The Exiled Prince is the second installment in the Dark Parables franchise. The game takes place in the Black Forest of Germany. As the Fairytale Detective, we must investigate a string of disappearances rumored to be caused by the Frog Prince.
This game is based on the fairy tale The Frog Prince and also includes certain elements of the Russian ballet Swan Lake, the French folk tale Cinderella, Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, and the German fairy tale Snow White.
Detective, the chancellor's daughter went missing last night. Her bodyguard was also nowhere to be found. However, we believe this case has to do with the Frog Prince. More than once he's surfaced on our radar in the Black Forest, but we've never been able to pinpoint his location. I've given you a map of the area where she was reportedly seen last. It is imperative you find the chancellor's daughter as soon as possible. Good luck, Detective!
WARNING: This section contains massive spoilers! (So read at your own risk)
The game opens in a dark forest. We see a young girl walking with an older man. As they walk, the girl tells the man a tale about the Frog Prince appearing in these woods whenever the fog rolls in. The man expresses his concern about how late it is, mentioning that the girl is the Chancellor's daughter and calling her by the name Marie. The girl realizes they are lost, but the man isn't worried; he sees someone ahead who might be able to help them. The camera zooms in on this figure, who is actually the Frog Prince himself, and the scene fades out on the glowing of his red eye...
We're dispatched to the Black Forest in Germany, to the location where the girl was last spotted: Exiled Prince Road. We're given our briefing (see above) and our adventure begins. We search the grounds and find a cottage nearby. We find Marie's shoe on the front porch and see a man's figure in the window upstairs, but we can't gain entrance without a key. Eventually, we find the key and return to the cottage, where we see Marie in an upstairs window, calling for help - but due to a trap set by the Frog Prince, we fall into a cave.
We now find ourselves in an underground cavern. It seems we aren't the first person to end up here, either. A skeleton of a fellow traveler seems to foretell of a bad fate for us if we don't manage to escape. In our efforts, we end up running into the ominous man from above ground again. He tells us we aren't welcome here and we shouldn't have taken his key, but that our dire predicament is nothing compared to the curse he bears every day. It's a good bet this is the Frog Prince we've been looking for. However, he disappears before we can tell him we're not a common thief.
Using some tools and clues left by the thief who died in the underground cavern, we're able to find a way out of the place - and into a gorgeous underground courtyard. While exploring this beautiful area, we suddenly see a bright green apparition of a lovely woman. She disappears as we approach her, however.
In our exploration, we find many different buildings and shrines that cause us to wonder. Most notable of these buildings are gorgeous shrines to five different fairy tale Princesses: The Mermaid Princess, the Swan Lake Princess, Princess Ivy, Snow White, and Cinderella. The green apparition of a woman appears again. She tells us she is the spirit of Princess Ivy and explains the Frog Prince's true curse: to repeat an endless cycle of kiss, transform, outlive lover, transform back. We realize that the women enshrined in the Underground Kingdom are all of the Frog Prince's beloved wives. Ivy also tells us, before disappearing, that in order to rescue the Chancellor's daughter, we must first lift the curse from the Frog Prince. She tells us to look in the greenhouse for something we will need.
We continue exploring, gaining access to the greenhouse, the dock that leads to the Mermaid Princess' shrine and even the Underground Kingdom's castle. We find a potion that works as an antidote for the frog curse, but it only works on smaller creatures. We test it out on a frog we find and discover the potion works: the frog turns into a pig!
Eventually, Princess Ivy appears to us again. She explains that after the Frog Prince married Snow White, his final wife, he fell prey to another curse. From that point on, he would stay a human, but any mortal he came into contact with would turn into a frog. This explains what's happened to Marie, and to all of the other people who have gone missing in the Black Forest.
We explore further and deeper into the Underground Kingdom. We find evidence of an ancient wand the Frog Prince has hidden within his kingdom. We also learn of a Transmutation Circle that should be able to imbue the wand with the magic necessary to break the curse. We manage to find the passageway out of the Underground Kingdom, which brings us back to the Black Forest above.
We get into the Frog Prince's cottage, but there's no stairway up to the second floor where we saw Marie earlier. We find and open a secret stairway behind the bookcase, only to discover that Marie and her bodyguard have been turned into frogs! As Princess Ivy had warned us, there will be no way to save the Chancellor's daughter without breaking the curse on the Frog Prince himself.
Through our intrepid detective work, we manage to find the Ancient Wand. We combine six different plant potions to create an Uncursed Potion, then uncover the Transmutation Circle. By combining the potion and the wand inside the circle, we create the Immortal Wand.
As we do so, the Frog Prince appears, telling us that he's going to put a stop to our shenanigans. Ivy appears beside him, begging him to let it go. James, the Frog Prince, tells us he wants nothing more than to be with Ivy, and for us to use the Immortal Wand we now hold to put an end to his suffering. We use the wand on the Frog Prince, which reverts him back to a frog, and to a mortal being. Now having far outlived his life span, James dies immediately, joining Ivy as a spirit.
Before the spirits depart, James gives us the locket needed to free Marie and her bodyguard. We rush to the Frog Prince's cottage and, somehow, snow is making its way into the house. Nevertheless, we make our way upstairs, where Marie and her bodyguard are now human once again, but still trapped inside the Frog Prince's device. We use James' locket to free them before the device can drown them.
We give Marie a blanket and as she warms up, she tells us about a strange woman with an ice cold gaze that was there only moments before we arrived. She said strange things about a Snowfall Kingdom, then disappeared. Perhaps she has something to do with the snow downstairs? As always, our journey continues...
(Once the game is finished, the player receives the inventory item called the Golden Crown. As in Curse of Briar Rose, this also unlocks a Hard Mode version of the game, in which the player can access a secret room within the Kingdom.)
You've rescued the chancellor's daughter and ended the prince's curse. However, a greater evil looms upon the fabled Snowfall Kingdom. It won't be long until your next investigation takes you to the high mountains from which no fairy tale Detective has returned.
The Exiled Prince was released before parables were put in the games. However, we are told some tales by characters throughout the course of the game.
"Story goes when the fog rolls in, the fabled Frog Prince begins to wander here, searching for his long-lost princess. But no one who's laid eyes on him has ever returned to tell the story." - Marie, in the intro video
"I am Princess Ivy, the first love of "The Frog Prince." After my magical kiss transformed him, I thought we would live happily ever after. Years passed, then decades. As my hair slowly grayed, he stayed young as ever. I still remember the day he held me in his arms as I drew my final breath. And at that moment, in that state of sadness and anguish, the prince transformed back into a frog. He is doomed to live the cycle over and over again: kiss, transformation, lover's death." - Princess Ivy
"Not long after the Frog Prince wedded Snow White, a terrible curse fell upon him once again. He would remain forever in human form, but any mortal he touched would turn into a frog. Shortly after, the exiled prince made this forest his home and built an underground kingdom full of shrines to his loved ones." - Princess Ivy
There is also a story in the concept version of the intro. It should be noted that this story isn't canon, as it wasn't included in the final release of the game.
"Many years ago, a princess in the countryside passed by a nearby pond and saw a large frog. The creature leaped toward the startled princess, looked her in the eyes, and croaked: "Kiss me, dear princess, and you shall undo my century-old curse." Curious to be approached by a talking frog, the Princess gave it a small kiss, which magically transformed the frog into a tall and handsome prince. The two began courting, and not much longer wedded. But unlike the passed down fairy tale, it never ended happily ever after..." - Marie, in the concept version of the intro video
- Early in the game, we find the remains of Rach Neumann, the Blue Tea Thief.
- Princess Ivy is the sister of Briar Rose, the Princess we rescued in Curse of Briar Rose. In this game, Ivy thanks us for lifting the curse from her beloved sister.
- One of James' wives is Cinderella. In The Final Cinderella, we learn that there are many Cinderellas. James' wife is revealed to be Agnes Koch.
- One of James' wives is called The Little Mermaid. We learn more about her in the eighth game, The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide. We find out her name was Naida.
- One of James' wives is called Swan Lake Princess. In The Swan Princess and the Dire Tree, we learn her name was Odette. She is also the protagonist in A Fable of Two Hearts.
- One of James' wives is Snow White, who plays a major role in the third game, Rise of the Snow Queen.
- Inside the greenhouse devoted to Princess Ivy, we find a wide variety of exotic plants. One of them appears to be a Nightbloom from the kingdom of Floralia.
- Inside James' shrine to Snow White, there is a wooden puppet of Snow lying in a glass coffin. This puppet is similar in style and design to the life-sized, intricate puppets made by Geppetto.
- It's also possible Geppetto assisted in the completion of the Snow White shrine or the entire Underground Kingdom itself.
- At the end of the game, we find snow and Marie tells us of a woman who stared at her with an ice cold gaze and spoke of a Snowfall Kingdom. These things are teasers for the third game, Rise of the Snow Queen.
- Additionally, there are two apples that are needed to open Snow White's shrine. These are the apples of Gold and Silver, and while the silver apple doesn't directly correspond to the events of Rise of the Snow Queen, the golden apple does.
- The bonus gameplay for this game serves as a further teaser for Rise of the Snow Queen.
- The game was originally going to take place in Edmonton, Ireland.
- The Chancellor's Daughter, Marie, was originally going to be named Madeline or Maddy for short.
- The path the game begins on went through several names before becoming The Exiled Prince Road. It was going to be called Frog Prince Road or Stone Frog Road at various times during production.
Creative Director: Steven Zhao
Production & Art Leads: Gavin Wong & Karla Wong
Artists: Snix Cheng, Lee Wai Sum, Suyi Ma, Evelyn Tsang, Teresa Tse, Ricky Siu, Yan Nam Ko, Mandy Wong, Kate Zhu, Dennis Yeung
Game Architect: Chan Ho Yuen
Programmers: Tse Chung Ho, Timmy Kwok, Kenneth Djuwidja, Amy Lai
Audio Production: SomaTone Interactive Audio
Scripting: Andrew Tan, Daniel Santoso