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Old 03-14-2010, 04:49 PM   #201
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I'd say that too, but no one said anything about the question I posted yesterday and, since many of us already played the game once (if not more), I'd like to wait for everybody, especially the first-timers, before going on.
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:52 PM   #202
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I haven't finished chapter 4 yet, but it's okay with me if you keep going. I've played the game before though.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:23 PM   #203
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I'm ready too! Bring on Chapter 5! I think is my favorite as well
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:16 PM   #204
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Ready!
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:36 PM   #205
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I'm all ready
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:34 AM   #206
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Ready when you are.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:23 AM   #207
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Finished chapter 4, so I'm ready to go.

A very interesting chapter, and perhaps even the longest in the game?

I never skip movies, the only thing I might miss is a line of dialogue when I'm already clicking something on screen when I think the character has already finished speaking. Can be equally maddening.

Georg Emmerding is played by Brad Greenquist, who has quite a long resumé as well but I saw him first in "Pet Sematary" as Victor Pascow.

You meet so many extra characters in this chapter. That museum lady is Rosemarie Belden. Turns out she's an artist.

Joseph Dallmeier is Michael Laren, who played a choir singer in "Angels & Demons".

Professor Barclay is Stephen Stavast, an oil painter with his own studio gallery.

Thomas Chaphill is Chris Tennant; don't know anything about him, but I find his "change of heart" a bit weird as well - I guess they just needed an extra puzzle in there.

It's peculiar how many places you visit in the game change over time, and only at the right moment will contain something you need to move on, even though there's no particular reason why you'd go look there again. The lily is one example, and even though the flower is mentioned all over the place in the museum, I think many people will miss it. Also the Ludwig book: you already checked the library, you called Barclay for help, so why would you check the shelves again? And where did that book suddenly come from, anyway? Did it appear "magically", like the fax?
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:22 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by AndreaDraco83 View Post
I'd say that too, but no one said anything about the question I posted yesterday and, since many of us already played the game once (if not more), I'd like to wait for everybody, especially the first-timers, before going on.
I really don't understand what's going on anymore. What on earth is stopping you from posting your thoughts about chapter 4, like you said you would?? In previous playthroughs you used to do that *before* each chapter. And if we're waiting for everybody to say yes, let's move on, then we'll wait forever, unless you're checking everybody's name on a list or something. If there are people who are NOT ready to move on, please let them speak up.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:56 AM   #209
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All done with Chapter 4 now and ready to move on!

I enjoyed a fairly leisurely playthrough of the Chapter as there is a lot to take in and you have to be in the mood for some sight-seeing and history to get the most out of the chapter. I agree with others who have said the chapter is in a different gear to the previous ones with very little in the way of action and I feel it can be a little trying the first time through when you don't always understand the relevance of the information you're getting (or at least I don't think I did!) or why there is so much of it!

Looking forward to your thoughts Andrea, and Fien is clearly champing at the bit too!
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:24 AM   #210
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looking forward to your thoughts andrea, and fien is clearly champing at the bit too!
Heh.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:39 AM   #211
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As I told you before, Chapter Four is probably my favorite of the game and now, finally, I'm going to explain you why I think this chapter is the best, not only of The Beast Within but perhaps of every adventure I've ever played!


The Worthlessness of Puzzles

Before anyone jumps at my throat or starts to light torches and ready pitchforks, let me clearify that I'm obviously being a little sarcastic here. Not so much, though, since I really think that the lack of puzzles - in the common sense of brain-teasing conundrums - is what makes this chapter incredibly outstanding.

Of course, this isn't exactly true and there are in fact two puzzles in Chapter Four: picking up the roses for Gerde after seeing her in the crypt and getting a newly budded lily to communicate with Ludwig's spirit at the Starnberger See. One could perhaps argue that even calling prof. Barclay and Thomas Chapill are to be considered puzzles, but I disagree, since the two actions are actually quite straight-forward and they both make instant logical sense when approaching an historical investigation (call an history professor and a biographer), but, for the sake of simplicity, let's say that even these two actions are puzzles. We have a grand total of four puzzles in what is arguably the longest chapter of the entire game.

Oh gosh! And what the hell are we supposed to do in this chapter if we're not solving puzzles and the act is so darn long? We actually spend time doing what every researcher (and/or investigator, in this case) does every single day of his or her life: reading books, going to museums, talking to experts of various fields whose competence is usually the turning point for the research itself.

I know that many people often complain about the insane (or inane, depending on your views on the subjects) pixel-hunting of this chapter, but once again I have to disagree. Maybe I'm accustomed to this kind of researching process in real-life (as an Art and Literature major, I feel right at home in any library or musuem, and I actually spent a lot of times perusing old catalogues and archives), but I never missed a single hot-spot in this chapter, not even during my first playthrough. It could also be because I'm an exploration fanatic, and I always carefully plan my movements through any locale with thorough care, but at the end of the day I sincerely think that it only takes a little patience for overcome Chapter Four successfully.

But I digress. The important thing is what I called the worthlessness of puzzles. In this slightly sarcastic sentence, I'm thinking of a particular kind of puzzles, of which many of you already know that I'm anything but a fan. I'm talking about the mechanical brain-teasers which usually involves triggers, levers, tiles, wheels and the like and that, in my opinion, serve no other purpose than lengthen the soup. A good example is the first (terrible) Art of Murder, where you actually visit a museum, filled to the brim with puzzles (the switches in the basement, the alarm of the statuettes' case, the dreadful "let's fake a fire" thing and so on) whose MacGuyvery feeling has been surpassed only by the ridiculous sequel. In The Beast Within, on the other hand, we do what every normal person out there do while in a museum: we read. And thank Jane Jensen for that!

Solving, or coming close to solve, Ludwig's historical mystery in an ordinary way - albeit under extraordinary circumstances (the Schattenjager's occult library, werewolves and supernatural) -, and that's saying by using real-life instruments, is a tremendous achievement and I always feel a stunning sense of accomplishment whenever I finish Chapter Four, because, by the means of Grace, I am able to achieve something, pardon me for the repetition, extraordinary in the most realistic and plausible way. Each and everyone of us can do what Grace did in this chapter - go to museums, read books, listen to tour guides, bothering professors and historians to have answers to our questions - and being able to do so without switching switches, operating strange machinery, recomposing asunder tiles and so on is what makes this chapter so great.

If it were me, I would have eliminated altogether the two puzzles I mentioned at the beginning and worked to achieve the same goal through conversations, both with Gerde and with Thomas Chapill. This is not saying that I didn't like those two puzzles, but in the context of this wondrous chapter they are somehow like the proverbial fish out of the water. I'm more than willing to overlook them, though, since the rest of the act is consistent, coherent, realistic, thought-provoking and the list could go on forever.

Ultimately, at least for me - a strong supporter of third-person, story- and character-driven adventures, who utterly dislikes arbitrary puzzles and solitary exploration/Myst-like operation of impossible devices - The Beast Within's Chapter Four is the proof that all it takes to have a superb adventure is a superb story filled with believable, well-rounded and fascinating characters. I could go as far as saying that puzzles are what make the genre so stale, but hey, I can still see those pitchforks

History: The Fairy Tale King

Believable, well-rounded and fascinating characters. What a mind-blowing achievement to have such a character, even if he's already dead and out-of-the-picture for the vast majority of the adventure. In building Ludwig's character, Jane Jensen proves herself - in case someone was still doubtful - an amazing storyteller and writer. We can't see Ludwig, we can't interact with him or talk with him and still everything in Chapter Four speaks of him - the Fairy Tale King, the boy king who dreamt himself as a Wagnerian hero, the lonely man who preferred the solitude of his secluded castles to the company of his peers. From Werner Huber to Herr Joseph Dallmaier, from Thomas Chapill to Georg Immerding, every character we speak with presents us with a different picture of Ludwig and it's up to the player to put these diverse portraits together and form a mental image of the King. And what an image that is! From his use of the archaic signature de par le roi to the lovely letters between him and Elisabeth, Empress of Austria, from the fervent tone in his writings (from a public statement dated 11 June 1886: "The Prince Luitpold intends, against my will, to ascend to the Regency of my land, and my erstwhile ministry has, through false allegations regarding the state of my health, deceived my beloved people, and is preparing to commit acts of high treason. I call upon every loyal Bavarian to rally around my loyal supporters to thwart the planned treason against the King and the fatherland.") to his love for medieval architecture and the old Germanic sagas, from his adoration for Wagner and the lavish gifts for his supporters to the mysterious death (from Ludwig's wiki page: On 13 June around 6:00 pm, Ludwig asked Gudden to accompany him on a walk along the shore of Lake Starnberg. Gudden agreed, and told the guards not to follow them. The two men never returned. At 11:30 that night, searchers found both the king and Gudden dead, floating in the shallow water near the shore.), from his alleged quirks (from the same source: Holnstein used his high rank to extract a long list of complaints, accounts, and gossip about Ludwig from among the king’s servants. The litany of bizarre behavior included his pathological shyness; his avoidance of state business; his complex and expensive flights of fancy, including moonlit picnics at which his young groomsmen were said to strip naked and dance; conversations with imaginary persons; sloppy and childish table manners; dispatching servants on lengthy and expensive voyages to research architectural details in foreign lands; and abusive, sometimes violent treatment of his servants.) to his refusal to take a bride and his supposed homosexuality -- everything in his character, historical or fictional may the take be, drips fascination and atmosphere. This quality speaks volume of the amount of detailed historical research Jane put in the game and of her stunning storytelling mastery.

An Italian director, Luchino Visconti, dedicated a movie to Ludwig, the huge and somewhat intimidating Ludwig, whose complete version runs for more than 280 minutes. The movie is breath-taking and a real masterpiece, and I strongly recommend you to see it. To whet your appetite, this is a tribute video to the movie I found on YouTube and this a tribute to Ludwig using scenes from Visconti's opera maestra (and with Mansell's stunning soundtrack from Aronfsky's Requiem for a Dream, another movie I strongly recommend).

Allow me a personal note. I don't if Ludwig was really gay, and it doesn't matter at all. However, The Beast Within was released in 1996 and the fact that it depicts Ludwig as a gay man who was content with his sexuality and it explains so thanks to Joseph Dallmaier, another gay character, is, in my opinion, and considering how gay characters are still treated in the vast majority of video games, another tremendous achievement for Jane Jensen and a testament of Sierra's far-seeing and open-minded attitude. And I, as a gay man, are incredibly thankful to them.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:42 AM   #212
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Real-Life Locations: Of Castles and Museums

After a brief hiatus for Chapter Three, Ipkiss' fan videos are back! This time around, Ipkiss and his lovely wife take us inside St. Georg's Church and inside Richard Wagner's Museum. Tune in here for a look at Rittersberg's various gasthoffs. This is also a good time to see the original real-life locations tour Ipkiss did some years ago (Part 1 and Part 2), which features Starnberger See, Herrenchiemsee and Neuschwanstein.

Chapter Four in the Novel

Childhood portraits. A Victoria royal household; cruelly strict discipline and diet, structured, endless lessons in Greek and Latin, mathematics and since and all the other graces thought necessary for a crown prince. And a boy who loved art and poetry and day-dreaming had to steal his pleasures the way another steals cookies from a shrewish maiden aunt.

Jane Jensen, Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within, Roc 1998, pp. 163

[...] She imagined, as she half stumbled, half ran the mile to the ferry, that something has existed Herrenchiemsee with her and was nipping at her sould - trying to snatch pieces of life, perhaps, or trying to pull her away, to whisk her off to some unknow place where the damned and the lovely have long been abandoned.

Jane Jensen, Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within, Roc 1998, pp. 172

Stay tuned for Chapter Five!
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:53 AM   #213
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Also the Ludwig book: you already checked the library, you called Barclay for help, so why would you check the shelves again?
Eh, the first thing I did at the beginning of Chapter Four was go into the library and check the shelves. I wasn't ready to face Gerde yet. But maybe that's because I subconsciously remembered there would be something for me to find there...
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:04 PM   #214
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Yeah, where did that English copy on Ludwig come from? Surely it wasn't a book that Gerde took...? Afterall, only Schattenjagers are allowed in the library. Not that that stopped Grace. And how else would Gerde have done the research to begin with? But why would Gerde want an English book when German's her native language?
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:21 PM   #215
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Although I don´t take part in this playthrough I immensly enjoy reading all your comments and observations.
It´s a shame that this has to be the last of the Gabriel Knight playthroughs

Well at least, Gray Matter´s lurking round the corner

Quote:
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An Italian director, Luchino Visconti, dedicated a movie to Ludwig, the huge and somewhat intimidating Ludwig, whose complete version runs for more than 280 minutes. The movie is breath-taking and a real masterpiece, and I strongly recommend you to see it. To whet your appetite, this is a tribute video to the movie I found on YouTube and this a tribute to Ludwig using scenes from Visconti's opera maestra (and with Mansell's stunning soundtrack from Aronfsky's Requiem for a Dream, another movie I strongly recommend).
I have the DVD but never got around watching the movie from start to finish.
I recently got myself a HD-TV, which should do the awesome cinematography justice.

Another good (IMO very good) movie about Ludwig II with exceptional acting by O.W. Fischer as Ludwig and Klaus Kinski in a supporting role is Ludwig II: Glanz und Ende eines Königs .

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047195/





It starts off kinda light-hearted but gets darker and darker as it progresses.
I don´t think there´s an original score, all you hear is music composed by Wagner.
It´s an old fashioned movie (by all means, it´s from 1955) but pretty bold for it´s time depicting Ludwig´s fragile mental state and Wagner´s selfishness. It certainly is NOT a "Sissi" movie (thank God for that).

I recommend it to everyone interested in the Ludwig character and everyone being a fan of
GABRIEL KNIGHT II.

Some of the scenes, especially near the end are very touching thanks to the great acting, subtle direction and powerful music.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:09 PM   #216
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I'm ready to go on - hope I can manage to keep up for the last two chapters!

Great analysis of Chapter 4 from Andreas - indeed, in both chapter 2 & 4, there aren't many puzzles, and I don't think that causes a problem. As Andreas writes, artificial puzzles aren't necessary so long as there's enough detail & depth to the storyline.

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Allow me a personal note. I don't if Ludwig was really gay, and it doesn't matter at all. However, The Beast Within was released in 1996 and the fact that it depicts Ludwig as a gay man who was content with his sexuality
I doubt Ludwig II was "gay" in the "straightforward", modern meaning of the world, but then I certainly don't think he was conventionally "straight" either. I think a mix of feelings (bisexuality if you like, with romantic attraction to young men fulfilling "heroic-type" roles. Reminds me in some ways of the impression I've had of Oscar Wilde, lived at similar times, though obviously in rather different societies ) together with Catholic guilt ended up with a lot of surpressed feelings, and nobody will ever know the full picture.

But I wonder where/why you believe that GK2 did portray him as a gay man - personally I'd say it portrays him as I've suggested above, with the wolf aspect adding additional uncertainty.

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and it explains so thanks to Joseph Dallmaier, another gay character,
Yep, I also presumed that was the intended meaning with Dallmaier's "Yes, I can identify with him" comment.

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is, in my opinion, and considering how gay characters are still treated in the vast majority of video games, another tremendous achievement for Jane Jensen
Agreed. It's also impressive that it's all presented in a very "matter of fact" way as opposed to anything sensationalist. Can't think of many other games that have managed anything very similar.
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:14 PM   #217
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But I wonder where/why you believe that GK2 did portray him as a gay man - personally I'd say it portrays him as I've suggested above, with the wolf aspect adding additional uncertainty.
I believe it's because of the novel, where Herr Dallmeier explains a little bit more about Ludwig. Here, take a look. Grace and Josef are talking about Chapill's biography (in a scene taking place in Chapter Six):

"To tell you the truth, that book made me so angry, I never even finished it."
Grace studied Dallmeier. "Because it said Ludwig was gay?"
"No!" Dallmaier scoffed.
"Was he?"
Dallmaier took a long sigh and slouched down on the bench again, planted both feet carefully. "Yes. That's the simple answer. Oh, some of our stodgiest historians still deny it, but it's pretty much common knowledge."
"But there were women."
"There were women, especially when he was younger. But as he grew older, he became more true to his stripe, as they say."


Jane Jensen, Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within, Roc 1998, pp. 236

A little later, when they are talking about the oath taking in the diary and Chapill's interpretation of this as a sign of Ludwig's sexuality, Dallmaier says:

He paused, then exploded passionately. "Ludwig was no pude! He loved Byron and the French court! He understood his feeling, and I don't think that he was ashamed of them. [...] He didn't care what anybody thought - about anything! If he didn't care that they complained about his spending a fortune on those castles, why should their narrow-mindedness about sexuality make him feel guilty? No, all evidence if that he pursued exactly whom and whatever he wanted to pursue."

Jane Jensen, Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within, Roc 1998, pp. 237
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:20 PM   #218
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I believe it's because of the novel, where Herr Dallmeier explains a little bit more about Ludwig.
Fair enough, but that's the novel, not the game. I still think it's oversimplification to say the game "depicts Ludwig II as a gay man". I guess reading the book sometimes influences your perspective of the game - as I (sadly) haven't had the chance, I can't say...

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Georg Emmerding is played by Brad Greenquist, who has quite a long resumé as well but I saw him first in "Pet Sematary" as Victor Pascow.

You meet so many extra characters in this chapter. That museum lady is Rosemarie Belden. Turns out she's an artist.

Joseph Dallmeier is Michael Laren, who played a choir singer in "Angels & Demons".
Oh, well, says it all for my ability to spot a native German speaker . Still, there wasn't exactly much used by Georg or Joseph (and mybe Michael Laren is German) - That's my excuse anyway . As for the woman in the museum, no surprise that she's not a professional actress . Clearly the way she & the director thought a German should be portrayed is by giving them the most stereotypical role & pronunciation possible. To be fair, maybe the aim was to allow people who only speak a little German to have a chance of understanding - hence each word being spoken very seperately...
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:28 PM   #219
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Fair enough, but that's the novel, not the game. I still think it's oversimplification to say the game "depicts Ludwig II as a gay man".
I didn't mean that in a reductive way. What I meant is that the game - I'm at a point where discerning the book's influence from the game's is impossible for me, so many times I've both played the adventure and read the novel - chose to depict Ludwig's sexuality and it did so in a wonderful, matter-of-fact, non-derogatory, non-caricatural way.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:39 PM   #220
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CHAPTER FIVE



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