Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers

aka: Gabriel Knight I, Gabriel Knight: Die Sünden der Väter, Gabriel Knight: Les péchés des ancêtres, Gabriel Knight: Lucha Contra Las Fuerzas Sobrenaturales, Gabriel Knight: Pecados dos Pais, Gabriel: Zikhronot Afelim
DOS Specs [ all ]
(prices updated 9/24 9:36 AM )

Description official descriptions

Gabriel Knight is a wise-cracking bookstore owner and would-be author. He is the last in a long line of Shadow Hunters, those fated to fight supernatural forces of evil. Tormented by terrifying nightmares, he must spend every waking moment scouring the side streets and back alleys of New Orleans for the key to his dark past. One day, a blood-chilling murder shocks the inhabitants of the city. The police detective assigned to investigate the crime is Gabriel's friend. In the beginning Gabriel collects evidence in hope of using the material for his new novel; but soon he finds himself personally involved in the investigation, and plunges deeper into the world of secret societies and murderous cults.

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers is a third-person puzzle-solving adventure game. Created by Jane Jensen, the game differs from Sierra's Quest games (e.g. Space Quest) by having a realistic setting and focusing (despite its supernatural elements and humor) on mature themes and detective work. In this way it is more similar to the company's earlier Laura Bow games.

The game's icon-based interface is the same as in Sierra's previous titles, with verb commands that allow interaction with the game world and its inhabitants. Though the game still has plenty of inventory-based puzzles characteristic for classic adventure, its gameplay is heavily inclined towards dialogue. Typically, Gabriel will have to interrogate other characters, choosing conversation topics and thus gradually finding clues and advancing towards the mystery's solution.

The game's locations are done in hand-painted style. The CD version of the game adds full voice-overs to the dialogues, as well as narrator's voice to text descriptions.


  • גבריאל: זיכרונות אפלים - Hebrew spelling
  • 狩魔猎人 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

99 People (91 developers, 8 thanks) · View all

Game Designer
Lead Programmer
Background and Illustration Director
Animation Director
Backgrounds and Illustrations
3D Rendering and Animation
Text & Dialogue
Brand Manager
Audio Engineers
[ full credits ]



Average score: 86% (based on 33 ratings)


Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 305 ratings with 18 reviews)

Deep into the heart of the mystery.

The Good
Having "The Beast Within" on my desk, it didn't take me too long for me to realize getting other GKs is about to be inevitable for me. That second installment of Gabriel Knight was really a masterpiece in everything, down from the story, acting, animations and details, all the way to the main point of every greatly developed game, sticking your a$$ near the computer until the very fine ending, and more, as long as the influence works.

Well, about just a month after, I got myself GK1 and GK3 (and I don't have to say original GK1 is not that easy to find nowadays, not the SEALED mint box, that is :) I plugged the game in and I was already awaited with the well known music theme up front. I cannot say I was amused by the animation quality, but I sure liked the macho crap from my character all the time, as well as 256 colors nicely painted backgrounds and everything else.

First of all, I'll mention this, I'm by no means fond of any of seen in Gabriel Knight series, not I like Voodoo topics (expect when it comes for Monkey Island), nor werewolves, and especially not vampires. However, Gabriel Knight by some means (especially the good plot, acting and atmosphere) allowed me to like the mentioned all the way to the end.

I have a CD version of this game, so I must admit that speech quality is one of the best ever seen. Same with GK3, and that Tim Curry (Gabriel Knight) has really great voice/accent to be used as main character. Only game that has better voices and speech quality (and I don't mean in technical way) is "Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis". Variety of accents and talks in that game was awesome.

All in one, this is one helluva adventure game with a slight step towards mystical/occult forces and horror, great nevertheless. Of course, as it usually goes for some game series, all three games are heavily connected, so if you haven't played this one or any other GK game yet, this is where you should start.

Oh boy, I just loove that old 2d poin 'n' click adventure games with 256 colors or less, they're just marvelous. However, I have nothing against adventure games with more colors or nice effects and animations like "Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned", "Blackstone Chronicles: An Adventure in Terror", "Tex Murphy: Overseer", "Blade Runner" or others. Anyway, my personal favorite game genre is 'adventure' one, so it's to expect that I'll be more oriented on having such games, but hey, if I continue here, I'll literally go off-topic. This is one in a lifetime opportunity to experience really great story, no matter which GK you pick out of the series.

The Bad
One thing really got on my nerves while playing this game, and that is the witchy female voice that describes everything Gabriel looks or does. However, if you have a floppy version of a game, you'll be spared of that, but you'll also loose many addings.

The Bottom Line
I could never figure how many moves they make for a 2d character in this or such related adventure games, like "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". Beside the usual walking and facing sides, oh, and yeah, shocking heads when talking (ckech Indy for that, lol), the characters also have some major actions they can do, like slipping, getting fired from the cannon, fighting, reading newspapers,... I mean, is that all in the character's level of actions, or separate aniamtion sequences, beats me. Anyway, something like that can really improve the final score in the game, as well as the sounds if well adjusted, and they are here, in this game.

Dialogues are made a bit different from the other adventure games, it's more like a new image appears with the two characters that talk and you have the stuff to ask/discuss about. Good thing is that you can set captioning while hearing it. I just love that option. Not many newer games have that things, sigh!

"Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers" can be a bit hard at some points, and illogical (not too sided) like "Monkey Island", but is mostly okay to play, with various of locations to visit and people to talk to. Beside your main place, New Orleans, you'll also visit Germany (more about that in TBW) and Africa. Yup, travellin's insurrance included. Try this game, and if you're any kinda adventurer, you'll ask for more and guess what, this time there really is 'more' and it stands in every sence of word, bigger, better, meaner, hehe, I sound like quoting the "Worms" now. Let me put it this way, there is absolutely nothing about this game to give you the slightest reason not to get it, unless you're a true hater to adventure games.

DOS · by MAT (238609) · 2012

Gabriel Knight is proof that computer games can be an artform.

The Good
Computer games rarely have an incredible story behind them. Most ignore the concept completely. Others try their best to catch you with some ideas and some witty dialogue. Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers is a well crafted tale from start to finish. The concept is fairly original, the characters engaging, their dialogue well written, the pacing well done, and the intricacies of the plot woven beautifully. Every character seems human and you'd be hard pressed to find one three dimensional (personality wise) character in a game, much less the five or so well-rounded main characters in GK. The legendary aspects, the voodoo involvement, the mystery and suspense all are done just right.

The graphics, though of low resolution, are the epitome of Sierra's 2-D painted graphics. They capture the scenes and people exceptionally and will make you question the 'benefits' of full 3-D graphics. The cutscenes unfold in very high-caliber graphic novel formats and carry the story wonderfully.

On the CD-Version, the voice acting was all done well. As GK came out in the early days of CD 'Talkie' games, it's remarkable that the voice-overs are done so professionally. Some people disliked Tim Curry as Gabriel, but I felt the over-done 'N'awlens' accent was perfect for Gabriel, who was an over-the-top character with a roguish heart. Mark Hamill, as usual, does wonderful voice-acting as Gabriel's friend, Det.Mosely and Michael Dorn puts in a good performance as the threatening Doctor John. The rest of the actors all put in a good job as well.

The Bad
In its original form, the game was buggy, to the point where it could not be completed. Fixed in patches, it was still an annoyance that you would have to start all over again. Fortunately, this won't be an issue for someone who digs up a copy of the game.

The pacing of the game itself wasn't as good as the pacing of the story. Days passed only when you completed all the mandatory requirements. While usually this is better than having a game clock that forces things along even if you're not resolving anything, you would often find yourself exhausting every possible location before finding that one remaining obscure clue. Or, you would be lucky and uncover everything you needed to move on and have the day move quickly with little chance to see any of the voluntary side-bits.

Pet-peeve: The CD version box. While cool looking and unique in shape, it looked very warped and out of place on the shelf...well, maybe that was the whole point. <g>

The Bottom Line
An incredibly well-crafted adventure game with a superb story, interesting characters, and a fresh environment. Fans of classic adventure games, lovers of good stories, or those interested in voodoo should take a look.

DOS · by Ray Soderlund (3501) · 2000

You got what it takes to become a Schattenjäger?

The Good
Gabriel Knight - Sins of the Fathers is a game I knew little about until I bought it on along with its two sequels. I also saw Pushinguproses' episode dedicated to the game and after watching her review I was very excited to play the game. Not only did I enjoy it, but Gabriel Knight also revitalized my appetite for adventure games!

In Gabriel Knight - Sins of the Fathers, you play as the titular character, an ambitious but not very successful novelist who lives in New Orleans and owns a book store (that virtually nobody actually visits). Suffering from writer's block, Gabriel decides to help his best friend and police detective Mosely solve a string of murders in which the murder victims were apparently used in Voodoo inspired sacrificial rituals. As our hero investigates the case, he discovers that his German ancestors have quite some involvement in the events happening in New Orleans. He also encounters Malia Gedde, a beautiful woman who gets romantically involved with Gabriel but who keeps a very dark secret away from him.

The game's story is told through the course of ten days and will take Gabriel to various real-life New Orleans locations such as Jackson Square, the Tulane University and the Bayou St. John. He will also visit a castle in Germany and mummy-infested catacombs in Africa. For every day, you have a certain set of puzzles to solve, information to discover and items to find before you can move on to the next day.

The game itself plays like a traditional 90s Sierra point-and-click adventure. So you click all over the screen in order to move Gabriel around, let him interact with objects or people or examine his surroundings. The game also has a score system (a stable feature in Sierra adventure games). You won't get the full score if you only do the actions necessary to complete the game. This adds some nice replay value and encourages you to explore and experiment. When you talk to people, you have access to a huge variety of subjects to talk about, you can ask them important questions in order to progress the story or just have some small-talk with them. It adds great depth to the conversations and helps fleshing out the characters you meet.

Two of the game's best aspects are its story and characters. The story may be a bit unoriginal, but it's told in such a way that it keeps you interested until the very end. Like Gabriel himself, you will slowly but surely discover the truth behind the murders, Gabriel's family and what the word Schattenjäger means. As you play through the game you will also get some nice educational information about New Orleans and Voodoo culture (the real one and not what you saw in the second Indiana Jones movie).

When it comes to the characters in the game, you can expect quite a variety of personalities, both friendly and hostile. Aside from the characters I mentioned before, there's Gabriel's sexy and intelligent personal assistant Grace (who remains professional and level-headed despite Gabriel's macho humor). You will also meet the intimidating and shady Voodoo museum owner Dr. John and Gabriel's relative Wolfgang, who plays a key role later in the game.

Voice acting and music is nothing short of amazing. The game has some very talented actors voicing its characters. For example, Gabriel Knight is voiced by Tim Curry, detective Mosely has Mark Hamill's vocal chords provided to him and Michael Dorn gives life to Dr. John. Virtually all actors did a splendid job at bringing their characters to life and make them very memorable. Gabriel Knight in particular steals the show. He's a flawed and relatable regular Joe, he sometimes lets his impulses get the better off him but his incorruptible sense of justice and fearless daredevil attitude make him really stand out from the crowd.

The music, composed by Robert Holmes, has plenty of variety and always fits perfectly in the situations you encounter in the game. The musical score ranges from joyful fanfare music and blues rock to downright threatening African drumming. It all adds to the game's compelling and sometimes very scary atmosphere. You cannot help but feel that the villains are watching you every move and that they could just kill you when they want to. In particular the moments taking place in the African catacombs really unsettled me. It features the dark and brooding drumming I already mentioned, and seeing all those seemingly dead mummies really made me wonder what will happen next!

The Bad
There are a few moments at the game's final day wherein you may risk getting into an unwinnable situation. I'm not sure whether there are similar situations at earlier days of the game, therefore I highly recommend you to use at least two saves and use one of them to save your game at the beginning of each day.

The game's narrator gets on my nerves from time to time. I believe the developers wanted her to be a Voodoo witch or fortuneteller but she really oversells her role in my opinion. She speaks very slowly and with way too much drama. Fortunately, you can turn her voice off in the game's options.

Just as a little warning, Gabriel Knight is pretty gory at times. The game doesn't shy away from showing you lying on the floor with a zombie on top of you, ripping out your heart and eating it as an afternoon snack! So avoid this game if you're squeamish about blood and guts.

The Bottom Line
Gabriel Knight - Sins of the Fathers is considered among many to be one of the all time greatest games in the adventure genre and I completely agree with that. Like a great crime novel, you really get engaged into the story and want to play on until the very end. This combined with the game's memorable cast of characters, awesome soundtrack and voice acting makes the game a thrilling rollercoaster ride! Now it's your turn to play, Schattenjäger!

DOS · by Stijn Daneels (79) · 2015

[ View all 18 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Gabriel Knight Multimedia CD-ROM Edwin Drost (7019) Feb 4th, 2017
The game gets stuck at day 5 Nowhere Girl (8679) Apr 28th, 2016
A GK remake and no one's talking about it chirinea (47013) Nov 11th, 2014
I really dislike the narrator SnubPollard (62) Feb 8th, 2013


CD version

The CD version of the game includes a 20 minute behind the scenes avi file depicting the creation of Gabriel Knight. The file also included interviews with most of the cast, lead designer/writer Jane Jensen and others.

Covermount releases

  • The full, original game on CD was bundled with the 1/2001 edition of Computer Gaming World magazine.
  • The full, original game on CD was bundled with the July 1997 edition of CD-Rom Today, a Brazilian computer magazine.

German version

The German CD-ROM version has a major bug, which causes to crash the games at at least three points during the game. The program obviously hangs, because of a corrupted soundfile. Turn off voices & music in the crashing scenes and you can go on playing.

Leilani Jones

Leilani Jones (Malia Gedde) seems to like the Voodoo Priestess gig. She also plays one in LucasArts' Curse of Monkey Island.


Jane Jensen> has written a novelization of the game, first printed in February 1997, through Penguin's ROC imprint. The game's sequel was also given the novelization treatment.


  • It could be a coincidence, but there is a real life blues musician from Lousiana, named Dr. John. Perhaps the character's name came from a fan.
  • On day 3, you’re able to attend a (pretty boring) lecture at the Tulane university. Take a walk in the lecture hall and read the bulletin board. After looking at it a few times, you’ll get the message “There's a notice for a lecture on Investigative Reporting techniques to be given by octogenarian Pulitzer Prize winner Laura Bow Dorian." This refers to two game characters from the Laura Bow II – Dagger of Amon Ra adventure: Laura Bow en Steve Dorian. In the game, they fell in love. An octogenarian means someone between 80 and 90 in age, so this assumes the two of them got married in the end.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • June 1994 (Issue #119) – Adventure Game of the Year (together with Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #7 Best Way To Die In Computer Gaming (get the heart ripped out by a zombie)

Information also contributed by Alan Chan, chirinea, Chris Mikesell, Isdaron; Pseudo_Intellectual, Sciere and Zovni

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Eurythmic.

Windows added by Picard. Windows 3.x added by MAT. Macintosh added by Katakis | カタキス.

Additional contributors: MAT, Andrew Hartnett, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Daniel Saner, chirinea, Sciere, Xoleras, Boston Low, 1gnition, Zeppin, Patrick Bregger.

Game added May 13th, 1999. Last modified August 31st, 2023.