NOTE: A lot of information contained in these trailers is outdated
Open Book - Rapunzel
Once upon a time there lived a fair maiden by the name of Rapunzel. She sat trapped in a tower for years on end, hoping one day her prince would come...
- ???: Yeah, no. That’s not right. This is my story and I’m going to tell you how it really played out.
Huh? But the story’s just...
- ???: Look, just shut it for a second and let me speak. Name’s Rapunzel. That fair maiden with the really long hair you hear about in stories? Yeah, she doesn’t exist. I’m the real deal, not some phoney princess cooped up in a tower waiting for some dreamy prince with flowing hair almost as long as mine.
- Rapunzel: People told me I wasn’t thinking straight when I renounced my status as queen when my mom died, but after all these years I don’t regret my decision. My dad eventually remarried, so my decision didn’t really matter in the end. The woman he married had a daughter about my age named Snow.
- Rapunzel: Yeah, Snow. What’s the big deal?
Nothing, it’s just that’s not the story...
- Rapunzel: Sorry, am I ruining your perfect fairytale land? Life isn’t a fairytale. Anyway, Snow was super happy at the fact that her mom had just married a king. Yeah, okay. You’re a princess now, whatever. Lemme tell ya, it’s not all it’s shaped up to be. Oh, and before you ask, yeah. I did have that ridiculously long hair back then. Dad wouldn’t let me cut it.
Wait, did you get trapped in the tower or not?
- Rapunzel: Geez, calm down. I was just getting to that. Anyway, my evil step-mom saw me as a “bad influence on Snow”. She accused me of trying to kill her, too. Can’t forget that. But seriously, I didn’t try to murder my new sister. I was teaching her how to fight. Combat skills come in really handy when you’re royalty. The little wuss couldn’t take the heat and told her mom that I tried stabbing her. Girls, am I right?
You’re still not in the tower.
- Rapunzel: How about you go in the tower then? Since you seem so fond of it. But yeah, evil-queen-slash-wicked-step-mother locked me in the tower. Put some sort of curse around it. Guards clocking the tower 24/7. She left a few books in the tower. Didn’t last a month. After a few years of boredom I had the idea of cutting my hair. I didn’t really wanna do it, since twirling my hair was like the only form of entertainment I had, but I hadn’t had hair that didn’t pass my waistline for who knows how long. Found a knife somewhere and went at it. Don’t think hair’s supposed to be that resilient. But I did it.
How did your prince climb up the tower to save you then?
- Rapunzel: Prince? Nah. Curse would’ve killed him before he could come within a mile. That’d hurt though, somebody tugging on your hair with all their body weight. I’d be hoping for a scrawny prince, but most of them are, anyway. No clue what happened, but I think the curse was weakened after I cut my hair? I dunno. I might ask my step-mom before I slit her throat open. I broke myself out of that tower. No prince to help me, just Rapunzel versus the tower. Wasn’t easy, let me tell ya. Guards must’ve been under orders to keep me alive ‘cause there’s no way I would’ve made it out alive otherwise.
Open Book - Red
Once upon a time, there lived a girl named Little Red Riding Hood.
- ???: That’s a stupid name.
Huh? Who’re you?
- Red: I’m Red. The real Red. Not the girl with the basket who couldn’t hurt a fly.
Where’s your red velvet cloak?
- Red: What? Who wears cloaks? I’ve got a red hoodie, if that counts.
What about your grandmother? Are you gonna deliver the basket of goodies to her?
- Red: Honestly, I’m not even sure if I have a grandmother. I was raised by wolves.
But the Big Bad Wolf...
- Red: Nah, they’re harmless. Well, y’know, they’re wolves. Obviously they’re not harmless but you get the gist.
And how does the lumberjack play into all this?
- Red: A lumberjack? Honestly, what are you talking about? ...I do have an axe, if that’s what you mean. Never leave home without it.
Why exactly do you have an axe?
- Red: I’m a monster hunter. If you need something slayed, I’m your gal.
Any recent missions or...?
- Red: Funny you should ask, I’ve just been tasked with slaying some dragon guarding some far-away castle. Probably not gonna be the easiest job I’ve ever taken on, but it’d probably be a hell of a lot easier if that idiot prince didn’t want to tag along.
Open Book - Maleficent
Once upon a time, there lived a wicked sorceress named Maleficent. Known to some as the Mistress of All Evil, she laid a curse on...
- ???: Ugh!
- ???: Why does everybody think that about me?
...Who are you?
- Maleficent: I’m Maleficent.
- Maleficent: No I’m not! Why does everybody think I’m a villain just because I use dark magic?
Well the name doesn’t help.
- Maleficent: Do you think I chose this name?
If you’re not evil, then what are you?
- Maleficent: I’m just a sorceress trying to help.
Help who, exactly?
- Maleficent: Anyone that needs help, really. There aren’t many magic users willing to help people in need and it’s kinda disgusting.
How can you help people with dark magic? Isn’t that supposed to cause death or poison people or something?
- Maleficent: That’s true, yeah. Dark magic is mainly for trickery and combat, but it has a few other uses. For example, it really helps with potion brewing. Although occasionally I buy potions from Jack.
Jack? As in the guy with the beanstalk?
- Maleficent: Not sure what connection he has with beanstalks, but Jack’s some sort of magic gardener. I’m not too sure how his magic works, honestly. But he travels the land in search of enchanted seeds and plants and stuff, and brews them into potions and sells them.
Do you know anything about Sleeping Beauty?
- Maleficent: Sleeping Beauty... Yeah, actually. A couple months ago I received word that there was some girl who had fallen under a sleeping curse and couldn’t wake up. I took her to my castle and she’s been there ever since. I’ve been working on a way to reverse her curse and I think I’ve finally figured it out. The only problem is that I need some dwarves’ help to get that last ingredient.
How’s that a problem?
- Maleficent: The dwarves aren’t exactly independent anymore. They’ve got a new ruler, or rather a dictator. I’m not too sure about the specifics, but she’s got dark skin, and hair as white as snow...
For the full story, see here.
After being sentenced to a lifetime trapped in a tower by her wicked stepmother, Princess Rapunzel takes it upon herself to break out and get her revenge on the evil queen who trapped her.
For Rapunzel's full story, see here.
A girl raised by wolves named Red is hired by the prince of a neighbouring kingdom, Phillip. Though slaying a dragon is not normally part of her resume, Red believes the job would be much easier without Phillip, who is being very secretive about his motives.
For Red's full story, see here.
When she stumbles upon a woman trapped under a sleeping curse, a dark sorceress known only as Maleficent decides to concoct a potion to break the curse. Unfortunately, one of the vital ingredients is under the clutches of a dictator by the name of Snow White.
For Maleficent's full story, see here.
Happily Ever After is a 3D adventure game in the vein of 3D The Legend of Zelda games, such as The Wind Waker and Ocarina of Time. Happily Ever After is much more fast-paced than these relatively slow-moving games, but the concept remains.
Happily Ever After's world is highly explorable, with locations ranging from Maleficent's castle to the Dwarves' forest. However, you cannot freely explore until after completing the game. Until then, you must take relatively linear routes to your destination, though that isn't to say that veering off the path slightly is impossible. It should be noted that there will always be a route open to Jack's shop, with some notable exceptions.
As you traverse the land to reach your destination, there will be enemies who must be defeated, or simply avoided. Each character has a separate range of enemies to be defeated. Rapunzel must battle the Evil Queen's soldiers, Red and Phillip fight magical creatures and Maleficent must face dwarves under Snow's influence.
Each character has a distinct way of solving puzzles and battling enemies. Rapunzel wields a small dagger, meaning she can be easily overpowered by soldiers' muskets and swords. To solve this problem, Rapunzel focuses on sneaking up on her foes and taking them by surprise. If this fails, Rapunzel is capable of engaging in hand-to-hand combat, with her dagger giving her the upper hand. When not in battle, her dagger can cut ropes and tall grass and can be thrown to hit faraway objects or enemies. However, it must be retrieved after being thrown, leaving Rapunzel without her dagger for a while.
Red and Phillip function similarly to each other, with some differences. Both are focused on offense and wield an axe and a sword respectively. As such, Red focuses on more brute strength, while Phillip requires a bit more skill but can be just as effective if used correctly. Phillip's sword allows him to reflect projectiles, whereas Red's axe can be thrown like a tomahawk. Outside of combat, their gameplay revolves heavily around teamwork. Either character can throw the other up a short distance, allowing them to reach areas normally inaccessible by a normal jump. Phillip's royal status allows him to access areas guarded by any sort of soldier. Red can chop smaller trees to create new paths or crush enemies.
Maleficent is a skilled user of dark magic, a type of magic specialised for combat and deceit. Maleficent can throw fireballs or use dark energy to attack hordes of enemies. While her dark magic would normally be extremely effective, dwarves carry a passive light magic, rendering Maleficent's dark magic much weaker. This may be a good thing, as Maleficent wishes not to kill any dwarves. Instead, the most Maleficent's magic can do is knock a dwarf out, though the dwarf will eventually heal itself and wake up. This means that Maleficent has enemies on her tail most of the time. When confronted with a puzzle, Maleficent will need to use one aspect of her magic to advance. This will vary depending on the obstacle, but it will typically require a bit of waiting, in which time you could be attacked, cancelling whatever magic was being used. Maleficent's gameplay requires balancing combat and puzzle solving.
As mentioned before, a merchant named Jack owns a shop which is nearly always accessible. Any character can buy from Jack, though he may provide special products to certain characters. Jack sells all sorts of objects, magical or otherwise. However, his primary focus is on potions. These potions can have all sorts of effects, be it positive or negative. These can be drank at any time in the field, though should be saved for battle in most cases. In addition to potions and magical items, you can buy seeds from Jack. There aren't many types of seeds in Happily Ever After, and they are very expensive. These seeds must be planted, and will take some time to grow, but the flowers they produce can have amazing effects.
|After being sentenced to a lifetime in a tower for attacking Snow, Rapunzel seeks vengeance against the witch that trapped her there: her stepmother. Rapunzel is driven by her hatred for the evil queen and will normally refuse any help from anybody else, as she wants the queen to die at her own hands. As such, she is very brash and does things for only her own benefit. Her once extremely long hair has been chopped short with the dagger she now carries as a weapon.|
|Since growing up with wolves, Red has decided to find a life of her own - a human life. Her idea of a perfect life with her kind is turned on its head when she is hired to slay a dragon for the prince of the neighbouring kingdom. She enjoys hunting and is rather good at it, but is annoyed by Phillip's presence and would prefer to do the job alone. Red isn't very talkative, normally communicating through growls and sarcastic remarks, but is not afraid to ask about anything she is unsure of.|
|Throughout the land, legends are passed around of the Black Witch. In other parts, they fear the Mistress of All Evil. Maleficent has earned many nicknames in the years she spent terrorising the land in a desperate search for something. She is a powerful sorceress who deals in dark magic. A collector of magical objects and books alike, she is a force to be reckoned with. Maleficent may be on a quest to wake up a cursed girl, but she doesn't put her cruel personality aside. She is highly manipulative and often uses her opponent's fear of her to her own advantage.|
|Grumpy is, well, grumpy. But who can blame him, really? After Snow took over the dwarf forest with her magic, Grumpy was the only dwarf left. In order to survive, he had to go against everything he had previously known. So, yeah, he's a little grumpy. Though he would never admit it, Grumpy is an excellent hunter, who is skilled with a bow and arrow. He inhabits a house on the outskirts of the forest that he once shared with somebody close to him.|
|Violette is the Lady of the Lake, and one of the three witch sisters. She harnesses water magic, and is capable of creating portals between realms out of lakes. However, her portal-making abilities have been sealed by the blue gem she wears around her neck. Violette has hidden herself away somewhere deep in the Arthurian Kingdom, said to be guarding a legendary sword. When she is not attempting to break her own curse, Violette is taking care of her sister, Glinda, whose heart has been frozen. She has a bad habit of creating reflections of the past in puddles, and drowning in her sorrows.|
|Aurora is a young girl who inhabits Wonderland. On the run from the Queen of Hearts for reasons she'd rather not disclose, Aurora seeks refuge among a band of misfits. Namely, the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat. Aurora is easily intimidated and rather shy. What did she do to get on the Queen's bad side? Is this reality even real? In the world of everybody else, Aurora is under a sleeping curse. Perhaps this is all a dream?|
Queen of Hearts
Jack of Hearts
Jill of Hearts
During the course of the game, you'll encounter a merchant named Jack. For the most part, Jack resides in his home, but will occasionally travel the land around his home with a cart, selling his wares. Jack specialises in selling magic seeds, which you can plant in any patch of grass/dirt on the map.
|A small tree with leaves that are Autumn-coloured all year round. The apples that grow on this tree are coated with a thin layer of gold, making them incredibly appealing. When eaten, a Golden Apple will replenish most of your health. Each tree holds between 1 and 4 Golden Apples.|
|A small tree with leaves that constantly look on the verge of wilting. The apples that grow on this tree are red as blood, and juicy as can be. You just can't resist these scrumptious apples! Eating a Poisoned Apple will, well, poison you. They're not recommended for consumption, but they're simply irresistible! Each tree holds between 2 and 3 Poisoned Apples.|
|A small tree with white leaves that almost seem painted red in some places. The apples that grow on this tree are white as snow, with a stem as black as night. Eating a White Apple will cause you to lose control of yourself. If you make an enemy eat one, they will fight alongside you until the curse wears off. It's unlikely that a human or dwarf will eat such a repulsive-looking food, but perhaps you can entice a wild animal to eat it. Each tree holds between 1 and 2 White Apples.|
List of Fairytales Referenced
This section contains spoilers. Continue at your own risk.
Rapunzel - Despite being arguably the main character of Happily Ever After, Rapunzel brings with her very few references to her fairytale. Rapunzel had once had extremely long hair, but has since cut it. She was locked in a tower by her stepmother, who she sometimes refers to as a "witch". Her father sometimes refers to Rapunzel as "[his] little flower", possibly referencing the rapunzel flower which was stolen from Dame Gothel's garden. Rapunzel holds dearly a purple flower given to her by her father, likely referring to the flower she was named after. Both Rapunzel and Arthur share the Gothel surname, as does Aoife (White-Gothel).
Little Red Riding Hood - The titular character appears here as Red. She wears a red cloak, as is traditional. Rather than being stalked by a wolf, she was raised by a pack of them. When leaving the cave, she was given a basket as a reference to the fairytale she stems from. Red uses an axe in battle, which she received from a lumberjack. In her first chapter, Red brings an apple pie in her basket to a house in the woods (belonging to the lumberjack). Phillip remarks the size of Red's axe, saying "what a big axe", to which Red replies with "All the better to take your head off with". This is a reference to the scene in the original where Little Red Riding Hood comments on the wolf's distinct features. Red's grandmother - referred to only as "Granny" - makes an appearance, being a werewolf in this iteration. When face to face with the Big Bad Wolf, Phillip remarks "My... What big teeth you have..."
Sleeping Beauty - Maleficent, the antagonist of the traditional fairytale, recieves a spotlight in Happily Ever After as a hero. She goes by many names; Mistress of All Evil, Black Fairy/Witch being among them. Her staff is decorated with a thorny vine, finishing with a rose. This could be a reference to the thorns outside of the tower, or Briar Rose - the original Sleeping Beauty. Like in her origin, Maleficent can make use of a broad range of spells, mostly focusing on darkness. Here, she is searching for a cure for a sleeping curse which a woman named Aurora has been put under, unlike in Sleeping Beauty where she was the one to curse Aurora. In addition, Maleficent explicitly refers to her as Sleeping Beauty. The prince who Red teams up with is named Phillip, likely in reference to the prince from Sleeping Beauty. The dragon the duo are determined to slay shows many similarities to the one Maleficent turned into in the fairytale. Maleficent transforms into a raven in her prologue and owns a raven pendant, referencing her pet raven. The lumberjack refers to Maleficent as 'the Black Witch' - one of her aliases in the original.
Snow White & The Seven Dwarves - The main antagonist of Maleficent's story and Rapunzel's stepsister is Snow White. Instead of being a fair, innocent maiden, she takes the role of a ruthless dictator. Her role in the story is not the only thing reversed. Her traditional "Skin white as snow, and hair black as ebony" are now replaced by dark skin and hair as white as snow. In her art, she is shown holding an apple, referencing the poisonous apple that would traditionally put her into a coma. Grumpy plays a large part in the story, being a rebel to Snow's reign and maintaining his grumpy attitude. Sneezy takes the role of a doctor in the Dwarf Forest, ironically. Bashful is Snow's most loyal soldier, albeit a bit clumsy and easily embarrassed. Happy takes the role of a perky messenger and Doc is Snow's right-hand man. Sleepy and Dopey are yet to appear. Background dwarves named Snick, Giddy and Klutzy have appeared, their names being from less-known incarnations of the seven dwarves. In addition, most dwarves work in the mines and can sometimes be heard singing their traditional "Hi-ho" song in the background. Snow places a curse upon the crops of the forest, which Grumpy describes as "poisoned apples". Snow White's mother in this interpretation is, oddly enough, the Evil Queen, who wished to kill Snow White in the traditional fairytale. Aoife uses her mirror-like "looking glass" to view events happening currently, much like how the Evil Queen used her mirror to determine who was "the fairest of them all" in tradition. Aurora sleeps in a glass coffin, much like the one the traditional Snow White was placed in after eating a poisonous apple. Rapunzel mistakes Grumpy for a huntsman sent by the Evil Queen to rip her heart out. In Red's story, she uses true love's kiss to turn her grandmother back into a human.
Jack and the Beanstalk - A merchant named Jack can be found in Happily Ever After, who specialises in kinds of plants. He sells magical seeds, referencing the Magic Beans found in the traditional story. Magic Beans also happen to be a key component in reversing a sleeping curse. Beanstalks can be identified among Jack's various plants. Snow received a golden harp from her mother to use to curse the Dwarf Forest.
Alice in Wonderland - The characters of the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat have been introduced, having one of the Mad Hatter's signature tea parties. The glowing green eyes Maleficent encountered in Aurora's prison was likely the Cheshire Cat. In this scene, he states that it is nearly six o'clock, possibly referencing the fact that the Mad Hatter's tea parties traditionally occurred at six o'clock. Mad Hatter, though a girl in this retelling, retains the signature hat and spontaneous personality. Cheshire Cat also appears similarly to the traditional Cheshire Cat. He also keeps his reality-warping abilities from the traditional tale. A guard was seen painting white roses red, referencing to how the Queen of Hearts forced her guards to complete this task due to her hatred of white roses. Aoife uses a "looking glass", an object capable of viewing other reflections. In addition, the Queen of Hearts herself appears, ruling over Wonderland. Aurora uses the alias of "Alice" when in the castle.
Arthurian Legend - Rapunzel's father is King Arthur. Red and Phillip are seeking out a legendary sword to slay the dragon, which may refer to Excalibur. They are also searching for the Lady of the Lake, who uses the name Violette in this iteration.
Cinderella - Aoife is Rapunzel's stepmother, often referred to as "[her] wicked stepmother", as with Snow White possibly meant to reference the 'wicked stepsister(s)'. The similarities seem to end there. Cheshire's story at the beginning of Aurora's segment in Mad Hatter ("...And the slipper fit her perfectly! She married the prince and the two lived happily ever after.") heavily resembles this classic fairytale.
The Children of Lir - The Evil Queen is named after the queen from this traditional Irish legend, named Aoife. The queen Aoife turned her children into swans, which may have influenced this version of Aoife's connection with ravens. In the traditional fairytale, Aoife was transformed into an air demon as punishment, thus resulting in the Evil Queen's wind manipulation, a power which is used sparingly.
Queen of Spades - ???
Macbeth - The three witches, known also as the weird sisters, appear. Aoife is confirmed to be one of the weird sisters, but the rest remain a mystery.
The Wizard of Oz - The road leading to Wonderland's castle is notably a yellow brick road. As she skips along it with Aurora, Mad Hatter hums "We're Off To See The Wizard". Jill of Hearts mentions the Emerald Parade, likely referencing the Emerald City. The Mad Hatter wears a pair of ruby slippers in order to control her dark magic. Glinda has been confirmed to appear.
The Three Little Pigs - Red's Granny appears in her wolf form as the Big Bad Wolf. She is described as 'huffing, puffing, and blowing houses down' by the villagers, due to the galeforce winds she shoots from her mouth while cursed.
Beauty & The Beast - Parallels can be drawn between this classic fairy tale and Red's second chapter, wherein she uses her love for her grandmother to cure her of a curse that turned her into what was referred to as a "beast". In this chapter, Red and Phillip travel to a town in hopes of using their library for information. It could be argued that Phillip's character draws inspiration from this tale, being a greedy prince.
Hansel and Gretel - In the market, a gingerbread house can be seen, along with a gingerbread boy, a gingerbread girl and a gingerbread witch resembling Maleficent.
Jack and Jill - Jack and Jill appear, as Jack of Hearts and Jill of Hearts. They are married, as opposed to being siblings.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears - ???
The Snow Queen - ???
Mythology - The central hub in the Dwarf Forest and Snow's makeshift castle is known as the Gaia Tree, referencing Gaia from Greek mythology.
- The concept of Happily Ever After came about when WesternSkies (t∣b∣c) was tired and thought "What if Rapunzel had short hair?"
- The Evil Queen's real name - Aoife - is based on the queen of an Irish legend (The Children of Lir)
- Many elements of this legend have been passed onto the Evil Queen, such as her connection with ravens and wind magic
- At one point or another, the main protagonists are seen with a brown book with a golden "H" on the cover
- Rapunzel is seen reading it in her tower in Chapter 1
- Red picks out the book in the royal library in Chapter 1
- Maleficent has the book on her desk in Chapter 1
- Aurora and the Mad Hatter are both seen handling a map of the Hearts' castle with a golden "H" written in the corner, received in Chapter 2
- It is unknown if Phillip will be seen with this book in hand
- In addition to fairytales, many subtle references are made to popular culture
- When trying to remember Maleficent's name, Red thinks of Mallory, in reference to the Zaxinian Lifts character
- Red also tries Melissa, referring to Melissa Dust, before being corrected by the lumberjack
- When Snow is trying to remember Aurora's name, she guesses Arial, referencing either The Little Mermaid or Arial
- Snow also guesses Alena, referencing Alena Carter
- Red frequently mocks Phillip's outfit by calling him "elf boy" and asking where his fairies are. In doing this, she often refers to his green tunic and sword. This is likely a reference to Link from The Legend of Zelda series
- When confronting Maleficent, Jack mentions her "No good deed goes unpunished" motto, referencing the musical Wicked
- Maleficent tries on many outfits before settling on her "Malice" outfit, many of which are familiar
- Maleficent jokingly sings the beginning of "You're Welcome" from Moana
- Maleficent chooses the alias "Malice" as a nod to Aurora using "Alice" as an alias to get into the Hearts' castle
- Characters brushing off stories and fairytales as works of fiction is a running gag in the series