These falling stars ... So many lost souls looking for happiness.
|—Giselle, The Match Girl's Lost Paradise|
The Match Girl's Lost Paradise is the fifteenth installment of the Dark Parables series. The game takes place in Funen, Denmark. As the Fairytale Detective, we are sent to investigate a series of disappearances involving blue flames and magical matches.
Your next assignment is on Funen, one of the largest islands in Denmark. It is a beautiful place with something unusual stirring just below the surface. There have been a series of unexplained fires. The latest one involved a rich landowner in Stars Hallow who was caught in his home. Like all the other incidents, there was nobody and no traces of a fire afterward. It's as if the victims were swallowed by the flames. Locals have even given the phenomenon a name - the Flame of Illusion. A girl selling matches was spotted near each crime scene. She seems to be the only solid clue. Good luck, Detective.
WARNING: This section contains massive spoilers! (So read at your own risk!)
The Detective is once again summoned to investigate a strange phenomenon plaguing the world, this time the disappearance of the landowner of Stars Hollow in Funen, Denmark. The man was absorbed by blue flames, and no true traces of fire were found other than his disappearance. Citizens call this the 'Flame of Illusion'. Just as the Detective is about to enter the town, she is assaulted with fireballs thrown from a mysterious girl. The girl confronts the Detective in the now-burning town square, saying "Have you come to make a wish? Your desires are trivial and undeserving of my matches!" She leaps over the rooftops, leaving more fire in her wake. Could she be the girl your case file mentions?
Regardless, the Detective finds a hose nozzle and manages to stop all the fires. She enters the mansion, scarred on the outside, to find an odd mirror. After cleaning it, she sees a vision of the landowner! He exclaims with joy that the matches he bought were not fake, and really do grant wishes! He walks off, leaving the mirror to burst. Suddenly, two nutcracker dolls at the entrance of the mansion wake up; after dropping a chandelier on them, the same girl from before chuckles evilly and runs past the open windows. Why is she doing this? Notes inside the mansion mention a 'Forest Witch' who is blamed for the recent crimes... is this girl the witch? If not, how are they connected? With these things in mind, she opens the gate to the countryside.
The girl is staring at the sky here. She mentions that all the falling stars are souls, and then walks off, her footprints leaving scorched marks in the ground. The Detective tries to follow, but the girl has decimated a gatehouse, blocking the path. A small magic bean sapling is found near a journal with the emblem of the Sky Kingdom. Perhaps the sapling can be used to destroy the debris. Nearby stalls contain potion recipes; one such recipe is for a growth potion. The Detective returns to the old match shop, abandoned and overgrown, to find a tattered picture of the girl outside, seemingly happy. Shoved in the corner, forgotten, is an old, life-size doll that greatly resembles the girl... but in clothing stained by poverty. She states that she needs someone to buy her matches, or else her father will be upset with her. When given a coin, she says "The place she made was meant to help people, not imprison them..." she slumps against the wall, out of energy.
With ingredients nearby, the Detective makes the potion and proceeds to the Old Town. A moss-coated statue stands here, of a woman with white hair and an elaborate dress. An aura of magic is in the air, surrounded by scorched buildings. Everything is crumbling. A plaque describes the Forest Witch (displayed in the statue) as a benevolent woman that helped the townspeople. What is her connection to the Match Girl? There's no time to wonder, though, since a tarp covering a mirror beckons the Detective's attention. Inside is Prince Julian, a lost prince of the Sky Kingdom from the Detective's sixth investigation. He tells the Detective to run, and that he has fallen victim to the matches as well! His carriage sits in the square and holds a key to unlock the diary. In it, the Detective learns that Julian wanted to bring back his dead father, but was trapped by the Match Girl. The Detective finds an ax and another plaque commemorating the Forest Witch's deeds, and all is fine until the Forest Witch's statue comes to life! It has arms made of vines, but the Detective ties it up and it falls into the lake, along with a statue of the greedy king of Egeskov. The Detective enters the old castle ruins.
In the castle, the Match Girl appears in yet another mirror: "It seems your desires are stronger than I thought," she says tauntingly. "Let's play a game: if you can find the entrance to my garden, I'll tell you everything you want to know." The mirror shatters.
After investigating the castle ruins, the Detective goes through a hedge maze and finds parts of a magical sundial. She uses the pieces to open a larger sundial in the middle of a pond. The water turns purple, resembling the water of the Purple Tide, and the Detective solves a puzzle to open the entrance. But upon stepping closer to the sundial, she is pulled under the purple tide by the plant monster from before. The Detective is seen falling under the deep purple waves...
Coming to her senses, the Detective awoke to find herself tied up. Encountering with a mirror that looks exactly like the False Mirror, he taunts the Detective before she freed herself. Along the way of exploring the Garden, which looks like a magical version of the kingdom from reality, she met with the illusions of King Eurig and Prince James. Eventually, she found Julian and freed him from his cage. Together, they have to search for the wishing well to get the Detective back to reality.
She tried to get the Landowner to realize the illusion, but he attacks her, believing that she was here to steal his wealth. He falls from the second floor and was ultimately absorbed by the Torch of Phantasm. After activating the wishing well, the plant monster appeared to stop them. Julian holds it back, giving the Detective the chance to jump into the well.
Returning back to reality, the Detective made her way to the forest. She eventually found the Match Girl, whose name is revealed to be Giselle, sitting in a chair in the witch's hut. Enraged that the Detective has trespassed into her grandmother's house, Giselle summoned a stronger plant monster to deal with the Detective. Needing to get rid of the monster, the Detective collected a few items and escaped through the waterway that leads back to the town.
Appearing to the plant monster from behind, just as she was about to shoot it, the spirit of the Forest Witch appeared, enchanting the arrow as it was being fired. The plant monster disappeared as the Forest Witch advised the Detective to search for a copy of the magic glass wand. She also pleaded to help her tell the truth to Giselle. After retrieving the wand, the Detective returns to the Garden by having the carriage take her there.
Meeting with Giselle again, the Detective chase her down until they reached the top of the castle's domain. She successfully defeated the Match Girl, but Julian revealed his true intentions, taking the Torch of Phantasm with him to the Distorted Garden. Joining up with Giselle to stop Julian, they headed to the Distorted Garden and defeated the prince with the combination of her fire-power and the magic glass wand.
The Flame of Illusion was destroyed and without it, the Garden will perish, bringing death to the inhabitants trapped in it. Julian died, being sucked up in a vortex. With the last ounce of magic left, Giselle opened a portal for the Detective, willing to die with her Garden. Before she could step in, the Forest Witch embraced her granddaughter before the Detective went through the portal.
The Little Match Girl
On a cold snowy night, a poor young girl named Giselle was trying to sell matches on the street by herself. She was driven out of her home by her drunken father because they were broke and needed the money. The girl took shelter in a nook and sat down. She lit some matches, but they didn't offer enough warmth. She looked up to the sky and saw some shooting stars. Then she remembered that they can make wishes come true. She suddenly realized she couldn't think of a wish, for she felt that no one loved her. Her father beat her when he got drunk, and she could scarcely remember her mother. She had a faint memory of her dead grandma, a white-haired woman who held her gently when she was a baby. "I am coming to you, Grandma," the girl sighed, as she closed her eyes. When she opened her eyes again, she was in a warm cabin. A lady with white hair was holding her gently, keeping her warm. The lady found her and brought her to her home. After hearing her story, the lady told the girl she could stay with her, if she wanted to. In time, the little girl learned that the lady was a witch. From then on, the girl lived with the witch, her new grandma, happily ever after.
The Star Coins
A poor little girl was working a spindle for a pittance on a cold winter's night. She suddenly pricked her finger on the spindle. She tried to wash the blood away with water from an old well, but she dropped the spindle and it fell into the well. She leaped into the well after it. When the girl woke up, she found herself lying on a featherbed in a warm cabin. A lady with white hair told the girl that she had accidentally triggered a magical portal within the old well. Not wanting to see the girl lost in enchantment, the lady saved the girl and brought her to her home. Although the girl didn't understand what the lady said, she knew that she had experienced something miraculous. She knew she'd lost her spindle forever, but at least she was safe. To thank the lady, the girl asked to do housework for her, but the lady declined. She got up and shook the featherbed to fluff it up. As the girl was young and inexperienced, the feathers flew around like snowflakes. The girl felt ashamed. The lady, still touched by the little girl's efforts, asked the girl to close her eyes for a moment. When a girl opened her eyes again, she found herself beside the old well under the cold night sky. Suddenly stars falling from the sky transformed into gold coins! Furthermore, a spindle filled with beautiful yarn appeared in the girl's hand. The girl knew that she had been blessed with the good fortune to meet a good witch. As the girl hadn't asked the lady's name, people who heard the story referred to her as the White Lady or Frau Holle.
The Ominous Beauty
Once upon a time, a beautiful prince was born in a kingdom beside the water. Everybody in the kingdom, blessing the prince's birth. Only a wandering old lady warned of the coming misfortune, which could only be avoided if the prince didn't look at himself in the mirror. Of course, no one listened to the prophet of doom. The old lady was ousted from the kingdom and soon forgotten. The prince grew up to be a good-looking man, and soon a charismatic king ascended the throne. Meanwhile, he became more and more fond of himself as he gazed upon his reflection in the mirror. He loved no one more than himself, for he believed that there was no creature as beautiful in the entire kingdom or even the world. Shortly thereafter the king became unkind, cruel and selfish. He taxed his people to fill his castle with the finest things money could buy, especially elegant clothing and gorgeous ornaments. Life was hard for people under the king's rule. People no longer loved the king. They even began to curse his name. As more time passed, the king became mentally unstable, locking himself away in his castle. Perhaps the curse was effective. People said the king had gone crazy, for his beauty faded with age. The king ruined himself and finally his kingdom. The doomed prophecy spoken by the old lady came to fruition.
The Forest Witch
Long ago, a powerful enchantress suffered inconsolable grief, for she lost her beloved. The feeling was too much for her heart to bear. In order to protect herself from such a traumatizing experience, the enchantress unintentionally broke her soul. Her soul was split into both good and evil sides. When the enchantress chose the evil side as her dominant personality, the good side was forsaken, and it separated from her soul transforming into an entirely different entity. The good side became a phantom-like existence, though it still carried the enchantress's knowledge and memories, but was fading with age. After drifting for several decades, with the blessing of the silver moon's shine, the phantom finally settled on a physical form. A new woman with a pure soul was formed miraculously under the moonlight. Due to her own experience, she knew that grief devoured people's heart and brought nothing but pain and suffering. She traveled around in a portable cabin, intending to help others with her sorcery to avoid people's sorrow. Sometimes she played a maternal role and often took care of the local forest wildlife as well. She made people cures using herbs prepared with a mortar and pestle. Though she gave no name, her deeds won her many different titles. Knowing that she was only a fragmented soul and that she would disappear someday, she still lived a meaningful life. She always remembered the enchantress who gave birth to her and hoped that what she did would somehow make up for the evil that had been done.
The Second Prince's Revenge
Once there were three orphan boys who were picked up by an old crone and passed down to a king, for each of them was imbued with a special talent. The king appointed them princes. The three princes followed their father, the king, with blind loyalty. One day, their regular lives were interrupted by a treasure hunter and a detective. It resulted in the king dying, and the destruction of his kingdom soon followed. The princes survived, but they had lost everything: their kingdom, their family, and their purpose for existence. The three princes wandered around to look for a way to bring back their deceased father. They met a girl who claimed to grant wishes. Thought the second prince noticed that the girl's power was only an illusion, he saw her potential. Suddenly, a plan flashed in his mind. He lied, saying they were knights, coming to provide aid to the girl. The elder prince was filled with strength and as vigorous as the Bright Morning. The second prince was passionate as the Radiant Sun. The youngest prince was as intelligent and steady as the Dark Night. And so these were the names that they were known by. They claimed a destroyer, a detective was coming. They said it would be better for the girl to grant more people's wishes so she should gain even more power. Finally, the second prince succeeded in approaching the girl, for he was the only one willing to make a sacrifice and imprison himself within the girl's illusory world. The oldest and the youngest princes continued on their journey to revive their father. Only the second prince stayed behind. He was only too happy to realize that besides raising his father from the dead, there were still many other things he could do, like exacting his revenge upon those who ruined his life.
- The Detective finds a matchstick box with six symbols connected to previous cases: a rose (Curse of Briar Rose), a crown (The Exiled Prince), a snowflake (Rise of the Snow Queen), a glass slipper (The Final Cinderella), a beanstalk (Jack and the Sky Kingdom) and a tower (Ballad of Rapunzel).
- Prince Julian makes a reappearance. The last time the Detective saw him was in Jack and the Sky Kingdom.
- When the Detective activated the Sundial in the Courtyard the water around turns purple making a reference to The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide.
- An illusion of King Eurig and Prince James was seen. The last we saw them was in Jack and the Sky Kingdom and The Exiled Prince.
- The Magic Glass Wand makes another reappearance. The last time the Detective used the wand was in Requiem for the Forgotten Shadow. The latest time it was used was in The Final Cinderella.
- The False Mirror (powered by an illusion gem) makes a reappearance. This one seems like a copy since the original was destroyed in Rise of the Snow Queen.
- When the Detective used the Magic Glass Wand and traveled to the Garden by getting sucked into the glassy lake with the magic carriage, it parallels with the time when she did the same thing with Pinocchio in The Final Cinderella.
- In the Basement of the Forest Witch's Hut, where Giselle once lived, there were storybooks: Sleeping Beauty, hinting back to Curse of Briar Rose, the Frog Prince, The Exiled Prince, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack and the Sky Kingdom, and the mysterious Princess and her cygnet, Portrait of the Stained Princess.
- In the Waterway are pictures of: Little Red Riding Hood, hinting back to The Red Riding Hood Sisters, The Puss in Boots, which we had seen also in The Boy Who Cried Wolf (Bonus Game) and hopefully it will be a future game, and again the Princess with Cygnet but this time a cursed object, Portrait of the Stained Princess.
Eipix Entertainment Production Group
Lead Producer/Lead Game Designer: Vanja Babic
Game and Narrative Designers: Strahinja Vukovic, Nemanja Jovanov
Lead 2D Artist: Janos Tokic
Lead Level Designer: Aleksandra Stolic
Character Artists: Mladen Mutavdzic, Aleksandar Acanski, Katarina Gigic, Nebojsa Slankamenac
Cinematic Animators: Ibrahim Abdo, Aleksandar Markovic, Jelena Bekvalac, Luka Smilijanic, Zoran Tekic
Cinematic 2D Artists: Kristina Oparusic, Dusan Bozic, Isidora Kovic, Sandra Janjatovic, Zoran Milenkovic
Lead Programmer/Lead Technology Programmer: Zeljko Saric, Igor Kukobat
Programmers/Technology Programmer: David Wahbi, Milos Petkovic, Branko Ivakovic
Composer: Milan Kovarbasic
Sound Designers: Kristina Markovic, Srboljub Mladenvoic
Quality Assurance: Sanja Djuricic, Ales Fizesan, Bojan Rakic, Danilo Kovac, Igor Andrejevic
Additional Production: Marko Banjac, Nikola Beronja
Eipix Entertainment Management
Chief Executive Officer: Mirko Topalski
Chief Financial Officer: Dragan Dackovic
Chief Operating Officer: Zoran Milanko
Head of Production: Bojan Milanko
Production Associate: Nebojsa Jankovic
Head of 2D: Danilo Gnip
Head of Cinematic: Gregor Hodinj
Head of Music and Audio: Aleksandar Randjelovic
Executive Associate: Sonja Stegnjaic
Administration: Goran Alasov, Sara Karadzic, Slobodan Trifkovic
Finance: Tatjana Vukmirovic, Vesna Eleonora Sarovic
Operations: Aleksandar Kesanski, Ljubomir Gardinovacki, Nenad Kalc, Rastko Dragin, Vladimir Marceta
Education Manager: Ivan Francuski
Outsource Team: Maria Sitnikova, Oleksandr Osmolovskyi, Olga Osmolovskaya, Anzhelika Statieva, Yelena Yemelyanova, Sergey Sitnikov, Oleg Vykhristyuk, Andrew Yurchenko, Aleksandr Marienko, Bohdan Runets, Marina Sokolova, Nick Storozhenko, Olga Vasilevskaya
Voice-over Managers: Nebojsa Jankovic, Tamara Zarkovic
Big Fish Games Team
Game Producer: John Mentzer
Senior Game Producer: Lauren Horsley
Production Manager: Christine Zeigler
Direction of Game Production: Meeric Shank
Narrative Design Manager: Faye Hoerauf
Narrative Designers: Corinne Hutchinson, Joanie Rich
Beta Writer/Editor: Nathaniel Apgar
Senior Strategy Guide Editor: Margie Bissainthe
Strategy Guide Creator: Anita Cule
QA Senior Director: Curtis Reynolds
QA Manager: Mike Harmon
QA Associate Manager: Nathaniel Umipeg
Project Leads: Joel Flamme, Jason Rich
QA Testers: Joel Flamme, Josh Bugenig, Lauren Sallen-Paris, Max Nafziger, Brandon Christian, Kyle Clifton, Jason Rich
Lab Associate Manager: Peter Corwin
Lab Tech: Will Herschelman
External Team: Chandler Eaton, Daryl Patterson, Jason Martins, Julia Blake, Keith Abbey, Reed Addison
Match Girl: Tara Sands
Landowner: Eric Newsome
Prince Julian: Jacob Barrens
Tape Recorder: Lauren Synger
Frog Prince: Jonathan Cooke
Magic Mirror: Stephen Fitts
King Oberon: David Naughton
King Euring: Erik Braa
Forest Witch: Lani Minella
Special Thanks Edit
We wish to thank you, the player, for accompanying us on yet another adventure. You have bravely navigated the unsteady waters, climbed the steepest of peaks, laughed at the face of danger and lived to tell the tale of your conquest. We have reached the end of this adventure, but there are many more lying ahead. Until the fickle finger of fate brings our paths together yet again, we salute you!
- There are a few errors in the game that have been discovered (If there's any more glitches please list them here):
- If you attempt to skip the Phoenix minigame where the Match Girl has dialogue, the game will freeze and you won't be able to move.
- Another one is the brush revealed in the garden world. You can't click on it right away but you have to do a couple of steps before you can even get the hand icon on the brush.
- Another glitch is that if you put the drawer ornament on the drawer in the witch’s cabin before using the book to obtain the baking powder, you will not be able to get the animal fat.
- The choice of Funen for the game's location may be deliberate as it is the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen.