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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.


Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Windows The wedge is a health power-up: collect five, and your health meter expands. The orb contains eldritch energy, which is used up while casting spells.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Windows The architecture of the spectral realm is dark and twisted. In it, these columns form a staircase.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Windows Once Raziel gains the ability to climb, he can reach new areas and objects such as this health power-up.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Windows Raziel will gain the ability to phase through gates in the spectral realm.

Promo Images

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Magazine Advertisement
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Magazine Advertisement
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Screenshot
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Magazine Advertisement


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User Reviews

Behold the corruption of the once beautiful land of Nosgoth... awesome storyline and the most imaginative puzzles I can recall. Slug Camargo (589) unrated
"I will devour your Soul, you helpless little gamer!!!" Zovni (10627) unrated
The butcherized and bastardized sequel to Silicon Knights' classic, but it actually ain't that bad. Radoslaw Koncewicz (7) 4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars

Critic Reviews

TotalVideoGames (TVG) Sep 22, 1999 9 out of 10 90 1999 85 out of 100 85
Glide Underground Nov 04, 1999 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Spel för Alla Nov, 1999 8 out of 10 80
Absolute Games ( Sep 27, 1999 80 out of 100 80
PC Player (Germany) Nov, 1999 77 out of 100 77
PC Games (Germany) Oct, 1999 76 out of 100 76
PC Action (Germany) Sep, 1999 76 out of 100 76
PC Soluces Oct, 1999 65 out of 100 65
Just Adventure Sep, 1999 C 50


Topic # Posts Last Post
Saving problem??.. 20 Lain Crowley (6783)
Jul 19, 2010
What if.. 13 Indra was here (20853)
Jan 28, 2009
PC version sound bug/problem 11 Slug Camargo (589)
Aug 11, 2008


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.


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


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.


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.


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 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.


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 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.


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.


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".


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.


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

Related Web Sites

MAT (230299) added Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (Windows) on May 29, 2000
Other platforms contributed by Charly2.0 (258851), GTramp (77634) and Grant McLellan (622)