Jack and the Sky Kingdom is the sixth installment in the Dark Parables franchise. The game takes place in Alblasserwaard, South Holland. As the Fairytale Detective, we must investigate reports of a kingdom in the sky that is falling to Earth.
Welcome to Alblasserwaard, Detective. Yesterday, a mysterious floating island we believe to be the legendary Sky Kingdom suddenly appeared from beyond the clouds. But as soon as it emerged, crumbling pieces of the island hurtled to the ground below. A number of citizens have already been gravely hurt. Further destruction must be prevented. Seek out a fortune hunter called Jack. Rumor has it that he once managed to set foot in the Sky Kingdom; he may be able to provide guidance through the fabled kingdom. But a word of warning: a village girl saw a sinister-looking man emerging from a crater. We believe he may be a threat to your mission. Good luck, Detective!
WARNING: This section contains massive spoilers! So read at your own risk!
The game opens with a milk maid looking up into the sky at a strange island-like structure that has suddenly appeared in the clouds. Huge chunks of flaming material are flying from it, like meteors, crashing into the ground. Among these chunks is a fully-formed building of some kind. A man rises out of the building, looking ominously at the girl.
We are dispatched to the location as the Fairytale Detective. Upon arrival, our carriage is hit by debris falling from the Sky Kingdom, causing our horse to run off. We awake to find ourselves at the gateway to the tower that fell from the sky. The ominous man from the opening scenes is watching us. He warns us to stay away and closes the gate to the tower.
As soon as we are able to open the gate once more, we're met by the same ominous man. He tells us our journey ends here and hurls an enormous rock at us. We're saved at the last moment by a golden axe thrown by another adventurer. The ominous man calls this adventurer "Jack" and takes off after him, leaving us to explore the area.
In our explorations, we learn that there are actually three kinds of Magic Beans: Beans of Invisibility, Beans of Longevity and Beans of Growth that create gigantic beanstalks. We also learn that Jack and the ominous warrior share a history. The ominous man is a warrior Prince and he considers Jack a thief, while Jack seems to think the man is responsible for the deaths of his friends.
Finally, we get to actually meet the elusive Jack. He tells us the Sky Kingdom is falling apart, but he will help us put a stop to the destruction. He tells us to open a treasure box inside the tower and meet him at the bridge. Upon opening the box and pulling out the beans kept inside of it, we are blown from the tower entirely by a powerful force. The tower doors slam shut behind us, barring us from going back inside.
Jack takes us to his cottage, where we turn the beans we got from the tower into magic beans. We plant these beans to create a new beanstalk, which angers the warrior Prince. He attacks again, hurling debris at us. We're saved again by Jack and a battle ensues between Jack and the warrior Prince. A chunk of the Sky Kingdom falls on the two of them, breaking up the fight and pinning Jack under a rock.
After freeing Jack from the boulder, we head to the beanstalk once again. As we climb, the warrior Prince appears again and attacks. We manage to make it to the top, but Jack and the Prince both fall. Upon reaching the Sky Kingdom, we're greeted by Emma, who warns us to be careful and to explore Prince Hugh's room to stop the destruction.
On our way to Prince Hugh's chambers, we run into the Prince, himself. He continually mocks us with his disdain for humankind, then disappears entirely. We find out his disappearing act is due to the Beans of Invisibility we learned about earlier. When we finally confront Prince Hugh, he turns his right hand into a tangle of vines and attacks us. We're saved by Jack, who is alive after all. He reveals to us that he managed to catch onto part of the beanstalk and used the flying aircraft to reach the Sky Kingdom. Using Hugh's navigation devices, we pilot the Sky Kingdom over the ocean, preventing the falling debris from harming anyone on land below.
From there, our adventure brings us to Prince Julian's chambers. Here, we learn more about the Sky Kingdom's dangerous treasure and the role the Queen's ring plays in unlocking its power. We also learn that Prince Julian is a shap-eshifter. We are confronted with two Jacks, both asking us for the Queen's ring. (The choice the player makes at this point is irrelevant. The ring ends up in Julian's hands either way.) Prince Julian disappears with the ring and we head to the castle with Jack.
Immediately upon entering the castle, we're confronted by Emma, who attacks Jack. She's angry that he abandoned all of them and ran away all those years ago. She says she will never forgive him, and heads further into the castle. Jack confesses the truth about that day to us and wonders if Emma will ever forgive him. Inside the castle, we learn that Emma is a distant relative of the Sky Kingdom's King, which explains why she's been treated so kindly since her arrival there. Emma tells us more about the Bolide Shard and offers to help us put a stop to the King's madness, but we must first restore the fallen pieces of the Sky Kingdom.
We manage to bring up the tower that had fallen to Earth. In doing so, we learn from Emma that the tower is Prince Leonard's, giving us a name for the warrior Prince we met earlier. We're also told that the vault key we need to stop the King is hidden in Prince Leonard's rooms. We must find the key and give it to Emma.
Once the vault is opened, we make our way to where the King of the Sky Kingdom is. He attacks us with an enchanted rose, but Jack jumps in the way and saves us yet again. He's wounded, but manages to knock the King out, which knocks loose a gemstone the "King" was wearing, causing him to revert back into Prince Julian. The King is hiding elsewhere and activates the Bolide Shard, causing flaming meteors to once again fall to the Earth.
We find a hidden elevator inside Prince Julian's chambers that takes us to the King's hiding place. We take down the King's protective force field and Jack attacks him. The King is knocked from the platform, but Emma catches him just in time. A moment of clarity causes the King to realize the error of his ways; he apologizes to Emma and frees himself from her grasp, falling to his death.
Jack consoles a grief-stricken Emma while we take the Bolide Shard back to seal it inside its shrine. Once the shard is sealed, the Sky Kingdom begins to crumble and fall into the ocean. We black out and come to on a beach, where Jack thanks us for our work and encourages Emma that the King would want her to live happily.
Five days later, we see Jack with Emma as she is reunited withThe Order of the Red Riding Hood Sisters.
The Sky Kingdom was destroyed by the great power of the Bolide Shard.
With the trusty aircraft, Jack, Emma, and the Detective were able to escape unscathed.
The King was reunited with his family, with the realization of what true happiness meant.
And Jack and Emma rediscovered a treasure worth more than gold - love.
Thanks to the great Fairytale Detective, the world was safe once again... until the next time.
Once upon a time, a miller boasted his daughter could spin wheat into gold. The King demanded a demonstration, but the miller's daughter had no such skill. Knowing the dawn would bring her death, the daughter wept bitterly. Suddenly, an imp appeared before her and offered to spin the wheat in return for her first-born child. The daughter agreed. Delighted, the King married her the next day. Their first child soon followed and for a while all was well. But one day, the imp reappeared, demanding what had been promised to him. The King and Queen pleaded with the imp for mercy. So he proposed that if they could guess his name in three days time, he would release their daughter from the promise. The King guessed rashly and was cursed. But with the help of a tiny messenger, the Queen learned the imp's true name was Rumpelstiltskin. Foiled, the imp tried to leave, but the King had other plans.
The Three Sons
There was once a wealthy King who was a fanatical collector of valuable treasures. One day, he heard that an old crone had three unique 'treasures' in her possession, and paid her a visit. The crone presented to him three orphan boys, each imbued with a special talent. She guaranteed their loyalty to the King so he brought them to his kingdom and appointed them Princes. The King's obsession with his fortune pushed him to increasing acts of madness. His subjects fled the kingdom in fear, but the three loyal Princes remained by the King's side. It was on the deserted kingdom that the Princes came of age and into their talents. The eldest Prince, Leonard, grew to a mighty warrior, with a quick temper and a love of battle. The second Prince, Julian, was the King's closest confidante. A hedonist and a shape-shifter, taking different appearances as he pleased. The youngest Prince, Hugh, was an avid scholar. Persuant of all knowledge, he developed magic beans that allowed them to live unnaturally long lives. The three were united in only one cause: to obey the King's whims. Their mindless devotion to the King made them a most fearsome foe to those who would cross him.
The Mercenary King of the Sky Kingdom
Once upon a time, there was a poor but honorable King, who was determined to rebuild his kingdom's fortune. One day, his appetite for gold suddenly grew insatiable. The Queen, in despair of his greed, took their daughter in hand and left him. The King suffered many lonely years without them, but his obsession with treasure only flourished. One day, a strange witch came to sell him 'the most valuable treasure in the world'. And it was from this witch that the King learned of his beloved Queen's death and her most unexpected final wish: that the world be purged and remade into one of beauty and peace. The grieving King vowed to honor her memory with the sacrifice of his greatest treasure. He decided to unleash the Shard on the day a meteor shower would rain closest to the earth, a rare occurrence that happened only once every millennium. To protect the rest of his treasure, the King used magic to raise his kingdom into the sky. Though magic ensured the King's long life, his plans were thwarted by a petty thief named Jack, who had unwittingly stolen the key that would unleash the treasure. Though Jack escaped, the rest of his gang was left behind. And there was one woman who reminded the King very much of his beloved Queen and their young daughter...
Jack and the Beanstalk
There was once a young lad named Jack. Outraged by the poverty he saw plague friends and family while the rich grew richer, Jack picked fat pockets and shared his spoils with all. Soon, Jack made his way into the world of treasure hunting with a group of like-minded friends; eager to expand his efforts to help the poor. It was during their travels that Jack heard of the legend of a kingdom in the sky. With the help of his fiancee Emma, he acquired the 'magic beans' that grew into a giant beanstalk. At the top, Jack and his friends found the lost kingdom. But in the midst of a raid, they fell under the attack of three powerful guardians. At the sudden onslaught, Jack fled to the ground and chopped the beanstalk down. By the time he regained his senses, Jack realized that Emma and his friends were now trapped. Wracked with guilt, Jack resided in a small cottage by the beanstalk stump for years, desperately searching for a way to rescue them. Little did he know, one day, his efforts would set a terrible plot's wheels in motion once again.
The Adventures of Lady Emma
The story begins with a noble-born lady named Emma. Unsatisfied with her mundane lifestyle, she rebelled against her family and trained under the Order of the Red Riding Hood Sisters. During patrols, Emma saved a young man by the name of Jack, a fortune hunter with a charming smile and tales of adventure. They fell in love and she left the Sisters for a future with him. Jack had a dream as well, in the form of the elusive kingdom in the sky and the heist of a lifetime. But all his research fell to naught, until Emma gave him the magic beans that had been in her family's possession for generations, a secret heirloom connected to the kingdom. But the kingdom proved to be as treacherous as it was bountiful. Emma found herself abandoned by the man she loved and at the mercy of the King and three Princes of the kingdom. Unexpectedly, the King claimed Emma as his descendant, proven by her possession of the magic beans. He treated her like a daughter, but Emma soon realized the King had been bewitched to set upon a nefarious path that would destroy the world. Emma knew she would need help to stop the King. She sabotaged the floating kingdom, exposing its location, and hoped it would alert the attention of the Fairytale Detective before the island's destruction went too far.
- In Jack's cottage, we see a photo album that contains photos of Jack and his friends. Among these friends is Raphael from The Red Riding Hood Sisters.
- In order to enter Jack's underground vault, we must bypass a security system of booby traps. One of the buttons on this device features the image of King Audon IV, the Greedy King.
- Inside Jack's underground vault of treasures we find: a statue of Briar Rose (Curse of Briar Rose), a statue of the Frog Prince (The Exiled Prince), a replica of a Magic Mirror (Rise of the Snow Queen), a Red Riding Hood Robe (The Red Riding Hood Sisters) and a Glass Slipper (The Final Cinderella).
- While exploring the Sky Kingdom, we're confronted by a figure who looks like James - the Frog Prince. He refers to our "most well-known case". It turns out to be Prince Julian in disguise.
- We find many clues and signs of Rumpelstiltskin throughout the game, including finding a stone idol of him chained and caged inside the Sky Kingdom dungeon. There are also multiple depictions of the Miller's Daughter from that same story, as well as the loom she used to spin straw into gold.
- Rach Neumann makes another appearance in this game, as one of Jack's compatriots.
- In the Sky Kingdom castle, we find a locked door that leads to a tall tower with long hair hanging down to the ground from a high window. When clicked on, the text reads, "Someone with long, golden hair lives in this tower. I wonder..." This is obvious foreshadowing for the next game, Ballad of Rapunzel. There are also Bellflowers all around the base of the tower, and the Detective observes that the air is thick with the scent of them.
- There is a Nightbloom flower in Prince Julian's art gallery, foreshadowing for Ballad of Rapunzel.
- The Evil Witch is seen in several places in Prince Leonard's tower in the Sky Kingdom, looking as she does in Hansel and Gretel. The skull emblem on a pendant of her also matches the skull emblem on a brooch of hers in The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
- Emma is a former member of the Order of the Red Riding Hood Sisters. At the end of the game, she is reunited with the Order and we get to see Ruth and the other sisters again. The sisters are accompanied by fully grown wolves, showing they were successful in the plans they made at the end of The Red Riding Hood Sisters.
- After the game's conclusion, we see a teaser clip of Rapunzel in her tower, her long hair flowing down from the window. Belladonna can just barely be made out in the background, behind Rapunzel. Another teaser for the next game: Ballad of Rapunzel.
- This game actually has a game-breaking glitch. It takes place in Chapter 6, when the Detective just gains access to the Navigation Room. When you click the wheel to move the Sky Kingdom over the ocean, it may get stuck in its animation on the third click. This causes the animation of the ground moving to loop so the player can't move on. You have to delete your profile and start from the beginning if this occurs. So far it's unknown what makes this happen, but it's most likely the cause of doing tasks out of a set order. There might be a patch in the future, depending on where you get the game from and what computer.
- It's possible the game was originally going to be titled "Jack and the Sky Castle", as hinted at by the developers on Facebook.
Creative Director: Steven Zhao
Production Manager: Gavin Wong
Producers: Kenneth Djuwidja, Rick Liu
Art Lead: Chan Kwong Wai
Game Designers: Steven Zhao, Timmy Kwok
Cutscene Team Lead: Snix Cheng
Artists: Lee Wai Sum, Suyi Ma, Alejandro Dini, Homer Cheung, Wan Suet Yu, Meow Lai, Chiu Cheung, Mandy Wong, Karla Wong
Game Engine Architect: Chan Ho Yuen
Game Content Developers: Andy Liang, Timmy Kwok
Puzzle Designers: Steven Zhao, Timmy Kwok
Animation Specialist: FCP
Animators: Wan Leung, Lee Wai Sum, Gavin Wong, Chiu Cheung, Chan Kwong Wai, Frankie Yip, Ricky Siu
Audio Production: SomaTone Interactive Audio
Writer: Mandy Lam