Remembering the good old days: Gabriel Knight 2 - The Beast Within

11:31 pm - 11/18/2014
tiathyme inspired me with her funny Sherlock Holmes piece to post this five year old entry...

Yesterday I felt like playing Gabriel Knight 2 again, but of course the game is old and doesn't run on my Win7 64bit version. The only way was to install a virtual machine - but since I'd tried this a couple of times in the past without getting it to work I didn't have much hope.

However, after some fiddling around with Virtual PC I somehow managed to mount an XP .iso file into a virtual drive, booted the VM with it and voilà, the installation started. After mounting the Gabriel Knight CD in another virtual drive it appeared in the VM and lo and behold - the game started as well, just like it did all these years ago!

The game itself looks o-kay, but the video sequences are dreadful, with thick lines in the picture (it's even worse when you play in full screen mode).

Regular game screen:

Video sequence:

They filmed everything with actors, and many things on location (well, probably not with the actors, but they do have the inner city of Munich, the famous "Glockenspiel", a real castle, Bavarian villages, wolves etc.
It's pretty awesome (or would be if the video quality was better).

I just wish the "Germans" in the game were actual Germans. Some seem to be, they change from one language to the other without trouble, but most of them speak with heavy accents (Russian? Polish?) and clearly don't know what they're saying. (Which of course is hardly audible for someone who doesn't speak German, but can be agonizing for those who do.)

I also constantly fail to do stuff I should do because in some cases Gabriel receives documents of some sort - the last one was a "Jagdschein" (=hunting licence) and while I knew exactly what it was and what to do with it, HE needed to go to his lawyer and have the word translated to continue his investigation.
But seriously, the man has supposedly been living in Germany for ONE WHOLE YEAR! You should think he's picked up at least a little bit of the language. But no, every time I try to get him to talk to Germans he acts as if I was asking him to talk to strange creatures from outer space.

Funny things:
- Gabe adjusts his hair when you click on the mirror in his hosts' house. Like, throws it back and stuff. It's hilarious.
- In a club he finds the magazine "DER SPIEGEL" lying on a table. Only it's called "DES PI" and the rest of the second word is covered by a banner.
- In the police station (the chief's office) there is a poster at the door, showing a kid and a policeman. The text reads: "Du, wie wird man Polizei?" (="How do you become police?") *cries*
- Men hit on Gabriel all the time. There are meaningful looks, touching, strange phrases...the Baron is the worst, he's totally in love with good ol' Gabe - and no, I guess it's not supposed to be canon, but it sure as hell looks like it!
"I'm SO glad you're here. Drop by any time. How about tomorrow? Yeah, why shouldn't you join the hunt and learn all our secrets? Please stay with me until the end of time!" Okay, I made the last one up, but seriously, he's the total love interest here.
- Gabriel resides under the address: Schloss Ritter, Ritterstrasse 64, Rittersberg.
- Initially I thought I was too fucking dumb to play and because I was impatient finally dug up a walkthrough. The parts I was having trouble with were described as follows:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx SPOILER ALERT xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

# Click on the water trough.
# Look at the muddy patch to left of it, and find the paw print.
# Locate a small section of grass near the entrance to the woods (around about 2 cm away from Gabriel and to the left of him.) Click on it - pick up the hair.

You can hardly make out the big things on screen, let alone the stuff THAT'S ONLY GOT THE SIZE OF ONE OR TWO PIXELS on the same screen! It's ridiculous.

Gabriel tapes what certain people say with his tape recorder which is neat if you want to play something back. Another time I had trouble continuing the game the walkthrough wanted me to use a certain message with the walkie-talkie of a vet to be transfered to a zoo keeper. The text says:

# You need to extract various words to make up 3 new sentences. You have to file through the given sentences and EXTRACT various words in a particular order.
# The words you have to EXTRACT are these, in the right order: "THOMAS?" "HERR" "DOKTOR" "KLINGMANN" "HERE." "SHOW" "OUR" "WOLVES" "TO" "MR." "KNIGHT".

I swear if I didn't have the walkthrough I would still be back there, trying to figure out the EXACT words to use from all the crap he said! How could anyone figure this out on their own?!

And besides: WHY ON EARTH would the GERMAN VET give the GERMAN ZOO KEEPER the order in ENGLISH?!?

There's a lot of laughter and cringing involved - and I've only reached chapter 4 (of 6) yet.
If you haven't done so already, you should give it a try; it's as gay a game as you'll ever get one. And it's from 1995!!

Edit: OMG, I just saw this scene:

Gabriel stays overnight at the Baron's place and the latter comes in and checks him out while he's asleep. Seriously! First he looks at the talisman, but then he tousles Gabriel's hair. (All that after he'd basically handed him his personal whore who left shortly before this scene.)

When does subtext become ...text?


Damn, now I want to play it again...

Tag suggestion: Sierra, nostalgia
tiathyme 20th-Nov-2014 01:52 am (UTC)
Haha, loved it! There certainly does seem to be an awful lot of text going on there. :P

The Gabriel Knight games are all half price at GOG at the moment, I'm kinda tempted to get them...

(BTW, as someone who lives on Hill St in Hillbrook (not my actual address, but a close approximation) I can confirm that stupid addresses do occur in real life).
scolaro 23rd-Nov-2014 07:36 pm (UTC)
Hehe, thanks! You should get the GK games, they're great!
The first two, that is - I haven't played the third one yet and seeing the screenshots on GOG I'm not sure I want to... o.O'

LOL @ the address. But seriously, in the game you get the feeling someone was just verrry lazy there. ^^
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