Sections

Soul Reaver wasn’t originally developed as a sequel to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, says Hennig

Saturday, 13th October 2012 21:18 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Soul Reaver wasn’t originally developed as a sequel to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Amy Hennig has said. If you haven’t played any of the games in the series – for shame – know there are potential spoilers below.

Speaking in a retrospective on the PS Blog, Hennig – the game’s writer and director – said Soul Reaver was originally conceptualized as a new IP titled Shifter, and loosely inspired by Paradise Lost.

“The protagonist was essentially a fallen angel of death, a reaper of souls hunted by his former brethren, and now driven to expose and destroy the false god they all served,” she said. “The Shifter concept was the genesis of the game that would become Soul Reaver; the core ideas were all there. The hero was an undead creature, able to shift between the spectral and material realms, and glide on the tattered remains of his wing-like coattails.

“We conceived the spirit realm as a twisted, expressionistic version of the physical world. The hero was bent on revenge after being betrayed and cast down by his creator – like Raziel, he was a dark savior figure, chosen to restore balance to a blighted, dystopian world.

“When we were asked to adapt this concept into a sequel to Blood Omen, our challenge was to take all these ideas and merge them creatively into the Legacy of Kain mythos.”

Hennig said despite the change in direction, the finished product was “pretty close” to original concept of Shifter.

“We had to cut content, but the core concept of the game remained unchanged,” she said. “To hit the August ’99 release date, we had to cut the last few levels of the game, and end on a cliffhanger that set up Soul Reaver 2.

“Originally, Raziel was going to hunt down and destroy all of his former brothers as well as Kain – and then, using his newly-acquired abilities, he would’ve activated the long-dormant pipes of the Silenced Cathedral to wipe out the remaining vampires of Nosgoth with a sonic blast. Only then would he realize that he’d been the Elder God’s pawn all along, that the purging of the vampires had devastating consequences, and that the only way to set things right would be to use Moebius’ time-streaming device to go back in time and alter history (in the sequel).

“So the story would have arrived at a similar place, just by a different route. In the end, as much as I hated its bluntness, Soul Reaver’s “To Be Continued” ending probably turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I think it opened up more interesting story options for the sequels.”

You can read the entire interview with Hennig through the link.

Latest

11 Comments

  1. roadkill

    How could one have never played this series!? It’s one of the most magnificent in gaming history! So if you really haven’t, you should start right now! I think it’s all on gog.com.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. dirigiblebill

    You chaps ran a piece about a Legacy of Kain reboot a while back. Anything to add to that? Make my weekend, why don’t you :)

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Stephany Nunneley

    @1 Agreed! It’s one of my personal favorites of all time.

    @2 I haven’t heard a thing else, but that would make my year!

    #3 2 years ago
  4. absolutezero

    Tony Jay ;_;

    Would never be the same.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. freedoms_stain

    “Soul Reaver’s “To Be Continued” ending probably turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I think it opened up more interesting story options for the sequels”

    Honestly, the series lost it after Soul Reaver. Soul Reaver 2 is still one of the worst disappointments I’ve had in gaming. Aside from the graphical upgrade it was a step down from Soul Reaver in a lot of respects. Crappy repetitive level design, lacked the atmosphere, took the story down a largely disappointing avenue… Since I first heard about the cut ending to SR1 I’ve always thought that that sounded like a superior line for the story to take. I especially disliked what they eventually did with Turel (in Blood Omen 2, which although decent enough to play, I thought was an even shittier way to take the story). It would have been way more interesting to take him down in SR1.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Ali

    I can’t think of my PS1/Early PS2 memories without this franchise popping up. It is easily one of my favorite and one that really does need to be remade.

    They need to take their time with it + they need to find a good developer for it.Crystal Dynamic has got a lot to prove with their coming Tomb Raider !

    #6 2 years ago
  7. bpcgos

    Oh, we need more games like this nowadays instead of those generic manshooter FPS.
    Medievil, Soul reaver, Fighting Force 2, Tenchu, Syphon Filter series,Spec Ops etc. are my best teen memories pre-PC era (PSOne exactly). Where they’re all gone today(except for Spec Ops,ofc)??

    #7 2 years ago
  8. polygem

    soul reaver great gamse indeed. still for todays standards actually! gameplay, artdesign. first class.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. alimokrane

    Aaah, the memories… This and Legacy of Kain SO deserve to be given a new breath of life with new games…

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Cobra951

    “Honestly, the series lost it after Soul Reaver. Soul Reaver 2 is still one of the worst disappointments I’ve had in gaming. Aside from the graphical upgrade it was a step down from Soul Reaver in a lot of respects.”

    That’s what I came in to say, basically. I’m all the more disappointed now that I’ve learned that the original game was supposed to go the rest of the way, and it never got the chance to get there (even in a sequel).

    #10 2 years ago
  11. gombath

    Uhh, respect for giving the series some attention, but this is actually very, very old news. It’s been floating around since long before 2004 when Denis Dyack mentioned it. Even a lazy Google search for “shifter soul reaver” would show that it’s been regurgitated several times over. (http://www.ign.com/boards/threads/something-interesting-denis-dyack-once-said.52814349/)

    #11 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.