(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.)
In our previous episode of Gabriel Knight 2, Gabe stumbles upon a very naked Von Zell eating a very dead person in a very black cave. This is, I might remind you, also in a game that’s included three museum tours to date. I can’t complain, the plot is actually moving along!
Gabe bursts into Von Glower’s room, retching. “What’s wrong?” Von Glower says. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”
Oh man, that hoary old chestnut? No, he’s seen mutilated corpses and cannibalism. Can’t that be enough for today?
Anyway, Gabe takes Von Glower out to the cave to see the bodies (Von Zell has left in the meantime). And then, because Gabe is a supreme idiot that can’t fathom that this creepy guy in charge of a hunting lodge and who promotes this primal philosophy might actually also be in on the killings, he spills every single piece of information that he knows. He’s like an exposition fire hose, spraying Von Glower with “werewolf this” and “missing persons that.”
Von Glower declines to notify the police but insists that the two of them hunt down Von Zell themselves. Gabe agrees. Did I mention that Gabe is a supreme idiot?
Because time is of the essence and there’s a killer on the loose, Von Glower and Gabe wait until nightfall (um… why?) and change into the most pompous hunting gear outfits. At least Gabe has the good sense to be embarassed at how he looks.
The pair head out into the woods (this is all part of a very long cutscene, by the way) and promptly after Von Glower tells Gabe to stay right behind him, Gabe veers off because he hears a wolf howling. Gabe also has no weapon. Did I mention that Gabe is a supreme… oh, I did.
At least Gabe has his ugly talisman that he starts waving around in the dark. Oh, yeah, flashlights would have been a good idea too. Well, if you haven’t started listening to common sense now, it’s probably too late.
This begins the cat-and-mouse hunt portion of the game. Basically, Gabe’s got to find the wolf, use his talisman to scare it away, and guide it to a certain ravine. If Gabe doesn’t act quickly enough then there’s an actual game over since the wolf rips out his throat.
It’s just so awesome. I reloaded and watched this sequence three times, just to see Gabe get his just desserts.
All in all, this sequence is pretty well-done. It’s got the right level of tension — especially knowing that you could die — and every time the wolf pops out it’s hard not to jump. Gabe forces the beast to a cliff, where it leaps on him and takes a big hunk out of his leg. But then Von Glower shows up and things get a little weird.
The wolf (Von Zell in werewolf form) stops attacking and gets all anxious. Then Von Glower hesitates to shoot it, tossing Gabe the rifle instead. The wolf keeps nodding his head in the direction of Von Glower, miming to Gabe to, y’know, shoot the real threat. Even if Gabe tries (and I did), he doesn’t shoot. Instead, there’s just one option to kill the beast, who then morphs back into a dead, naked Von Zell. Gabe and Von Glower leave the body behind and go back to the lodge to get Gabe patched up.