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Videogame: Dark Parables
These aren't the bedtime stories you remember...
The Dark Parables are a series of hidden object games inspired by classic fairy tales. Produced by Blue Tea Games 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, in order to prevent further destruction.

The seventh game, Ballad of Rapunzel, takes place in the Mount Sně×ka 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, endangering the local fishing villages. The Detective must find the source of the tide and stop it. It is set for release in Q1 of 2015.

In addition to the main series, the developer has released a Freemium game for iOS devices called Fable Age. You control 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 you as Optional Party Members during parts of their respective quests.

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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 basic mode in each adds 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.
  • 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. The third game's tokens are called parable gems, and take the form of small portraits with jeweled frames; the tokens in the fourth and fifth games look like small dolls. There are five such parables in each main game, with anywhere from three to six pieces to be found for each, and a sixth in each bonus game.
  • But Thou Must: You're not given any options about anything, you just have to do it.
  • 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.
  • Curse: As in the original fairy tales, but with some twists.
  • 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 Princess Ivy technically takes the role of the Frog Princess.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Everything's Better with Princesses
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Fictional Country: The Snowfall Kingdom in the third game, the Mist Kingdom in the fourth, the Sky Kingdom in the sixth, and Floralia in the seventh. Unusually for the trope, they are all accessible from real countries which are identified at the start of each game - Switzerland in the third, France in the fourth, Holland in the sixth, and Czechoslovakia in the seventh.
  • Flower Motifs: Flowers, particularly roses, are used heavily throughout this series:
    • Naturally, the castle where Princess Briar Rose is sleeping in the first game has a recurring rose motif.
    • Roses also appear in the second game, along with many other kinds of flowers, but most of all there's a strong ivy motif in memory of Princess Ivy.
    • There's a recurring apple motif in the third game, hinting that the Snow Queen is actually Snow White. Apples are technically members of the rose family, so it counts.
    • Finding a black rose and a white one becomes vital as you approach the end of the fourth game.
    • Obtaining a rose, a tulip and a lily in the fifth game helps you open a passage that had previously been blocked. There's also a wooden rose (described as a "wooden flower") that helps you solve another puzzle.
    • In the seventh game, the whole game centers around flowers.
  • 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.
  • Happily Ever After: What's missing from these fairy tales.
  • Haunted Castle: A recurring theme.
    • Briar Rose sleeps in one and a vision of her appears to the detective at the beginning of the game.
    • In the second, the trope is played with because the Frog Prince is unaware that Princess Ivy is haunting the premises in order to watch over him.
    • The Snow Kingdom's castle isn't technically haunted (its inhabitants aren't dead), but it might as well be, all things considered.
    • The Wolf Queen's castle, which only appears on certain nights, is effectively doing the haunting. The bonus story then reveals how it became that way.
    • The Godmother's castle in the Mirror World doesn't start out this way, but eventually is filled with murderous puppets who effectively haunt the premises.
    • Floralia is haunted by the ghost of Queen Melanie.
  • 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.
  • 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. They also include a bonus chapter to each Dark Parable which reveals more of the story:
    • The bonus game in Briar Rose gives additional details about the game's backstory, including the fate of the prince who tried to revive her.
    • The bonus game in Exiled Prince provides some of the backstory for Rise of the Snow Queen.
    • The bonus game in Rise of the Snow Queen explains how the Golden Child came to be.
    • The bonus game in Red Riding Hood Sisters gives the history of the Mist Kingdom, which is visited in the course of the main game.
    • The bonus game in Final Cinderella provides the tale of Princess Shan, who was the third girl to be declared a Cinderella.
    • The bonus game in Sky Kingdom reveals the backstory of the Sky Kingdom and how it fell into legend.
    • The bonus game in Ballad of Rapunzel follows Kai, Gerda and Prince Gwyn as they work together to restore Thumbelina to her rightful place.
    • 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.
  • 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 Immortal Inertia: Averted by the second and third games. Each contains characters who are several centuries older than they look - but when their immortality is removed, their appearances do not change, or at least not in a detrimental way.
  • No Name Given: The player character is only ever addressed as "Detective."
    • Except for Briar Rose herself, none of the characters in the first game are mentioned by name, just by title. Possibly justified in this instance, since the rest of the cast lived a thousand years ago and their names may simply no longer be remembered.
    • While the second game gives names to the Frog Prince and the princess from his story, it refers to The Little Mermaid and the Swan Lake Princess only by those names. This sort of makes sense for the mermaid, who was never given a name in her original fairy tale, but Swan Lake does give its princess a name - Odette.
    • Neither the king nor the prince seen in the third game are given names; however, most of the other NPCs are. In the bonus game in Ballad of Rapunzel it's revealed that the prince's name is Gwyn.
    • Averted by the fourth and fifth games, in which just about everyone the detective meets is mentioned by name.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Pretty much everybody sounds like they're from the United States or England even though the games are set throughout Europe.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Princess Briar Rose in the first game and her brother-in-law, the Frog Prince of the second game, both have this going on; the exposition of the first game explicitly states that it's been a thousand years since Briar Rose was sealed inside her castle. The Snow Queen and her beastly henchman, in the third game, have also been around for a few centuries, though it's not made clear exactly how many.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: Many of the hidden object puzzles result in you assembling things like crowns and scepters. In the second game, you must assemble and collect five princess tiaras for one of the final puzzles.
  • 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.
  • Save The World Climax: In the first two games, the detective merely had to save the locals. From the third game onwards she has had to save the world.
  • Scenery Porn: These games are gorgeous.
  • Sequel Hook: Each game ends with a tantalizing glimpse of the next one in the series and the words "Your journey continues..."
  • 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.
  • Strategy Guide: These can also be purchased and downloaded for each game; they come included in the collector's editions.
  • 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. It's unclear who she is, although presumably she's some form of Mission Control. For no stated reason, it's a different voice in the third game than in the others.

     Curse of Briar Rose 

Tropes present in Curse of Briar Rose include:

  • 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. Like the Canon Discontinuity mentioned below, however, this may be the work of her godmothers.
  • Bookcase Passage: A section of wall-mounted bookshelves in the castle library opens to reveal the entrance to a shrine to Briar Rose's godmothers.
  • Canon Discontinuity: A piece in one of the puzzles features Cinderella's glass slipper; but to judge by the events of the second game, Cinderella's story took place at least a few generations after Sleeping Beauty's. Of course, this can be hand waved because the fairy godmothers crafted all the first game's puzzles.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: When the prince kissed Briar Rose, everyone in the castle woke up - except her.
  • 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 Briar Rose's story, of course.
  • 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.
  • Giant Spider: There's one blocking the progress in the chapel storage area.
  • Girl in the Tower
  • 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.
  • 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 second game, you learn that Briar Rose had a sister named Ivy.
  • True Love's Kiss: Failed!
  • The Unfavorite: Curiously, this is vaguely hinted at in the collector's edition bonus material, which is the only place in the entire game that any mention is made of Briar Rose's sister Ivy. A doll found in a cabinet is identified as "Sister Ivy - the Forgotten Princess." The implication is that she was totally overshadowed by her sister's tragedy; nevertheless, as shown in Exiled Prince, Ivy loved her sister very much. The ending also has Briar Rose ask the detective to help her "beloved sister".
  • Warp Whistle: A "mysterious arcane symbol" allows the detective to teleport at will between the alchemist's tower and the castle courtyard.
  • 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: Assuming Princess Ivy takes the role of the princess from The Frog Prince, she hardly comes off as the spoiled witch who tried to kill the frog. Of course, considering that she is long dead, it is possible that they are glossing over that part of the story out of respect...
  • 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 going on.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • First Girl Wins: Princess Ivy, the Frog Prince's first wife, is still his favorite.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: The Swan Lake Princess's dress is a white tutu trimmed with white feathers.
  • Ghost Shipping: The romance in this game.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Immortality/Immortality Hurts/Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Frog Prince's real curse.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mercy Kill: The Frog Prince begs the detective to kill him, which she does.
  • 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 you first see him, the Frog Prince has glowing red eyes.
  • Reflecting Laser/Mirrors Reflect Everything: Used in the palace armory to unlock a hidden panel.
  • Shout-Out: Felix the Fish, the mascot of Big Fish Games, appears as a statue in the Little Mermaid's grotto.
    • Another, possibly unintentional; the Frog Prince's outfit bears a strong resemblance to that of Ezio in the Assassin's Creed games.
  • Title Drop: Princess Ivy, in her second piece of exposition, refers to the Frog Prince as "the exiled prince."
  • 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 you from entering the part of his castle beyond Princess Ivy's tomb.

     Rise of the Snow Queen 

Tropes present in Rise of the Snow Queen include:

  • 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.
  • 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, probably a hawk or an eagle, as an aide and companion.
  • 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 Evil Stepmother. That's why he continues to protect his daughter, even after she enchanted him into a beast.
  • How Do You Like Them Apples?: The Snow Queen uses a magic golden apple to hypnotize children before stealing them. There's an entire tree of magic apples growing in her palace.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 at least partially un-noodleized in the fourth game, where it's revealed that he was attacked by a mist wolf, and only the intervention of Red Riding Hood prevented him from being killed outright. (A snow-covered statue of him is seen near the Sisterhood's Moon Shrine.)
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: A villainous example. The Snow Queen's hair is white. 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.
  • Shout-Out: In the bonus game, the victim in the spider's lair is identical in appearance to a murder victim in Macabre Mysteries: Curse of the Nightingale, which is also a product of Blue Tea Games.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Sisterhood
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Badass 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.
  • Cute Bruiser: Ruth, the youngest of the Sisters.
  • Damsel out of Distress: All of the Sisters, save for Ruth, 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 killed trying to save a little girl from the wolves, and the rest of the Sisters (except for Ruth) 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 now I've come 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.
  • Killed Off for Real: Teresa at the beginning of the game, Eldra and Raphael at the end of the game.
  • 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 Moonstone, 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.
  • Stripperiffic: The outfits of some of the Red Riding Hood Sisters in the fourth game, especially Ruth. One wonders how much protection you can get from a midriff corset and a miniskirt.
    • 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 kill Eldra 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 started teaching and training Isabella after their encounter with the wolf, 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. This may double as a Call Back to the second game, since the magic she now wields is almost identical to that used by the Frog Prince.
  • 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.
  • 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 fiancÚ 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 - moreso 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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.
  • Parental Incest: According to the Cinderella Stories, Agnes (the second Cinderella) 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.
  • 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 account) 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 Cinderella's were rescued by their princes from their respective Cinderella Circumstances. Bianca Pace and her prince had a duel game.
  • 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.
  • 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: When the clock strikes midnight, the "chosen Cinderella" will turn into a glass statue.
  • 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 original Cinderella (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: Most 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.

     Jack and the Sky Kingdom 
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jack pulls this off for the detective multiple times.
  • 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 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.
  • Floating Continent: The Sky Kingdom. Your mission is to figure out why pieces of it are falling to Earth and prevent further destruction.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • My Greatest Failure: Jack spent years feeling guilty about accidentally 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.
  • Prodigal Sister: After the fall of the Sky Kingdom, Emma, having reconciled with Jack, rejoins the Red Riding Hood Sisters.
  • Prospector: Jack. Mission Control describes him as a "fortune hunter".
  • Rescue Romance: Jack and Emma met when she saved his life while on patrol during her time as a Red Riding Hood Sister.
  • 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 manages it, 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.

    Ballad of Rapunzel 
  • Big Damn Heroes: Prince Ross does this for the detective quite a bit. His 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.
  • Blessed with Suck: Being blessed to be the Guardian of Nightbloom Flower is definitely not good for poor Belladona.
  • Brown Note: The game opens with Rapunzel starting to sing and the landscape around her starts 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.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Queen Melanie, despite her dark appearance, is a caring stepmother to Rapunzel and wishes to be accepted by the king and her people like Violante. Too bad she trusted Mother Gothel.
  • Gender Flip: Prince Ross is revealed to be Snow White's brother, rather than the traditional story of 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."
  • Girl in the Tower: Of course. Subverted, as the one confined isn't Rapunzel but Belladonna.
  • 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.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Queen Melanie would have suffered a lot less if only she hadn't trusted Mother Gothel from the beginning.
  • I Owe You My Life: Prince Gwyn says this to Gerda.
    • Gerda and Snow White say this to the Detective.
  • Karma Houdini: In the best ending, Belladonna's punishment for trying to wipe out an entire country is to go into voluntary exile with her beloved sister so that she can learn how to control her powers. Meanwhile, the person 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: Thanks to Gothel's experiments and curse, Flora's power was badly weakened and as a result, was reduced to her Thumbelina form with no memory of her true identity.
  • Make Them Rot: Belladonna's power, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rescue Romance: It's revealed in Ross's parable that this is how Snow White and the Frog Prince's relationship began. Ross didn't approve, and after finding out she eloped, stopped talking to his sister.
  • Shout-Out: In the concept art revealed on the developers' Facebook page, Rapunzel is shown sitting in the window of a tower that looks a lot like the one from Tangled. There's also the part about singing to activate her magic.
    • Much of the main plot is clearly based on Frozen what with the princess with magic powers being locked away and being possessive of her sister...this might also explain why a bunch of characters from the earlier Snow Queen game make cameos.
  • They Are All Grown Up: Kai, Gerda and Snow White's son, Gwyn return from Rise Of The Snow Queen as young adults.
  • Vain Sorceress: Gothel's true desire is to be eternally young and beautiful. Her failure to achieve this sets up her plan of death and destruction upon Floralia.

    The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide 

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alternative title(s): Dark Parables
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