Returning, as the Elder God told us, to the ruins where we first entered the Material Realm, the barred gate, previously inaccessible, is now passable. We shift to the Spectral Realm and pass through, and find this curious structure beyond.
Using the Reaver, we're able to open the door.
Here we find... Oh please, not another...
...jumping puzzle. This one's rather irritating in that the first time you go through it, there's just so many places to jump to from each starting point, you really have no idea where to go, and end up having to use trial and error to find the correct path through.
Passing the puzzle, we encounter this grotesque creature, vaguely arachnid in appearance, and indeed, it's encasing a dead human in a web. These are Zephon's minions, and hint at the nature of the beast we're about to face.
We come shortly to a grand chamber.
"Once a testament to mankind's defiance of Kain's empire, this towering cathedral now stood derelict, the humans who worshipped here, centuries dead."
"Its architects conceived this tower as a holy weapon against the vampire menace, a colossal instrument of brass and stone. The cathedral's pipes, once tuned to blast a deadly hymn, now stood silent, and these vacant spaces whistled their impotence."
We need to climb it - but it appears impassible. The pipes are far too steep to climb, and there's no other apparent way.
Until, of course, we shift to the Spectral Realm - the pipes distort and warp, providing an easy to climb ramp to the scaffolding above.
On the way across the scaffold, we face another of these arachnid vampires.
Upon disabling it, we use the Reaver to deliver the coup de grace.
Those blocky chunks flying off in every direction are actually vampire pieces. When killed with the reaver, they explode most delightfully.
Ahh, a block moving puzzle! We haven't seen one of these in a while! I was beginning to think they'd forgotten about them! (9) This time, we've got to make sure the blocks are facing the right direction when we put them in place, to complete the murals on the wall.
Completing the puzzle causes a set of blocks to slide out of the wall beneath this switch, allowing us access to it.
Flipping the switch causes this grate to begin expelling air...
...which Raziel, by spreading his wings over it, can ride far up to this ledge.
Oh look, another block puzzle at the top! This time, the blocks have holes through them, which must be aligned with holes in the sockets in the wall to allow the passage of air. (10)
Once complete, we're shown this room, with 4 glass domes protecting plugs of some kind...
...and the air we've directed with the blocks causes one to break.
Right nearby, we find another puzzle of the same nature... (11)
...which has the same result.
After completing these, we're faced with an interesting puzzle which I neglected to properly document. There's a switch, a good distance up a hallway, which causes this wall...
...to slide back. (The hole in the wall is normally filled by the block that's depressed into it) However, two or three seconds later, it slides back - far too fast to reach it.
The trick here is, to flip the switch and immediately move to the Spirit Realm, where time slows to a crawl, and we're easilly able to pass the barrier.
At the top, we discover two of these puzzles - there's three valves in a pipe, and by opening two, we shatter the remaining two glass globes.
We can then opperate the valves beneath them, which causes another air vent to spring to life...
...allowing us access to the next level of the Cathedral.
The remaining puzzle in the area is more of the same - simply flipping 3 switches down 3 corridors, which activate an air vent, and allow us to reach...
Watch it here:
Video - Raziel meets Zephon
Zephon's lair resembles some sort of insect's creation.
As, Raziel discovers...
"The prodigal son... There is no returning for you, Raziel."
"Zephon, your visage becomes you. It's an appropriate reflection of your soul..."
"...and you are not His handsome Raziel anymore. His precious first-born son, turned betrayer."
"You have missed so many changes, little Raziel. Look around you. See how the humans' weapon of destruction has become my home... Indeed, my body. A cocoon of brick and granite from which to watch a pupating world..."
"A crevice in which to cower, only scuttling from the shadows to devour a victim already ensnared in your cowardly trap. But you've made the mistake of leaving me unbound, and it is you who must succumb to my will."
"Will... instinct... reflex action... the insect mind finds little difference. I warn you, brother - as my stature has grown, so it is matched by my appetite. Step forward, morsel..."
The key to defeating Zephon is these eggs which he disgorges periodically through the fight.
We simply take them back to this flaming apparatus at the rear of his lair...
...set them alight, and hurl them at him.
Three times is the charm.
As before, Zephon's soul is torn from his body, and Raziel quickly capitalizes on this.
And after yet another electrifying experience on Raziel's part...
"Consuming Zephon's apostate soul has bestowed on you a new gift. Like his vampire spawn, you are able to scale certain walls which are otherwise impassable - but only in the physical realm. In the spirit world, these insubstantial edifices will not support you."
Thus equipped, we return to the Sanctuary of the Clans.
"In the mountains beyond the Pillars, Nosgoth's cataclysms have exposed an ancient crime. Endowed with Zephon's soul, you may now progress where your path was hitherto impeded."
"Like a corpse in a shallow grave, corruption rises to the surface... Beyond these Pillars, the defiled victim mutely screams its outrage..."
The defiled victim? Who's she talking about... we'll have to go find out for ourselves.
We find this abnormal pillar within the throne room...
...and using Zephon's 'gift', we scale it.
This strangely ceremonial-looking corridor lies beyond.
"The ancient tomb of the Sarafan, once impenetrably sealed... Now, ravaged by Nosgoth's upheavals, its mysteries lay exposed."
"In the time of Vorador, centuries before Kain was made, the Sarafan warrior priests waged a merciless war against the vampire tribes of Nosgoth. Emboldened by righteousness, they committed unspeakable and indiscriminate acts of violence - massacring fledglings and ancients alike, they decimated entire bloodlines in mere decades."
"Now their husks lay here - murderers enshrined."
"Take heed, Raziel. A forgotten history lies within. Know thyself - though it may destroy you..."
Watch it here:
Video - The Tomb of the Sarafan
Raziel steps into the tomb, and stops in his tracks, as revelation strikes him.
"As I pulled the stone free, a sigh of sepulchral air escaped the inner chamber.
I was not prepared for what lay beyond this threshold..."
"These crypts... defiled caskets of Sarafan saints... bearing my brothers' names..."
"And my own..."
"The irony of Kain's blasphemous act rushed in on me with the crushing force of revelation..."
"Were my hands not as bloody as these? Worse, I had spilled the blood of my brothers - these very comrades whose tombs lay ravaged before me."
"Yes, Raziel - you were Sarafan... born of the same force that all but destroyed your race. Before the dawn of the Empire, you were chosen."
"Kain - Nosgoth's solitary, self-declared monarch - plundered this tomb and raised you from these crypts. Breathing his vampiric gift into your defiled corpses, he resurrected you as his favored sons."
Standing in the middle of the tomb, we shift to the Spectral Realm...
...and find that there, the floor is in fact a large hole. Below, we encounter...
Watch it here:
Video - Raziel and the Tomb Guardian
Emerging from the Spectral Realm, Raziel takes in the scene before him.
"Heretic! You shall not pass..."
"Such loyalty... to one who has you guarding this outpost like a chained dog. Do you prosper on the scraps he casts you?"
"Your insults will do nothing to blunt the agonies of your demise."
"Kain killed me once - behold the result. I have no more to fear from you."
Killing the beast is as easy as killing any other vampire in the game.
Hurling it into the water is all it takes.
The Elder God:
"This relic has infused you with the power to compress and manipulate space. As your symbiotic weapon, the Soul Reaver is also thus enhanced. You may focus and project an orb of kinetic energy to strike objects that are otherwise beyond your reach."
We've just obtained the Reaver Bolt. This allows Raziel to fire a projectile from it (or, when not full health, to conjure a bolt of force with his hands). The game becomes significantly easier after this point, as we can simply spam the bolt button and kill anything from a range. It also throws things backwards, so it can be used to hurl enemies into environmental hazards.
It can also be used to move objects, such as the block (12) that previously occupied this hole.
Continuing through the hole, we come, after a bit of a jaunt, to this door.
A blast from the Reaver Bolt opens it, to reveal the most sickening, sadistic area in the game.
The Elder God:
"Once a sanctuary against the vampire menace, this abbey has been drowned by the deluge spilling from this wounded land."
The Elder God:
"Your brother Rahab and his brood, devastated even by the feeble rays of Nosgoth's sun, overcame their vulnerability to water and retreated from the surface."
The Elder God:
"Now they haunt these ruins, and glide in the darkness of its stagnant depths."
This whole area is one enormous jumping puzzle.
Falling in most sections means repeating that section...
...while falling in others means repeating the entire area from the beginning.
We come, following the successful completion of this horrific thing...
Watch it here:
Video - Raziel faces Rahab
Raziel returns to the Material Realm after jumping up a circular group of pillars, in Rahab's chamber.
Raziel doesn't know what the fuck.
"Rahab. You have adapted well to your environment, for one so maladjusted..."
"Do not mock me, Raziel. You, of all of us, should respect the power bestowed by a limitation overcome."
"Kain said you would come."
"You speak with the murderer?"
"You would do well to mind your blasphemous tongue."
"What more did he tell you?"
"That you would destroy me."
"I will, indeed. But tell me, before I tear your soul from its moorings, do you know what we were before Kain spawned us?"
"Sarafan, Rahab. The antithesis of all we ever believed."
"Does it matter? We were lost. He saved us."
"Saved us? From what?"
The room is surrounded by windows. The Elder God told us the secret to this fight when we first entered the area: 'Your brother Rahab and his brood, devastated even by the feeble rays of Nosgoth's sun'...
As we shatter the windows with the Reaver Bolt, sunlight is exposed.
When we shatter them all, the room is cast into bright light...
...and Rahab is consumed by it.
"I am undone!"
And again we see this familiar scene.
"Infused with Rahab's soul, you have overcome your former vulnerability to water's touch. Immersion in water will no longer dissolve your physical body, enabling you to swim to areas heretofore beyond your reach."
Now, we can return to an area previously inaccessible within Rahab's domain.
Shattering this window with the Reaver Bolt, we proceed within...
...and find this unusual chamber.
Raziel plunges the Reaver into the flame...
...and the blade is galvanized with fire.
Now, any time we have access to an open flame, we can ignite the reaver, allowing it (and the Reaver Bolt) to set our enemies alight. This allows the Bolt to deliver killing blows, where previously it could not, and significantly improves the damage both it and the Reaver itself will do.
"Centuries past, your brother Dumah retreated with his clan into Nosgoth's northern wilderness. Empowered by the gift of Rahab's soul, seek out his mountain stronghold. But tread carefully - these frozen wastes have mysteries yet to disclose."
"Beyond the maelstrom of the abyss, a subterranean tunnel leads northward, to the clan territory of your brother Dumah. Endowed with Rahab's soul, you may swim to gain entry where your progress was previously impeded."
"Beyond the cliffs that witnessed your execution, a silent city sits in frozen tableau. Locked in eternal limbo, they await redemption, or release."
Next time: Dumah, but first, a secluded human stronghold, now open to us.