Queen of Sands is the ninth installment in the Dark Parables franchise. The game takes place in Provence, France. As the Fairytale Detective, we must investigate nightmarish creatures laying siege on the town of Montafleur and uncover the secrets of the Queen of Sands, herself.
Detective, two days ago, we received strange reports of unexplainable phenomena occurring in the town of Montafleur. Several people witnessed a beast of incredible strength roaming the town and the surrounding forest. Others mentioned shadowy creatures appearing from a mist. Yesterday, we lost all contact with Montafleur. Your mission is to investigate the strange events in Montafleur and put a stop to them. The Red Riding Hood Sisters are also there. Their help would be invaluable to your investigation.
WARNING: This section contains massive spoilers!
The Fairytale Detective is dispatched to the scene and we're given our briefing (see above). At the end of it, we're attacked by a Nightmare Tree. Ruth appears to rescue us, but is wounded in the battle. We gather some healing herbs for her and she tells us that the Red Riding Hood Sisters' investigation has been a disaster thus far. She leads us to a cottage where the Sisters have been staying.
As we reach the cottage, we're ambushed by the lion-man from the intro, who leaps away carrying another one of the Sisters (we find out later her name is Brianne). We then get our first glimpse of the Queen of Sands, who summons a Nightmare Wolf to block our path to the cottage.
Unable to travel further on this path, we investigate the town of Montafleur, where we meet a kindly old woman. She gives us a pouch of Golden Sand that has the power to revert the Nightmare Creatures back to normal.
Sand in hand, we return to the Nightmare Wolf blocking our way to the Sisters' cottage. The sand turns the wolf back to normal, revealing a familiar face. It's Shadow, Ruth's very own wolf companion. We head into the cottage with Shadow to check on Ruth. She's alright, and she fills us in on the Sisters' investigation. She tells us to make use of the cottage and the Sisters' notes, and that she is returning to the base for backup.
Reading up on the Sisters' notes, we learn a little more about the Queen of Sands and the mysterious lion-man. We set out to explore the town further, only to be halted in one area by a Nightmare Water Monster. We make our way to the perfume store, but are attacked by the lion-man on our way inside. The old woman shoves us to safety inside the shop.
We explore the store and attached lab, then restore the beautiful back garden using a magical orb. After some puzzle-solving, we unlock the door to the perfume factory, only to have the old woman laugh and transform into the Queen of Sands herself! She enters the factory, sending a mist of bats at us and knocking us out cold.
When we awaken, we find ourselves face-to-face with the lion-man. He tells us that he is actually Baron Eric de Montafleur, and he was trying to keep Mab (the Queen of Sands) from reaching the lab. He tells us to follow him to his manor, where he has been caring for Brianne.
We explore the Montafleur manor, where we find Brianne. She appears well and tells us that Eric saved her life. She tells us that his father knew a lot about Sandmen and that we should find his notes on the subject. Some puzzle-solving leads us to the notes and we give them to Brianne. It seems Eric's father was not the good man everyone once thought he was. He is responsible for imprisoning the Queen of Sands, an act which led to her corruption.
Brianne sends us to search the Baron's study, where we learn that Eric unwittingly released Mab after his father died. When he did so, Mab cursed him into the lion-man form we now see him in. Speaking of which, Eric reappears to confirm all that we've learned. Because of his curse, he must keep the rage inside of himself in check or risk losing himself entirely. He sends us to fetch his locket, which restores his mind temporarily.
We hurry to formulate a plan with Brianne and Eric before Eric's curse can cloud his mind once again. It seems Mab needs two prisms from her hourglass to regain her full powers. The plan is to get these prisms before Mab does. Our role in the plan is to find the Master Key and meet Eric in the Perfume Store.
Important Notes: Make sure you have found everything you need in the Montafleur Manor (parable pieces, fleur-de-lis symbols, etc) before removing the Master Key from the cogs in the Control Room! Once you do this, all rooms inside the Montafleur Manor will be closed off to you - and you will NOT be able to return to them! Additionally, once you leave the Manor, make sure that you have collected everything you need from the Backyard Garden and the Perfume Lab before entering the Perfume Factory to face Mab. Again, these areas will be closed off to you after you enter the Factory!
We complete the Master Key and join up with Eric to face Mab in the Perfume Factory. Unfortunately, we're too late. Mab has the first prism. Eric attacks her, but is thrown to the ground along with us. We black out for a second. When we gain our senses back again, we see Mab summoning a Nightmare Golem. Eric rises from the ground and leaps off after her, leaving us in the Perfume Factory.
Knowing we must shut off the machines here in order to stop Mab from releasing her Golden Sand throughout the town and turning everyone into nightmares, we overload the machines and cause an explosion that takes out the entire Perfume Lab and backyard with it.
Important Note: Once again, make sure you have found everything you need (parable pieces, fleur-de-lis symbols, etc) in the Perfume Factory before you leave it! You will NOT be able to return to this area!
Fortunately, we found a pouch of Golden Sand in the Factory before we blew it up. This allows us to get past the Nightmare Water Monster at the Shrine so we can give chase after Mab and her Monster.
We find Eric again in the ruins of the Moon Goddess Shrine. He tells us to read his father's journal to find out how to disenchant the barriers around the shrine. With the journal's help, we manage to venture further into the Shrine. Eric races off ahead, leaving us to puzzle our way through the area.
When we finally catch up to Eric, he's found the second prism, but needs us to open the cage containing it. We do so, but it turns out this is exactly what Mab was waiting for. She attacks, gaining the prism for herself and increasing her powers. Her Nightmare Golem comes after us, but is restrained just in time by enchanted vines coming from an unexpected source: Rapunzel!
Ruth and Rapunzel tell us to meet Brianne at the Clock Tower, and that they will keep the Nightmare Golem busy in the meantime. We head to the Clock Tower, where Brianne tells us of the artifacts the Moon Goddess left and urges us to find one that we can use as a weapon against Mab. We find Blessed Arrows and give them to Brianne. On the way up the tower, we're attacked by the giant Nightmare Golem. Brianne defeats him with one of the Blessed Arrows and heads to the Clock Tower Roof to face Mab.
Before we can join her, we have to forge a weapon for ourselves. We make an amulet out of Moon Essence, using tools and a mold we found in the Clock Tower. Once done, we climb to the Tower Roof and face Mab. We use the Amulet to purify Mab, but it's too late to help Eric. He'd fallen in the battle before we even arrived.
Brianne rushes to Eric's side once the danger has passed. She sheds a tear and kisses him, breaking the curse that he's been under. He thanks us for our help in saving Montafleur, but our attention is drawn to Mab, who is stirring once again. She looks around, back to normal, aghast at what she's done, and sets everything right once more.And once again, the world is saved... thanks to the Fairytale Detective!
The Goddess' Gift
Since the dawn of time, the Goddess of the Moon has protected the people of Earth from evil forces. She bestowed upon them many magical relics and artifacts to ease their hardships. The Moon Goddess was beloved by the people of Earth, so they built many temples in her honor. In return for their gratitude, she granted them the ability to dream as they slept. The Goddess created the Keepers, beings who visited the humans each night, sprinkling golden sand across their eyes which made them dream. The few humans who saw these creatures called them Sandmen for the magic sand they carried. The Keepers were quiet beings who kept to themselves. They did not influence humanity, but instead watched their dreams with curiosity and awe. As time passed, the humans forgot about the Goddess' gift and the Sandmen faded into a legend told to young children to help them sleep well.
The Sleepless Child
One day, the head of an orphanage found a little girl crying on the doorstep. She never spoke, but tears flowed endlessly down her face. Every night she couldn't sleep and wailed at terrors only she could see. Fearing the other childrens' safety, the headmaster took her deep into the forest. He left her in a fairy circle, pleading for the fairies to help her. The forest fairies, intrigued by her plight, examined the girl, but could not cure her. As the full moon rose, the fairies begged the Moon Goddess to ease her pain. The Goddess sent one of her Keepers. At her touch, the girl fell into a deep sleep. When the Keeper brought the child to the Goddess, she saw the girl could never be cured, so she kissed her forehead and the girl transformed, becoming a Keeper of Dreams.
The Perfect Scent
Once upon a time, there lived a man named Hubert. Hubert was kind, modest, and loved by the people of his small town. Hubert was a perfume maker by trade. The most beautiful smells wafted from his home, but he vowed to create the perfect perfume that would please any nose. While searching for a rare flower, he stumbled upon an ancient garden, full of wondrous plants he had never seen before. Within the garden stood a beautiful woman, who outshined everything around him. Hubert gave her his most treasured perfume. But when Hubert saw the pouch of sand at her waist, he realized she was a Sandman. He realized her sand was the ingredient he was searching for. He fought with himself, but greed won out. He tricked Mab inside a perfume bottle and sealed it. With her dream sand powering his perfumes, everyone bought them. Hubert settled next to the ancient garden and built an entire city with his wealth. The people admired him and adored his wondrous perfumes. And so, the people lived in peace, until the day that Hubert passed away. But that is another story.
The Fallen Keeper
For centuries, the Keepers lived on Earth, serving the Moon Goddess by granting people dreams. Their dreams inspired humanity, so they prospered and advanced. The Moon Goddess gave an hourglass to each Keeper. Each contained the magical sand that was the source of their powers. The Keepers had to replenish their sand yearly at the Temple of the Moon. While their power is being restored, the Keepers are vulnerable, so they must be careful. This vulnerability made them susceptible to evil. Even among the purest creatures, seeds of evil can be sown. In the year of the Raven, one Keeper's sand ran out before he reached the temple. His hourglass cracked and hate filled his heart. He abused his powers, turning everything into living nightmares. The Keepers fought him, until the Moon Goddess intervened and destroyed him, repairing his damage. To protect the others, she gave them lunar stones to protect them against corruption.
The Queen of Sands
When the nightmare of the year of the Raven ended, the Moon Goddess gathered her children, to mourn the fall of the Keeper. The Goddess vowed to protect the rest from corruption. She gathered the Keepers and chose the wisest of them to become her champion. She imbued him with her powers, anointing him as King of the Keepers. Time is an ever-flowing river, and its waters bring change. As the centuries passed, humanity soared on the wings of progress and innovation. As humanity changed, so did their dreams. The Goddess understood that change begets change, so she knew the Keepers must also adapt. In the year of the Silver Moon, the Goddess descended to Earth for the Time of Purity. The Goddess gathered the Keepers once more and declared they would have a new leader: the purest among the Keepers, who was both powerful and well-remembered for her own humanity. Thus, the Goddess anointed Mab as the Queen of Sands.
- Our first teasers for this game were seen in The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide, where we encounter a hidden garden with a statue of the Montafleur lion holding an enchanted hourglass. There is also a wallpaper in the bonus materials of the game that features our first glimpse of Mab, the Queen of Sands.
- We encounter Ruth again in the beginning of the game, as well as the wolf that she adopted at the end of The Red Riding Hood Sisters. Ruth appears again later in the game, as well, and assists in the investigation.
- A letter from Jessica is found in the Montafleur bakery.
- The history and enchanted relics of the Moon Goddess play a large role in this game. We also see many statues and depictions of her that are reminiscent of imagery from previous games.
- Rapunzel appears to rescue us from the Nightmare Golem with her enchanted singing.
- We use Moon Essence to craft an enchanted amulet that allows us to defeat Mab.
- In the Workshop at the top of the Clock Tower, we find a set of puppets depicting Goldilocks and three mechanical bears - most likely a teaser for the tenth Dark Parables game.
- The teaser video, at the end of the game, depicts a table full of food with someone at the end of it eating a bowl of porridge. The spoon they're holding turns to gold in their hand - and the shot changes to a roaring mechanical bear that appears to also be made of gold.
- In the bakery, near the bags with the gear, is the wooden cat and mouse cabinet from Pinocchio's cottage in The Final Cinderella.
This is only a portion of the full credits at the end of the game, due to the immense size of the list.
Queen of Sands Team: Marko Kovacki, Danilo Gnip, Mirjana Marcetic, Slobodan Dan
Story/Game Design/Concept Art: Ameya Khasnis, Aleksandar Tomasevic, Antonio Maletin, Branko Maricic, Bojan Kocis, Danilo Radojcin, Igor Rajnjak, Dragana Trajkovic, Ivan Jankovic, Ljubomir Papuga, Ljubomir Kasikovic, Milos Doroski, Mladen Levnaic, Miodrag Kovacevic, Nemanja Bubalo, Radovan Zivkovic, Nikola Rokvic, Rajko Nikolic
3D Art: Biljana Bojanovic, Aleksandar Nadj, Boris Pilipovic, Dusan Jovicic, Dragoslav Vugdelija, Milos Zec, Nebojsa Nikodijevic, Miroslav Pavlovic, Sanja Bilinovic, Strahinja Milutin, Slobodan Djuric, Vladimir Vujkov
2D Art: Ana Dragicevic, Aleksandar Acanski, Ana Simon, Dejan Poljvas, Darija Ugrenovic, Dunja Despotov, Dusica Petrovic, Dusan Zaklan, Haris Ramic, Ivan Sevic, Ilija Mandic, Ivana Radin, Jelena Pjevic, Jelena Boskovic, Kristina Pavlovic, Marina Armus, Ljubomir Babic, Milan Jovanovic, Milovan Milicevic, Milos Nikolovski, Mladen Mutavdzic, Nenad Gucunja, Nemanja Krtinic, Novica Milivojevic, Sladjana Cica, Oleksandra Kostyleva, Vanja Babic, Viktoria Jurica, Verica Veljkov, Vladimir Lokic, Zoran Milenkovic, Vladimir Pavlovic
Level Design: Anica Stanic, Ada Sisic, Aleksandar Djokic, Aleksandra Vukosic, Aleksandra Milankovic, Ana Kovacevic, Branislav Bosnjak, Bojan Marjanovic, Dusan Pujic, Lazar Jovanovic, Dunja Djordjevic, Marko Bojic, Miroslav Vislavski, Milos Vukotic, Nemanja Kabic, Predrag Simic, Nemanja Skakavac, Srdjan Toljagic, Vlado Pintir
Cinematic: Dimitrije Baltic, Aleksandar Kocic, Djordje Milijanovic, Dusan Bozic, Dragan Petrovic, Dusan Kovic, Ibrahim Abdo, Gregor Hodinj, Ivan Knezevic, Luka Smiljanic, Ljiljana Plavsic, Marko Cveticanin, Marko Milovic, Marko Drazic, Nemanja Radovanovic, Nikola Dimitrijevic, Nenad Jerinkic, Tijana Nikodijevic, Zoran Tekic
Audio: Anton Beres, Aleksandar Manja, Nemanja Rancic, Nikola Jovanovic, Nenad Kuzmanovic, Srboljub Mladenovic, Vladimir Stanisic
Programming: Aleksandar Spasojevic, Adrian Ivasku, Bojan Cup, Branko Ivakovic, Branislav Petkovic, Dejan Cesarov, Djordje Zbucnovic, Dejan Zec, Dragana Ristic, Istvan Jung, Igor Kukobat, Ivan Grujovic, Mario Beres, Levente Simon, Marko Dmitrovic, Milan Jankovic, Milan Jandric, Milos Mirkovic, Nedeljko Pejasinovic, Milos Tresiglavic, Nikola Markovic, Predrag Spanovic, Oskar Medjo, Rajko Stupar, Stevan Jovanovic, Stefan Trifunovic, Tatjana Savic, Zeljko Popovic, Veljko Veselinovic, Zolt Varga
Voice Acting Edit
Mab: Jenny Barringer
Tape Recorder, Forest Fairy and Evil Witch: Lauren Synger
Ruth: Lindsay Sheppard
Eric de Montafleur: Max McGill
Brianne: Cenophia Mitchell
Rapunzel: Charlote Ann
Corbin: Bill Corkery
Old Sandman: Cam McCubbin