Part 4: Gabriel Knight vs. The French Quarter
Chapter 4: Gabriel Knight vs. The French Quarter
With his obligation to his grandmother done for the day, Gabriel decides it's high time for his planned rounds of the French Quarter.
As promised last time, here's what all the little icons on the map stand for. We've already been at the bookstore and the cemetery, and we're going to hit everything else pictured except the police station, which we'll save for next time. Gabriel decides to hit the places Grace told him about this morning, starting with...
...Dixieland Drug Store!
This is one of the game's meccas of useless junk (in this case, Voodoo junk). Loads of things to look at and very few of them matter, so you might miss the one or two hotspots that are actually critical. Gabriel attempts to introduce himself.
Looks like we're gonna have to be a little more direct.
At least we got something out of him. Willy Walker is played by Rocky Carroll, primarily of Chicago Hope fame. I never really watched that show (or much of anything else he's done), but he played Dr. Wilkes. He's also apparently joining the NCIS cast this year.
Like most of the people we'll meet today, Willy's main purpose is to be kind of a jerk to Gabriel.
Gabriel is not exactly known for his tact.
No matter how much you pry this guy, he will never once in the game admit that anything in his store is actually Voodoo-related. Despite the obvious.
(This poster actually has no importance. It's just awesome.)
Also awesome is this wicked crocodile mask. Further inspection reveals that Gabriel thinks it's from a real crocodile. Grisly.
A St. John's Eve special in a Voodoo shop? This sounds worth researching.
Looking at that sign added the universal topic "St. John's Eve." We'll ask about that in a minute, but first let's try to endear ourselves to him by showing interest in his way of life.
...bad idea. Hard to port!
"Cabrit sans what?"
No seriously, what? "Cabrit sans cor'" now appears on the topic list.
Willy's a real charmer. We may never get to know what this means!
Okay, the game says it's "goat without horns" in French. Looks like the proper spelling is actually "Chevre" though. They never explain this discrepancy.
I sense he's not exactly going to be a fountain of information. Let's try one more thing.
Hey, a relevant reply!
Okay, we're not going to get anything else out of this guy. Screw it; let's check out the Historical Voodoo Museum.
There is a real Historic Voodoo Museum (note the spelling) in New Orleans, but based on the tiny handful of photos I can find, it looks nothing like this.
I think this is actually one of the best-looking areas in the game. It has loads of detail and a great atmosphere. Plus the really important things aren't lost in a sea of similar colors, which helps a lot.
One of the first things Gabriel notices is this drummer. The dude definitely adds some atmosphere to the place.
Unfortunately, she's just covering the desk today. We won't actually learn anything until Day 2.
Gabriel takes a moment to note the huge fucking snake up in the corner of the room.
"Thing's bigger than I am!"
He also notes an electrical switch by the door. It's turned off, but it looks to him like every light in the place is already on. Time to investigate!
The fan above the window roars at an incredibly high speed and volume, and the snake FREAKS OUT, banging against the roof of its cage and nearly knocking it open.
After Gabriel turns off the fan, the snake calms down immediately, returning to its placid state of (presumably) digestion.
There's one more thing of note in the museum:
Ooh. Let's try it.
...yeesh. Way to go, perv.
So, the Voodoo side of the investigation was kind of a bust. Fortunately, Gabriel has a Plan B: He knows people who know people.
Or, specifically, he has a bartender friend. This is the Napoleon House, which is a real bar in New Orleans, though much like the Voodoo Museum, it doesn't seem to be reproduced all that faithfully. That said, just about everything you can do here could have been achieved elsewhere, so I can't imagine they included it for anything except for some added New Orleans realism.
Napoleon stares at you accusingly from the foreground, wondering why you haven't beaten the game yet.
On the way in, Gabriel notices another drummer hanging around outside. Weird.
Stonewall King (Monte Markham, who has a very long history of guest appearances) sort of exists in his own world as far as the game is concerned. We don't get a whole lot of info out of him, and he assumes most of what we ask him about are drinks.
Still, he knows just about everything that goes on in this bar, so it's worth a shot.
First and foremost, Gabriel wants to know about that drummer outside. He decides to ask about that guy. Indirectly.
Man, no kidding. Especially drums, eh? Am I right or what?
(Side note: Whoever on staff decided to put dark green text against black is not my friend.)
"Interestin'. I'll have to fit this in somewhere."
I wonder why.
Sure as hell not gonna let that one slip by unnoticed.
Good to know the bar keeps their relationship healthy.
Twenty years? Goddamn.
Sounds like the dude needs to see the Wizard for some courage.
(New personal topic: "Sam and Voodoo")
That's not creepy at all.
And that's all Stonewall has for us.
With that piece of information in hand, Gabriel decides to pick Sam's brain a little.
Before he leaves, Gabriel checks to see if the hottie knows anything.
"Not that I expected much, but damn."
So with the bar pretty much useless at this time, Gabriel stops nearby at one of the big tourist spots.
This is Jackson Square Overlook, which provides you with some handy binocs.
Looking in one of them will show you one corner of Jackson Square proper. You can move it around in limited capacity, but...
"I'd rather just go down there."
Good ol' Jackson Square. It's one of the most faithfully rendered real areas in the game, but as you can see, it's also super empty. There's a bunch of interesting things to do here, but you get kinda limited to one thing at a time through the course of the game.
There are four pedestrians (hot chick not pictured) that just wander around in a circle, all day, every day. It actually keeps track of which one is where on the circle at all times, though nothing comes of that technological conceit until much later.
Taking their lead, Gabriel begins his own aimless wander around the Square. The first thing he sees:
Another damn drummer! These guys are seriously everywhere.
Gabriel stays in the area for a bit listening, and notes that, as Stonewall said, it kind of sounds like he's just repeating the exact same thing over and over. Making another mental note to put something like this in the book, Gabriel moves on.
The next section of the park has a mime. Gabriel wanders past without really noticing.
"Wait a sec."
The mime pays no attention and continues to follow Gabriel, presumably until he gets a couple dollars or something.
Fortunately, mimes are easily distracted...
...and the average citizen is better* at yelling than Gabriel.
* (No idea why "You, you ... MAN!" is more effective, but whatever.)
The mime returns to his usual spot and Gabriel wanders up north, where he finds the church!
St. Louis Cathedral is also very faithfully rendered, and quite pretty, but there's really not much to do here.
Still, no harm in getting back on God's good side. Gabriel wanders to the confessional.
This will be the first of several "tiny rectangle in black oblivion" areas.
After glancing around for a moment, the priest in the center booth speaks up and the confession begins!
Hopefully Gabriel won't be too specific. I don't even want to know
That was remarkably easy. I sense the priest isn't really fond of confessional duty.
And just like that (well, after three rosaries and an insincere prayer) we're apparently good with God again! Yay!
(This won't last long.)
On the way out, Gabriel notices a small door along the back wall.
It's the priests' closet, in Tiny Rectangle-O-Vision, and it is jammed full of priestly goods, such as robes and collars and all kinds of stuff. If Gabriel ever needs to dress up like a priest, this unlocked and unguarded room seems to be the place to get started.
Good thing he doesn't have to do any of that right now. Gabriel leaves the stuff alone.
It's getting to be late afternoon, and Gabriel realizes he still needs to stop by the police station. Gabriel wanders out of the church's side door, after which both he and I remember that he parked his bike on the opposite side of the park. Oops.
Something finally actually happens (but not with this guy) in Chapter 5: Gabriel Knight vs. The Police!
06. Dancing With The Mimes (Dailymotion) (YouTube)