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#Printscreen - Gabriel Knight
That faithful moment when Gabriel sheds his past and accepts his family’s responsibility. A landmark in the character’s development.
Gonçalo GonçalvesSocial Media AssociatePhoenix Online Studios

#Printscreen - Gabriel Knight

That faithful moment when Gabriel sheds his past and accepts his family’s responsibility. A landmark in the character’s development.

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Gonçalo Gonçalves
Social Media Associate
Phoenix Online Studios

Considered as a break from past Sierra games, Gabriel Knight – Sins of the Fathers’ plot centered around a novelist researching on voodoo related material for his new book. Taking place in then-present day New Orleans allowed Jane Jensen to weave a setting with a strong backstory and personality. Voodoo in New Orleans is closely tied to African religions, Christianity and slave trading - topics which even to this day most media tend to shy away from. 
Gabriel Knight, however, approached these with due respect and consideration, using this basis to add a strong, believable cast. Voodoo is often sensationalized by the media and as such it would be easy to create a watered down version as a mere plot device for the story. However, writer Jane Jensen chose instead to educate the player on its origins, rituals and dispel misconceptions regarding it.


A lecture on Voodoun

The game focused predominantly on New Orleans voodoo, though it also touches upon other forms including Haitian. Moreover, it casts great prominence on Marie Laveau, a voodoo queen who rose to power in the mid-19th century. It goes through great lengths to teach players on her historical significance without breaking immersion. All of this additional information is optional but highly encouraged so as to aid players to fully immerse themselves in the story.
Gabriel’s family also shares an important history. Being a descendent of German immigrants, we learn the origins of his family name and past. Even today most titles do not go into so much detail on the backstory of their main character, much less his ancestry.


Gabriel’s ancestors

Religion and history aren’t the only factors Gabriel Knight dared to tread ground. Sex and relationships also play a role in shaping its story. From the beginning of the game it’s made clear both Gabriel and his assistant, Grace share a sexual tension. This isn’t directly told to us, but rather it’s a realization that comes through the interactions the two exchange.
We are also introduced to Malia, who shares a physical relationship with Gabriel. The story makes the nature of their affair clear without showing or explaining to players. Morever, it plays an important part in the story which ties into the game’s themes. 
Finally, we have the iconic and thematic imagery for Gabriel Knight. This is handled mostly through the number three, snakes, dragons and a circle within a circle. All of these play an important role in the plot but once again they are never explicitly stated. Rather, it is up to players to remain observant and draw their own conclusions from the visual or written hints they are shown.
In a time when adventure games relied on high fantasy, science fiction and humor, Gabriel knight took a multitude of risks. It dealt with religion, dipped in one of the most controversial periods in western history and did not shy away from mature themes. It was a brave entry in a medium that at the time was still often viewed as childish and immature.
 Gonçalo GonçalvesSocial Media AssociatePhoenix Online Studios

Considered as a break from past Sierra games, Gabriel Knight – Sins of the Fathers’ plot centered around a novelist researching on voodoo related material for his new book. Taking place in then-present day New Orleans allowed Jane Jensen to weave a setting with a strong backstory and personality. Voodoo in New Orleans is closely tied to African religions, Christianity and slave trading - topics which even to this day most media tend to shy away from.

Gabriel Knight, however, approached these with due respect and consideration, using this basis to add a strong, believable cast. Voodoo is often sensationalized by the media and as such it would be easy to create a watered down version as a mere plot device for the story. However, writer Jane Jensen chose instead to educate the player on its origins, rituals and dispel misconceptions regarding it.

A lecture on Voodoun

The game focused predominantly on New Orleans voodoo, though it also touches upon other forms including Haitian. Moreover, it casts great prominence on Marie Laveau, a voodoo queen who rose to power in the mid-19th century. It goes through great lengths to teach players on her historical significance without breaking immersion. All of this additional information is optional but highly encouraged so as to aid players to fully immerse themselves in the story.

Gabriel’s family also shares an important history. Being a descendent of German immigrants, we learn the origins of his family name and past. Even today most titles do not go into so much detail on the backstory of their main character, much less his ancestry.

Gabriel’s ancestors

Religion and history aren’t the only factors Gabriel Knight dared to tread ground. Sex and relationships also play a role in shaping its story. From the beginning of the game it’s made clear both Gabriel and his assistant, Grace share a sexual tension. This isn’t directly told to us, but rather it’s a realization that comes through the interactions the two exchange.

We are also introduced to Malia, who shares a physical relationship with Gabriel. The story makes the nature of their affair clear without showing or explaining to players. Morever, it plays an important part in the story which ties into the game’s themes.

Finally, we have the iconic and thematic imagery for Gabriel Knight. This is handled mostly through the number three, snakes, dragons and a circle within a circle. All of these play an important role in the plot but once again they are never explicitly stated. Rather, it is up to players to remain observant and draw their own conclusions from the visual or written hints they are shown.

In a time when adventure games relied on high fantasy, science fiction and humor, Gabriel knight took a multitude of risks. It dealt with religion, dipped in one of the most controversial periods in western history and did not shy away from mature themes. It was a brave entry in a medium that at the time was still often viewed as childish and immature.

 image
Gonçalo Gonçalves
Social Media Associate
Phoenix Online Studios

Week #59 of Free Key Fridays raffle is up. If you participate you can win up to three games.



Full Mojo Rampage is a rogue-like game that takes place within the confines of the Voodoo reality. In this realm only the most powerful rites and powers can provide a safeguard against evil. Dying is not the end, only the beginning to becoming a stronger voodoo soul! The game includes several multiplayer cooperative and competitive modes to play with friends.



None have overcome the Stronghold of Toragos… will you be the first goat to do so? Escape Goat 2 is the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed 2011 indie game, featuring more than double the content: larger rooms, HD graphics, dynamic lighting, and a host of devilish new traps. Pick your path through the massive Stronghold, divided into ten unique zones. Worry not, brave Goat, for you have a friend on this mission: Your immortal mouse familiar can crawl to otherwise unreachable areas, to hit switches and distract enemies. Use your wits, reason, reflexes and courage to overcome each room, and save your friends from an eternal slumber…



Shadow Warrior is a bold re-imagining of the classic 3D Realms’ shooter from independent developer Flying Wild Hog (Hard Reset) starring the legendary and quick-witted warrior Lo Wang. Combine the brute force of overwhelming firepower with the elegant precision of a katana to annihilate the merciless armies of the shadow realm in an exhilarating and visually stunning transformation of the classic first-person shooter.
Gonçalo GonçalvesSocial Media AssociatePhoenix Online Studios

Week #59 of Free Key Fridays raffle is up. If you participate you can win up to three games.

Full Mojo Rampage is a rogue-like game that takes place within the confines of the Voodoo reality. In this realm only the most powerful rites and powers can provide a safeguard against evil. Dying is not the end, only the beginning to becoming a stronger voodoo soul!

The game includes several multiplayer cooperative and competitive modes to play with friends.

None have overcome the Stronghold of Toragos… will you be the first goat to do so? Escape Goat 2 is the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed 2011 indie game, featuring more than double the content: larger rooms, HD graphics, dynamic lighting, and a host of devilish new traps.

Pick your path through the massive Stronghold, divided into ten unique zones. Worry not, brave Goat, for you have a friend on this mission: Your immortal mouse familiar can crawl to otherwise unreachable areas, to hit switches and distract enemies. Use your wits, reason, reflexes and courage to overcome each room, and save your friends from an eternal slumber…

Shadow Warrior is a bold re-imagining of the classic 3D Realms’ shooter from independent developer Flying Wild Hog (Hard Reset) starring the legendary and quick-witted warrior Lo Wang. Combine the brute force of overwhelming firepower with the elegant precision of a katana to annihilate the merciless armies of the shadow realm in an exhilarating and visually stunning transformation of the classic first-person shooter.

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Gonçalo Gonçalves
Social Media Associate
Phoenix Online Studios

Gabriel Knight creator, Jane Jensen, discusses the inspiration behind this classic, the New Orleans location and of course and its darker themes.  

With the upcoming launch of the 20th Anniversary Edition, we asked several prominent indie developers and adventure gaming legends their experiences with the Gabriel Knight franchise. From Ragnar Tornquist of Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey to Charles Cecil, creator of the Broken Sword Series, Gabriel Knight had a vast impact on all of us in the adventure community.

Please do share with us your favorite Gabriel Knight Memory. We welcome posts, videos, tweets in any way you would like to share.

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Gonçalo Gonçalves
Social Media Associate
Phoenix Online Studios


Gabriel Knight - Sins of the Fathers is right around the corner and we’re celebrating with a weekly giveaway! First, we have a new Gabriel Knight poster created by comic book industry veterans, the Sharp brothers.



The prize is a must-have for any Sierra On-Line fan, a boxed copy of the original Gabriel Knight signed by Jane Jensen. To win you simply have to leave a comment with a tagline to the image above in 10 words or less. Anyone can participate and tumblr registration is not required to comment.
This is the first of our three week giveaway, with two more chances coming soon. The lucky winners will announced on October 13th and the final posters will be available to download for free.
Good luck everyone!
P.S. you can check the rules of the contest here.
Gonçalo GonçalvesSocial Media AssociatePhoenix Online Studios

Gabriel Knight - Sins of the Fathers is right around the corner and we’re celebrating with a weekly giveaway! First, we have a new Gabriel Knight poster created by comic book industry veterans, the Sharp brothers.

The prize is a must-have for any Sierra On-Line fan, a boxed copy of the original Gabriel Knight signed by Jane Jensen. To win you simply have to leave a comment with a tagline to the image above in 10 words or less. Anyone can participate and tumblr registration is not required to comment.

This is the first of our three week giveaway, with two more chances coming soon. The lucky winners will announced on October 13th and the final posters will be available to download for free.

Good luck everyone!

P.S. you can check the rules of the contest here.

image
Gonçalo Gonçalves
Social Media Associate
Phoenix Online Studios

When it comes to video game sidekicks, few are as memorable as Grace Nakimura. Her role expanded throughout the Gabriel Knight trilogy, taking her from being little more than a source of information in the first game to practically an equal by the end of the third title. Her relationship with Gabriel Knight mirrors this personal growth as he slowly becomes more trusting of her and her abilities as a researcher and investigator. To the point where he’s not trying to force her to stay out of the way or to keep her as much in the dark of his current case as possible. By the time that the credits roll in Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned she’s treated as an equal.





In Sins of the Fathers, we find out that Grace decided to take a break from her graduate studies and took a temporary job at St. George’s Books in New Orleans. Gabriel treats her as little more than a secretary and research assistant. She’s seen taking phone calls and messages for him and the shop throughout the game, relaying each one to him as needed. And whenever Gabriel needs a book or a topic related to his “investigation” researched she grudgingly accepts the assignment. We do see some sexual tension between the two, albeit subtle in nature. She’s shown to be concerned for his well-being when she finds out just how deep he’s become in the voodoo case. And, in turn, he shows more than a little concern for her when she becomes a “damsel in distress”.

By the time The Beast Within starts, Grace has taken over the day-to-day operations at the bookshop while Gabriel has moved in to his family estate in Germany, Schloss Ritter. When he contacts her about his current case, she remembers what happened to him before and closes the store. Heading to Germany to help out, she soon discovers that he doesn’t want her interfering. He goes so far to push her away that she stubbornly continues to help out by researching anything she can find about werewolves. And her affection for Gabriel grows as she butts heads with Gerde, the castle’s other resident, thinking she’s trying to steal the man for herself.




In Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, Grace is finally treated as an equal, more or less, in the eyes of Gabriel. They work together on a case in France, and she proves herself more than capable both as a researcher and investigator. While they both go about solving the mystery in their own ways again, she plays a much more proactive role this time around. And the pair’s relationship deepens to the point where it’s pretty obvious that they have feelings for each other.

Throughout the trilogy, Grace can be regarded as a sympathetic character. She does what Gabriel asks for, and sometimes much more. Even when he doesn’t want her around. She’s more relatable than the main character, who more often than not is seen as a narcissistic womanizer and loner. Grace is pretty much the everywoman, and a strong and independent one at that. Perhaps this is why the character has withstood the test of time.

Serena Nelson Social Media Intern Phoenix Online Studios

When it comes to video game sidekicks, few are as memorable as Grace Nakimura. Her role expanded throughout the Gabriel Knight trilogy, taking her from being little more than a source of information in the first game to practically an equal by the end of the third title. Her relationship with Gabriel Knight mirrors this personal growth as he slowly becomes more trusting of her and her abilities as a researcher and investigator. To the point where he’s not trying to force her to stay out of the way or to keep her as much in the dark of his current case as possible. By the time that the credits roll in Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned she’s treated as an equal.

In Sins of the Fathers, we find out that Grace decided to take a break from her graduate studies and took a temporary job at St. George’s Books in New Orleans. Gabriel treats her as little more than a secretary and research assistant. She’s seen taking phone calls and messages for him and the shop throughout the game, relaying each one to him as needed. And whenever Gabriel needs a book or a topic related to his “investigation” researched she grudgingly accepts the assignment. We do see some sexual tension between the two, albeit subtle in nature. She’s shown to be concerned for his well-being when she finds out just how deep he’s become in the voodoo case. And, in turn, he shows more than a little concern for her when she becomes a “damsel in distress”.

By the time The Beast Within starts, Grace has taken over the day-to-day operations at the bookshop while Gabriel has moved in to his family estate in Germany, Schloss Ritter. When he contacts her about his current case, she remembers what happened to him before and closes the store. Heading to Germany to help out, she soon discovers that he doesn’t want her interfering. He goes so far to push her away that she stubbornly continues to help out by researching anything she can find about werewolves. And her affection for Gabriel grows as she butts heads with Gerde, the castle’s other resident, thinking she’s trying to steal the man for herself.

In Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, Grace is finally treated as an equal, more or less, in the eyes of Gabriel. They work together on a case in France, and she proves herself more than capable both as a researcher and investigator. While they both go about solving the mystery in their own ways again, she plays a much more proactive role this time around. And the pair’s relationship deepens to the point where it’s pretty obvious that they have feelings for each other.

Throughout the trilogy, Grace can be regarded as a sympathetic character. She does what Gabriel asks for, and sometimes much more. Even when he doesn’t want her around. She’s more relatable than the main character, who more often than not is seen as a narcissistic womanizer and loner. Grace is pretty much the everywoman, and a strong and independent one at that. Perhaps this is why the character has withstood the test of time.

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Serena Nelson
Social Media Intern
Phoenix Online Studios

indieoutlook
Bridging the Japan-only PS Vita title Surge Concerto: Ciel nosurge and the three Ar tonelico titles stateside gamers did receive, Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star seems fated to tempt GUST’s fans. But for those without an appreciation for JRPGs- fear not, a salvo of additional software is imminent.
From FIFA 15 to Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes this week’s list of releases seem to signal the beginning of the holiday shopping season, especially with the latter getting a two week jump on its collectable/NFC competitor, Skylanders: Trap Team.

Bridging the Japan-only PS Vita title Surge Concerto: Ciel nosurge and the three Ar tonelico titles stateside gamers did receive, Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star seems fated to tempt GUST’s fans. But for those without an appreciation for JRPGs- fear not, a salvo of additional software is imminent.

From FIFA 15 to Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes this week’s list of releases seem to signal the beginning of the holiday shopping season, especially with the latter getting a two week jump on its collectable/NFC competitor, Skylanders: Trap Team.

freekeyfridays

#Freekeyfridays Week 58 Raffle!

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Free Key Fridays is holding another giveaway where participants can win up to three games. This week’s picks are as follows:

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Freaking Meatbags throws you into a futuristic world where robots have jobs, cephalopods aren’t confined to a single dimension, and humans pretty much just stand around talking to themselves. As a lowly cleaning robot, your task is to gather precious materials from each world before the solar system goes kaboom.

As soon as you land, you realize this gig isn’t going to be as simple as you had hoped. During the day you’ll scramble to gather resources, build structures and keep your base in good repair. But when it gets dark, get ready to fight. Those rampaging wild robots aren’t here to have a knitting competition.

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Tease, chat and finger-joust to the death as you use smart strategies to collect tiny coloured circles against the clock! This award-winning touchscreen tap-out is fun, frantic and totally hilarious!


Circulets takes the fun for families and parties to the next level by introducing two players to a competitive play on a single device. Define your own rules as you collect circulets (or not) to play. Circulets is a new kind of experience for your mobile devices.

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Serious Sam explodes into the second dimension using everything in his arsenal to battle the abominable legions of Mental’s horde. Pull the trigger to let the heavy ordinance fly in Serious Sam Double D XXL, a completely reloaded version of the indie sensation Serious Sam Double D with all-new missions, weapons, enemies, and challenges. Pile on the firepower with the revolutionary Gunstacker and fire all your weapons at once in a symphony of destruction! All that stands between victory and annihilation is a man in a T-shirt and jeans wielding a great big pile of guns.

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Gonçalo Gonçalves
Social Media Associate
Phoenix Online Studios

#Printscreen - Gabriel Knight
Gabriel questions as many voodoo experts as he can for his book, but some of them can be a little… off. At least Magentia is helpful.
Gonçalo GonçalvesSocial Media AssociatePhoenix Online Studios

#Printscreen - Gabriel Knight

Gabriel questions as many voodoo experts as he can for his book, but some of them can be a little… off. At least Magentia is helpful.

image
Gonçalo Gonçalves
Social Media Associate
Phoenix Online Studios

The Gabriel Knight series has always featured radically different art styles between entries. The first entry employed 2D, VGA graphics with an icon based parser, similar to earlier Sierra titles such as King’s Quest VI. The second game utilized digitized photography, full motion video and live actors whereas the third entry is entirely comprised of 3D polygonal graphics.
All styles featured pros and cons from a technological standpoint though today we’ll focus on the first game and how the backgrounds were updated in the 20th Anniversary Edition.One of the most noticeable technical/stylistic aspects of the original was the fact nearly half of the screen was taken by the dialog and inventory boxes. 


St. George’s Book Shop in the 20th Anniversary Edition.

This means the screen view is letter boxed and while it presents a cinematic view it has the side effect of limiting the player’s view. The 20th Anniversary Edition allows for players to view the action on a full screen without any limitations. Sins of the Fathers allowed players to hide the icon window, a feature was also brought back for the remake.
The original game’s backgrounds consist of hand painted images which were then scanned onto the game itself. While the art itself if beautiful, the technology of the time limited these to a maximum of 256 colors and a resolution of 300x200. As a result the backgrounds suffer from artifacts and other issues. 


The classic scene where Gabriel meets Malia.

All of the backgrounds for the 20th Anniversary Edition were created so as to preserve the spirit of the original. Rather than going for realism, the characters and backgrounds feature their own distinctive art style. The Schloss Ritter castle also received a major update. This time it was made to more closely resemble its Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within counterpart while still keeping the rooms that were so characteristic of the first title. 
Finally we have the comic book panels. These have always been one of the defining features of the original entry in the series. All of the panels have been re-done while still introducing new ones and new elements to the story. 
There is little changed in the overall mood of the game between then and now beyond updating it for the new generation of fans. How longtime players will react to the 20th anniversary edition isn’t clear, but its setting and mood have always done a thorough job at delivering an emotional impact to the overall story.
Gonçalo GonçalvesSocial Media AssociatePhoenix Online Studios

The Gabriel Knight series has always featured radically different art styles between entries. The first entry employed 2D, VGA graphics with an icon based parser, similar to earlier Sierra titles such as King’s Quest VI. The second game utilized digitized photography, full motion video and live actors whereas the third entry is entirely comprised of 3D polygonal graphics.

All styles featured pros and cons from a technological standpoint though today we’ll focus on the first game and how the backgrounds were updated in the 20th Anniversary Edition.One of the most noticeable technical/stylistic aspects of the original was the fact nearly half of the screen was taken by the dialog and inventory boxes.

St. George’s Book Shop in the 20th Anniversary Edition.

This means the screen view is letter boxed and while it presents a cinematic view it has the side effect of limiting the player’s view. The 20th Anniversary Edition allows for players to view the action on a full screen without any limitations. Sins of the Fathers allowed players to hide the icon window, a feature was also brought back for the remake.

The original game’s backgrounds consist of hand painted images which were then scanned onto the game itself. While the art itself if beautiful, the technology of the time limited these to a maximum of 256 colors and a resolution of 300x200. As a result the backgrounds suffer from artifacts and other issues.

The classic scene where Gabriel meets Malia.

All of the backgrounds for the 20th Anniversary Edition were created so as to preserve the spirit of the original. Rather than going for realism, the characters and backgrounds feature their own distinctive art style. The Schloss Ritter castle also received a major update. This time it was made to more closely resemble its Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within counterpart while still keeping the rooms that were so characteristic of the first title.

Finally we have the comic book panels. These have always been one of the defining features of the original entry in the series. All of the panels have been re-done while still introducing new ones and new elements to the story.

There is little changed in the overall mood of the game between then and now beyond updating it for the new generation of fans. How longtime players will react to the 20th anniversary edition isn’t clear, but its setting and mood have always done a thorough job at delivering an emotional impact to the overall story.

image
Gonçalo Gonçalves
Social Media Associate
Phoenix Online Studios