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Anime Legacy of Kain retrospect (obsessive fanboy tl;dr inside)

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Master Planetar, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. Master Planetar Hi, my name is Liberal Patron Dumbfuck

    Master Planetar
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    Blood Omen (open)



    Soul Reaver (open)



    Soul Reaver 2 (open)



    Blood Omen 2 (open)


    Defiance (open)


    Some of the best writing, best dialogue, best aesthetics and atmosphere, best story/plot, best characters, best music, and absolutely legendary voice-acting in any video game to date. Moderntarded AAA skinnerboxes aren't even remotely attempting to engage any of their players' higher brain functions, while most of the indie crap is made by cucked soyboys without any grand vision or ability to put together an intricate plot.

    What's even more interesting, is that if you explore the behind-the-scenes of how this series was made: http://thelostworlds.net, you will realize a most stunning truth: neither Blood Omen nor Soul Reaver were supposed to have direct sequels.

    Blood Omen was supposed to end with Mortanius revealing that he intentionally killed Ariel and plunged the Circle into madness as a calculated means of eradicating it... simply because he did not feel Nosgoth no longer needed a Circle. Or at least, this Circle. There's a soundbite of Tony Jay delivering a magnificent speech to Anacroth (before he killed him), that completely got cut... I guess because it wasn't convincing enough? Or because the final boss fight would have been either too easy, or made no sense whatsoever (Mortanius has no reason to put too much effort into fighting Kain). So they threw in a random demon at the end, and then had the player choose between a "good" ending where Kain kills himself and restores balance to Nosgoth, and an "evil" ending where he stays alive but Nosgoth and the pillars are ruined.

    If Silicon Knights were to make a sequel to this game, it likely would have followed the "good" ending, and had a completely different protagonist (Legacy of Kain was originally the subtitle, Blood Omen the main title). However, Crystal Dynamics took over the IP, and then merged the mythos and backstory of Blood Omen with a different game they were developing about a tormented specter (who ends up being Raziel) returning from the dead to exert vengeance over his creator. And so Kain appears again, this time as the villain.

    What's even more amazing is that Soul Reaver was also never supposed to have a sequel, in fact, it pretty much excluded the possibility of a direct sequel, the way it was supposed to end (with Raziel killing Kain and activating the Silenced Cathedral that would destroy all vampires in Nosgoth, including Raziel himself). The entire stuff about the Elder God being the real villain, Kain's motivation being more than petty jealousy, the Hylden, the ancient prophecies, etc. was never originally envisioned.

    Thankfully, Crystal Dynamics ran out of their budget about 2/3 into the game, and had to slap a quick together a quick cliffhanger, with Raziel following Kain through a time portal, only to be greeted by a jubilant Mobius... I doubt anyone on the team had any idea where they were going with this, but their instincts were pure gold, judging by how they developed the story and reincorporated elements from Blood Omen into Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance.

    Then there's the midquel Blood Omen 2, which takes place between Blood Omen and Soul Reaver chronologically, but in an alternate timeline that did not exist prior to the time-altering events of Soul Reaver 2. It has some of the weakest writing in the series, both in terms of plot and dialog, and doesn't amount to a whole lot in terms of the greater story... but it had a radically different aesthetic (because, like Soul Reaver, it was originally developed as an unrelated game - Chakan 2, and then retrofitted into the epic saga of Nosgoth), with steampunkish elements, the entire setting being an enormous city never before mentioned despite being called "the capital of Nosgoth", and weird characters called Glyphwrights, that ended up being the Hylden in disguise.

    Perhaps, if Crystal Dynamics got to make the sixth game, Dark Prophecy, they would have shed more light on the Hylden in general, and how the ending of Blood Omen 2 impacted the larger story (about the only thing that changed was the fact that the Hylden now had poor Janos Audrin as their captive in the Demon Realm... for what it's worth, considering the genocidal device that they needed him for was destroyed). As it is, we can only speculate what would happen, once Kain finally returned to the post-post-post-apocalyptic Nosgoth that he left all the way back in Soul Reaver...
     
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  2. Master Planetar Hi, my name is Liberal Patron Dumbfuck

    Master Planetar
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    Now that I've looked at this, I realize that this isn't necessarily true... if Mortanius' goal was to eradicate the entire Circle, then he had a very good reason to fight with his full strength to try and kill Kain... after all, Mortanius could always trust himself to commit suicide for the cause, but could he trust Kain to do the same if he ended up killed first?

    So yeah, I am really not sure why Silicon Knights threw in that random demon at the end. Crystal Dynamics later revisited that aspect of Blood Omen (and tied it in with a mysterious but utterly random line about a Hash'a'gik-worshiping cult beneath Avernus Cathedral that you can find in a library somewhere), thus revealing the demon to be the Hylden General, seeking to free his race from their banishment in the Demon Realm... but they extensively rewrote/expanded the backstory and real purpose of the Pillars for that to make sense. I doubt any of this was planned as early as 1996, when Blood Omen was released. Certainly not the backstory of Ancient Vampires vs Hylden.
     
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  3. BrotherFrank Nouveau Riche Patron

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    Tbh the hylden were my least favorite part of the lore, I remember feeling they came out of nowhere with 0 buildup even if they did eventually make them decent by giving them an interesting relationship to vampires. Hated blood omen 2 due to the focus on the hylden which meant we had to wait a few more years before returning to the “main” plot. Besides it’s not like the elder god and moebius weren’t machiavelic enough antagonists that you needed more villains who were manipulating our protags with plans within plans and revelations that what they thought were true was wrong all along.
    And yes, the hylden general needed to be fleshed out much more, he felt really flat compared to every other antagonist.

    Still credit to the writers, they somehow made it work in the end and wrapped up the story with no major loose ends.

    I notice you didn’t mention nosgoth, that very short lived team based pvp game. Played that a bit as a LoK fan, sure it had many lore conflicts (then again so did blood omen 2) but some of the locations were gorgeous and gave a nice view into how nosgoth was like during kain’s reign.

    Otherwise overall favorite game is still blood omen, it’s a shame they never went back to that style of gameplay.

    Rewatching some of the cutscenes, love how ariel gets trolled hard by raziel in the later games. Poor ariel, one of the most unfortunate characters in the series as she gets to watch her failure play out over the millennia whilst being tethered to one location and being totally powerless to do anything or even just die and end her tormented existence until Raziel reforges the spirit reaver. Guess that’s what she gets for not being straight with kain from the start.
     
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  4. Master Planetar Hi, my name is Liberal Patron Dumbfuck

    Master Planetar
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    It didn't have any story content, but I would love to see some of its assets reused in an actual game.

    But when Raziel activated the Spirit Forge, it summoned Ariel's soul and released her from her captivity...
     
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  5. BrotherFrank Nouveau Riche Patron

    BrotherFrank
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    Aye that’s what I meant when I said it took Raziel reforging the spirit reaver to finally end her. Otherwise she was permanently trapped as a floaty ghost and could not just die by herself.
     
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  6. Master Planetar Hi, my name is Liberal Patron Dumbfuck

    Master Planetar
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    Dark Prophecy was supposed to take place in the Demon Realm and flesh out the Hylden a lot more... apparently, they had created glyph-powered cities to maintain some order in a realm of chaos, but the bindings were slowly decaying, and corrupting the Hylden into demonic beings... seems to be a sad but fitting parallel between the decay of the Vampire race and their Pillars in Nosgoth, and the decay of their Hylden adversaries in the Demon Realm... also explains why they were so hell-bent on manipulating Raziel into altering the timestream and giving them a chance at returning to Nosgoth before their glyphs failed completely.

    The introduction of the Hylden makes the story a three-sided political battle for fate itself, between Kain, the Elder One (and his servant Moebius), and the Hylden... with Raziel caught at the center as everyone's pawn. Another interesting element in a very unique and creative drama!
     
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  7. Master Planetar Hi, my name is Liberal Patron Dumbfuck

    Master Planetar
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    True, and it's very interesting seeing how different she is in Soul Reaver (broken, hopeless, detached from a sense of time), Soul Reaver 2 (angry, bitter, and frutrated), and Defiance (cautiously hopeful, with seeds of doubt slowly creeping in). It's like stages of grief, in reverse.
     
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  8. Viata Arcane

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    Blood Omen and Soul Reaver 1 are my favorites of the series. Mostly because I played them a lot of time on my PS1 as a kid. Fuck loved them even though I knew shit about English.
     
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  9. Master Planetar Hi, my name is Liberal Patron Dumbfuck

    Master Planetar
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    It's the best way to learn English. "My patience is eternal, Raziel. How many aeons can you bear to languish here? The Wheel of Fate must turn. All are redeemed in the cleansing agony of birth, death, and rebirth. This is the engine of life, the purifying rhythm of the universe, to which all souls must be drawn. Yours is a necessary and noble function, Raziel..."
     
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  10. BrotherFrank Nouveau Riche Patron

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    Dark Prophecy sounds like it would have been cool, as apathetic as I was towards the hylden for most of the series, the brief visit to their turf was memorable due to how alien it was, would have liked to see more of it. Did start liking the hylden more when they became more then just some external force possessing people with green glowy eyes with the twist that they were in the right all along, it was the vampires who were fanatical dousches due to their worship of the elder god. Having a game go into better detail about how the hylden went from being wronged and defeated to the twisted and bitter creatures they turned into would have been sweet.

    I guess the biggest problem with the hylden is they simply arrived late in the story and only got fleshed out in the last game and the final stretch of BO2.

    I can think of few better games to learn english from then the LoK series :obviously:
     
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  11. Master Planetar Hi, my name is Liberal Patron Dumbfuck

    Master Planetar
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    With the minor issue of building a telepathic superweapon designed to eliminate all sentient life from Nosgoth, save for the Hylden themselves. The Vampires merely banished the Hylden to another dimension, while the Hylden were planning to eradicate all vampires and humans from existence (and then live forever as immortal beings).

    Yeah, no, they were never in the right. If anything, the vampires were the more noble race, but misguided by the Elder One. Then again, were the vampires wrong to oppose physical immortality? The Elder One is a parasite attached to the Wheel of Fate, but how is the Wheel supposed to work when it is pure and uncorrupted by the squid monster? Probably not with physical immortality in mind.
     
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  12. BrotherFrank Nouveau Riche Patron

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    I had completely forgotten about that. But this was after they were corrupted and twisted no? My imperfect recollection was that the hylden rightfully called out the elder god on his bs and the vampires went on a genocidal spree in the name of their god, banishing the surviving unbelievers into a realm that would fuck them over which is hardly a nice guy thing to do and makes you understand why the hylden were a teeny bit salty.
     
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  13. Master Planetar Hi, my name is Liberal Patron Dumbfuck

    Master Planetar
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    No, that was before. According to the murals, the hylden developed a magic/technology that granted immortality (by turning you into a bloodsucking undead), vampires unleashed a war against them, the hylden started developing the genocide device but never got around to finishing it because the vampires banished them to the demon dimension (and got afflicted with immortality in retaliation).

    It's kind of ambiguous who is at fault here... but neither side is really good.
     
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  14. United Nations Legion

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    Liked the footage.

    Too bad the assets were dumped into Nosgoth, I want this series to continue as a platformer, or better yet, an RPG like Witcher.
     
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  15. United Nations Legion

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    The first Soul Reaver is probably the best game I have ever played.

    Soul Reaver 2 was a huge letdown IMO.

    It dumped the horror aesthetic for shit elemental puzzles.

    Blood Omen 2 was nowhere near as bad as some claim it to be.

    Defiance was a good, but not great, end to the current lineup of games.

    PS > Never could get down with the original Blood Omen, it was too much of a step back in the opposite direction when I first picked up Soul Reaver in 1999.
     
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  16. J1M Arcane

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    This series did a number of amazing things.

    Most of all, that both Soul Reaver and Bloom Omen contained excellent game design when they were clearly story-first projects.

    In particular, the way that vampire enemies in Soul Reaver need to be killed in ways lethal to vampires and the level design of Blood Omen around item acquisition.

    It also contains one of the only coherent time travel stories in fiction.

    Sadly, I don't think they could make another one. They'd have to elevate a (likely unproven) person who was a true fan of the series to project director and another one with an excellent vocabulary to writing director. That would never happen in the land of incest and nepotism that is the gaming industry.
     
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  17. United Nations Legion

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    By the time Defiance was released, the story was so convoluted that nobody new to the series could pick up that game and play it as a standalone.

    I thought too much shit was introduced into Soul Reaver 2 and it continued with every following game, except possibly Blood Omen 2 which was dumbed-down IIRC.

    Now that I've researched it a bit further, I'm pretty sure a new character arc (which is what was planned with Dead Sun) would be a step in the right direction.

    Like they did with the transition between the original Blood Omen and Soul Reaver.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
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  18. Master Planetar Hi, my name is Liberal Patron Dumbfuck

    Master Planetar
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    Yes, let's just forget the whole thing with Raziel purifying Kain and letting him see (and harm) the Elder One for the first time. A totally unrelated game is definitely what we need. [​IMG]
     
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  19. J1M Arcane

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    I completely agree they need to pick up a new main character. I don't really like anything I saw about Dead Sun though.

    The series is tethered to Kain and Raziel. For anyone to care about a spin-off, the main character needs a connection to one of those two. Just as Raziel was connected to Kain in Soul Reaver.
     
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  20. United Nations Legion

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    Raziel human/vampire prequel wouldn't be a bad idea...

    That's what I thought Dead Sun was for the longest time.
     
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  21. J1M Arcane

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    I know you mean well, but fuck you all prequels are garbage.
     
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  22. J1M Arcane

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    In terms of gameplay, I'd like to see a new Legacy of Kain game as a full-on Metroid/Zelda mashup. (With the same level of thesaurus and voice acting.)

    Maybe this is too meta, but to follow the pattern set by the previous main characters, you would need to play as an "undead undead undead". I have no idea what that would be (some kind of lich that used a couple phylacteries?), but instead of sucking blood or souls maybe the player could drain something less tangible from characters, like emotions or heat. Actually, I think draining heat from objects would provide some interesting environmental gameplay too, so let's go with that.

    Story-wise I'd want to see some sort of time-jump to when Kain is basically a King-Conan God-Emperor figure or a power vacuum caused by his mysterious absence. Since natural environments are more pleasant to run around in than cities, maybe the antagonist is the fey-wild or nature-based.
     
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  23. Falksi Arcane

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    Never has the essence of being an undead, blood-sucking, flesh feasting killing machine been so amazingly captured as when I'd spend half my day pushing some fucking blocks around for hours.

    Visionary shit that.
     
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  24. BrotherFrank Nouveau Riche Patron

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    Am flipping around between various points in the vids because I'm a weirdo like that.
    End of Blood Omen 2 (1hr 54 in the vid) is probably why I remembered the hylden as the wronged good guys turned evil.

    Janos: You belong in the demon realm!
    Hylden General: By what right did you send my race there?
    J: By what right did you curse us?
    HG: Because you banished my entire race to a demon realm that corrupted us? Just look how fugly we are now ffs.
    J: Seems to me it's just your true form revealed at last *trollface*
    HG: Ok smartass, let's see you do any better! *tosses janos into the hylden dimension*

    Since superweapons to wipe out every other life weren't mentioned, the HG comes off as being justified in his hatred.

    Otherwise new LoK games... Bleh I remember people massively hating on nosgoth because it had no story, so seems story is a must. Yet I don't trust modern devs to carry on Lok's good writing tradition especially if backed by a AAA budget in which case they will want to minimize risks by watering down controversial elements and broadening the appeal of the series to a wider audience which is almost always code for "make things shit".
    Heck in the Dead Sun vid already, those female vampire hunters with a single exposed breast is total twitter outrage bait, no polygon/kotaku journo worth xir salt would let that fly on their watch.
    So yeah unless Amy Hennig is involved (impossible since she works for naughty dog now), I'd rather they not touch the main story at all, even if the road to getting there was bumpy the LoK series reached a conclusion that ended on a somewhat hopeful note, would rather they not ruin that.

    And that is why I was ok with nosgoth as a sidegame in the series, it didn't fuck things up other then having some minor inconsistencies (ex: raziel's clan was playable even though they shouldn't be, explained in game by kain needing them as scouts to find the last vestiges of human resistance) and let me play tourist in nosgoth seeing some cool locales whilst playing a flying vamp swooping in and grabbing people to plunge them to their death, good times. Those familiar with the Lok series could nerdgasm at recognizing landmarks or locations that relates to the main LoK games (which makes sense now I know nosgoth reused assets) whilst normies were kept happy with the humans vs vampire assymetrical gameplay. Wasn't groundbreaking but I had played far worst multi pvp games.
     
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  25. Morgoth Arcane Patron

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    Soul Reaver could really use a Nightdive treatment. That bitch is stubborn to run.
     
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