Inspiration: Gabriel Knight
Have you ever wondered whence came some of the elements of inspiration for the Gabriel Knight games?
Like others of like skill who have drawn their subtly re-shaped waters from various wells, Jane Jensen has allowed her muse to be affected by colours, shapes and scents from a number of sources. It’s fascinating to know, for instance, of the inspiration given to the GK games by the poem The Second Coming, by Yeats. The poem was used initially in the demo of the first GK game, Sins of the Fathers, before the poem “I dreamt of blood upon the shore” ended up being used. Jane Jensen also had the Yeats poem in mind when she was writing the book The Beast Within, based upon the second GK game. When von Glower says to Gabriel, “What rough beast slouches towards the hunt, its prey to be undone”, it is certainly based upon this poem.
The Second Coming
– by William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
The poem written by Jane Jensen for GK1 shows its inspiration from the Yeats poem – you can especially see this in the opening line, “I dreamt of blood upon the shore”, which is indebted to the line “The blood-dimmed tide is loosed”. That line has in fact inspired many, including the pilot episode of Millenium, the sci-fi/fantasy/horror/mystery series that ended just short of the year 2000. Things Fall Apart is the title of a well-known novel which took its title from this poem; “The centre cannot hold” also inspired another title. Ditto with “Ceremony of Innocence”.
The poem has inspired so much, and it’s such a testimony to the marvellous writing and imagination of Jane Jensen that her own vision developed such an individual world as that of Gabriel Knight.