Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
DOS - 1993
Also released on: Mac
Description of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
Arguably the best adventure game series ever made, Gabriel Knight not only sets new standards of interactive storytelling, but also proves that computer games can be no less literate, mature, well-informed, and thought-provoking than other media.
Jane Jensen has created in a disheveled, egotistical, and tormented New Orleans writer one of the most memorable computer game protagonists of all time, and thrust the term Schattenjäger into the public spotlight. Every new Gabriel Knight game not only has an even better story than the last, but also pushed the technological envelope at Sierra in creative ways that no other designer can match.
In Sins of The Fathers, Jane stretched the capabilities of Sierra's icon-based interface by adding new commands, and use it in several new ways (such as allowing the player to write whole passages in Voodoo language, or send drum codes). While The Beast Within seemingly succumbed to the FMV (full-motion video) fad in late 1990s, the game today stands as prime example of how an FMV game should be done: with outstanding acting, gripping atmosphere, and an intuitive interface that sacrifices none of the challenging puzzles. Similarly, the amazing character-independent movement modes and interface in Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned is testament to how 3D can actually enhance gameplay in adventure genre.
The first game in the series, Sins of The Fathers, tells of how a struggling, no-good writer comes to grip with his dark family history and accepts his fate to become the next Schattenjäger-- shadowhunter. As Gabriel Knight, aspiring writer and owner of St. George's bookstore, you are researching the voodoo murders as a basis for your new book. The authorities, including your policeman friend Mosely, believe that the voodoo aspect is faked by the murderer, and that the real voodoo cult does not exist in New Orleans. With the help of Grace Nakimura, your assistant, you will slowly unravel the web of intrigue that leads to the powerful voodoo cult... as well as your own destiny.
What makes Gabriel Knight an instant classic as opposed to a merely "good" adventure is the astounding level of detail and research that went into the game, in addition to Jane's writing par excellence and a gripping plot. Never before in Sierra's history that you can LOOK at so many items with customized descriptions beyond the usual "you don't see anything special." Items in the Voodoo Museum (patterned after the real museum in New Orleans) alone must have taken several months of intensive research. This lends an air of authencity to the game's supernatural/occult plot, which greatly enhances gameplay.
In addition its fame as being the first Sierra game designed for mature audiences, Gabriel Knight also broke new grounds in every other respect. Instead of the usual TALK icon that yields stock responses from characters, there are now separate ASK and TALK icons. Clicking on ASK icon will bring you to a close-up screen, from which you can select a question from a range of topics. Asking the right questions to the right characters to get new topics to appear on your list is one of the most essential puzzles in the game. In contrast to most other adventure games, every character in Gabriel Knight is fleshed out with tremendous detail; you can, for example, talk the small talk with Grace for hours on end to learn about her background, habits, and thoughts on various subjects.
Similarly, the standard HAND icon has been replaced by a few icons: TAKE, OPERATE, and OPEN/CLOSE. This obviously makes the puzzles harder, as you now have to think carefully as opposed to following the click-the-HAND-icon-on-everything-to-see-what-it-does behavior. Gabriel Knight is decidedly much more difficult than other Sierra games, although all the puzzles are logical, and expert Infocom fans will find them a bit on the easy side. A few puzzles--- sending drum codes and writing voodoo messages in particular-- deserve mention for being quite challenging, creative, and a lot of fun to solve. Jane Jensen, by no less than magic in my opinion, combines voodoo and Germanic myths, murder mysteries, and even romance in a game worthy of a motion picture.
Gabriel Knight is much longer than an average Sierra game, but you will still be sad to see it end. A must-have. With impeccable writing, gripping plot, and excellent atmosphere, Gabriel Knight is a must have for every adventure game fan.
Note: the download here is the floppy version, which was first released in a funky-shaped box (see box shot above). Sierra later released a CD-ROM version which features excellent voice acting by Tim Curry as Gabriel Knight-- which is well worth hunting for. The game also shipped with a very stylish comic book that sets the stage for the story and dovetails very nicely with the ending-- you can download it below.
And once you've become a Gabriel Knight fan like I am, be sure to visit Related Links below-- you'd be amazed how devoted many people are to the series. For example, Domain of the Shattenjagers hosts an exclusive compilation of all the beautiful cut-scenes from the game, as well as the official GK fan fiction archive. There's even a great fansite dedicated to Detective Mosely, the undersung hero of the series, and the complete poem that starts each new day in the game.
Review By HOTUD
Comments and reviews
Plopsta 2020-04-15 0 point
The description tells you all that has to be said...
Except, this is the darkest adventure game I have ever played. The puzzles are gripping, and the Voodoo movement of New Orleans goes deeper than you could ever have thought...
This game is symbolic of why Sierra was the biggest computer game business in the world at the time - when games had stories, and where you actually got to adventure in a non-RPG environment. .
oplenti 2016-12-17 0 point
one of my all time favorites. beautiful graphics, good puzzles, interesting and exciting story, nice music and voiceover.
it's a must play...
Kal 2016-10-24 0 point
Got the game up and running, but the intro movie is in a tiny resolution. I tried changing the resolution in the dosbox config but it didn't seem to change anything (seem to have this problems with movies in a number of Sierra games.) Is there a solution?
Gweneth 2016-08-15 2 points DOS version
I can help about the Patch thing:
First you need to download two zip files from the sierrahelp homepage:
Gabriel Knight 1 Patch (GK1_NRS)
Gabriel Knight 1 Update (GKPAT10B)
Save the Update under a new folder like c:\dosgames\gabriel\Patch
Then in dos you open the patch.exe, this will unzip all the necessary files which you have to copy in the gabriel folder and let them overwrite the old ones.
Then you open the Patch-zip-file and let them overwrite the files in the gabriel folder.
And then the game will work again =) This way you can patch it with dosbox
Sparkydirt 2016-05-20 0 point DOS version
Good game but there is a known bug at the end of Day 5; it requires a patch which I have no idea how to get to work on dosbox, figured someone who knows might want to install the patch and reconfigure it so the game doesn't lock up. I looked on the sierrahelp pages, it's there but I don't know how to edit it into the current dosbox config to get it to work.
Andrey Bibiano Jardim 2015-12-20 0 point DOS version
There was a file in original game disk called Hang.avi, but I cant find this on this download.
Barney Calhoun 2015-08-10 0 point DOS version
@Alan-Brazil This is the FULL VERSION without voice acting.
Game is fun. The character is a mess, but in a really cool way! The story proceeds gradually and keeps you interested and 'wanting more'. But most puzzles are just a pain to figure out... Otherwise a master piece!
BUBU 2015-06-23 0 point DOS version
Now that's what I call a MASTERPIECE! Its creator, Jelene Jenson is like James Cameroon of Adventure Games! Wonderfull... Some puzzles are pretty tough though.
Instead of reading a game guide which spoils the game. Try downloading a UHS Hint... It's a software that gives you just a hint, but if you progress further, the hints become more and more descriptive. The last hint is exactly what needs to be done...
Thiago 2014-02-14 -1 point DOS version
O melhor jogo de todos os tempos de aventura...jogo com historia...muito bem elaborado....acho que fica pau a pau com o Pagan Ultima VIII....que era em Ms-dos também...nunca cheguei a detona o Pagan....abraços
Noc 2013-09-29 0 point DOS version
Not the easiest series, but definitely the best adventure game series I've ever played.
If you like adventure gaming, then this is the Holy Grail.
Anonymous 2013-09-04 -1 point DOS version
Does not download on my comuter. it says unsucsessful, i say unfair
givolaj 2013-05-30 1 point DOS version
one of the best games ever! great story line.. they should make a movie of it
markegiani 2013-04-05 0 point DOS version
Great game. Especially the first part in bookstore. Try out the sequel, it's far better !
CheshireCat 2012-04-28 0 point DOS version
Great. It's at least as good as the Lucasfilm stuff. Excellent dialouges.
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