Part 1For anyone who hasn't heard of the series, Legacy of Kain is a 5-game set spanning the early 1990s to 2004. The gameplay in some of them is rather repetative and they're notorious for having some very poorly thought out and unchallenging puzzles (You'd be amazed at how many "move large stone blocks around a room" puzzles they managed to think up that are all technically different while being fundamentally the same), but the storyline makes up for it.
The games follow the adventures of Kain, a vampire out for revenge (and in the 2nd and 3rd installments in the series, his lovable blue lieutenant, Raziel). While the later games in the series were very widely played, the first one was not. Since it sets the stage for the other 4 in a massive way, let's check it out!
Our journey begins here... followed by the opening cinematic.
"There is a magical operation of maximum importance: the initiation of a new aeon. When it becomes necesary to utter a word, the whole planet must be bathed in blood..." Oh, alright, then.
Edit: Fixed the movie shots! And, see below for the actual movie.
Edit: Snide comments regarding poor image quality no longer needed!
This is a bit hard to make out, but what we're seeing here is a vampire, who's interupted these nice men's ritual, impaling one of them with a slick curvy sword. We'll see that sword again, throughout the series, and in fact, 2 of the games are named after it.
The men performing the ritual call out, "Malek!" as the vampire moves among them slaughtering them all.
God I hope that's not contageous.
What have we here? Oh, it's Malek, come to answer their calls for aid. Little late there, buddy. As an aside, is it just me, or does he look extremely, extremely feminine in that armor?
The last of the men falls to the vampire.
"Hay guys, I made it!"
Having failed to protect his fellows, Malek is denied final rest, damned to return and perform his duty for eternity.
[ Screenshot Missing ]Following this scene, there's one more which no screenshots of were even remotely visible, in which a woman, whom we later identify is Ariel, is similarly slain.
These are the Pillars of Nosgoth.
Long before the beginning of the game, a war raged between two near-godlike species which dominated the world: the vampires, and the Hylden. The Hylden were developing a weapon with the power to wipe out life on the planet entirely. This weapon upset the governing laws of reality, and after winning the war, the Ancient Vampires erected the pillars to ensure this never happened again. The 9 pillars represent the 9 governing forces of the world, and to each was bound a Pillar Guardian, who's sole task was to uphold the laws of their respective pillars: Death, Dimension, Conflict, Energy, the Mind, Nature, States, and Balance.
Upon winning the war, the Hylden were banished to an alternate dimension of reality, and the pillars served a dual purpose as the 'lock' on this prison.
When Ariel, the Balance Guardian is slain, the pillars themselves begin to crack and crumble. This can't be good.
Now that we've gotten those godawful images out of the way, if you're still with me...
Here, we have our hero: Kain! "But he doesn't look like a vampire..." That's because he's not. "But you said..." Shh! Just wait.
He's in a tavern, and he's being kicked out into the night, as it's closing time. I'm sure most of you can sympathize.
Unfortunately, upon his exit, he encounters some assassins! We'll just have to kill them and be on our way...
...or not. Fuck.
And here we have Kain, languishing in the abyss, whining about the pain he's endured, and how all he can think about is revenge.
"Is that a sword in your chest, or... nevermind."
But what's this? This is the necromancer, Mordanius.
He offers Kain exactly what he wanted: the chance to exact revenge on his murderers...
...and Kain accepts, without even considering the consequences.
So Kain is resurrected as a vampire. See, I told you so.
Kain awakes in his mausoleum. This serves as his sanctuary throughout the game.
And here, outside his room, we have... a blue card. These cards represent spells, abilities and equipment that Kain can find along his way. This one here is the ability, "Sanctuary". Every item, spell, and relic that he discovers, Kain describes the function of with superb voiceovers. This is one of the best parts of the game, in my opinion - his voice and tone conveys a sort of sadistic glee that adds a lot to his character.
"The Sanctuary spell enables me to travel to my crypt, where the soil of my grave provides me respite. I often resort to this when I am weak and need nourishment."
And in the next room, we find (with a very poor picture, sorry!) an item: The Heart of Darkness. If Kain is slain, and has one of these in his possession, it will automatically heal him a little bit. Alternately, you can actively use the item to heal him for a lot.
"Reputed to have been ripped from the chest of the greatest vampire to have ever existed, Janos Audron, the Heart of Darkness restores vampiric unlife. Life is precious, Janos discovered - as it was torn throbbing and bleeding from his own body."
And a little further up, we have three interesting features:
First, on the wall to his left, you can see a woman, shackled to it. BDSM jokes aside, these poor folks act as health powerups: Kain can drink their blood to replenish his own health. A nice touch is their screams when you pass by them: "Please, help me, kind sir!" Yeah, right.
On the left near the middle, we have a small glass vial, and on the right, a blue rune. These permanently increase Kain's health and mana respectively, so we want to collect them whenever they become available.
And here we have another item: "Flay". There's two types of abilities in the game: Tokens, such as this and the Heart of Darkness, are available only once per pickup, but cost nothing. Spells, such as Sanctuary, cost mana, but are available as many times as needed.
"These curious devices hurl bolts of whirling energy and eviscerate my human enemies by stripping ragged flesh from bloodstained bone."
And just before we exit the mausoleum, we find two chests, which cough up another mana rune, and a second Heart of Darkness. "How many hearts did this Janos Audron fellow have, anyway?!" A lot, apparently!
Exiting the mausoleum, we begin our long and ardous quest: to hunt down and kill Kain's assassins.
Oh hey, speak of the devil...
Well, that's that, then. Quest: Completed. Hope you enjoyed the thread, guys!
As promised, here's the intro movies
Video Intro Part 1 "The Circle Falls"
Video Intro Part 2 "Kain's Rebirth"
If you'd like to play along, you can find a movieless, bastardized version of the game on Underdogs: http://www.homeoftheunderdogs.net/game.php?id=1850
If you've never played this, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. If you've never played any of the Legacy of Kain games, firstly, what the fuck is wrong with you? Secondly, it's never too late to start.