Thread: Soul Reaver 15th anniversary

Soul Reaver 15th anniversary

  1. #1
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    Soul Reaver 15th anniversary

    August the 16th, 2014. Happy 15th anniversary to Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, my favourite video game of all time!


    (click image to enlarge)

    Since first playing the Lighthouse demo back in late 1998, I've continued to be captivated by this piece of art. It was my first introduction to the world of Nosgoth, and will probably always remain my fondest. Raziel's crazed pursuit of vengeance against his master Kain, which gradually gave way to a cerebral quest for enlightenment and truth, struck a chord; it enticed me not only to seek out the other games in the series, but to begin writing my own articles examining every minute detail, and then more, and more... My passion for literature, scholastic path, and indeed the workings of my brain in general owe everything to this game.

    It's almost difficult to appreciate how very ambitious and far ahead of its time the game was in almost every respect, between its shifting mechanics, a revolutionary data-streaming system, context-sensitive soundtrack, florid Shakespearean dialogue and memorable voice acting. On release, it garnered critical acclaim, but, before long, it was discovered that the gem was flawed – despite firing on all cylinders, developers Crystal Dynamics had been unable to round off even the final, trimmed-down iteration of their plans in time, leading to a veritable trove of cut content for fans to unearth and analyse. It had literally been "over-designed"! This only serves as testament to the uniquely vivid creative vision its team had woven together; evidently, this haunting, hypnotic world had taken on a life of its own.




    The twisted, surreal wonders of the wasteland drew me in, and keep on giving. To this day, I can safely say there's nothing quite like Soul Reaver out there. Here are a couple of interesting links, past and present, to mark the occasion:



    To add a token in celebration of the date, those of us at the LoK Wiki would also like to exclusively release three old SR1 interviews we've managed to dig up from times gone by. I have no idea whether Square Enix or Psyonix have any official plans for a retrospective, but extra material from fellow fans will come in later in the year.


    • 1998 – [SR1] [Gamers' Republic / Amy Hennig] – Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver



    • 1998 – [SR1] [Next Generation / Amy Hennig] – Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver



    • 1999 – [SR1] [Official PlayStation Magazine / Rosaura Sandoval] – Analysis: Soul Reaver



    If you wish, feel free to share any memories or tributes you yourselves might have to acknowledge this amazing game.
    Last edited by Lord_Aevum; 28th Aug 2014 at 17:42. Reason: overlooked a small tweak
    "A return to Nosgoth is not necessarily always welcome: only the attainment of that final gnosis will satisfy us." – Sam Zucchi

  2. #2
    This game changed my life as well. Raziel will forever remain one of my most favorite characters of all time.

  3. #3
    Sadly I never got into the series, but I remember playing a Soul Reaver demo years ago and loving the way Raziel moves and controls (that and he looks awesome as a wraith). Playing Nosgoth led me to look into some of the lore (both with what I could pick up on the forums and from the wiki) and Raziel is my favourite character for sure, along with the Razielim being my favourite of the vampires. If anything it's great that such a good series with rich lore existed to become a basis for Nosgoth.

  4. #4
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    How many memories... Raziel, my dear Raziel

    P.S His statue in the map "The Fane" is awesome. Splendid tribute

  5. #5
    I spent the whole video grinning like an idiot. Just... Soul Reaver is so important to me.

    I remember once when I first played a demo in my PSX, when I had no even a remotely idea about what to do, but the graphics and the atmosphere were enough to catch my attention. Fortunately, next to my home, there's a video-club where I would usually borrow games for a low price for few days, so I could see which ones would I like enough to actually buy them later in a shop. I already saw Soul Reaver for a while, but it wasn't until I was 15 when I actually chose to borrow it, since I thought "Well, one year of difference won't be a problem" (Soul Reaver is rated to +16).

    And I fell in love. Totally did it. Since the intro with that way of talking, the graphics, the atmosphere... Sure the game was Spanish dubbed, but fortunately it was a high quality one (it even got rewards as best dub for a game, if I recall). So soon enough I was following Raziel through his seek for revenge, mouth open most of the times, trying to solve the puzzles which were hard, but no so frustrating that would make me mad. For a long time, I would still borrow that game even if my mother didn't want me to, 'cuz she found it too violent with the blood and all. That, and that I had the bad luck that, in the time I discovered the game, it was already discontinued.

    But then, the worst to me happened with that game, that CD was sold, and I lost the chance to even borrow it again, less to buy a new one. Bear in mind that, in that time, I didn't have Internet at home. Damn it, I didn't even have any computer, and my only way to go to Internet and chat with a friend was through a ciber-café. So, of course, I ignored completely the existence of webs like Ebay and so. In that same video-club, sometimes, only sometimes, would have second-hand games to sell. But I spent months, a lot of them, until finally one day, with all hope lost, I still got inside to check one last time, and then saw it. A second-hand version of Soul Reaver, with the cover which changes if you tilt it. I got so happy that I even used the phone of the video-club to practically beg my mother to let me buy it. And, even if at first she didn't want me, I insisted so much, and having enough money by myself to afford it... She finally accepted. So, after a long time, asking to the woman to keep it to me until I came back, practically run to home to get the money, and coming back... At last, I got my own Soul Reaver copy. Copy that is still in my hands, and still works totally fine regardless of the years and all, ALL the times I played it.

    And may I say, since I played it again about few weeks ago... Years don't pass for this game. Sure, the PSX graphics may look a bit obsolete compared to the ones of the current games, but... That story, atmosphere, characters, being able to shift realms! The puzzles! After years without playing and not remembering most of the game, I found myself struggling with them again! Even nowadays you can totally see how ambitious the game was! How genius was the team to make it work in a 32-bits console, even when they needed to cut it a lot due to either lack of time or lack of power in the PlayStation 1. To me, this is one of those games who will be always a gem, unfortunately not enough famous to get all the attention and praises it deserves, but still with a special place in all the LoK fans' hearts.

    This game is just too important to me... Not only because of all the good times I passed and all it made me think about the lore, the stories, the characters... But also as well because, it was thanks to Soul Reaver than I got into roleplaying forums, when an old friend of mine told me about a Soul Reaver RP forum, knowing that I loved the game. And, for sure, RP was and is still my life, letting to me write a lot when, usually, I wouldn't.

    This game will be always one of my most fav ones with Medievil, and I will always keep it, whatever the game itself and the memories, as the treasure it is to me.
    Last edited by GonarTrvig; 16th Aug 2014 at 21:20. Reason: Spelling ;w;, and more texting

  6. #6
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    I have fond memories of my first interactions with Soul Reaver and like many others I consider it perhaps the finest in the series for its time - not just in terms of sales and critical acclaim, but in terms of sheer groundbreaking enjoyment and ambition - here was a game that truly broke the mould for games of that period.

    My first experiences of the series had been through Blood Omen, but it didn't grab me at the time, no, it was the first reports of Soul Reaver that did that, with its reputation as 'super tomb raider' and when I got a copy that Christmas, I was hooked from the moment I saw glyphx's awesome fmv intro.

    I couldn't put it down and I remember being a bit disappointed but determined by the cliffhanger ending: it made me certain to come back for more and while I waited what seemed an eternity for the sequel (but which I now understand I was "merely at the threshold") it gave me time to replay it - and replay and appreciate Blood Omen - and when I found out about the SR1 cut materials I was blown away.

    The influence of Soul Reaver has loomed large for me: I replayed it until its successors were here and have replayed it countless times since and still replay it regularly to this day. It got me into the storyline and lore which led me into the other games, into forums and ultimately into writing and researching for the wiki and moderating. Over 15 years SR1 has meant a lot to me and I heartily congratulate it on still being relevant and fondly remembered after this time - long may its reign in our hearts continue.
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  7. #7
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    Happy Anniversary, indeed, to Soul Reaver and the continuation of the series


    Still to this day, you'd be hard-pressed to find a cinematic intro to a game that can match the one from Soul Reaver 1. It was truly an inspired continuation for any story and it spawned a timeline-bending adventure within a rich world that not many series can match.

    So, here's to it. Kain would be proud (I am sure he had some laughs with the gang before the whole downfall of the empire thing, heh).

  8. #8
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    Ah the good old days - the great memories of old times of gaming - happy anniversary Soul Reaver

    It's so good to see the legacy still lives on - in our hearts - Raziel - you'll never be forgotten!

  9. #9
    Happy belated birthday Soul Reaver!

    The first time I played Soul Reaver I'd borrowed it from a friend and was experimenting with a cheat device at the time which let me listen to the cut content before I'd even completed the game. I bought my own copy soon afterward and was baffled at why half the content was missing. I actually thought I'd gotten a bad ending at first and that Kain's speech about not being patient enough to look was a hint of something else I was supposed to do.

    I did have some things planned such as my Kain portrait and updates for www.thelostworlds.net, but I didn't get around to the portrait and I'm waiting for Ben on some things.
    "If events are matched closely enough to course, they have a way of restructuring themselves to familiar outcomes." ~ Scorpius, Farscape

  10. #10
    Can hardly believe it's been 15 years!

    I still remember playing it on psx and all those posters in gaming magazines featuring Raziel standing on a cliff, it was at that time the pure description of the word "awesome".

    This is such a nostalgia trip

  11. #11
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    Thanks to everyone who contributed to the makeshift anniversary celebration.

    I've added The Hylden's tribute, a HD, WIP remake of the Lieutenant Raziel model, to the list of links. Be sure to have a look.
    "A return to Nosgoth is not necessarily always welcome: only the attainment of that final gnosis will satisfy us." – Sam Zucchi

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  13. #13
    Oh, the memories. To this day Soul Reaver remains one of my all-time favorite games. The graphics, the story, everything was fantastic. I felt like crying at the end of Defiance.
    "For Raziel!"

  14. #14
    I'm a huge fan of the LoK series too, though I never played Blood Omen. I started with Soul Reaver 1 on PC and like the whole story and its World. Nowadays I play games in english only, but I got Soul Reaver 1 in german and I have to say that it has the most badass and professional german voice actors - especially Raziel has a very fitting voice.

    here is an example of the german voice:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi9zCbhkyeE
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  15. #15
    I like the world, and i REALLY think it could use some remake/reboot. The enix part of square already proved they can do stellar games with Deus Ex, Hitman and Tomb Raider. they just didn't prove they can do decent puzzles, but there's nothing wrong in copying the old ones.

    Maybe even an isometric game could work wonders: the first blood omen was top-down, diablo has a good combat, even if in a different style, and it doesn't hinder either puzzle solving or narrative (diablo 3 has a shoddy storytelling because the developers made it that way, not because of the game itself).

  16. #16
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    Yep, it started for me also with SR1 way back in 1999. The combination of battle, puzzeles and searching objects plus the awsome storytelling makes this game a golden classic and was for me the start of a amazon journey through Nosgoth.

    Little bit late, but still: happy B-day SR1.
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    The descent had destroyed me... and yet I lived.

  17. #17
    Hello there

    Hell yeah, 15 years... I was 14 years old when it was released! "Soul Reaver" changed my life in many ways - it influenced TONS of my choices, tastes, and still does!


    I did these two character paintings to celebrate this event! (Go here and there for HD versions ^^)




    Through the years I've been doing some other humble fan-works; I guess it's the occasion to dig it out! Here are some of them, that some of the members of the community back in the mid-2000's may recall:

    - "Harvest of souls", an unfinished 2D platform game still available here

    - Some music videos, for example this one using A Perfect Circle's The Outsider (the Danny Lohner remixed version)... No copyright infringement intended, obviously

    - Hard rock covers of SR & SR2's theme songs, for my band Between The Zones (sorry it's not aging well, lol):
    SR theme "Ozar Midrashim": Listen/download here - Watch on Youtube
    SR2 theme "Ariel's Lament": Listen/download here - Watch on Youtube


    That's it... Enjoy and thank you!

  18. #18
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    Those are INCREDIBLE, Gombaka! Thanks for sharing!
    "A return to Nosgoth is not necessarily always welcome: only the attainment of that final gnosis will satisfy us." – Sam Zucchi

  19. #19
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    As Amy Hennig talks about in that first interview, the fact that each enemy was a puzzle was something that was sorely missed in the later games. I remember back when I first heard about this game, playing some undead guy feeding on souls and how cool it sounded, and eventually I played it and loved it. As everyone else had said, everything in this game was just right. The setting, story, voice acting, music, puzzles, this is one of those rare games where everything just worked right. I love reading those interviews and seeing just how much thought went into this game and how much they tried to make it feel like an actual world, because they did a great job at that.
    As I said, this game just worked right. For example, I also love Planescape: Torment, and consider it to have the best story to appear in any game (yes, even including LoK), but I'm not blind to the unfortunate flaws in that game, such as the kind of clunky combat (and yes I do realize that it was supposed to feel like playing a pen and paper RPG like D&D, since it was of course based on Planescape). After playing Soul Reaver, I played Blood Omen to understand more of it, and despite the horrible loading times, I really enjoyed the Zelda-like gameplay. I've described the game as a super violent version of The Legend of Zelda to people before. And since I played Blood Omen, it meant that when I played Soul Reaver 2 and they made all those references to Blood Omen, I totally got what they were saying.
    I'm pretty critical of the series from Soul Reaver 2 on, but this series has had probably the best setting I've seen in a game ever. It was all so obviously well thought out, and across all the games, it felt like it was just alive and real.

  20. #20
    Has it really been 15 years!

    I feel so old now

    Is there anything from Psyonix/Crystal Dynamics on a true follow up to Legacy of Kain campaign? It would be very apt for an anniversary (maybe 20th). I love Nosgoth but I would love another single player puzzle game like Soul Reaver/Soul Reaver 2 to play again, something where I can loose myself in the story!
    Last edited by Cristari; 8th Sep 2014 at 17:42.