Something dark is brewing under the sea.
|—Tape Recorder, The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide|
The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide is the eighth installment in the Dark Parables franchise. The game takes place on the Greek island of Crete. As the Fairytale Detective, we must investigate reports of a Purple Tide approaching the coastline, killing all marine life in its path and flooding a coastal village.
This game is (rather loosely) based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid.
Detective, yesterday a fisherman witnessed a purple tide flowing towards the shore. This tide killed everything in its path before washing ashore, flooding the local village. The village elder claims this phenomenon happened once before, centuries ago, but nowhere near as intense. Something dark is brewing under the sea. There have also been several sightings of mermaids in the area. And villagers are whispering about tales about the legendary sunken kingdom of Prasino. Your mission is to locate the source of the purple tide and put a stop to it before it strikes again.
WARNING: This section contains massive spoilers!
As the game loads, we see a video of a fisherman fishing on a tranquil body of water. The screen dips down below the water's surface, where we see a castle of some kind rising out from the ocean floor. Along with this, we see a giant monstrous eye open. The screen then returns to the fisherman on the surface, where the water around him has turned purple. He hears a noise behind him, as some sort of sea creature jumps out of the water and splashes down. The fisherman looks over his shoulder, as his eyes widen and the screen goes black, we hear a scream.
The Fairytale Detective arrives on the scene, in a rowboat (really, can't we get something nicer than that?). We receive our briefing (see above), and as it ends, a ridiculously ugly Eel Monster rears up out of nowhere and attacks us, destroying our boat and sending us into the water (I guess this is why our bosses didn't shell out for a nicer boat).
We awaken two hours later, on the island of Crete. The water is purple, and there's a woman stuck under a boat in the water. We free her and she warns us that this place is dangerous for "landwalkers". She then dives into the water, and we see she was actually a mermaid.
Venturing further, we find a huge temple devoted to the Sea Goddess. We also find a young man who seems to recognize us, though the Fairytale Detective doesn't recognize who he is. As we explore more, we come across a fountain that shows us a vision: a beautiful woman who screams at us suddenly, giving us quite a fright.
We manage to open the Sea Goddess' temple, but as soon as we do, that ginormously ugly eel shows up again and attacks the young man we met. He dashes off into the temple and we follow along. Inside the temple, we encounter a restless ghost who urges us to leave while we still can. Like we're going to listen to that.
After passing through a tunnel, we encounter the mermaid we saved earlier. The Eel Monster seems to be under her control. She sics it on the young man who seems to be randomly accompanying us, and it swallows the dude whole! Well. guess it no longer matters where he knew us from. He's that eel's dinner.
We're knocked back and safe from harm (otherwise, the game would've ended here, I think). The guy who's now eel chow dropped a photo... which happens to be of Pinocchio, Geppetto and Amelia. Oh, oops. Was that guy Pinocchio? Well, looks like we just watched him get killed, so that's a shame.
As we get closer to the palace, we find a room belonging to Princess Naida. From the decor and the evidence we find inside, it's clear this is the Mermaid Princess that married Prince James, the Frog Prince. We find that she, too, was under a curse, and that's why she was a mermaid. In return for having helped him with his curse, Prince James was dedicated to helping Naida with hers, though we still don't know what it was she was looking for to break the curse.
We enter the palace and encounter that mermaid from before. She apologizes for setting her Eel Monster on Pinocchio, but she says she had to stop him for some reason. She tells us we must leave before her father finds us - but it's too late. He already has and we're under attack. Strangely, however, we seem to awaken from the attack in the same place... and none the worse off for it. Weird.
Inside the palace, we find a chamber belonging to Princess Calliope, the Little Mermaid from the traditional tale who traded her voice for legs in order to marry her true love. We also find a really creepy monument to the Sea Goddess. There seems to be another side to her that isn't so friendly... and is creepy. Really creepy.
In the Palace's Throne Room, we overhear a conversation between the Mermaid Princess and the King. It seems Pinocchio had some sort of orb that the King wanted, but the Eel Monster ate it right along with Pinocchio (see, that's why you don't go around eating people!). The King orders the Princess to find the orb, no matter what the cost. The Detective muses that we'd better save "that boy" or else he'll be toast. Because being eaten by a hideously ugly eel apparently didn't make him toast already.
Before we leave the Throne Room, we spot a note that seems to explain the furious depictions of the Sea Goddess we keep seeing. The Kingdom of Prasino seems to have trapped the Sea Goddess so that she would forever protect their kingdom. That explains why she's so angry, and why she cursed the royal family.
We give the Eel Monster a potion to make it cough up Pinocchio. He's been poisoned by the eel, but is otherwise okay from his adventure of being, you know, eaten alive by a monster. That's probably because he's turning back to wood, because of the Wood Orb in his chest losing its power. We give Pinocchio an antidote for the poison, then set out to charge his orb, because that's the kind of full-service operation we're running here.
However, right as we bring the freshly charged orb back to Pinocchio, that really confusing mermaid Princess (we've learned by now that her name is Althea) shows up and steals it right out of his hands. She turns human right before our eyes, and we give chase to get the orb back. Pinocchio only makes it partway; he's not in good shape.
We catch Althea, who now decides to help us again (really, this girl defines "mixed signals"), and we make our way to the machine room to confront the King. He's charged the machine there and it returns him to his human form, but he's not strong enough to control the power coming out of it. We shut the machine down with the Staff of the Ancients, which releases the Sea Goddess from her imprisonment.
There really aren't any good words for how mad this Goddess is. And we can't even blame her for it, because she's been royally screwed over here. She dismantles the bubble around Prasino, flooding it with water immediately and sending the Fairytale Detective, Princess Althea, King Alexandros and Pinocchio tumbling to the surface. But hey, it's actually amazing that we're all not dead.
We're really not faring much better on land, though. The water is raging with the purple poison and the skies are swirling with a purple cyclonic storm. In order to reverse the Sea Goddess' curses and placate her fury, we must combine a drop of her blood with the Prasino King's.
We acquire the drops of blood, mix them and - Well, that was abrupt. Suddenly, the raging Sea Goddess is all smiles and rainbows, the poison disappears, the storms clear and... Hey, that was easy. We should've just done that from the start...probably.King Alexandros takes Pinocchio's lifeless form and promises us that he will find a way to restore the boy. We don't know how, but all we can do is trust him 'cos... Game's over. Roll credits.
The Course of True Love
Once upon a time, Princess Naida unwittingly crossed a vengeful Goddess who cursed her: she would be a mermaid forever bonded to the sea, until she found the treasure that would break the spell. In the midst of her search, Naida grew careless and was captured by local fishermen. The greedy men put her on exhibit and charged admission to see the Miraculous Mermaid. Naida despaired of ever becoming human again. One day, Naida encountered a magical frog and, with his help, she was able to escape from her captors. In gratitude, she kissed the frog, which transformed into a human Prince. They instantly fell in love and he chose to help her. He searched the world on her behalf for the secret treasure that would break the Goddess' curse on her, as well as help her father. When the Prince returned with the treasure in hand, Naida was returned to human form and they lived happily contentedly, for awhile.
To Follow One's Heart
Plagued by a family curse to take the form of a mermaid, Princess Calliope's only salvation lay in finding a treasure hidden deep in the sea. One day, she came across a shipwreck and saw the unconscious body of a young Prince among the flotsam. She fell in love and rescued him before the waves could overtake him. Now, compelled by her love for the Prince, Calliope became desperate to find the treasure and regain human form. She sought the help of a sea-witch to find the treasure, offering her voice in exchange. Human again, she went to the Prince, who welcomed the lovely, silent stranger as a guest in his home. But soon the Prince announced his betrothal to the Princess of a rival kingdom. Calliope was heartbroken. In the midst of her despair, she heard whispers of a plan for a royal assassination. On the day of the wedding, she saw the blade intended for the couple, and love for her Prince spurred her to sacrifice herself. The Prince mourned her death and gave her a royal burial at sea. Calliope sank into the cold embrace of her ocean that had been her home for many years, and faded into foam.
Red Riding Hood's Sister
A family curse bewitched Princess Theresa to take the form of a mermaid, forever separated from the mountains and forests she loved. Theresa frantically sought a cure, and learned of a treasure guarded by red wolves deep within a swamp. Theresa launched an attack, but the wolves quickly overpowered her. Just as the beasts were closing in, a pair of hunters frightened them off and rescued Theresa. The man introduced himself as Raphael, and the woman as Eldra, a member of the Sisters of the Red Riding Hood. They sympathized with Theresa and gave her the treasure to break the curse. Human once more, Theresa was quick to accept Eldra's invitation to join The Order of the Red Riding Hood. They fought side-by-side for many years, initiating a friendly rivalry that would propel them to the top of the Order.
A King's Folly
There was once a noble King who was embroiled in a war with a rival kingdom. He had the grace of the Sea Goddess on his side, and she offered him her Staff of the Ancients to wield in battle. As his power grew stronger, so did his thirst for more. With the advice of his trusty chancellor, the King went through a Binding Ritual, which imprisoned the Sea Goddess and her powers for his favor only. The heartbroken Sea Goddess cursed the King to live an immortal life with the face of a sea monster, forever chained to his sunken castle. He realized he had been betrayed by the Chancellor, the enemy's planted spy. The Goddess gave him only one possible cure, in the form of five elemental orbs. The King's daughters, themselves transformed into mermaids by the curse, roamed the waters in search of the orbs. Centuries passed and only the last orb remained to be found. But as time passed, the King's obsession with a cure obliterated his compassion, until his soul became as wretched as his face.
The Wrath of a Sea Goddess
Thalassa, the patron Goddess of seafaring men, protected the islands' ships. Among her charges were two rival kingdoms: Kokkino and Prasino. When a young King of Prasino ascended the throne, and the war between the kingdoms grew fiercer, he made overtures to befriend the Goddess. As they grew closer, she showed favor to his battleships and gave him her own Staff of the Ancients to wield in battle, but greed soon poisoned their friendship. The young King wanted dominance over the resources and trading of the sea, but he also coveted the power and guardianship of the Goddess for his own kingdom. The King and his trusted Chancellor devised a way to imprison the Goddess' soul, deep within the caverns of his island. Relying on Thalassa's trust in him, the King easily tricked her and enslaved her to his kingdom. Deceived, Thalassa seethed with hate as she was forced to do their bidding. She vowed revenge on the Prasino King and his descendants, and waited for an opportunity to unleash her revenge.
- We find lots of references to the Frog Prince in Prasino. His third wife, Princess Naida, was one of the Mermaid Princesses of this kingdom.
- Pinocchio joins us in this game, where he gets eaten by an eel and turns back to wood.
- There's a lock on a boulder inside the Crystal Cave that is opened with a Rose emblem and an Ivy emblem, a reference to sisters Briar Rose and Ivy Green.
- One of Snow White's Golden Apples can be seen in one of the Hidden Object Scenes.
- We discover that the slain Elder Sister of the Red Riding Hood Sisters, Teresa, was one of the cursed Mermaid Princesses of Prasino, as well.
- A garden at the end of the game contains a statue of a half-man/half-lion beast holding a mystical hourglass. A matching hourglass is seen in a wallpaper included in the bonus materials of the game that depicts an unknown woman with black hair and fingernails holding a glowing hourglass. These are teasers for Queen of Sands, the ninth Dark Parables game.
- This is the first Dark Parables game to end without any direct reference to a follow-up game.
- If you look closely, in one room near the end of the game, we see a statue of a beast holding a hourglass surrounded by roses.
- Thalassa is actually the name of a primordial sea Goddess in Greek mythology.
- During the game the player finds six cups of tea which, if clicked on, turn blue. Finding all six of these gives the player an Achievement (The Most Exquisite Tea). This is a nod to Blue Tea Games, who began the Dark Parables series.
- Similarly, three hidden Felix the Fishes are found in the Prasino palace, a nod to Big Fish Games, the publisher of the Dark Parables series. Finding all three will give you another Achievement (King of the Sea).
- Prasino means 'green' in Greek, and Kokkino means 'red' in Greek.
- In the strategy room FROG, there is a statue of the Little Mermaid. This is a real statue located in Copenhagen, Denmark.
With another curse broken, and another adventure under our belt, it's time to reflect, take a deep breath, and set on to another quest. The work of the fairy tale detective is never done. We'd like to thank everyone who helped us along in this adventure, and in solving the riddle of making a Dark Parables game - Big Fish, Blue Tea, everyone associated with the Eipix team, our friends and our families.
Voice Acting Edit
Tape Recorder Woman's voice: Lauren Synger
Althea, Mermaid Princess: Katie Leigh
Pinocchio: Maxwell Glick
King Alexandros: Timothy Kohler
The chancellor: Raymond Pental
Princess Naida: Tara Sands
Princess Daphne: Lindsay Sheppard
Princess Theresa: Nophi Mitchell
King Bluebeard: Erik Braa