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Thread: Soul Reaver 2 - screenshots from cancelled PS1 release, Air Forge Design documents

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Soul Reaver 2 - screenshots from cancelled PS1 release, Air Forge Design documents

    I've found some interesting discoveries on the website/portfolio of designer Casto Vocal (who worked on both Soul Reaver games).

    First, some unseen screenshots from the cancelled Playstation 1 release of Soul Reaver 2. The area is only named "Urban".

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    Ben has some further information about this build at The Lost Worlds, but as far as I am aware we've never seen such clear and detailed screenshots before.

    Next up, what I think are the internal Crystal Dynamics design documents for Soul Reaver 2's Air Forge, with some accompanying concept art. These were freely available on Castro Vocal's portfolio. I've thumbnailed the first four because they are quite large.

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    I don't believe these have been seen before either. The annotated design documents really give you an idea of what Crystal Dynamics were trying to accomplish with the level, and the very specific real-world architectural inspriations they followed!

    As always, will post more as I find it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    ! Dios Mio !

    The murals originally were to produce weapons instead of beating hearts to put back in the bodies.

    And in some of the drawings, the big central snake-head altar thing was going to have wings! That makes sense for something jutting up inside the air forge temple. That would have been cool, like it was frozen in the act of flying up into the AIR of the night sky.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    oh wow, thanks for the screens! I have only seen that urban level with SR1 Raziel model, not with dreamcast version. I really would like to play that

    That initial snake design is really interesting

  4. #4
    These are really amazing Shadow. The quality of the PS1 SR2 screenshots are great. And the Air Forge! It's a shame they didn't use the weapons in the final game, it would've made that puzzle a whole lot cooler. It's also fascinating to read the developers use of different civilizations as a template for the design. They were very talented people indeed.
    I am everywhere...and nowhere. I am everything...and nothing. I am...fear itself!

  5. #5
    Man! I am amazed all this artwork is being discovered!! Thank you for sharing it with us.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by The Hylden View Post
    The staff has a specialty about it, sure. It is a smaller version, for some reason, of the giant main pillar with the coilsing snake around it in the heart of the Wind Temple in SR2, minus the orb int he snake's jaws. Instead, the wind forge rests in where the snake's "tongue" would be (of note: recent concept art reveals this was originally to be a dragon, and may still be called such, since dragons are sometimes depicted as really a big snake, basically). Why the staff is modeled after this has never been explained. Is it of vampiric origin, or Hylden, or from some other influence? We don't know.
    (Lifted from the Thoughts on Timelines thread):

    That's good stuff. Huge Moebius staff in the air forge. I didn't go for your thing about Turelim saying "Raziel" as they attack, but I'm choosing to believe this huge staff business. Because.... so cool. Good eye for detail ! It's probably just the result of some artist studying previous art from the series to determine how best to incorporate his/her own contribution. But if taken seriously, this huge staff thing could be used to spin quite a yarn.... Like, say the air forge altar and the Staff really are both made in the same image, that'd mean the Staff is a deeply vampiric relic Moe took from them at the start of the revolt and perverted it from its original pro-vampire purpose into an instrument of doom. Hmmm. What was its original purpose....... Got it! ------
    1) The elemental forges were made to empower the vampire hero when he finally arrived, right?
    2) And the hero was supposed to wield the reaver.
    3) And the reaver doesn't get made till long after they've been cursed.
    4) So for now I'm going to assume the elemental forges (and now the Staff) were made during that cursed time period as well.
    5) And what does the Staff do? It lays low the cursed vampire.

    Here's my idea for the original purpose of the staff when vamps still possessed it: They used it to curb the worst effects of the curse and keep themselves as civilized as possible so they could "keep it together" long enough to build all the reaver forge temples. Like, the curse was trying to turn them into animals who'd attack anything that moved, right? So when one of them building the air forge started losing control and looking like they were going to attack another worker, the head priest vamp would use the staff to incapacitate that one while a bowl of blood was donated by the others to ease his cravings. Then, when he recovered, he'd look around at the priest vamp and say "Thank you. I was losing myself, and..." "I know, my son. We all understand. Go back to work now."

    Whoa. Now to take a stab at figuring out the Air Forge !!!!!
    This could mean the larger version, the air forge altar, may have been intended to function on a large scale similar to the silenced cathedral, only non-lethal. It was a monument to self-control. It was about striving to keep their identity and not let the curse define them as wretches and murderers. The dragon altar was a promise to reclaim the skies, along with their greatness. It was about....... not losing heart. (While they experimented with heart removal to see if that could beat the curse. ) OR, and again, WHOA, what if the suffering little guys with their hearts removed in the depths of that forge were somehow the batteries for a great machine housed there (like Janos was a battery for the BO2 machine), and they were being used to attune the machine to heal vampires, like how Janos's essence was used to target the glyph energy against vampires. It must have amounted to only a balm, and not a cure. ?????????????????????????????

  7. #7
    The retail version for comparison:

    "If events are matched closely enough to course, they have a way of restructuring themselves to familiar outcomes." ~ Scorpius, Farscape

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