I have returned. For what you have done to me, I will see Hamelin burned to ashes!
|—Dark Piper, Fabled Legends: The Dark Piper|
Fabled Legends: The Dark Piper is the first spin-off game of the Dark Parables franchise. The game takes place in Hamelin, Germany. As the Fabled Inspector, we must investigate a horde of Plagued Rats and the enigmatic Dark Piper controlling them.
This game is based on the German legend of The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
Inspector, You are summoned here today by Duke Alfred on an urgent matter. Three days ago, during the festival, plague-infested rodents mysteriously attacked our town. Residents fled in fear and our town was badly damaged. A piper shrouded in darkness is behind this destruction. Reports indicate that he is still in Hamelin. Find out his motive and capture him, before all the towns of Europe are consumed by plagued rats.
WARNING This section contains massive spoilers! (So read at your own risk!)
The game opens in the town of Hamelin, Germany. There's a festival going on to celebrate the folk tale of the Pied Piper, which the townsfolk believe are historic events. The celebration is interrupted by a man in a cloak with a skeletal mask on. He claims he is the Dark Piper, returned at last to seek revenge on the town. He plays a pipe and a swarm of infested rats takes over the street.
We're dispatched to the scene five days later and given a briefing (see above) about the Dark Piper and the plague-infested rats that threaten to spread beyond Hamelin. On our way into the town, we catch our first glimpse of the Dark Piper standing in the fog.
After following the Dark Piper, he confronts us. He tells us that he knows who we are and will be watching us. He then sends a swarm of rats to block our path. We see him watching us from various points in Hamelin as we conduct our investigation. We also come upon the Piper having a clandestine meeting with a shadowy figure. Before we can see who it is, the two race off into the nearby woods.
We break into a home in an alley of Hamelin, finding an unconscious butler. Restorative tonic water wakes him, and he tells us he is Gerald, the loyal butler of Duke Alfred - and the sender of the letter that brought us to Hamelin. He says that Duke Alfred is waiting for us at his mansion on the hill.
Our investigation leads us to the acquisition of a relic known as the Ravenlore Whistle. Upon receiving it, a giant Raven appears before us and flies off through a window. It seems that from now on, we can summon this Raven to our aid by playing a tune on the whistle.
Apparently, we're getting too close to some of the Dark Piper's secrets. We find him waiting for us in the Town Square, where he springs a trap that sends us hurtling down into an artificial chamber underneath the town itself. It's unclear at this time why he would bother to do this, since it only furthers our investigation and we manage to climb right back out without any problems.
We manage to finally rendezvous with Duke Alfred, only to find he's much more interested in the underground city we were just in than he is in the Dark Piper he originally asked us to come investigate. It's strange, but since he's the one paying us, we'll have to do as he asks and find a way into the vault below Hamelin.
But we're not going to just forget about the Dark Piper as Alfred suggests we do. Our investigation brings us to Ramsay's Pharmacy, where we find Mr. Ramsay's corpse. He's been dead for several days - but there's evidence of a struggle and no sign of any rat bites. Obviously, Ramsay was murdered the old-fashioned way. Using evidence we find in the pharmacy, we uncover that the Viceroy of Hamelin was responsible for purchasing the poison that infested the rats with the plague.
Once we find the first vault key, we deliver it to Duke Alfred. He introduces us to the Viceroy, who is none other than the Dark Piper, himself. The Duke reveals that the plague-infested rats were nothing but a ploy to chase off the townspeople and an excuse to get a world-class Inspector like ourselves to investigate and find the vault key for them.
The Duke's henchman, Jon, carts us off to the underground vault with the others. There, they make us find the second vault key for them. We find the key, along with a fabled Skeleton Key that can open any lock. However, as soon as the vault is opened, the Viceroy betrays the Duke and summons his swarm of plague-ridden rats. The Duke, his butler, and Jon the Henchman are all killed - but we're saved from doom by our Raven friend when we blow the Ravenlore Whistle to summon him. The Viceroy makes a clean getaway through the vault, which he seals shut behind himself.
It takes us some time to open the vault door to give chase to the Viceroy, and in the meantime, we find out more about his plans. The Duke had slaughtered a Gypsy camp and was never held accountable for it. The Viceroy's family were in the camp and were killed by the Duke. The Viceroy put this entire plan in motion in order to destroy the Duke and two-thirds of Europe, who the Viceroy sees as "the Duke's people". He's planning on delivering flutes to other towns throughout Europe, so that others can call on the plague-infested rats and spread the plague everywhere. He's also stocking up an awful lot of dynamite, which is never a good thing.
We finally make it into the vault and confront the Viceroy. He summons a swarm of rats, but we hit him on the head with a rock before he can have them attack. He drops the Pied Piper Flute and disappears right before our eyes, using an enchanted cloak. We fix the flute and use it to call off the rat swarm - and with it in our possession, the plagued rats are no longer an obstacle.
After searching for the Viceroy all over town, we find him by the coach outside the Duke's estate. His getaway plans are foiled by us, however. We use our Ravenlore Whistle to summon the Raven, who steals the Viceroy's Disappearing Cloak. We then use the Pied Piper Flute to summon the swarm of deadly rats - who attack the Viceroy. While we search for a way to destroy the Viceroy's fake flutes, the Viceroy manages to escape once again.
We destroy the carriage and all of the flutes packed inside of it, and give chase back to the Clock Tower to face down the Viceroy. He sets the room of dynamite on fire, planning on killing himself and us. Thankfully, we use the Ravenlore Whistle once again. Our Raven friend arrives, carrying the Disappearing Cloak he stole from the Viceroy. We throw it on, dropping the Pied Piper Flute and Ravenlore Whistle just before we disappear from the room entirely.The Clock Tower explodes with the Viceroy inside as we reappear outside of it, safe and sound.
You defeated the Dark Piper and foiled his devious plan to unleash infested rats across the towns of Europe. The duplicate flutes have all been destroyed, along with the original Pied Piper's Flute. Although the town of Hamelin will never be the same again, because of your help, the townspeople will eventually return and rebuild the city that was once theirs.
Differences from Dark Parables Edit
- The game takes place in the 1800s, as noted by various documents throughout the game, let alone the clothing style. The canon games of the Dark Parables franchise take place in the present day.
- Hidden Object Scenes in this game are done with a list of random objects, as opposed to Dark Parables, where the object is to find fragmented pieces of an object that will be added to the player's inventory.
- The Dark Piper has a darker and more mature atmosphere than the Dark Parables games have.
- There are no Parables in The Dark Piper. Instead, there are four tracts of game-play objectives presented to the player in the Inspector's Journals.
While not a canonical game in the Dark Parables series, The Dark Piper includes many small references, mostly subtle decorative nods, to the games and characters in the main series. Released just before The Red Riding Hood Sisters, the game only contains references to the first four games in the series.
- In one of the Hidden Object Scenes, the player is asked to locate a "Frog Prince". This is done by picking up a crown found in the scene and placing it on a frog's head.
- Duke Alfred's estate has a gate that is locked by two Swan discs, one black and one white, that reference the Swan Lake Princess.
- In the garden entrance to Duke Alfred's estate, we find a ship in a bottle identical to those used to lock the gateway to Princess Naida's shrine in the Underground Kingdom.
- One of the puzzles in the game features a Frost Wolf as one of the obstacles. The wolf is standing guard outside of a castle that appears to be the Snow Queen's. The obstacle is cleared using a special torch, just as the Frost Wolf was defeated in Rise of the Snow Queen.
- This same puzzle also features a giant hollow tree that has something inside of it. It appears to be the same tree that is used to house the hideout's elevator in The Red Riding Hood Sisters. Next to the tree is a lake that is likely meant to represent the lake that hides the Mist Kingdom.
- The plague the rats are infested with is noted to be the same as the Black Death that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages. The Viceroy also wishes wipe out at least 2/3 of the European population; which was also the amount of people who died from the Black Death.
- Viceroys are appointed officials, designated to govern over a country, land or city by the monarchy that rules that land. Duke Alfred refers to the Viceroy as his Viceroy, but that's unlikely to be the case. An actual Viceroy would have been appointed by someone higher than a mere Duke.
- Inside the stable and clock tower are banners with a strange coat of arms. The Inspector makes note of it during the investigation. This coat of arms is not Duke Alfred's and the Viceroy, being the child of Gypsies, would not have an authentic coat of arms of his own. It is likely that this coat of arms belongs to whatever royal family the Viceroy was claiming to be representing, or was made up by him along with the story of his background and title.
- The grave-site decorated with red-eyed bunnies in the cemetery is for an individual named "Ludwich Pump" born in 1671 and died on December 19th. Considering the bunnies and the lack of a year of death, it's possible the grave is for an infant that was born and died in the same year.
- A portrait hanging in Duke Alfred's sitting room appears to be a portrait of the same man in one of Prince Julian's portraits, only without a beard. This is likely just the developers reusing graphics, as Jack and the Sky Kingdom came out two years later and there seems to be no other connection between the portraits.
- This is the first game from Blue Tea Games that involves a horse. After this game, other then Final Cinderella, there was always a horse taking our Detective to the destination though either arriving safely, get thrown off by either an attack, or horse being spooked.
Creative Director: Steven Zhao
Production Manager: Gavin Wong
Art Lead: Evelyn Tsang
Game Designer: Timmy Kwok, Steven Zhao, Snix Cheng
Artists: Lee Wai Sum, Suyi Ma, Teresa Tse, FCP, Wan Leung, Alejandro Dini, Chen Ka Fai, Suet Yu Wan, Gloria Lok, Homer Cheung, Mandy Wong, Ricky Siu
Game Architect: Chan Ho Yuen
Programmer: Timmy Kwok, Nick Mok
Puzzle Designer: Teresa Tse, Kenneth Djuwidja, Timmy Kwok
Cutscene Lead: Snix Cheng
Animation Specialist: FCP
Animator: Wan Leung, Teresa Tse, Gavin Wong
UI Designer: Suyi Ma, Suet Yu Wan, Evelyn Tsang
HOS Designer: Chen Ka Fai, Gloria Lok, Alejandro Dini
Audio Production: SomaTone Interactive Audio
Scripting: Keely Alexander