeping potion and put it into the witch's wine to save Gretel.
  • Tap on the Head: When the detective is caught observing the Snow Queen's attack on Gerda, her beastly henchman delivers one of these, and the detective wakes up in a prison cell.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The False Mirror has convinced the Snow Queen that repairing it will heal her son. Instead, repairing the mirror gives it the power to magnify her grief and cover the entire world in a killing snow.
  • Warp Whistle: Two shimmery portals enable the detective to teleport at will between the Frozen Palace and two other locations.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: As it turns out, the Snow Queen, who does everything she does in order to revive her son.
  • Winter Royal Lady: The Snow Queen.
  • The X of Y

     The Red Riding Hood Sisters 
  • Action Girl: The entire Red Riding Hood Sisterhood is an Amazon Brigade of these.
  • Androcles' Lion: In the bonus game, the Boy Who Cried Wolf helps a captured griffin by catching fish for it and unlocking the chains that bind it. When the Greedy King's desire for gold dooms his entire kingdom to death, the griffin shows up to return the favor by saving the lives of the boy and his father.
  • Another Dimension: Near the end of the game, it gets clarified that there are two worlds (if not more) - "Earth Land" and "Fairy Tale Land." This may account at least in part for the fact that the fairy tales are true in this world.
  • The Archer: Ruth uses a wrist-mounted bow and miniature arrows.
    • Raphael also qualifies, and he's an expert marksman to boot.
  • Back Story: The bonus chapter of the game tells the story of the Mist Kingdom from the perspective of the Boy Who Cried Wolf.
  • Badass Cape: Each member of the Sisterhood wears one, and one is given to the detective as well. In addition to keeping alive the tradition of the 'red riding hood,' the cloaks are magical and prevent the mist wolves from tracking the Sisters by scent. In The Final Cinderella, it's revealed that they were created by Amelia, Geppetto's wife. Apparently the lack of suitable Cinderella candidates led Amelia to use her talents elsewhere.
  • Badass Princess: The eighth game in the series reveals that Teresa was actually this, having run away from her home kingdom. Meanwhile, in this game, we have the return of Princess Briar Rose.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Briar Rose from the first game appears just in time to save the detective and the other Sisters from an attack by the Wolf Queen.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The detective, together with the Sisterhood, prevails and stops the Wolf Queen's plans, but Eldra and Raphael die together after confessing their love, and Fairy Tale Land is implied to be destroyed by the fallout.
  • Cassandra Truth: In the bonus game, the boy tries to get a seller from the market to help him save his father; but because of his past antics, the seller refuses to believe him.
  • Continuity Nod: There is a statue of Prince Gwyn, Prince James and Snow White's son, in one of the beginning areas of the game. The Truth Mirror, mentioned in the previous game, can be found in the Sisters' meeting room, and it explains to the detective that it was given to the Sisters by Snow White in thanks for rescuing her son.
  • Cute Bruiser: Ruth, the youngest of the Sisters.
  • Damsel out of Distress: All of the Sisters, save for Ruth (and possibly Briar Rose, given the latter's dramatic entrance later), are captured by the Wolf Queen at the start of the game. With the help of the detective and Raphael, they escape; then, when the Wolf Queen attacks them again, she takes Ruth hostage.
  • Downer Beginning: Teresa is injured, later discovered to be dead, trying to save a little girl from the wolves, and most of the rest of the Sisters are subsequently ambushed and kidnapped by the Wolf Queen.
  • Downer Ending: The original story of Red Riding Hood as told in this game. The grandmother of Isabella, who was the first Red Riding Hood, was killed by one of the mist wolves; this led to Isabella's Xenafication.
  • Due to the Dead: The Sisterhood's home base includes lovely memorials to the original Red Riding Hood Isabella, her grandmother, and the huntsman who adopted Isabella and taught her to fight.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Eldra. She's being controlled by the talisman she got from the Wolf King, though.
  • Foreshadowing: In the meeting room of the Sisters' headquarters is a medallion of Eldra and Teresa with their preferred weapons. It's shown that Eldra uses gauntlet claws, suggestive of her eventually becoming the Wolf Queen.
    • There's also another nice subtle bit in the same room. The detective can view a list of some of the names of the current members of the order; among them are the names Rose and Emma. "Rose" is actually Briar Rose, the eponymous princess of the first game, who shows up in a later cutscene. Emma, meanwhile, is a major character in the sixth game.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Eldra versus Teresa; when the detective views the awards inside the Sisterhood meeting room, she notes that the two were constantly competing with each other.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The Wolf Queen, the main antagonist of this game.
  • Honorary True Companion: The detective is effectively made an honorary Red Riding Hood Sister, being given one of the red cloaks which is symbolic of the order. (Queen of Sands later suggests that she retains this position, as she visits the Sisterhood on occasion and is greeted warmly by its leader.)
  • Horned Hairdo: The Wolf Queen has black hair which pulls itself up into two pointed hornlike shapes on the top of her head. They're actually supposed to look like wolf ears, not horns, but the effect is basically the same.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: The Wolf Queen demands the surrender of the final Moonstone in exchange for Ruth's life.
  • I Just Want To Be The Elder Sister: Eldra's entire motivation for obtaining the Wolf King's talisman is to prove that she deserves to be the Elder Sister instead of Teresa.
  • I Owe You My Life: Invoked by Briar Rose when she turns up for her Big Damn Heroes moment. She remarks that the detective saved her from her cursed sleep, and "I'm here to return the favor."
  • Jerk Ass: The Greedy King, whose desire for wealth caused the destruction of his entire kingdom; his jerkass tendencies are illustrated in the bonus game.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Arguably. The eighth game reveals that Teresa joined the Sisterhood after Eldra and Raphael saved her life. Since this indicates that Eldra was a Sister longer than Teresa, her anger at Teresa being named the Elder Sister instead of her becomes much more understandable.
  • Killed Off for Real: Teresa at the beginning of the game, and Eldra and Raphael at the end.
  • Klingon Promotion: Eldra became the Wolf Queen after she killed the Wolf King by herself and seized his magic talisman for her own.
  • Legacy Character: Red Riding Hood, in a way; the original girl by that title Took a Level in Badass, thanks to the fighting lessons she received from the huntsman from her tale. To continue protecting her region from the mist wolves, she founded the Sisterhood to pass on her skills (and fashion sense, apparently).
  • MacGuffin: The Moonstones, which the Wolf Queen plans to use to control the world. She requires seven of them, and the detective has the only one she still needs.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: The Wolf Queen needs the Moon Essence, which is concealed inside of a shrine to the Moon Goddess, but has no way to get it until the detective does all the legwork.
  • Magic Mirror: The Truth Mirror, the one mentioned in the previous game in the series. It was gifted to Isabella, the original Red Riding Hood, after she saved Snow White's son from being killed by a mist wolf. It now hangs in the Sisterhood's headquarters, where it offers exposition to the detective.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: The red and black 'uniform' of the Sisterhood, while a little different for each girl depending on her individual fighting style, tends in this direction.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: While the Greedy King did have a real name, his lust for gold and treasure made his nickname far more famous; at the time of the main game, it's the only name anyone remembers for him. His real name is mentioned briefly in the bonus game, which takes place during his reign.
  • Passed-Over Promotion: Eldra believed she was the rightful Elder Sister, and when Teresa was elected instead, it set her down a dark path.
  • Robbing the Dead: The detective finds Teresa's body in the Mist castle holding a few items needed to solve one of the game's puzzles. Apparently Teresa, despite having received a mortal wound in the opening cinematic, was Not Quite Dead and was able to search the castle a bit for the items before she expired.
  • Secondary Character Title: The Sisterhood members are the supporting stars of this adventure.
  • Stripperiffic: The outfits of some of the Red Riding Hood Sisters, especially Ruth. One wonders how much protection you can get from a midriff corset and a miniskirt or a pair of very short shorts - not to mention the tight, thigh-high boots with stiletto heels. The Red Riding Hood Sisters must have some sort of unmentioned magic which allows them to outrun wolves despite improbably bad footwear.
  • Team Mom: Jessica has shades of this; when the detective finds the Sisters in the Wolf Queen's dungeon, she's shown being concerned with the health and well-being of the others.
  • Together in Death: Raphael is forced to indirectly kill Eldra when he shatters the last Moonstone with the mist bow, and stays behind with her as the dimension they're in collapses around them.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The backstory of the order is that the Huntsman adopted Isabella after their encounter with the wolf and trained her to be a warrior, and she passed his lessons on to other girls.
    • Briar Rose from the first game carries a magic staff that shoots out thorny vines to combat the wolves. (However, as explained in the seventh game, she didn't take a level in badass so much as she returned to her previous level of it after some temporary Badass Decay. As the Guardian of the Thorned Rose appointed by the goddess Flora, she's had this ability for centuries; napping for a thousand years can put a crimp in anyone's style, but she's still got it.)
  • Tree Top Town: The Sisterhood's headquarters is a series of large, elaborate treehouses connected by bridges. The fifth game in the series reveals that it was designed by Pinocchio's father, Geppetto.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Raphael for Eldra. He's not unlucky in the traditional sense, though. She does love him. She just also happens to be the Wolf Queen.
  • Wham Line: "That's not going to happen." Enter Briar Rose.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: For anyone who was asking this question at the end of the first game in the series, this game provides the answer. You and the detective find out what happened to Briar Rose after the end of that adventure - she apparently made her way to France and joined the Sisterhood.

     The Final Cinderella 
  • And I Must Scream: Three maidens are turned into glass statues on the night of the ball in the prologue; the detective later discovers that this has happened to many other girls over the years.
  • Another Dimension: Fully half of the game takes place in the Mirror World, a parallel universe accessed through mirrors.
  • The Atoner: Pinocchio helps the detective after confessing that he's been forced to hunt down Cinderellas by his mother because his heart can detect them.
  • Baleful Polymorph/Involuntary Shapeshifting: According to the Cinderella Stories, Shan (the third Cinderella) was transformed into a nine-tailed fox by her jealous stepsister. Her backstory is shown in the bonus game of the collector's edition. Chi is really a spider witch and was plotting to steal Shan's fiancé for immortality purposes.
  • Become a Real Boy: What happens to Pinocchio at the end.
  • Big Bad: The Godmother
    • Bigger Bad: A revived Geppetto, hell-bent on revenge after being resurrected.
  • Big Fancy House: Hilltop Mansion, the estate where the ball in the opening cinematic is held. The name is written in Katherine's invitation. As the game progresses, it becomes more and more apparent that the house belongs to the Godmother, and the ball was an elaborate trap.
  • Came Back Wrong: Geppetto is revived into one of his puppets, but he's now bloodthirsty and hell-bent on enacting a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the world.
  • Cinderella Circumstances: As might be expected, given the title. Once all of the requisite parable tokens are collected, it's revealed that Katherine and Cyrilla have been orphaned and left in the care of an Evil Uncle who forces them to work as unpaid domestic servants.
  • Continuity Nod: The detective can find a sewing room with red cloaks in it. Amelia's magic permitted her to enchant clothing she made, and she made the cloaks for the Red Riding Hood Sisters. Prince James's wife who was a Cinderella is also named and given a backstory in this game.
  • Disappeared Dad: Geppetto. He's also the Godmother's husband.
  • Distant Finale: The final scene is stated to take place fifteen years after the events of the game, and depicts a young man and woman holding hands and looking at a statue of Geppetto and Amelia. Word of God confirms that the young couple are Katherine and an adult Pinocchio; presumably, this happens before he starts reverting to puppet state as seen in Little Mermaid.
  • Distressed Damsel: Katherine, the titular "Final Cinderella."
  • Evil Costume Switch: Amelia's clothing turned black after she became evil. It is seen as being white again when she appears as a spirit at the end of the game.
  • Evil Matriarch: Amelia is the Evil Godmother, and an abusive mother towards her son. Added to that, many of the Cinderellas had a Wicked Stepmother.
  • Fairy Godmother: Except that she's driven to villainous actions.
  • From Bad to Worse: As the plot progresses, it definitely takes this route - more so than in any of the previous installments.
  • Girl in the Tower: The Godmother has Katherine imprisoned in a castle tower for a large portion of the game.
    • Bianca Pace, the fourth Cinderella, was also trapped in a tower on her stepmother's orders.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: In addition to the cursed objects and parable gems as in prior games, this game adds another extra challenge of finding the outfits for four dolls of previous Cinderellas, and then finding the dolls to dress them. Completing each will allow you to unlock the Cinderella Stories; these tell the backstory of each of the first four Cinderellas, including the one who married the Frog Prince.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Pinocchio knows that destroying the tree from which he was created will end his life, but he tells the detective to do it anyway to save Katherine, whose soul is trapped inside.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: One of the defining characteristics of Cinderellas. Specifically, as stated by a mural in the Hilltop Mansion gardens, a Cinderella is a girl with a pure heart who possesses five particular virtues - kindness, bravery, wisdom, diligence, and pacifism.
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: Mostly done with mirrors, but toward the endgame, the detective and Pinocchio make their way to the Mirror World using the original Cinderella's pumpkin coach.
  • Knockout Gas: The Godmother creates a puppet version of Katherine, who uses this on the detective.
  • Last Of Her Kind: Katherine and the Godmother both. Because the Maiden Goddess refuses to select any more Godmothers, Amelia is the last. And because there will be no more Godmothers to aid them, there will likewise be no more officially designated Cinderellas - hence the title of the game.
  • Legacy Character: The Godmother is one of many Fairy Godmothers chosen by the Maiden Goddess. Amelia is also the last Godmother, because after watching Amelia's grief over Geppetto's death drive her to evil, the Maiden Goddess swore to never choose another Godmother.
    • "Cinderella" is really a title given to young maidens who are pure of heart. The Cinderella who married the Frog Prince (as seen in the second game) is revealed to have been named Agnes; she was the second maiden to be designated a Cinderella while Amelia was Godmother.
  • Love Makes You Evil: According to the intro, the Godmother captures various possible "Cinderellas" in an attempt to resurrect her husband. She ultimately succeeds, but it backfires horribly on her.
  • Magic Mirror: The Godmother uses these to travel between our world and the Mirror World.
  • Magic Wand: The Glass Wand was given by the Maiden Goddess to each of the Godmothers in turn, then taken back after the last one became evil.
  • Meaningful Name: Most of the Cinderellas, or at least the ones whose names are given in the Cinderella Stories, tend to have these. Both Agnes and Katherine mean "pure," Ella means "maiden," and Bianca means "white."
  • Missing Mom: The Godmother, who is really Pinocchio's mother Amelia, abandoned him and blames him for Geppetto's death. She later returned to coerce Pinocchio into helping her kidnap "Cinderellas" so she can revive Geppetto.
  • Mission From Goddess: Each of the Godmothers was on one of these during her lifetime, being commissioned by the Maiden Goddess to find and assist Cinderellas.
  • Mistaken Identity: The Godmother thinks that Cyrilla is the final Cinderella, but it's really her stepsister Katherine. When Cyrilla is freed, she begs the detective to save Katherine before fleeing to safety.
    • This is explained in the bonus content stories. Cyrilla and Katherine's uncle found the magical dresses and shoes they were to wear to the ball and decided he wanted to sell them. However, the ladies were able to retrieve one of the dresses, which is the one Cyrilla was wearing. So that Katherine could also go to the ball, the two ladies designed and made a gown for her to wear; it's noticeably less fancy than Cyrilla's and Amelia would have recognized it wasn't her handiwork.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Geppetto, after being purified by the Magic Glass Wand, says this almost word for word. He and Amelia then use their remaining spirit magic to turn Pinocchio into a real boy.
  • Older Than They Look: It's stated in-game that Godmothers are given a long life in order to help them find Cinderellas. Considering that the second Cinderella Amelia helped married the Frog Prince, that this was before he married Snow White, and that his and Snow's son was cursed for centuries, Amelia must be centuries old herself. Pre-puppet form Geppetto also seems to be unnaturally long-lived, as he was with Amelia in the bonus chapter assisting Shan's prince, but his longevity isn't explained; it may be a side effect of her magic.
  • Only One Name: Averted with the various Cinderellas. Katherine's ball invitation reveals her last name to be Belloni; in the Cinderella Stories there's Ella Bloom, Agnes Koch, Bianca Pace, and Shan Mao.
  • Palette Swap: Of a sort. The cottage in the bonus game where the prince meets Godmother Amelia is blatantly the same as Geppetto's cottage from the main game, right down to the wooden food in the kitchen, just with a Chinese design laid over it.
  • Parental Incest: According to the Cinderella Stories, Agnes (the second Cinderella, who married the Frog Prince) ran away from home because her father the King intended to marry her, having promised his Queen that he would never marry a woman less beautiful than she had been. It's a neatly interwoven reference to yet another fairy tale: Donkeyskin.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The dresses Amelia makes for the Cinderellas; they're also magical. Katherine isn't wearing the one that Amelia sent to her because her uncle stole it, which is probably why Amelia thinks Cyrilla is the Cinderella she's after instead of Katherine.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: After a fashion. Pinocchio is his mother's only means of finding the maiden she needs.
  • Production Foreshadowing: In Geppetto's workshop, the detective may notice and comment on a sketch of the nursery rhyme characters of the Crooked Man and the Crooked Cat. Some players were left puzzled by this, since the drawing has nothing to do with the game. It was later revealed (via the company's Facebook) to be this trope for a new game from Blue Tea Games, Cursery, a dark take on nursery rhymes which debuted in November 2013.
  • Redemption Equals Death: The Godmother dies immediately after doing a Heel–Face Turn and begging the detective to stop Geppetto.
  • Rescue Romance: According to the Cinderella Stories, the Frog Prince and his Cinderella had this - they fell in love after she saved him from being eaten by a snake.
    • And of course, the other Cinderellas were rescued by their princes from their respective Cinderella Circumstances. Bianca Pace and her prince had a duel game. In the bonus game, Shan's prince rescues her and turns her back into a human.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Geppetto was burned at the stake for the Uncanny Valley-like appearance of his puppets and for Pinocchio's sentience. When his soul is revived, he embarks on a vengeance spree.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Agnes, the second Cinderella during Amelia's tenure, pulled this upon realizing that her father intended to marry her. Amelia helped her escape to a faraway land where he couldn't find her, and there she met and married the Frog Prince.
  • Secondary Character Title: The detective knows going in that there's an important figure in this story who is known as the 'Final Cinderella.' What she doesn't know is who that really is, or why she's called such.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: In the Forbidden Grove, it becomes increasingly obvious that the Katherine imprisoned in the tree, who tells you to find glass slippers, is not the real one. (Listen to her voice - it grows progressively more sinister.) Sure enough, it's a puppet copy of Katherine created by the Godmother to fool the detective. You have no choice but to play along in order to progress the story.
  • Take Your Time: The detective has ten minutes to get past a magical barrier in order to stop the Godmother from hijacking Katherine's soul. You are not actually on any sort of time limit; however, the detective does urge you to hurry, noting things like "Katherine just screamed in pain."
  • Taken for Granite: Maidens who wear the Godmother's enchanted clothes but are not actually the Cinderella she's seeking will turn into glass statues at midnight. As the detective discovers, this has been the fate of many girls over the years.
  • These Hands Have Killed/It's All My Fault: Pinocchio blames himself for his father's death. Unfortunately, so does his mother.
  • Title Drop: The phrase "the final Cinderella" is mentioned more than once.
  • Together in Death: Geppetto and Amelia's spirits are restored to their previous selves by the Magic Glass Wand, and they use their remaining energy to save their son Pinocchio.
  • True Blue Femininity: Katherine, and also Ella, the first of Amelia's Cinderellas (before her dress-up) as depicted in the "Cinderella Stories".
  • Visual Pun: The detective uncovers a hidden balcony, where a table is set with a still-warm tea service. The tea is blue, for Blue Tea Games.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Many Cinderellas, including Ella and Bianca, endured one. The Spider Witch, Chi's mother, was also this to Princess Shan.
  • What Happened to the Glass Maidens?: While Cyrilla is returned to human form, it is never shown what became of the other Glass Maidens that fell victim to Godmother's cursed dresses. Hopefully they're revived as well, but we don't know for sure.
    • Players may also ask this at the very beginning of the game when the detective touches a glass statue in the garden and it goes tumbling down the mountainside. It turns out later the statue didn't break as the glass is unusually tough, but it can certainly result in a player My God, What Have I Done? moment - especially since it can't be avoided!

     Jack and the Sky Kingdom 
  • Animal Motif: Prince Hugh has owls everywhere in his rooms.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Prince Hugh throws these at the detective as she pursues him through his rooms, asking why she's so interested in protecting humans when humans do so many horrible things to one another without concern for the consequences.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Emma's way of greeting Jack when he sees her for the first time. This is after she throws her dagger at him.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Emma's Sky Kingdom gown has a lot of this going on.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jack pulls this off for the detective multiple times.
  • Big "NO!": Emma's reaction to the Sky King's death.
  • Call Back: Jack's cottage basement is stuffed with treasures, several of which are this to the previous games. There's a statue of the Frog Prince, a glass slipper, and a Red Riding Hood Sister outfit.
  • "Character Name and the Noun" Phrase
  • Continuity Nod: Jack has pictures of himself and Emma with Raphael in his home.
    • A flower identified in-game as a morning glory can be seen on the bridge towards the start of the game; the flower looks like the ones Ballad of Rapunzel later identifies as Nightbloom flowers.
    • Prince Julian shapeshifts into Prince James, purely to freak out the detective and make her believe he can read her mind.
  • Destination Defenestration: The detective gets thrown out of a window after solving the puzzle inside a chest and receiving the beans needed to grow a new magic beanstalk. She's clearly baffled as to how this happened, not to mention how she survived it.
  • Driven to Suicide/Redemption Equals Death: Emma tries to save the Sky King after he snaps out of his state of madness. The guilt-ridden King, however, lets go of Emma's hand and plummets to his demise, but not before leaving his ring (which is needed to stop the Bolide Shard) on Emma's finger.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Jack's cottage is littered with bottles of wine, which he consumes as a means of dealing with his guilt from leaving Emma and the others in the Sky Kingdom.
  • Fairy Godmother: The Fairy Queen is this to Tom Thumb, as revealed in his parable.
  • Fairy Impersonation Infiltration: Seen in the bonus chapter. In order to get to the Hidden Grove where the fairies live, the Sky Queen disguises Tom Thumb as a fairy in order to get past the fairies' gate security system.
  • Fatal Flaw: Jack is a coward. It's what led him to abandon his friends and fiancée in the Sky Kingdom when their robbery went wrong.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three princes seem to fall into these categories, at least to an extent. Leonard is the warrior, Julian is the mage with his shapeshifting powers, and Hugh is something of a scholarly rogue, given his ability to vanish.
  • Floating Continent: The Sky Kingdom. Your mission is to figure out why pieces of it are falling to Earth and prevent further destruction.
  • Foreshadowing: There's a red cloak hanging in Jack's cottage, just like the ones the Red Riding Hood Sisters wear. It's your first hint that Emma is a member of the Sisterhood.
  • Funny Background Event: Jack sparring with Prince Leonard on and around his windmill is basically this, especially since the detective is largely preoccupied with solving puzzles and only marginally paying attention.
  • Generation Xerox/Identical Granddaughter: The Sky King almost immediately acknowledges Emma as his descendant, and effectively makes her his daughter, because she's a dead ringer for his long-lost wife, and has the magic beans that said wife took with her when she fled the Sky Kingdom.
  • Ghost City: When the King became corrupted by his lust for gold and treasure, the citizens of the Sky Kingdom fled in fear. Only the three princes remained out of blind loyalty.
  • Gilded Cage: Emma is trapped in the Sky Kingdom, but is treated like royalty as she's a descendant of the Sky King. By the time Jack and the detective break into the Sky Kingdom, she's really peeved at Jack for his mistake.
  • Happily Adopted: Oddly enough, the princes are this. Their parable explains that the Sky King got them from a witch as children, and they were raised as his sons to have Undying Loyalty to him. Despite them being essentially magical constructs, the king's affection for them and pride in them appears to have been genuine. To some extent, Emma has also become something like this during her time in the Sky Kingdom, as the king treats her like a daughter and she clearly cares about him as well as the princes.
  • Happily Ever After: Tom Thumb, in the bonus chapter, is rewarded for helping the Sky Queen and returned safely to his parents, "and they lived happily ever after." He is, thus far, the only fairy tale character we've seen who gets his happy ending without the help of the Fairy Tale Detective.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Prince Leonard makes to throw him from the beanstalk, Jack throws his axe to enable the detective to escape, plummeting alongside the prince. He comes back later, just in time for another Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Prince Hugh certainly holds this view.
  • Impoverished Patrician: The Sky Kingdom was broke before Rumpelstiltskin appeared to offer his help, for a price...
  • I Owe You My Life: In the bonus game, the Sky Queen saves Tom Thumb from a snake. In return, he helps to rescue the infant princess from Rumpelstiltskin.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: According to his in-game parable, Jack came from an impoverished background, and stole from the rich to share with the poor; he specifically became a treasure hunter in order to help the poor around him. Judging by the traps he set, he knows there are thieves out there not as noble as himself. There's even a wooden replica of Robin Hood in his cottage.
  • Like Brother and Sister: The three princes, and perhaps Hugh in particular, seem to regard Emma as their honorary sister, judging by photographs and notes found around the Sky Kingdom. The Sky King does treat her like his daughter, which may account for this in part; but as the detective observes, "It seems the princes genuinely care for Emma, and she for them." It's shown in the telescope room that Hugh is troubled by how sad she is over missing Jack, and wants to help her even though his father forbids it. This may be the reason that his rooms contain evidence that he was researching magic beanstalks - he was trying to help her reunite with her lost love. Technically, she is the princes' niece, albeit by an unknown number of generations removed. Or at least, she would be if they were the Sky King's actual sons, rather than magical constructs.
  • Long-Lost Relative/Royal Blood: Emma is actually a descendant of the missing princess of the Sky Kingdom. The Queen fled the kingdom with her baby daughter when greed and dark magic corrupted the King.
  • Lovable Rogue: Jack, in spades.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: The only thing preventing the Sky King from carrying out his plan is the fact that he can't unlock the chest containing the Bolide Shard because he doesn't have the Queen's ring - it was the only thing Jack successfully managed to steal during his attempted raid ten years earlier. Naturally, the detective brings it with her...
  • Meaningful Name: Prince Leonard, as noted above, is the warrior among the three adopted princes; his name means "brave lion."
  • Must Make Amends: Jack believes going back to the Sky Kingdom to rescue everyone he left behind will help him do this.
  • My Greatest Failure: Jack spent a long time feeling guilty about leaving Emma and his friends trapped in the Sky Kingdom when he destroyed the beanstalk. He has been actively searching for a way back when the Detective seeks him out. He admits he deliberately retreated to save his own skin and that he's a coward for doing so.
  • Older Than They Look: The Sky King, in the bonus game, looks to be the same age as his main game counterpart. Considering Emma is at least his granddaughter, this means the king is probably over a hundred years old. But he was cursed in the bonus game and still seems to be in the present day, which in these games tends to stop the aging process for most characters. There is also something in-game called "the Bean of Eternity", and while the detective never uses it, it's said to confer immortality. This could also explain the king's longevity.
  • Prodigal Sister: After the fall of the Sky Kingdom, Emma rejoins the Red Riding Hood Sisters.
  • Prospector: Jack. Mission Control describes him as a "fortune hunter."
  • Protectorate: Jack seems to regard the detective this way; he saves her from Prince Leonard before they ever even have a conversation, but he already knows who she is and that she's there to help him. As noted above, over the course of the game he comes to her rescue repeatedly. Probably justified by the fact that he left his friends behind in the Sky Kingdom, and he refuses to lose the only ally he's got now.
  • Rebellious Princess: Emma. She got bored of the noble life and left her family; she eventually became a Red Riding Hood Sister.
  • Redemption Quest: The entire game is this for Jack. He's trying to make up for leaving his friends and Emma behind by going back to the Sky Kingdom to free them. The problem is, Emma is the only one still alive; the others were slaughtered by the princes.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Prince Leonard's eyes briefly glow red when he threatens the detective at the beginning of the game with a levitated rock.
    • In the bonus chapter, the king's eyes glow red after he's recovered from being turned into a gold statue by Rumpelstiltskin, signifying the beginning of the doom of the Sky Kingdom.
  • Rescue Romance: Jack and Emma met when she saved his life while on patrol during her time as a Red Riding Hood Sister.
  • Shapeshifting: The last brother, Julian, can do this. He changes into Prince James when the detective finds his room.
  • Something About a Rose: Prince Julian has a rose in his hand every time he appears, even in portrait form, and also uses them as weapons - he can throw them with deadly accuracy. The fact that he's holding a rose is a clue as to which Jack is the real one in the Spot the Imposter bit, and also should be a clue to the fact that the Sky King they initially confront is Julian in disguise.
  • Spanner in the Works: It's eventually revealed that Emma is this for the Sky King. First she tried to convince the princes to help her stop him from carrying out his crazy plan. When that didn't work, she deliberately caused the Sky Kingdom to start breaking up over Holland - in order to attract the attention of the Fairy Tale Detective, whom she had deduced was the only person who could possibly fix the mess.
  • Spirited Young Lady: Emma's parable reveals that she was born into a noble family, but due to the lack of excitement, she left her life of luxury and became a member of the Red Riding Hood Sisters.
  • Spot the Imposter: Julian shapeshifts into Jack, forcing the detective to figure out who is the real Jack. She does, but Julian still manages to injure Jack and steal the Queen's ring from him.
  • Taken for Granite: In the bonus chapter, the King is turned into a gold statue when he (incorrectly) guesses Rumpelstiltskin's name.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: When they finally reunite after ten years, Emma coldly informs Jack that his abandonment of her and their other friends was cowardly, and "I will never forgive you for it." However, they're still together in the tenth game, so they eventually made peace.
  • Throwing Your Axe Always Works: Jack has an enchanted axe which functions somewhat like a boomerang, and he uses it more than once in this manner to save and protect the detective.
  • Treasure Room: Jack's got one in his basement, complete with several booby traps which the detective must defeat.
  • Undying Loyalty: The three princes have this towards their adoptive father, the king. They're magically created children, and their unquestioning loyalty is part of that magic.
  • Voiceover Letter: The detective finds a letter from Emma in a book in Jack's cottage, and Emma's voice reads it while it's on the screen.
    • When the detective goes to stop the Bolide Shard from destroying reality, another Voiceover Letter is spoken out of the box in which the shard is stored - this one from the Sky King to Emma, apologizing for everything.
  • We Can Rule Together: Prince Hugh spends a fair amount of time, when he's first introduced, trying to persuade the detective to join with the Sky King and his sons as they purge humanity and remake the world into a glorious utopia. She's... less than enthused.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Sky King, as it turns out, is hell-bent on purging humanity and making a utopia because he's convinced that it's what the Queen wanted, and that she'll be proud of him for achieving it. The Voiceover Letter he creates for Emma suggests that deep down, under the enchantment, he knows this isn't true, but he can't stop himself.
  • Wham Line: "Are you the Fairy Tale Detective?"

    Ballad of Rapunzel 
  • The Ageless: Anyone who is blessed by Flora gains immortality. Belladonna, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Prince Ross are this as a result, though it seems that Belladonna, at least, is not yet an adult. Briar Rose is also this; her sister Ivy was, but gave it up for the love of Prince James.
  • Badass in Distress: Prince Ross. He ends up injured several times during the game; the detective needs to heal him at least twice. He also gets into a fight with a sea creature and gets pulled underwater when trying to protect the detective, but somehow survives to show up for the game's ending. Of course, he's immortal, so that probably helps.
  • Barrier Maiden: The bonus chapter reveals that both Rapunzel and Belladonna are this. The main game ends with them leaving Floralia, in one sense or another, and their departure is the final event which triggers Gothel's revenge spell on the goddess Flora.
  • BFS: Prince Ross wields one of these; art for the character suggests that it's about two-thirds as long as he is tall.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Prince Ross does this for the detective quite a bit. His twin sister, Snow White, also pulls one off.
  • Bigger Bad: The real villain of the story is Gothel. While she's long dead, she set into motion a long-term plan of destruction because, in her vanity and quest for eternal youth, she believed she was being slighted by the goddess Flora for not making her wish come true.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Two of the endings as stated below. If the detective selects the mirror, Belladonna dies but Rapunzel is saved. If the jewel is selected, Belladonna is sealed away inside the plant, but Rapunzel follows her sister, thus separating her from her beloved Ross for good. The achievement for one of these is even called the Bittersweet Achievement.
    • Golden Ending: The sword ending is the only one where both princesses are alive and freed from their imprisonment.
  • Blessed with Suck: Being blessed to be the Guardian of the Nightbloom Flower is definitely not good for poor Belladonna.
  • Brown Note: The game opens with Rapunzel starting to sing and the landscape around her starting to rot as she sings. It also signals the arrival of deadly pollen that causes anyone who comes near it to fall ill to near death.
  • Continuity Nod: To Princesses Briar Rose and Ivy. The origin of their immortality and plant-controlling powers is finally explained; they are two of the handmaidens specially chosen by the nature goddess Flora.
    • Also to Snow White, who was blessed by Flora as well, which was not obvious because she was never shown controlling any plant life in the third game. (However, she did have that tree with the magic golden apples, which may have been related to her blessing from Flora.) According to this game, she is specifically blessed with snow powers because she is the "Guardian of the Frost Edelweiss."
  • Character Development: A minor one with Prince Ross. He's hostile to the detective and threatens her until Gerda vouches for her. Even though he's the one that brought Gerda to Floralia in the first place and he knows the place is dangerous, he abandons Gerda and leaves her with the detective shortly after the detective's arrival. When Gerda gets captured, Ross blames the detective. When the detective rescues him the first time, he's dismissive of her. It's not until later in the game that Ross admits to doing a poor job of protecting Gerda and that bringing her to Floralia may have been a mistake. He also thanks the detective for healing him a second time and tries to return the favor by protecting her.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Belladonna. Her primary motivation in doing what she's done is to make sure Rapunzel stays with her always, instead of leaving to marry Prince Ross.
  • Creepy Child: Belladonna. This is enhanced by the fact that, to judge by appearances, she is still a child even after centuries have passed.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Queen Melanie, despite her dark appearance, was a caring stepmother to Rapunzel and wished only to be accepted by the king and her people like Queen Violante. Too bad she trusted Mother Gothel.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Belladonna, and how. Her mother died when she was little; her father locked her in a tower to protect everyone from her deadly magic; and the only person she believes truly loves her is her big sister Rapunzel. But Rapunzel is engaged to marry Prince Ross, and Bella is terrified that this means her sister is going to leave her all alone. Mother Gothel took massive advantage of this fear.
  • Damsel in Distress: Gerda is captured by Belladonna and locked in a cage. Both Prince Ross and the detective try to free her; the detective succeeds.
  • Determinator: Prince Ross has been searching for who knows how long for a way to get into Floralia and rescue his beloved Rapunzel. After the first century or two, most people probably would have given up; not him.
  • Distressed Dude: Kai, in the beginning of the game, is rescued by the detective. Kai again and Prince Gwyn are this in the bonus chapter; Gerda gets to rescue them both.
  • Elemental Rivalry: Seen in Flora's chosen attendants; being a neutral deity of balance and nature, she tends to assign pairs of abilities that counteract one another in some way:
    • The twins have fire and ice powers.
    • Rapunzel and Belladonna have life and death powers.
    • Briars represent protection; ivy represents destruction (ivy being often responsible for choking other plants).
  • Elemental Weapon/Flaming Sword: Prince Ross seems to be able to make his sword blaze at will, probably because of his fire-based plant powers.
  • Fiery Redhead: Prince Ross is a bit temperamental, which is perhaps to be expected from someone with fire powers, but he's a good guy and devoted to Rapunzel.
  • Fisher King: Reversed, after a fashion. The detective comes across the remains of Rapunzel and Belladonna's father, and finds his diary. When he realized the destruction of Floralia was imminent, he ordered the population to evacuate, but refused to leave himself; he insisted on sharing his country's fate.
    • The bonus chapter contains something of a more extreme example. The goddess Flora is a divine Fisher Queen. Gothel's revenge spell has stripped her of her powers and identity, and without her to maintain the balance of nature, the world itself is starting to unravel.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Rapunzel's plant-based powers give her the ability to heal others, and render her immune to Belladonna's powers - which, unfortunately, make her the Enemy to All Living Things (except Rapunzel).
  • Gender Flip: Prince Ross is revealed to be Snow White's brother, rather than the traditional story of sisters Snow White and Rose Red. Partially offset in that this likely doubles as a reference to an English folktale called "The Snow-Daughter and the Fire-Son."
  • Gilded Cage: Princess Belladonna's tower is filled with toys, stuffed dolls, and other luxuries, none of which eased her loneliness. Her only visitors were her half-sister, Rapunzel, and Mother Gothel. (Her father did visit, but always took care not to let her see him; his reasons for the deception are not explained.)
  • Girl in the Tower: Of course. Double subverted in that it's not Rapunzel who was confined to the tower as expected, but her sister Belladonna. Rapunzel is stuck there, but not for the traditional reason.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Collecting all of the Flowerstones unlocks the Glenys Jewel, a special gem needed to activate the Shattering Sword artifact so the detective can use the sword on the giant Nightbloom plant. This is the only way to achieve the best ending, in which Rapunzel can be with both her precious sister and her betrothed, Ross.
  • Green Thumb: Anyone who has been blessed by Flora has control over a single plant species and can make them grow at will.
    • Even though this seems to be true for the other four named plant guardians, Snow White and Prince Ross are never shown to make their flowers grow at will. They seem to have been given Elemental Powers instead, as a result of being the Guardians of the Frost Edelweiss and the Fiera Rosa, respectively.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Rapunzel has this, or at least such is the implication of everything we know of her. If all the memorials to her are any indication, Queen Violante was the same way; it seems like all of Floralia loved her.
  • Healing Herb: At one point in the game, Prince Ross states that the fire flowers he's sitting next to are healing him. It's not revealed if this power is specific to him or his plant, or if all those blessed by Flora can be healed by their particular plant, too.
    • In a more straight-up example, the detective acquires healing herbs late in the game to revive an enchanted dormouse.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Queen Melanie would have suffered a lot less if she hadn't trusted Mother Gothel from the beginning.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: What Belladonna does to Rapunzel.
    • Hypno Trinket: The flower crown we see Rapunzel wearing through most of the game.
  • I Owe You My Life: Prince Gwyn says this to Gerda in the bonus chapter.
    • Gerda and Snow White both say this to the detective.
  • Jerkass: Prince Ross starts out as one. He threatens the detective until Gerda vouches for her. He then abandons Gerda in a place he knows is dangerous to go off on his own; when Gerda gets captured while assisting the detective, he blames the detective for not protecting her. The first time the detective heals him, he's condescending towards her. He loses the attitude later, though.
    • Jerkass Woobie: In Ross's defense, he's been trying to reunite with his beloved Rapunzel for who knows how many hundreds of years - it's not really clarified just how long ago Floralia was destroyed. All things considered, it's entirely possible that the strain of the situation has frayed his nerves. He does come around once he realizes the detective is a valuable ally, and grows protective of her.
  • Karma Houdini: In the best ending, Belladonna's punishment for trying to wipe out an entire country is to go into voluntary exile with Rapunzel and Ross, so that she can learn how to control her powers. Meanwhile, the person actually responsible for Belladonna going evil in the first place, Mother Gothel, gets off scot-free, considering the fact that she's been dead now for centuries.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Seen in the bonus game. Thanks to Gothel's experiments and curse, Flora's power was badly weakened and as a result, she was reduced to her Thumbelina form with no memory of her true identity.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Rapunzel and Belladonna, respectively. They get it from their mothers, although as noted above, Queen Melanie was dark only in coloring - she was a good person.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Belladonna's love for her sister Rapunzel, combined with Mother Gothel's influence and being locked in the tower, caused Belladonna's Face–Heel Turn.
  • Make Them Rot: Belladonna's power causes her to kill anyone she even slightly injures, and she can't turn it off. Because of this, she is obsessed with Rapunzel, whose Green Thumb powers cancel hers out, making Rapunzel the only person in the world capable of touching her without being injured.
  • The Man Behind the Man: More accurately, the Woman Behind the Girl. Belladonna is presented as the Big Bad of the game, but she's just a little girl who doesn't want to lose her big sister. Mother Gothel, the long-dead nursemaid who took advantage of this fear, is the real villain of the story.
  • Meaningful Name: Although Belladonna literally means "beautiful woman," it's more commonly known as another name for the plant we call deadly nightshade. Given the nature of her powers, this is eerily apt.
    • As this story reveals, Briar Rose and Ivy have these. They can each control one form of plant life - Briar Rose controls briars, and Ivy controls, well, ivy. Or at least, she did until she kissed Prince James and transferred her powers to him.
    • In the bonus chapter, we finally learn that the son of Snow White and the Frog Prince is Gwyn, which is a Welsh name meaning "white." He's named after his mother!
    • Flora, the goddess central to this game's backstory, was also the name of the ancient Roman goddess of flowers.
  • Mind-Control Device: The flower crown on Rapunzel's head is actually a device that puts her under Belladonna's control. She's using her sister's voice to spread the pollen.
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on which artifact you choose.
    • The mirror (which is also the artifact chosen by the strategy guide) destroys Rapunzel's flower crown and frees her, but Belladonna's powers hurtle out of control and she falls off the tower to her death.
    • The jewel seals Belladonna away, but Rapunzel chooses to go with her sister, thus trapping both in the plant prison and Ross swearing to keep watch over them.
    • The sword kills the Nightbloom plant and frees the sisters to repair their relationship, as well as allowing Rapunzel to stay with her beloved Ross while they find a way for Belladonna to control her powers.
  • My Beloved Smother: Gwyn in the bonus chapter notes that his mother "has always been overprotective."
  • My Greatest Failure: The ghost of Queen Melanie can't find any peace because she blames herself for trusting Mother Gothel and drinking the potion which resulted in Belladonna's power.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits! : For Prince Ross from Belladonna.
    • Prince Ross himself wasn't too pleased about Snow White marrying the Frog Prince, to the point where they haven't been in contact at all since then, except for a letter begging him to come see his family after what happened to Rapunzel.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Ross and Snow are completely opposite, down to their elemental powers.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Played straight with Belladonna; subverted with Prince Ross.
  • Rescue Romance: It's revealed in Ross's parable that this is how Snow White and the Frog Prince's relationship began - the Prince saved the twins from execution, and requested a kiss from Snow in return so he could regain human form again. After saving each other in this fashion, they fell in love, and presumably he kissed her out of her enchanted coma some time later. Ross didn't approve of his sister marrying a cursed man, and they quarreled extensively; after finding out she eloped, he gave up his rights as heir to the Snowfall Kingdom and left, refusing to speak to his sister anymore.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Inverted. Based on what has been revealed thus far, Prince Ross is the only known male Guardian chosen by the goddess Flora; the others are all female, and identified as handmaidens.
  • Spirited Young Lady: Gerda has grown into this.
  • They Are All Grown Up: Kai, Gerda, and Snow White's son, Gwyn return from Rise of the Snow Queen as young adults, though only Kai and Gerda appear in the main game.
  • Time Skip: It's explicitly stated that the events of this game take place ten years after the events of Rise of the Snow Queen.
  • The Unfavorite: Subverted. Belladonna may have felt this to be the case, given her situation, but the detective finds evidence throughout the exploration that shows the king loved both of his daughters very much.
    • It's hinted that Queen Melanie may have felt this way compared to her predecessor, Queen Violante. Diary entries indicate that she wanted to be as beloved by her husband and the people of Floralia as Rapunzel's mother.
  • Vain Sorceress: Gothel's true desire is to be eternally young and beautiful, which being appointed a Handmaiden of Flora would have enabled. When Flora declined to select her, she began enacting a lengthy and detailed plan of revenge to destroy Floralia (of which Flora was the patron goddess).
  • Wait Here: Ross says this to Gerda near the beginning of the game. Gerda, wanting to be helpful, ignores this and joins the detective in her investigation instead.
  • Western Zodiac: One puzzle in Mother Gothel's alchemy lab involves putting the zodiac constellations into a proper order.
  • What Happened To The Other Two Handmaidens?: There are two additional handmaidens of Flora whose statues have been partially destroyed. Even though the game states that those who receive Flora's blessings are never forgotten, these two certainly have been; there is no area dedicated to them as there are to the other six, and there are no cameos or puzzles that involve them. It's not even revealed what plants they controlled, though the game states that plant powers were given in pairs and were opposites of each other. Presumably they were siblings or half-siblings, as all the other pairs are. Whether this is being left for a later game or just wasn't planned out is unknown.
    • An illustrated note found within the game depicts Flora surrounded by her six chosen Guardians. If, as the paper suggests, they are the only six who have been appointed, then the damaged statues are meant to depict Ross and Belladonna - both of whom do have dedication rooms in the palace. (Belladonna's room is the darkened chapel opposite Rapunzel's chantry, where Snow White appears to aid the detective.)
  • Wicked Stepmother: Averted by Rapunzel's stepmother Melanie, who was kind and loving. Played straight, however, in the parable for Snow White and Ross Red; their story shows that their stepmother was every inch the horrible person the third game made her out to be. She tried to have her husband execute his own children for a crime she invented, and possibly would have gotten away with it were it not for the intervention of the Frog Prince.
  • Wicked Witch: It's implied, in the bonus chapter, that Mother Gothel may also be the Wicked Witch of the West. Thumbelina is captured by hostile flying monkeys which strongly resemble the ones from the film version of The Wizard of Oz, even being dressed the same. There's also a box which is unlocked by finding figures of the Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man.
  • The X of Y

    The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide 
  • The Atoner: Chancellor John is actually a Kokkino mole who tricked King Alexandros into chaining up Thalassa, the sea goddess. His ghost appears to the detective and provides tips because his guilt for his deeds could not leave his spirit at rest.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The detective frees Alexandros and his daughter and breaks the curse; but by the time she does, Pinocchio has reverted to his lifeless wooden form. Alexandros then promises the detective that he will find a way to revive him.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The five princesses of Prasino, with Calliope and Daphne as blondes, Teresa and Naida as brunettes, and Althea as a redhead.
  • The Bluebeard: The Bluebeard appears here as the king of Kokkino, who was waging war against Alexandros of Prasino centuries before the events of the game.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: In the bonus chapter, Thalassa the sea goddess is not evil; but she's perfectly willing to unleash this on King Alexandros, for imprisoning her, and Chancellor John, for getting him to do it.
    • Misplaced Retribution: Unusually for the trope, she also inflicts collateral damage - in this case, turning Alexandros's daughters into mermaids despite their innocence in the matter. Perhaps said innocence is why she provided them with the Curse Escape Clause of the orbs, and allowed them to stay pretty in the meantime.
  • "Character Name and the Noun" Phrase
  • Continuity Nod: Like all the games in the series, although this one has more than most. Naida is revealed to be the mermaid who married James, the Frog Prince, while her sister Teresa ran away to join the Red Riding Hood Sisters. Pinocchio also returns from the fifth game.
  • Damsel in Distress: Althea's introduction; when the detective sees her for the first time, she's trapped in place by a boat.
  • Distressed Dude: Pinocchio is this, increasingly, as the wood orb's dwindling power is causing him to revert to puppet form. By the end of the game, he's lost his sentience entirely.
  • Element Number Five: Freeing the Sea Goddess and breaking the curse relies in part on harnessing the power of the five elements; in this instance, the fifth element is represented as Wood.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the bonus chapter, Chancellor John serves King Bluebeard of Kokkino loyally - right up until he learns that Bluebeard has kidnapped two of the princesses of Prasino. He just can't go along with abducting and harming innocent young women. And then he finds out what Bluebeard's done with his wives.
  • Ghostly Goals: Why Chancellor John appears to the detective at the beginning of the game; his guilty spirit provides some exposition and assistance to her.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: There are achievements earned for finding all of the crescent moons, souvenirs, cups of tea, and images of Felix the Fish.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Calliope is the mermaid from the Andersen fairy tale. She threw herself on the blade meant to assassinate the Prince with whom she was in love.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Pinocchio returns from The Final Cinderella as a young man.
  • In the Hood: The detective is puzzled for a good while by the appearance of a figure clad in a hooded cloak who seems to know her. It's Pinocchio.
  • Meaningful Name: Princess Naida's name is derived from the Greek word naiad, a kind of water nymph.
    • The sea goddess is named Thalassa. In Greek mythology, Thalassa was one of the Protogenoi, or the primeval gods, from whom the more classically known pantheon was later descended; she was the daughter of light and air, and represented the sea.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: A humorous variant. There's an achievement called "Coffee Break," which is earned by going idle in a hidden object scene for at least five minutes.
  • Missing Mom: King Alexandros's queen, the mother of his five daughters, is presumably long deceased. She's never mentioned in the story at all, and may have died prior to the war with Kokkino which resulted in How We Got Here.
  • Necessarily Evil: While Althea knows that stealing the source of Pinocchio's life is wrong, she also knows that she needs the orb to save her father's sanity after centuries of being cursed.
  • Oddball in the Series: The game mechanics here are, in several respects, different from the previous games; the basic gameplay remains the same, but certain things about it are just different enough to catch the notice of longtime fans. This is largely due to the fact that it's the only collaboration in the series - all previous games were done solely by Blue Tea Games, and all subsequent games were/are done solely by Eipix. Queen of Sands shows that some of the differences have become permanent additions to the series, though not all.
  • Older Than They Look: King Alexandros and his daughter Althea. The curse they're under prevents them from aging normally and makes them immortal, as Prasino has been underwater for centuries before finally resurfacing at the beginning of the game. Breaking the curse removes the immortality; by the time of the game, it's confirmed that Naida, Teresa, and Calliope have all died.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: The mermaids in this story are the princesses of Prasino, cursed into their nautical forms by the sea goddess. They still look like typical fairy tale mermaids, however; their father, on the other hand, is essentially half a lobster.
  • Pixel Hunt: Arguably, this game is the worst offender of the series. Many of the pieces in the fragmented object scenes are very difficult to spot, as are a number of the items found throughout the game scenes.
  • Point-and-Click Map: For the first time in the series, the game includes a clickable map enabling fast travel; other games had maps, but no fast travel without other assistance.
  • Rebellious Princess: Teresa ran away from the war between Kokkino and Prasino, and joined the Red Riding Hood Sisters after Eldra and Raphael saved her from a mist wolf attack.
  • Rescue Romance: Once again, the Frog Prince had this with one of his wives - in this case, Naida. She kissed him to return him to his human form, and he helped her locate the orb which released her from her own curse. A letter found in her room indicates as much.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Bluebeard has a special treatment for anyone he views as having betrayed him. Somewhat subverted, as his idea of what constitutes betrayal isn't on the same page as a sane person's.
  • Sanity Slippage: In the bonus chapter, it's revealed that King Bluebeard started losing his grip on reality after discovering the beautiful portrait of Thalassa, the sea goddess. He started executing each of his wives in turn after they discovered the secret chamber in which Thalassa's portrait was held. Even his subjects believe he's lost it.
    • King Alexandros himself is slowly succumbing to this after centuries of being cursed into a crab monster, motivating the desperate Althea to steal the last remaining orb from an equally desperate Pinocchio.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Tired of the war between Kokkino and Prasino, Teresa found the orb to break her curse and almost immediately ran away, ultimately forging a new life for herself in France.
  • Sea Monster: King Alexandros is served by a giant psychotic eel, which attacks the detective repeatedly.
  • Spell My Name With An "H": This game indicates that the series isn't quite sure whether the mermaid who joined the Red Riding Hood Sisters is Teresa or Theresa.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: The eponymous purple tide, mysterious and magical and very deadly.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Chancellor John is actually loyal to Kokkino and only wanted the goddess to pay favor to his kingdom. He feels extremely guilty at what really happened, and starts to question his own loyalty to Kokkino after Teresa and Daphne are kidnapped. He gets drowned by Thalassa for his sins.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Neither the king nor the princesses are particularly pleased with the circumstances which have been forced upon them. The king's Sanity Slippage due to living forever probably didn't help any.
    • However, breaking the curse and removing their immortality and mermaid forms caused other problems; see You Can't Go Home Again.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Unlike her sisters, there is no mention of what became of Daphne after she was freed from her curse. It's possible, since Eipix intends to continue the series, that she will appear in a future game.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: When the other princesses were able to break their curses with the other magic orbs, they lost their mermaid forms. Since Prasino was still deep underwater at the time, this meant that the uncursed princesses had no way of ever getting back home to help their father or remaining sisters break their curses. This, unfortunately, left Althea alone with their father until Prasino resurfaced. The only princess who averts this is Teresa, as it seems doubtful she would have wanted to return.

    The Queen of Sands 
  • Animal Motif: Montafleur's heraldic emblem is the lion, and lion imagery is featured heavily throughout the main game. Eric's beast form is even leonine.
  • Antagonist Title
  • The Archer: Brianne
  • Bad Dreams: As revealed in a note she left behind in the bakery, Jessica (the Team Mom of the Red Riding Hood Sisters) was helping with the investigation, until the evil magic in Montafleur caused her to start experiencing terrible nightmares. She had to give up and return to headquarters to try to help from a distance.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The beast that the Sisters track down is in fact Baron Eric de Montafleur, the son of the town's founder. He was cursed into his beast form by Mab after accidentally releasing her from her prison.
  • Beast and Beauty: Eric and Brianne
  • Big Damn Heroes: Rapunzel and Ruth appear just in time to save the detective from the Nightmare Champion.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The three Red Riding Hood Sisters involved with the case. Ruth is blonde; Jessica appears only in a letter, but was revealed in the fourth game to be brunette; and Brianne has red hair.
  • Broken Pedestal: After learning the truth about Mab and his father's role in imprisoning her, Eric promises to aid the detective in any way he can.
  • Canine Companion: Shadow, the mist wolf whom Ruth raised from a pup, has a brief appearance.
  • The Corruption: The purple mists turn the villagers into Nightmares. Plants and animals can also be affected; Shadow, Ruth's Non-Human Sidekick, is turned into a Nightmare Wolf by the mist, and a massive Nightmare Tree attacks the detective upon her arrival in Montafleur.
  • Dream Weaver: Mab, the titular Queen of Sands and the antagonist. The bonus chapter reveals that she was the purest of all the Keepers of Dreams and appointed to the position by the Moon Goddess herself.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Mab resented her imprisonment and went mad. After she breaks out of her prison, she unleashes the full extent of her rage on the village.
  • Faction Motto: The Red Riding Hood Sisters' slogan appears early in the game - "To train, to protect, and to honor."
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The detective regards the Red Riding Hood Sisters this way. She's personally acquainted with Ruth's wolf, even though it's canonically been several years since the fourth game, and her internal monologue notes that it's been a while since she visited the headquarters. Apparently she drops by periodically.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the bonus chapter, one of the objects you have to create through a hidden object puzzle is a pair of tweezers. One of the objects clearly visible in said puzzle is a pair of tweezers, which is not part of the solution.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Mab, the Queen of Sands - until being purified leads her to a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Harmless Lady Disguise: When the detective finally manages to get into Montafleur, she saves an old woman from the beast. She turns out to be Mab in disguise, and the detective unwittingly leads her to the perfume factory where she intends to restore her powers.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Seen in the bonus chapter, which details Mab's backstory. In return for the Sandman removing the curse on her seven brothers, Mab gives up her humanity to become a Keeper of Dreams.
  • I Owe You My Life: Eric more or less says this to the detective after his curse is removed and he becomes human again.
    • This is the only explanation offered for why Rapunzel shows up to assist the detective.
  • Magical Accessory: An enchanted locket given to him by his father helps Eric keep from giving in to his bestial rage while under the curse.
  • Meaningful Name: In the bonus game, the eldest of the seven boys who have been turned into ravens is named Corbin. "Corbin" is derived from the French word "corbeau," meaning "raven."
    • Before causing all this trouble in Montafleur, Mab was a Keeper of Dreams. In Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio has a long speech in Act I, Scene 4 in which he speaks of Queen Mab, her propensity to cause trouble, and her ability to inspire dreams.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After Mab is knocked unconscious and purified, she wakes up and realizes the extent of her terror, so she fixes the village.
  • Mystical White Hair: Mab, the Queen of Sands, has silvery white hair and is really committed to unleashing Nightmares on the world. When you purify her with the Moon Essence, she still retains the white hair, but reverts to her former personality. The parable about her and Hubert reveals that her imprisonment turned her hair white because she's actually blonde.
  • Noodle Incident: Arguably, Rapunzel's cameo can be considered this. She's not a member of the Sisterhood, and there's no tangible connection (or at least, none which has been revealed as yet) between her and that group. The player is left wondering how Ruth knew to contact her about helping the detective, and also where Ross and Belladonna are during the incident.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Mab's attire predominantly features this color.
  • Rescue Romance: Brianne falls for Eric after he saves her from Mab's attack. It's her tears - and kiss - that restore him to human form.
  • Retcon: No matter which ending you chose for Ballad of Rapunzel (or if you never played it at all), Rapunzel still joins Ruth for the Big Damn Heroes moment in this game. Yes, even if she and Belladonna are supposed to be sealed inside a plant.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Brianne, the Red Riding Hood Sister who is most directly involved with the quest.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Hubert de Montafleur is the long-passed founder of the village. His obsession with finding the perfect ingredient for his perfumes led him to trick Mab and chain her up inside a perfume bottle, so her dream sand would power his perfumes.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: The purple mist obscuring Montafleur, which most likely gets its coloring from Mab's Purple Is Powerful appearance.
  • True Love's Kiss: Implied to be what happens between Brianne and Eric in beast form; when Brianne thinks he's going to die, she kisses him. The game hints at the possibility of the pairing prior to this.
  • The X of Y

    Goldilocks and the Fallen Star 
  • Affectionate Nickname: Princess Leda is also known as Goldilocks.
  • And I Must Scream: As you might guess for a story that incorporates The Magic Touch of King Midas.
  • Animal Motif: Bears for Barsia, stags for Olesia.
  • Artifact of Doom: The detective carries it with her the entire time, and doesn't realize the extent of it. The artifact found in the beginning of the game contains the last piece of the fallen star, which is the only thing keeping Valla from fully enacting her plan.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: The main game ends with one of these for Goldilocks, who is now Queen Leda.
  • Badass Princess: Princess Leda not only has The Magic Touch which turns everything into gold, but is also a formidable warrior in her own right.
  • Beard of Evil: "Evil" is a stretch, but Jack is now sporting more facial hair and has developed a much less pleasant personality than in his previous appearance. As it turns out, there's a reason for the personality shift, but it's only revealed in the bonus chapter.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The detective arrives in time to save Jack from one of the mechanical bears. To return the favor, he later effectively tackles her to keep her from being turned into a gold statue.
  • Broken Bridge: The detective encounters one between the lakeside village and the castle keep, and must get past it by constructing a rope swing.
  • Call Back: Throughout the castle, the detective finds novels sharing titles and cover art with past games. She only locates three; the other six are on a shelf, and when placed in order, they open a Bookcase Passage.
  • "Character Name and the Noun" Phrase
  • Clockwork Creature: Bears and stags of this sort abound. Queen Valla, as it turns out, is also one.
    • Mechanical Horse: In the parable which gives Sir Ewan's backstory, it's revealed that he made one of these in his younger days at the request of a noble duke, but his work was sabotaged by the duke's rival. Sir Ewan was Wrongly Accused of trying to kill the duke, and had to go into voluntary exile to escape retaliation.
  • Continuity Nod: Jack, from Jack and the Sky Kingdom, returns again; their reunion is not a planned one on either side, and although he greets his old friend as "my favorite detective," he's not nearly as friendly or as helpful as the last time. His reasons for being there are revealed in the bonus chapter.
    • In Queen of Sands, the detective viewed a painting of the village marketplace in Montafleur. The painting is seen again in the queen's dressing room in the bonus chapter.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: As explained by the Sun Goddess, the woman known as Queen Valla is actually a mechanical duplicate. The real Princess Valla died in a tragic accident as a child, and her grieving sister Leda begged her father to bring her sister back. He had the royal craftsman create the mechanical copy, but Princess Leda pleaded with the Sun Goddess to give her the golden touch so she could bring her sister back for real. It didn't quite go as planned, and the goddess blames herself for interfering in mortal affairs.
  • Door to Before: Late in the story, the detective throws herself through a portal to chase the Big Bad, only to find herself back at the very first scene of the game.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: Specifically, everything's worse with golden mechanical bears (and other beasts, but especially bears).
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Princess Leda wears her hair in a long, thick braid throughout the game. At the end, when she uses the power of the star to undo the harm her power has created, the braid comes undone, and she leaves her hair hanging loose for the remainder of the game.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Sir Ewan wears a special one, which probably allows him to see his creations more closely.
  • Friend to All Children: Princess Leda, who shows up from out of nowhere to protect a young boy from the mechanical animals.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: The eponymous fallen star was once an object of contention between the Moon Goddess and her sister the Sun Goddess.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The Big Bad is actually Queen Valla.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Princess Leda is known as Goldilocks for a very obvious reason, and she's a good person who is well loved by the people of Barsia.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: The Moon Goddess tells the detective that she can succeed in her task and use Bulwar's empowered dagger without fear, because "your cause is just and your heart is pure."
  • In the Hood: The black-haired woman wears a hood with antlers. This is to make the Barsian people believe she's from Olesia. She's actually the Queen of Barsia.
  • It's Up to You: After recovering Bulwar's empowered blade from the tomb of King Boris, the detective is told this by the goddesses in so many words.
  • Jerkass Ball: As noted elsewhere in the list, Jack - normally a Lovable Rogue - picks this up for most of this game. It makes sense when the bonus chapter is played, however, and presumably he puts it down again once things are fixed.
  • Judgment of Solomon: When the goddesses couldn't agree on which of them was the rightful owner of the fallen star, they compromised by breaking it up into pieces. Half was stored in Barsia, half was stored in Olesia, and the magic barrier which divides the two nations was erected to keep anyone from putting it back together.
  • Legacy Character: The Golden Child, first introduced way back in the third game, appears in the bonus chapter. Apparently, there can be more than one Golden Child at the same time, since the one seen in the third and seventh games was female and this one is male.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Princess Leda is the Light Feminine, and the woman who attacks the child in the opening animation is the Dark Feminine.
  • The Magic Touch: Princess Leda, AKA Goldilocks, has the Midas Touch. She considers herself Blessed with Suck, as she can't touch anything safely unless her arms are wrapped in a set of enchanted ribbons.
  • Mission From Goddesses: The detective is directed by both the Sun and Moon Goddesses to prevent the war between Barsia and Olesia.
    • In the bonus chapter, the Moon priest observes that the Moon Goddess in particular has been watching over the detective, suggesting that perhaps she has been this trope all along.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Leda seems able to do this.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: In the bonus chapter, the Moon priest will not help the detective until she completes a trial to prove that her intentions are genuine.
  • Poisonous Friend: Princess Leda, once she joins the detective's side, will not brook anything happening to her new friend and ally. So when Jack threatens the detective to get the empowered dagger, she doesn't hesitate to turn the poor dope into a gold statue.
  • Poor Communication Kills: There's actually a very good reason that Jack is so desperate to get the fallen star. He needs it to remove the enchantment on his beloved Emma, who was accidentally turned into a gold statue by Princess Leda. Considering that he and the detective are old friends, however, it's unclear why he didn't just tell her about this, instead of threatening her.
  • Properly Paranoid: A minor example. When the detective looks at the giant stone bear overlooking the tranquil lake, she notes that the more she looks at it, the more uneasy it makes her. It turns out that there's a secret prison in the bear's mouth.
  • Riddle Me This: Some time before the game, Bulwar the merchant was able to correctly answer a riddle from Rumpelstiltskin, and was rewarded with a dagger which allowed him to bypass the magic barrier separating Barsia and Olesia.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Jack and Emma get to do this at the end of the bonus chapter, since the detective has set things right for them and they can go home to (one would assume) live Happily Ever After.
  • Solar and Lunar: Sun and moon emblems are a recurring motif. Barsia reveres the Sun Goddess; Olesia reveres the Moon Goddess. The division dates back to the deities' battle over the fallen star.
  • Swiss Army Tears: In the bonus chapter, the detective receives a bottle of these from the Golden Child to rescue Emma from being trapped as a golden statue.
  • Taken for Granite: The entire population of Barsia, and later Jack, are turned into gold statues. Emma is this as well, although it's not shown until the bonus chapter.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Sir Ewan, the royal craftsman, is the one who created all the mechanical creatures.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Leda doesn't have any idea that her sister is the Big Bad. Once she learns the truth, she's ashamed of her role and promises to help set things right.
  • Western Zodiac: The fountain in the dungeon is missing a figure of Aquarius.
  • Whip It Good: The enchanted ribbons which restrain Leda's golden touch can be removed and used as weapons.
  • Would Harm A Child: The Big Bad, as seen in the game's opening animation.
  • The Wrongful Heir to the Throne: Seen in the parables. Valla's parable says that King Warclaw wanted Leda to inherit his crown, but she was off searching for a cure for her golden touch when he died. Since the council didn't know any better, and no one knew where Leda was, they made Valla the queen instead.

    The Swan Princess and the Dire Tree 
  • Animal Motif: Unsurprisingly, the Swan Kingdom has a powerful swan motif, particularly of dual black and white swans. It's also noted in the game that swans are the particular favorite of the goddess Flora.
  • Animorphism: Some of the members of the Swan Guard are able to transform at will into swans.
  • Arboreal Abode: The Dire Tree is the headquarters of the Swan Guard; as it turns out, the entire Swan Kingdom is inside.
  • The Archer: In addition to being one heck of a tailor, Desmond is also handy with a bow and arrows.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: From the teaser trailer: "What happens when duty begins to crush the spirit?"
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: At the very end. The revived Flora crowns Odile the new Swan Princess.
  • Bifauxnen: When first seen, the Black Swan appears to be a lithe young man with an almost elven physique. She turns out to be a young woman instead.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Desmond's backpack actually turns out to be a tent, complete with various magical crafting equipment.
  • "Character Name and the Noun" Phrase
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the backstory of Odette, the Swan Lake Princess who married the Frog Prince, it's revealed that after their marriage she was convicted of treason and sentenced to death. Elsewhere in the game, it's explained that Swan Guard members swear to rid themselves of emotion and have no family except the rest of the Guard, so by marrying James she did violate her sacred vow; still, execution seems a bit over the top. (However, because she had been the valiant warrior to destroy the Harpy Queen, Flora commuted her sentence to exile instead.)
  • Doorstop Baby: Princess Odette's backstory reveals that she was sort of this, having been left at the side of a lake as an infant and adopted by a kindly carpenter and his wife.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: As it turns out, Black Swan stole the magic seed because of a prophetic dream about a man with a flaming sword, a tailor, and an unidentified woman all coming to the Dire Tree.
  • Due to the Dead: In the latter third of the game, the detective must visit the underground crypt filled with elaborate memorials to previous Swan Princesses.
  • Easy Amnesia: The man being held in the lake prison has lost his memories and the detective must craft a potion to help him reclaim them.
  • Faction Motto: "The Swan Guard - sworn to protect the goddess Flora at all times and at any cost."
  • Feather Motif: The Swan Princess's armor is embellished with many white feathers.
  • Fisher King: Princess Odette is revealed in the parables to have been a reverse one of these; although she was happy in her marriage to Prince James, being away from the lake where she had spent her life caused her to age prematurely and she died quite young.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: In order to kill the goddess Flora, the Swan Princess had to acquire the three sacred items she crafted for Floralia, as seen in the endgame of Ballad of Rapunzel. She steals the Shattering Sword from Ross Red and the Mirror Buckler from Desmond, and in one of the parables it's shown that she traded considerable wealth in order to acquire the Jewel of Repose from the man who found it.
  • Horse of a Different Color: The Swan Princess rides a large stag when she's first seen.
  • Idiot Ball: The Fairy Tale Detective rarely picks this up in the series. However, in this game she carries it around for a while, since she completely fails to realize that the red-haired man with the flaming sword who came from Floralia could only be Prince Ross Red! Once he recovers his memory he recognizes her at once, but it's almost ridiculous that she wouldn't know him.
  • In the Hood: The Black Swan wears a hooded cloak.
  • Insistent Terminology: A minor example. The ruler of the Swan Kingdom and leader of the Swan Guard is the Swan Princess. However, Princess Odette is usually called the Swan Lake Princess, possibly because of her reverse Fisher King status as noted above.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The Swan Princess, who has white feathers and Mystical White Hair, and the Black Swan, who is a Woman in Black and has dark coloring.
  • Living Statue: Flow, the "ancient one" who is the guardian of the Swan Archive, is made entirely of stone.
  • Kill the God: The Black Swan hides the magic seed in an attempt to stop the Swan Princess from doing this to Flora.
  • MacGuffin: The magic seed.
  • Makes Us Even: When the game opens, the detective saves Desmond from falling to his death. Later, he kills the Giant Spider that's after her, and invokes the trope by name.
  • Meaningful Name: Her backstory parable reveals that the Swan Princess's name is Elise, which means "Pledged to God." She is sworn to serve and protect the goddess Flora. Later averted when she kills Flora.
    • The Black Swan's real name is Odile, which means "fortunate in battle," and she's a very competent close-range fighter.
  • Mission From Goddess: From the end of chapter two onward, the plot shifts into one of these. More accurately, it's a Mission For Goddess, as the detective, Odile, and Ross Red join forces to try to stop the Swan Princess and restore the murdered Flora.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: The Swan Guard take a very serious oath to protect Dire Island and the goddess Flora. They will defend these to the death, which is why the Black Swan's theft of the magic seed is such a concern.
  • Mystical White Hair: Elise, the Swan Princess; additionally, the Druid in the swamp wears her hair in long white braids.
  • Named Weapon: The Shattering Sword
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: You have to admit, 'Dire Island' isn't the most welcoming name for a location.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The fact that the detective finds the seed and the Black Swan in only the second chapter of the game is a pretty clear indicator that something's not quite right here.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: The game opens with the detective riding a horse, whom she later identifies as "my trusty mare."
    • The Druid who lives in the swamp has an owl which constantly accompanies her. In one of the parables, it's shown that Odile saved the bird's life.
    • In the bonus chapter, the same Druid (then considerably younger) gives Princess Odette a small frog, who assists her in her campaign to defeat the Harpy Queen. Surprising no one who's played the previous games, she kisses the frog out of gratitude at the end and he transforms into Prince James.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: In addition to Princess Odette having been a Doorstop Baby, the current Swan Princess, Elise, is revealed in her parable to have been orphaned as a child and adopted by the Swan Guard who were unable to save her parents.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: In the bonus chapter, it's revealed that normally, only the Swan Princess can enter the Swan Archive without greatly angering "the ancient one," Flow. However, in the main game, Flow makes an exception for the detective and her allies because of the overwhelming danger to Dire Island.
  • Princesses Rule: The Swan Princess is the ruler of the Swan Kingdom, which makes it a Principality.
    • However, the title of Swan Princess is not handed down through hereditary royalty, but rather is given to the appointed leader of the Swan Guard, making it more of an Elective Monarchy.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Although she's a neutral deity of balance, Flora seems to be this. She commuted the sentence of the Swan Lake Princess as noted above, and in this game, she grants Ross Red's plea to save Odile's life, since the Black Swan had taken her death wound in the effort to restore the goddess.
  • Ritual Magic: The missing seed is needed to complete a regeneration ceremony for the goddess Flora. One of the parables explains that the Dire Tree was the first tree she planted on Dire Island, and she formed the Swan Guard to protect it; out of gratitude, it produces one magical seed every year to help her retain her vitality.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Desmond pretty much says this after the Swan Princess almost kills him. He takes off, leaving all his equipment behind, and is not seen again for the rest of the game.
  • She Who Must Not Be Named: One of the parables reveals that after Princess Odette's exile from the Swan Kingdom, it was all but forbidden to say her name.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: Ewan the Craftsman - yes, the same guy who built the mechanical bears in the last game - constructed an elevator within the Dire Tree that can only be activated through the use of a magic harp.
  • Tap on the Head: The detective succumbs to this twice, first when confronting the Black Swan and then again when the Swan Princess kills Flora.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: Averted; the detective is aided in this adventure by the Brave Little Tailor, Desmond McBride. However, we never see him doing any actual needlework with fabric - he's been summoned by the Swan Princess to sew up the cracks in the land with his giant needle, and he does so quite effectively.
  • Time Skip: Seen at the end of the first chapter, once the detective finds the way to the Dire Tree; the screen states that she and Desmond arrive at their destination "ONE HOUR LATER..."
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Swan Princess has been growing more and more upset about the number of Swan Guard soldiers who die in the service of a goddess who seems entirely indifferent to the situation. She decides to kill Flora and take her place in order to be a more benevolent deity than the one she serves; unfortunately, Flora's divine crown causes Elise to more or less lose her mind, and the good guys have to kill her in the end.

     The Thief and the Tinderbox 
  • The Noun and the Noun
  • Wedding Day: The plot centers around a royal wedding in the Snowfall Kingdom, although it has yet to be revealed just who is getting married.

In addition to the main series, Blue Tea Games has released a Freemium game for iOS devices called Fable Age. The player controls a team of four fairy tale characters in a turn-based strategy RPG of Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors which progresses through 23 "books" on a quest to rescue King Arthur. While not directly part of the Dark Parables canon, it is loosely connected. Curse of Briar Rose and The Exiled Prince are two of the books through which the player must battle, featuring artwork from the corresponding Dark Parables games on their covers, and Princess Briar Rose and the titular Exiled Prince may join the team as Optional Party Members during parts of their respective quests.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Videogame/DarkParables