After a long period of development, Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 has finally hit the shelves of U.S. today, on Halloween Day. The release of the next instalment in the Legacy Of Kain series, developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Eidos, is something special, and for more than a reason.
The series started with an incredible RPG released on Psx in 1997, Blood Omen: Legacy Of Kain, and continued in 1999 with one of the deepest adventure titles on the same console, Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver. Two different games, two different genres for a tangled story that embraces the dark destiny of Kain, Raziel and of the whole fantasy land of Nosgoth. A story from another era, where all of the characters have a reason to get rid of the other. Revenge is the aim and darkness the means.
For three days, We have decided to guide you into the world of one of the most awaited games of the year. A Playstation 2 exclusive, Soul Reaver 2 proved its greatness with a short, yet unbelievably fascinating demo released this Summer.
Welcome to the first chapter of our small guide - a travel through time and space, to unveil the Story Of Nosgoth.
The Birth Of The Legacy - Blood Omen: Legacy Of Kain
Night. In the land of Nosgoth, in the small town of Ziegturl a young nobleman, exhausted for the long journey, decides to enter a inn and quench his thirst. But the innkeeper is reluctant to serve him: it's night and the darkness feeds shadows that are dangerous for a lone traveller.
The young man leaves the inn. His name is Kain. Alone, in the dump streets of that small town, Kain feels agitated. Something is wrong. Suddenly a band of plunderers comes out of the darkness and savagely attacks him. Massacred, Kain is spoiled of all his goods and of his own precious life.
Death is a passage to the underworld, where Kain awakens. He is not alone. A necromancer called Mortanius, offers him the possibility to return to the material world and take revenge on the murderous gang. Blinded with fury, Kain accepts.
Brought back in the small town, Kain, now gifted with an incredible demoniac force, slaughters fiercely his assailants. But Kain doesn't realize how dearly he has paid for his new existence. The truth is that nobody can really come back from the reign of the dead and regain his life. Kain is no longer a human. He has lost his mortality to become a vampire, a creature without a soul, condemned to kill innocents in the material world to feed his body - condemned to roam the underworld to steal souls and reanimate the corpse.
"The humans think it is a poison of the blood that makes us what we are. Fools, the blood only feeds the bodies we live in. To create a vampire, one must steal a soul from the abyss to reanimate the corpse. It is the body that demands the blood sacrifice; our souls gain their advantage from the powers of the underworld." (Raziel)
Kain's quest is just started. Following Mortanius' indications, Kain heads to the 9 Pillars Of Nosgoth. Each pillar is a symbol of one of the magic powers existing on earth and is protected by a living incarnation of that power. All together, the protectors of the pillars constitute The Circle Of Nine.
One of the pillars, the pillar of Balance, influences the regulation of the other magic powers in Nosgoth. The incarnation of "Balance", a young beautiful woman called Ariel, was mysteriously murdered. As a result, the protectors of the other pillars seem to act without restraint: Nosgoth is in chaos.
Kain kills all of the members of The Circle Of Nine but he finds out that the last of them, the incarnation of "Death", is Mortenius. Mortenius is possessed by an evil force, the Dark Entity. Guided by its influence he was the one to kill Ariel with the purpose to destroy Nosgoth and rule a land of darkness. With the power of the Soul Reaver, a legendary sword, Kain defeats the Dark Entity. Now, Kain has two choices. He can sacrifice himself to restore the pillar of Balance and save Nosgoth, or he can sacrifice Nosgoth and become the most powerful entity in the world.
Kain decides to sacrifice Nosgoth. The pillars are destroyed. The whole world, the entire humanity is damned - a new era, an era of darkness has begun.
Dark Gods Of Nosgoth - Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver (part 1)
A millennium has passed since Kain became the Lord of Nosgoth and set the capital in the ruins of the Pillars Of Nosgoth . First he dipped into the underworld in search of six souls to create his lieutenants. Raziel was one of these sons. Six legions of vampires were built to pillage Nosgoth.
All major human Kingdoms were destroyed and in a century humanity had been domesticated. A few humans remained alive in a continuous, hopeless war to rid Nosgoth of the vampire Legacy. They were tolerated as an element that made existence for the fledglings more challenging. Nosgoth was shaped to the vampires' will.
"After the taming of the humans, our real work began: shaping Nosgoth to our will. Around the pillars, slaves constructed a shrine worthy of our new age, worthy of our dark renaissance. Huge furnaces were built to belch smoke into the sky, shielding the land from the poisonous effects of the sun. Never had the world known a time of such beauty. However, we grew bored." (Raziel)
Soon after the greatness of the Legacy reached its climax, glory turned into sloth, and sloth turned into vice. Corruption spread among the land of Nosgoth. Several factions of lesser vampires started to fight and destroy each other. Kain and his lieutenants, amused by the spectacle, didn't do anything to stop them.
Death By Water - Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver (part 2)
Year after year, century after century, Kain and his lieutenants have been evolving into a higher form. Their earthly bodies, fed by the blood of innocents, have been slowly assuming the powers of the Dark Gods. Lord Kain was always the first to change, followed by one of his lieutenants in a decade.
But this time, one of the lieutenants has evolved before his master. Raziel is the first vampire to be gifted with wings. Envious of his son, Kain condemns Raziel to eternal damnation.
The touch of water burns the flesh of a vampire like acid. Raziel is thrown into the Lake Of The Dead, the place where weaklings and traitors were executed. For the first time, falling into the Lake, Raziel experiences the pain of his melting body - the same pain he had seen with pleasure in the eyes of the condemned. But the fall comes to an end. Through the pain of his tortured body, Raziel hears a voice.
"At first I thought it was merely the echoes of my own tortured mind, but I grew to understand that it was more. Something primal. Something angry. something righteous. Something ancient. The Elder explained much to me. He told me of creation, of death, of souls and of hunger. For eons the Elder fed upon the souls of Nosgoth. Then Kain's vampire dynasty deprived the Elder of sustenance. For centuries his hunger grew and festered in this place." (Raziel)
The mysterious Elder offers Raziel the possibility to come back in the material plane and have a chance to avenge himself against Lord Kain and all his former brethren. Of course, Raziel accepts.
The Time Portal - Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver (part 3)
It's time for Revenge - in his quest for Kain, Raziel has to fight humans, ghosts and vampires, travelling through different areas of Nosgoth, using his powers in the material plane and in the spectral realm.
Raziel's quest seems to be destined to a success. He finds his former master and takes possession of the legendary sword of Kain, the Soul Reaver. But before Raziel can deal a final blow on Kain earthly body, the Lord Of Nosgoth enters the Chronoplast time portal and disappears. Raziel follows him.
What was supposed to be the end of Raziel's journey is in reality just the beginning of his quest. A quest to find Kain - a quest to find a reason for his new existence - a quest for the secrets of Nosgoth.
What was once a personal revenge, is shaping into something that Raziel himself can't understand.
Come back tomorrow for the second chapter of our special feature on Soul Reaver 2 and for new wonderful screenshots.
Want To Know more?
:: Blood Omen: Legacy Of Kain (Activision, 1997, available on PSX)
:: Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver (Eidos, 1999, available on PSX)