Part 11This was either going to be stupidly short, or very long. So, we'll make it long. There's really no 'good' place to stop at this point that doesn't make the next update about 1/5 the size of the rest.
Having consumed Rahab's soul, we can now return to the Abyss, where an area previously inaccessible has become available to us.
Below this ledge, there's a pool of water, flowing into the Abyss itself. Above it, this ledge sits - by jumping into the water, we can leap out and pull ourselves up.
However, before we do - what's this? Another passage, previously barred.
We dive into the water here...
...and emerge here, at the walls of a great city.
Oh, and we push some blocks to get inside. (13)
Jumping onto our block tower, we can then jump to this ledge, giving us a better view:
"The humans' citadel - its towering walls and deep moats engineered to keep Nosgoth's vampire plague at bay."
"Though the city was well-fortified against vampires, its human architects hadn't considered a breach by a creature such as myself."
Inside, we find all manner of civilians - much like the Blood Omen cities, these humans are noncombatant, and run screaming spouting pitiful pleas as they do so.
It does them no good!
We'll head first to the only "real" objective in here. By turning this wheel, the water in a small canal drains, allowing us passage.
We arrive, thusly, at the dark interior of the place. More on this to come.
We find this gate, too high to pass through in the spectral realm, but luckilly...
There's some blocks we can stack up to allow us passage. (14)
This object is part of a glyph that permanently increases Raziel's maximum health. We've been finding them throughout the game, I just didn't see it as a good use of Photobucket's bandwidth to stick in a screenshot of each one. This is, unfortunately, the only objective worth finding within the Human Citadel.
However, if we backtrack somewhat, we find some stairs with a climbable wall next to them. After numerous jumps and climbs, we come to this ledge, overlooking the city - a dead end. Odd.
There were originally going to be 2 more areas and 2 more bosses in the game. The first was in this very city. After completing what is, in the actual final release of the game, the final boss, we would have gained an ability known as 'Shift At Will', allowing us to shift from the Spectral Realm at any time, assuming full health. This would have opened up a new area, here.
In the original design, the player would have jumped from building to building here, come to a window, which we could have entered, into a giant temple. The temple gave passage to the undercity, wherein we discover a cult of vampire worshippers secluded away down there. The boss of the area would have been a human known as The Priestess. She was a sorceress, and would have given us an ability allowing us to possess the bodies of our enemies, similar to Kain's in Blood Omen.
This would have allowed us access to the final area: Raziel's brother Turel's domain. The Ash City* is, in fact, the Ash City because, high above it, a massive smokestack towers (which can be seen on the back of the box of the UK version, as well as in various previews in magazines and the like), the purpose of which was to constantly belch smoke, blocking out the sun, protecting the vampires below. This pseudo-industrial furnace-style area would have been the end of the game, but it was cut due to technical issues unresolvable before release. To be honest, I'm glad it was - the 'real' ending fits perfectly. Some ledges and a cave high above the enterance to the endgame area still exist in the final release, showing where we would have gone after completing this area.
*The Ash City is where we'll be going to next. Bare with me.
With nothing more to do in the Human Citadel, we return to the Abyss...
...and cross the water to reach...
...the Ash City. It appears to snow here - and it may well be explained as such, officially, but originally, this was ash, fallout from the giant smokestack which would have resided above.
Inside the city itself, we face all manner of nastyness (and by 'nastyness', I mean jumping and block moving puzzles) to reach our goal.
"This city once teemed with the life of my kind. Could it be that other clans had suffered the same fate as mine? In his madness, could Kain spare none of his brood?"
"It was not Kain, but Dumah's own arrogance that brought the downfall of his clan. These are human weapons, Raziel - believing themselves invincible, Dumah and his offspring failed to see an attack coming from the least likely assailants..."
"Complacent in their arrogance, they were taken by surprise, allowing the human vampire hunters to decimate their ranks with little resistance. The few that escaped have been reduced to scavengers."
Here, we have to push this block (15) with a reaver bolt, then phase through the gate and climb it.
A little beyond, we pull this one out of the wall to stand on to make a jump. (16)
We come, then, to the only 'intelligent' block puzzle in the game. (17) This one involves two areas divided by a 2-block-high wall, and an opening on the far side, very high above our reach. All the rest can be done by trial and error... this one actually requires some forethought.
Each side sports a couple blocks. On the side without the opening, we make a stair-type stack and use it to push two blocks onto the center divider.
We're then able to move to the other side, push one of the blocks provided up against the divider, and then push the two blocks on it off, landing on the one on the ground, forming a stack of 3. We move this up against the far wall, and put the last block next to it (so we can jump onto it), allowing us access to...
...the ledge. Hurray!
It doesn't sound like much, but it took me, at least, a good 15 minutes to figure out, the first time through, which is about 13 minutes more then the rest of them, so I had to give it props.
Past the block puzzle, we come to this interesting room.
This valve causes green gas to pour from a number of pipes around the room...
...and this one lights it off!
The blast opens a passage to an area we can't get far in yet, but this will come in handy later. You've probably guessed by this point how we're going to kill Dumah.
Passing the furnace, we come to... (18)
And passing that, we come to this towering series of platforms.
Shifting to Spectral, some of them move down, allowing us to jump up the tower.
At the top, this lever lowers a drawbridge previously blocking our way.
Raziel, it seems, is much stronger then we'd ever imagined, as he vandalizes this enormous stone pillar...
...which easilly crushes the fenses previously blocking our way, opening us a path strait through to...
Watch it here:
Video - Raziel meets Dumah
"My brother, Dumah - a powerful warrior, in life."
"He would have burned with shame, to have me find him here like a stuck pig."
But by this time, we know that an impaled vampire is not a dead vampire. In fact, if we move to the Spectral Realm in this room, we find Dumah very much sentient in the Spectral Realm.
"Come to save my soul, prodigal brother?"
"Not to save it, but to take it. Your only salvation is release."
First, we'll have to return his soul to his body. So we extract the wooden stakes impaling him...
...and he springs to life again.
He easilly tears free from the shackles holding him...
...and cracks his neck.
"Unbound at last... I thank you, brother."
"Your thanks are premature, Dumah. I have not forgotten whose hands bore me into the abyss."
"The centuries in limbo have honed my strength. Not even Kain is my equal."
"Even the strongest vampire is vulnerable."
"We shall test your thesis, Raziel."
"My blood-thirst has been superceded by an even darker hunger. I will consume your soul before this day is done."
He's much too strong to fight, so we do what anyone not completely tactically ignorant at this point would do. We flee. Fortunately, Dumah does what any tactically ignorant person would do: he follows...
...all the way to the furnace room...
...where we cook him alive.
"Consuming Dumah's soul empowers you to wind a constricting band of spectral energy around your enemies. This energy manifests itself in both the spectral and material realms - and in the physical world, it can be employed to manipulate otherwise immovable objects."
This is in my opinion the stupidest ability in the game - they removed it from future titles, thankfully. Raziel can now run in circles around things - objects or enemies - to damage them or rotate objects. It's almost impossible to pull off on enemies, due to the proximity required and the fact that it's simpler to just blast them with the Reaver Bolt, and on objects, it's tedious.
"In the furthermost canyon of Nosgoth's frozen wastes, the hushed silences embrace an ancient enigma. In the bowels of this labyrinth, your master awaits..."
"In the bowels of an inverted clockwork, the tormentor awaits. Be wary, Raziel - those blind with rage are by destiny ensnared."
But it's the focus of the rest of the game. Hurray! Back in the Ash City courtyard, we find this sundial, which we Constrict, causing it to turn, and a door to open.
Inside, we find naught but a blocked tunnel...
...which shifting to the Spectral Realm allows us passage through.
This is an interesting puzzle, featuring a constrictable rock and 4 doors - turning the rock opens 2 and closes the other 2. Below, there's a chamber on each side with blocks and holes (19) and, through a series of moving blocks and turning the rock, we're able to open this door.
On the other side, another block puzzle awaits, this time requiring us to move them in front of the holes then push them in with a Reaver Bolt. (20)
And beyond, we find this familiar chamber.
"The Oracle's Cave, where Kain's first fateful meeting with Moebius occurred."
"Moebius played the role of a doddering soothsayer, stirring his pot of visions while dispensing enigmatic predictions to gullible visitors. Underneath the facade was Moebius the Time Streamer, sorcerer of the Circle of Nine - a ruthless manipulator with the power to bend time. Since his murder at Kain's hands centuries ago, these caves have stood vacant... though, like Moebius himself, they are rumored to be only a facade for a much larger, more elaborate complex..."
"I sensed that Kain was here... and at that moment, I would have plumbed the depths of hell to find him."
Constricting the censor itself causes the room to rotate, and a new exit is revealed.
We descend into the depths of the complex...
"This, I deduced, must be the man himself -the Time Streamer, Moebius. He seemed not at all the impressive figure I had imagined from Kain's boasted exploits."
"And yet, even this cold image radiated a certain undeniable power..."
Next to Moebius' statue, we find this clock. Using two levers nearby, we set the time to 6:00, and a passage opens below.
We move one final set of blocks (21) and flip a few switches before a long winding staircase opens to us.
First off, 21 may not seem like a lot of block moving puzzles. I actually missed screenshots of two (in Rahab's domain) so the actual number is 23, but what's important is to realize that the game is only about 4 hours long - 2 or 3, maybe, if you skipped all of the optional content. Having 23 puzzles that're fundamentally identical in that time span is a bit much.
Below this staircase, we encounter a long corridor, with 6 portal-looking swirls of light. Before each, Raziel stops and gazes into it, and is presented with visions. He's actually gazing through time itself, seeing events passed, present, and future.
The first depicts Raziel in the Spectral Realm, having just emerged from the Abyss.
"My arrival in this miserable age... What trickery is this?"
"It is no illusion, Raziel, but a glimpse into the currents of Time itself."
The second shows him his discovery of his history, in the Tomb of the Sarafan.
"Impossible - this must be one of Kain's deceptions..."
The third depicts the moment when Kain shattered the Soul Reaver upon him, binding the wraithblade he now carries.
"These apparitions torment me... has this all been foretold?"
The fourth shows a scene not yet come to pass - Raziel, confronting Kain.
"My mind reels with conflict... does Kain await me moments from now, or in some century yet to come?"
The fourth shows Raziel in the Spectral Realm with the Reaver, striking down Ariel and consuming her soul.
"This cannot be! What madness does this scene portend? Kain must think me credulous, to suffer these lies..."
The last shows Raziel, the reaver now pulsing a wicked looking red and black.
"Is this phantasm a conjuration of my mind, or an echo of future events? "
After passing the portals, we reach this door, leading to the Chronoplast Chamber - the very center of Moebius's Time-Streaming Device.
Watch it here:
Video - Raziel confronts Kain in the Chronoplast Chamber
"I must say, I'm disappointed in your progress. I imagined you would be here sooner."
"Tell me - did it trouble you to murder your brothers?"
"Did it trouble you when you ordered me into the abyss?"
"No - I had faith in you."
"In your ability to hate. In your self-righteous indignation."
"Lies. You cannot have foreseen all of this."
"Eternity is relentless, Raziel."
"When I first stole into this chamber, centuries ago, I did not fathom the true power of knowledge."
"To know the future, Raziel... to see its paths and streams tracing out into the infinite... As a man, I could never have contained such forbidden truths..."
"But each of us is so much more than we once were... Gazing out across the planes of possibility, do you not feel with all your soul how we have become like gods? And as such, are we not indivisible? As long as a single one of us stands, we are legion..."
"That is why, when I must sacrifice my children to the void, I can do so with a clear heart..."
"Very poetic, Kain - but in the end, you offer no more than a convenient rationalization for your crimes."
"These chambers offer insight for those patient enough to look - in your haste to find me, perhaps you have not gazed deeply enough."
"Our futures are predestined - Moebius foretold mine a millennium ago. We each play out the parts fate has written for us. We are compelled ineluctably down pre-ordained paths."
"Free will is an illusion."
"I have been to the Tomb of Sarafan, Kain. Your dirty secret is exposed. How could you transform a Sarafan priest into a vampire?"
"How could I not? One must keep his friends close, Raziel - and his enemies even closer."
"Can you grasp the absurd beauty of the paradox? We are the same - Sarafan and vampire. With our holy wars... our obsession with Nosgoth's domination... Who better to serve me than those whose passion transcends all notions of good and evil?"
"I will not applaud your clever blasphemy. The Sarafan were saviors, defending Nosgoth from the corruption that we represent. My eyes are opened, Kain - I find no nobility in the unlife you rudely forced on my unwilling corpse."
"You may have uncovered your past, but you know nothing of it. You think the Sarafan were noble, altruistic? Don't be simple. Their agenda was the same as ours."
"You are lost in a maze of moral relativism, Kain. These apparitions and portents... what game are you playing now?"
"Destiny is a game, is it not? And now you await my latest move..."
And with that, Kain teleports away, to the other side of the room...
...and promptly zaps Raziel again with the Reaver. But this time, Raziel is stronger, and is able to survive a single blast. The center of the room contains a rune which, when stepped on, will heal Raziel - so we do so, and return with renewed vigor.
Kain is invulnerable to any attack but the reaver - he just laughs if we try. So we've got to stay at full health during this confrontation.
After we strike Kain, he teleports away again, to the second tier of the chamber.
He moves one of the dials on the walls, and teleports away yet again to zap Raziel with the Reaver's energy.
This time we've got to jump up to the second tier to hit him, but we still manage.
Kain repeats his previous move, turning a dial on the second tier, before teleporting to the third.
This is what I got the first Glyph for, early in the game. Turns out I didn't need it, but you can actually use it to avoid Kain's blast. It's very difficult to find him on the third tier in time (before he zaps you), as it's a very large area to cover, he teleports around it randomly with each blast, and you have to go to the bottom again each time you get hit. However, if you use the glyph power just as he fires his bolt, it does no damage, as Raziel is invulnerable while using it.
Striking Kain the third time, he teleports away...
...turns the third tier dial...
...and teleports to the time portal itself.
"You nearly had me, Raziel... But this is not where - or how - it ends. Fate promises more twists before this drama unfolds completely."
Raziel runs to stop him...
...but is too late, and Kain escapes through the portal.
Raziel reaches the portal himself, and stands for a brief moment, considering the possible consequences of what he's about to do...
"Be warned, Raziel - once you cross this threshold, you are beyond my influence..."
But Raziel proceeds anyway, his hatred for Kain surpassing any inhibitions he might have, and follows him through the time portal.
He emerges into a dark chamber, in some other time.
"Redeemer and destroyer... pawn and messiah. Welcome, time-spanned soul..."
"Welcome... to your destiny."
"Where time is but a loop, a loose stitch in the universal cloth, a streamer might seize upon a chance, a fatal slip - and plunge the fate of planets into chaos..."
I thought Moebius was dead! Kain killed him in Blood Omen 1!
Yes, he did. But, remember that Raziel has just passed through a time portal. He's clearly been sent back in time, though we don't know how far.
When dealing with time in this thread, we'll consider the exact moment of Kain's choice at the Pillars at the end of Blood Omen to be the baseline. All other times will be discussed relative to that. This time period is before that, clearly. For simplicity's sake, it's 30 years before Kain's choice - we find this out for certain in the beginning of Soul Reaver 2.
In this time:
-The pillars still stand.
-Ariel has not yet been killed.
-Kain is not yet born.
-Vorador's destruction of the Circle has occurred - this was long before Ariel's death.
-Moebius lives (clearly) and stands as the Guardian of the Time Pillar.
-Ariel maintains her role as Balance Guardian.
-The other circle members, whom Kain kills in Blood Omen, have not yet descended into madness (Ariel's death ultimately triggers this).
30 years from now:
The events of Blood Omen take place.
Centuries from now:
The rest of Soul Reaver 1 takes place.
It's important to understand exactly how time travel works in the Legacy of Kain universe. The entirity of time has been predetermined, and what is fated to happen, happens and did happen. So in this time, Kain and Raziel's entry does not introduce a paradox. On the contrary, Moebius clearly (in that time period) knew that Raziel would appear, and made sure he was there, waiting for him when he did.
This is difficult to fully grasp, at this point, since it's not how time travel works in most other stories. It'll become easier later, but for now, just know that what happens in the past or future does not change the future. Or at least, in instances when it does, it's quite clear, and I'll point them out and explain them when we get there.
Here, you can see the Soul Reaver 2 intro, which is simply a higher res version of the Soul Reaver 1 ending, as it were. It begins with Raziel's entry into the Chronoplast Chamber, and ends with his encounter with Moebius... where Soul Reaver 2 picks up. (And this is why it's so damned confusing for people who haven't played BO1 / SR1!)
Watch it here:
Video - Soul Reaver 2 intro
Next time: We set out to discover just what this time period has in store for Raziel.