(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.)
Now that Grace has had her soap opera catfight with Gerde, she can get to the important part of her self-appointed mission to do some research for Gabe. By the way, where’s Gabe? If he mailed the letter and it took at least two days to get to Grace and Grace took at least a day to get here, it’s been a long weekend since we last saw him at the hunting lodge.
Grace does a bit of reading up on werewolves and past Ritter cases involving these beasts. It’s nothing truly revealing, but I think it’s good that the game put this in to provide a full reference for folks who aren’t as familiar with all of the werewolf myths and tropes.
I am vastly curious how a research book on werewolves knows about the state of their immortal soul. How does one look that up? Pop down to hell for an interview? “Hey Satan, can you direct me to the lycanthrope quarter?”
This book also discusses how an alpha werewolf might create his own pack by cursing others to become beta werewolves, and how the betas might have their curse broken with the alpha’s death. I don’t think the game is even trying to hide the fact that Gabe’s hunting lodge visit was really a trip into a den of werewolves. The book also says that the werewolf will reveal him/herself though personality traits:
Grace heads back down to the village to talk more with the mayor about the previous werewolf case. When the Schattenjäger caught it, he sent it back to Rittersberg for a trial and examination. They waited until the beast — who called himself the Black Wolf — transformed back, then naturally plucked his arms and legs off before burning him. Charming folks, these villagers. The mayor shows Grace the dungeon where the werewolf was kept, and Grace has a major psychic attack. Or she’s just showing “bizarre behavior” that in no way means she’s about to transform.
More investigation revealed that the Black Wolf was cursed by a gypsy to become a werewolf after he raped a village girl (who later committed suicide). Since the werewolf then went on a rampage, I’m not thinking that this was a particularly bright gypsy. Grace also finds out more about King Ludwig II, a great ruler of Bovaria who was killed by the people.
With several journals, letters, and a letter to Gabe in hand, Grace puts it together in a package and heads down to the post… waaaaitaminute. Has this game been making me do a research paper on werewolves for the past two hours? Do I get course credit for this? Seriously, nothing has happened aside from Grace going nuts on Gerde. This game better move the plot along, and fast!
I can’t help but think how different this story would be in today’s world, particularly with mobile phones and the internet. It’s like watching a documentary of how hard people used to have it before they could access instant information and reach out to anyone at any time.
This triggers the final cutscene of chapter two. Gerde and Grace, despite hating each other’s guts, are spending an evening sitting across a table from each other reading. Before either can say a word, a knock at the door reveals two tourists — the Smiths from Pennsylvania. The beehive hairdo lady in particular is so over-the-top you’d swear that she landed from another game. She goes on and on about being an occult specialist and wanting to “talk shop” with the Schattenjäger, but then she goes into a seizure and predicts that Gabriel is in danger from a black wolf. Boom. Goodnight, Gracie.