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YMMV / Dark Parables

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  • Awesome Ego: Desmond McBride, The Brave Little Tailor, is a bit boastful and talks about how he's a master tailor and is obviously the right choice to help the Swan Princess repair the cracks in her kingdom. However, he is then able to back up his claims by literally sewing the ground back together.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Prince James has some of this going on. He's really a good guy deep down, but he's done a lot of horrible things since his curse. Nevertheless, he's given an attractive look and has quite a number of female fans among the players, many of whom downplay or outright excuse his misdeeds.
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  • Even Better Sequel: As good as Curse of Briar Rose is, Exiled Prince improves on the formula, and subsequent games continue to expand upon these beginnings. In later games, you get to collect mini-parables that explain the back stories. They are fun to read, especially since they often explain how the titular fairy tales played out.
  • Inferred Holocaust: In the bonus game of Red Riding Hood Sisters, it's made pretty explicitly clear that all of the residents of the Mist Kingdom were slaughtered by wolves when the Greedy King attempted to claim the treasures of the Fairy Tale Land. Only the Boy Who Cried Wolf and his father escaped.
  • Jerkass Woobie: If you think about it, the main motivations of some of the antagonists make them fall under this.
    • The titular Exiled Prince is hard to pity in most respects, since he did intentionally do a lot of very questionable things (up to and including trying to kill the detective). However, it's hard not to have at least a little sympathy for him once you learn the true nature of his curse and how he keeps outliving everyone he loves.
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    • Once you learn about Eldra's backstory and how she became the Wolf Queen, you do feel a bit bad for her because she just wanted to be acknowledged as being good enough to be the Elder Sister.
    • Amelia in The Final Cinderella as well. One day she's a Happily Married Fairy Godmother, and then while she's off doing her godmothering, her husband gets burned at the stake for creating a sentient puppet as their son. Her grief drives her to madness and evil, kidnapping young women in a plot to revive her husband and reunite her family.
    • Poor Belladonna in The Ballad of Rapunzel. She was the Unwitting Pawn in Mother Gothel's revenge plan against the Goddess Flora. Gothel had made it so that she was born with the ability to leech life from anything she touches. As a result, the child was locked away by her father in order to keep her powers under control and protect the citizens of Floralia; she didn't mind that until her adored sister Rapunzel, the only person she believed truly loved her, got engaged and Gothel convinced Belladonna that Rapunzel was going to leave, leading her to basically destroy the kingdom. All Belladonna ever wanted was to be with her sister and to be loved, but this very natural desire led to some awful results.
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    • Princess Althea, in Purple Tide, is so desperate to help her father regain his humanity - and, perhaps more importantly, his sanity - that she's willing to do just about anything, even order the giant eel to eat Pinocchio in order to get his orb. It's hard not to feel at least a little sorry for her, especially since it's not her fault that things turned out the way they did.
    • Jack, from Sky Kingdom, has turned into this by the time of Fallen Star. His personality through the main game, during those rare scenes where he appears, is much less friendly and charming than in his original appearance; he even threatens the detective at one point. When you get to the bonus chapter, however, you find out that he's still a good guy, and his personality has shifted due to his nigh panic over wanting to free his fiancée Emma from being a gold statue.
    • The villain of Swan Princess is a genuinely good-hearted individual who cares greatly for the Swan Guard and the Swan Kingdom. But she's never really gotten over losing her parents as a young child, and over time she's grown increasingly disillusioned by Flora's True Neutral attitude toward those who die in her service. She decides that the only way to make things right is to Kill the God and take her place, and be the loving deity she feels Flora ought to be. She's a Well-Intentioned Extremist at best, but all things considered, she's really not an unsympathetic character.
    • Fiachra. Dear god, Fiachra. Born part fairy, doomed to madness and cruelty while actually capable of love, unlike his siblings. Suffered an unspecified curse. Went seekign a cure. Met a girl. Fell in love with girl. Continued his journey when he had only a sliver of sight left and even starlight burned him. Left his most faithful companion, a duckling behind as a pledge of love. When he came back and asked her father for her hand is where the trouble really begins.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In the second game. It's just a really freaky copy, but it's still really unsettling when you enter Snow White's cottage and find the glass coffin the dwarfs made for her in her fairy tale... and she appears to still be inside it with her eyes wide open.
    • The terrifying glass statues and puppets everywhere in Final Cinderella are this.
    • And similarly to the glass statues, Fallen Star has a lot of gold statues who used to be people.
    • The end of the bonus chapter of Tinderbox is very much this trope.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: The developers themselves have taken to referring to the pairing of Prince Gwyn and Gerda as "Gwyrda."
  • Sequelitis: A lot of the reviews on Big Fish Games express the opinion that as more installments come out, the gameplay and the story become less interesting. Most fans of Dark Parables agree that the first four games are excellent; many feel that Final Cinderella is the point where Blue Tea Games just stopped caring, although Sky Kingdom was well received. Queen of Sands and Purple Tide get the most flack for lacking original ideas, as Eipix took over development of the games after Blue Tea sold the rights to them.
    • In defense of Eipix, however, they do genuinely care about the series, to judge by the way they treat it on social media. Fallen Star and Swan Princess have both received excellent reviews at Big Fish Games, as compared with the previous two titles. So perhaps they will ultimately avert the trope; they certainly seem to be trying to do so, especially given the way they interact with fans on social media and even take suggestions from them.
    • As of late 2017, however, control of the series has been returned to Blue Tea Games. It remains to be seen how this will change the trajectory of the series.
  • Shipping Goggles: There were quite a few players of Sky Kingdom who felt that Jack has way more chemistry with the detective than with his actual fiancée, Emma. He's the first NPC with whom the detective spends a significant amount of time during any game; she's clearly devastated by his apparent death; their reunion later in the game has a strong emotional, almost flirtatious vibe; and he's just a truly enjoyable character. One wonders if he was written the way he was in Fallen Star in order to thoroughly sink the ship.
    • The bonus chapter of Ballad of Rapunzel ends with Gerda noting that Gwyn has invited her to visit him at the palace, "under much friendlier circumstances" than when she was there in Rise of the Snow Queen. Unlike the other ship examples listed here, this one becomes confirmed canon in the twelfth game.
    • In Dire Tree, there seems to be some romantic tension between Ross Red and Black Swan, which is just awkward considering his engagement to Rapunzel. Nothing comes of it, however.
    • It's a bit of a reach, but there are a few fans who have taken to shipping the detective with Hansel. He first appears in the bonus chapter of Fallen Star, where he acknowledges her as a fellow servant of the Moon Goddess (and one in whom the goddess has taken particular interest), then returns to aid her again in Tinderbox at great personal cost. The ship tease is slight, but has potential for future games depending on the will of the creators. (The fact that he looks like a golden-haired fairy tale prince doesn't hurt the shipping.)
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In most of the games, the titular fairy tale turns out to be connected to another story, which often takes over. It sometimes works out; sometimes it does not. The game that gets the most flack for this is The Final Cinderella, since it focuses much more on the Pinocchio subplot. Ironically, the makers seem completely aware of this, since the tie-in game concerns rescuing the Asian Cinderella, Princess Shan, from her stepmother, the Spider Witch.
    • Ballad of Rapunzel has gotten similar flack for this. We could have had a game about saving Rapunzel from the witch. It turns out Rapunzel is not even locked in a tower; her half-sister is. The fact that the game seems to base itself more off of the Disney retelling than the earlier variants (and probably wants to cash in on Frozen) does not help.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Many players were displeased with the direction in which Eipix took the previous several games, and the commentary on Blue Tea's Facebook page indicates that they're hoping Return of the Salt Princess will do this for them.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: It could be argued that some of the villains qualify for this. Pinocchio definitely does, not least because he's a completely unwilling participant in his mother's schemes.


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