A look back at Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned

If you are a fan of classic point-and-click games, you may be happy to learn that Gabriel Knight 3 is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week!
Released in 1999 and the final game in the trilogy, Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned featured some great voice acting, 3D graphics, and to this day tells one of the more grandiose stories in gaming. Let’s take a moment to look back at the series and some of the things that made Gabriel Knight 3 so unique.

Gabriel Knight is a classic point-and-click series from the 90s

The series originated way back in 1993 with the release of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers - also a point-and-click adventure title. The story and game were created by Jane Jensen, who also worked on King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow. You play as Gabriel Knight, a writer and bookstore owner who takes his craft seriously. More than that, he finds out he is a Schattenjäger, or Shadow Hunter, and uses that new responsibility to solve mysteries and other-worldly issues.
The first game has Gabriel solving mystery and murder in New Orleans and featured such voice actors as Tim Curry, Mark Hamill, and Leah Remini.
The second title, Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within (originally called The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery), followed and was released in 1995. This title updated the graphics from standard-for-the-time pixelated scenes, The Beast Within utilized full motion video (FMV) throughout the game. It also saw the replacement of many of the voice actors, including Gabriel himself. In 1996, the magazine Computer Gaming World named it their Game of the Year.

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

Gabriel Knight 3 further expanded on the world Jane Jensen had created, and like past titles, it involved solving mysteries both natural and supernatural. Unlike the first one, which took place in New Orleans and the second one in Germany, Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned leads Gabriel to a small, mysterious town in France.
It also saw the return of Tim Curry as the voice of Gabriel and the introduction of some other well-known cast members. Rene Auberjonois (Odo of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and John de Lancie (Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation) both join on to lend their voices to characters in the game.
Gabriel Knight 3 was also the first title in the series to use 3D graphics, opening up the world to more possibilities for players. That was one thing that helped define the Gabriel Knight series, which was the developer’s willingness to adapt to the latest tech and gaming trends. One of those possibilities was for the player to be able to move the camera around a room or scene as they saw fit. They were not limited by Gabriel Knight’s location on the screen.
The game featured many amazing puzzles (and one involving tape and a cat…) and an in-depth story but suffered from the unfortunate release date. You see, 1999 was around the time the adventure game industry saw a huge drop in sales and interest, due in part to the many new games that were starting to release in full, interactive 3D. Jane Jensen commented on that very issue in an interview with Game Informer, saying: We were the last dinosaur on the block. We had until the game shipped, and then it would be over.

Give Gabriel a chance

If you are a fan of point'n'click games, fantastical stories, musical scores, and unique puzzles, Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned is a great game to dive into. The worldbuilding and characters present by Jane Jensen and Sierra Studios make this a must-try series for adventure game lovers, or anyone who loves vampires, werewolves, voodoo, the Knights Templar, and more.
A few years back, the first game in the series received an amazing 20th-anniversary edition remaster with HD graphics and additional scenes and it would be great to see something happen to the rest of the games in this series. Fingers crossed!
Did you ever play the Gabriel Knight series? Plan on it? Let us know in the comments below!