The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery is a point-and-click adventure game and the sequel to Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. The Beast Within was again developed and published by Sierra, and written and designed by Gabriel Knight creator Jane Jensen. The game uses full-motion video (FMV) throughout the game; as a result, the game was released on six CDs, each of which contained a different chapter in the story. Unlike many other FMV games, however, the game's interface is a typical point-and-click affair, resembling earlier Sierra and LucasArts titles. Characters are represented by animated sprites with which the player character can interact, resulting in video sequences.
The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery was named Computer Gaming World's 1996 Game of the Year.
The Beast Within takes place one year after the events of the first Gabriel Knight game. Knight has inherited both a castle in a small German village and the title of Schattenjäger. The local villagers show up at his door late one night and ask him to investigate the mysterious death of a little girl which they believe was caused by a werewolf. Knight's duties as a Schattenjäger require him to look around the town, attempting to gather information about the girl's death.
Each chapter alternates between the player controlling Gabriel Knight as he investigates the killing and the disappearance of two zoo wolves near Munich, and Grace Nakimura as she researches past werewolf sightings. The story is eventually tied to the mysterious death of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and his encounter with a man known as the Black Wolf. In the climax, Gabriel himself is turned into a wolf through a secret tied to a lost Richard Wagner opera discovered by Grace. The final showdown features wolf-Gabriel traversing a maze-like subbasement of an opera house with the Black Wolf in pursuit. The player is tasked with leading the Black Wolf through the maze to the boiler room where Gabriel lunges forth knocking the Black Wolf into the furnace.
The Gabriel Knight series is known for weaving historical figures, real-world locations and landmarks into its plots. The Beast Within features several German landmarks, perhaps the most famous being the castle Neuschwanstein, built by King Ludwig II in the 19th Century.
The fact that Gabriel Knight doesn't speak German is an important part of the plot; in the German localization, all native people speak in a strong Bavarian accent - preventing Gabriel (now speaking German fluently) from understanding the local townsfolk.