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Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned is the third and final game in the Gabriel Knight series of adventure games by Sierra Online. The game was designed by Jane Jensen, Gabriel Knight's creator. In a departure from the previous two entries, the score is composed by David Henry, expanding on some of original composer Robert Holmes's themes. The game also sees Tim Curry return in the role of Gabriel although the voices of other re-occurring characters such as Grace and Mosely have been recast. It was released in 1999 for PCs and again in 2001 as a part of Sierra's Best Seller Series.

Each installment in the Gabriel Knight series has had a significant change in graphic design, with the first featuring computer-generated, partially rotoscoped graphics as well as scanned comic book art and the second being entirely FMV. Gabriel Knight 3 is the first game in the series to be in full 3D. Still utilizing a classic point-and-click interface it has been considered to be one of the last great titles of the genre.[1] Despite critical and financial successTemplate:Fact it would be the last adventure-game published by Sierra.

The plot of the game now concentrates on vampires (previous titles concentrated on the paranormal aspects of Voodoo, and werewolves) but also has a great deal to do with the history of the Knights Templar, the proposed conspiracies relating to the Freemasons and The Priory of Sion as well as Jesus.

SynopsisEdit

Gabriel Knight comes from a line of Schattenjägers ("Shadow Hunters") whose mission is to fight various seemingly paranormal characters. As detailed in the Gabriel Knight 3 Graphic Novel, featured as either a hard-copy or scanned on the game CD, it has been four years since their last case (The beast within) and Gabe and Grace are invited to the estate of Prince James of Albany, who is descendant of the House of Stuart, the exiled monarchs of Scotland. He reveals that his family is plagued by bizarre vampire-like creatures called the Night Visitors. Prince James asks Gabriel to protect his infant son Charlie from the Night Visitors. However, while guarding the baby Grace mysteriously falls asleep and Gabe is paralyzed and forced to watch as a shadowy figure enters the room and takes the baby. Gabriel follows the kidnappers to a train where he is knocked out.

The game's opening movie picks up from here as Gabe is waking up he hears one of the kidnappers say San Greal. Gabriel finds himself in Couiza, in the South of France, and a cab takes him to Rennes-le-Château where he checks into the hotel and starts to put the mystery together.

After meeting the other inhabitants of the hotel, which oddly include his friend Franklin Mosely, Gabriel connives his way into renting a motorcycle and heads to the train station. He bribes a limo driver who was a witness to the previous night's events, and learns that the kidnappers were picked up, along with the baby, by a black sedan, which then drove off toward the main valley circuit. He also learns that Vittorio Buchelli lied to him about coming in on a train from Naples, though it is unclear why Buchelli would lie. At this point, Prince James' men, Malory and McDougal, arrive at the hotel with Grace and request an update from Gabriel. They then dismiss him from the case.

Undeterred, Gabriel follows James' men and observes them as they visit the local church caretaker Abbe Arnaud in order to threaten him. They suggest that Arnaud has the child, an accusation he strongly denies. Gabriel then tails the two men to the home of a local man, Larry Chester, who exchanges a handshake that Mosely claims is characteristic of Freemasons.

The next morning, Grace attends a tour of the valley led by Madeleine Buthane. She visits a site called "Poussin's Tomb" (though it is not the tomb of the French painter), the ruins of Chateau de Blanchefort, and a winery in the valley, Chateau de Serres. At Blanchefort, she hears mention of a document called Le Serpent Rouge from Estelle Stiles and Lily Howard, that is supposed to give hints as to where the treasure purported to exist in the valley is hidden. At the winery, Grace infiltrates the main house, thinking she hears a baby crying. Though the sound ends up being due to machinery, she learns that the winery's proprietor is a member of an obscure cult, though the symbols on the robes are not known to her. As the tour group leaves the winery, they discover the bodies of Malory and McDougal at the Devil's Armchair, with their throats cut and blood drained.

While the tour happens, Gabriel breaks into the other hotel rooms. He finds documents in Stiles and Howard's room, a gun and map in Buthane's, and a priest's collar and train ticket stub from Rome in Buchelli's. When Grace returns with news of the murders, he quickly goes down to overhear a conversation between Buchelli and someone he calls Padre, presumably in Rome. He then goes to the crime scene to investigate with Mosely. The two find a pool of blood nearby where the men's throats were drained, and Gabriel has a psychic vision of floating vampires committing the grisly act. When finished with this, they are chased from the crime scene by the suspiciously interested Buthane. Gabriel traces tire tracks from Malory and McDougal's car, and then compares them to tracks at Chateau de Serres, finding them to match. Posing as a journalist, he has a long conversation with the owner of the winery, Excelsior Montreaux. Gabriel confronts Larry Chester about the two men, and although he admits nothing, Gabriel observes him set an alarm for 2:00 am.

Grace discovers that the book left on her door details a theory about Jesus Christ: that Christ had children with Mary Magdalene, and that the Stuart family is one of the purported bloodline families, distant descendants of those children. She also reads that the bloodline was once protected by the Knights Templar, but that the group then split into the Freemasons and the Priory of Sion. Gabriel, Mosely, and Grace eventually conclude that Arnaud is with the Priory and Chester, Mallory, and McDougal are Freemasons.

After overhearing an insulting comment by Gabriel, Grace declines to accompany the others to a local bar, instead visiting the local museum. On the door, she finds an English handwritten translation of Le Serpent Rouge, though she has no idea who left it there. After visiting the church, she decodes the first few passages, locating a circle centered at L'Hermitage and placing an 8x8 chessboard grid on the map in SIDNEY. She is interrupted by John Wilkes, who invites her to dinner. Wilkes has been doing seismographic surveys of the valley, so Grace decides to get Wilkes drunk and get him to give her what he has found. This works, and Wilkes shows her a large hollow found by seismographic satellite imagery underneath Couiza. After fending off Wilkes' attempt to sleep with her, she goes into Mosely's room while Gabriel watches in surprise.

A few hours later, Gabriel awakes at 2:00 am and heads to Larry Chester's house, where he discovers Chester burying a document behind his house. Gabriel retrieves the document, which appears to be a genealogy chart of Christ's descendants. He heads home to find Grace in bed, and falls asleep on the couch, only to be awakened as a vampire enters the bedroom, leaving him again paralyzed. The vampire menacingly assaults the sleeping Grace, then vanishes. Gabriel gets into bed with Grace, places the talisman over her for protection, and the two have sex.

Grace wakes in the morning and heads to L'Hermitage. By matching the site's appearance to one of Poissin's paintings, she determines that Mt Cardou is where the man in the painting is pointing. Using this information, she places a hexagram on the map, two vertices of which fall within the space that correspond to Wilkes' seismographic map. At these two sites, and at L'Hermitage, she finds handwritten notes that offer more cryptic clues to the treasure.

After seeing the hotel staff snooping, Gabriel searches Wilkes' room, finding evidence that the vampires entered the room, just as they entered his the previous night. Heading to L'Homme Mort, he discovers Wilkes' corpse, exsanguinated in the same way as James' men were. Visiting Larry Chester (whose real last name is revealed to be Sinclair), he gets Sinclair to admit to being a Freemason, an employee of James', and learns that Sinclair is trying to establish James as the monarch of the European Union.

After reading the bloodline document, Grace takes a shower, during which it is stolen out of the room by (Gabriel surmises) Mosely. Gabriel also observes Buthane leaving Mosely's room with something, and later Grace sees Buchelli leaving Buthane's room with the same. Grace spies Buchelli burying the document in the valley and retrieves it. Fingerprints on the document reveal the thieves. Gabriel calls a meeting with Grace, Buthane, Mosely, and Buchelli, implicating the latter three in the thefts. Each reveals his or her affiliation: Mosely with the CIA, Buchelli with the Vatican, and Buthane with French national security. Gabriel returns the document to Prince James, who has arrived in town. He then breaks into Chateau de Serres' garage and finds bats, upon which he is chased by the vampires, escaping quickly to Rennes Le Chateau.

By this time, Grace has discovered the site that Le Serpent Rouge points to, in the center of the Holy of Holies of the New Temple of Solomon. At this point, the mysterious Emilio Baza reveals himself to be the one who left Grace Le Serpent Rouge, the written notes, and the bloodline book. Mesmi, Mosely, and Gabriel descend into the cavern while Grace and Baza chat, during which Baza reveals that he is the Wandering Jew, who drank of Jesus' blood and lives eternally as a result. Montreaux, he says, has taken blood from bloodline descendants over the years, making himself also virtually immortal. If Montreaux drinks the baby's blood, he will be incredibly powerful.

Gabriel navigates several puzzles and traps while Grace advises him over radio. At the end of the complex, Mesmi and Mosely engage three vampires while Gabriel moves to retrieve the baby from the head vampire, Montreaux. Using the talisman, he subdues Montreaux's demon and slices its throat, which kills Montreaux. As Mesmi retrieves the baby, Gabriel and Mosely open Jesus' tomb, which prompts Gabriel to have a vision of his ancestor nailing Jesus to the cross and becoming Christ's servant as penance. Jesus bestows the ancestor's sword with magic, the metal of which was used to make the Schattenjager talisman.

As Grace waits, Baza hints that she is pregnant. Gabriel returns to the hotel room to find the other characters hailing his return. In the hotel room, however, he finds that Grace has left, leaving with him only a letter saying as much.

CharactersEdit

Main article: List of characters in the Gabriel Knight series

Cast

GameplayEdit

The game uses a classic point-and-click interface. A command-bar appears whenever the player clicks a highlighted item with the left-mouse-key. The game does not use fixed camera-angles, but instead the player has full control over the camera-angle except during dialogue and prescripted sequences. Whenever the camera is the right distance away the player character teleports behind the camera thus allowing the player to progress without excessive waiting.

The game also uses a score-system. The score indicates how much of the game's plot has the player uncovered. Certain events that are necessary to finish the game will earn the player points as well as actions that are not required to complete the game. However, if the player wishes to learn the motives of the other characters he is required to do a number extra activities, thus prompting players to try again in order to get a better score and more out of the game's story. However, there is no reward for completing the game with a full score.


SoundtrackEdit

The game's score was composed by David Henry, based on themes created by the series' original composer, Robert Holmes. In every Gabriel Knight game, the popular gospel hymn "When the Saints go marching in" can be heard, albeit in different remixes and forms. In Gabriel Knight 3 it can be heard in the bar in Rennes-les-Bains.

DevelopmentEdit

In Sins of the Fathers, when he uncovers the Schattenjäger library in Schloss Ritter, Gabriel can examine the bookshelves to browse their contents. Among the books he finds are reference material alluding to werewolves and vampires — which would turn out to be the supernatural antagonists in his next two games.

ReceptionEdit

Template:VG Reviews

Gabriel Knight 3 received fairly positive reviews from critics. IGN said the game "proves that adventure games still have some life left in them" and provides "a welcome change for the action-heavy PC market" with "[an] excellent story and well worked out plot". At the same time, they criticized Tim Curry's voice-over, "a cold and over exaggerated interpretation of the southern accent", and the switch to 3D which they felt "is not yet ready to depict the emotions and feelings in the way actors can".[2] GameSpot attested the sentiments about Curry's "terrible acting job", calling the "fake accent and overly dramatic delivery [...] almost unbearable". The dialogue was also criticized, as were the puzzles, the latter which fortunately "get better as the story progresses". The story itself was more positively received, including "some excellent plot elements" and "fascinating" connections between fact and fiction.[3] Adventure Gamers found some of the smaller puzzles "outright silly", but at the same time the vast Le Serpent Rouge "one of the best designed puzzles in adventure gaming history". The storyline with its "interesting narratives" was called "epic in every sense of the word" and the game "ultimately a success".[4]

Inaccuracies Edit

The game takes several liberties with the source material.

(See Le Serpent Rouge - main article)

Le Serpent Rouge is radically different from the real document, excising most of the text and all of the additional maps and genealogies in the document. The title of the document was also altered to remove references to churches at Saint Sulpice and Saint Germain in Paris. The original document is not lost, and can, in fact be found online.

The tomb visited in Rennes-le-Chateau called "Poisson's Tomb" refers to a tomb found in Les Pontils, built by Jean Galibert 1903 to bury his wife and grandmother near. Buthane says it was the model for the painting, but since Poisson painted his image in 1637, clearly he could not have been painting a picture of this tomb. Note that the tomb is no longer standing in Les Pontils. The bodies were disinterred and moved, and the tomb itself was destroyed by the person who owned the land, in 1988, 11 years before the events of the game. The landowner said one of the reasons he destroyed it was that treasure seekers were constantly sneaking onto his property.

There are no Magdalene statues featuring a skull in churches at Bugarach, St Just et le Bezu and Coustausa.

Buthane says that the phrase on Poisson's painting is not proper Latin, but this is incorrect.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Template:Gabriel Knight series

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