Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned

aka: GK3, Gabriel Knight 3, Gabriel Knight 3: Blut der Heiligen, Blut der Verdammten, Gabriel Knight 3: Enigme en Pays Cathare, Gabriel Knight 3: Il Mistero di Rennes-Le-Château, Il Mistero Macchiato di Sangue, Gabriel Knight 3: Krew Świętych, Krew Potępionych, Gabriel Knight 3: Sangue Profano, Gabriel Knight 3: Testamento del Diablo
Moby ID: 484
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Description official descriptions

The third game in the series takes Gabriel Knight, the former owner of a book store in New Orleans, and now a Schattenjäger ("shadow hunter") living in a castle in Bavaria, to Rennes-le-Chateau, a quiet town in Southern France. Gabriel and his assistant Grace Nakimura investigate the kidnapping of a baby: the son of Prince James of Albany was taken away, and the trace leads to Rennes-le-Chateau. While exploring the town and its surroundings and getting acquainted with the unusual history of the place, Gabriel and Grace realize that supernatural beings are pulling the strings behind the stage, and become involved in a mystery with a religious background dating back to the very beginnings of Christianity.

Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned is a 3D adventure game. Playing as Gabriel or Grace, the player navigates the characters through fully 3D environments, which can also be viewed and explored from first-person perspective using the "camera" option. The player interacts with people and objects by clicking on them and then selecting one of the available actions. There are many kinds of puzzles in the game: traditional inventory-based ones, detective investigation, as well as complex puzzles based on the player's knowledge and understanding of the game's lore.

Spellings

  • Гэбриэл Найт 3: В поисках Грааля - Russian spelling
  • 狩魔猎人3 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 狩魔獵人3:聖魔血祭 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

130 People (119 developers, 11 thanks) · View all

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[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 83% (based on 45 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 127 ratings with 7 reviews)

Not The Game, but still a pretty good one

The Good
Graphics and sound - what works

Gabriel Knight 3 has solid, well designed graphics in full, ‘real’ 3D. No slow-down whatsoever, the camera roams high and down ahead and back and rotates 360-degree as you wish all the time with no hiccups.

What’s most important, most of the people and things in the game still look cool 15 or more years after release. Takes little to appreciate what hard work went into the good looks of everything, from the characters to buildings and the various landscape.

Music and sound fxs are there doing their job too. Scary when it ought be scary, more emotional or straight fun when ought to be so, music keeps up helping the story’s whole atmosphere the whole of time.

In a nutshell, nice graphics and good sound add up to a game experience likable to the eye and thrilling.

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Gameplay - what works

In a 3D world designers could hide secrets and caveats pretty much anywhere, which opens up the game for more quirks and things to do than your average 2D adventure maybe. The game interface works smooth and isn’t gonna bother you.

You control Gabriel Knight some days (chapters), and his female buddy Grace Nakimura the rest of time. She kind of steals the game. Makes the game feel up-to-date with today’s equality ideas and is a nice touch, too bad you have to control Gabe in the final.

High fun factor overall, specially thanks to many of the puzzles are not too hard, so they won’t make any players feel they want to leave the game b4 they finish it. Also, the in-game help feature is a fine touch and in 1999 meant designers where keeping in step with the times.

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Plot and replay value - what works

Well, you have a quite long thriller story full of things to do and surprises. Many interesting characters and locales too. It’s at least 20 hours of playing, maybe 30. Replay value is OK, as you’re gonna miss some hidden things in your first playthrough, and the score system provides the grounds for trying again and get everything.

The Bad
Graphics and sound - what doesn’t work

Quite everything is perfectly ok with the graphics and sound, but some of the art sucks, the voices are campy, low-res textures were applied across large areas.
Anyway, you still get into the game.

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Gameplay - what doesn’t work

A big issue is the infamous cat mustache puzzle. This puzzle, as other reviewers said, is difficult not because its clever but because your simply left stumped by the idiotic kind of solution. Issues with some puzzles, so tough some of you may quit and leave the game. Even the research material into Grace’s SYDNEY computer can confuse some people. In-game hints are available only sometimes, so maybe go straight to a FAQ whenever you get stuck.

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Plot and replay value - what doesn't work

To say it bluntly, nothing’s wrong with the plot and replay value. Anyway you don’t have achievements to collect, and they should be there IMHO.

The Bottom Line
After great experiences with GK1 and GK2, I was quite looking forward to playing the third game and in no way it let me down.

In a nutshell, what you gonna get with Gabriel Knight 3 is around 20 hours of pretty decent, streamlined, fleshed-out adventure gameplay for $6. That’s a fine deal. The game is often on sale, which sure makes it a bargain nobody wants to miss.

Windows · by J32ME_4ever (4) · 2016

Can you say 'cat mustache'?

The Good
I'm a big fan of the Gabriel Knight series. I admire Jane Jensen, the creative talent behind them, and all the designers and programmers who managed to turn deep and complex stories into engrossing and fascinating games.

Gabriel Knight 3 is no exception. The two previous games did wonders in combining the natural and the supernatural, or, better to say, in making the supernatural look completely natural, feeding the player information on history, religions, philosophy, and occult sciences without becoming boring. In the third game, the story goes even deeper, into the heart of Judaism and Christianity, and shocks you with unconventional ideas about their origins and historical development. If you are, like myself, interested in this kind of stuff, you will be amazed at what Jane Jensen has achieved in this story. Of course, she didn't invent the most shocking revelations; she took them from the same sources Dan Brown later did for his poorly written and overrated Da Vinci Code. The alternate history of Christianity and speculations about apocryphal biographies of Jesus are not new; but it is commendable that Jane Jensen was not afraid of treating such stuff in a video game narrative.

What's more, she treats the material much better than Brown; she doesn't engage in cheap and badly motivated attacks on the Catholic church, or presents fictional accounts of Gnostic philosophy which anyone who has some knowledge about the matter will immediately deem ridiculous. She also adds some cool plot twists which are most probably fruits of her own fantasy. For what it's worth, Gabriel Knight 3 is a great and rare example of a very ambitious narrative that actually passes the test for credibility.

But don't think the story is all about Jesus and the Masons. As much as the historical part of the game is interesting, there are also plenty of more "earthy" moments, mostly involving the relationship between Gabriel and Grace. The new supporting cast is perhaps more interesting than in both previous games; but for the sake of nostalgia, you also meet an old pal from first game's New Orleans.

The gameplay is for the most part even deeper and more varied than it was in the previous games. The game lets you perform many actions which are not necessary to complete it. In fact, it is possible to finish the game and miss a good deal of non-vital, but interesting information. You can really play the detective in this game, spy on everybody, lurk at places that you know will be visited by somebody, take pictures and fingerprints, work with data on your laptop, and so on. The amount of pure adventuring here is huge, from tricky inventory-based puzzles to logical detective work and clue-gathering. Many puzzles need to be solved with the help of your special computer, using all the data you managed to gather. Some puzzles are extremely tough and are sure to give you a headache, but most are fascinating and unusual - such as, for example, connecting particular locations on the map to create a hexagram.

The game is divided into small time periods, that will end and begin according to the actions you performed in order to trigger this change. Although it is not real-time in sense of Last Express, it is quite refreshing and makes the game more realistic.

The game's world is done entirely in 3D, with great graphics and a fantastic engine that allows you explore the world with the camera, and also move Gabriel around - so to say, a combination of first-person exploring and third-person navigation. This works really great, allowing more immersion into the game world and also more interesting gameplay possibilities, such as being able to examine from different distance and angles everything you see on the screen. I could never understand why adventure games kept stubbornly refusing to incorporate real-time 3D. Under a Killing Moon clearly showed the way, but only few followed it; this game is one of those few.

The Bad
The game's biggest weakness are its so-called "traditional" puzzles. The detective/spying work and all the stuff you could do with the computer was really cool. On such background, the few "classical" puzzles, taken directly out of old-fashioned comedy adventures, looked completely out of place. The obvious example is the infamous "cat mustache puzzle" - I won't give you the details for fear of spoiling you this product of mastermind puzzle design, but if you imagine a kind of a weird, illogical, and downright silly action you would normally avoid even in Day of the Tentacle, you'll get the idea. Now imagine you'll have to solve such a puzzle in a game with a highly serious, detailed narrative that deals with religion, mythology, horror, and vampires. This is the equivalent of being kicked out of the story for the duration of the exercise.

This is unfortunately not the only inappropriate puzzle in the game, though probably the most notorious one. There were some other tasks that just made me shrug my shoulders. On the other hand, some of the more clever, narrative-influenced puzzles were extremely hard. The work with the computer was fascinating, but often I was simply overwhelmed by the research possibilities, without always knowing exactly how to conduct this research.

The narrative has some problems with the pacing. Sometimes days pass before you are able to learn anything interesting; at another time, plot twists are thrown at you from all the sides. In particular, the final confrontation felt rushed and not fully satisfying.

The Bottom Line
Cat mustaches and other minor problems don't change the fact that this is an awesome game. Gabriel Knight 3 should have become a bright beacon for adventure games to come; unfortunately, the rapid decline of the genre's popularity brought the series - and the genre in general - to an undeserved demise.

Windows · by Unicorn Lynx (181769) · 2011

A flawed classic

The Good
A game can't go wrong with Jane Jensen at the helm. This third, and likely final, installment of the classic adventure series is once again endowed with a rich plot, fascinating characters, and mind-boggling puzzles. The new interface and free-form approach to the mystery (puzzles have multiple solutions, and you can miss a good 30% percent of the game if you're not on top of it) provide an added level of depth. Fingerprint kits and a functioning laptop computer bring Gabriel's archaic and intuitive techniques a modern flare. This time, Gabriel fully shares the bill with Grace as co-protagonists.

The Bad
While the previous two games were practically honed to perfection, this one retains some significant, if excusable, flaws. Infighting meant the development was rushed, and you can feel this at the end, when the game abruptly shifts into climax mode without provocation, leaving a significant puzzle introduced only a short time before unaddressed (Lady Howard's fang picture). The polygonal models are awkwardly shaped, and Curry's voice acting, while familiar, sometimes falls ridiculously flat. The atmosphere is distinctly lacking in this game -- the environments are almost cheerfully colorful and bright, and the free-roaming camera ability eliminates suspense in key elements of the game. Unlike the previous two entries, Robert Holmes' powerful and pervasive score is missing, a key element of the series success, replaced with David Henry's sometimes-obnoxious lounge jazz ambiance. The final puzzle of the game is a bit Tomb Raider-ish, but that's not necessarily a negative.

The Bottom Line
All in all, this is a fantastic game, and a good note for the series, and indeed the genre as a whole, to go out on. While not as timeless as its predecessors, it's replayability factor gives it added value. The plot is deep and interesting enough to be a novel (and was indeed portentous of Dan Brown's DaVinci Code), and its an essential play for any fan of the series or the genre. Unfortunately, it spelled the death of intellectual gameplay. Play it once through for the experience, and again with a walkthrough to cover the things you inevitably missed.

Windows · by jTrippy (58) · 2007

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Best adventure series ever. chirinea (47516) Nov 8, 2011
Still The Greatest St. Martyne (3648) Feb 23, 2009
And that f'ing puzzle is not only stupid ... Slug Camargo (583) Oct 3, 2007

Trivia

Bugs

Gabriel and Grace both give humorous comments at most objects you see in the game. Though there is a little bug in this - being Grace and looking in the museum of rennes-le-chateau and looking at one of the paintings on the wall in the big museum-hall will give you Gabriel's comment on it.

Development

Dean Erickson, who played Gabriel in GK2, was briefly considered to play the role of Gabriel again. But Sierra wanted a more professional actor to play the role and so Tim Curry was chosen to return to the series.

Inspiration

The plot around the San Greal Secrets book is partially based on the real 1983 novel Holy Blood, Holy Grail. A controversial work on its own, it returned to the spotlights once again amid plagiarism speculations in the 2003 bestseller The Da Vinci Code.

Legacy

Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned was the last adventure game published by Sierra.

References

  • Grace now has a computer that keeps all the shadow hunter's data and is called SIDNEY. The thing is, that when you enter "Gabriel Knight 4" as a topic of research, you get a ghost story. Jane Jensen affirmed that if GK4 ever gets out, as a book or a game, it will be about ghosts.
  • When you look at the chicken who's walking outside the hotel, Gabriel will say something about the voodoo murders from the first Gabriel Knight adventure.

Wal-Mart

The game's subtitle "Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned" was removed from the cover of boxes sold at Wal-Mart locations, as per their request.

Information also contributed by Crawly, Ju, just Ju..., Luis Silva, MAT, Picard, Tom Murphy and WildKard

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Andy Roark.

Additional contributors: Andrew Hartnett, Zovni, Erwin Bergervoet, Adam Baratz, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, JRK, chirinea, Gonchi, Aubustou, Klaster_1, Paulus18950, Cantillon, Rodrigo Steinmann, Patrick Bregger, Bart Smith.

Game added November 28, 1999. Last modified March 31, 2024.