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Old 02-21-2010, 04:56 AM   #1
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Default AG Community Playthrough #13: Gabriel Knight 2

Welcome, fellow Schattenjagers, to Adventure Gamers' Community Playthrough of A Gabriel Knight Mystery: The Beast Within!


Finally, with all the technical issues behind our backs, we can safely look forward to immerse ourselves into the splendidly Gothic atmosphere of The Beast Within, the best adventure game ever created in my humble opinion!
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:00 AM   #2
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Since we just finished our Sins of the Fathers playthrough, I won't bother you with a recap of the story so far like I did with Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, and instead I will focus on the time span between the first adventure and The Beast Within. In fact, while the charming Pause [Note: the site is back online. Sorry for the inconvenience] focus on a single elegiac moment in the life of Gabriel Knight, almost two entire years pass from the end of Sins of the Fathers (June 1993) to the beginning of The Beast Within (Spring 1995).


What did Gabriel do in these two years? For sure, he wrote a somewhat autobiographic horror-pulp novel entitled The Voodoo Murders and clearly inspired by his real-life (mis)adventures with the New Orleans Voodoo cartel. The novel stars Blake Backlash, a tiny-veiled caricature of Gabriel himself, a long-lost uncle named Daemon, a Japanese-American assistant named Fujitsu and even a German maid named Brunhilde (as per the novelization). There is even an order of men dedicated to battle the forces of evil, the "Guardians of Truth and Light". Since the novel contains so many real-life references, perhaps is safe to assume that Gabriel spent the two year between his last case and this new one doing what Blake Backlash did:

The most exciting development of the past year involved building plaster and a lot of hammering. It was enough to drive a scion to seek out the highest ramparts and throw himself over. Still, he reasoned, things could be worse. If it wasn't for all the money he'd stolen from the voodoo hounfour before it went up into flames, he'd still be reading by candlelight and freezing his balls off in this Bavarian refrigerator.

So life hasn't exactly been exciting or remotely interesting for our heroes (yes, I'm counting Blake Backlash too), as Gabriel spent a lot of his time renovating the castle thanks to the money taken from the security vault in the underground hounfour. He might not have needed it at all, though, since, as Grace informs him in her first letter, his "US bank account his blossoming - not unlike the desert after a fluke storm." The Voodoo Murders, in fact, has make the New York Times best-seller list and Gabriel seems to finally have found his block-buster (after, as you may recall, many unsuccessful and critically-bashed novels like Fire in the Hills).

But wasn't Grace supposed to return to school after the summer in New Orleans? Yes. But she decided against it, and - "excited by some Chandleresque vision" - she has asked Gabriel to stay and help him with all the Schattenjager business. Surprisingly enough, Gabriel has accepted her request:

She'd practically taken over the grunt work of the shop that summer, and she'd done a lot of research for the case as well. Besides, he liked her. She had a funny, sarcastic kind of charm that suited him, a New York bluntness that made him laugh.

As it is, though, Gabriel comes later to regret such a decision, because there hasn't been another case for more than a year, and he's starting to feel a weary lot of responsibility toward Grace and her decision to drop off school. Although he really intented to write her and urge her to go back to Harvard, he didn't, mainly because "he did kind miss her."

I'll spare you the legal details concerning the Ritter's estate and the relationship between the Ritter family and Ubergrau, Hoffen & Schnell, and I'll point out that this kind of behaviour - dropping off the map in a secluded location on the Bavarian Alps, doing menial works of repair to the manor, working hard on his career - isn't oddly peculiar for our charming womanizer, Gabriel. We didn't expect this sudden turn of events. But, really, can you blame him?

He'd come to Germany a few months after the death of Malia and the destruction of the voodoo hounfour. Part of it had been to settle Wolfgang's estate, but mostly he'd wanted to get away from New Orleans, from the memory of the dark-skinned womand who had been the first true love of his life, the woman he'd pretty much murdered. [...] He found he needed to be in Schloss Ritter, to be surrounded by the very real evidence of the Schattenjager past in order for him to retain any belief in it at all. So he'd stayed at the castle and worked - [...] yet another form of catharsis

It's evident from this passage that Gabriel still blames himself for the death of Malia, despite atoning from Gunter's sins and actively trying to save his beloved. And it's also evident that he tried hard to atone for her death by sublimating the experience through his art, since Grace also notes, later in the novel, that The Voodoo Murders was born after a frantic three-day marathon during which Gabriel barely left his bedroom/studio.

Anyway, it's coscience-striken Gabriel the one we found desperately trying to write a new Blake Backlash novel at the beginning of The Beast Within, a man that is harshly trying to convince himself that there is a meaning to all those things that happened to him and trying hard not to think about the implications and consequences of his present actions; a man that has gone back to his rocking-chair mentality, while still unable to reconquer his ease of spirit and love for life. It will take this new case to make him the better man and finally ferry him from adolescence to maturity.

Note: all the passages above are taken from Jane Jensen, The Beast Within, ROC 1998, pp. 11-30
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:07 AM   #3
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While it's true that The Beast Within's chapters are longer than Sins of the Fathers's days, they nonetheless lend themselves perfectly to set our own playing segments. So, without further ado, I think that we can safely - and finally! - begin:

CHAPTER ONE



Are you the Schattenjager now, or are you not?
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:31 AM   #4
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I'm so happy we finally started it. Wohoo!

It's my first GK2 playthrough. Actually, I've played the first chapter before, but I got stuck at the zoo puzzle and completely forgot about the game. Now, in this playthrough, i got stuck in the same part for a while, but I figured out that i could
Spoiler:
use the radio splice function, and fake the zoo manager speech.


Day one was pretty cool. Finished it with 90 points. I miss the "ring" noise when you find something important, hehehe.

Note: I remember when I saw GK2's cover for the first time, I thought the game would the about vampires, lol.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:33 AM   #5
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Yay!! I'm glad I can play the game with your insight, Andrea.

I love the opening sequence. Even though a lot of people have problems with live action, I really like it. You can see a lot of emotions which would be lost on cartoons. Where did Gabriel get the scratches on his arm?
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:40 AM   #6
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Fantasy, I'm sorry, but I don't think it's okay to ask your question about the prologue. It gives far too much away for people who haven't played the game and there's no warning that your question is about things that happen much later. I have a question about the prologue too, so let's wait until later.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasysci5 View Post
I love the opening sequence. Even though a lot of people have problems with live action, I really like it. You can see a lot of emotions which would be lost on cartoons. Where did Gabriel get the scratches on his arm?
From Malia's ritual dagger at the end of Sins of the Fathers. About the prologue, I fully intend to discuss it once we reach Chapter Six.

Later today I'll post my usual column about Chapter One
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:51 AM   #8
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My mistake. I wasn't sure if we were going to discuss it later on in the game. Trust in the Andrea, the Andrea is good. (My apologies, Fien. I thought saying I've played the game before and putting it in spoilers would suffice. I've removed it. And now I feel bad.)

I love how a map is used to get from place to place in this game, and I'd suppose GK1, too. lol It's an easy way to get around, and not have to animate every single little thing.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:54 AM   #9
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Hey, what's this! No reason to feel bad, Fantasy. None.
And thanks for removing it.
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:08 AM   #10
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Iím a sucker for FMV and this is one of the best FMV adventures ever. As much as I loved Tim Curryís Gabe, nothing beats real people. IMO. Thereís quite a bit of German spoken to create a genuine local atmosphere, but the clever game makes sure you donít miss anything important. Having said that, I would have missed that the woman and child in the intro are actually leaving the place (first time I watched it I thought they were going outside to get a closer look at the burning fire, and I blame the grainy graphics for my mistake), if it hadnít finally dawned on me that the German guy called out ďthe carriage is waiting!Ē. Intriguing intro which sets a nicely dark and creepy tone. Love the Robert Holmes music.

The opening movie is excellent too. Spooky procession, torches, Blake Backlash book, ancient typewriter, madonna, tantrum, dramatic scene of the child getting killed...gotto love it. I feel they picked the right guy to play Gabriel, although Iím not so sure everybody agrees with me. Herr Huber is very good, the other minor characters could have been much better. Gerde has changed quite a bit since her potato peeling days.

The first chapter is not real exciting. Basic inquiries, solid investigative stuff, getting a feel for the place. Nice references to GK1: the scars on Gabeís arm, the Saints song, admiring his thick manes in the mirror.

I have a question for our Munich resident. About the zoo:

Spoiler:
The fences around the wolf area are awfully low. Too low to be realistic. Do you know if the real zoo is anything like the few pics we get to see in the game?


About the puzzles:
Spoiler:
What is it with the obscure GK clock puzzles? This one was ridiculous too. A prime example of doing something just because you can, not because you have any idea what good it will do.


Finished with a score of 90.
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:20 AM   #11
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I don't know if it's just me, but something about Herr Huber's acting was a bit off. I really like him, but the way when he was telling of his relative's death, and said, "Yeah, it's bad" just felt off. I really like his character, and the rest of his acting is awesome. I also like this Gabriel, and since this was the first GK game I played, the definitive. I pictured Gerde as a rather plain maid, so this Gerde makes me rethink that image.
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:10 PM   #12
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Thought I would try installing and see if it would play on my win 7 Pro 64.bit and it works like a charm

Sorry, but I actually don't like this Gabe or Grace
The acting feels akward from both of them - many of the germans are a lot better.
At least that's my humble opinion.
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fien View Post
About the puzzles:
Spoiler:
What is it with the obscure GK clock puzzles? This one was ridiculous too. A prime example of doing something just because you can, not because you have any idea what good it will do.
Sorry if I missed something but,
Spoiler:
what clock puzzle?
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fien View Post
I have a question for our Munich resident. About the zoo:

Spoiler:
The fences around the wolf area are awfully low. Too low to be realistic. Do you know if the real zoo is anything like the few pics we get to see in the game?


Finished with a score of 90.
I don't think it's possible to finish with less than 90 points! (is it Andreas?)

Re the zoo, I actually hadn't been there in the 15 years I've lived in Munich, but was there for the first time only 5 months ago (It's what happens when you've got a 2-year-old child!). So I can vouch that the Zoo (like every other "real" location in the game) is authentic - I made sure I checked out the wolf enclosure while I was there . It's possible the fences were manipulated a bit, but fundamentally, it's the same. (Don't think any "spoiler" bits are needed here? I'll need to try & work out how to do them for other bits in a minute!)
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:41 PM   #15
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GK2 was (I think) the first "modern" adventure I played - I had a Sinclair Spectrum (those were the days) back in the mid-80's and got into text adventures (Level 9, the Hobbit etc) back in those "quality" days . But till moving to Munich, I hadn't seen anything of Lucas Arts or Sierra adventures.

On moving to Munich end 94, I got to know another British guy here, who at some point in 95 (I guess, maybe '96?) showed me GK2 - he was more of a wargamer himself, but the Munich aspect made it interesting. I played through day 1 on my own (seem to remember he helped me a bit with
Spoiler:
splicing the tape to help get in to see the wolves
. From day 2 onwards, we played it through together - I do remember walking the 30mins home at around 1 o'clock in the morning...and that was after finishing day 5!
Spoiler:
Anyone who can remember what happened at that point will understand why, though I'm not normally someone who has a problem walking around alone late at night, in this case I was rather nervous


Hence GK2 will always have a special place in my heart, and I have no problem with either actor - someone who was used to Tim Curry from GK1 did have to get used to something different. Gracie I always found excellent in GK2 - indeed, despite there being 3 different actors for her, the changes between the 3 games worked pretty seamlessly I feel, for Gaby it's certainly a much bigger change. With it being the first "modern" adventure of quality I played, and with it being set in Munich, nothing's ever managed to knock it off the No. 1 spot for me; indeed, only GK1, GK3, and Longest Journey have come close.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasysci5 View Post
I don't know if it's just me, but something about Herr Huber's acting was a bit off. I really like him, but the way when he was telling of his relative's death, and said, "Yeah, it's bad" just felt off. I really like his character, and the rest of his acting is awesome.
I don't think so - he's meant to be a non-native (English) speaker, and so that he doesn't happen to have the range of vocabulary to describe what he wants to say is very reasonable. Most of the acting's pretty good for me, (though watching the same clip five times over makes it feel a bit wooden . A problem for Gaby & Gracie at times), though I wasn't very convinced by Sepp or his wife at the beginning - still, they weren't exactly major characters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fien View Post
Thereís quite a bit of German spoken to create a genuine local atmosphere, but the clever game makes sure you donít miss anything important.
Yep, this is one of the things that's great about the game - indeed, it gives quite a different impression at times when you do understand German compared to when you don't. I'll come back to this on a later day, but two good examples from day 1 are:
(1) in the police station - understanding what the policeman's saying (in very patronising German ) gives it quite a different impression . Indeed, one beautiful bit is when Gabe asks for Kommissar Leber, he actually tell the policeman he's looking for "Liebe" i.e. love .
(2) When I first played GK2, we got stuck early on because
Spoiler:
we couldn't go to the Zoo. The reason turned out to be when we found the newspaper at the Huber's farm, we hadn't clicked on it. We didn't need to because we'd understood the German and so had just read it. However, it's clicking on the newspaper that gets Gaby's comment about not understanding much German but that it's about wolves escaping from the Zoo etc and so "releases" the Zoo location at Thalkirchen. An unusual way to get stuck in an adventure


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matan View Post
Sorry if I missed something but,
Spoiler:
what clock puzzle?
Spoiler:
I think Fien's getting ahead of her(?)self here - the clock puzzle in question is stilla couple of days away


Finished day 1 a couple of days ago...am being good and waiting here
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:05 PM   #16
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Yay finally we could start. So what can I say, I love this game, even though it may have its flaws and I miss some of the things from the other GK and the other forms of gameplay, such as more interactivity, but FMV has a lot to offer. I definitely love the depth the characters and the setting have thanks to the real actors and situations. I also miss Tim Curry's Gabe, it has like more charisma and adds more humor to the otherwise serious and dark atmosphere but I think the actor did a good job, as well as Grace's, who in my opinion resembles a lot (even physically) to Grace in GK1.

Spoiler:
I have to also agree with the zoo puzzle, the first time I had to look a walk through cause I just couldn't figure out what to put in the message (similar to the Cemetery puzzle in GK 1) I find it curious that in both GK1 and GK (and even GK3) one of the hardest puzzles is just right at the beginning (clock puzzle, disguise?) instead of at the end which is when there should be more difficulty. It's a weird choice in my opinion that can pull off some players, but it's a great chapter anyways.


I also love the references to GK 1, like the music in the Police Station and the guy playing in the street. Is he playing some of the songs that were also played on Jackson Park or is it just my impression?

Thanks DaveyB, it's great to have someone giving us more insight on the language and things about the real locations, it must have been quite an experience for you! (like the newspaper bit) By the way, now that you mention the German being spoken through the game, I was wondering if you could give us like hints on what people is saying,
Spoiler:
such as the guy in the Police Station (I'm really curious about that one) or what Von Zell and the others say at the club the first day...
I know they are not really important for the game, but it would be really fun to know what is people saying that neither us nor Gabe could understand

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Old 02-21-2010, 05:20 PM   #17
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We've begun! So exciting and just in time with me starting my Masters at uni too, lucky me!

I'm a little stuck in the first chapter still, hopefully I can get through it in time. My first impressions are good though. The thing that bugs me the most is the amount of cutting between characters during conversation - I just want it to stay on the person rather than seeing 100 different nods from Gabriel (unless it's something of particular importance).

I am starting to get used to the real life Gabriel (I do still miss Tim though ), so far all I've heard of Grace is her voice (which is alarmingly similar). Then Gerde which I would agree seems different. And yes, far from the potato peeling days Fien haha!

Actually the other thing I've noticed with the dialogue bits is odd facial expressions. The worker at the zoo that you first meet makes about 20 different faces during the length of the conversation. And the guy at the zoo office tends to give Gabriel a kind of intent observation on his way out. A little too intent if you ask me . Of course, not knowing the story it could be that he has some secret cause to make this expression, but to me he appears to have a special... fondness for him .

I'm very intrigued with where this story is gonna go though. The woods at the Huber farm is particularly creepy. I just want to dive into them and go exploring! But Gabriel won't! Argh! Patience...
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danigar View Post
I also love the references to GK 1, like the music in the Police Station and the guy playing in the park. Is he playing some of the songs that were also played on Jackson Park or is it just my impression?
Hehehe, me too. It's indeed the same song played on jackson park, it's called "oh when the saints".
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:18 AM   #19
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About the zoo fences: it's true they're pretty low when looked at from the visitor's side, but you have to know that usually there's a trench a the animals' side so they can't actually reach the fenced. Also, the ground over there is usually much lower as well.

Now, it's not really clear whether that's also the case here, moreso because of
Spoiler:
Gabe's attempt to call them over. He wouldn't be able to reach them even if they did listen
. So that might just have been changed in order to introduce this particular puzzle.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:01 AM   #20
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Wow, so good to see so many comments about the first day already.

I must admit it was a shock to see Gabe in Beast Within - i still cannot sort of get accustomed to the fact that he is supposed to the same person as "Tim Curry" in GK 1 and 3. He wears high heels and has red hair... Also, Gerde, a sophisticated and dignified hausfrau, is like half a meter taller than he is

But the locations look admirably natural, Schloss Ritter and all. I wish there was more items to click on, although Gabe's comments are nothing like in GK1 - he has really lost his sense of humour in Germany
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