The Fairy Woods: A Game of Rescue, or Not
“Someone dear to you has disappeared into the dangerous woods of the fairy realm, and you’re already on your way to save them…”
The Fairy Woods by Andrea M Corbin (@rosencrantz) is an interactive hypertext fiction piece that has nine possible endings and various character combinations. You can choose your character, your goal, and some of your actions, but the various storylines all have a few common events that happen no matter what your different choices are. Nevertheless, your relationship to the missing person, who the missing person is, and your identity are all things that you gets to pick.
Depending on the options you choose, you are either trying to find Eadric (the prince) or Ariadne (a servant), who you are either t having an affair with, or care for very much but just platonically.
Fairly quickly you approach the woods, and you soon find out that’s where fairies live. You discover there are political tensions between Fairies and humans, and so they typically do not get along. There had even been a war (the Silver War) between humans and fairies. This gives the fairies a motive behind why either Eadric or Ariadne are missing. Andrea Corbin provides us with some background information if you approach the witch and ask her questions so we can understand what happened between the humans and fairies. Talking to the witch makes the story more complex and challenges the initial perspective you are given, which is that the fairies must be somewhat mischievous or bad. The added information that the witch provides shows that there are always more perspectives on issues than we tend to realize, and if we just ask, then we start seeing issues from different angles.
The most mysterious character in the story is the Fairy Queen.
She seems to be in control of the fairies’ land, and is possibly behind the kidnapping of Eadric or Ariadne. Depending on the choices you make, you may or may not meet her. In one scenario, you can actually die before finding Eadric or Ariadne and meeting the Fairy Queen. If you do get to the fairy Queen, there are multiple ways of interacting with and that can lead to different outcomes of how either Eadric or Ariadne react when you find one of them. In several of the scenarios, Eadric or Ariadne actually weren’t kidnapped but chose to run away with the help of the Fairy Queen because they think the Queen is too corrupt or stringent with marriage between various classes within the kingdom. That plot twist only further supports the idea that the humans are the ones to blame in the Silver War, or that the kingdom was worth running away from.
In some of the ends, as the title suggests, The Fairy Woods is a game about rescue, but more often than not, instead of rescuing the missing person, they are rescuing you. As somewhat cliche as it is, especially for a fairy tale, the bond between you and the other character is often very strong, and the two of you will not stay separated long since you are meant to be together. The game is adorable, thought provoking, and can be challenging if you are trying to get to all of the end scenarios. The story is mostly all up to the reader/player and what they decide to do once they’ve gone into the woods.