Throughout the Dark Parables series, the player encounters many red herrings. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines a red herring as, "something that distracts attention from the real issue." They're the things you run into during gameplay and think, "Oh, this is something important. I'll have to do something with this..." only to eventually discover it isn't important at all and there's nothing you can do with it, either.
Finding red herrings can be as fun as finding clues and puzzles at times. They add to the mystery and confusion of the game, and on repeated playthroughs, only grow more mystifying. Why are they there? What do they mean? Were they meant to do something? Were they originally going to be important? Did the Developers forget to put something there? Are they just messing with our minds? What do they want from us?!?!
In order to be considered a red herring, an item must have sufficient attention drawn to it (being animated, mouseover text, pop-up windows, close-ups, etc) that implies a deeper meaning for said item or place... only to have no further meaning produce itself. For instance, a hole in a tree without any of the above is just that - a hole in a tree. However, a hole in a tree with a close-up view of the hole and mouseover text telling you more about the hole implies a deeper significance to that hole.
Well, as meaningless and pointless as they are, we thought we would collect them here, for your enjoyment. Of course, we're assuming you might enjoy them. You just as well might not, come to think of it, in which case this page itself is just as useless as the items collected on it...
< This lovely view of some thorns on a wall in Stewartson Castle greets us early on in the first Dark Parables game. The mouseover text reads, "The thorns are dangerously sharp! There must be a way to stop them from reaching the city." Yes! We must do something immediately! And surely, this up close view of the thorns is just begging for us to do something about this right here. Only we don't. Ever. We just gaze at this nice close-up and... do nothing here. At all.
> This mechanical gargoyle stands guard outside the inner gates of Stewartson Castle. It snaps its jaws at the Fairytale Detective, who observes that she shouldn't put her fingers near it. It serves no purpose whatsoever, other than to teach us not to put our fingers in the mouths of bitey things. Good job, little gargoyle. Consider that lesson learned.
< This innocuous pile of debris appears in the throne room of Stewartson Castle. It's clearly blocking a door - and when clicked on, the mouseover text informs us that "There is too much debris blocking this door." Well, that's a problem, isn't it? And we're good at solving problems! On top of that, doors are meant to be gone through - right? Well, not this one, apparently. We never clear the debris and never get to see what lies behind this door.
> In the master bedroom of Stewartson Castle, we find a broken window. The glass from the window fell into the room - indicating the window was broken from outside, likely by vandals or someone trying to break into the joint. You'd think this would be of interest to a world famous detective, but... nope. The Detective merely muses to herself, "The windows look like it has been broken into." and moves on with her day.
< Well, isn't this charming. At the Crossroads of Exiled Prince Road we encounter this lovely tree. And by "lovely" I mean fetid and creepy. There's a giant hole smack dab in the center of the trunk, and our cursor turns into a magnifying glass over it, inviting us to click on it. Well! What wonders might there be inside a gigantic hole in a tree? If our time playing adventure games has taught us anything, it's that people can't help but shove treasures and helpful trinkets inside tree holes! Let's click on that sucker!