Soul Reaver 2
|Soul Reaver 2|
Nixxes Software BV (PC)
|Series||Legacy of Kain|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows|
Soul Reaver 2 is an action-adventure video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Eidos Interactive. It is a sequel to Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and the third game in the Legacy of Kain series. Originally developed as a PlayStation and Dreamcast project, it was reworked into a PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Windows title in early production, and was released in 2001. Soul Reaver 2 was followed by two sequels, Blood Omen 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance, in 2002 and 2003.
The game continues the adventures of the vampire-turned-wraith Raziel, the protagonist of Soul Reaver. Though Raziel initially seeks to exact revenge on Kain, his murderer and former master, this objective is superseded by a higher quest for knowledge. Traveling through history, he gradually exposes the truth behind his own past and destiny.
Hoping to deliver a more story-focused, cinematic experience than Soul Reaver, Crystal Dynamics researched time travel fiction, theology, and the works of Joseph Campbell when creating Soul Reaver 2's narrative. Critics praised the game for its involved storyline, visuals and puzzles, but criticized it for lacking replay value and ending without a definite resolution. Its developers felt the final product fell short of their ambitions, but it performed well commercially, and was included on Sony's "Greatest Hits" list.
Soul Reaver 2 is a single-player action-adventure game. The player controls Raziel, a ghostly "ex-vampire", from a third-person perspective. Gameplay, which is based on the original Soul Reaver, prompts the player to shift between two planes of existence—the material and spectral realms—to progress. The material realm represents the physical, living world, whereas the spectral realm is a warped mirror of this environment. In the spectral realm, the player cannot manipulate objects and weapons, and water is insubstantial. Raziel's health slowly regenerates in the spectral world, whereas it gradually depletes in the material realm. If Raziel runs out of health in the material world, he is shunted into the spectral realm, and if killed in this plane, he returns to the nearest checkpoint. Save points enable players to record their progress and continue their game.
Raziel retains most of the powers he possessed in the previous game, such as the abilities to glide, climb walls, fire bolts of telekinetic energy, and swim. To sustain his strength and travel between the planes, he must devour souls; this is typically accomplished by defeating enemies. The game's combat consists of a hack and slash system, entailing the use of combinations of attacks before executing a finishing move. Human enemies exist only in the material world, and include mercenaries, demon hunters, and the Sarafan, a monastic order of vampire hunters; other material creatures include dogs, thralls, and mutants. Sluagh are enemies who exclusively inhabit the spirit world, whereas cross-planar beings such as demons and shades can pursue the player between both realms. Enemies leave behind souls when killed, which replenish Raziel's health once consumed.
The player's primary weapon is a ghostly version of the Soul Reaver sword, referred to as the wraith-blade. The wraith-blade is symbiotically bound to Raziel, and can be summoned or dismissed at any time in the material world, but, if overused, the sword can turn against Raziel, siphoning his health. Other weapons include claws, swords and spears. As the game progresses, the player encounters magical forges which imbue the wraith-blade with elemental powers associated with darkness, light, air, and fire. These enhancements have various uses, but are only available in the material realm. If Raziel shifts, he loses his active elemental imbuement, and must re-forge the blade at locations scattered throughout the game world.
Soul Reaver 2 is set in Nosgoth, a fictional land with fantasy aspects. In the first game in the series, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, the vampire Kain embarks on a journey to restore the Pillars of Nosgoth—nine supernatural edifices which are inextricably tied to the health of the land, but become corrupted. During his adventure, Moebius, a manipulative sorcerer, tricks Kain into orchestrating the destruction of the vampire race: Kain is left the last surviving vampire in Nosgoth. After restoring eight of the Pillars, Kain discovers that he would need to sacrifice his own life to restore the final corrupt one. Realizing that his death would ensure the annihilation of his species, he refuses to kill himself. This triggers the Pillars' collapse, and dooms the world to eternal decay, but enables Kain to live on and revive the vampire race.
By the time of Soul Reaver, 1500 years later, Kain is a despotic emperor, his vampires dominate the land, and Nosgoth hinges on the brink of collapse. The Elder God, a demiurge-like entity, lurks beneath Nosgoth and controls the cycle of reincarnation; the vampires, whose biological immortality opposes his doctrine, are his enemies. In Soul Reaver, Raziel—Kain's lieutenant—is executed by Kain, but The Elder God resurrects him and encourages him to exact revenge. Traversing the wasteland and murdering the vampires, Raziel confronts Kain, who attacks him with the Soul Reaver sword, imbued with a spirit which absorbs its victims' souls. The Soul Reaver shatters when it strikes Raziel, and the blade's spirit binds itself to his arm. His motives still mysterious, Kain lures Raziel through a time portal into Nosgoth's past.
In Soul Reaver 2, it is established that, in Nosgoth, fatalism is an actuality—history is immutable, and all individuals are subject to predestination. Raziel, due to his paradoxical destiny, is the only exception to this rule—his presence enables temporal paradoxes to be triggered, altering history for better or worse. Kain relies on Raziel's free will in a bid to outsmart Moebius and resolve the dilemma he faced in Blood Omen, ultimately hoping to enable both the restored Pillars and the vampire race to co-exist in the future. Soul Reaver 2 opens as Raziel emerges from the time slip and is greeted by Moebius, having arrived in an era 30 years prior to the events of Blood Omen. Two further time periods, 100 years after and 500 years before Blood Omen respectively, are also explored as the story progresses.
Raziel returns as the protagonist of Soul Reaver 2. In Soul Reaver, Raziel discovered that he was once a human and a leading member of the vampire-hunting Sarafan brotherhood, and his epiphanies drive the conflict in the story. Kain, the antagonist of Soul Reaver, appears as a non-player character in cutscenes, urging Raziel to unearth his destiny. Moebius the Time Streamer, a sorcerer who was a villain in Blood Omen and had a cameo at the end of Soul Reaver, is a primary antagonist of Soul Reaver 2 who attempts to manipulate Raziel into destroying Kain—it is revealed that he is an agent of The Elder God, Raziel's ally and guide in Soul Reaver, who is slowly established as a more sinister entity. Ariel, a specter bound to the Pillars who featured in Blood Omen and Soul Reaver, returns, and the vampire Vorador, also from Blood Omen, assists Raziel early in the game. The ancient vampire Janos Audron, a new character who was previously only mentioned in Blood Omen, acts as Raziel's mentor towards the end of the story.
The game begins by summarizing Soul Reaver's ending: Raziel confronts Kain in Nosgoth's wasteland, and pursues him through a portal leading to the past. Moebius, the leader of a vampire-hunting crusade in this age, coerces Raziel to re-embrace his former heritage as a Sarafan vampire hunter by killing Kain. Though Raziel is initially eager to do so, his enthusiasm wanes over time as he witnesses the ruthlessness of Moebius's soldiers. Kain, who is destined to die at Raziel's hands in this era, implores Raziel to thwart fate and instead facilitate his quest to restore the Pillars. After he learns that Moebius serves The Elder God, and that he has thus been duped, Raziel faces a decision: indulge his lust for vengeance but submit to fate by killing Kain, or defy his cohorts and exercise his free will by exerting mercy.
While exploring this period, Raziel discovers evidence that two ancient races waged war in Nosgoth's distant past. One race created the Pillars to banish their adversaries, but the enemy race—the Hylden—retaliated with a curse which transformed the Pillars' architects into the first vampires. Kain explains that, had he sacrificed himself, the vampire race—the rightful inheritors of the Pillars—would have become extinct. Raziel chooses to spare Kain, causing a paradox; history reshuffles itself to accommodate the extension of Kain's life. He, however, refuses to indulge Kain's plans any further, instead opting to explore his own past. Vorador tells Raziel that the last of the ancient vampires, Janos Audron, held the key to Raziel's destiny, but Janos was murdered by the Sarafan five centuries ago.
Deciding to speak with Janos, Raziel orders Moebius to send him further back in time. Moebius deceives Raziel, instead conveying him over a century into the future, where he and The Elder God highlight the consequences of the Pillars' destruction to turn Raziel against Kain. Raziel navigates the future era and finds his own way back to the age of the Sarafan and Janos Audron. There, Janos presents Raziel with the Reaver, a younger version of the physical Soul Reaver blade which will later house a soul-devouring spirit. Suddenly, a group of Sarafan led by Raziel's former, human self launch an ambush, and Janos sacrifices himself. Raziel swears vengeance as Janos dies, and pursues the attackers. He uses the Reaver to kill them and his younger self, renouncing his Sarafan past.
The wraith-blade attached to Raziel's arm, over-aroused after the deaths of the Sarafan, suddenly seizes control of the physical Reaver, and impales Raziel; Raziel, horrified, then realizes his destiny. He himself has always been the ravenous spirit inside the Reaver, and therefore is fated to be stuck in a time loop; the sword shattered against him in Soul Reaver because it was unable to consume itself. While his soul is being drawn into the sword, Kain emerges and tears the Reaver from Raziel's body, saving him in reciprocation and forcing history to reshuffle again. However, this paradox strains Nosgoth's history too far, enabling the Hylden to return and jeopardize his ambition to restore the Pillars. Amidst Kain's dismay, Raziel realizes that the wraith-blade is still bound to him, and laments that his destiny has not been changed, but merely postponed.
Even before the release of Soul Reaver, Crystal Dynamics were aware that they would create a follow-up, but had no "master plan". Soul Reaver uses the engine of Gex: Enter the Gecko. Prior to the beginning of development, director Amy Hennig emphasized that the role-playing game elements of Blood Omen, stronger dialogue and character interaction, a greater variety of acquirable mechanics, and wider use of the spectral realm should figure into the sequel. Pre-production began in late 1999, and the project briefly entered development for the PlayStation and Dreamcast with a targeted release date in fall of 2000. The team was given approval to switch to the PlayStation 2 after creating a proof-of-concept demo for E3 2000, and the game was announced as an console exclusive title for the PlayStation 2, dropping the Dreamcast and original PlayStation versions in the process. Executive producer Andrew Bennett analogized the developers' design sensibilities to the non-linear nature of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda and Mario franchises, but said it was decided that Soul Reaver 2 would not be a "traditional 'complete a level, fight a boss' type of game". Level designers constructed a generalized puzzle and object-interaction system, helping to prevent an undesired re-emergence of Soul Reaver's abundant block puzzles. Instead of creating more inherent and optional abilities for Raziel, they focused on including new, mandatory enhancements for the Soul Reaver weapon.
On the decision to downplay Raziel's quest for vengeance against Kain in this sequel, Hennig explained, "he's being pretty simple-minded, he's sort of being very black-and-white in his interpretation of things, and being kind of petulant [...] he's not really as heroic as Kain is, and he has a lot of stuff to figure out, basically, about what's going on". Soul Reaver 2 was crafted to feature a more cinematic, story-focused experience than its predecessor, which the developers felt had been "patchy" in this regard. It entered production after Blood Omen 2, but shipped almost six months before the latter game. A separate team within Crystal Dynamics, with creative autonomy, developed Blood Omen 2, and contradictions created by its scenario hindered work on Soul Reaver 2. After researching time travel fiction, Hennig devised a subplot concerning temporal paradoxes to resolve the continuity problems between both titles, and established that Blood Omen 2's story is a product of the final paradox created when Kain saves Raziel at the end of Soul Reaver 2. Other themes were inspired by the works of Joseph Campbell, and theology surrounding Gnosticism. Concepts which formulated the crux of the story included the idea "that the only way a hero can ever succeed is by following his own path", and the question, "can you change history or not? And if so, what does it mean to change history - in terms of being responsible for the repercussions?"
British comic book writer Paul Jenkins was drafted by Crystal Dynamics to help refine the game's script. Though Soul Reaver features a variety of boss encounters, Soul Reaver 2 does not; this was a conscious decision on the part of the staff, to ensure the game's pacing more closely emulated that of a novel or a film, although near the end of the game, the Sarafan commanders including Raziel's human self are considered somewhat as a "bosses" since they are more challenging than the usual enemies during the game. While expanding the series' fiction, Hennig sought to take people back to the characters and mythology of the original Blood Omen, and built on its latent themes, including issues of fatalism, ethical dilemma and morality. In an interview, she stated that "the game will have a proper ending this time", and said "it has a conclusion. It's the end of a chapter. There won't be a cliffhanger". However, the story needed to be restructured several times before its completion, and, like the original Soul Reaver, many planned areas and abilities were excised, including three elemental forges (earth, water and spirit), more Reaver enhancements, and nine "spell-type things". She explained that the project's small programming crew, its switch to the PlayStation 2, and its limited 17 month production schedule had forced the team to "pick their battles", leading numerous features to be simplified or eliminated. Commenting on the final product, lead designer Richard Lemarchand said that Soul Reaver 2 "fell short of what the team had wanted to accomplish. In particular, some puzzles were too opaque, the combat was rather one-dimensional, [and the story] ended without a decent resolution".
Soul Reaver 2 was composed by Kurt Harland, of American band Information Society, and Jim Hedges. Harland and Hedges had already collaborated on Soul Reaver, but Hedges had not previously contributed compositions. The adaptive audio framework from the previous game returned; depending on signals from the game in certain situations—such as combat, puzzles, danger or suspense—the game's soundtrack actively changes. Music from both Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2 was released on a promotional soundtrack in 2001.
Gordon Hunt returned as the game's recording director, with Kris Zimmerman as casting director. Voice actors from both Blood Omen and Soul Reaver reprised their roles, with Michael Bell playing Raziel and Simon Templeman portraying Kain. The Elder God was again voiced by Tony Jay, Richard Doyle voiced Moebius, and Anna Gunn played Ariel. Paul Lukather, absent from Soul Reaver, rejoined the cast as Vorador. René Auberjonois, the only newcomer to the Legacy of Kain series, provided the voice of Janos Audron.
Publisher Eidos Interactive was "broadly satisfied" with the commercial performance of Soul Reaver 2, which sold more than 500,000 copies by June 2002. Later, Sony re-released it under the "Greatest Hits" label. Shortly after the initial PlayStation 2 release in October 2001, the Microsoft Windows port shipped, developed by Nixxes Software BV. The PlayStation 2 release featured bonus material, including voice casting outtakes, artworks, a soundtrack, trailers, the game's dialogue script, and a compilation of Nosgoth's history. In 2012, digital distribution services GOG.com and Steam made the Windows port of Soul Reaver 2 available for purchase.
On the PlayStation 2, Soul Reaver 2 respectively received an aggregate score of 80.71% and 80/100 from rating websites GameRankings and Metacritic. Various reviewers held its storytelling, visuals and sound in high regard, but described its gameplay as dull and unsatisfying. Doug Perry of IGN praised the game's dark atmosphere and intriguing story, but said that it can become tiresome and drag on. He thought the "haughtiness" and drama of the dialogue, particularly between Raziel and Kain, was often overdone, and noted that its gameplay was near identical to that of its predecessor but with less replay value. Perry enjoyed the new puzzles involving the elemental powers of the Reaver for being more complex and diverse than the block puzzles of Soul Reaver, and praised the combat system. He gave the game a score of 9.0, but in his later review for Defiance, he revised his opinion, saying this rating was "way too high" and "that game told a great story, but just didn't deserve that score".
Joe Fielder of GameSpot gave Soul Reaver 2 a score of 8.8 and called it an excellent sequel, again praising the change to elemental puzzles and the combat system, but criticizing the dearth of sidequests and boss fights, and the lack of definite resolution to the storyline. Electronic Gaming Monthly's reviewer said that it triumphed as an aesthetic showcase, but deemed its gameplay mediocre and unappealing. The reviewer for Game Informer regarded Soul Reaver 2 as "quite engrossing". Star Dingo of GamePro similarly praised its graphics, sound design and voice acting, but condemned missed creative opportunities concerning the potential of the spectral realm and time travel, saying that the game "takes as many steps back as it does forward, and ends up teetering precariously over the brink of being a disappointment". The review concurred with IGN that the plot and dialogue, though entertaining, sometimes bordered on pretentiousness, and Game Revolution's Duke Ferris repeatedly compared the story to a soap opera.
Other critics, such as GameZone's Michael Lafferty, were less reserved in their praise of the narrative—The Electric Playground referred to it as "a textbook example to other console developers on how to write videogame prose"—but agreed that its complex and involved backstory could alienate some players. The Adrenaline Vault's Mike Laidlaw stated that "the folks at Crystal Dynamics obviously have no kindness in their heart for game reviewers trying desperately to describe the plot". Journalists also commonly cited Soul Reaver 2's poor lifespan and replayability as an issue; the reviewer for Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine opined that "the problem is that there just isn't much gameplay there" and Fielder warned that play "burns bright, but not as long as you'd like".
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- Raziel: The Pillars are still standing in this time? / Moebius: Yes, Raziel - they are the embodiment of the divine force which preserves the life of our world. We who serve the Pillars maintain their delicate balance - and Kain is destined to be the fulcrum upon which that balance turns. I believe you have already endured the wasteland wrought by his terrible, selfish decision. Kain's very existence is a cancer upon this world. As long as he lives, all of Nosgoth is in peril. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: Shall I show you the same mercy you showed the rest of the Circle, then? You blithely murdered them to restore their Pillars, yet your hand faltered when it came to the final sacrifice. What makes you exempt, Kain? You're merely the last man standing. Why condemn me for simply carrying out what you hadn't the courage to do yourself? Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Kain: In my youth, I witnessed William's rise to power, and his transformation into the 'Nemesis' who laid waste to Nosgoth. / Raziel: Keep your distance, Kain. / Kain: Years later, I stumble upon a chance to journey back in history, unaware that the entire affair has been carefully orchestrated by Moebius. In my wisdom, I seize this opportunity to murder the young king before he can ravage Nosgoth... and thereby provide the catalyst Moebius needs to ignite a genocidal war against our race. / Raziel: I warn you – no further! / Kain: This one reckless act unravels the skein of history. The Nemesis never becomes the Nemesis; William dies a martyred saint. I, the vampire assassin, become the author of my own species' extinction. And Moebius profits from it all. I destroyed a tyrant only to create one far worse. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- 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.
- Raziel: I emerged... and for the first time beheld Nosgoth in its former glory. The land overflowed with abundant life and vitality. And I knew with certainty then that the world I had left behind was nothing more than the corpse of Nosgoth – a lifeless husk, bled dry by the corruption of Kain's parasitic empire. This was the fragile world Kain sacrificed to preserve his own petty life and ambition, heedless of the profound cost. The sight only deepened my resolve... I sensed that the Pillars lay to the northwest – if Kain truly waited to confront me there, I would not disappoint him... Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: These are the fathomless truths, Raziel: the agony of birth and death and rebirth – this is the Wheel of Fate, the purifying cycle which sustains all life. Vampires are an abomination, a plague which leeches this land of its spiritual strength. They obstruct the flow of life and death – their souls stagnate in their wretched corpses. But the Wheel must turn; Death is inexorable and cannot be denied. Your destiny is irresistible, Raziel – you are my soul reaver, the scourge of the vampires, reaper of their apostate souls. Remain steadfast. End the vampires' parasitic curse, and restore Nosgoth. Kain's blood belongs on your hands. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: Indebted? You would have me show gratitude for a 'gift' I didn't ask to be bestowed? Do you forget that you forced me to inhabit this vile carcass – / Elder God: – I restored you to yourself, Raziel. It was Kain who destroyed you. The very enemy you have just let slip through your grasp. Do not fail me, my servant... Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: And here I discovered the source of the displacement – the Soul Reaver itself, laid out like a holy relic... And broken, apparently in the battle between William and Kain. I had not thought such a thing was possible... Until, of course, Kain shattered the blade against me when he tried to strike me down. Thus the captive spirit inhabiting the Reaver was released – and binding itself to me, became my symbiotic weapon. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Kain: – and profoundly ingrained, Raziel. You must understand, our presence here doesn't alter history. You and I meet here because we are compelled to – we have always met here. History is irredeemable. Drop a stone into a rushing river – the current simply courses around it and flows on as if the obstruction were never there. You and I are pebbles, Raziel, and have even less hope of disrupting the time-stream. The continuum of history is simply too strong, too resilient. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Kain: It doesn't matter, Raziel. Listen to me – you must understand that every creature is bound to one predestined path. We are all shackled - / Raziel: – to the Wheel of Fate. Believe me, I know that even better than you do. / Kain: All but one. Because of your re-making, you are the one unbound creature, the one among us all that truly has free will. You have a choice, Raziel – Crystal Dynamics (November 11, 2003). Legacy of Kain: Defiance. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Kain: How strange to see this place long before my birth... centuries before the corruption set in that would poison the land, and put me on the treacherous path I still followed. In the future, these edifices would be condemned to darkness and decay. I would cause their fall, and build my empire upon their ruins. Was it still possible that with the right knowledge, the right moves, I might one day see Nosgoth restored, the Pillars pure once more? My answer – according to Moebius – lay somewhere to the west of this place. I could restore the world, perhaps. But never again could I give Nosgoth back her innocence. Crystal Dynamics (November 11, 2003). Legacy of Kain: Defiance. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Moebius: My role as Time Guardian affords me a certain level of omniscience, Raziel. No, you don't kill me. That honor belongs to your maker, Kain, some thirty years from now. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Bennett, Andrew (January 2000). "IGNDC Interviews Crystal Dynamic's Andrew Bennett". IGN. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
- Perry, Douglass C. (May 10, 2000). "Soul Reaver 2: Director's Interview - PlayStation 2 Feature". IGN. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
- Davison, John; Rybicki, Joe (September 2000). "Legacy of Kain: Funk Soul Brother". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine (36).
- Lemarchand, Richard (October 23, 2003). "Legacy of Kain: Defiance Designer Diary #1". GameSpot. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
- Moebius: You may never again be human, Raziel... But you can re-embrace the essence of your humanity, and the nobility of your Sarafan heritage. Go to him, Raziel, and end this. But first you will need to find your way out of the Stronghold – and in this, I'm afraid, I cannot help you. My soldiers will not understand your appearance here; they will try to kill you. You needn't fear them, of course. They're no match for you. Try to keep the casualties to a minimum, but do what you have to do. All great movements require a few martyrs... Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: For the first time, I beheld the image of my Sarafan self, memorialized here among my fallen comrades. It tortured me to see how noble and pure I had been – and what a vile phantasm I had become. And a profound sense of injury – of loss and betrayal – welled up in me, so overwhelming I could barely contain it. All I wanted at this moment was to find Kain, and destroy him. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: These vampires had nothing in common with the deranged jackals I left behind in Kain's derelict empire – they seemed to retain much of their former humanity. In this era, vampires were clearly not the uncontested predators we had been... these creatures were hunted mercilessly, and oppressed. And while I still believed that vampirism was a plague, and had to be wiped out, there was nothing noble or righteous in this crusade – this was simply ruthless persecution. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Kain: If you truly believe in free will, Raziel, now is the time to prove it. Kill me now, and we both become pawns of history, dragged down the path of an artificial destiny. I was ordained to assume the role of Balance Guardian in Nosgoth, while you were destined to be its savior. But the map of my fate was redrawn by Moebius, and so in turn was yours... Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: I serve no one – not you, not Kain... and not your lackey, Moebius. / Elder God: Moebius is my good servant. I have many. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: The scenes I discovered here were unambiguous... This race of winged beings – the architects of the Pillars, and the creators of the Reaver – were Nosgoth's first vampires. Their blood-thirst appeared to be a curse, inflicted upon them by their vanquished enemies. These images confirmed the truths that Kain had divulged to me, but I had been too incredulous to accept. I struggled in vain to see how the pieces fit together... How Kain intended to escape the dilemma of his destiny, and what role he had plotted for me... And why Moebius, and the dark powers with which he seemed to be allied, were so desperate to see Kain dead, and so intent on me being the instrument of his execution... Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: We agree then that the Pillars are crucial, and must be restored? / Kain: Yes, Raziel – that's why we've come full-circle to this place. / Raziel: So after all this you make my case for me. To end this stalemate, you must die so that new Guardians can be born. / Kain: The Pillars don't belong to them, Raziel... they belong to us. / Raziel: Your arrogance is boundless, Kain. / Kain: There's a third option – a monumental secret, hidden in your very presence here. But it's a secret you have to discover for yourself. Unearth your destiny, Raziel. It's all laid out for you here. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Kain: History abhors a paradox, Raziel. Even now, the time-stream strains to divert itself, finding its old course blocked by your refusal to destroy me. The future is reshuffling itself to accommodate your monumental decision. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Vorador: But you see, even if you are who you appear to be, it no longer matters... You're simply too late. Janos Audron – the Reaver Guardian, the last of the Ancients, and my maker – was murdered by the Sarafan nearly five centuries ago. He alone would have the answers you seek, but his secrets died with him. I don't know how you've come even this far without his guidance – or without the Reaver, stolen these 500 years ago by the Sarafan. I am afraid, my friend, that you – and all of us – are out of luck. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Moebius: What are you doing? / Raziel: Come now, Moebius – you're a cunning serpent... you'll piece it together, I imagine. This era is of no further use to me. You will operate this device to provide me passage. I want to see the world in a simpler time – before the Sarafan began their crusade. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: If I had any doubts about the era I now occupied, this grotesque tableau certainly eliminated them. For here was Moebius – long since murdered by Kain – lionized and beatified as the martyred leader of his bloodthirsty crusade. And if I required further evidence, I needed only to behold the gruesome trophy Moebius held aloft: the severed head of Vorador, the final triumphant kill of Moebius's cutthroat mob. His execution marked the annihilation of the vampires. Far from channeling me into Nosgoth's past, Moebius had propelled me over a century into its ghastly future. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: Well, they're certainly trying to eliminate you, Kain, there can be no doubt of that. I am assaulted relentlessly with demands for your demise. Whatever it is that you’re plotting, they're scared to death of you. As for me, I suspect they made a grave error when they allowed my unique resurrection. I don't think they know how to destroy me. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Janos: The most formidable weapon ever forged by our swordsmiths... They infused the blade with vampiric energy, empowering the Reaver to drain our enemies of their precious lifeblood. / Raziel: As Janos presented the blade, an inexplicable sense of dread crept over me, more palpable than anything I'd felt before. I was at once horribly repelled by the sword and yet irresistibly compelled to touch it, to take it up. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: I would pursue the Sarafan dogs to their loathsome fortress, and avenge Janos Audron's murder. Moebius would pay dearly for his treachery, and my Sarafan brethren would reap the horrors they had sown. I would retake the stolen Reaver, which was rightfully mine. And finally, when all these debts had been paid, I would reclaim Janos Audron's heart from their filthy, unworthy hands. If the heart was truly imbued with the power to restore vampiric unlife, its highest purpose was clear to me... I would restore the heart to Janos, and thus undo the vile crime committed by my abominable former self. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: My former brethren Dumah and Rahab confronted me next – this all seemed so elegantly choreographed. Exhilarated by the Reaver, I was drunk with revelations... I could finally appreciate the delicious irony of Kain's blasphemous, private joke – and I reveled as I colluded with him across the centuries. For it was I who put these bastards in their tomb – thus providing the corpses for Kain to raise as his vampire sons a millennium from now. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: With all other foes exhausted, the conjoined blades turned themselves on me. And I realized, finally, why I had sensed nothing when Janos offered me the blade. The Reaver was never forged to be a soul-stealing weapon... the ravenous, soul-devouring entity trapped in the blade was – and always had been – me. This is why the blade was destroyed when Kain tried to strike me down – the Reaver could not devour its own soul. The paradox shattered the blade. So – this was my terrible destiny – to play out this purgatorial cycle for all eternity... I could not bear it – despair overwhelmed me. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: And then... a growing sense of vertigo, and the familiar displacement – the paradoxical moment when my twinned soul hovered both outside and inside the Reaver blade... This was the instant – the glimmer of temporal distortion – Kain had been counting on all along. This was the edge of the coin – the minute flicker of probability upon which Kain had gambled everything. / Kain: Now you are free to reclaim your true destiny, Raziel. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: Behind Kain's eyes, I could see new memories blooming and dying, as history labored to reshuffle itself around this monumental obstruction... And I could see by the dawning horror on his face that perhaps we had strained history too far this time... that by trying to alter my fate, he may have introduced a fatal paradox. / Kain: My god... the Hylden... we walked right into their trap... Raziel! Janos must stay dead! Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
- Raziel: But Kain's warning was lost as I slipped into the spirit realm, too weak to maintain my physical form... And there, waiting for me as always, was the Reaver... the wraith blade – my own soul, twinned and bound eternally to me. And I realized that I could never escape my terrible destiny... I had merely postponed it. History abhors a paradox. Crystal Dynamics (October 31, 2001). Soul Reaver 2. PlayStation 2. Eidos Interactive.
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