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Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers

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This page is a soft redirect. Developer(s) || Sierra On-Line, Inc. #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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This page is a soft redirect. Director(s) || Jane Jensen[1]
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This page is a soft redirect. Mode(s) || Single player

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers is a 1993 point-and-click adventure game written, designed and directed by Jane Jensen and published by Sierra On-Line. It is the first game of the Gabriel Knight series. Sins of the Fathers follows the eponymous Gabriel Knight, owner of a rare book store and fledgling writer, as he investigates a series of local murders he plans to use as the basis for his new novel. Its CD-ROM version includes voice-acting by Tim Curry, Mark Hamill, Michael Dorn, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and Leah Remini among others. A remake titled Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition, co-developed by Jane Jensen's Pinkerton Road and Phoenix Online Studios, was released for Windows, Mac, iPad, and Android on October 15, 2014.

Gameplay

File:GK1 Main Gameplay Screen.png
The icon bar gameplay screenshot

Sins of the Fathers is a point-and-click adventure game, played from a third-person perspective. Its story unfolds over a sequence of "days", each of which has a required set of actions to be performed before proceeding to the next. In this way, the game proceeds mostly linearly, since the puzzles on a given "day" must be completed in order to reach the next day. However, within each day play may be nonlinear. Throughout the game a running score is added to as new challenges (both required and optional) are completed.[3]

Unlike newer graphical adventure games that use context-sensitive cursors that change based on what the cursor is hovering over, Sins of the Fathers uses "dumb icons" or "dumb cursors" in which the correct cursor must be chosen for a specific interaction with an on screen object.[4] The various cursors are accessed by either selecting the respective icon from the "icon bar" or by cycling through the cursors in a predefined order. The available cursors are: "WALK", "LOOK", "ASK", "TALK", "PICKUP", "OPEN/CLOSE", "OPERATE", and "MOVE". Inventory items can also be used as cursors with the active inventory item also available in the cursor cycle.[5] Also located on the "icon bar" are the "INVENTORY" and "RECORDER" buttons, the active inventory item window, score, and the "CONTROLS" and "HELP" buttons. Clicking on the "INVENTORY" button will open up the inventory window, where items can be selected and combined as well as cursor icons that allow the player to use "READ", "OPEN", and "LOOK" commands with any inventory item.

"ASK" and "TALK" differ in that "ASK" results in "interrogation mode" and is only available with main characters, while "TALK" results in general, usually shorter, interactions and is available for most characters. Interrogation mode allows the player to ask the main characters questions by clicking on a topic from the list displayed. Global Topics may be asked of any character and are always present in the lists while specific topics are unique to each character and are subject to change. Past conversations are accessible through the "RECORDER" button which opens a recorder tapes window that displays tapes for each of the main characters.

At certain points during the game, the player is required to translate and send Drum Codes and Voodoo Codes. This is done by either selecting the correct character for the Voodoo code or by selecting the correct sequence for the drum code. Once the phrase is complete the player will select the "SEND" button to send the message.

Plot

The game begins in Gabriel's store, St. George's Books in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Gabriel, having suffered a nightmare, one of many that reoccur in the exact way and style, learns from his assistant, Grace, that his friend Mosely has photos for him to help him with his book based on a spate of killings across New Orleans, dubbed the "Voodoo Murders", mostly because of the fact the killings have Louisiana Voodoo overtones. During his visit to the local police station, Gabriel discovers his friend is attending another murder of the same manner at Lake Pontchartrain. While there, Gabriel and Mosely spot Malia Gedde, an attractive African-American socialite of a wealthy family, pull up to see what is going on at the crime scene. Gabriel becomes infatuated with her during her stop, and has Grace later determine where she lives, posing as Mosely to meet her. In addition, Gabriel also investigates the voodoo angle of the murders, tracking down more info on a pattern, a partial one, at the crime scene, and any snake scales that could be match one found at the scene. During his investigations, Gabriel meets a number of individuals connected to the voodoo scene, including a voodoo museum's curator, Dr. John, and a member of a French Creole family. He also meets with a professor Hartridge at the Tulane University, who, upon being shown a reconstruction of the pattern from the crime scene, made from additional partials from the other murders, and identifies it as a veve that is used in Voodoo. Hartridge agrees to examine and research it more to discover its origins, while Gabriel continues his work.

In time, Mosely brings in a known crook to interrogate for info on the murders, a drug addict named Crash, but learns nothing to help him. Gabriel manages to get info from Crash after spying him visit a rada drummer in Jackson Square, where he learns that the murders are connected to a Voodoo Cartel. Before Gabriel can learn more, Crash dies, forcing Gabriel to learn more elsewhere. To his annoyance, Gabriel learns that Mosely ends the investigation, stating it was the work of gangsters from Chicago, when he knows otherwise. Gabriel forces him to reopen the case after recovering plenty of information, proving the voodoo element of the murders is real, that the cartel is a threat after showing a newspaper article from 1810 that contains a murder done in the same manner, that Hartridge was killed by the group after he had uncovered information on the reconstructed veve, and that evidence was found linking Dr. John to the murders, from a scale off the python in his museum. Mosely soon disappears, after learning no-one would help him, suspecting the cartel might have influence in the police, a fact Gabriel finds out chillingly when he goes to Mosely's office to retrieve a tracking device.

While investigating, Gabriel learns more about his family when visiting his grandmother. Firstly, he learns that they originally came from Germany, that his grandfather changed his name, and that his grandfather mentioned about something called Schattenjäger. His grandfather's original name, makes him realise that a man named Wolfgang Ritter, was a long lost relative, and prompts him to call him. Ritter invites Gabriel to come to his family's home in Germany, but Gabriel decides to pursue matters in New Orleans first, after learning that the cartel is having a meeting in the Bayou St. John. Tracking where it is occurring in the swamp, and going in disguise, Gabriel discovers the cartel is headed by Malia, but that she is being possessed by a Loa Spirit named Tetelo, who identifies him as a witch-hunter. Gabriel is rescued before anything can happen to him, by Grace, and he later calls Ritter about what he found out. He soon learns that Schattenjäger is two words meaning "Shadow Hunter", a sort of modern day Inquisitor, and that his family has been involved in it. Worst, Tetelo stole something from an ancestor of his, a talisman of immense power, and had it hidden somewhere with her remains after she was discovered to have been involved in voodoo murders centuries ago and was burned to death as a result. Gabriel, unable to find her remains in the Gedde's Family Tomb in the city, travels to Bavaria, Germany to meet Ritter and research the second possible location that her remains were taken to.

In Germany, at Schloss Ritter, the family's home, he meets Gerde, a German woman, who reveals that Wolfgang disappeared shortly before his arrival, after visiting his library, which she has no idea about where it is. Searching the building for it, Gabriel undertakes an initiation ritual for Schattenjägers in the hopes of finding it, and during a night's sleep, is visited by a dragon in his dream, who initiates him, passing onto him the mantle of Schattenjäger. In the morning, Gabriel discovers the library attached to Wolfgang's bedroom, and learns from the books where Tetelo's remains are hidden, in Benin; a snake mound of a "wheel within a wheel". Travelling to Africa, Gabriel ventures into a snake mound, where upon solving a puzzle, finds himself dodging mummies but also meeting Wolfgang, who helps him to get into the inner chamber of the mound. Inside the pair attempt to open up a sacrificial table, but in the process, Wolfgang is killed, leaving Gabriel angered at Tetelo and swearing vengeance on the spirit.

Returning to New Orleans, Gabriel finds that Grace has been kidnapped, from a note left by Malia who urges him to leave New Orleans or face being killed. Meeting with Mosely at his book store, the pair learn the cartel's power is strong, but decide to shut them down. Gabriel travels to the location he believes their houndour, a sort of voodoo temple, is hidden in, and manages to find Grace. Using disguises, Gabriel interrupts the cartel's latest ritual, and wards off Tetelo, destroying a stone idol that powers the Gedde tribe. During this moment, Gabriel becomes torn between fulfilling his duty as a Schattenjäger, or saving Malia.

The game ends in two ways. If Gabriel fulfils his duty, he is killed by an angered Malia, and both Grace and Mosely reflect on what Gabriel did and whether it could have ended differently. If he chooses to save Malia, Tetelo tries to stop him, but Malia regains control and realises that Tetelo is a threat and that the cartel will do more damage if she remains, and so kills herself to end the Loa's hold. Both Gabriel and Grace reflect on the former's new status and his future, before Grace notes that, although Gabriel seemed to have changed, a passing remark makes her realise she was wrong.

Development

The plot and atmosphere of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers was largely inspired by the film Angel Heart.[6] Game designer/director Jane Jensen recalled that she was given a great deal of freedom in creating the game's concept: "One of the great things about Sierra was that Ken Williams really believed in the artistic vision. If he gave you the chance to do a game, that was your responsibility. Nobody told you what to do with it. If it didn't sell, then you wouldn't do another game for him, but he would let you have that freedom."[7]

Release

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers was first released in North America by Sierra On-Line cross-format as both a single CD-ROM disc and as a set of eleven 3.5" floppy disks on December 17, 1993. The CD-ROM version, besides voice acting, also included video sequences that the floppy version instead included as a sequence of still images.[3] The game but has been subsequently re-released both individually and as Gabriel Knight Mysteries: Limited Edition, a compilation with the first sequel, The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery.

Reception

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Remake

On October 8, 2013, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition was announced for the PC and Mac.[8][9] It was developed by Jane Jensen's new studio Pinkerton Road Studios and released by Phoenix Online Studios on October 15, 2014. The remake includes improved graphics, remastered soundtrack, and new puzzles and gameplay. A version of the game for Android and iOS have also been confirmed, but no release date has yet been set.[10] A Linux version was said to be coming at the time of the game's announcement but the statement was later redacted.[11][12]

References

  1. ^ a b c Jensen, Jane (1993). "Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers Technical Manual". Sierra Online, Inc. pp. 35–36. 
  2. ^ "Release Information for Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers". www.mobygames.com. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference adventuregamers was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference quandary was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ Jensen, Jane (1993). "Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers Technical Manual". Sierra Online, Inc. pp. 7–8. 
  6. ^ "DetectiveMosley comments on "I am Jane Jensen, creator of Gabriel Knight, Gray Matter and Pinkerton Road game studio. Ask me anything."". www.reddit.com. Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  7. ^ Kollar, Phil (2012). "Hunting Shadows: The Rise and Fall of Gabriel Knight". Game Informer (229): 98–99. 
  8. ^ Jensen, Jane (8 October 2013). "jensen_jane". Twitter. Twitter Inc. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Bittar, Cesar (8 October 2013). "MGX Announced: Phoenix Online developing Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father Remake!". Phoenix Online Studios. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  10. ^ http://www.postudios.com/company/games/gabrielknight20th/index.php
  11. ^ Hathaway, Weldon (8 October 2013). "Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Remake Announced!". Pinkerton Road Studio Official Forum. Pinkerton Road Studio. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Hathaway, Weldon (27 November 2013). "GK *not* releasing on Linux". Pinkerton Road Studio Official Forum. Pinkerton Road Studio. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 

External links