Gabriel Knight: Sins Of The Fathers is a 1993 point-and-click adventure game, developed and published by Sierra On-Line. Created by author and Sierra writer/designer Jane Jensen, Sins Of The Fathers was the first instalment in a new franchise for Sierra in the mid-90s, and marked a more mature turn for the company previously known for the King's Quest, Police Quest and Space Quest series. Far removed from the fairy tale universe of King's Quest and the zany craziness of Space Quest, Gabriel Knight followed an anti-hero plagued by disturbing nightmares through a murder mystery linked to voodoo and his own family's dark, mystical past.
The CD-ROM version of the game featured some of the highest production values for a multimedia game at the time, boasting the voice talents of Tim Curry and Mark Hamill among others. The game also featured an outstanding soundtrack for an adventure game of its time, which was composed and performed by Robert Holmes, husband of creator Jane Jensen.
Sins of the Fathers was followed up by Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within, and concluded with Gabriel Knight: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the damned.
A novel based on the game was also released, and it follows the game closely.
The gameplay in Gabriel Knight consists of commanding Gabriel entirely via the mouse to interact with people and the environment to unravel the mystery of the Voodoo murders and progress the plot. The player has the Move, Operate, Open, Read, Inspect, Question, Talk to, Push, and Take commands as well as being able to use any items Gabriel has in his inventory on the environment, characters or each other.
Speaking with characters in the game also plays a large role in progressing the story by providing clues and plot points. Conversations are fully voiced and different characters will have different replies depending on plot progression and other circumstances. Gabriel records conversations via a tape recorder so conversations can later be reviewed by the player to help find clues.
The story is divided up into ten chapters/days, and when the story has sufficiently progressed the day will end and the next chapter will start. It is however possible for the player to miss a necessary clue, item, or action in an earlier part of the game - making the playthrough impossible to finish.
While Gabriel has no health, there are several occurrences in the game that can lead to his death if not handled properly by the player.
The environments in Gabriel Knight are static; they come in a wide variety of vantage points, and views. Characters are animated simply but convincingly with the use of early age motion capture technology. The game is also interspersed with several short live action clips and comic book panel animations used to progress the story. When entering a conversation, the player is also given a more in depth look at the characters facial features on a black background. These conversations are also lip synced to the voice actors recorded dialogue.
Gabriel Knight has an extensive Midi Soundtrack that plays throughout the game with each location having it's own distinct background music. Characters, conversations and narration are also fully voiced (CD-ROM version) by voice actors.
20th Anniversary Edition
A remake of the game was released by Jane Jensen's indie studio Pinkerton Road in 2014. Intellectual property rights were licensed from the current owner, Activision. While keeping faithful to the original story, the remake has completely new artwork and voices. Since the old voice recordings had been lost and the sound quality of the original game were too low, the voices had to be rerecorded. Involving the original voice actors would have been too expensive, why a new cast was used. The music was re-orchestrated by the original composer. Phoenix Online Studio did the programming, under Jane's direction.