Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain

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Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain
Blood Omen - Legacy of Kain Coverart.png
Developer(s) Silicon Knights
Semi Logic Entertainments (PC)
Publisher(s) NA Crystal Dynamics

EU Crystal Dynamics
JP BMG Interactive
NA Activision (PC)
NA SCEA (PSN)
PAL Square Enix (PSN)

Director(s) Denis Dyack[1]
Producer(s) Rick Goertz
Lyle Hall
Joshua Marks
Mark Wallace
Jeff Zwelling[1]
Designer(s) Seth Carus
Armando Marini
Ken McCulloch
(lead designers)[1]
Programmer(s) Denis Dyack
(lead programmer)[1]
Artist(s) Darren Cranford
Kevin Gordon
Ken McCulloch
(lead artists)[1]
Writer(s) Denis Dyack
(concept, story)
Ken McCulloch
(story, dialogue)[1]
Composer(s) Steve Henifin[1]
Series Legacy of Kain
Platform(s) PlayStation, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) PlayStation
NA 199611November 1996

EU 199703March 1997
JP 19970530May 30, 1997
NA September 10, 2009 (PSN)

PAL November 9, 2011 (PSN)
Microsoft Windows
  • NA August 31, 1997
Genre(s) Action role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution CD-ROM, download

Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is an action role-playing game developed by Silicon Knights and published by Crystal Dynamics, with distribution involvement from Activision and BMG Interactive. It was released for the PlayStation in 1996, and a Microsoft Windows port was developed by Semi Logic Entertainments and released jointly by Crystal Dynamics and Activision in 1997. The game is the first title in the Legacy of Kain series.

In Blood Omen, the player follows Kain, a newly resurrected vampire. Seeking revenge against his murderers and a cure to his vampiric curse, Kain is tasked with traversing the fictional land of Nosgoth and slaughtering the Circle of Nine, a corrupt oligarchy of godlike sorcerers, but slowly begins to forsake humanity and view his transformation as a blessing.

Silicon Knights designed Blood Omen as "a game which adults would want to play", intending to evolve the action role-playing genre and bring artistic cinema to video game consoles. Reviewers praised its scope and storytelling, but criticized its lengthy loading times. After its release, a dispute arose concerning ownership of its intellectual property rights, after which Crystal Dynamics retained permission to continue the series with their 1999 sequel, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.

Gameplay[edit]

Screenshot of combat in the Battle of the Last Stand sequence. The heads-up display on the right indicates Kain's current equipment, health, and magic energy.

Blood Omen is a two-dimensional action role-playing game.[2][3][4] The player controls the protagonist, Kain, from a top-down perspective. Gameplay is divided between outdoor traversal and dungeon crawls, entailing hack and slash combat, puzzle-solving, and navigating hazards. To advance the story, Kain must locate and defeat the members of the Circle of Nine—who act as boss enemies—and return their tokens to the Pillars of Nosgoth. Humans, animals, and a variety of fantasy creatures inhabit the game world, whom the player can typically elect to kill outright, or alternatively wound in order to feed on their blood. As a vampire, Kain is required to consume the red blood of living creatures to replenish his health meter, which gradually drains over time, and diminishes more quickly if he sustains damage. When he casts spells or shapeshifts, he expends magic energy—this recovers in time, and can be replenished by drinking the blue blood of ghostly enemies. Conversely, undead opponents relinquish harmful black blood, and demons and mutants yield green blood which poisons Kain, causing his health to deplete at a swifter rate.[5][6]

Over the course of the main quest, Kain acquires many items and abilities, which facilitate increasingly nonlinear exploration. As he collects blood vials and rune pyramids, Kain's maximum blood and energy capacity rises. By drinking from blood fountains, he receives strength upgrades, faster magic regeneration, and immunity to weather effects. Weapons include iron and fire-elemental swords, a spiked mace, twin axes, and the Soul Reaver, a two-handed flamberge. Suits of iron, bone, chaos, flesh, and wraith armor feature, and each combination of equipment has advantages and drawbacks. Spells, in the form of magical tarot cards, are used in both strategic and practical contexts, their functions ranging from summoning artificial light to mind control and the evocation of lightning storms. Shapeshifting enables Kain to assume the forms of a bat, allowing for immediate travel to checkpoints; a wolf, with enhanced speed and the capacity to jump; a cloud of mist, which enables him to pass through gates and cross water; or a human, with which he can covertly interact with, or bypass, certain non-player characters. There are 100 secrets present in the game, logged if the player uncovers hidden areas, switches, and dungeons; these encompass spirit forges, at which Kain may donate a significant portion of his blood in exchange for powerful battle artifacts. A day and night cycle passes progressively—at night, Kain's attacks become more potent, and during full moon phases, some sealed doors become accessible.[5][6]

Plot[edit]

Setting[edit]

See also: Legacy of Kain

Blood Omen introduces the land of Nosgoth, a fantasy setting dominated by humans and vampires and other creatures. The health of the world is inextricably connected to the Pillars of Nosgoth—nine supernatural edifices, each one protected and represented by a human guardian.[7][8] These sorcerers collectively comprise the Circle of Nine, and if a member dies, a new guardian is culled to take their place by the Pillars.[9] Hundreds of years prior to the events of the story, the Circle formed and sponsored the Sarafan, an order of monastic warriors devoted to eradicating the vampire race, and in the game's prologue, the vampire Vorador reacts vengefully by killing six of the guardians and defeating Malek, the Sarafan leader. Though the Sarafan disband, vampires continue to be persecuted.[10][11][12]

In the intervening years, new guardians have been summoned, Nosgoth's surviving vampires have retreated into hiding, and humanity has separated into two opposing factions: the kingdom of Willendorf, inspired by Arthurian legend, and the Legions of the Nemesis, an all-conquering army determined to bring an end to civilization.[11][12][13] When the guardian of balance, Ariel, dies at the hands of a mysterious, malevolent entity, her lover Nupraptor the Mentalist turns his powers against his fellow Circle members, tainting the incumbent guardians with irrevocable madness and leaving the Pillars corrupt.[7][14] To restore balance to Nosgoth, Kain must overcome the Legions and kill the insane sorcerers; as each Circle member is purged and their token returned, their respective Pillar is cleansed, and when he heals all nine Pillars, replacement guardians can be born.[7][15]

Characters[edit]

Kain (voiced by Simon Templeman), an ambitious, cynical young nobleman murdered and reluctantly raised as a vampire, is the protagonist of Blood Omen. Conceived as an antihero whose nature reflects the story's moral ambiguity, Kain was partially modeled on the character of William Munny from the 1992 Clint Eastwood film, Unforgiven.[1][2][7][16] Mortanius the Necromancer (Tony Jay), an ancient wizard, resurrects Kain in a Faustian bargain, and serves as his enigmatic benefactor throughout the game.[1][7][17] The reclusive and decadent vampire Vorador (Paul Lukather) acts as a mentor and father figure to Kain, encouraging him to accept vampirism, whereas the specter of the deceased balance guardian, Ariel (Anna Gunn), directs Kain in his quest to restore the land.[1][2][7] The corrupt guardians—such as Moebius the Time Streamer (Richard Doyle), a devious manipulator of history, and Malek the Paladin (Neil Ross), now an animated suit of armor eternally condemned to protect the Circle following his defeat against Vorador—feature as the story's antagonists.[1][7][12] Other major characters include King Ottmar (Ross), the ruler of Willendorf; The Nemesis (Jay), a once-benign monarch known as William the Just, turned despot and tyrant; and The Dark Entity (Jay), an otherworldly being capable of demonic possession who seeks to topple the Circle and the Pillars.[1][7][18]

Story[edit]

During a journey, the human nobleman Kain is ambushed and killed by a band of assassins.[15] Mortanius offers him the chance to exact revenge—Kain assents, heedless of the cost, and awakes as a vampire.[19] Once he kills his attackers, Mortanius tells him that, while they were the instruments of his death, they were not the ultimate cause. In search of the truth, and a cure to his vampiric curse, Kain travels to the Pillars of Nosgoth.[20] There, Ariel explains that he has to destroy the Circle of Nine before he can realize peace.[21] Kain begins by tracking down and killing Nupraptor, and then confronts Malek, but their duel ends in a stalemate. To defeat Malek, Kain solicits the advice of the Oracle of Nosgoth.[22][23] The Oracle forewarns him of the Legions of the Nemesis, and instructs him to seek out Vorador, Malek's old adversary.[15] When the two meet, Vorador welcomes Kain, and offers his assistance, but urges the fledgling to embrace vampirism and refrain from interfering in the affairs of mankind.[11]

Haunted by the elder vampire, who serves as an example of what he will become if he fails to find a cure, Kain persists, and, in a decisive showdown, Vorador vanquishes Malek while Kain kills Bane the Druid and DeJoule the Energist.[12][15][24] Later, after he slays Azimuth the Planer and recovers a time-streaming device, Ariel informs Kain that he must instead prioritize the war against The Nemesis, whose armies threaten to conquer Willendorf.[13][25] Kain convinces King Ottmar to rally his troops against the Legions in a final stand, but the battle proves disastrous. Ottmar perishes, the Willendorf forces are overwhelmed, and Kain, cornered, uses the time-streaming device to escape.[26][27] He emerges 50 years in the past, and kills the younger version of The Nemesis from this era—the beloved King William the Just—to trigger a temporal paradox which expunges the Legions from the timestream.[15][28][29] However, when Kain returns to the present day, he discovers that William's murder has sparked a renewed vampire purge.[30]

The Oracle of Nosgoth—revealed to be Moebius the Time Streamer, a member of the Circle—leads the genocidal crusade, and, having masterminded Kain's actions from the outset, consummates his trap by executing Vorador. Kain kills Moebius, but is left the last of his kind.[31][32] At the Pillars, he witnesses Mortanius arguing with Anacrothe the Alchemist, who reveals that Mortanius is a guardian, and culpable for both Ariel and Kain's deaths.[33] Seduced by The Dark Entity, Mortanius was unwillingly controlled and forced to kill Ariel. To correct the imbalance, he created Kain, a creature potent enough to destroy the Circle.[7][18] Mortanius slays Anacrothe, and then succumbs to possession from The Dark Entity, whom Kain defeats.[15] With only one Pillar left unrestored, Kain reaches an epiphany: he himself is the final insane Circle member, Ariel's unwitting successor as guardian of balance, culled in the brief interval between her death and the Pillars' corruption. The "cure" to vampirism which he sought is his own death.[17][34][35]

Players can choose whether to heal the world—an ending in which Kain sacrifices his life, and ensures the extinction of the vampires, to restore Nosgoth—or damn the world, in which case the Pillars collapse, leaving Nosgoth an irredeemable wasteland, with Kain fully embracing his curse and living on as the most powerful entity in the land.[15][32][36][37]

Development[edit]

Actor Simon Templeman delivered his first performance as the character of Kain.

Blood Omen originated as The Pillars of Nosgoth, a game proposal drafted circa 1993 by Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack and art director and writer Ken McCulloch.[2][3][16][38][39] In 1993, while Silicon Knights completed work on Dark Legions, Dyack met Crystal Dynamics producer Lyle Hall at a conference, and they shared their mutual ambition to build "epic" games with bigger budgets and higher expectations than the then-current industry standard.[3] Several publishers were sent The Pillars of Nosgoth, the science fiction concept Too Human, and a third competing Silicon Knights pitch. Too Human was almost pursued, but Crystal Dynamics—who felt that the high fantasy genre was a preferable choice—made a deal with Silicon Knights to produce The Pillars of Nosgoth.[3][16][40] Design work continued for approximately six to eight months before both parties reached agreement on the most suitable video game console to publish for. Hall, who had been "instantly taken" by the project, thought that "it was obvious this game deserved a [Legend of] Zelda-style take on a vampire action RPG", and assisted Dyack in convincing Crystal Dynamics to choose the newly announced PlayStation over the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer and Sega Saturn.[2][3][41] Dyack and Hall believed that Blood Omen could help to evolve the action role-playing genre through strong writing and artistic, cinematic flair—Dyack summarized it as a game which adults would want to play.[3][16]

Central influences included vampire mythology, William Shakespeare's plays, themes of ethical dilemma in the film Unforgiven, the visceral qualities of the Necroscope novels, and the intricate plot of The Wheel of Time book series.[2][16] Although antiheroes were previously uncommon in action-adventure games, Silicon Knights rejected concerns that the character of Kain was too unconventional and the story too ambitious.[42] The developers endorsed the narrative motif, "what is evil? Perhaps it is merely a perspective", and hoped to determine how players would react in "a world where [they] had to kill innocents to survive".[2][16][43] McCulloch, who wrote the majority of in-game texts, was urged by marketer colleagues to give characters more accessible names—he described some, such as Mortanius, as "Names from Hell", which were difficult to get past the "marketing censor".[44] Cover art for the historical novel The Pillars of the Earth served as the inspiration behind the Pillars of Nosgoth.[2] The Soul Reaver sword, which was originally conceived as a weapon for Too Human, was transferred to Blood Omen's fictional universe, and would become a mainstay weapon in subsequent games in the Legacy of Kain series.[40][45]

Before the game's voice-over was recorded, Dyack expressed concern that the actors cast would be unable to convey McCulloch's complex dialogue. He later said, however, that their performances "blew him away", commenting that "after five minutes with Simon Templeman [...] we knew that there was no problem".[2] Blood Omen's extended 3.5-year development period obliged Silicon Knights to double staff levels, and Crystal Dynamics flew employees to Canada to assist in their design work for over six months—this delegation was left to procure their own off-site accommodation, resulting in "great personal sacrifice".[4][16][46] Prior to shipping, Activision and BMG Interactive reached arrangements with Crystal Dynamics to manufacture and distribute the product in various territories. In what they described as "a first in the industry", Silicon Knights added an opening credit to fully clarify that they were responsible for developing the game's concept, story, and content.[16] "After Herculean efforts", having received promotion at the 1995 and 1996 E3 trade fairs, Blood Omen was released for the PlayStation in November 1996.[3][16] Activision and Crystal Dynamics published a Microsoft Windows port, developed by Semi Logic Entertainments, in 1997.[47] Work on a Saturn version was also commenced by Silicon Knights after the initial release, but was eventually terminated.[18]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PS1) 83.25%[48]
(PC) 82%[49]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A[50]
GameSpot (PS1) 7.1/10[52]
(PC) 7.6/10[53]
IGN 8.5/10[51]
PC Gamer US 80 out of 100[54]
The Adrenaline Vault 3/5 stars[5]
Game Revolution B+[55]
Next Generation 4/5 stars[56]

Blood Omen was named the best game showcased at the inaugural E3 fair by DieHard GameFan in 1995.[16] A 2011 court filing revealed that it sold at least 320,082 units historically; Silicon Knights claimed it had sold 2 million copies in its lifetime, but did not substantiate this figure.[57] Crystal Dynamics viewed its commercial performance as "immensely successful", and remarkable for the time.[3][4]

Review aggregator site GameRankings assigned the PlayStation version of the game an average rating of 83.25%.[48] While critics awarded it high praise for its premise, audio, and scope, they commonly cited shortcomings in its graphics and technical aspects.[51][52][56] Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot appreciated its sound design and challenging gameplay, though disapproved of its overhead perspective.[52] IGN's staff discussed problems with the controls, but referenced the "intense story", atmosphere, and longevity of playtime as positives.[51] The reviewer for Next Generation made a favorable comparison to the 1985 hack and slash game Gauntlet, remarking on Blood Omen's unique design elements, and the high production values behind its "huge and extremely gory" game world.[56] 1UP.com's staff lauded the game in their synopsis, saying it offered "the best plot of any PlayStation game to date". They acknowledged its "moody" graphics and sound design, describing its art as "beautifully rendered", and its music as "genius".[50]

Comparative to the original release, the Windows port received slightly lower scores on average, with an aggregate score of 82%.[49] GameSpot's Greg Kasavin praised Kain as "the perfect antihero", and his story as "unique, involving, and epic in proportion", but said "the game itself doesn't quite keep up", hindered by sluggish controls and technological limitations.[53] Despite deeming its linearity a flaw, Baldric of Game Revolution regarded the plot as intelligent and thoughtful.[55] His enjoyment of the story's "surprisingly amoral" subject matter accorded with the opinion of David Laprad of The Adrenaline Vault, who praised its thematic depth, well-developed narrative and characters, and structured design; he said "impressive symmetry pervades the game". However, Laprad found fault in the dated graphics, controls, and interface.[5] Hugh Falk of PC Gamer echoed a complaint raised by Gerstmann that the graphics were excessively dark, and was disappointed in the artificial intelligence, but dismissed these as "minor" grievances with the conclusion that Blood Omen was an excellent entry in the role-playing genre.[54]

The game's cinematics and voice direction were considered exceptional by many publications, particularly relative to other titles of the day.[5][50][51][52][53][54][55][56] 1UP.com's writers referred to the cast as "actual talent" comparative to other actors in the medium.[50] Some reviewers, though, described the PlayStation iteration's loading times as particularly exorbitant and dissatisfactory. Next Generation decried these as "noticeable and at times intrusive", while IGN rebuked them as "agonizing", but noted that they were common to disc-based games, and reasonably unobtrusive in Blood Omen.[51][56] Dyack rationalized the slowdown as a consequence of the PlayStation's random-access memory constraints on video data.[2] Baldric noted in his review that the Windows port alleviated, but did not fully amend, the issue.[55]

Sequel[edit]

The success of Blood Omen resulted in a sequel, but its production was impeded by a litigious battle between the game's stakeholders and developer.[39][58] In an interview conducted shortly after the PlayStation release, Dyack contemplated the possibility of creating a prequel centered around the character of Vorador—referring to it as part of the "Blood Omen series"—but mentioned that it was "extremely unlikely" that Silicon Knights would work with Crystal Dynamics again.[2] Subsequently, the relationship between both parties dissolved, and Crystal Dynamics—who had withdrawn from software publishing to focus exclusively on game development—announced their own follow-up in the form of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. In 1997, GameSpot divulged that Silicon Knights had filed a lawsuit against their former partner for ownership of the series, requesting an injunction to prevent Crystal Dynamics from publicizing Soul Reaver. Silicon Knights, they reported, accused Crystal Dynamics of plagiarizing their concept for a sequel.[39][59]

The dispute was settled in private, with Crystal Dynamics retaining the rights to the game, and permission to create derivative work using its characters, provided they credit Silicon Knights as the developer of Blood Omen in their sequel.[39] Crystal Dynamics was acquired by Eidos Interactive, who published Soul Reaver in 1999 to critical acclaim and commercial success.[4][60][61][62] Later, it publicly emerged that Soul Reaver had never been a Silicon Knights concept. It originated as Shifter—an unrelated project inspired by Biblical mythology, devised by Crystal Dynamics' Amy Hennig and Seth Carus (both of whom had worked as designers on Blood Omen)—whose team, initially reluctantly, reworked it into a Blood Omen sequel at the request of company management. Successive titles in what was now the Legacy of Kain series were produced by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos, whereas Silicon Knights walked away from the franchise to begin work on Too Human, and later Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.[4][63][64]

In 2012, NeoGAF member Mama Robotnik highlighted public records of the 1997 court case.[65][66] During the proceedings, Silicon Knights stated that they had ceded the Blood Omen intellectual property to Crystal Dynamics under "financial duress". Among other assertions, they claimed that Crystal Dynamics had breached an agreement in late 1996 by selling certain publishing rights to the game—and any potential sequels—to Activision for $2,000,000.[58] Silicon Knights alleged that Crystal Dynamics had failed to inform them of their intention to leave the publishing business, and had misrepresented themselves to Activision as Blood Omen's developer. The documents revealed that Activision commissioned Crystal Dynamics to develop a project codenamed "Kain II", but—dissatisfied with its quality—contracted Silicon Knights to create a competing proposal. Supposedly, Crystal Dynamics then disparaged Silicon Knights to Activision, while directly, and indirectly, approaching some of its staff to join them in working on their prototype.[58][65][66]

When the case was resolved, control of the Legacy of Kain trademark belonged to Crystal Dynamics, and Kain II was either canceled or superseded when Shifter became Soul Reaver.[39][66] Though Crystal Dynamics staff who worked on Soul Reaver declined to comment on the discovery, Dyack had previously affirmed that "[they] tried to take it over".[63][66][67] He said that "many people ask us if we like the direction they have gone in but it is so alien to what we created it is pointless to answer now. We understand that some people love the Soul Reaver series and we think that is great. However, it is not what we would ever have done".[63] In a 2008 interview, he elaborated his sentiment that "if you look at Legacy of Kain where it is right now -- so diluted, so dysfunctional -- as a property itself, it's pretty much gone in a completely different direction than we would have ever taken it. [...] 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".[45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain - Credits". Allgame. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Recreated PSXnation.com Interview with Denis Dyack". psxnation.com. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Wallis, Alistair (January 18, 2007). "Playing Catch-Up: GEX's Lyle Hall". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Hansen, Craig (January 2000). "Interview: Soul Reaver's Amy Hennig". GamerWeb Sega. Archived from the original on 2003-03-25. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Laprad, David (September 21, 1997). "Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain PC review". The Adrenaline Vault. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  6. ^ a b Itto, Ogami. "Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain". RPGFan. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain - The Players". Silicon Knights. January 13, 1997. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  8. ^ Kain: Nupraptor, with his blind act of vengeance, threatened to destroy all of Nosgoth. Each Circle member was bonded to the Pillar he served. The Pillars reflected the mental state of their servants, and as the minds of the Circle degenerated and descended farther into dementia, the Pillars crumbled. To restore them, each member of the Circle had to die, and the artifact that served as their link to the Pillar had to be returned. Only when all the Pillars were restored, did Ariel claim my curse would end. And so my hunt for Nupraptor began. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  9. ^ Kain: The book spoke of the birth of the Circle. The Circle served the Pillars, protectorates to the strange power that gives life to our land. At the unlikely death of a member, the Circle remains broken for a time, until the Pillars can cull a worthy successor. I came upon another book of interest buried deep amongst the library's tomes. It spoke of a small cult that existed in Nosgoth, ages past. Wherever they traveled strange tales of human possession would follow. Little is known of the god they worshiped. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  10. ^ Kain: Hidden amidst the many obscure artifacts in that museum, I discovered an ancient chronicle. This passage caught my eye: "It was during these dark times infested with the plague of the undead, that the Circle brought the Sarafan to existence. Trained to be devoutly loyal to the Circle, and the perfect exterminators of the undead scourge, they were led to many victories by the righteous paladin, Malek. They cleansed the vampires with fire, and released their souls to more blessed realms. There is no wrath as terrible as that of the righteous." I had read enough. At once disgusted and intrigued, I placed the book back down in that museum. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  11. ^ a b c Vorador: After slaughtering six of the sheep I defeated their pathetic little shepherd – Malek. Since then our kind has not bothered with the cattle, except to feed. And I suggest you do the same. Meddling with the affairs of man can do us no good. Sarafan witchhunts are much too tedious to concern ourselves with. Am I understood Kain? Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  12. ^ a b c d "SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain - Cinematic Themes". Silicon Knights. January 13, 1997. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  13. ^ a b Ariel: The Legions of the Nemesis are on the march from the north, crushing all in their path. 'Twas not too long ago that the Nemesis was known as William the Just, a caring and gentle benefactor of the land. But, as his army grew in strength and he himself grew in power, the veil of tyranny fell and one kingdom was not enough. So many cities, so many dead. Willendorf will be sure to follow. The Nemesis must be stopped or all shall be lost... / Kain: How can one stop an army? / Ariel: You must rally the forces of Willendorf; they are the last Hope of Nosgoth. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  14. ^ Kain: I came upon one of Nupraptor's serving girls, catatonic with fear, choking out half-words through bloodied, broken teeth. Although tempted by hunger, I stayed my hand, allowing her to tell her story... She spoke of her Lord Nupraptor, driven to insanity by the brutal slaying of his beloved Ariel. She spoke of his self-mutilation, sewing his eyes and lips shut to deny the outside world. Fueled by despair and hopelessness, he turned his magic on the Circle, infecting their minds with his madness. Nupraptor cared for nothing now, save his pathetic self-pity. Scars such as hers would never heal. Death would only be a mercy. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g "SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain - The Plot". Silicon Knights. January 13, 1997. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain - Behind The Scenes". Silicon Knights. January 13, 1997. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  17. ^ a b Mannerberg, Kyle (November 5, 2003). "Legacy of Kain: Defiance Designer Diary #3". GameSpot. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  18. ^ a b c "SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain - Q & A". Silicon Knights. January 13, 1997. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  19. ^ Kain: Vae Victus – suffering to the conquered. Ironic that now I was the one suffering. Not anything as pedestrian as physical pain. Rather the cruel jab of impotent anger – the hunger for revenge. I didn't care if I was in Heaven or Hell – all I wanted was to kill my assassins. Sometimes you get what you wish for. The Necromancer Mortanius offered me a chance for vengeance. And like a fool, I jumped at his offer without considering the cost. Nothing is free. Not even revenge. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  20. ^ Mortanius: 'Tis not over, Kain. These fools were merely the instruments of your murder, not the cause. Look to their masters. Look to the Pillars and gain way to the Fortress of the Mind... Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  21. ^ Ariel: There is no cure for death. Only release. You must destroy the sorcery that is now poisoning Nosgoth. Only then will you realize peace. The Nine of the Protectors of Hope were sworn to use their powers to preserve our world. Now these pillars have been corrupted by a traitor. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  22. ^ Kain: Nupraptor was but the genesis – forever tainted by his madness, the Circle was beyond redemption. For them absolution lay only in death. In me, they would find their deliverance. But first I had to defeat their shepherd – Malek, defender of the Nine, lay in a keep far to the north, past Vasserbünde. It was time for me to test the wrath of the Pillar of Conflict. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  23. ^ Ariel: Ah, the lord returns empty-handed. Does the Sarafan elude you? Very well, go east of Malek's Bastion. The Oracle shall give you aid. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  24. ^ Kain: My visit with Vorador only strengthened my resolve. His power uncontested by mortals, he had fallen to another enemy. Decadence has claimed itself many a great warrior. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  25. ^ Ariel: Well done. You have found Moebius's toy. Azimuth, not content with summoning demonic thrall, stole the Time Streaming Device in order to gather creatures from other ages as well. Take care of the device, Kain. It will deliver you in time. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  26. ^ Kain: I entered the Court with the Dollmaker's head in one hand, and the doll containing the girl's soul in the other. I placed them both before the King and watched his eyes catch fire. With the doll in their possession, the Court's sorcerers could restore his daughter's soul. / Ottmar: I do not know that I can thank you enough, warrior. My kingdom is but a small price to pay for my daughter's life. Willendorf is yours, if you wish it! / Kain: 'Tis not your kingdom I desire, but your army, Ottmar. I require troops to vanquish the Horde that descends upon us from the North. / Ottmar: Very well. Courtiers, fetch me my armor and mace. There is war to be waged! Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  27. ^ Ottmar: The Nemesis and his Horde fall upon us, my friend. I fear I can defend Nosgoth no longer. The Nemesis must be destroyed. For my daughter, Kain; for the world... / Kain: The tide turned with Ottmar's death. I watched as the remaining survivors of the Armies of Hope fled to the safety of the forest. The battle had decided its victor; the fate of Nosgoth now lay in the Nemesis' hands. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  28. ^ Kain: Ah, so it seemed I was in the land of William the Just, fifty years before the battle I had just escaped would take place. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  29. ^ Kain: The stronghold of William the Just. 'Twas time for me to pay a visit to he who would become the Nemesis and force Nosgoth on its knees. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  30. ^ Kain: 'Twould seem the folly fell upon my own shoulders. With their sainted King William dead by my hand, the people of the land were consumed by a hunger all their own – for vampire blood. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  31. ^ Kain: I had been betrayed. In my haste, I had not realized it before. That sigil on his forehead. The Oracle of Nosgoth was in fact the Time Streamer Moebius. And I had followed his advice! How much of my quest was of his design? Willendorf? The Battle of the Last Stand? William the Just? Was this the trap he had fashioned for me? Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  32. ^ a b Kain: Thirty years hence, I am presented with a dilemma – let's call it a two-sided coin. If the coin falls one way, I sacrifice myself and thus restore the Pillars. But as the last surviving vampire in Nosgoth, this would mean the annihilation of our species. Moebius made sure of that. If the coin lands on the reverse, I refuse the sacrifice and thus doom the Pillars to an eternity of collapse. Either way, the game is rigged. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive. 
  33. ^ Anacrothe: You betrayed us Mortanius! You had Kain killed and turned him into a monster. You set him upon us! / Mortanius: It had to be. Nupraptor's insanity poisoned all of our minds. The Circle had failed in its sworn duties. It had to be destroyed. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  34. ^ Kain: I am the last Pillar. The only survivor of the Circle of Nine. At my whim the world will be healed or damned. At my whim. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  35. ^ Kain: As Ariel dies, I am being born to take her place as Balance Guardian. Such is my destiny. / Raziel: ...my god... / Kain: At the moment of my first cry, Ariel's beloved – the Guardian Nupraptor – finds her corpse. Wracked with grief and tormented by suspicions of treachery, Nupraptor plunges into a madness which overflows and infects all of the Guardians, who are symbiotically bound. Including me. The repercussions of Ariel's assassination were expertly calculated... The entire Circle descends into madness, and I am tainted at the moment of my birth – instantly rendered incapable of fulfilling the role destiny has prepared for me. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive. 
  36. ^ Ariel: In his life he was unknown. A petty noble. In death he was unknown. Yet by choosing oblivion he restored Balance to the land. Shades cast no shadows. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
  37. ^ Kain: Once I embraced my powers I realized that Vorador was correct. We are Gods – dark gods – and it is our duty to thin the herd. Silicon Knights (November 1, 1996). Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. PlayStation. Crystal Dynamics. 
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