Monday, 30 September 2013

Nosgoth Live Q&A scheduled for tonight

The Q & A has been moved from 16:00 CET to 20:00. George Kellion together with Bill Beacheam, the Design Director at SE, and Corey Davis, the Design Director from Psyonix, will answer questions from the Nosgoth forums and twitter. I will update this post with new info as questions will be answered during the Q & A.

Watch it here.

UPDATE: For all of those who missed the live stream, you can watch it on YouTube.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Square Enix London– Nosgoth Community Day 2013

With Nosgoth being unveiled today, I can finally share the awesome secret I had to safe guard the last few months. I was invited over to Square Enix London to participate in a community event to test Nosgoth. Follow Nosgoth on twitter for more updates, visit the official Nosgoth site and see the trailer on YouTube. 
 For all of you worried that Nosgoth is multi-player game, George Kellion reassures, that they are fully aware of Legacy of Kain being primarily sp games and would like to do an sp game in the future. Simon Woods also wrote an excellent article regarding the bad reception on numerous sites.
 The following is my account of how I perceived it from the day we got the emails, until the day of the event. If you want to know how Nosgoth actually plays and what it offers as a game, visit Bazielim´s awesome in-depth analysis of the game on the LOK Wiki. Also, check Lucinvampire´s blog article on Nosgoth and the newest interesting addition is by Blincoln on TLW.

Where to even begin... It all started with the rumours of a new LOK game being in Steam database and rest assured, it was confirmed. We got a new game after so many years, it almost seemed unbelievable at first. It appears we have not been forgotten as it might have looked like on the outside, which was proven by the existence of Dark Prophecy and Dead Sun games, Guardian of Light LOK DLC packs, recurrent easter eggs in TR games by Crystal Dynamics... It seems there was always something during those long years, though our heart´s wishes haven´t been fulfilled - to get a new game which wasn´t canceled for a change.

When I got the first email saying I was chosen to participate in an upcoming Nosgoth event and be one of the first people to try it out, I couldn´t believe what was I reading – and the reaction was according, spend like 10-15 mins walking and jumping around the room in joy. Months past and everything was being setup for the event (thank you Umah, George and everybody else involved) and the big day came closer and closer. Then about a week before the event, the list of people attending was revelead and I couldn´t believe it at first – Blincoln, Tenaya, Ardeth, Divine Shadow, Vampmaster, the Hylden, Bazielim and other LOK fans were attending as well. It was like reading an A star movie cast list, all the legends I have been looking up to through these long years all would be participating in one event, now that´s what I call an epic meeting.

With everything packed into my backpack (I went only lightly since it was just two nights), my best friend picked me up and drove me to the airport. The flight to Vienna took only an hour and soon we were landing and the next flight was pretty short too. A slovak woman was sitting in front of me on both flights and her husband later helped me to get a ticket to metro and get on a correct train. It took about an hour of tube travel and then I arrived at the Wimbledon station. Luckily the Broadway is pretty much one long street so finding the hotel wasn´t too difficult.

When I went into the hotel I passed a group of people of which I was suspicious might be THE LOK fans, but I wasn´t sure, so I rather went upstairs and dropped of the backpack to my room. I couldn´t see anybody in the hallway upstairs, so I went back down to the lobby and when I looked more closer, I started to recognize some of the faces. First one I spotted Umah and I couldn´t believe my eyes I am meeting her in person. I was so shocked to find them all standing there in front of me and right away, Umah introduced me to Tenaya, which I was really looking forward seeing as I haven´t heard from her for so long. Then I greeted with Blinc, Ardeth, Mike, Vampmaster, Jeffers, Divine Shadow, The Hylden and Ber who arrived just after me. I couldn´t stop smiling, as it all just seemed so unreal, all of us LOK fans in one place in one moment of time. One could almost await some huge paradox occuring right there... Luckily the only thing being erased from existence were pizzas that night. Finding the right place to sit with food and being able to talk proved to be a challenge on the busy street of Broadway, but in the end we found space for all of us and stil being able to eat our food. We discussed various things from LOK universe and had lots of fun pointing out the stuff we found funny or interesting (hit of the evening was Kain´s figer pointing and the consequent Mind the Gap meme). I was very amused by Divine Shadow who was very talkative and lots of people made some very interesting observations that night (which I can´t seem to remember unluckily).

After our appetite was satiated we went back to the hotel and since some of us were not going to bed yet, Divine Shadow offered we could use his room to meet up in there. So eight of us gathered, occupying every single space (was pretty tight xD). The Hylden showed us stuff he has been working on, a new high poly Kain model which looked really good, Vampmaster his success with exporting armatures for models out of Soul Reaver 2, Tenaya her new amazing design she made, while I showed a playable demo of Soul Revenant. It was lots of fun and we talked until late night. When the Hylden was falling asleep on Divine Shadow´s bed, it was about good time to say good night and retreat back to our rooms. I wish I could have gotten sleep that night, the bed was really comfy but I was so full of adrenaline, thoughts and expectations for Sunday, so I couldn´t fall asleep at all...

I didn´t know what to do early in the morning so I was lurking around my floor at eight to see if anybody was awake yet. I met Blinc by coincidence in the hall, saying he didn´t sleep too much either, so we decided to go downstairs for some breakfast. Had some English breakfast - bacon, toast, sausauge with tomatoes - was really good. Later Ardeth and Mike joined us together with Vampmaster and Divine Shadow. There were still few hours left until noon, so we decided to stick around in the lobby some more and we all signed a big Thank you card that Umah prepared for George. Then when everybody was ready we set off to see the fulcrum of where our destinies turn. Weather was pretty fine, wasn´t raining too much. Only after about like 10mins we arrived at the place and all got tagged with nicknames/names at the reception. After that we finally went to the bowels of SE London HQ (almost got lost on the way with Hylden) and were greeted by George, Trevor, Jay, Cat and Bill in front of the Square Enix desk. There were lots of Final Fantasy figures behind glass and Lara figurines across the halls of which I somehow forgot to take a picture of...

Then the time came to invite us to the Nosgoth room with huge posters and screens with Nosgoth logos, and eight computers. The huge poster had three figures on left and three on right, each side tinted with appropriate color. When I saw the winged one, I wondered if that could be a Razielim, but wasn´t really sure. The other two I´ve thought are humans at first since they were missing the pointy ears and didn´t have visible fangs. They turned out to be Turelim and Dumahim (which kinda reminded me of Kratos, lol). Humans seemed to specialize in long distance weapons. While settling in I noticed more LOK fans joined from UK which were not with us the previous night. I was especially happy to meet Bazielim from the famous LOK wiki and finally being able to thank him personally for his awesome work on the site. I also met Omega, Ammon, Moesph, and the ever-enthusiastic Lucinvampire. It was really awesome to be among people as excited as I was about the whole event. When everything was set, George showed us presentation of the game, which we could have seen before anybody else could. It consisted of a trailer, showed us the new Nosgoth map, and Nosgoth key features. Full of anticipation the game testing began afterwards. I played the match later on, so I just observed how others play in the meantime. Graphics pretty impressed me and from what I´ve seen it seemed fun. When it was time, I sat next to Trevor and he explained the game controls and gameflow to me. It wasn´t difficult to get into, however, I kept pressing wrong keys at times, especiallly Tab instead of Q for the special abilities. I play lots of mp though I still sucked when playing as vampires at first. My favourite class quickly became the Dumahim, which I would compare to the Hunter from Left4Dead games. I´ve tried others as well, but I always found myself wanting to play as Dumahim. Razielim were interesting to play as but as the Hylden pointed out, the camera made it hard to see and assault victims from the air and I particularly didn´t like the way flying initiated. Overall though, I wish I could spend more time with each class as it seems with certain combinations of classes you can achieve some interesting strategy. When we played as humans I think it was better as we all tried to stick together in a group and take the vamps on which worked. Too bad the session was so short, I would have liked to play it much longer. The top 8 players then had a match against each other and 4 best won awesome BBI Kain figures (was so envious, but they totally deserved them).

After the prizes were given, we had some cool chats with members of the staff. I was really interested to hear Jay talk about Soul Reaver and how he´s been part of the company for so long (even longer than the furniture there xD). And at the end we could ask questions about the game and although not all of them could have been answered at the time, it was fun. It seems they know what they´re doing, since Psyonix has a decent portfolio of mp games and the promise of more custom stuff later in the development sounds like a good idea. All of us also got some Nosgoth goodie bags consisting out of a Nosgoth branded bag, two mouse pads with motifs for humans and vampires and a poster.

Then it was time to slowly leave SE and some people had to leave earlier like Divine Shadow and Ardeth, Ammon, so they´d catch trains. The rest of us took couple of photos in front of the Square Enix desk and then invited George and Trevor over for a drink. Pub was really just across the street so we all settled in and connected tables together so everybody would fit. We tried to pry out of Trevor some more info about Nosgoth, but alas, even after three beers he wouldn´t let too much on. I finally got the chance to talk to Umah after all this time and it was really great evening knowing her and also thanks to the charming company of Bazielim.

When it got late the rest of us went to the hotel after grabbing some food and stayed for a while in the lobby. Knowing it was the last hours of being together, we stayed up as long as we could that night. I think saying goodbye was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, knowing I won´t see my friends for who knows how long. It was amazing especiallly because most of us met first time in our lives and had so much fun time together talking and reflecting about the series. I am really glad I was chosen to participate in this event as it gave me an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity to see SE London HQ, meet SE staff and primarily, strengthen the bonds between us LOK fans. It really makes me happy that there are many people who still care about Kain´s legacy...

After going to bed and sleeping for like an hour or two, since had to wake up at 5.30, took a shower, packed everything and left the hotel at six. With the sense of leaving something great behind me, I departed for the tube and got on the flight. We arrived in Vienna 10mins later as we should have been, which didn´t give much time to stand around since my connective flight was only 30mins apart... Running like never before I reached the plane just in time, totally exhausted, since the gate was located out of all things on the other side as we came in... Luckily when I arrived at the airport, I caught the bus just right on time and got home. It took some time to absorb all of what happened and and to sort out all the memories... It´s for granted that such day cannot be ever forgotten.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Blood Omen 2 is on Steam

Today, the list of Legacy of Kain games has been updated with Blood Omen 2. Priced at 5,99 euros, now you can complete your Steam collection. Steam also hosts pc manuals which you can view online and download in a pdf form:

Monday, 23 September 2013

Interview with Carol Wolf

Since there has been a lot of confusion about Carol Wolf´s involvement in the series, I have decided to contact her about this issue and she was kind enough to explain to me. Her website and IMDB profile both mention Blood Omen and Defiance and I wanted to know more about her work for the series. The following is what she told me when contacting her through email.

Raina: I have read on your website that you have written scripts for Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and Legacy of Kain: Defiance, but only Defiance mentions you as the writer, together with Amy Henning. Could you elaborate on how much have you contributed to these scripts, if possible?

Carol Wolf: I was hired to make the script for Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (Blood Omen 2 – Raina´s note) for "archaic." I ended up writing most of the scenes and all of the ambient dialog. For Legacy of Kain:Defiance, I was hired to write the scripts. Amy Hennig very graciously gave me story credit as well, for some things I came up with and she approved.

Raina: Would you mind if I let other fans know about your involvement in the series? Could you maybe explain which story elements in Defiance were your idea? Have you written scripts for both Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain as well as Blood Omen 2? I apologize for so many questions, but I would like to shed some light on this. The LOK community is confused as to who wrote which game in the series.

Carol Wolf: It was a great honor to have a small part in the two of these great stories. How splendid that they still live in peoples' minds. I am happy to write a bit about the experience.

Let's be clear, the creator, conceiver and great storyteller of the Legacy of Kain series, in all its iterations, is Amy Hennig. The first time I was hired to work on Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (Blood Omen 2 – Raina´s note), I got to spend two days in a conference room while Amy "downloaded" the entire 2-4 thousand year history (including the time-traveling backtracks). What ane experience!

Several of the scenes for this game were already written. I rewrote them to make them more dramatic and archaic-sounding. Since I write really fast, and the game designers had lots of other work to do, they stopped writing a first draft for me, and just told me what happened in the scene, and then I would go write it for them. Since I had time, I also wrote all the ambient and incidental dialogue.

I didn't realize (till I looked up my credits on IMdB) that there were two games called Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. I worked on the second one; that, and Defiance, are the only ones I worked on.

For Legacy of Kain:Defiance, I was brought in at the outset, sat down with Amy again to hear the new story, and then went off to write the scenes. She would then review them, and I'd make corrections according to her direction. She was the story-teller. I dramatized the scenes according to her instructions. She corrected me when she thought I'd gotten a voice or an idea wrong. I have an extensive background as a playwright and, to a lesser degree, a screenplay writer, so dramatizing the scenes was work I greatly enjoyed.

At some point during the process, it was decided to remove a bunch of game levels, for reasons of time and money. At that point, the story had to be redesigned to fit the new game play design. As a playwright I'd had endless experience in rewriting, especially in rewriting to solve certain problems, so this is one contribution I did make to Defiance, in reorganizing the story so no one can tell parts are missing, and so that it wasn't a problem. I had all the scenes noted on a set of file cards. I laid them all out on the conference table, and showed Amy how we could just fold this one section out without losing any important part of the story. So it only took an hour or so to reorganize the whole thing.

During the process of writing Defiance, I wrote scenes and brought them to Amy for her approval, because she was the boss and it's her story. There was one scene, with a troubling plot point, which, when I wrote it, I had that aha! that makes writing such a joy. I brought that to Amy and said, "This is the way it's going to be." And she read it, and she agreed. So, yes, Amy was still the boss, but that bit I did work out, and I'm very proud of it. Amy gave me story credit, which was very generous of her.

Raina: Thank you for clarifying and sharing your experience, Mrs. Wolf. Just reading about it makes me really excited and I can only imagine how great it must have been to be part of the development process. Thank you so much for all the answers! It´s been a pleasure and honour talking to you, Mrs. Wolf.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Soul Revenant FAQ update and screenshots

 We have been asked so many times in the last few months about the status of Soul Revenant and I am sorry I couldn´t post anything new earlier. I have been very busy but finally I got some free time to fully start working on Soul Revenant and made some progress.

Today I can finally reveal some new screenshots and information about the game. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave a comment.
What is this project and why are you doing it?

Ever since I have learned about the deleted content and the ending of Soul Reaver, I craved to roam those areas. I had many dreams where I was trying to find the entrance to the Undercity or got lost on a search for Kain´s Mountain Retreat.

Most of this content was cut due to time restraints and hardware limitations, but I always wondered, what would the game be like if there hadn´t been any?

For years I was waiting, but it became clear that the game will never be remade as its sequels were produced. We want the game to be like a sister project to Blood Omnicide, and we think now it is a good time re-introduce this game back onto pc platform, in the wake of the release of a new mp game War for Nosgoth.

Our goal is not to surpass the original Soul Reaver, which would be impossible due to the amount of work needed, but to honour it. Only Dreamcast got a superior version back in 2000 and ever since, it never came to the pc.

The second main aim is to include the much eluded cut levels like the Undercity, Turel´s lair and the Mountain Retreat back into the game. Reconstructing them won´t be easy, as there are only few scraps of concept art, dialogue, videos and screenshots left. I will do my best to bring them back in form as close as possible to the original intentions of the authors.

The name and idea of Soul Revenant has been conceived by Jake and I took upon myself to direct this project since he is busy with Prodigal Sons and his other games. He is still on the team and helping out a lot.
Are you using the same engine as Soul Reaver had?

No,  it´s running on a commercial engine (3D game studio) which does not have the limitation of original Soul Reaver (It has its own in return, though) and the game is being built using some of the assets from Soul Reaver1, 2 and Defiance and rest is custom models.  Game´s code is being written from scratch to play and behave like the original Soul Reaver game by our programmer.
Will it still play the same?

Bear in mind that certain things could not be achieved only mimicked to best of our ability, as being a team of three people with no budget can only go so far. We did invest a lot of time into this project so I hope you will commend our efforts. We cannot reach the professional level of quality of the original Soul Reaver, but at least try to achieve a similar experience. Certain gameplay changes will be necessary but we will do our best to direct them in a manner which won´t interfere with the current gameplay mechanics.
What would I need to play this?

In order to play Soul Revenant, you must legally own Soul Reaver 1, 2 and Defiance. It will require a simple check for these games on your hard drive, to prevent any legal problems (just like in the case with Blood Omnicide). We are using updated Raziel, Kain and Ariel models from Defiance which had been modified by me and retextured by the Hylden and the Pillars and Sluagh models are from SR2. Everything else is either from SR1 or custom made.
Will there be a demo?

Yes, we plan a demo release and some trailer/gameplay video later.
How far along is it and when it will be done?

So far it has been in development for two weeks and is being worked on almost daily. It´s still in a very early stage of development and lots of stuff is unfinished or temporary, so please bear that in mind when looking at the screenshots below.

We got a basic movement for keyboard&mouse and joypad input, character can run, jump, glide, attack, crouch, devour souls and shift realms. Animations need work but for now, we focus on making it playable at first, polish stuff later. I´ll post updates as the development goes further along.

As for the environments, Underworld, the path from Pillars Sanctuary to Abyss is done, for both spectral and material realms. They are currently just placed in the game, no additional models or decoration are in yet. The phase which we are in now is the assembly of the levels and programming all necessary actions for the game to work properly.

For a release date, I think when it´s done approach is best and updates will let you know how we are progressing.
How is it an improvement over the original pc release?

In certain areas, it can never match the original game (e.g. animations), however, we strive to bring it as close as possible with certain improvements in mind:

- higher polygon characters and enemies
- improved distance visibility
- high res textures and menus
- additional level decoration
- includes the full soundtrack which was omitted in the pc release
- includes the cut levels, dialogue, abilities and story
- subtitles with language choice option
- gameplay changes (less block puzzles)
- lip sync
- bosses revamped
- enemies´ health and strength will vary
Will it run on my pc?

Hardware-wise, this game won´t be too taxing on your pc, so you should be able to play this on most pcs with Windows.
Is it for free?

Yes, there is no need to pay for anything BUT you must own the original Legacy of Kain games. If you do not have them yet, get them from
Can I help?
Yes, you can by submitting and contributing your ideas as how to improve the original gameplay of SR (ideas for puzzles, interactions, levels, etc.). You will be credited for any contributions which helped the development of this game. You can send your ideas and suggestions to ancientvampire(at)
The SoulRev Team:

The team consist of me as a director and designer (doing basically everything except programming), programmer Kelly (which tackles all the issues with the code and the engine) and Jake Pawloski, who helps out with lot of additional art, textures and ideas.

This is a non-profit, non-commercial project made by fans for fans of Legacy of Kain. We do not claim any ownership of the original game ideas, story, mechanics or assets. All of the original content is a copyright of their respective owners, e.g. Square Enix/Eidos and Crystal Dynamics.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

War for Nosgoth FAQ available & new Dead Sun info

Since the information about War for Nosgoth was spread out on many pages on Eidos forums, Corlagon suggested to make a thread just with the Q&A alone. So I collected all the info and posted in this FAQ thread on Eidos Forums. It´s very useful for those not familiar with this game or if you simply want to recap what we know about it so far.

Meanwhile on Neogaf, Mama Robotnik posted more news regarding Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun, showcasing videos, screenshots and more information regarding it´s status.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

New sections on blog added

I was contemplating to add About and Contact for longer time but I only got around to it today. I wrote a bit about myself and how I got to gaming. And since I documented my game collection, I have added a separate page for it as well. There is also a Home button which you can use together with the current blog logo pic. Hope you enjoy these new additions.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Amazing wraith Raziel cosplay!

It´s not often that Legacy of Kain cosplayers are seen around. There have been sightings of Umah, vampire Kain and Raziel, even Ancients, but wraith Raziel is a tough one to get right. However, this new one is one of the best wraith Raziel cosplay ever done! See for yourself in the gallery by SketchMcDraw.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Defiance Kain and Raziel promo poses

Here are some pics inspired by the promotional materials from Soul Reaver. They show edited models from Defiance with awesome skins from the Hylden and some of my own edits on Raziel. I will post some more pics in this post too, so check back later. Hope you like these!

Blood Omen 2 in-game OST

Hello LOK music fans,

it´s been years now since I recorded the BO2 in-game soundtrack for NR, but Tenaya, the owner of NR has been gone all this time, so I decided to upload it on sendspace in the meantime. Tenaya helped me with making the covers for this ost, so if you read this Tenaya, thank you and hopefully you will get online soon. Everybody else, enjoy this latest addition to LOK universe. If you want to listen to the remixed tracks from BO2, you can find it on the Lost Worlds.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Modified Defiance Kain for Soul Revenant

I have edited the model from Defiance so it matches the SR1 intro Kain as much as possible. Thanks to Hylden´s amazing skin skills, it was possible and I edited parts of his body which I thought need overhaul (mainly face and the shoulder strap). It still needs some smalle editing here and then, but after that it will be ready for rigging. Hope you like it!

Left Kain is the standard Defiance Kain with his original skin, middle one is standard Defiance Kain with Hylden´s skin and right one is edited Kain model with Hylden´s skin.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Ken McCulloch, co-creator of Blood Omen, arrested by the police

As Kotaku informed, police has pressed charges against Kenneth McCulloch for child pornography. I would almost not regard this news, but the fact that McCulloch was the lead artist and writer for Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, makes it hard to miss. McCulloch was consequently fired from Precursor Games, company which formed out of Silicon Knights, which were devastated by a 9 million dollar lawsuit from Epic.

Friday, 28 June 2013

An old Soul Reaver preview and review from PSM

I dug through my old Czech PlayStations magazines and decided to scan everything LOK related. The articles are very interesting since they contain very early images and information which never got into the game itself. I will post more stuff soon.

This first set of pages is from PSM no. 12, which includes a Soul Reaver review. Apart from getting Raziel´s name wrong ("Ralziel"), it features a lot of very early screnshots of areas and template enemies. It even features the test room and early Glyph icons. The review also mentions imbuing the Soul Reaver with elements of water, fire, sun light or souls of your enemies.

The "clawed" title

Early shots of Melchiah, Dumah, Ruined City and the Lighthouse

Early Rahab, the test room with glyphs and Blood Omen comparison

More shots of early enemies

Shot of Abyss and some strange star ornament in the Cathedral

Zephon and Glyphs

Undercity Lair screen on top left

Here is the preview from PSM no. 11. It mentions that Raziel constructed his wings right before Kain got his own, or that Raziel will face Kain three times and Kain having the strength of eight bosses. It also describes that by imbuing the Soul Reaver into fire, ice, water, etc., it can destroy specific enemies.

 Notice the picture of fledgling Turelim with glowing red eyes

 Early vampire and Undercity screenshots

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun revealed *UPDATE*

Divine Shadow uncovered yet another great find about Legacy of Kain. By doing research he discovered that a single-player Legacy of Kain game was being made from 2010 till 2012 and got cancelled by Square Enix, because they believed it could not reach the expected sales amount. Legacy of Kain Dead Sun would have taken place in Nosgoth´s far future, much further after the SR1 desolate wasteland. Revolving around the story of blue skinned vampires which could shift between planes and reave souls, it would have Gein as the main protagonist, a Saradin vampire. According to Divine Shadow, the gameplay would be very much like SR1, with open world and exploration as its focus. It would have featured brutal fights and also frequent spectral realm shifting. It would focus heavily on the story of the Saradin vampires and their order, and also uncover secrets of the Elder God. (Source: Neogaf post by Divine Shadow).

UPDATE: Nosgoth´s community manager, George Kellion, provided an insight into Dead Sun and some additional artwork. He also confirmed that mp game Nosgoth will not reuse the same assets as Dead Sun nor it will share its story.

All images in this article have been originally posted by Divine Shadow

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Defiance Overhaul Texture pack by the Hylden

The Hylden made an amazing texture overhaul of Defiance, adding additional details to characters/environments/particles. Below are few examples of his awesome work. You can download the texture packs by clicking the link above (google drive). You will need TexMod to run this.

The pack includes new textures for all the main characters, Sarafan warriors, areas and also a Reshade. It also enhances several environmental textures in the Sarafan Stronghold, Reaver particle effects and spells, Earth Reaver platforms and jump and bat beacons.

UPDATE: The link in this article was linking to the old Eidos forums, which has been fixed now.