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Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain

aka: Kain the Vampire, The Pillars of Nosgoth
Moby ID: 2207
PlayStation Specs

Description official descriptions

The nobleman Kain has been slain by a group of bandits and in his death, he is revived by the necromancer Mortanius for his own ends. Kain is returned in the form of a vampire and yearns to exact vengeance on those who killed him. Stronger and faster than a human being, coupled with a thirst for blood that must be satisfied regularly, he is able to dispatch his killers quickly. However, Mortanius and other forces seek to use him as a tool in a greater plot. Mortanius is of the Circle of Nine, the guardians of the Pillars of Nosgoth. These pillars, connected to the world and balancing the forces, have become corrupted and the Circle members been driven mad. At the Pillars, Kain meets Ariel - a former guardian of the Pillar of Balance, now a spirit after being murdered by an unseen assailant. She informs Kain of his relation to the Pillars and that the only way for him to restore the balance is to seek out each guardian and kill them. The fate of Nosgoth may hang on Kain decisions.

Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is an action game where the player controls the vampiric Kain. As a vampire, Kain is able to withstand sunlight, but is harmed by water. However, he is able to obtain several cursed abilities and spells such as being able to transform into a bat, wolf, and even a cloud mist respectively, as well as learning the ability to disguise himself from creatures of weaker mind. Kain is also fixated on murder and is a master of several ways to kill and destroy his opponents. As the enemies are slain in front of him, Kain may drink their blood to restore his health, which is always trickling away, representative of his insatiable craving. To aid in the slaughter of his enemies, Kain may equip different weapons and armor, each with its own unique properties.

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Credits (PlayStation version)

122 People (115 developers, 7 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 31 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 96 ratings with 5 reviews)

Epic tale of revenge, blood and vampires.

The Good
Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is a great product but I don't think it is that widely known. Yet this game possesses so many advantages which are so rare in these days. The best thing in BOLOK is its atmosphere. Player really impersonates with Kain and goes through his journey just like the main hero. But equally good thing (if not even better) is what player hears from speakers. Music is (apart from the soundtrack from Final Fantasy VII) the best music from a computer game I have ever heard. It perfectly reflects what is going on on the screen and changes in proper situations so that player can feel the game without any problem. Dialogues are masterpieces too. Actor playing Kain should get an Oscar for his acting. The medieval, English voice whose intensity changes depending on the situation fits this game just great. Another advantage is plot which isn't trivial but created with a great sense of adventure. It can be a good base for a small story or maybe even a book.

The Bad
Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is today an old game. Back then when it was released on PCs the graphics did not shock. That doesn't mean the game was bad. Today however it simply looks rather ugly. Another disadvantage could be the linearity of its story - player cannot affect the situation in any way but I don't think it disturbs the game that much. Another thing is BOLOK's legacy from its Playstation version. I am talking about saves. PC users are used to save whenever they like and here they have to wait for the save point (called the save altar).

The Bottom Line
If archaic graphics is not a problem to you I strongly recommend Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. You will know what is a great story, music and sounds and you will have a great pleasure from its storyline.

Windows · by Ajan (262) · 2004

The B E S T Vampire game in existence. Pure evil! Muahahahahahahaha!

The Good
Movies had Bram Stoker's Dracula and Interview with a Vampire. Windows had Vampire: The Masquerade. Play Station had Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Well, yes it was later introduced to Windows but I have a policy: STAY OUT OF EACH OTHER'S PLATFORM!

Uh...erm...yes. Got that out. Back to the game. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain was an extremely interesting game. It had features that would envy the average game:

  • A great storyline on how Kain the Noble became Kain the Lord of Vampires and much more. Though the intro was kind of weak (about Kain himself, I mean), truthfully said.
  • Exquisite graphics...not the greatest of graphics tell you the truth, but they made it such a way that it was well suited for the game: Dark, dark and (you guessed it) dark. Black and red, Soothing really.
  • Difficulty: Ouch. Yes, I must admit the game was quite difficult. But of course we veterans (ahem) only play the hardest level. Anything less is only for (censored). It’s NOT the most difficult game one will ever play, but not as difficult to get you too frustrated and provoking to kick your leg through the TV screen.
  • Great variation of spells and weapons. Now this game introduced a great innovation in weapons, spells and armor. How so? Well, just because you get a new weapon or new spell doesn't mean you stop using the old ones. One uniqueness of this game is that (mostly) every weapon, armor, and spell have there own uniqueness. Each have their own use situated for different events. In addition to different animation approaches. Example: Let’s say you want to just ‘mow’ down your enemies. The double-bladed axe would be great for that purpose – twirling your axe like Tasmanian Devil gone Barbarian - and combining that with the Flesh Armor (nice name, eh – Flesh?), you don’t have to suck their blood. The armor does it for you. Or if you prefer the ‘conventional’ approach (my favorite), you can ‘whack’ them senseless with your spiked mace (would love to see the close-up) of which they don’t die, they just sort of stand there until you honor them with a bit to the neck.
  • Yes, you just got to love the different variations on how to kill someone. That’s where the spells and items come in. Forget shooter action games – they all either die by bullet or bomb. Now with spells (and items – basically magic items) on the other hand, you can for example ‘Implode’ them – See their guts blow up from inside. Blood Shower? Imagine what a spell with this name can do? Muahahahaha! Yes, give me 10, 20, 100 enemies. With this spells you suck the blood out of them simultaneously. You just got to see all the blood flying from different directions to your mouth. Refreshing spell really. Pentalich Tarots – Can’t make up your mind? Let fate do it for you! Cards with random death sentences! (Each card sold separately…hehe)
  • Sound. Ah…music to your ears of helpless victims screaming awaiting their final doom. Fabulous sound especially the sound of blood…lots of blood. Muahahaha!
  • Amoral. Evil. Sadistic. You name it. This game has all of that, but enough as not to offend anyone. Genius really. Pure genius.

    **The Bad**
    Not enough blood. Bram Stoker's Dracula the Movie didn't have enough blood in it either. Muahahahaha! But honestly, the puzzles can get pretty frustrating sometimes (but still not frustrating enough to whack the console). Good thing we have internet now. Viva la Walkthrough! Though I didn't have it back then (sigh).

    **The Bottom Line**
    I can see you in red...dripping red. Uh...ehem. Yes, great game. Worth every penny. Muahahahahahahaha! (sorry had to say that)

PlayStation · by Indra was here (20633) · 2004

Be the Vampire!

The Good
Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen, is an action RPG, from marvelous Canuck developer Silicon Knights. It has been compared to many other action RPG’s, this is unfair as Blood Omen is so unique such comparisons do it little justice.

In Blood Omen you are Kain an insignificant noble whom is attacked and slain by some brigands. Kain is sent to Nosgoth’s(The world in which the game takes place.) version of hell, where he makes a deal to come back as a vampire to exact his vengeance. This however is just the beginning of Kain’s quest. Along the way Kain will slay his enemies, drink their blood, solve puzzles, improve his abilities, find spells weapons and armor, and right century old wrongs. Eventually Kain will have to decide to save Nosgoth or enslave it. The plot is well written and gradually unfolds as you finish dungeons. It is one of the game’s strongest parts.

The Graphics in Blood Omen are 2D-Top down. Similar to many other action RPG’s. Unlike the majority of these, the graphics are realistic not cartoony. They were good at the time of the games initial release and still stand out as one of the Playstation’s better looking 2D games. As Kain finds and equips different types of armor and weapons it shows on his sprite. (PC gamers are used to this, most Console gamers are probably not.) The spells all look good without being over the top. Feeding on hapless humans is always fun to watch. Using your flamesword to incinerate foes is a 2D treat.

In the sound department Kain, also excels. The voice actors all do an amazing job. Particularly, the voice of Kain, which is fortunate as you will hear him a lot. The sound effects from the screams of your enemies, to the clanging of swords on swords all sound like they should, which is to say good. Music in Blood Omen is scarce, which is a shame considering how good it is. Then again I don’t expect a game like this to be full of music.

The Gameplay in Kain, has you traveling through Nosgoth, exploring the it’s towns, dungeons, and wilderness. Finding secrets is a major part of the game, as many of the secret items will be an incredible help on your adventure. And it all helps you get a better rank when you finish the game. Kain has lots of tricks at his disposal. He can fight with weapons, and spells. He can transform into a bat, wolf, and even a human. And on full moons he can gain access to Moon Caves, which contain special items. The bread and butter of the gameplay is of course the dungeons.

The Bad
The bad of Kain comes from the Playstation load times. Everything needs to load. Bringing up menus, is particularly bad. You need to access it often, the quick menu’s help somewhat but not enough, and there is no quick menu for weapons. The game is also very difficult at the beginning. As you progress it does get easier. This is hardly the most difficult game ever as some may try to claim, but it does pack it’s challenges.

The Bottom Line
This is a totally unique RPG experience. RPG and horror fans should check this one out. As well as new Silicon Knights fans, this game is quite the compliment to Eternal Darkness. And it comes in two flavors PC and Playstation.

PlayStation · by MasterMegid (723) · 2006

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

Cancelled Saturn release

Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain was to also be on the Sega Saturn.

Character names

Some of the Characters underwent name changes before the game was finished. Ariel was first called Adonathiel and Moebius was named Bridenal. Vorador's name was briefly changed to Infernum, but it was changed back.

Although it has never been stated officially, it's possible that Nosgoth is derived from Nosferatu, another name for vampires, and Goth or Gothic.

Chess sequence

One of the most important gameplay sequence that was cut in Blood Omen was the chess sequence that Vorador would have used to challenge Kain. In the words of the Silicon Knights themselves:

The chess match was a board with real people on it, which Vorador had set up to challenge Kain. Kain had to figure out which piece to move using the Control Mind spell, and, if he made a mistake, the pieces would come to life and attack him. The correct move was a classic chess checkmate

The sequence was cut because it was not working very well and the development cycle was nearing the end.

Cutscenes

Originally, there was an FMV depicting Kain's murder. It was supposed to be part of the opening cinematics tell the story of how Kain becomes a Vampire.

Graveyard

First, find the blood script in the mausoleum. Copy the symbols down on paper.

Go to the graveyard outside. Read the gravestones. Get your paper and pen ready and waste one hour of your time deciphering the code.

The symbols each represent the corresponding letters of the alphabet omitting the letters K, Q, and W.

You then can "read" the gravestones to see the names of some of the games' developers.

Legacy

The game's plot is actually the centerpiece of what in the sequels develops into an intricate vampire-time-travel-drama. Events from Blood Omen are constantly referred to in the following games, for example, the vampire Janos Audron, who is never encountered in Blood Omen and whose backstory merely adds flavour to a power-up, becomes a character of major importance in almost all sequels.

Lightning spell cave

Using the alphabet from the Nosgoth's Blood Script, you can translate the writing at the Lightning Spell cave. It says: "He will come when the moon is full and learn to call death from the sky".

Title

Blood Omen was originally going to be called "The Pillars of Nosgoth", due to the importance of the Pillars to the storyline.

Awards

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
  • March 1997 (Issue 92) - Role-Playing Game of the Year + Role-Playing Game of the Year runner-up (Readers' Choice)

Information also contributed by chirinea, Little Yoda, Mark Ennis, MasterMegid and MDMaster

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Related Sites +

  • Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds
    Website dedicated to the 'lost' content of the games in the Legacy of Kain series. Missing bosses, areas and plotlines that might have been.
  • Nosgoth Realm
    every part in Legacy of Kain is here, with fan-art, screenshots, wallapaper and much much more!
  • The Nosgothic Realm
    Site dedicated to Legacy of Kain

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Wolfang.

PS Vita added by GTramp. PSP, PlayStation 3 added by CaKeMan. PlayStation added by Grant McLellan.

Additional contributors: Casualty, Jony Shahar, Shoddyan, Qlberts, Wormspinal, Alaka, Patrick Bregger.

Game added August 22nd, 2000. Last modified November 5th, 2023.