Characters from the Laura Bow games. Beware of spoilers.
- Amateur Sleuth: In the first game, in which she takes it upon herself to investigate the party guests (even before the murders start).
- Audio Erotica: The flapper in the speakeasies ladies lounge in the second game says she has a sexy voice.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Laura is a kind, optimistic, if somewhat unassuming and naïve young woman, but she's fully capable taking someone down through the power of her words and observation. This gives her quite the advantage over people who dismiss her as a dumb southern girl.
- Even the Girls Want Her: The aforementioned flapper makes no secret she's hot for Laura.
- Guile Heroine: Despite her naivety, Laura can be very cunning, especially in the second game.
- Intrepid Reporter: In the second game, in which she takes advantage of her press pass to investigate the strange events happening at the museum.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Downplayed, since Laura is shown to be naïve, but other times she uses this to throw people off whenever she gets useful information during her interrogations.
- Plucky Girl: Certainly the growing pile of bodies in both games doesn't seem to faze her much. In the first game, she does eventually start talking about how scared for her life she is, though this is only after discovering about six dead bodies.
- The Pollyanna: Despite the grisly situations she can find herself in, Laura almost always maintains her sunny disposition.
- Red Is Heroic: Like another American girl detective, Laura has red hair. This is partly for players' benefit, as it makes her easier to see in dimly lit rooms.
- Southern Belle: Played with if Laura gets killed by the falling bell. Her death message proclaims she's now a REAL southern belle.
- Took a Level in Cheerfulness: From the first to second games, Laura goes from modest to a noticeably more sunny person.
- Attack on the Heart: She either almost pulls it off or does so when she fatally stabs Clarence in his chest with a dagger.
- Ax-Crazy: It comes with being a woman who completely loses it and tries to kill everyone not named Henri Dijon in a single night.
- Big Bad: She's the Spree Killer Laura's looking for in The Colonel's Bequest.
- Big Bad Friend: Lillian's this to Laura, especially since she's the Big Bad.
- Bludgeoned to Death: She kills Wilbur and Ethel by striking them over their heads with unspecified blunt instruments.
- Choke Holds: Lillian strangles Gloria to death using her own feather boa.
- Cute and Psycho: She has a cute little bob and is described as attractive by Laura... but she also murders seven people over the course of one night.
- Destination Defenestration: This is how she murders Gertrude.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Her killer becomes the game's True Final Boss.
- Hidden Villain: After all, Lillian is an Ax-Crazy Spree Killer whenever no one's looking.
- If I Can't Have You...: After realizing that Henri plans to share his wealth with all of his associates, employees, and relatives, Lillian starts up a killing spree in an attempt to make sure no one else earns affection from her surrogate father figure. It's also left unknown if she would have spared Laura.
- The Killer Becomes the Killed: Lillian's fate courtesy of Rudy after she tries to fatally shoot him.
- Lonely Doll Girl: On at least two occasions, Laura finds Lillian in a playhouse, playing with and talking to a collection of dolls.
- Never My Fault: In her Secret Diary, she blames everyone else except herself for her mental illness.
- The Ophelia: As Laura soon discovers, Lillian had a mental breakdown after the suicide of her father. It's taken even further when she's unveiled as the game's Big Bad.
- Parental Abandonment: Her father committed suicide, and she isn't on very good terms with her mother.
- Secret Diary: She has one which pretty much exposes her true colors.May 27th (that's today!)Dear Diary,I'm so terribly upset! I can't believe Uncle Henri would do this to me! I thought I was like a daughter to him and now I find out I'm no more important than any of those other creeps! They can't get away with it, you know... they just can't! Between you and me, Diary, you know they have to go because of what they all did to me. I KNOW they were all in it together to have me put away in the nuthouse. I was never crazy, they just wanted me out of the picture! Now they have to...
- Spree Killer: Killing seven people in one night certainly earns you this honor.
- Tampering with Food and Drink: Lillian laces some cognac with Dr. Milliken's Miracle-Sleep Powder, resulting in Fifi and Jeeves dying once they drink it.
- Walking Spoiler: All the tropes and the white space should make it clear that Lillian is not innocent.
- The Alcoholic: Is mentioned to have problems with alcohol. By Act III, we can see it is absolutely true.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Celie states that her alcoholism began after her husband's suicide.
- Lady Drunk: By Act II she's tipsy at the bar; by Acts III and IV she's staggering around the grounds in a stupor.
Colonel Henri Dijon
- Broken Pedestal: Lillian considered him to be her second father, only for him to rather cruelly tell her otherwise.
- Colonel Badass: He's a decorated hero of the Spanish-American war.
- Dirty Old Man: He's carrying on an affair with Fifi, who is in his employ and at least half his age.
- Disabled Snarker: He's definitely very snarky, but as it turns out — not quite as disabled as he's led everyone to believe.
- Kick the Dog: Tells an obviously upset Lillian that even though she thought of him as a father figure, he just sees her as an "insecure, whiny kid" who is no more important to him than anyone else in his family.
- Pet the Dog: In the best of the two alternate endings, he'll let you keep the buried treasure as a thank-you for saving his life... in a sequence that literally shows him patting his real dog.
- Handicapped Badass: To give him credit, Henri has a cane, and when Laura sees him get out of his wheelchair, he is having difficulty. To put it simply, while he has a handicap, he's exaggerating how much it's affecting him.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Telling Lillian that she isn't nearly as special to him as she'd assumed only serves to add more fuel to her murder spree.
- Amoral Attorney: As Laura discovers, he's been embezzling the Colonel's money to stake on race-horses.
- Kavorka Man: Despite his age, he maintains an affair with Gloria.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He's obviously named off of Clarence Darrow.
- Red Herring: Clarence is the most obvious suspect when the game begins. Not only is he the most hostile person Laura can question, he has clear motivation for killing the first four victims (and even argued with three of them shortly before their deaths). It isn't until Act V that his more relaxed demeanor, plus Lillian's increasingly Ax-Crazy behavior, starts to throw everything into question.
- Grande Dame: Has the attitude, outfit and snobbery one would expect.
- Outdated Outfit: Laura notes that Gertrude's outfit is straight from The Gay '90s.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She's the first murder victim.
- The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: It's never stated what sickness Gloria had (or has)... only that it has the capability to hurt her career.
- Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Gloria wears a pink feather boa and ends up dying by being strangled with it.
- Meaningful Name: Her stage name is Swansong, which means last performance. She dies in Act III.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: A takeoff of silent screen actress Gloria Swanson.
- Pet the Dog: If questioned, she'll admit she's too hard on Lillian and wants to do better by her. Not that it stops Lillian from killing her.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Rudy's not the game's Big Bad, but he is the True Final Boss, so if Henri dies, victory is his.
- Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: He posthumously frames Henri for Lillian's Killing Spree if he manages to kill him during their final confrontation.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: If you tell him about Gertie's death (or Gloria's, for that matter), he will get very upset and go to check. Of course, as Lillian cleans up the bodies, he'll never find them. For the other characters, he won't care.
- False Innocence Trick: If Henri does not survive, Rudy claims he was the aggressor and blames him for all the murders.
- Inheritance Murder: Not initially, but after stopping Lillian, he decides to finish the job.
- Killing in Self-Defense: Rudy only kills Lillian because she tried to shoot him dead. He also falsely claims this regarding his attempt on Henri's life.
- Pet the Dog: Literally, as in Act VI, Rudy can be seen on the back porch petting Beauregard.
- True Final Boss: He's the final threat Laura faces in The Colonel's Bequest.
- Upper-Class Twit: He does nothing other than flirt with women and rack up gambling debts. (Though Laura does admit he's handsome.)
Dr. Wilbur C. Feels
- Dirty Old Man: Referred to as one verbatim by Laura.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: It's rumored he 'samples' his own medicine.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: A takeoff of W.C. Fields.
- French Maid: Is French, is a maid, and wears a classic French Maid's outfit. There couldn't be a more quintessential example of this trope.
- Gold Digger: Heavily implied to be this. The rest of the cast remarks (accurately) that for being a maid, Fifi doesn't do a lot of cleaning.
- Though she can be seen dusting in the study and parlor, so it might be just them thinking she is. Also she's flirting with the butler, something one thinks a goldigger wouldn't do.
- The Jeeves: He's a butler, and his name is Jeeves. Played completely straight.
- The Quiet One: Rarely speaks, and if Laura tries to speak with him in private, he just asks her to leave him alone, being the only character who never answers any of Lauras questions. Though he is having an affair with Fifi.
- Shirtless Scene: In Act V, Laura can find him in his room shirtless, getting ready for his date with Fifi.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He cleans up (destroys) the evidence at the scene of at least two murders without a thought.
- Black Guy Dies First: Totally averted: she's the only character to survive the ordeal in both alternative endings, apart from Rudy.
- Hollywood Voodoo: Celie is a practitioner (though she insists for good intentions). Unlike the hoodoo description, Celie is shown to be a devout Catholic and prays in a church. Given the first Gabriel Knight, this could be a case of Shown Their Work.
- Mammy: Has many characteristics of a classic, stereotypical mammy.
Dr. Archibald Carrington III
- Dead All Along: Watney murdered Dr. Carrington during his steamship journey to New York, the one in the prologue. Watney then dumped Carrington's body into a trunk and disguised himself as Carrington.
- Plot-Triggering Death: His murder begins the plot of the game's story.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He is strangled to death by Watney during the game's story introduction.
- Green-Eyed Monster: She invokes this in both the Countess and Laura. Justified in the former's case: Yvette was with her husband.
- Good Bad Girl: Despite her lustful behavior, Yvette cares for those she is close to. Examples of this include her concern about Lavinia's legal battle for Sterling's wealth and her warning to Ernie about the dangers of gambling.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Her French accent is intriguing to many.
- High-Class Call Girl: Before working as a secretary for the Leyendecker Museum, Yvette worked as a call girl. However, she is privately ashamed of this and quietly tries to distance herself from her past. Ziggy apparently knew her as a call girl but she distances herself from him at the museum party.
- Really Gets Around: Years ago, she had a one-night stand with Crodfoller before his marriage. Yvette currently maintains relationships with several men at the same time, most notably Ernie and Detective O'Riley. Unfortunately, this is the reason why the culprit eventually kills her.
- Spanner in the Works: When her body is discovered, Yvette is found clutching a pair of bifocal glasses and a few strands of red human hair.
- The Tease: She enjoys flirting with strong, handsome men.
- Wax Museum Morgue: After the culprit strangled Yvette to death with her own stockings, he covered her body with plaster and posed the body as an upright statue as the plaster hardened. He then placed the plastered body in the museum's Old Masters Gallery.
Dr. Pippin Carter
- Condescending Compassion: When asked by Laura about whether the Tutankhamun exhibit will appear at the Leyendecker Museum in the future, Dr. Carter stated that he would rather not embarrass his cousin by letting his Dagger exhibit outshine the latter's accomplishment.
- He Knows Too Much: O'Reilly kills him because Pippin has meeting scheduled with Carrington, AKA Watney Little, and is determined to find the dagger.
- Insufferable Genius: He is particularly enthusiastic when talking about himself or his archeological accomplishments, especially his discovery of the Dagger of Amon Ra. He also likes to emphasize how lucky the Leyendecker Museum is to have a curator of his caliber and he has eyes set on the museum presidency.
- Jerkass: He is rude and dismissive to those he doesn't like or who offend him.
- Named After Somebody Famous: He is named for Howard Carter, the discoverer of Tutankhamen's tomb. In-universe, Pippin remarks that Dr. Carter's is some kind of relative.
- Plot-Triggering Death: The discovery of Dr. Carter's dead body, stabbed in the chest with a souvenir Dagger, inside a sarcophagus truly begins the story's mystery.
- Affectionate Nickname: Myklos likes to call Heimlich "Wolfie".
- All Germans Are Nazis: Heimlich's appearance is that of a stereotypical German Nazi soldier and he habitually walks in a goose step.
- Babies Ever After: In the good ending, Heimlich and Myklos get married two months after the story ends. Two years later, they have a daughter whom they name Morgana Wolf Heimlich.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: He plays the role of bad cop when Laura finds Ziggy's head.
- Idiot Houdini: Thanks to Laura's success in solving the mystery, Heimlich remains as the museum's Chief of Security despite his incompetence.
- Inspector Lestrade: He accused Laura of being the murderer simply because she was always the first to discover the victims.
- Police Are Useless: Despite being the Chief of Security at the Leyendecker Museum, six murders occurred at the museum during his watch. This could also have something to do with O'Reilly keeping him off the scent.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Averted. He keeps a collection of various medieval weapons in his office. An improperly tied claymore could kill Laura if she fiddled with it. The culprit takes a spiked mace from the office when he finally decides to kill Laura.
Dr. Olympia Myklos
- Babies Ever After: In the good ending, Heimlich and Myklos get married two months after the story ends. Two years later, they have a daughter whom they name Morgana Wolf Heimlich.
- Genius Ditz: She knows a lot about paleontology, but her strange and detached nature causes her to be very oblivious when the Countess spills the beans on who tried to kill her.
- Nightmare Fetishist: She has a morbid fascination with death and the dead. In fact, one reason why Myklos is a paleontologist is that she enjoys being surrounded by dead things. For example, she has looked over both Heimlich and Steve for their scars and considers the Amon Ra artifacts brought by Dr. Carter to be a tribute to the wonders of death. When Myklos discovered the dying Countess in her museum office, her first comment was on the attractiveness of Lavinia's now-pale face.
- Skewed Priorities: Several weeks before the story began, Myklos carelessly lost several Egyptian cobras in the museum basement. She seemed more concerned about the cobras' welfare rather than about the potential danger they could pose to human life.
- The Stoic: She remains rather calm and unperturbed as the story's mystery unfolds. This was taken to an almost ridiculous level when Myklos remained disturbingly calm and fascinated when she discovered the Countess dying in her office from a cobra bite. It is likely that her personal fascination with death helped her remain calm despite the increasing number of violent murders around her.
- Unusual Pets for Unusual People: Myklos has a pet ferret named Daisy and a pet Egyptian cobra named Barney, the latter of whom she keeps in her museum office.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Averted. While being chased the culprit, Laura and Steve encounter Myklos' lost cobras in an underground tunnel. The cobras would have killed them had Laura not been carrying some snake oil.
- Handy Man: He is the caretaker and handyman of the Leyendecker Museum. Ernie also moonlights as a fence installer, which he describes during the story as a fencing job.
- He Knows Too Much: Ernie is in charge of the alcohol vats in the preservation lab. Because that was where the Dagger of Amon Ra was stashed after Laura found it in the gift shoppe, O'Reilly overheard a message from Olympia telling Ernie to check the vat it was stashed in. As such, O'Reilly murdered him by drowning him there, leaving warthog hairs on his shirt.
- Token Minority: He is the only African-American in the game's story.
- Trapped by Gambling Debts: According to Yvette, Ernie has a gambling habit and is now in debt to a loan shark known as the icepick.
- Where da White Women At?: He is one of many men in a relationship with Yvette.
Detective Ryan Hanrahan O'Riley
- Big Bad: He is the one who planned the Dagger's theft and he is personally responsible for all of the museum murders.
- Evil Is Petty: In his attempt to steal the Dagger of Amon Ra, O'Riley has cruelly murdered at least six people with the goal of eliminating anyone who can trace the Dagger's theft to him... and he wouldn't have stopped there.
- Evil Redhead: He has red hair and is the most evil person in this story.
- Evil Wears Black: When he finally goes after Laura, O'Riley is dressed in a black hooded robe that completely conceals his features except for his hands.
- Greed: You can claim O'Reilly committed the murders except for Yvette as financial gain, and it's considered correct.
- Inspector Lestrade: When investigating the Dagger's theft and the museum murders, O'Riley always goes for the most obvious suspects. For example, he considers Dr. Tut Smith to be the prime suspect for stealing the Dagger of Amon Ra because the latter's arguments with Dr. Carter are well-known. When trying to deduce Dr. Carter's murderer, O'Riley's first idea is someone who didn't like him, which could be a lot of people considering that Dr. Carter is an Insufferable Genius.
- Killer Cop: He is a police detective and a ruthless murderer who won't hesitate to kill those who stand in his way.
- Leave No Witnesses: This is his motive for most of the museum murders. Pippin was determined to find the dagger and had meetings with co-conspirator Watney Little lined up, Watney himself actually committed the theft, while Ziggy and the Countess were Watney's partners in crime. Averted with Yvette, Ryan's motivation there was because she was with other men.
- Love Hurts: He is a divorced man and he hates the idea of being heartbroken again. O'Riley once told his current lover, Yvette, that he would kill her if he found her to be unfaithful. He eventually carried out his threat in a violent struggle.
- Manipulative Bastard: After learning about Watney's true identity, O'Riley made a deal with the English con man. In exchange for Scotland Yard's police file on himself, Watney would help O'Riley steal the Dagger of Amon Ra. After Watney is successful in doing so, O'Riley murders him to cover up the crime.
- Officer O'Hara: He is a police detective and he has an Irish name and accent.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Table grapes are O'Riley's favorite food.
- Walking Spoiler: He is the main culprit of the Leyendecker Museum mystery.
- We Will Meet Again: After he is sentenced to 60 years in a state penitentiary for his crimes, he is seen swearing revenge against Laura in a prison yard.
- Dented Iron: Apparently, his job left his body covered in scars. To Olympia's delight.
- Distressed Dude: Is badly injured by Ryan when Ryan killed Yvette. He was dumped in a coal chute and left for dead. Laura must save him.
- Love at First Sight: He falls for Laura immediately.
- Hidden Depths: He's an art student in addition to being a stevedore.
- Punny Name: His name is a pun for stevedore, which is his job.
Dr. Ptahsheptut "Tut" Smith
- Red Herring: He's set up as Pippin's murderer. He then vanishes from the story before Ziggy's murderer, and he's not seen again unless you get the good ending or randomly see him around the museum.
Lawrence "Ziggy" Ziegfield
- Friend in the Black Market: For his part in an art burglary scheme with the Countess and Watney, Ziggy acted as the middleman and provided forged paintings to switch with the real ones at the museum. He then sold the real paintings to private collectors and split the profits with his conspirators.
- He Knows Too Much: The culprit killed Ziggy because the latter's underworld connections would allow him to eventually deduce the culprit's identity. And that assumes he didn't already know since the actual thief Watney Little was the conspirator.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He is killed when he is pierced by the beak of a life-sized pterodactyl model. The culprit cut the wires suspending the pterodactyl model from the ceiling just as Ziggy passed underneath. The culprit then cruelly cut off Ziggy's headand placed the head in the museum's Life Mask Exhibit.
- The Informant: He has many underworld connections and resources. In addition to being Crodfoller's contact in New York's criminal underworld, Ziggy also acts as a snitch to the New York police in exchange for leniency.
- The Paranoiac: Because he is a stool pigeon, Ziggy is distrusted by criminals and police officers alike. He is extremely paranoid as a result.
- Twitchy Eye: Ziggy's trademark facial tic due to constant paranoia. (Note that this only applies to the CD-ROM version. His eyes don't twitch and look far less creepy in his floppy disk portrait.)
- Enemy Mine: After finding out that Laura is being chased by the killer, he gives her directions to escape and swears the killer won't leave the room alive.
- Religion of Evil: Part of a cult dedicated to Amon Ra, which involves Human Sacrifice.
Countess Lavinia Waldorf-Carlton
- Almost Dead Guy: She lives long enough to tell Dr. Myklos that O'Reily was the one who attacked her.
- Gold Digger: Sterling, her late husband, believed this of her. She denies it but it is clear money is her prime motivator considering her art burglary scheme.
- Grande Dame: Her behavior in polite society is very flamboyant, but this facade breaks easily when she gets flustered.
- She Knows Too Much: The Countess was partners with Watney Little. In fact, she brought him over from England to run her art burglary scheme. Because of this, O'Reilly kills her so she doesn't blab about the dagger.
- Con Man: He is a notorious career criminal and most of his crimes involve fraud and larceny.
- Dead Person Impersonation: After murdering Dr. Carrington, Watney disguised himself as Carrington with no one being the wiser...until ORiley found out. The Countess was the only one aware of the plan from the beginning.
- The Dreaded: He is known to Ziggy as an dangerous, internationally wanted criminal.
- Human Pincushion: The culprit kills Watney by pushing him onto the quills of a preserved porcupine on an office desk.
- Mole in Charge: By posing as the museum president Dr. Carrington, Watney was in a unique position for committing crimes at the Leyendecker Museum. For his part in an art burglary scheme with Lavinia and Ziggy, Watney ensured that forged paintings were switched for the museum's real ones and stopped anyone from investigating the thefts if they were discovered. He also had no problem with stealing the Dagger of Amon Ra during a routine walk through the museum.
- Spanner in the Works: As he dies, Watney manages to write the letters "CP" in his own blood on an office desk. "CP" refers to the novel "Crime and Punishment" in the office bookcase, where Watney's police file is hidden. This file provides an important clue to solving the mystery. He's also the victim of one if his schemes gets exposed: Steve points out that he and the Countess are in cahoots, while Olympia will notice he walks through the museum at night.
- Walking Spoiler: Knowledge of his existence alone is considered a spoiler.