"Mirror Mirror on the wall, who's the most unfair game of them all?"
Mirror: Why, Unfairy Tales of course.
Okay, so that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the joke just set itself up. If the title is any indication, the game's setting revolves around the classic fairy tales, except they've been twisted around quite a bit. Here is the text summary from the beginning of the game that I copied down a long while back. I was making long sets of notes while playing it because I NEEDED to make notes.
A long time ago, one Halloween night [that doesn’t bode well], a boy named Alan and his friends were trick or treating along the streets of their quiet town.
Already loaded with candies, the children reached the house of Dr. Mansion, a strange and mysterious man living on the outskirts of the town. The windows of his house were always shut and no one had seen him for a long time. After some hesitation, Alan quelled his fear and rang the bell…
Then something unbelievable happened!
The door burst open and Alan was sucked in by an unknown force. He fell for a long time, surrounded by thousands of colored lights. All of the sudden, he hit the ground and found himself in a room with throwing a feeble light over the stone walls. Standing in front of him was a man with a harsh look on his face, a soldier, dressed in a violet tunic, a long spear at his side.
And so began the greatest story ever told…[I disagree]
No, it isn't Jack Sparrow or Jack Skellington. He's Jack O' Lantern, a man in a dark suit with a Jack O' Lantern for a head. My first thoughts are that the Headless Horsemen apparently went up in the world since he took down Ichabod Crane, or that maybe this guy is related to the Pumpkin Rapper from Power Rangers. Thankfully he doesn't try to rap. Anyway, Jack says that Alan is in the Land of Dreams (not ruled by the Sandman), a wonderful place for any child to live, well, until recently.
You see, for a long time the Land of Dreams has been plagued by a single person, a person who has conquered much of the land and has caused nothing but havoc since he was created. That person, that terrible master of evil in the realm of dreams is...Geppetto.
What? Why are you looking at me like that? I said Geppetto is the evil big bad in this game. Don't believe me? Well, it's true, and this is the first indication that this game is going to be weird. Apparently our not so kindly carpenter started by making the Pinocchio clones and other things and created an army that's taken over several kingdoms. He uses the energy from children's dreams to conquer everyone in the land. He's been trying for ages to make a door between our world and this one, and Alan and his friends opened the wrong door. Although I have to wonder, if Geppetto was trying to make a door, and if there was a working door that Alan went through, why hadn't Geppetto used it?
Anyway, Alan is here, but his friends were caught by Geppetto and locked in the dungeons of the castles of the three kingdoms under his rule. According to Jack's spies, Alan's friend Juseppes is in the Castle of the Four Princesses. Notice here that the phrasing would indicate that there are three friends, but the cutscene in the intro only showed two if I remember right.
Alan doesn't know how to fight, so Jack sends him to Captain Hook who's on the east side of Halloween City. That's right, Captain Hook is a good guy and Geppetto is the Big Bad. I guess Hook gave up on killing Peter Pan and moved here. Anyway, you raid one item in the room and begin exploring. In this game you should check every part of town for loot. Loot is usually found in three things, chests, cabinets, and when outside, piles of dirt. If you get right next to them you'll see an icon. Seriously, check all over. Oh, and Jack also points out to Alan that his plastic sword turned into a powerful Crystal blade. Note the lack of a capital on "blade". It should be capitalized, being part of a name. Also, why did Alan have a plastic sword? He was dressed in, and still is dressed in, his Halloween costume, which is a skeleton. Plastic swords don't go with skeleton costumes.
So the first thing I did was explore the town and talk to some of the NPCs. There are shops in town, a weapons shop, an armor shop, an items shop, and a sweets shop that won't be useful until later. Most of the houses can't be entered, and those that can't have giant gold padlocks on them, because they need locks that big for some reason. Though considering some of the enemies here, I don't blame them. And one NPC didn't mind that I, uh, borrowed his stuff.
The NPC guards are stunned that I want them to open the "Drowsy Gate", saying it's been locked for longer than they have been alive. One lady tells me that Hook really is a great commander. He's the reason this Kingdom is still free. Another man tells me that the Wicked Witch Guild is in a place called Darkville. They are the most powerful sorcerers in the world and they used to have a guild in every town. And then one moron NPC on the east side says that "No one knows if they exist or where they are, The Bad Wolf Guild, just saying it scares me".
Gee, I wonder where that guild could be. Could it be the building on the map next door with the sign bearing a howling wolf head and a wolf guarding it that says you can't come in? Do NPCs really not exist beyond their own screen?! That guy must be blind. But back to looking for Hook. You could try breaking into some variation of "We're Off to See the Wizard" here, but I don't think the lyrics would match the tune very well, and there's no yellow brick road here. Then again, if there was a yellow brick road, I think Oz would sue.
So you talk to Hook and he says he's the incredible Captain Hook, the greatest weapons master in the land, well, other than...but he digresses. He seems to know everything Alan already, which is odd. And then he asks if Jack told him about the Dream Bubbles. He did not. Hook says to go back to Jack so he can explain, but before that we should take a Life Bubble and practice fighting. After the fight Hook decides to join our party, feeling it's unfair that we have all the responsibility and that he's cast aside his job too long. Then we're supposed to head back to Jack.
Okay, now I'll explain Dream Bubbles. Jack says they're ancient artifacts created by primeval mages. When a child dreams they produce an energy that can be stored in a bubble, and there are lots of bubbles for various purposes. It's actually a good idea for character customization. See, every weapon and piece of armor has a set number of bubble slots. Bubbles have levels and they also have little icons denoted whether they can be used offensively (on a weapon, indicated by a sword) or defensively (on armor, indicated by a shield). Some can be put on both, with different effects. For example, take the level 1 Life Bubble Hook gives you. On a weapon it allows that character to cast a Heal spell. When on armor, it increases the character's max HP. To be specific, the level 1 Life Bubble increases your HP by 30%. Some Bubbles have fixed levels, and some, like Life or Fire, go up to 3. Levels are indicated by the stars on a bubble.
Jack basically explains all this and gives Alan a level 1 Fire bubble and level 1 Thunder Bubble. He then realizes that he never told Alan his mission. See, this is what happens when you have vegetable matter for brains. Basically we have to defeat Geppetto and rescue Alan's friends. The first step is opening the Drowsy Gate in the mountains. To do that Jack says we have to see the Magic Cobbler in the "southern part of this town" and get the Memory Plasticine. Basically we'll use it in the lock and make an impression of the key for the Cobbler to make. I guess the guys that locked it threw away the key. Jack also joins your party. At this point if you looted everything, you should have one level 1 Life Bubble, three level 1 Fire Bubbles, and two level 1 Thunder Bubbles.
And I'll cut this part off here because it's way too long.