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"What can you tell me about... voodoo?"

A series of PC point-and-click Adventure Game titles, created by Jane Jensen (who had worked on King's Quest VI) and published by Sierra, as well as the name of their primary hero.

The games in the series are:

  • Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (1993): Gabriel Knight is an author and owner of a bookstore in New Orleans. To overcome a writer's block he tries to use the material from a series of murders his policeman friend investigates. However, afflicted with freaky dreams nightly, he comes to learn that he shares a family history with a local Voodoo sect within the city, one that hinges upon being able to free his bloodline from a curse that befell them years earlier. With the help of his assistant, Grace Nakimura, and local police officer (and best friend since childhood) Detective Franklin Mosely, Gabriel discovers his roots, learning that he is descended from a German family, the Ritters, whose men were all Schattenjäger; "Shadow Hunters" tasked with battling the supernatural evils of the world, which he accomplishes in this game by healing the bad blood between his bloodline and that of Malia Gedde, a N'Awlins resident who hides a dark secret.
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  • The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery (1996): A Full Motion Video entry which managed to buck the well-known trend of FMV games. This time, Gabriel has returned to his family home, Schloss Ritter, to assist the local citizens with what they believe to be a werewolf attack. Grace, feeling snubbed back in New Orleans, books a flight out to join him, and the pair take their respective lines of research, resulting in the revelation that the werewolf in question has a history with King Ludwig II of Bavaria, one which nearly takes Gabriel's very soul.
  • Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned (1999): Gabriel and Grace are asked to protect a prince's son from a new supernatural threat, and while they pursue the kidnappers, links to The Knights Templar and even more incredible things are discovered the deeper they delve. Gabriel Knight 3 was released right in the middle of the adventure game slump of the late 90's and ended up being the final adventure game released by Sierra before their closing and eventual acquisition by Vivendi.

The entire series is available for digital purchase from Also the first game in the series got a 20th Anniversary remake with Jane Jensen and Robert Holmes' input in 2014. The possibility of a Gabriel Knight 4 getting made has also been confirmed, but whether or not it will actually be realized is currently up in the air.

Novelizations, written by Jane Jensen, were released of the first two games. The third game has a prequel comic entitled Gabriel Knight 3: Prelude that was included with original hard-copies of the game. In the run-up to the release of the 20th anniversary edition a new Gabriel Knight short story, The Temptation, written by Jane Jensen, was released on the Pinkterton Road website. A three-part comic adaptation of the story was released in February 2015. The Temptation is the first canon continuation of the Gabriel Knight series since Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned.

Character tropes go on to the Characters Sheet.

"What can you tell me about...tropes?"

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     The series in general 
  • 100% Completion: The progress of the games can be tracked via points earned.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Gabriel's grandmother is called Rebecca in the games, but for some reason this changes to Esther in the novelizations.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The family talisman has magic powers. Wolfgang gave up his life to get it back from Tetelo.
  • Ancient Conspiracy:
  • Asian Gal with White Guy: Zigzagged: When they first meet, Gabriel clearly has some fetishised ideas about Asian women that Grace is all too happy to dispel. They end up becoming close friends and equal partners in their work, and when they do eventually briefly hook up, it's entirely to do with who they are as people rather than stereotypes.
    • Parodied in the second game, when Grace learns—to her obvious disgust—that Gabriel's novel based on the events of the first game has re-cast their relationship as this trope.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Grace and Gabriel.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • In the Beast Within most articles, notes and conversations written or spoken in German are never translated, partially to emphasize Gabriel's inability to communicate in this language.
    • Likewise with the "Drei Drachen" poem in Sins of the Fathers. It's even creepier if you know German.
    • And of course, 'Ritter' is German for Knight. Schattenjager is likewise untranslated. It means "Shadow Hunter".
    • Sins of the Fathers has some Creole French. You may even figure that "cabrit sans cor" means a human sacrifice.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • You can see the scars on Gabriel's arms that he sustained in Sins of the Fathers in the opening sequence of The Beast Within. On the other hand, while there are clearly scars on Gabriel's right arm, Malia wasn't in any position to cut anything other than his left arm.
    • In Sins of the Father, when trying a certain action on Grace, Gabriel's fourth-wall comment is 'Don't mind if I do!'. Doing the same with the Madeline in the third game results in 'Mind if I do!'.
  • Bittersweet Ending:From the First to Last in the Trilogy.
  • Darker and Edgier: Part of the reason these games stood out? They were Sierra entertainment games that not only had a serious plot, but complemented it with a Darker and Edgier setting to fit. Not to mention, they were for older players, but weren't enforcing strict adherence to code like Police Quest or adult like Leisure Suit Larry.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gabriel and Grace both have their moments.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: To compensate for the fact that you can't die during the first 90% of each of the games (which is kinda unique in Sierra games), most of the deaths that do occur in the last sequences are in fact usually pretty gruesome. Getting your heart ripped out or your jugular slashed or strangled by a snake, getting your throat ripped open by a werewolf, getting sliced in half or your spine broken by being "folded the wrong way" are all part and parcel of the uglier side of the Schattenjäger business.
  • Gratuitous German: But then, who really wants to ditch the word Schattenjäger in exchange for its boring translation, "shadow hunter"?
  • Guide Dang It!: Being a Sierra adventure game, yeah, particularly in the third game. (See Moon Logic Puzzle)
  • Heir Club for Men: Only male blood relatives of the Ritter family can become Schattenjäger, and since Wolfgang dies with out issue, Gabriel comes to realize he's the end of the line In fact, Wolfgang kills himself precisely because Gabriel completed the ritual and became a Schattenjäger: he was only keeping himself alive because he was the last of the line, and now that Gabriel is able to carry it on, he's too old to keep going. Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned drops a few hints about the tension between his feeling of obligation to produce a male heir and the fact that he's not really interested in having kids at all; Temptation states it outright.
    • The end of Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned sees Grace determined to train as a Schattenjäger in her own right and without Gabriel's help, basically saying Screw Destiny (probably doesn't hurt that she's also pretty pissed at Gabriel himself at the time, too).
  • Holy Pipe Organ: Organ music plays in St. Louis Cathedral.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Lampshaded at one point in Beast Within, when Grace comes upon a quite large "PRIVAT" sign, about as long as someone's torso. To show that she's taking it with her, the actress — the camera's POV being from the neckline up — holds it upright and slides it down... somewhere... and then turns back around and walks back towards the camera. There's no noticeable bulge in her clothing, and she's not wearing her large coat at the time. It's actually rather amusing.
    • At one point she has a pigeon wrapped in a pillowcase stuffed into her coat, which she then smuggles past a bunch of guards at a major tourist attraction.
    • Inverted once with Gabriel in the first game. If you take money from the hounfor storeroom several times, Gabriel will start saying that he can't take any more.
  • Land Poor: Schloss Ritter has fallen into disrepair since the family's fortunes have waned in the past two centuries. The current owner, Wolfgang Ritter, only maintains five rooms, and lets the rest of the castle fall into disrepair because he can't afford to keep it up. He is also mentioned to be severely behind on paying the property tax. After the first game, Gabriel inherits the castle and uses the money from his book and what he stole from the Voodoo Cartel to pay the back taxes and being repair and restoration work.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: That Mosely wasn't actually killed in the first game is spoiled quite early in the second and third games.
  • Leitmotif: Some of which (Gabriel's theme, the Schattenjäger theme) span over all three games.
  • Limited Wardrobe: In the first game, Gabriel has a whole closetful of white shirts and jeans. In the sequels, the characters apparently didn't pack more than one set of clothes to travel abroad.
    • Averted in the third game, which is a rarity for video games. As days pass, a few characters will actually be seen in different outfits, although mostly what changes is the color and any patterns on their clothes.
  • Love Triangle: All over the place, seeing as how Gabriel is a Handsome Lech, but the main ones are probably:
    • Gabriel, Mosely, and Grace form a sort of dysfunctional one in all three games, though poor Mosely doesn't really stand a chance with Grace.
    • Possibly Gabriel, Malia, and Grace in the first game as well, depending on whether Grace was jealous of Malia (as Gabriel claims) or merely suspected that she was dangerous (as Grace herself claims).
    • Grace thinks there's one between her, Gabriel and Gerde in GK2 (causing a one-sided Cat Fight), until she finds out Gerde actually loved a different Schattenjäger.
    • A more straightforward example between Gabriel, Grace and Madeline in GK3.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: An interesting example between Gabriel and Grace since it's more in the spiritual sense that she is masculine and he is feminine. As Grace learns during a tarot card reading, she embodies the traits of the Chariot: driven, disciplined and logical, while Gabriel is the Magician: intuitive, spiritual and magical.
  • Meaningful Name: Gabriel Knight, hearkening to the angel and the job, of course; furthermore, the name "Ritter" is a German title meaning roughly "knight" and translates literally into "(a male) knight."
  • Naturalized Name: Gabriel's paternal grandfather, Heinz Ritter, legally changed his name to Harrison Knight when he moved from Germany to the United States.
  • Novelization: The first two games were adapted into books by Jane Jensen.
  • Point-and-Click Map
  • Polygon Ceiling: After an extremely successful run with Gabriel Knight, the series went through two separate clashes with this trope. The first sequel had Full Motion Video gameplay in a 2D environment, while Gabriel Knight 3 went into 3D. While both sequels had strong storylines, they were very difficult to play.
    • Jane Jensen later said that they did not foresee the amount of details (and work) a full 3D game required. For her future projects she would prefer a 2D game on pre-rendered 3D backgrounds — it would look good enough while being much cheaper.
      • Subverted with the Video Game Remake of Sins of the Fathers, which uses 3D polygon for the characters, but prerendered backgrounds, and blends the two quite well.
  • Prophetic Names: Gabriel's bookstore is named "St. George's Rare Books"; Saint George, the mythical dragonslayer, is the patron saint of the Schattenjäger.
    Gabriel: (to a stained glass window of St. George in Schloss Ritter) I named my bookstore after you. Until now, I guess I never really knew why...
  • Recurring Riff: "When the Saints Go Marching In" appears in all three games.
  • Romantic False Lead: One in every game for Gabriel:
    • Malia in Sins of the Fathers and Madeline in Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned are classic examples.
    • The Beast Within has a more convoluted example: Grace believes that Gerde and Gabriel are somehow involved, but in fact Gerde was Wolfgang's lover, while the nominally heterosexual Gabriel is in fact engaging in some very deliberate Foe Yay with Von Glower.
  • Scenery Porn: You, as Grace, get to visit Ludwig's castles Neuschwanstein and Herrenchiemsee in Beast Within. And because you're looking at photographs of the real things as your backdrops, they. Are. Gorgeous.
    • Concept art for the 20th Anniversary remake of Sins of the Fathers looks to be this way.
  • Sequel Escalation: Each game has a higher number of points to be won than the last.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: Sins of the Fathers takes place in New Orleans (for the most part). For the second and third games Gabriel relocates to Germany and France, respectively. (He actually moved to live in Germany, while being in France is just for a job.)
  • Shown Their Work: Say what you will about the writing. The plots and settings interweave various truths and mythologies extremely well.
    • Not to mention the detail of many locales in New Orleans in the first game. (someone went as far as taking photographs for comparison purposes).
    • The first and third games even have bibliographies in the manuals.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Particularly present in the first game (as implied by its title), but also present in the second game:
    • The first game uses the past misdeeds of ancestors haunting their descendants as the primary motivation for the story, as well as a constant theme. Gabriel's family is seemingly cursed to have the father of each generation die when the child reaches eight years of age, and a mistake by one of Gabriel's ancestors is directly responsible for the story. When Gabriel's ancestor found out that the woman he was romancing happened to be a member of a dangerous cult, he condemned and betrayed her rather than giving her a chance to repent that she might have taken, causing her to steal the powerful Ritter artifact that allowed her cult to flourish into the twentieth century.
    • Similarly, the theme of ancestors having committed crimes that their descendants must answer for pervades The Beast Within; Von Glower inherited the werewolf curse from his father (who gained it through a Gypsy Curse after raping a young girl).
    • The third game incorperates this with the vampire bloodline, all vampires descending from people who partook in Jesus' blood. The Ritters too are descended from the Roman soldier who stabbed Jesus in his side with the spear of Longinus
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mosely in particular lives to Lampshade this trope. Most obvious in GK3, when he calls Gabriel out for his treatment of Grace.
  • Will They or Won't They?: It's obvious from the start that Gabriel and Grace care for each other, but they don't start to show this until towards the end of Beast Within. Their first actual consummation in Gabriel Knight 3 is followed by very awkward periods between the two, as well as with those around them.
  • You Are the Translated Foreign Word: Gabriel is not a shadow hunter, he is a "Schattenjäger".
  • Zip Mode: The games have the ability to adjust the character's walk speed up to a very fast rate. The remake of ''Sins of the Fathers' comes without this feature but at least at Jackson Square, double-clicking destinations would teleport Gabe around faster.

     Sins of the Fathers 
  • 555: The numbers from the page that Grace Ripped from the Phone Book all start with 555.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Even if Mosely is implied to bend the rules for Gabriel since they are friends, and the police force knows Gabriel is doing research for his books, if Mosely acted this way in real life, he'd be kicked off the force. Handwaved by Mosely taking the case to the Feds who did not care about such details.
    • Especially if police knew Gabriel was doing research for his books, given that some were in league with the Voodoo cabal and were trying to keep the details of the murders a secret.
    • And the level of influence of said cabal would also count as an acceptable break from reality.
    • The presence of a ribcage is supposed to prevent one from tearing out one's own heart. Since the person in question was a Schattenjäger, perhaps A Wizard Did It.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: "Drei Drachen."
  • Alignment-Based Endings: Gabriel can choose at the end whether to try to save the possessed Malia from the pit she's dangling over, simply let her fall to let Tetelo die, or try to actively kill her to achieve the same.
  • All There in the Manual: The backstory of Gunter and Tetelo is told in a comic book that came with the game. The events are only alluded to in the game.
  • Animal Motifs: The Ritter family are heavily linked to lions (there are lion heads all over Schloss Ritter, and their family is represented by a lion fighting a snake on their talisman). The voodoo cult has a thing for snakes, with snake-themed bracelets and tattoos, a "snake mound" where their ancestors are buried, and a real-life boa constrictor used at ceremonies. Tetelo and Malia are both symbolised by a leopard, with the latter wearing a leopard headdress and the former changing into a leopard in Gabriel's nightmares, while Dr. John is identified with the eagle, and prays to a bird of prey. Other members of the cult are identified by other animal names but don't play a role in the game.
  • Artifact of Doom: All of the Agris tribe's power comes from a small idol that was discovered in Africa thousands of years ago. The Voodoo cabal is finally destroyed when Gabriel smashes it.
  • Artistic License – History: Benin is consistently referred to as "The People's Republic of Benin" throughout the game. While the country has indeed been known by that name, it had abolished the Marxist one-party rule and transitioned to democracy (subsequently dropping the "People's"-part of its official name) for three years by the year the game was released and takes place (1993).
  • As You Know: Some of the dialogue trees run into this.
  • Author Appeal: In-universe in the Voodoo Murders book Gabriel's expy seduces Grace's expy. Grace gets even by scaring his fans with tales of Gabriel's horrible scars.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Mild exception, where Dr. John clocks Grace a good one, prompting Mosely to gun him down.
  • The Big Easy: New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Big "NO!": Several times. When Gabriel first sees Tetelo possess Malia, after Wolfgang tears his own heart out so Gabriel can get the Schattenjäger amulet, and when Malia willingly falls to her death.
  • Black Magic: Voodoo. note 
  • Bland-Name Product: Mosely's "American Repressed" credit card.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Near the end, Tetelo magically blasts Mosely's gun out of his hand.
  • Blood Bath: Dr. John bathes in the blood of his victims.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Happens to Gabriel at the beginning, and presumably every time he has that dream.
  • Chekhov's Skill: If you ask Mosely the right questions near the beginning of the game, you learn that he and Gabriel used to play Monkey in the Middle when they were kids. When they fight Tetelo, this hobby comes in very handy...
    • Likewise, Grace's Tai Chi training is mentioned early on in conversation, which saves her life in the game's final minutes.
  • Collapsing Lair: The underground hounfor falls apart in the final moments of the game, apparently causing significant damage to Jackson Square.
  • Corrupt Church: The St. Louis Cathedral is a front for the Voodoo cabal.
  • Creepy Twins: A triplet of creepy girls jump rope in front of NOPD towards the end of the game.
  • Dating Catwoman: Gabriel's relationship with Malia.
  • Disney Villain Death: Malia Gedde (and along with her, Tetelo)
  • Does Not Like Men: Certain details about the Gedde family implied that Tetelo didn't like men, although Gunter's betrayal certainly justified it:
    • Malia's father died before she was born or so shortly afterward that she had no memory of him.
    • All of the Geddes interred in the family crypt were women.
    • Offerings of "male parts" were left at one of the big family crypts, which was implied to be the Gedde crypt.
    • Tetelo (possessing Madame Lorelai) warned Gabriel to "Stay away from Malia Gedde, or you shall pay with your life!" Since this took place before Tetelo knew exactly who Gabriel was (she didn't figure that out until the St. John's Eve conclave a few days later), it's implied that she gave the same warning to every other man who had ever hooked up with the leader of the Gedde family.
    • In the remake, the skulls of the past male members are all piled up in the Gedde crypt.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop:
    • Several police officers (not the remake) have a taste for beignets (a regional fried pastry similar to donuts).
    • There is a half-finished doughnut in Mosely's drawer.
  • Doomed Appointment: Gabriel is just about to learn a vital piece of information, when the professor he's meeting with is killed at his office before Gabriel gets a chance to talk to him.
  • Dream Sequence: Gabriel experiences a dream during his first visit to Schloss Ritter, which proves to be a metaphysical means for him to take up the title of Schattenjäger.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: If the player has Gabriel investigate the Schattenjäger library, he comes upon books relating to werewolves and vampires, the antagonists in the next two games.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Gabriel comes out of his bedroom in St. George's a mess. Grace is already wide awake, working and snarking at Gabriel to one of his flings on the phone. We're looking at a Handsome Lech and his Hyper-Competent Sidekick.
  • Everyone Hates Mimes: Jackson Square has an irritating Mime that would follow Gabriel and just be generally annoying. Later on, you have to use the Mime to piss a Cop off so badly that he actually abandons his motorcycle to chase after him.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: The ancient mummies at Benin come across like your typical Hollywood zombie.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Tetelo constantly tells Malia that Gabriel will betray her, since that's what she knows. At the end of the game, if you choose to save Malia, Tetelo will outright attack Gabriel to try to make his rescue attempt fail, insisting that he's supposed to betray Malia, not save her, even though that will kill her.
  • Exact Eavesdropping:
    • Gabriel listens in on a police officer's radio at just the right time to get the location of the crime scene on day 1.
    • Gabriel looks through the binoculars at the right time to notice Crash talk to the drummer at Jackson Square on day 4.
    • At Malia's room in the underground hounfor, Gabriel overhears her argue with Tetelo.
  • Fainting Seer: There is a standard seer freak-out at Jackson Square.
  • Fantasy Keepsake: The key from Gabriel's dream magically appears next morning by his bedside at Schloss Ritter.
  • Girl of My Dreams: Tetelo is an interesting example of this trope; she has quite literally been giving the men of the Ritter family nightmares for generations, including Gabriel, who would later meet her in person. Oddly enough, other than the fact that Tetelo possesses Gabriel's love interest, there is nothing romantic about any of this, and it's implied to not be intentionalnote .
  • Gratuitous French: "Cabrit sans cor."
  • Have a Nice Death: If Gabriel is killed, you are shown a skull while Gabriel's voice telling you, "I really don't want to be dead. Can we try that again?". Tim Curry's delivery as the voice of Gabriel makes the scene.
  • He Knows Too Much: Professor Hartridge do some research on the Gedde's tribe. Later, Gabriel finds him dead with the answer clutched in the professor's hand. Presumably, the Gedde didn't like what he was researching and had him killed through supernatural means.
  • The Hero Dies: In the bad ending.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Wolfgang, and in a big way. He literally rips his own heart out in order to let Gabriel retrieve the Schattenjäger talisman.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Tetelo's desire for vengeance on the whole Ritter family, generations after she was betrayed by Gunter Ritter, ends up spelling her end.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Zig-zagged - the game actually contains a pretty detailed history of Voodoo, also mentioning Vodoun, Loa, Hoodoo, Gris-Gris, importance of certain holidays in Vodoun, etc. Justified in that most of the places you learn this from are in fact, a museum dedicated to Vodoun - they've Shown Their Work there. In fact, the media dubs the murders done in a ritualistic fashion the "Voodoo murders" because, well, they're more familiar with Hollywood Voodoo themselves!
    • The aversion comes from the fact that the Big Bad is controlled by a former slave and voodoo priestess named Tetelo.
    • This is even noted in-universe: The police found that the murder rituals match "real" voodoo poorly, and thus they concluded they were done by someone with Hollywood Voodoo -level of familiarity with the subject. They were correct on the first part, but their conclusion was wrong; the rituals are actually from an African religion that was one of the main influences on Caribbean voodoo.
  • Human Sacrifice: Features heavily. "Cabrit sans cor."
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In the climax, Gabriel tries to get through to Malia whilst she is ridden by Tetelo.
  • Implausible Deniability: Willy Walker did NOT say "Cabrit sans cor." You must have heard wrong, man.
  • Important Haircut: Cutting off a strand of one's hair is part of the Schattenjäger initiation ritual and Gabriel hates it.
  • Indy Ploy: Gabriel channels Indy right before the climax when Mosely asks him what he plans on doing.
    Gabriel: "I don't know. I'll think of something."
  • Initiation Ceremony: At Schloss Ritter, Gabriel undergoes one to become a true Schattenjäger.
  • Irish Priest: Gabriel poses as one to get information out of an older woman.
  • It's for a Book: Gabriel is writing a book about the Voodoo Murders, which is finished and published by the second game. And evidently, he makes Mosely look like an idiot in there.
  • I Want Them Alive: Malia leaves a message for Dr. John: "Keep eyes on GK but do not harm."
  • The Lava Caves of New York: Early in the game we get some exposition on geology of New Orleans area. Namely, there's so much ground water, dead bodies have to be kept above ground instead of being buried. Then, near the end, when the underground hounfor starts falling apart, there seems to be something glowing at the bottom of the rifts — deep, but surely not bottomless. In the final scene one of the city's landmarks is being slowly flooded with lava seeping out of cracks in the ground. Yes, voodoo magic was involved, but this isn't what you'd expect from a game that earlier went to great lengths to stay factually accurate.
  • Lecture as Exposition: Professor Hartridge gives a lengthy one about the origins of the voodoo cult which puts Gabe to sleep.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Agris, Tetelo's tribe, were descended from a cult of sun-worshippers. Bloodthirsty, barbaric sun-worshippers.
  • Lightmare Fuel: Near the end of the game, as Gabriel explore the cult's secret Hounfour, he can enter a room filled with animals that the cult presumably uses as sacrifices. As he does so, the background music changes to an eerie and slightly distorted tune. While this tune fits perfectly with the game's disturbing atmosphere, you probably can't help but chuckle when you realize it is actually just a creepy instrumental version of Old McDonald Had a Farm.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The game flirts with this by having the main plot be investigating murders that seem to be related to voodoo, but intentionally obscuring or otherwise drawing attention away from any mystical connotations. As the game progresses, supernatural elements creep in, until in the end you're witnessing the walking dead, blood sacrifices and full-body possessions, skewing heavily towards magic. Each sequel then resets the clock, so to speak, with Gabriel and Grace clearly aware of the supernatural, but initially seeking more logical, mundane answers to the possible problems, rather than immediately jumping to a supernatural conclusion, and then adjusting their approach as the supernatural elements are exposed.
  • The Maze: Bayou St. John. You can't navigate without a Tracking Device.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Wolfgang falls victim to this on Day 8.
  • Mission Control: Grace offers a low-tech version of this role.
  • Multiple Endings: The game has two possible endings depending on whether you try to pull Malia out of the chasm, try to push her, or do nothing during the finale. Since there were sequels, only one of them is canonical, as Malia kills Gabriel if he doesn't try to save her, or kills herself if he does.
  • Narrating the Obvious: Gabriel when finding Mosely dead at the Gedde tomb: "Shit! I dropped my flashlight!" Turns out that Mosely was actually alive, he thought that Gabriel was one of the Voodoo cabal, and he pointedly didn't hear Gabriel say "Shit! I dropped my flashlight!"
  • Nightmare Sequence: Gabriel's recurrent nightmare is a very important plot point. It is actually tied to Gunter's last moments, and has been tormenting his descendants for 300 years.
  • No Canon for the Wicked: The "neutral" and "evil" choices for the ending of GK1 result in Gabriel's death, which obviously isn't canon.
  • Notice This: In the remake, the player can press the spacebar to force all objects on screen to be labeled.
  • Not So Different: Although it isn't commented on, Ogoun Badagris (one of the patron loa of the Gedde family) is strongly associated with St. George (the patron saint of the Ritter family) in American Voodoo.
  • Only the Knowledgable May Pass: Dr. John subjects Gabriel to this when Gabriel crashes the Voodoo conclave, and promptly kills Gabriel if he fails the test. Not only must Gabriel be wearing an animal mask and have a snake tattoo; he must also prove that he knows who the Gedde tribe's primary Loa are.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Tetelo. Straight out of Vodun religion. A great and powerful ancestor worshiped as a god, can perform miracles and occasionally "rides" the high priestess.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Tetelo's victims in the backstory of the first game, and Malia's victims in the game itself, were mostly criminals and ne'er-do-wells.
  • Powers via Possession: Malia Gedde. Justified as this is how Vodoun works.
  • Pun-Based Title: The game gives us Ancient Roots of Africa by Earle E. Day.
  • Recurring Dreams: Gabriel has the same nightmares over and over.
  • Regularly Scheduled Evil: Hinted at. According to a newspaper clipping from the year 1810, the Voodoo Murders have been happening ever since the early 19th Century. Also according to Gunter's Journal, Gabriel discovers that this whole evil started as far back as the the 17th century. The Gedde Tribe's power requires occasional refreshing through human sacrifice. Gabriel just happens to be onto the case (for unrelated reasons) during the most recent cycle.
  • Religion of Evil: One of the driving questions is determining whether the "Voodoo Murders" are being committed by a twisted Voodoo cult or whether it's just a smokescreen. The true culprits are an insane cult of Voudoun practitioners, a religion practised in certain countries in west Africa from which the various versions of Voodoo is derived, who claim themselves to be descendants of the Agris Tribe. They worship Ogoun Badagris, the Lord of Destruction, and their leader is possessed by the Loa (ancestral spirit) of Tetelo, an African slave and Voodoo priestess who died hundreds of years earlier.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Damballah, the loa associated with snakes, is noted for being particularly nasty. The Ritters (later Knights) have often had nightmares about three snakes or dragons as well.
  • Ripped from the Phone Book: Gabriel holds on to a page from a phonebook that Grace retrieved for him. Lampshaded when he notes: Somewhere there's a New Orleans phone book missing one of its "C" pages.
  • Rule of Three: All over the place. There's not only the motif of the three snakes that appears in Gabriel's dreams, Philip Knight's painting of three snakes in a skull, and the engraved tiles that unlock the door in the African tomb (which is the source of the images that haunt the Ritter/Knight family), but also the three dragons in Heinz Ritter's poem and clock puzzle (as Grace points out at one point, snakes and dragons as symbols are interchangeable). It's also been exactly three hundred years since Gunther lost the talisman to Tetelo, and Gabriel is thirty-three years old at the start of the story. Finally, when Gabriel is confronted by the dragon in his nightmare, he is told that "three women have loved you purely."
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Gabriel takes Mosely's credit card and charges a trip to Germany, a trip to Africa, and back to the United States on it. Suffice to say...even in the time frame the games are set in, Gabriel should be in legal trouble. And that's saying nothing of copying police files that he was specifically told not to copy, stealing Mosely's badge, and having a dead body transported from Benin to Germany. It's implied that Mosely lets him get away with the credit card and police stuff because of all the cult stuff and the actual physical danger that they find themselves in (and thanks to the Compressed Timeline, it all happens relatively quickly anyway). He is, of course, still not happy about it.
  • Shout-Out: One of the messages on the bulletin board at Tulane University is about a lecture on investigative journalism by an elderly Laura Bow Dorian, meaning the two series take place in the same universe. Also, the 1920s-style hat that Laura wears in The Dagger of Amon-Ra can be spotted in the right-hand corner of the foreground in Grandma Knight's attic.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Gabriel gets "Shut up and kiss me" from Malia Gedde during their encounter at the family tomb.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Near the beginning of the game, you have to do an unusual nonviolent version of this: escort a mime from one side of Jackson Square to a police officer on the other side, while avoiding all the musicians and other passersby along the way—not because they'll attack you if they spot you, but because they'll distract the mime.
  • Strangely Specific Horoscope: Lampshaded. Gabe reads his horoscope almost every day of the 10 day period, and it's always eerily accurate to what he's going through. At the end of the game, on day 10, when he reads his incredibly doomy-sounding horoscope, he remarks, "There's a schoolteacher somewhere who's really confused."
  • Sympathetic Magic: Mentioned by Professor Hartridge during his lecture, and Crash gives a gruesome example or two when you interrogate him about the Voodoo Murders. Both characters are implied to have been killed this way as well.
  • Take My Hand: At the end Malia Gedde falls into a just-opened crevice, presenting you with the choice to have Gabriel take a shot at this trope or completely ignore her plight.
  • Taking You with Me: If you choose not to attempt to rescue Malia at the end, she will drag Gabriel down the fiery abyss with her.
  • Tap on the Head: Gabriel's lights go out after a blow to his head at the swamps, and again in the Gedde tomb.
  • Temple of Doom: Visited at Benin.
  • That Was Not a Dream: When Gabriel awakes after the night at the swamps, he tells Grace about this dream only for her to remind him that it was all real.
  • That Was the Last Entry: Gunter's journal. It's pretty obvious he committed suicide when he writes stuff like "These final words" and "I pray [...] that my punishment in Hell will be long and bitter."
  • Too Much Information: When Grace tells Gabriel that he'll be reincarnated into a pitbull if he keeps screwing with karma, he states that he's fine with it as long as it's a male pitbull with a really big... then she cuts him off.
  • Tracking Device: Used twice:
    • First Gabriel uses one to track down the voodoo priest in the swamps.
    • Later he leaves a device at the elevator in the church for Mosely to find.
  • Travel Montage: A red line marks Gabriel's travel across the ocean to Germany and later Africa.
  • The Unintelligible: The narrator has a very thick accent, making understanding her a troubling task without the aid of the captioning. Most noticeable when she pronounces German words, Americans in general have issue, but they make it a hodgepodge of not knowing how to lay the emphasis upon things.
  • Unwinnable by Design: While Gabriel Knight is a lot more forgiving than many other Sierra adventure games, it is still possible to end up in a few dead-end situations if one is not careful:
    • If you don't pick up masks and cloaks for yourself and Mosely before reviving Grace, tough luck. Dr. John comes into the room and promptly kills you both.
  • Useless Item: The photo of young Mosely.
  • Video Game Remake: Jane Jansen remade the first game for it 20th anniversary, with a modern engine similar in style to the Broken Sword series. The voices have all been recast, due to the original audio master files having been lost over the past 20 years.
  • Voodoo Doll: Downplayed: There is one displayed in The Historical Voodoo Museum, but nobody is shown using Voodoo Dolls as in Hollywood Voodoo.
    • It reminds Gabriel of Grace, apparently because it's so spiky.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Tim Curry's attempt at a New Orleans accent is epically weird, with something of a So Bad, It's Good reputation among GK fans. Even better is when in GK1 Gabriel has to pretend to be an Irish Priest, resulting in all three accents showing up at the same time in a gloriously bizarre mix.
  • What the Hell, Player?: You can try out the various non-speaking icons on Grace. If you click "look," "take," "move," etc., Gabriel will indulge in a little fourth-wall commentary about his attraction to her. If you try to "open" Grace, however, Gabriel says, "I don't even want to think about what you mean."
  • Writing Indentation Clue: In the remake, when Gabriel discovers that Professor Hartridge is dead, he also finds that the office has been picked clean of evidence, including some notes the professor had been working on to help Gabriel. Fortunately there's enough indentation left in the sheets underneath the removed notes that Gabriel is able to use a pencil to employ this trope to find out what the professor had written anyway. In the original game, Gabriel is able to just take the notes without having to go through all thatnote .
  • Yodel Land: Gerde's outfit in Sins of the Father shows signs of this. In Beast Within, her actress wears much more sensible and modern clothing.

     The Beast Within 
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Gabriel wrote Grace into his novel The Voodoo Murders under the alias "Fujitsu" (affectionately called "Fuji"); Grace isn't too thrilled with the pseudonym. You might know this same "name" from Back to the Future Part II as 2015 Marty's boss.
  • At the Opera Tonight: A rare example of the opera in question — "Der Fluch Des Engelhart", written exclusively for the game — being important to the plot.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: There is a reason it's called the werewolf curse. This makes the stakes far more serious than "Sins of The Fathers". Especially once Gabriel is bitten by a werewolf.
  • Big "NO!": When it dawns on Gabriel that he killed the wrong werewolf, and is now cursed to become one.
  • Call-Back: The cover of Gabriel's novel comes from Malia's appearance at the St. John's Eve conclave in the first game, to say nothing of the fact that the book itself was "loosely" based on the events of the first game. Incidentally, while hanging out with Von Glower, Gabriel reminisces about that conclave (or, as he called it, "party") and jokes about how Grace had pulled him away.
  • Cat Fight: Grace and Gerde, albeit verbally and nearly one-sided from Grace.
  • Concert Climax
  • Curse Escape Clause: Killing the very source of a werewolf's infection will end his curse. This becomes very important after Gabriel is infected and he must find and kill the head of the Bavarian werewolves to become human again.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Whoever answered Grace's prayers did so by blowing out all of the candles in the chapel and leaving it completely dark, enabling Grace to steal some documents from Ludwig's urn so that she could help Gabriel.
  • Dating Catwoman: Arguably, Gabriel's relation to Von Glower.
  • Dream Sequence:
    • There's one in which Ludwig shows Gabriel the last actions of his life, which helps Gabriel solve the case, and free himself from the werewolf curse.
    • Grace also has a dream sequence early on in which she's fleeing from a pack of wolves and gets rescued by Ludwig, only for him to turn into a wolf as well. It turns out to be significant foreshadowing of the plotline.
  • Full Motion Video
  • Gypsy Curse: The source of all the werewolf activity.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: The Beast Within draws a lot of parallels between werewolves and homosexuality. This is blended with actual Ho Yay and Foe Yay. This trope is also played with in that King Ludwig's diary entries about his fears of becoming a werewolf are dismissed by mainstream historians as being a metaphor for his struggle with his homosexuality. A helpful historian (implied to be gay) corrects Grace on this; Ludwig was entirely comfortable with being gay, his fears about turning into a werewolf were exactly what they seemed on the surface.
  • Hunting "Accident": In a nonlethal variation of this trope, this seemed to be the standard operating procedure for how von Glower got his betas: Select a potential partner, take him on a hunting trip, and bite him (or let another beta bite him) while in wolf form.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: "You must do it!", as he throws Gabriel his rifle.
    • Mild subversion: von Glower can't kill von Zell because of their werewolf bond, and it's entirely possible the whole hunting trip was just a Batman Gambit to get Gabriel to do the job for him.
  • It Gets Easier: Or so Grace tries to convince Gabriel, when he's quite despondent and feeling guilty about the events of the game and his responsibilities as a Schattenjäger. His expression shows rather clearly that he doesn't believe it.
  • King of Beasts: Schloss Ritter has a lion motif in its decor that Grace unabashedly snarks on: "King of beasts. That about sums it up!"
  • Mundane Utility: The Schattenjäger dagger, which Gabriel carries with him for almost the entire game has only one use: To undo screws on a vent cover in the last chapter. You can try to attack von Zell with it, but that has fatal results for Gabriel.
  • Non Standard Game Over: If you mess up at the point where Gabriel is in the dressing room in the theater you get an ending of sorts where you see a newspaper article stating that Gabriel has disappeared, presumably either killed in wolf form or taken away by Van Glower, and, even worse, Grace is the prime suspect in his murder because of all the strange things she was doing to actually help him.
  • The Not-Love Interest: An interesting example, when Mrs Smith introduces the idea of each individual having an "Other" in her tarot card readings. Someone's "Other" is the person or being who has the most impact on their lives at that particular point. For Grace, it's Gabriel, but for Gabriel it's none other than the Virgin Mary (represented by the High Priestess card) who is trying to guide him through his current trial.
  • Oktoberfest: The game has elements of this.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The Black Wolf who turns out to be Von Glower, plus his Beta, Von Zell (and later Gabriel).
    • This depiction is, however, way more consistent with European folklore than most portrayals of werewolves in fiction.
  • Permanently Missable Content: If you forget to pick up a certain item in the chapter on disc two, you will get stuck at the end of the chapter on disc four.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When werewolf-Gabriel is fleeing the scene of Von Glower's death and Leber has his gun trained on him.
    Grace: "Let. Him. Go!"
  • Red Herring: The rough draft of Gabriel's manuscript.
  • Sheep in Wolf's Clothing: Gabriel becomes a werewolf and then, having transformed into a wolf but not killed or eaten a human yet, is able to reverse his curse by killing Von Glower, the source of the curse.
  • Speaking Simlish: Gabriel's cringe-worthy botching of German definitely qualifies, also as a Bilingual Bonus.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Literally. The spelling of Schloss/Schloß Ritter is inconsistent. Also, one of the street signs in reads "Dienerstraße," but an address sign on the same street reads "54 Dienerstrasse." Such changes in spelling do occur in German if the word is in ALL CAPS (because until quite recently there was no capital ß), but the address sign wasn't.
  • Tarot Troubles: Mrs. Smith can be prompted to do tarot readings for Grace and an absentee Gabriel. Similar to Phantasmagoria, the cards' meanings are incorrect, but it at least tried to break the tendency towards major arcana cards by including a Two of Wands in Gabriel's reading.
  • Temporary Substitute: Kriminal Kommissar Leber fills the Mosely role in The Beast Within.
  • Thanatos Gambit: King Ludwig comes up with a truly spectacular one, involving Wagner's lost opera, crystal chandeliers, and acoustics at a famous theatre. When he is unable to put it into effect himself, he hides the opera throughout his castle, entrusts a diagram to a village woman, and writes a letter to his cousin Empress Elizabeth, hoping that she will do it in his stead (the novelization reveals that a spiteful servant burnt the letter). Over a hundred years later, Gabriel and Grace finally put his plan into action, successfully freeing both Gabriel and Ludwig from the werewolf curse.
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: When Gabriel calls the German doctor "Klingmann" and he replies "They call me Herr Doktor Klingmann here."
  • This Was His True Form: Von Zell, a werewolf, reverts back to human form after being killed.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: One of the first clues Grace finds is a letter sent to King Ludwig by Christian Ritter, warning him of the Black Wolf. However, the letter was never sent and we never discover exactly what happened to Christian.

     Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned 
  • Bittersweet Ending: The game ends this way. Even though Gabriel prevents the Night Visitors from acquiring the blood of Christ, he returns to the hotel to find that Grace has left him and written him a note saying she has left him. Thus, even though he's saved the world, Gabriel is not able to get Grace. It doesn't help matters either that he's finally decided once and for that he's in love with her and appears ready to try entering into a committed relationship with her.
  • Cat Fight: Grace and Madeline.
  • Chess Motif: Near the end, there's a puzzle involving a chessboard. In order to solve it, Gabriel must move in the style of the Knight piece.
  • Foreshadowing: If you examine the confessional, Grace will mention that, being raised Buddhist, she thinks atoning for sin isn't as easy as simply saying sorry. The ending reveals Gabriel's family have been serving as Schattenjäger since the crucifixion of Christ, due to the role one of his ancestors, a Roman soldier, played in it.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: Every single one of your suspects will hesitate before claiming they are merely... taking a morning stroll... when you encounter them under suspicious circumstances, and their binoculars are just for... birdwatching, yeah. Mosely in particular spends half his early game dialogue dot dot dotting away at you.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The villain summons a demon to kill Gabriel. Gabriel killing the demon kills the villain.
  • In Medias Res: The game starts with an abstract at best opening video, after which Gabriel spawns in his hotel room without a single line of exposition. The player has to piece together what he's doing in Rennes-Le-Chateau through NPC conversations.
    • All There in the Manual: The immediate leadup is instead detailed in a short comic that came with the original releases of the game.
  • Journey to Find Oneself: At the end, Grace is Put on a Bus, leaving Gabriel to travel to India.
  • Long Title: Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned.
  • Magical Database: Grace creates SIDNEY (Schattenjäger Information Database), a computer database of information relevant to Gabriel's cases. It in turn is based on the library of actual books that the Schattenjäger maintained in Castle Ritter for the same purpose.
  • Mission Control: Grace still acts as this in the last levels, staying in contact with Gabriel (the active character) via radio and guiding him through the finale.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: The infamous "cat hair mustache" puzzle, which Old Man Murray used as an example of how adventure gaming killed itself. You must make a fake mustache to disguise yourself as a man who doesn't have a mustache (after drawing one on his ID) by scaring a cat through a hole you've rigged with tape and then affixing the stolen cat hair to your lip with maple syrup. 'Cause that's what makes the disguise pop.
    • Actually, the "get a fake mustache to disguise yourself as a man without a mustache" thing makes sense in a way, since Gabriel and Mosely look nothing alike, but having a big mustache on both the man and the photo can well cause a casual observer to think "yep, same guy". As to how you get it and how you attach it to your lip... no excuse.
    • The game producer Steven Hill later said that the team was on a tight budget and breaking deadlines and had to replace a fairly complex not-yet-implemented subplot with this hack. He doesn't remember what was intended originally, and Jane Jensen doesn't tell.
  • Shout-Out:
    • There's one to Dune when Gabriel asks Wilkes whether he's trying to call a Sand Worm with a thumping device.
    • Attempting to pick up a mop in a supply closet will cause Gabriel to say "You must be confusin' me with Roger Wilco."
    • The Rennes-le-Chateaux bookstore has Jane Jensen's picture and the novelization of the first game in the window.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Gabriel has to stealthily follow the hotel's maid into the tour group guest's rooms so he can go through their belongings. Getting caught will result in the player losing access to several rooms and some points/a chance to shed some light on a few of the game's characters.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Happens to Gabriel and Grace when they arrive at the only inn in Rennes-le-Chateau. It starts off fairly chill, with Gabriel sleeping on the couch in the room without much argument or apparent tension, before taking a sharp about-face that results in Their First Time.
  • Third Is 3D: Applies. In hindsight its creators call jumping on the 3D bandwagon a wrong decision. Same as Full Motion Video for the second game.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: In the first day, if you go straight to the church after the second part begins and speak with people there, the scene with certain guest exchanging rooms doesn't happen, and after speaking to Mosely, you can't progress further. Doubles as a Game-Breaking Bug.

     ‘The Temptation’ short story 
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The kindly old lady who turns out to be the very creature Gabriel is hunting.
  • Hallucinations: Gabriel has begun conversing with a "voice in his head", which he puts down to exhaustion and missing having Grace around to bounce ideas off of. However, this soon turns into a full-blown hallucination of Von Glower, who claims to represent Gabriel's first true kill, and tries to convince him to kill himself.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Was the taunting spectre of Von Glower real or false? Gabriel protests that while he could be talking to himself he is not creative enough to imagine in such detail. That and previous games reveal that the spirits of unrepentant werewolves are unable to ascend, forever condemned to remain in the world they so desperately clung to.

I really don't wanna be dead. Can we try that again?

Alternative Title(s): Gabriel Knight Sins Of The Father, The Beast Within A Gabriel Knight Mystery, Gabriel Knight 3 Blood Of The Sacred Blood Of The Damned, Gabriel Knight 3, Gabriel Knight 2, Gabriel Knight 1


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