Gabriel Knight 2: Castle cruising

(This is part of my journey playing through Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)

c1This does not look like a church.  This looks like the portal to the nightmare world.  Well, in you go, Gracie!

Actually, it’s a memorial chapel for Ludwig and Grace doesn’t go in, but heads on by and checks out the lake where Ludwig and the doctor drowned.  There’s a totally cheery black cross in the middle of it:

c2Dallmeier, the Ludwig expert, shows up to talk shop.  Ludwig does sound like an interesting guy, although I am vastly curious how the makers of this game decided to draw him into a werewolf plot.  Dallmeier talks about how Ludwig agreed to let Prussia take over Bavaria and be a vassal king, and how he was both Catholic and a homosexual.  He also tells a bit of Gudden, the Black Wolf, who sat on the Prussian court with a mysterious past.  Dr. Gudden was also the arresting doctor who was found dead with Ludwig in the lake.

c3Grace has one stop left on her Ludwig tour: the Neuschwanstein castle.  I actually know of this castle, because it’s kind of famous for being one of the inspirations for the Cinderella castle at Disney.  Didn’t know that Ludwig II had it made, but I never really knew much about the guy before this game anyway.

c4The game has a cool “tour tape” button for this portion of our museum hopping.  It provides a voice-over tour for the castle, Ludwig’s obsession with building them (werewolf sanctuaries?  Naw…), and his fascination with Richard Wagner.  I learned that Ludwig had a thing for swans, which I guess is why Gabriel was dreaming of one?  Ludwig haunting his dreams or something?  The tour tape said that the swan motif symbolized “majesty and purity.”

c5The tour through the castle is pretty  engaging, especially since I’ll probably never be there in real life.  Ludwig’s bedroom features a host of hand-carved wood that took 4.5 years to create.  Off to the side is a rather sinister little chapel with a “Black Madonna” and other religious paintings.

c6A portrait of the man Ludwig emerges more clearly in this place.  He was obviously discontent with his status as a lesser king and retreated into fantasy as a result.  His castle, his interest in opera, and his love of mythology came out of this.  The castle is kind of a solo playground with themed rooms for his imagination.

c7In his study, the tour tape tells Grace that Ludwig was studying the occult before he died.  There are also a LOT of wolf paintings in the last room.  Should have consulted your local Watcher and Vampire Slayer, man.  Get the Scoobies on this thing!

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