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Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

Moby ID: 1525
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

One thousand five hundred years after the events of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, the vampire Kain's decision at the end of that game has finally defeated the human kingdoms and brought the world of Nosgoth under his control. Ruling from a castle built on the Pillars of Nosgoth, Kain has established an empire of six vampire clans, each ruled by a lieutenant, the sons of Kain. Raziel was one such lieutenant but lost his position through the insolence of receiving a new evolutionary "dark gift", the growth of feathery wings before his master had acquired it. Fearing that Raziel might one day surpass him, Kain tears off Raziel's wings in a fit of rage and banishes him into the Abyss. There, Raziel is lost in time, dead and his body consumed. The Elder God recovers Raziel's soul and rebuilds the broken body, not as a living vampire, but as a strange new creature of the underworld. Swearing revenge on Kain, Raziel now phases seamlessly between Nosgoth and its underworld, using his new powers to become a terrible reaver of souls...

Soul Reaver is a third-person perspective action game with puzzle-solving and some platforming elements. The game follows Raziel on his quest to purge the land of vampires and take revenge on Kain and his brothers, leaders of the six clans. The player views the environment from behind Raziel's shoulder, moving him in any direction, climbing, attacking, jumping, and using specific abilities. Raziel can grip onto the edge of ledges and his torn wings allow him to glide gently downwards. He can also shift through the material world into the spectral realm at will but must find specific locations in order to shift back. The two realms mirror one another, with distortions which give access to new areas and platforms. Existing in the material world drains Raziel's life energy at a constant rate.

Throughout the game, energy is recovered by consuming the souls of defeated enemies. If Raziel is able to defeat one of his brothers, he will additionally gain a new ability ("dark gift") upon drinking his soul. Examples include: the ability to swim, file telekinetic projectiles, or the ability to phase through locked gates. Raziel can arm himself with a variety of weapons including spears, daggers, swords, axes, as well as attacking enemies barehanded. Eventually, he will also come across Kain's personal sword (named the Soul Reaver) and will use it to create a powerful energy blade weapon.

The world is left open to Raziel, he can return to areas previously completed and explore the world of Nosgoth at will. Access to certain areas however sometimes requires the use of gained specific abilities. Many of the puzzles the player will need to solve in this quest are block puzzles, requiring the placement of certain large structures (usually square blocks), either to activate switches or to build access to out-of-reach areas.

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Credits (Windows version)

116 People (90 developers, 26 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 83% (based on 60 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 131 ratings with 5 reviews)

What An Epic!

The Good
Well folks you are in for one hell of a ride. If you are a fan of vampires or if you're just looking for a great story with plenty of action and original ideas this your game. Oh, and you need a tolerance for Playstation 1 graphics if you're going to get through this one.

STORY

The game is actually a sort of follow up to Silicon Knight's excellent Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Set many years after the end of Blood Omen (I'm not calling it B.O. so bear with me :P) the enigmatic vampire Kain has forged an empire for himself and basically exterminated the humans of Nosgoth. With his empire being so large and all Kain creates 5 lieutenants to command his vampire forces. One of those lieutenants is Raziel, our protagonist. The story opens with a stunning CG (for it's time) explaining how Raziel sprouted wings and received death for his "transgression." Kain, being the evil jealous vampire lord that he is, decides that if he doesn't evolve first - nobody does. And with that he casts Raziel into the Abyss where he lays burned and very much dead until....

A few centuries later the mysterious "Elder God" revives Raziel and gives him a chance for vengeance...but for what price. And I'll leave it at that. The story, while an unoriginal vengeance theme, is excellent and provides a couple of "jump out of your seat" twists and many turns as Raziel seeks to hunt Kain down for killing him.

PRESENTATION

I must say, and many gamers out there agree with me, that the LoK series has some of the best voice acting done in ANY video game - period. Simon Templeman returns to revise his role of Kain from Blood Omen and his powerful voice acting is superbly done and he steals the show. But Michael Bell as Raziel was one great casting decision and the banter between these two especially later on is fantastic. All the supporting cast is creepy and vampiric and very well done. The music is absolutely fantastic. Kurt Harland and his Ozar Midrashim song seem like they were made for this game. Powerful. All the area themes are very well done and the combat effects are top notch. A lot of today's designers could learn a lot from the presentation of Soul Reaver. The game's best aspect by far.

GAMEPLAY

Controlling Raziel is very easy and responsive. Even the windows version is quite good with the keyboard and all. There are 2 different types of jumps and you can glide with your ruined wings which is very cool. You can attack with your claws and in groundbreaking style (for it's time...) you can grab torches off walls, use sharp lances and spears and basically just destroy your vampire opponents with whatever your sick imagination brings up. Once your vampire foes are dazed which happens after you hit them successively and hard, you can pick them up and throw them in sunlight, water and on spikes to finish them off. Once this happens their soul appears and Raziel, being the "Soul Reaver" can eat the foes' souls and recover health. Very cool and this forces you to feed to keep alive in the material world. Ah yes, there are 2 worlds. Raziel can switch between the Spirit Realm and the Material Realm at certain "portals". This is helpful in certain puzzles where the spirit realm makes places much more accessible. You also gain special abilities such as telekenesis by acquiring glyphs scattered across Nosgoth in shrines that really add to the game. And when you acquire a certain legendary weapon - the fun really starts!

FUNCTION

Saving is a breeze you can save anytime, anywhere. Not to mention there are warp gates all around Nosgoth that teleport you from place to place so there's no repetitive walking around. The boss fights will make you replay them again they are so fun and the rewards for them help access new areas such as the aforementioned glyphs. Your enemies are never repetitive as you go up against hordes of vampires from your former brother's legions. If killing humans is your thang then stroll on over to the human citadel and start sucking souls - if you can find it!



The Bad
Well the graphics are a bit dated and it does detract I am afraid but it's not too much to worry about.

Some of the puzzles are pretty dumb and they appear at the most inappropriate times. For example you wade through hordes of vampires as you try and get to the boss and just before his lair the game throws a block puzzle at you. This is just a waste of momentum.

As for the ending: Well it may leave you screaming at your screen... There is a reason for Soul Reaver 2 folks and this game is it.



The Bottom Line
If you are looking for an excellent cinematic adventure with plenty of action and drama along with awesome weapons and vampires sprinkled in then look no further. Grab Soul Reaver from a bargain bin now and go on an epic ride. Just make sure you leave space on that hard disk (sorry PS owners :P) for Soul Reaver 2 and LoK: Defiance if you want to see the story of Kain and Raziel through.

PlayStation · by Zsolt Pardi (19) · 2004

The butcherized and bastardized sequel to Silicon Knights' classic, but it actually ain't that bad.

The Good
Soul Reaver is a sequel of sorts to Blood Omen: The Legacy of Kain but aside from the partially trademarked names it's really hard to notice the "family resemblance".

The first thing you'll notice in Soul Reaver is the amazing introductory FMV which is further enhanced by the game's simply breathtaking graphics. The 3d engine loads objects on the fly, or rather as you're walking through doors, and is somewhat more reminiscent of a 3rd person Unreal game than that of Blood Omen's. It features high-poly models, a ton of colored lighting effects and huge outdoor areas but it's most impressive aspect is the "double-dimension" effect. As Raziel, the game's protagonist, switches between the real and the ghost world his surroundings literarly morph. The walls twist and bend, the ledges raise and extend, enemies disappear to be replaced by new ones and all of this is accompanied by great lighting effects and done right in front of the player's eyes with no loading time whatsoever. Also, the PSX to PC conversion allowed for 3D acceleration to be used as well as an incease in the resolution which enhances the graphics tremendously, and due to essentially being a game for an iferior console Soul Reaver will run fast on almost all machines using the highest settings possible.

The music and sounds are also phenomenal with the aural tracks done by the Information Society which fit the incredibly gothic mood perfectly. Voice acting in Soul Reaver is also topnotch and idealy complements the great dialogues. The gameplay is often very satisfying combining various aspects of action and adventure genres but unfortunately ignores the previous game's emphasis on spells, equipment and vampire abilites. As Raziel you're able to shift between the two aforemention dimension to solve Tomb Raider esque puzzles, take advantage of the environment to kill the undead and immortal vampires, suck down souls to remain in the real world and use various abilites learned by defeating your undead brethren.

Finally, despite relatively ignoring Nosgoth's setting Soul Reaver introduces it's own world of a post-apocalyptic setting combined with a gothic dark-fantasy feel that in the end is more original than that of Blood Omen but not quite as vibrant or detailed.

The Bad
Soul Reaver's most obvious flaw is almost completely ignoring the original game's plot. Silicon Knights was involved in a lawsuit with Crystal Dynamics and consecutively had nothing to do with the sequel to their game. Despite this setback Soul Reaver could have still closely followed it's predecessor but declined to do so. The gameplay changes could be explained by the change of the title's hero and engine, but various story elements have been thoroughly ruined or ignored. The Elder was introduced without any real purpose or explenation while Hash’ak’gik wasn't mentioned once and has basically been overlooked by the developers. Various fans have tied in the Elder to the Unspoken but even if their theories are true this motive was never explored or even hinted at in the actual game. Even one of Blood Omen's main villans, whose death was one of the most memorable and concluding acts in the game, makes an unconvincing return.

Despite all of this, Soul Reaver's largest setback would have to be the fact that the game was basically cut in half and released nowhere close to being complete. Eidos finally got tired of waiting for Crystal Dynamics to finish the game and in turn made them put out a title that simply is not done. This doesn't mean that Soul Reaver is plagued by bugs and unfinished gameplay features, infact the game's practically "spotless", but instead it simply comes with roughly half of the levels and storyline that it was originally intended to contain.

The Bottom Line
The bottom is line is that Soul Reaver: The Legacy of Kain remains one of the most enjoyable and worthwhile experiences in all of gaming but makes you wish it would have achieved all of it's goals before being released.

Windows · by Radoslaw Koncewicz (6) · 2001

Behold the corruption of the once beautiful land of Nosgoth... awesome storyline and the most imaginative puzzles I can recall.

The Good
I first stumbled upon the Legacy of Kain games almost by accident. I knew about their existence, but never got interested enough as to find in-depth info on them. One day, a friend of mine recommended me to play BLOOD OMEN 2 as it was 'a very fun 3rd person action game'. Almost immediatly I loved the voice acting of the game, and I became slightly interested with the plot, as it clearly had a story behind. I went out and bought SOUL REAVER 2, and as the plot would constantly refer to the previous game, I went out for a web search on the Legacy of Kain storyline... Man, the story behind the Legacy of Kain series has to be one of the better stories I ever readed. It's just ENORMOUS, it's full of interesting characters, smart twists, conspirations, deception... It's not only imaginative as few things I know, but it also has such a strong foundation.
After this I just ran for the first BLOOD OMEN and the first Soul Reaver. The latter of them I just finished, so here we are.

The series start with BLOOD OMEN, which is a Diablo-like, fully-2D, top-down perspective adventure game, and was created by Crystal Dynamics / Silicon Knights and published by Activision around 1997, when Windows 95 was all the rage. Later on, Eidos Interactive absorved Crystal Dynamics, and published the sequel, Soul Reaver, in 1999.
Soul Reaver has a number of significant differencies with its prequel, starting with the very gameplay style. Soul Reaver is a 3rd person perspective game, fully-3D, DirectX6-class. As so many other games in the genre its gameplay is divided between combat (close-hand) and puzzle-solving.

Soul Reaver takes places thousands of years after BLOOD OMEN. Unlike the first game, in Soul Reaver you play the role of Raziel, firstborn of Kain's lieutenants, who at the moment has served the emperor for 1.000 years.
Vampires evolve physically through the centuries following their master, until the day Raziel develops wings before Kain himself. This will be interpreted as a transgression and will mean for him the punishment of the traitors: to be cast in the abyss, suffering an agony of centuries until his body is fully consummed.
But before Raziel's body is consummed, a mysterious elder god interferes, bringing Raziel's decaying corpse to life, and giving him the oportunity to take revenge on the hypocrisy of his former master and brethren.
No longer a vampire, Raziel's old blood-thirst will be replaced by a new craving: the hunger for souls. Raziel can actually absorv the soul of his defeated enemies to recover his own health, and he can also 'shift' between the 'material world' and the 'spectral realm', where souls wander freely, and he can consumme them at will.

As it happened in BLOOD OMEN, it won't be long until you discover that this opportunity of revenge brings several hidden strings attached, as the elder god has his own interests in Raziel's quest. Soon, several other characters will also attempt to use our clueless hero as a pawn for their own interests, including Kain himself...
And above all, Raziel's own history will also unfold, proving him to be a puzzle even for himself, and to have a mysterious yet vital part to play in Nosgoth's destiny.

Much to his surprise, Raziel will find a dark and withered version of land of Nosgoth, rumbling and decaying, because of the corruption that 'Kain's parasitic empire' and the eternally trapped souls of the undead means to the 'wheel of fate'.
Nothing is as it was, and Raziel will soon find out that even his brethren have changed... dramatically.

The storyline of the game itself might not be as complex and event-stuffed as the first BLOOD OMEN was, but having that one as a background means it is still strong and interesting: several characters, places, and events from the first game will either re-appear or be referenced to, raising lots of new questions.

Furthermore, Soul Reaver is the first chapter of a saga —the ending is a plain giveaway on this, in fact it even greets you with a 'to be continued'— in which you are going to learn A LOT about Nosgoth's history and curse, and about Raziel's own very sad story.

Gameplay-wise, Soul Reaver follows quite a classic scheme. The land of Nosgoth is divided in several levels, each one is separated from one another by a steep cliff, a huge river, or whatnot, and each one is populated by a different vampire sub-breed, ruled by one of Raziel's brothers —the typical 'level boss'— whom you will ultimately defeat in our quest for revenge. As I said before, things have changed dramatically, and each vampire have developed a special ability to the point of actually suffer a physical transformation. Thus, there is a spider-vampire whose children have the ability of climbing walls, a fish-vampire whose children can swim, and so on.
By defeating each boss and devouring his soul, Raziel will also absorv his particular ability, which will allow you to reach places you were not able before, thus opening the way towards another level.

One of the most interesting features of the game are the puzzles. They HAVE to be experimented to fully understand this, but I can assure they must be the most imaginative thing I saw in this kind of game. The most common puzzle you'll find are ACTUAL PUZZLES you get to solve by rotating and correctly placing huge carved blocks of stone. You can totally figure them out with a little thinking, but some of them will take quite some minutes and require you to pay close attention, working out as one of those 'mind-breaking' little games within the main game.
There are also some lever-pulling puzzles, item-placing puzzles, and a few jumping puzzles. Again, all of them are quite easy enough as to figure out without needing to refer to a walkthrough, but they WILL plant a good challenge.
Furthermore, as Raziel's brothers are invincible and immune to Raziel's physical strenght and abilities, the boss fights are not ACTUAL FIGHTS. Instead, you need to outsmart them and figure out ways to take advantage of each one's particular handicap in order to defeat them. Thus, each 'boss fight' actually work out as a puzzle, in which you win not by hitting several times while avoiding attacks (as in 99.99997% of games out there) but by actually using your brain. This is one of the things I liked the most from this game, as I don't remember having seen something like this before.

The fights are fairly easy, but there are enough of them to keep you entertained for a while.
I already said that you don't actually get to FIGHT the bosses, so their underlings are all the fighting enemies you'll face. You have an 'autoaim' button, wich will make Raziel engage on the closest enemy, and while in this mode you can hit, pounce, or avoid attacks by retreating or side-jumping around the enemy. However, the enemies are not that tough or smart, so avoiding attack is seldom needed.
The hardest thing is that your enemies are mostly vampires, which means they're immortal, hence you need to finish them by burning or impaling them somehow, otherwise they will rise again after a few seconds. Furthermore, if you impale an enemy and take the weapon out of his body consumming his soul, he will revive also.
Finishing the vampires can be done in two basic ways: by the straight use of a pointy weapon (or the Soul Reaver you'll acquire pretty soon in the game) or taking advantage of the surroundings (a ray of sunlight, water, spikes on a statue...). This is rather original, and at first gives an interesting twist to the fighting.

The graphics of the game are fairly good considering the time.
For the game world, the programmers used the typical fog trick to hide the far clipping plane, which in turn allowed them to create HUGE environments. Despite all the decay of the world of Nosgoth, one can't help but stop and watch the surroundings every now and then, since the buldings exhale an impressive sense of magnificence.
The whole game is dark and morbid, from the withering lands to the very half-rotten body Raziel, and yet it's all so unsettingly beautiful...
The graphics for the characters are a mixed bag. Raziel is great. The other vampires not so much. They do their job fine, but they could have been better worked out.
Then there come the bosses, which are nothing short of impressive. As I said, they have mutated a great deal since the last time Raziel saw them, and now they are huge, menacing, repulsive monsters.

The sound plays a big deal of a part in the atmosphere of the game. The voice acting is great. I think the voice acting of the Legacy of Kain series have to be, if not the best, easily among the top 3 best voice acting in games ever. Not only the actors do a great job in the acting itself, but also the voices sound great, and to add to the package, the dialogues are brilliant.
I specially love Kain's lines, all full of double-senses and smart metaphors.
The gameplay is interrupted several times to show a cutscene, and while (unlike in BLOOD OMEN) they are made with in-game graphics, hence they're not visually that impressive, you'll get to enjoy a lot of voice acting.
Not to mention, this means the storyline is constantly evolving, you are assured that you won't walk more than a few meters before you find new —and sometimes shocking— information on the plot.

The music is great. I pretty much suck at describing a music, so I can only say these is among the few games that actually got me interested in its soundtrack. The music is ominous and dark, with a strong use of percussion. It creates an ominous atmosphere that sure fits with the dark yet unsettingly beautiful game world.

Among the intangibles, we could count the interesting feature that's the shifting between the material and spectral realms. Not only is interesting as an idea, but the effect is also greatly accomplished, the world sort twists and revolves on itself, until it's transformed into its own unsettling dark (even darker) version.
At some points, the world twists so badly that the deformations achieved by shifting to the spectral realm are exactly what you need to pass by certain obstacles.

Finally, the game offers a great deal of replayability in 'the search for the glyphs'.
The glyphs are some sort of special powers that Raziel acquires to use against his enemies. In order to get a glyph you'll need to find its own 'secret area' and solve a special puzzle related to it.
I talked before about how enormous the gameworld is; well, many players can go through the whole game and even finsh it, and still haven't seen like half of the actual game world: the secret areas where the glyphs are found are HUGE. The level of detail put into them is impressive, and if you enjoyed the views throughout the game, it's totally recommendable to go back and look for the glyphs. Only visiting the places where they are hidden is worth the replaying. Sould Reaver redefines the concept of 'secret area' into something that would be more fitting into 'secret worlds'.


The Bad
The first thing that shocked me in the negative aspect, is the control interface.
For one thing, the mouse is not used at all. Then, the arrow keys work in such a strange way for what I'm used to see, since the direction each arrow moves Raziel depends on the position of the camera. This is specially annoying when the camera decides to suddenly change perspective and then you can have a slightly hard time figuring out which key would now point the direction you were moving to. Nedless to say, when this happens in a fight, it can get VERY annoying and frustrating. Let alone the middle of a jumping puzzle.

All in all, the combats are easy, as I said. That's not exactly bad, but it's not all good neither. The combat interface is so worked out with all the evasive techniques and all, and yet most of the fights are easily won by just charging against the enemy and hitting him like insane.
Then, there comes the 'finishing' thing, and while it's original and nice in the beginning, it gets sort of annoying pretty soon, specially since you need to pick up the body and aim towards a fire, a spike, or whatever, and you can easily miss, which means you need to run towards your enemy, pick him up before he recovers, aim again, throw him, and then maybe you miss again...
As for the weapons, the good thing is that they make up for the afforementioned problem. The bad is that they are exactly all the same, despite different forms. It would be nice to have weapons of different ranges, strenght, and whatnot, but it's not the case here.

The glyphs, while presented as weapons, and actually recommended to be used with caution, are pure crap. First, they won't kill your enemies, but stun them, much like hitting them. Second, once you get the ability to shoot energy bolts from your hand, the glyphs just cross the line to completely useless.
The only good thing about them is the exploring done to actually get them, but as a weapon they just suck.
I said that the programmers used this 'fog' effect to hide the far clipping plane and thus having the possibility of creating huge environments whitouth needing an exaggeratedly powerful hardware. However, sometimes this fog just doesn't look right. Sometimes it looks like fog and when in closed environments it is usually black, from which we assume it's the darkness of the place... but sometimes it is green! or cyan! That sure looks horrible, and worst thing is it could have been fixed by just using a more 'foggy' colour.

The game lacks a feature I loved from the first one, which is the Dark Diary, where all the events of the plot revealed so far were stored so you could run through them to refesh your memory, or simply watch the whole storyline played once you finished the game.
In Soul Reaver, there are two points where two characters will point you with hints towards your next target, as to get you on track if you'd miss anything or just forgot where you were, but that's it.

Finally, I played this game in 2003, and I had SOUL REAVER 2 already installed, so I started playing it right after finishing this one, but I think I can barely imagine how frustrating should have been to reach the ending of such an awesome game only to be greeted with a 'to be continued'.
That's a low punch.

The Bottom Line
I never saw the Legacy of Kain series coming, and now I just love it. It has to be one of the top 3 best stories ever, and that's even counting books and movies.
I never thought the combination of a middle-age-like world and vampires would ever get me interested in any way, but I was terribly mistaken. Soul Reaver is a masterpiece of a sequel. Far from spoiling the first game, it creates a whole new reality in the same universe, whit the same degree of interest and intrigue. But right before you can think that they just took advantage of a great story to support a totally different game, Soul Reaver's story merges with the one of Blood Omen in a way so smart that it makes you think the whole thing was necessarily thought out from before.

The game would be worth playing even without the great storyline, if only for the beatiful world they've created, and the greatly thought out puzzles.

The voice acting and the music add up to round a package that's 2 cents from perfect.

The worst of the downs has to be the awkward control interface, but all in all it's not like you can't get used to it anyway, only it could have been much smoother.

Do I recommend Soul Reaver? And you still ask?
Soul Reaver is a MUST.

Windows · by Slug Camargo (583) · 2003

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Saving problem??.. Unicorn Lynx (181769) Jul 19, 2010
What if.. Donatello (466) Jan 28, 2009
PC version sound bug/problem Donatello (466) Aug 11, 2008

Trivia

Alternate ending (Spoiler)

The cut alternate ending, as rumoured:

You may remember the corridor with the strange visions. One of these was the one where Raziel strikes Ariel with his wraith blade, resulting in her being absorbed by it. In the Alternate cut, this happens in the game. With the enhanced Reaver, Raziel kills Kain in the Moebuis's Retreat. Afterwards, Raziel would have journeyed to the Silent Cathedral and made all of its bells ring a certain frequency fatal to vampires, thus deleting every single living vampire in Nosgoth, himself included.

Comic

There was a graphic novel based on the game. It was published by Top Cow.

Cover

The front cover of the UK Playstation version features a hologram, which if you twist in the light shows Raziel in the spirit world with the twisted pillars found in the game. If you twist the other way, it shows him in the mortal plane with the pillars straight. Naturally, holograms don't scan well but you can see the cover in the cover art section with both planes dimly featured.

Cut content

Large parts of this game were cut or changed from the original conception. While this is not important in and of itself (almost every game goes through a period of change during development), it's notable the sheer quantity of what was altered or overlooked. Without spoiling the plot too much, let me just say that there was an alternate ending planned, at least two more bosses, expanded areas, a lot more power-ups to the Soul Reaver and one of Raziel's brothers, Turel is missing completely. Word is that Eidos thought the game was taking too long and tightened the deadline.

One boss that was left out of the final cut was the Priestess. She was supposed to be the leader of a human cult that worshiped vampires. When she is defeated, Raziel receives some sort of possession/control ability.(In fact the first three words said in the game are "Kain is deified". They're said at the start of the intro, so that's not really a spoiler.) Whilst she didn't show up in the game, she did appear in the graphic novel.

Cutscene

In the Windows version of the game, there is a small cutscene that does not work properly. This cutscene occurs in the lair of Zephon (aka "The Silenced Cathedral") when Raziel opens up three of the Organ pipes. The resulting hymn destroys the two vampires in the room. It is believed that this cutscene was originally part of something larger, and perhaps an alternate ending to the game.

Development

Here's an interesting fact: When the game concept was originally conceived, it was a stand-alone game called Shifter, according to Dennis Dyack of Silicon Knights. The title was obviously a reference to the realm-shifting gameplay mechanic.it was changed into a Blood Omen sequel before any work was begun on the project.

However, the Shifter influences made into the game: Namely, the story of the vengeful servant hunting down his former master and brothers, and the incorporation of Angelic and Biblical imagery and motifs.(Raziel and his brothers are named after angels, not to mention Raziel's design.Also, on a side note, Kain is something of both a God and Devil figure in Nosgoth, in this game at least. Though that may not have been intentional on the developer's part.)

Dyack has disclosed separately that Silicon Knights intended to produce a Blood Omen sequel, but has not elaborated on the details other than to comment that it would have been very different than the direction Crystal Dynamics took the series in. Given that "Legacy of Kain" is actually the suffix of the first Blood Omen, it is entirely possible that their plan was for a sequel (or sequels) with a different (anti-) hero altogether, and that the result would have been something more like the next game they created - Eternal Darkness.

Duman

You find your brother Dumah (5th boss fight) lying immobile on his throne, his body pierced by the spears of vampire hunters. As you learned earlier with other vampires, the way to get him to revive in order to take proper vengeance with your own hands is to remove said spears. However, if you switch into spectral realm before reviving him, you'll have the opportunity to chit-chat a little with his wandering ghost.

German version

All red blood outside cutscenes was coloured green in the German version.

Glyphs

Glyphs are the magical artifacts that give Raziel elemental based powers.

Every time you kill a boss you gain a new physical ability which lets you access places you were previously unable to, not only to proceed with the game, but also to find 'secret sub-worlds' in which the Glyphs lie. These side-searches are really worthy because of the beautifully designed environment that these 'secret sub-worlds' are.

One of them is specially interesting for fans of Blood Omen: the place in which the Stone Glyph (for reaching which you need Zephon's walk-climbing ability) is hidden is no other place than Nupraptor's retreat. The giant skull-shaped castle on the side of a mountain in which Kain's very first target used to live. Words can't begin to describe what it means for a fan of the series the view of this familiar place in all its 3D glory, but with the weight of 1000 years on it.

Humans

Throughout your journey you'll encounter a few human survivors whose primary reaction will be to attack you.

If you just run away without harming them, later in the game you'll notice that, every time you run into a human, not only he won't attack you, but he will fall to his knees and bow to you!

Looks like the rumor of the kind-hearted blue demon spreaded quite fast.

Music

Soul Reaver's main theme song, "Ozar Midrashim 1.1", was composed by Kurt Harland from Information Society, and it is featured on their 1997's album "Don't Be Afraid".

Ratings

Soul Reaver was initially rated T by the ESRB for Windows and PlayStation, but the Dreamcast version was rated M. The original two versions were later rerated to M as well.

Raziel

The name Raziel means "God's secret" in Hebrew. The protagonist of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is named after an angel in Jewish mythology, who is particularly prominent in the occult Jewish teaching Kabbalah: according to it, Raziel possessed secret knowledge of the Divine and wanted to share it with Adam and Eve after their expulsion from Eden. Apparently, God didn't take this lightly, further punishing the first human couple; however, Raziel was spared and is said still to be out there, with all his knowledge intact...

References to the game

  • Speech samples from this game were used by the industrial band Velvet Acid Christ in their songs Dial8 and Mindphlux (Trip Zone Mix) on the album Twisted Thought Generator.
  • The intro from this game was partially used on the beginning of doom metal band Tristitia's third album, The Last Grief.

Information also contributed by Ace of Sevens, chirinea, Dr. M. "Schadenfreude" Von Katze, haynor, Mark Ennis, phlux, Unicorn Lynx and WildKard

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  • MobyGames ID: 1525
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

PlayStation 3, PSP added by Charly2.0. PS Vita added by GTramp. Dreamcast, PlayStation added by Grant McLellan.

Additional contributors: Macintrash, Casualty, Shoddyan, Halleck, Patrick Bregger.

Game added May 31, 2000. Last modified May 28, 2024.