Part 2: Gabriel Knight vs. St. George's Books
Chapter 2: Gabriel Knight vs. St. George's Books
Ominous dreams? Psh, who needs 'em! Let's get sleuthin'!
Up at the top of the screen, we have the actions menu. By default, it's disabled when your cursor isn't in its area.
The game came out before context sensitivity was really ever done, so we get eight separate icons for the various things Gabriel can do. They are, in order:
- Walk, Look, Pick Up, Open/Close
- Ask, Talk, Operate, Move
What's interesting is that Move, Talk and Walk are almost completely useless. Move is the worst of the lot; I can only think of one object in the game that responds to it, and we'll be seeing it in the next update. Talk results in some interesting and funny side conversations, but is almost never necessary. You have to use Move all the time to get from one screen to another, but the actual action of moving around on the screen is significant only a small handful of times throughout the game.
You can use all of these icons on any hotspot. While it's occasionally a pain to have to switch between them for fairly superficially different actions, the game does provide a huge variety of responses to the useless actions -- far more than the usual "That can't be [action]ed." "There's no need to use [item] on that." I will not be showing all of these, as it would make each update something like 200 screenshots long.
"0 of 342" up there is your score. More on that in a moment.
As you click around, one of the first things you'll notice is the voice of the narrator.
The narrator is voiced by the late Virginia Capers, who speaks with a thick accent and vamps her way horribly through almost every line, no matter how mundane.
I find her spectacularly annoying, myself.
Someone on the development team obviously agrees with me, as we get the option to turn off her voice separately from everyone else.
So anyway, Gabriel starts to collect things that every amateur sleuth needs.
Lucky for everyone, two of them are right on the table.
Picking up the magnifying glass gives you a point. Most of the points you get are related to forwarding the plot -- finding out new information, picking up or using necessary items, and what have you. You don't have to get all of the points, but by the end of the game you'll have most of them regardless.
Every time your score goes up you'll hear a little to let you know you done good.
Geez, just take everything in the shop, why don't you? ( )
The Gabe/Grace quip battles persist through most of the game. I'd probably find it more irritating if I didn't talk with most of my friends that way too.
Passing through the curtain (using either Operate or Open/Close, in case you were wondering), we find our way into Gabriel's bedroom. Much like his novels, this bedroom is a place of failure.
You can fail to sleep.
You can fail to write.
You can fail to empty the trash.
There's a whole myriad of ways to fail in here.
However, you can succeed by grabbing the flashlight.
"No idea what I've got to look forward to, but a flashlight can always come in handy."
If you're like me, though, you'll totally not even notice the flashlight until the point in the game where you really need it.
You can also make outgoing calls.
Except you don't know any phone numbers yet.
Well, let's get out of that depressing little chamber and check our messages.
This is the interrogation screen, triggered by using Ask on most characters that deign to speak to you. At the top half you find universal topics you can ask everyone in Gabriel Blue, and character-specific options in said character's text color. You're going to see this screen a lot.
Grace doesn't have a whole lot to offer us at this point in the game, so let's go ahead and check the messages.
We're off to an awesome start.
For the record, for most of these topics you have to ask multiple times to get everything out of the person you're interrogating. I felt no need to have seven iterations of "Do you have more messages for me?" in the screenshots.
Aw, Gabriel has family.
"I swear, if you told her about what you saw last Saturday..."
It may not surprise her, but I still doubt she really wants to hear about, in Grace's own words, "the strap marks on [Gabriel's] bed."
So I guess we're going to see Gran. Probably want to get that out of the way before the sleuthing begins.
I have to agree with Gabriel on this one. That is a hell of a phone call.
The way the game is structured, you're not able to select either the police station or your grandmother's house until you get your messages from Grace. We're going to open a whole lot more destinations this way, and it does make a bit of sense, but the exposition is always a bit awkward.
The game implies that Grace and Mosely have had run-ins before, but "your friend Detective Mosely" still reeks of giving the player information. It's not really a big deal by any means, just odd.
This is pretty great. Gabriel seriously sounds like this is the most interesting thing he's heard in his entire life.
"Shit, she's on to me."
"Damn, she's good. Better distract her."
While they were talking, Gabriel suddenly had an idea.
"What do witnesses love more than bribes?"
Perhaps this thing could finally be useful after all.
Before he leaves, Gabriel checks the newspaper to keep up to date.
Yes, this game takes place in June in New Orleans and Gabriel wanders around everywhere in his trenchcoat.
Gabriel is relieved to hear this, but this does nothing to temper his urge to investigate on his own.
"That would kinda suck for my novel. We'll see."
Not deterred in the slightest, Gabriel decides to check one more thing to get him in the proper mood for his grand investigative journey:
I have no idea what most of that says. Fortunately, in 2008 we have the power of the Internet!
Three kites. Three kites creep into my sleep, the soul woll' n it to ate alive. Fiery breath, split tongue they enjoy each meal.
...well, okay then. Maybe we should check something else.
Man, no kidding. Kites are scary.
Fortunately, Gabriel has one of these things sitting around.
Already got that.
Dragons. That makes a lot more sense for weird, creepy poetry.
With that out of the way, Gabriel finally makes his way out into the world, donning his coat to face the infamous frigid New Orleans summers.
Every single time Gabriel leaves or enters the bookstore, he and Grace go through a hello/goodbye conversation, with each side saying something that's usually randomized. This one wound up remarkably civil.
Now next Friday come, I didn't have the rent, and out the door I went.
Gabriel stops by Gran's house to pick up some things before he begins his grand tour of New Orleans in Chapter 3: Gabriel Knight vs. Knight Family History!
03. The narrator ... tells you ... the sights ... of ... the shop. (Dailymotion) (Youtube)
04. Tell me about yourself, Grace. (Dailymotion) (Youtube)