Return of the Salt Princess is the fourteenth installment in the Dark Parables series. The game takes place in the ruins of the Grak Kingdom in Krakow, Poland. The Fairytale Detective is sent to investigate why the kingdom is suddenly turning into salt.
Welcome to Krakow, Detective.
In the past few days, the Old Town beneath the ruins of the Grak Kingdom has been rapidly turning into salt.
A mystical species of white dragonflies appears to be the culprit behind this baffling case of salinization. Ironically, salt was the Kingdom's main source of wealth.
Unfortunately, little is known about the Grak Kingdom, as it is protected by a magical barrier that does not allow anyone to enter the Kingdom. What we do know is that, one hundred years ago, the Princess of Grak Kingdom suddenly disappeared. The Grak palace also collapsed around the same time.
Sources say that a girl resembling the missing Princess has been sighted in Old Town. She may be the link to all these strange happenings. Find this girl and solve the mysteries behind the salinization and the Grak Kingdom.
Good luck, Detective!
WARNING: This section contains massive spoilers! (So read at your own risk!)
The Detective is once again called to investigate an odd phenomenon, this time the appearance of a princess who went missing 100 years ago and why ruins of a kingdom are turning to salt. As soon as the Detective enters the ruins of the Grak Kingdom in Poland, however, the alleged missing princess uses dragonflies to turn a bridge into salt, making it fall and block the Detective’s path. There’s a girl trapped under the rubble, so the Detective explores to find a rod to remove it. In a nearby garden, an odd man jumps away, but it doesn’t matter at the moment. The Detective uses a rod in that area to lift the rubble, freeing the girl. She says her name is Serafina, and that she’s a royal guard to the princess. She clears the rubble in thanks and departs.
In the town plaza, the girl waits again. When approached, she runs and turns a tree into salt, blocking another path. Nearby is Rach Neumann, turned to salt; however, the same man from the garden throws a rock down, destroying the statue. The Detective then finds a hatchet and destroys the tree and gains access to the next area.
While the Detective is investigating, the man sneaks up behind her and attempts an attack, but luckily, another royal guard by the name of Mercy saves her. She gives the Detective a dagger and instructs her to leave immediately, but there’s still a case to solve. Shortly after, the man is seen trying to take the girl somewhere. The Detective shoots him with the crossbow, and he falls into a large chasm; in thanks, the girl reveals she is Princess Brigid of the Grak Kingdom, and that her powers are growing weak for an unknown reason. Before she can say more, the man climbs up the wall of the ravine and pulls the Detective down with him, so now they’re both trapped in the Salt Mine.
In the mine, the man landed on the other side of a large metal gate, keeping him from harming the Detective. By exploring, the Detective finds two magical altars, one to fire and one to water. By deactivating the fire altar, and therefore deactivating his red bracelet, the man can speak again: he talks angrily about getting Princess Brigid back, but it is unknown why. Just before the water altar is destroyed, the man blocks the Detective’s path, for somehow he broke out of the gate; oddly, he doesn’t attack at all, he just blocks the way out. When the water altar is destroyed, he speaks, and claims that he will get revenge for the Detective’s transgressions against him, but there’s no time for now. He jumps away, and with the gate he broke, the Detective climbs out of the mine.
Upon reaching the surface, the Detective finds herself in the ruins of the Grak Palace. However, a swarm of dragonflies blocks the way out; Serafina arrives just in time to stop the Detective from becoming salt. She explains Brigid is like a sister to her, so she needs to find her as quickly as possible. Just outside is Mercy, and when she’s told of the predicament, she expresses equal concern. She instructs the Detective to search inside the ruins for Brigid. The princess is on the other side of yet another chasm, and she can’t control her dragonflies any more. Mercy and Serafina rush to her aid, but only with a censer and herbs will the dragonflies go away.
As the Detective is searching, an odd silhouette and a sound, much like a roar, appear. The shadow looks almost like that of a dragon.... Odd. With the prepared censer, the dragonflies leave, and with a golden gear, a bridge lowers across the gap. But then the same man from before arrives on the back of a large dragon. The dragon knocks Mercy into the chasm, and the man attempts to capture Brigid. She uses the last of her strength to turn him to salt, but it doesn’t work and she falls unconscious. He commands the dragon to burn the Detective, but Serafina redirects the flames with her powers. She’s then knocked into the wall of a nearby chamber, leaving the man and his dragon to make their escape.
Now that Brigid is absent, the dragonflies spread out and rain down salt on the kingdom. The Detective runs to check on Serafina, who tells her the man that kidnapped Brigid is from the Daemon Evokers, a clan that lived on the hill. He’s the sworn enemy of King Henryk, and now it’s the top priority to get Brigid back from him. She just needs a moment to recover, and then she says she’ll join the search. Back by the bridge, Mercy climbed out of the chasm. She tells the Detective that it’s too late to back out now, and gives her an emblem to signify she is against the Daemon Evokers. That man took Brigid to Solwood, the Daemon Evokers’ home, so the three all enter the Forest of No Return to find Brigid.
As the name suggests, the forest makes one instantly lost, but the Detective manages to open the path. Oddly, in the waterway below the palace (where the clue to the path was held), there was a girl with green skin and red hair behind bars… the Detective decides not to look behind those bars again. The man is seen walking through a hidden path in the forest, but he doesn’t seem to be a threat now, so the Detective continues on to Solwood. The dragon is patrolling Solwood vigorously, yet the Detective manages to sneak by and find Brigid locked in the Dragon Fort. When awakened, she claims this place feels familiar, but not at the same time. When the dragon next makes his rounds, Brigid reveals his name to be Solais, and states that a Daemon feels everything their Evoker feels, and vice versa, but then questions how she knows this. Regardless, the Detective searches for a key to her chains.
Upon returning to the throne room, a girl appears, with red hair and a glowing red eye. She is standing at the entrance to the waterway; when examined, she disappears. The Detective questions this for a moment, then proceeds to the throne room to find a key. With a hammer and chisel, the Detective finds a key hidden in a sacred area, placed by the man when he walked past earlier. With it, Brigid is freed, but Solais blocks her off. The Detective uses a sleeping potion, then runs away with Brigid back to the throne room. Before they get there, the red-haired girl appears again, this time near the lake. She walks towards the palace ruins through the forest. The Detective notes she looks like a mini Serafina… interesting. Regardless, the Detective hurries to the throne room. Solais appears again, but with a dragon lance, he flies off.
Brigid calls for her father, but he doesn’t respond. The Detective lifts the nearby curtain to reveal his remains, and Brigid begins to question everything she’s ever known, eventually running away and accidentally allowing dragonflies to turn the Detective into salt in her weakened mental state. The salt is washed away by Mercy just in time, and Serafina and Mercy both speak of how lucky the Detective is to be alive. They tell the Detective about the Salt Enchantment Barrier made by the Royal Advisor 100 years ago. It can contain the dragonflies within the limits of the Grak Kingdom. There are two circles needed to repair it: the fire circle and the water circle. The water circle’s closer, so the Detective heads there. Before departing, she asks Serafina about the odd girl she saw, and Serafina has no idea who it was. The two depart to search for the princess once more.
The Detective revisits the waterway to find the water circle. Inside the room with the odd girl earlier, the broken water altar stands. The Detective also investigates a neighboring chamber with coffins, each for odd sulfur and mercury servants -- one couldn’t repair itself, one was disobedient, and the one seen earlier was too aggressive. However, one of the servants still works, and attempts to attack the Detective. The Detective steals its core of mercury and the items lying in its coffin, then repairs the water circle. It’s revealed that Serafina and Mercy are actually two of these servants, created by the Royal Advisor for her purposes. Behind the coffin of the aggressive sulfur prototype is a tunnel leading back to the town. The Detective takes it and begins the search for the fire circle.
In the town, the same red-haired sulfur doll prototype is following the Detective. She appears behind doors and on top of roofs; the Detective still manages to find the lava forge, where the fire circle is hidden. She manages to restore the circle, fixing the Salt Enchantment Barrier. The dragonflies can no longer escape the confines of the kingdom; but on the inverse, it means no one can enter the kingdom either.
At last, the sulfur prototype shows herself. She attempts to attack the Detective, but luckily the Detective kept the icy core of the other doll. With a slingshot, the core destroys the doll’s sulfur core, and the remains topple to the ground. Sounds of fighting appear to be coming from a nearby library, so the Detective enters, only to find Serafina and Mercy holding an unconscious Brigid and arguing about her fate.
Mercy destroys the ruse that’s been building this whole time: she is under the orders of the Royal Advisor to take Brigid and use her salt power to transform the entire world. She tells the Detective she should’ve left while there was a chance, for now everyone will die. Serafina reluctantly sets fire to the library, and with a few runes, the Detective teleports away… where the man from before is awaiting her angrily, along with his dragon companion.
He admits he knew those two witches were evil and Brigid is his daughter, stolen by Henryk at a young age. The witches imprisoned him with the altars in the Salt Mine, making him incapable of anything except finding Brigid. He knows the Detective is not his enemy. He needs a simple healing potion, and then he says he’ll help the Detective get his daughter back. But in Solwood, the forest is dying. No more leaves line the trees, and the branches are barren. This exposes a note, revealing the Advisor was actually a Daemon Evoker centuries ago, but she started using black magic. She wants revenge on the clan for her exile, which created this whole chain of events. With the healing draught, the man reveals he’s Prince Nuada, the last ruler of the Daemon Evokers. The Detective decides to create a flame-extinguishing potion to stop the fire in the library.
Once the blaze is extinguished, Nuada and the Detective find Serafina outside. She taunts them, saying Brigid is in the mine if they’d like to try and save her. In the mine, Nuada argues with Serafina, and she says the process won’t hurt Brigid. They’re merely borrowing her salt powers to transform the rest of the world into salt. Nuada realizes this will kill Brigid as well, but Serafina says Mercy promised her no harm will come to Brigid. In her denial, she continues to guard the princess as Nuada can’t do anything without hurting Brigid.
The Detective finds an axe, and uses it to cut down a chandelier dangling overhead. It injures Serafina, but she says it’ll take a lot more than that to kill her. At the last second, Brigid pleads for Serafina to stop, for the ceremony doesn’t feel right to her. Serafina gives in, but Mercy approaches from behind and stabs her core. Serafina collapses, and Mercy takes the princess to a pavilion on the lake to end the world. Nuada heads down as well, but the Detective stays to talk with Serafina, now dying on the floor.
She says that all she wanted was to be a family with Mercy and Brigid again, but she should’ve known it couldn’t be. She states how foolish and stupid she was, and keeps saying Mercy is perfect in every way. Her dying wish is to use her core gem to kill Mercy, which she then rips out of her chest. Her final lines echo through the walls of the salt mine: “But our past was a lie anyway. Mercy never loved us.”
Investigating all the locked areas from before, the Detective unlocks the path to Brigid and Mercy and creates a bomb with Serafina’s core gem. Mercy reveals the Royal Advisor is still alive, and notes nearby reveal Henryk cause the collapse of the palace by bombs to destroy all his enemies: Nuada, the Royal Advisor, Mercy, Serafina, and himself. The bomb did destroy the palace, but Nuada got out with his Daemon Evoker blood, Mercy and Serafina can automatically repair themselves, and the Advisor used her magic to protect herself. Finally, the Detective launches the bomb at Mercy and Nuada summons Solais to ignite it. Mercy is destroyed, and Nuada and Brigid talk for the first time, with her asking “Are you really my father?”
Not all is well, though, for Mercy comes behind them with a sword. Brigid protects her father and calls out the name “Dracaena!” her Daemon, cursed by the Advisor to become dragonflies. With Serafina’s core destroyed, the curse is broken, and so Dracaena is free. Brigid stares in disbelief as her Daemon removes Mercy’s core gem, killing her. The cave has become unstable, and Nuada is crushed under a boulder. His last words to Brigid were to live a good life. She cries, but the Detective pulls her to safety.
In Solwood, Brigid and Dracaena stand overlooking it all. Brigid reflects on this whole journey, saying she regrets nothing, for she knows how much both her fathers loved her. She vows to search for remaining scattered Daemon Evokers from the war and unite them, becoming the light she was prophesied to be.
In the end, the Salt Princess became the Dragon Princess and not only stopped the plot for an evil witch’s revenge, but fulfilled the prophecy of one hundred years ago to restore the Daemon Evokers. And so, the princess who once longed to return home departs with a new sense of self and duty.
The Exiled Salt Princess
Once upon a time, there was a King who had only one daughter whom he loved very much. As time passed, the King grew old, but the Princess remained as young as ever. One day, the King asked the Princess how much she loved him. "Why is my father asking me this?" the Princess wondered. "Of course, I love him. He is my father after all. How can I express my love for him?" Now there were two guards whom the Princess loved as sisters. The Princess asked one of her guards, "What should I say?" "How about comparing him to gold?" suggested the guard. "It's very valuable, and you love the King just as much." The Princess felt that gold was not the answer. Then, the Princess asked her other guard, who was clever and level-headed. "How about comparing your love to jewels?" suggested the guard. "They are very precious, and you love the King just as much." The Princess was still not satisfied by this shallow answer. Finally, she arrived at her own answer. "I love you as much as salt," the Princess told the King. "This Kingdom's wealth is built on salt. You are as precious to me as salt is to our Kingdom. More importantly, the power of salt has protected me since I was born, just as you have protected me," the Princess declared. The King replied, "Very well, let the power of salt protect you from now on. You are hereby banished from this Kingdom." Thus, the Princess was exiled and forbidden from returning to her Kingdom unless summoned by the King. No matter how the Princess and her guards begged and bargained, nobody could change the King's mind. The next day, the Princess left her Kingdom crying. The cold in the air matched the chill in her heart. Legends say that the King watched his daughter depart with mournful eyes.
The Untold Story of the Frog Prince
Once, there was a Prince who transformed into a frog through a curse. One day, he found a golden arrow in the pond. The arrow was shot by a Princess, who was one of the immortal guardians of the Goddess Flora. They fell in love at first sight. The Princess kissed the Prince, giving up her immortality in order to break his curse. The happy couple got married and had a mortal child, who grew up with no sign of any curse. They thought that they could have their happy ending. Alas, this was not to be. For as the Princess grew old, the Prince remained as young as ever. In the breaking of his curse, the Princess had passed on her immortality to the Prince. The Prince watched on as his Princess aged, and his child got married and blessed the Prince with a grandchild. Finally, his Princess died, the Prince fell into deep grief. He returned to his frog form and was doomed to repeat this tragic story for as long as he lived. The Prince's unhappy story was passed down from generation to generation through his child. Eventually, one of the Prince's descendants decided to rewrite the Prince's story and publish it with a happy ending. Thus, the Prince's true story became lost. Not even his later descendants knew the true story.
The Moon Prophecy
In a time when humans were still living peacefully with nature, there was a clan called the Deamon Evokers. This clan was blessed by various spiritual animals based on each family's inheritance. They also had the ability to communicate with nature. The clan was highly respected for their powers. Humans looked up to them as teachers, as philosophers, as intercessors for nature, and as prophets and magicians.However, as humans grew more advanced, they started destroying nature. The Deamon Evokers could not bear the humans' selfish and indiscriminate use of natural resources. Thus the Deamon Evokers chose to live apart from the humans and used magic to isolate their home on the hill from the outside world. Living in isolation meant that there were no fresh bloodlines from the outside. The population of the clan shrunk. The situation was bleak. The clan was falling into despair until the day the Dragon Prince was born. From the start, everyone could feel his power. Was this a sign that the clan might yet not become extinct? Then, the full moon came and with it came a prophecy of hope: "The one with dragon blood must meet with the one descended from a cursed bloodline saved by love, a bloodline that has been touched by both immortality and death, and by plants and animals. Their union will bring renewal to the clan." Everyone in the clan rejoiced except for the Dragon Prince. He knew his duty was to fulfill the prophecy and revive his clan. However, he secretly wanted to marry for love, and not for the sake of a prophecy. One day, he met a beautiful Princess who had somehow broken into their sacred forest. As he got to know the Princess and fell in love with her, he became certain that she was the bride mentioned in the prophecy. His clan would be saved.
Sisters made from Sulfur and Mercury
Once upon a time, there was a King who worried about his daughter's safety and tried in vain to find suitable guards for her. Seeing his dilemma, his Royal Advisor told the King, "I will create for you the perfect guards - loyal, obedient, powerful, and with the ability to heal themselves." The King agreed, and the Royal Advisor, who was a witch, experimented with her magic, discarding many mud dolls until she finally created two perfect dolls. One doll has a heart of sulfur, and the other had a heart of mercury. The dolls were everything the Royal Advisor promised: loyal, obedient, powerful, and they had the ability to heal themselves of the most mortal wounds. However, what the King did not know was that the dolls' first loyalty was to the Royal Advisor, and not the King or the Princess. The witch commanded the dolls to guard the Princess, as the witch needed the Princess for her plan of revenge. The dolls obediently guarded the Princess as she grew up, and being around the Princess caused them to learn to feel human emotions. When the Princess asked them for their names, the dolls realized that their creator had given them no names. Thus, the dolls named each other, taking inspiration from the materials their hearts were created from. The dolls grew to love the Princess like a sister. However, no matter how much the dolls loved the Princess; they still remembered their first loyalty was their creator and that they were mere dolls, not humans. Their idyllic life was not to last though, for suddenly one day, the Princess left the palace. Not long after that, the palace collapsed, trapping the dolls. After many years, the dolls finally repaired themselves enough to wake up in the ruins of the palace. They found that the witch had left. Having no other purpose, the two dolls decided to obey their last orders and carry out the witch's plan for revenge. To do this, they would first need to find the Princess and lure her back to the kingdom.
The Exiled Witch
A long, long time ago, there was a woman who was born into the family blessed by the frogs. Through this family was one of the ancient families of the Deamon Evokers clan, they were feared by everyone. For the frog was known to be a messenger from the underworld, and no one felt comfortable with the people who could summon frogs as their spirit animals. Now, this woman was blessed with great magical talent. She studied every field of magic that she could find, as she wanted to raise her family's status by using her talents for good. At first, it seemed to be working, for the woman worked many types of magic that greatly benefited the whole clan, and the people started warming up to her family. However, in her zeal to learn all the magic she could, she started learning dark magic, which was forbidden. For this, she was stripped of her name and banished by the King. With nothing left, the woman lost all inhibitions and taught herself all manners of forbidden magic, including curses, turning people into animals, creating magical lifeforms. Eventually, she even learned the secret of immortality. Delving into forbidden magic caused her heart to turn cold. All she desired was revenge on the clan that had exiled her. A thousand years passed. She became the Royal Advisor of a human kingdom near her former clan. Finally, her chance for revenge had come...
- Princess Brigid is revealed to be a descendant of Prince James and Ivy Green, who were first introduced in The Exiled Prince.
- In the gallery of the former Grak palace is a clock featuring three bears - bears were a constant theme in Goldilocks and the Fallen Star.
- In the Old Town, there is a cart with a Cursery book inside, along with one labeled with an image of the Frog Prince. This Cursery book is a nod to one of the Dark Parables spinoff games, Cursery: The Crooked Man and the Crooked Cat.
- There is a cage decorated with a sculpture of a black cat with one eye blue and the other yellow - the sculpture resembles Parn, a cat from Cursery: The Crooked Man and the Crooked Cat.
- On the door to the Arcane Laboratory is an elemental circle of salt, sulfur and mercury, which was first featured in The Thumbelina Curse.
- In the Forest of No Return, there are three wood cravings in the trees: a young girl, a maiden and an old crone. This could be a reference to Hecate, the Greek goddess of magic and crossroads.
- Alternatively, it also could be a reference to the Irish goddess Brigid, who is identified as a triple goddess along with her two other sisters being named Brigid as well. The triple goddess being the maiden, mother, and crone.
- Since this game has many alchemy symbols, it is likely that Serafina and Mercy were based off of homunculi.
- The Royal Advisor mentions in her diary of having a vision of The Green Lion devouring the Sun. This is a popular alchemy symbol, with the Sun representing gold/sulfur and The Green Lion representing mercury. And because the lion is devouring the sun, it could be foreshadowing that Mercy would kill Serafina.
- There are many representation between salt, mercury, and sulfur that reflects on Brigid, Serafina, and Mercy's characteristics.
- Body- To be added.
- Child/Union- Because of her longevity, Brigid slowly age, still retaining the appearance of a teenager.
- Soul- Serafina desired for a life living with her two sisters and the fact that she loves them reflected that she has a good soul.
- Male/Masculine- Reflected on Serafina's appearance. Unlike her sisters, she doesn't wear dresses, having a tomboyish look.
- Spirit/Mind- Mercy is calm and rational, thinking of things first before acting. She technically represent the "ego", applying what she knows to satisfy her needs in accomplishing her mission and to feel complete of her purpose.
- Female/Feminine- Mercy's appearance reflected that. She looked elegant and beautiful.
- Similarly, a common symbol seen throughout the Grak Kingdom is the triad of Silimanite, Kyanite, and Andalusite. These three gems represent similar things.
- Andalusite, for Brigid (green), symbolizes overcoming hardships and finishing a journey, much like how Brigid learned the truth of her exile and overcame the deaths of those around her.
- Silimanite (red) represents intense emotion and anger without thought, reminiscent of Serafina's combative and intense nature.
- Kyanite (blue) represents calm and logic, both traits that Mercy clearly embodies.
- The three aforementioned gems are also a trio branching off the same element, possibly representing the relationship the three have as sisters (sister gems and sister figures in the game).
- In the mini game featuring how Ivy encounter James, there was a girl who appeared from the water and offered the princess a choice between the golden arrow, the normal arrow, or the apple. The mini game seemed to be based on The Honest Woodcutter.
Blue Tea Games Founder/CEO: Steve Zhao
Game Designer: Vivian Cheung
Art Lead: Homer Cheung
Story: Vivian Cheung
Writer: Jennifer Lee
Character Design: Homer Cheung, Gloria Lok, Lee Wai Sum
Costume Designer: Gloria Lok
Puzzle Designer: Vivian Cheung
UI Artist: Wan Suet Yu
Popup Note Artist: Gloria Lok
Cutscenes: Snix Cheng, Lee Wai Sum
Character Artists: Snix Cheng, Homer Cheung, Lee Wai Sum, Meow Lai, Wan Suet Yu, Gloria Lok
Concept Artists: Homer Cheung, Gloria Lok, Lee Wai Sum, Meow Lai, Wan Suet Yu
Special Thanks: Gavin Wong, Helen Wong
Voice Acting Edit
Brigid - Aurora Simcovich
Serafina - Lani Minella
Mercy - Erin Lehn
Nuada - Bill Corkery
Henryk - Mattew Posner
Wanda - Kayli Mills
Cockatoos - RandiG
Narrator - Jason Miller
Tape Recorder - Lauren Synger