Gabriel knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, is the third and thus far, final episode in the Gabriel Knight Mysteries by Jane Jensen. Unique to the series with each episode having its own visual style, Sins of the Fathers using the then standard 2d adventure game style, The Beast Within using full motion video, and now this one which has utilized full 3d graphics to tell its story. Featuring a fully realized 3d world, with an independently controlled camera to view the action from any point that you wish. This time the story takes us to the Languedoc region of France, to find a Village known as Rennes-Le-Chateau. A real village where many occult, and intriguing stories have originated. With Voodoo and Werewolves now under the series' belt, the plot this time around centers on the mythology of Vampires. Spun into its intricate web of occult legend, it also manages to deal with dramatical twists of historical fact. For example The Freemasons, and The Knights Templar play a significant role in the games storyline, based through your characters research.
Only one of the classic voice actors will make a comeback for this episode, Tim Curry playing the lead role of Gabriel Knight. Disappointingly Leah Remini and Mark Hamill's roles for Grace Nakimura and Detective Mosley were replaced by Charity James, and David Thomas.
Gameplay alternates between Gabriel, and his sidekick Grace in the same way experienced in The Beast Within, with Gabriel sinking deeper and more dangerously into his investigation, while Grace studies past events related to their case to lead Gabriel in the right direction.
The story's plot begins four years after the events of the previous game. Prince James of Albany reveals that his family is plagued by vampire like creatures they call "The Night Visitors". Gabriel is hired as schattenjager to protect Prince James' son Charlie from these vampires, but is thwarted as they manage to kidnap the child regardless of being guarded by Gabriel, paralyzing him and forcing him to watch as the vampiric creatures entered the room and took the child in his sleep. Upon chasing down the shadowy figures, Gabriel is knocked unconscious by an unknown source but hears the words San Greal just before blacking out. Upon awakening, Gabriel heads to Rennes-le-Chateau and begins to piece together the puzzle that is the premise of Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the damned.
Much of the game takes place in Rennes-le-Chateau. The game follows The Beast Within formula by providing real world and historically accurate settings as a backdrop for the story. Much of the plot centers around Gabriel trying to uncover the mysteries associated with Rennes-le-Chateau and the one-time resident priest, Berenger Sauniere. Players search for the truth behind the Knights Templar, the Holy Grail, and many other pre-Da Vinci Code ideas first offered in the novel Holy Blood, Holy Grail. These ideas were obvious inspiration for Jane Jensen for the games story.
The game concludes with Gabriel banishing the evil threat by using his Schattenjager medallion. The final scene shows Gabriel preparing to leave Rennes-le-Chateau only to find a note from Grace indicating that she has left to study under a Schattenjager-like monk in India. This left many gamers with a desire for a sequel that has never surfaced.
Gabriel Knight 3 is notorious for its puzzles. Several are referenced as being almost unsolvable and illogical. Many adventure game fanatics reference the driver's license puzzle as one of the most logically flawed ever created. It is often cited as the culmination of illogical puzzle design in adventure games.
The infamous driver's license puzzle consists of the player stealing an ID, to draw a moustache on the photo on the ID with a marker, and the player had to get cat hair and syrup to provide as a moustache to the player. What is extremely illogical about this puzzle is that the character on the ID didn't have a moustache, and neither did you, so this is a completely unnecessary step.
At the same time the vast Le Serpent Rouge puzzle has been described as one of the best designed puzzles in adventure gaming history.
The Last Adventure of its Kind
Gabriel Knight 3, is commonly referred to as the last adventure game by a well known company to be in the mainstream eye, and as such 1999 is often over-dramatically phrased as the "Year Adventure Gaming Died". Blaming some of the more intricate, and flawed logic puzzles in Gabriel Knight 3 for the genre's downfall. It is largely unclear how big of an impact Gabriel Knight 3 made on the adventure gaming community, positive or negative. Being that most people who played it were already Gabriel Knight fans, in comparison to those who picked up Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned as their first foray into Gabriel's world. Critically the game received a fairly positive reception, though its scores were on average slightly lower than the previous titles in the series. Ultimately, feedback from the major development houses stated the same thing concerning adventure games, in that it was a monetary decision to stop releasing them, and the mainstream market was moving in the direction of the 3d shooter, and the 3d platformer.