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Legacy of Kain series

Group Description

Legacy of Kain is a series of action games with puzzle-solving elements, united by a common setting and overarching storyline. The first game, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (1996), was created by Silicon Knights; subsequent installments were developed by Crystal Dynamics. The series was initially split into two branches, one continuing the story of the vampire lord Kain, the protagonist of the first game, and the other featuring his ex-lieutenant, the vampire wraith Raziel, as the protagonist. These storylines were merged in Legacy of Kain: Defiance (2003), in which the player controls both Kain and Raziel.

Setting and Story

Legacy of Kain games are set in a dark medieval fantasy world known as Nosgoth. This world has for a long time been a battleground of two powerful races - the Ancient Vampires and the Hylden. Eventually, the vampires were able to overpower the Hylden, banishing them to another dimension. The Pillars of Nosgoth were erected, preventing the Hylden from returning, protected by the Nine Guardians. However, the Hylden are still able to manifest themselves physically in Nosgoth by possessing other creatures. As the power of the Pillars is weakening, the Hylden are trying to manipulate the inhabitants of Nosgoth into opening the gate to their world.

The story of the first game opens with Kain, a mortal turned vampire, on a quest for revenge against his slayer. Notable for its complexity, the overarching story is carried across all installments, with Kain (and later Raziel) often being unaware of the true intentions of those they meet on their path, resulting in unexpected consequences of their actions. Time traveling is also present in the series, often leading to paradoxes and changes in its fictional history.

Gameplay

Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain was a top-down 2D action game with light role-playing and puzzle-solving elements, somewhat similar to Zelda games. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (1999), the first installment to star Raziel, signified a transition to 3D, with a more sophisticated combat system, extended puzzle-solving, and addition of environmental action (platforming); subsequent releases built, for the most part, upon the gameplay template introduced by it.

Selected Covers

Legacy of Kain: Defiance PlayStation 2 Front Cover
Front cover for Legacy of Kain: Defiance

Selected Screenshots

Main Menu
Screenshot from Legacy of Kain: Defiance