Jake Pawloski posted a pretty cool Soul Reaver poster in the Top Cow comic book style. The penwork is hand drawn and was coloured in Photoshop. Enjoy!
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Sunday, 24 June 2012
Sunday, 17 June 2012
If you like card games and Legacy of Kain, you can download Legions of Nosgoth here. The 7zip file comes with a detailed rulebook explaining all the rules, high-res versions of the cards and LackeyCCG. LackeyCCG is a program made specifically for card games. It supports many plugins like Pokémon, Magic the Gathering and others and doesn´t need to be installed. Simply run the program, select your deck, invite a friend and together, conquer the Legions of Nosgoth!
Thursday, 14 June 2012
I bet that many of you, LOK fans, have been awaiting even a slightest news at the recently ended E3. What was announced? Square Enix had the following games on display:
Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3, Xbox 360)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
Hitman: Absolution (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
Tomb Raider (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
Dungeon Siege III (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
Heroes of Ruin (Nintendo 3DS)
and several other games for mobile segment.
Alas, no LOK in there... Though I was eagerly awaiting the news about the new IP as promised by one of Eidos employees on twitter, but the big surprise turned out actually the release date of the new Tomb Raider reboot which was pushed to March, 2013. Why is LOK of such no interest to Square? Or perhaps the recent release of Soul Reaver on gog.com and being released for free on PSN+ might suggest that Eidos haven´t forgotten about their series just yet. We will have to wait and see if any official statement will be done by Square Enix.
As for the polls on my blog, on previous poll 50% of the voters said that they bought SR from gog and 37% is still planning to. In the poll regarding E3 "will there be new LOK announced this year?", 33% voted no, 25% yes and 41% wasn´t sure. I will be posting a new poll soon together with some other news!
Thursday, 7 June 2012
As a cut boss from Soul Reaver, the Priestess would bestow the ability of possession to Raziel which would allow him to reach his brother Turel. There are only two known depictions of her - one concept art sketch and she is also featured in the Soul Reaver comics. I decided to re-colour the original sketch and make it more high-res by smoothing the pixels out and increasing the size of the image. You can view it by clicking on the picture on left or view on Deviant Art.
Monday, 4 June 2012
E3 starts on Monday, so as a LOK fan, I don´t get my hopes up too much but will be watching the upcoming press conferences. Square Enix promised unveiling of a new IP during the introduction of Tomb Raider reboot trailer, but nothing was announced yet. Crystal Dynamics are focusing on finishing up the TR reboot and it´s very likely that in case of success it will spawn a sequel. No LOK news have been heared ever since the Soul Reaver reboot rumour and although it is possible that Square Enix could have something ready for E3, the odds are pretty low. There are several secret games waiting to be announced on E3 though, so who knows if they are all new IPs... What do you think? Will they announce a new LOK? You can express your opinion in the new poll.
Wednesday, 30 May 2012
User Thiago found another rare footage from Soul Reaver which is found on PlayStation Zone vol. 6 demo disk. The disks includes a prototype Soul Reaver intro cutscene in which Kain wears Raziel´s clan symbol instead his own and footage from Turel´s Smokestack, Oracle´s Cave, Human Citadel and Necropolis areas as described in this article.
Here is the video depicting the previously unseen footage from Turel´s Smokestack Area:
Here is the video depicting the previously unseen footage from Turel´s Smokestack Area:
There are also the following images found on the disk:
Raziel´s model is updated but his stance when he holds a spear is the one from the Lighthouse Demo.
Thursday, 24 May 2012
Hey there, Legacy of Kain fans! I have re-recorded the Soul Reaver OST in better sound quality and just finished uploading it. Its size is 1,79 GB and is 10 hours and 34 minutes long. Before downloading, please make sure you own a copy of Soul Reaver (get it from Good Old Games if you don´t have it yet). The soundtrack has now 163 tracks since I reduced a few of the redundant tracks from the previous version. The OST is divided into three parts - OST1 which includes Underworld, Raziel's Stronghold, Necropolis, Kain Encounter, Cathedral and The City tracks. OST2 includes Pillars-Tomb, Drowned Abbey, Ruined City and the Lighthouse tracks. OST3 contains a variety of prototype tracks not included in the retail version. For now, the OST is hosted on sendspace but I plan to put it on Nosgothic Realm (replacing the current OST) as soon as possible. I hope you will enjoy it!
Soul Reaver 1 OST links:
From the article about SR1 Beta at unseen64 I have found a link to this video by kbring which depicts some more unseen screenshots from the early version of the game. The user also provided a link to an early preview article of SR when it was 20% in its development in May 1998.
Screenshots from the German PlayStation Zone Demo Disc:
Notice the lack of the Dumahim bodies and no snow.
No rain and a different torch holder.
This mural possibly depicting mourning humans was replaced by Melchiah´s painting in the retail version.
The enemy AI seems disabled since they do not notice Raziel nearby.
The symbols stretch on top of the throne.
Soul Reaver preview article:
The screenshots depict an early alpha build with an early Raziel model
Monday, 14 May 2012
The Lost Worlds got a new update! It includes Divine Shadow´s awesome analysis of the Dark Prophecy, this time you can read about Ariel and the Seer. Umah Bloodomen, the moderator from Eidos LoK forums, also provided scans of the early Soul Reaver manual which is distinct in several areas (it mentions Lake of Lost Souls instead of the Lake of the Dead, it mentions 12 bosses, and also mentions Kain´s Mountain Retreat). You can also read my in-depth Soul Reaver Beta Comparison if you are interested in deleted stuff from SR.
Tuesday, 8 May 2012
The Blood Omen 2 section has been finished on LOK wiki thanks to tremendous efforts of Bazielim and everybody else who participated. The site is available for all readers or editors to join in and help with the site. If you are registered on Eidos LOK forums or Nosgothic Realm, stop by and say thanks!
The first poll on the Ancient´s Den is closed now, thanks to everybody who voted!
The question was:
What do you think about the new Soul Reaver reboot rumour?
33 people voted as follows:
54% (18) is very excited
18% (6) will play it but think it might ruin the series
12% (4) think they need to end the original story first
15% (5) think the rumour is fake
Seems that the excitment over a new release of LOK game is dominant but ever since the rumour appeared, there have been no news regarding it. I personally think it might only be a fake rumour. This month, I started a new poll question: Have you bought Soul Reaver on GoG yet?
I also updated Lost Chronicle with new info - check the new Characters section on the main page. I covered the backstory of Kain and Raziel during Blood Omen and Soul Reaver, I hope you will enjoy reading it. I also wrote a location for every health upgrade and eldritch energy upgrade pieces in the Soul Reaver game section.
Friday, 27 April 2012
Today, Soul Reaver was added to the library of games on Good Old Games. Even though the PlayStation version was released on PSP, there was no downloadable Legacy of Kain present for PC. Until now!
Unlike the box version of Soul Reaver, the digital version on GOG is DRM-free (no disc needed) and also made system-friendly for Windows Vista & Win 7 (both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are supported). What are you waiting for? Go grab your copy of Soul Reaver here!
Thursday, 19 April 2012
Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select". Click add and browse for Fable.exe or its shortcut. Once its added, click Apply and Ok. Now you should be able to run Fable with no problems. This also applies to many other programs which might be crashing on your new system.
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Jake Pawloski has released a new episode from his online web series How Legacy of Kain should have ended. This newest chapter depicts elder Kain´s return to the future era.
Saturday, 31 March 2012
Jake posted a new video from his web series on his channel. The first chapter explains Vorador's ressurection. The next episode will be about the return to the wasteland of Nosgoth, the final epic redemption of the series. Check it out!
Sunday, 25 March 2012
Once again, there is a rumour spreading across the internet that a new Soul Reaver game is being developed by Crystal Dynamics for XBLA. Vg247 informed about this that their mysterious souce told them about the reboot. Can we really expect for the series to be remade with better graphics or totally re-imagined? In this era of constant reboots of several franchises, it might not be that far from truth. However, Crystal Dynamics did say just a few months ago that they are not working on anything LOK related and that they are working on 2 new IPs. Personally, I wouldn´t mind a graphical update but a complete reboot might ruin the already established story. This article on CVG provides several reasons why Soul Reaver deserves a remake.
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Jake and I have made a new video from Prodigal Sons. You can view the screenshots here. Take control over vampire Raziel and summon his brethren to use their unique abilities to get to new locations and defeat powerful enemies. Visit the deleted locations such as Dark Eden, the Undercity and others in enhanced graphics. Immerse into the story of Kain´s conquest of Nosgoth, destroying the human kingdoms and regaining vampire clan territories. Jake also made a game map for Prodigal Sons and Soul Reaver. You can download the map here.
Thursday, 15 September 2011
Jake and I worked together to make a closure to the LOK series based on the lost chapter the Dark Prophecy. It´s a collaboration of art from the games mixed with some of Jake´s personal art. Dialogue written by Jake and me. You can read the comic in here.
In the first chapter, we join Kain on his way to the scorched Pillars.
In the first chapter, we join Kain on his way to the scorched Pillars.
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
The history of Legacy of Kain
„New game is an illusion.“ (Kain after 8 years of being in retirement)
There is lot of debate, theories, and mysteries regarding this issue which is haunting all the Legacy of Kain fans out there for years since the release of Defiance. The purpose of this article is to summarize all the events which have ultimately led to the cancellation of Dark Prophecy after only three months of work in progress. This article will give a short description and insight into development of each Legacy of Kain title.
To know what exactly happened we have to go back in time, to 1992. In this year, Silicon Knights was founded. The following year, Denis Dyack conceptualized his ideas for a game which relied heavily on a dark, vampiric story. Dyack named his project „Pillars of Nosgoth“ and his co-worker Ken McCulloch wrote the script for the game.
The main concept behind the character of Kain, according to Dyack, was to depict Kain as an anti-hero, someone to whom mature audiences could relate to. The game raises the question of what really is „evil“, as all the characters in the game are not distinguished into typical black and white/good or evil division but are flawed, gray. Silicon Knights stated that the story of Blood Omen was influenced mainly by The Wheel of Time and Necroscope. The Pillars of Nosgoth was sent to Crystal Dynamics and they agreed to publish the game. The primary platform was PlayStation, later port for PC was made. The game was released in 1996 under the name Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. The reviews in several game magazines praised the compelling storyline, open-world exploration and voice casting. On the other side, the frequent loading screens are the gameˈs biggest issue. To this day, Blood Omen is considered one of the best of the LOK series with its classic 2D rpg style and solid 30+ hours of gameplay with many towns, forests, mountains and dungeons to explore and secrets to discover.
What followed, only a year after Blood Omenˈs release, was a surprising twist. Silicon Knights accused Crystal Dynamics of stealing their concepts of Kain 2, because Crystal Dynamics were working on their own sequel of Blood Omen without Silicon Knightsˈ influence. The law suit was brought up in 1998 but both companies settled this in private. The result was that Crystal Dynamics gained all the rights to Legacy of Kain under the condition that they must regard Silicon Knights as the seriesˈ original creator. SK thus gave up their own sequel to LOK and started developing a new IP, Too Human for Playstation. After becoming a second party exclusive for Nintendo, Too Human for PlayStation was put to stop and company began working on Eternal Darkness for Nintendo 64.„When we were doing Legacy of Kain, we had a lot of research into vampire mythology and a lot of ideas on where we were going. Crystal Dynamics merged in this entirely different game that had nothing to do with the series and then slapped the IP on it, and that's where Soul Reaver came from. That was just a weapon in the game. Even if the developer's good, and I think Crystal Dynamics is not a bad developer, you get this dilution of the content, because the original author is gone.“(Denis Dyack for 1up.com)
Going back to Crystal Dynamics and their game, in 1997, Soul Reaver was Crystal Dynamicsˈ vision of a game based on Blood Omenˈs rich backstory and on the concept of another game, Shifter. Using entirely different technology (modified Gex engine) and swapping the rpg style of gameplay for a third person action-adventure, Soul Reaver became one of the most impressive games of PlayStation era with its detailed graphics and no loading times. Its development process was delayed several times (one of the reasons being SKˈ lawsuit) until its final release in August 1999 with Eidos as its Publisher. The game competed with Tomb Raider 3 on the thriving third-person adventure games market, together with Shadowman, Akuji the Heartless and many others. Selling more than 1,5 million copies since its release, Soul Reaver was a huge success and introduced Legacy of Kain story to new players, who previously have not heard about Blood Omen. To help the sales, Eidos poured 4 million dollars to promote the game in game magazines, television ads and comic books before its release. Together with Blood Omen, Soul Reaver is regarded as the peak of the series as it resembles Blood Omen with its non-linear style of gameplay where the player discovers new areas as he gains new abilities. The game also introduced its own new features – the shifting between two realms of existence in real-time and smooth passing between locations without the need to stop and wait for loading screens. Unlike Blood Omenˈs complex inventory system, Soul Reaver went its own way and the main character can carry only one weapon at a time. Despite the gameˈs length being up to 10 hours (the Dreamcast version claims 40 hours on its cover for some strange reason), the game was cut almost in the middle. Instead of pursuing Kain throughout the desolate Nosgoth as originally planned, Raziel follows him into the past, where the game ends. Overall, Soul Reaver was well-received both by users and game reviewers.
During Soul Reaverˈs development, work on Blood Omen 2 began by another team inside Crystal Dynamics. Soul Reaver 2 was in development right after Soul Reaver, having Crystal Dynamics two LOK games in production at the same time. This was possible mainly due to the sales of Soul Reaver which provided budget big enough to sustain future games. With most of the money going to the development of Soul Reaver 2 and securing the same voice actors, the budget for Blood Omen 2 was much smaller. The game became basically a modified version of a cancelled title called Chakan (a very similar situation to Shifter) with a very different game style from Soul Reaver. Blood Omen 2 has a closer camera, 3D control scheme, linear progression and a new chapter system. The engine which was used for Blood Omen 2 is from Mad Dash Racing (TLW) and not the modified Gex engine, as in the case with Soul Reaver 1&2 and later, Defiance. Blood Omen 2 is considered a black sheep by many (sometimes considered at the level of a fangame) in Legacy of Kain family, because it takes place on an alternate timeline. Together with its overal presentation, poorly designed and repeated character models, the blunt and blocky architecture gives a hint that the game had very low budget in comparison to Soul Reaver 2. It seems that even though BO2 was developed for two years longer than Soul Reaver 2, its team of developers could not produce a game which would be on par with previous titles, possibly due to limited resources from Eidos.
In comparison, Soul Reaver 2 was released ahead of Blood Omen 2 by 6 months. The game was initially developed for PlayStation from which a few screenshots exist, depicting Avernus cathedral area, before switching to PlayStation 2 hardware. Similarly to Soul Reaver, a Dreamcast version of Soul Reaver 2 was developed as well, but was dropped.
Soul Reaver 2 abandoned the concept of acquiring new abilities and open world gameplay system which were the trademark features of both Blood Omen and Soul Reaver. Instead, it focused heavily on the story and linear progression throughout the game. The concept of forging the Reaver with different allignments of energy was re-introduced into Soul Reaver 2 after it got cut from original Soul Reaver. Only four out of seven forge locations made it into the game though. Glyphs were also supposed to return in the form of pillar glyphs with the power to influence the game environment. As with previous games, these features were cut due to time constraints. The game sold pretty well, but did not come close to the huge success of Soul Reaver.
What firstly became known as Soul Reaver 3, was renamed into Defiance and hit the stores in 2003, two years after Soul Reaver 2. The game contains two playable characters first time in the series and a new combat and camera system. Defiance is an action oriented departure from Legacy of Kain series in an attempt to improve the gameplay mechanics. Ironically, the introduction of these all „new features“ which were promoted in several interviews and previews, made the game actually a Devil May Cry clone, however, with less complex fighting system. With almost little or no puzzles in Defiance, which were part of every game, Defiance tried to appeal to a wider consumer market by including more gore and heavy combat, and overall, trying to be „a really cool, intriguing, and, above all, exciting action adventure title with a lot of gameplay.“ as Lemarchand explained for Gamespot. This came at the cost of repetetive locations (especially the Vampire Citadel is one of the worst designed areas in the whole series), overdoing the forges concept (re-forging the Reaver for three games now), music (only one entirely new score, all others are mixes from previous ones), loading screens, too big focus on combat, no puzzles, practically the opposite of all the elements which were defining the series. Just as its Soul Reaver predecessors, Defiance ended prematurely due to lack of time.
The game was received by critics with various scores. Before the release, Henning described this new system in Defiance as following:
"We wanted the camera in LoK: Defiance to support the epic feel of the game, so we developed a scripted, cinematic in-game camera system, which captures the action from the best possible angle and distance as the player moves through the environments. The player no longer needs to manage the game camera in order to navigate the levels, and the game overall has a much more seamless, movie-like feel.“ (Amy Henning on Neoseeker)
This might have looked good on paper but the new camera actually was one of the most criticized elements of the game. While suitable for battles, exploration in Defiance became almost impossible thanks to the camera which was looking the way you did not want or worse, was locked, not to mention the jumping sequences with Raziel were now almost impossible to do (also because the mysterious lack of crouching and thus much difficult to aim his jumps).
"We felt that there were a lot of 'legacy' elements left over from the SR games that no longer applied, and that overall the combat had become a little too tedious and tactical.“ (Amy Henning on Neoseeker)
On the other hand, I found the combat completely satisfying and tactical as a plus in the previous games in contrast to slashing enemies for five minutes and not being able to avoid battles most of the time.
"Rather than having a broad and shallow set of combat mechanics, supporting a variety of mundane weapons, we've focused instead on creating a deep suite of combat moves for Kain and Raziel's primary.“ (Amy Henning on Neoseeker)
Another element of the game which was criticized was that both characters have literally the same moves and are forced to use only one weapon all the time as opposed to the rest of the series where the player could choose any weapon.
Ritual Entertainment, an external collaborator helping Crystal Dynamics with Defiance, was basically in charge of the development and this might explain why the series took a more action oriented direction. If we look up their previously published games, they were making shooters such as SiN and Counter Strike ports. Why did Eidos choose them to co-develop Defiance and work on Dark Prophecy?
Defianceˈs sales were dissapointing for Eidos (the game sold between 500 000 to 1 000 000 copies as seen here). Defiance had hardly any publicity (nowhere near in league with Soul Reaver massive campaign). Eidos tried to make the game more player friendly the result was somewhat confusing for both fans and regular players. Even though the works began on a sequel to Defiance, now entirely in the hands of Ritual Entertainment, the game was canceled by Eidos only after a few months of development. Subsequently, Ritual Entertainment got bought out by MumboJumbo, a casual game publisher. The published screenshots found in portfolios of people who worked on Dark Prophecy uncover that the game was supposed to be in the same style as Defiance. When we return back to Dyack, he commented on this new approach to the series by Crystal Dynamics as follows:
If we summarize this topic, there are many factors which gradually contributed to the premature end of the series. Firstly, when looking at the scores which the games received various magazines and sites, the score was lower with each new game. Legacy of Kain was always regarded as series with great story but weaker gameplay. Crystal Dynamics tried to reinvent the system for Defiance, but it only resulted in the seriesˈ cancellation. Eidos blamed it on the weak sales, but with the decreasing quality and not enough publicity (in comparison to Tomb Raider), the series relied heavily on its fans. Acquiring new ones is a hard task for games which focus heavily on complicated story and immersive storytelling as the consumer market has changed over the years. There is a big demand for shooters and action oriented games, which are easy to play, while games which require more thinking are dying out. It seems that all these things caused that publishing a new game which has certain audience nowhere close to the mass market, was too risky. Will we ever get an official continuation to the series? That remains to be seen, but as Crystal Dynamics are now fully occupied with all those Tomb Raider games which are being released and released (latest one looks pretty decent though), it might be possible for the LOK IP to be bought out by some other company, like Ubisoft. However, it is questionable if Square-Enix would let go of its IP. Kain concludes this article as follows:
„Our futures are predestined - Eidos foretold mine years ago. We each play out the parts sales have written for us. New game is an illusion.“
Saturday, 28 May 2011
It was a quite long while that I kept the same design and background for my blog, so I hope this new look is fresh and interesting. I could not resist to not put Turel from SR1 on my site :) In the next few days I will be making some new videos for my channel, since I got my hands on the Dreamcast version.
I have joined LOK wikia page, and added articles for early and later beta versions of Soul Reaver.
Viper has started redesigning the Prodigal Sons website and I am looking forward to meeting new members and participating in discussions there.
Vincent has updated LOK: Revival, you only need to swap the original exe with the edited exe file.
Thursday, 19 May 2011
Monday, 18 April 2011
Thursday, 17 February 2011
The final version of LOKR is finally out and I hope you all will enjoy it. Besides that Divine Shadow uncovered the pictures from the deleted Pillars area in Defiance, shortly after their collapse. With the work for Vincent done, there are new projects emerging of which I will be part of, so when they will be announced I will post it here. All of them are very interesting and I am looking forward to improve my skills as an artist.
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Saturday, 30 October 2010
I proudly present you Legacy of Kain: Revival, a 2D game by Vincent Chevalier. He has worked for almost two years on it and a beta should be released at the end of 2010. I have helped him with drawing the characters and items. Be sure to check the LOK:R site and visit this site for more info about the game and become a member! Video available here.