The Story Everyone Knows
“8” starts during the Spell of Sleep from the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. There are many different, often contradictory, versions of this tale. But here is how it goes in broad lines.
A King and Queen had been without child for the longest time and suddenly, through some form of magic, they got pregnant. When their daughter is born, they organize a big feast to which they invite all the fairies but one evil/old fairy. These fairies give the child talents (beauty, grace, dance, et cetera). When it is time for the last fairy to give her gift, the evil fairy bursts in and curses the child to die in her teen years after pricking her finger. When she leaves, the last fairy transforms this spell of death into a spell of 100 years of sleep. When the time of het xteenth birthday comes, the princess does indeed prick her finger, despite all the precautions of her parents, and falls asleep. The fairies swoop in and make everyone in the whole court fall asleep, so that the princess would not be alone when she wakes up. They create a forest of thorns around the palace that will only be penetrated by the true prince after the hundred years are over.
Earlier versions of the tale do not stop with the arrival of the prince and a happy life ever after. The story continues with the confrontation between the mother or wife of the prince and the sleeping beauty and her children by the prince. This woman turns out to be a cannibal who wants to eat them. Et cetera. Please see the Liberary section of the website ( http://Tale-of-Tales.com/8/library ) to find out more about traditional fairy tales.
The Story of 8
All of these elements have inspired the world of “8” and many elements from the different versions can be found throughout the palace. On top of all that, and in the oral tradition of the fairy tale, we have added some elements of our own invention.
Sleeping Beauty is put to rest on top of a platform in a mausoleum in the palace garden. In the base of this platform, the fairies install 8 Magic Automatons, mechanical dioramas with scenes powered by fairy technology, representing the 8 talents bestowed upon the princess when she was born. These magical machines were a manifestation of the Spell of Sleep to help preserve and guard the princess and the palace during the 100 year slumber.
When realising that the princess did not die, the Wicked Fairy gets upset. But she is incapable of interfering because of the magic of her colleagues. A few years into the 100 year sleep, she convinces an innocent young prince, the Poet, that he is the One True Prince to save the Princess he had only heard of in legend. She helps him break through the forest that had repelled many a hero in search of her. When he finds the Princess, he cannot wake her up. The thorns have closed again behind him and he becomes a prisoner in the sleeping palace. Distraught he spends the rest of his life in the palace writing poetry in tribute to her beauty. One day he takes a seemingly innocent artifact from the mausoleum, a mechanical Rose, to inspire him. Little does he know that his actions set in motion a chain of events which lead to the transformation of the 100 year sleep spell into a sleep that could last an eternity.
All goes according to the wicked fairy's plan. This happens seven more times over the course of the next 500 years, with 7 more princes, each causing more harm until they meet their death. After the Poet, the princess's Brother finds his way into the Palace. Then a Tailor stumbles in and a Hunter in pursuit of his falcon. The Actor, the Traveler and the Engineer follow. And the last prince, the Priest, dies in the beginning of the game before the very eyes of the Girl and the Player. Each prince makes it through the torns and falls in love with the Princess, believing they are the one to wake her and take her for a bride. In turn, when their plans come to nothing, they each steal a Magic Object from the Mausoleum where the beauty is sleeping and 500 years later these objects are still lost somewhere in the palace.
The thorny forest of the wicked fairy is growing out of bounds, destroying the palace. With each prince, the palace fell a bit more as the spell disrupted... The thorny forest surrounding the palace grows wilder, closing in on the palace and its prisoners. Water dries up, fires go out. The palace starts to crumble. The spell is in such disarray that the princess cannot wake up anymore. This is where the girl comes in. The little deaf-mute girl who has put on her favorite dress today even though it was just a normal day. A day filled with fun and sunshine. When playing in the park with her mother, she loses her ball in the bushes. She runs after it but finds herself trapped in the enchanted forest. At that point the Player helps her find her way through this forest of thorns into the garden of the palace and the mausoleum where the Princess sleeps. The Girl returns the first stolen object, a mechanical angel given to her by the dying Priest, to its proper place in the Mausoleum. In doing this she acquires the Spell of Dreams from the fairies and learns little by little what has happened here. The Princess reminds her of the mother she misses dearly and she understands that helping the Princess will also save herself.