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Alexeythegreat
Apr 18, 2015

I shall devour your soul.


Grimey Drawer

A part of the Legacy of Kain series which I keep saying should be in one big thread but then say "ah, to Hell with it" and make separate threads for no obvious reason.

Blood Omen: thread/playlist/archive
Soul Reaver: thread/playlist/archive

A shoutout to Myprotein Impact Whey (mocha flavor), Glenmorangie 10, and bananas, which with their powers combined fueled me during recording the commentary for the first video and writing up the OP. Not in a single shake, that would be disgusting.

Soul Reaver 2



1. This right here is the sequel to Soul Reaver, and the Legacy of Kain game. SR2 picks up immediately where SR rather abruptly and anticlimactically ended. Few regret that we never saw the "Raziel kills Kain and wipes out the vampires" storyline that was intended to be the conclusion of Soul Reaver. The game is filled with story and dialogue to the point where it sometimes feels more like an animated movie (and a drat spectacular one) with occasional interactive intermissions. Where Soul Reaver had the character interactions and Raziel's monologues as an addition to the meh gameplay, Soul Reaver 2 has it the other way around: the story is the main, if only, focus of the game. Where Soul Reaver has an occasional optional reference to the events of Blood Omen, Soul Reaver 2 ties everything together and makes throwbacks every two minutes. Combine that with the gameplay that is now actually okay in and of itself and some of the most fantastic scenes in any media ever (and this is not an exaggeration, just wait until the coin scene if you disagree), a new main theme that is just as memorable as Ozar Midrashim (Ariel's Lament), and you get what is for most the favorite installment in the LoK series.

2. Block puzzles are gone.

3. This is a PS2 title, and the engine has aged remarkably well (this is also applicable to Defiance, which is made with the same engine). This is half the reason why SR2 scenes are so great: while the delivery by voice actors was equally great in BO and SR, SR2 actually has the visuals to match (just remember how in the SR showdown between Kain and Raziel both were essentially just standing still in place). Combined with a fantastic art style and massive attention to detail, this makes for quite an eyecandy even without the Unreal Engine 3 polygon count.

Editing?

No.
I mean, yes, in that I will still be using annotations, as well as pretty graphics that no one except myself cares about, but I won't be cutting the gameplay.
That said, due to popular demand I will do something I originally didn't plan to do and include the possibility to skip larger puzzles (even though, unlike SR, SR2 has legit actual puzzles). Depending on the logistics of a specific puzzle, this is implemented through either the "Skip" button familiar to those who followed my SR LP, or through the timestamps in the description of the video on Youtube.

Extras?

Yes, but first I'll get the ones for Soul Reaver done, so don't think I abandonded them like I did with the Blood Omen secrets! Also, the ones here are likely to be more trivial than the ones for Soul Reaver, and will be more along the lines of something like putting Raziel's idle animations into a single video or recording an extra creepy Spectral Realm music track (the SR2 ones are by far the most disturbing of all three Soul Reav... I mean, of both Soul Reavers and Defiance).

Spoilers?

Please keep them tagged. THAT INCLUDES THE IMMORTALITY CURSE, that isn't revealed until Defiance.

Also
1. The pacing of the updates probably won't be as fast as SR (but then again, who knows), but it won't take half a year like BO did, either. Still, at least one update per week is guaranteed.
2. When I'm done with this I won't be going into BO2 immediately, I'll have a non-LoK LP in between.
3. Whoever wants to co-commentate, feel free to shoot me a PM, I'm open, just be aware that I live in Europe and scheduling is thus usually a pain

Videos



















The best of the thread:

1:

Zanzibar Ham posted:



"Oh no, there she goes again... You just had to set her off, didn't you?"

2:

Master Mathuinsaur posted:

Whoops pressed the wrong buttons and sent you to the wrong era again. I promise I won't make that mistake again *sets time machine to 5 trillion years in the past*

Zanzibar Ham posted:

And there just happens to be something significant going on in prehistoric Nosgoth. Cavemen are hunting Cavepires. And Moebius is also there.

Vicissitude posted:

Raziel would just happen to see the prehistoric rites and rituals that were the precursor to the pillar guardians and realize that the cycle's been going on since there were people to do it. There would be two reaver dungeons, one for flint and one for bone. The flint one would allow Raziel to cut through previously uncuttable materials and the bone upgrade would let the reaver control dead things or something.

Alexeythegreat fucked around with this message at Jan 19, 2016 around 19:08

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George
Nov 27, 2004

No love for your made-up things.


Thank you so much for doing this.

It's funny the direction they go with the reaver. I think it looks amazing in SR1, and has never looked better than it does in the opening cutscene here as he walks into the portal, but then it starts looking progressively worse for the rest of the series.

George fucked around with this message at Dec 25, 2015 around 01:18

Iretep
Nov 10, 2009


I'm guessing youll show off soul reaver 1 cheat codes later when they arent a bit of a spoiler? Also Moebius also losing his poo poo when the orb doesent affect Raziel is priceless. Listening him to mocking Kain makes me wonder how much he really knows and how much of it is really an act though.
Edit: also yeah, in the first game the soul reaver looked like some weird energy blade thats curled up Raziels arm, in this it looks like some kind of weird energy chainsaw.

Iretep fucked around with this message at Dec 25, 2015 around 01:25

DukeofCA
Aug 17, 2011

I am shocked and appalled.

I think this is the game where the Reaver looks worst. I liked the direction Defiance went with making the blade look like a spectral copy of the material sword.

But that can easily be overlooked, as this is the game that gives us Moebius at his smarmiest, and Kain's best monologue in the series.

KieranWalker
Sep 5, 2011

Me? Don't worry about me...

Grimey Drawer

DukeofCA posted:

I think this is the game where the Reaver looks worst. I liked the direction Defiance went with making the blade look like a spectral copy of the material sword.

I'm fond of that myself. And it would seem to be what they had in mind from the start, considering that's what the Wraith Blade looks like when Raziel first picks it up, and that's what the icon for it is on the ring menu in both Soul Reaver games.

I've been playing ahead of the LP. I gotta say, I never realized this game has so much tedious backtracking. It's a drat good thing the writing and the voice acting are so utterly amazing, otherwise I don't think this game would be as fondly remembered as it is.

Edit: I also had a lot of trouble getting it to run without crashing every twenty minutes. Apparently it doesn't like multicore CPUs.

Iretep
Nov 10, 2009


I didnt have problems getting it to run on a quad core, dual graphic card computer which seems to have problems with every game possible normally.
Did anyone manage to get a decent KB and mouse set up working? I just gave up and used a xbox 360 controller.

KieranWalker
Sep 5, 2011

Me? Don't worry about me...

Grimey Drawer

Not I. I'm using an xbone controller. Speaking of which, Iretep, does the 360 controller wind up with camera control mapped to LT and RT? 'Cuz that's been screwing me up a bit.

Iretep
Nov 10, 2009


I think it did? If I remember right you should be able to change it in the settings though. Or maybe i didnt change it and just ignored the buttons.

KieranWalker
Sep 5, 2011

Me? Don't worry about me...

Grimey Drawer

I don't think there's an option for where to map the camera control. It's probably a glitch with the game's controller support, since it was designed for a PS2 controller with actual shoulder buttons instead of analog triggers. A lot of old games detect LT/RT on a 360/xbone pad as a joystick.

Alexeythegreat
Apr 18, 2015

I shall devour your soul.


Grimey Drawer

1) I like the Defiance air reaver the most (design-wise). The SR2 one I don't like, but for an unorthodox reason - I think it's too short. This is not what a ghost version of a kris-bladed flamberge should look like.
2) Nah, SR cheat codes are fair game. They're all either regular cheat codes, or remnants of whatever was cut from the final version of Soul Reaver and never made it into the final game, so while I will show them off separately, talking about them and the reavers and the shift at will and where it was from is now fair game.
3) My keyboard+mouse setup is fine, I think All it requires is getting used to not moving the mouse during fights, and I really do get much better in the next parts with a bit of practice. That said, I did have to rebind pretty much every key there was in the controls menu.
4) The game crashes occasionally for me with my quad core CPU, but nowhere near as often as every 20 minutes. I'm playing the Steam version.

KieranWalker
Sep 5, 2011

Me? Don't worry about me...

Grimey Drawer

I'm playing the Steam version too.

I've discovered that it doesn't crash at all if you open up Task Manager as soon as you launch the game, and set sr2.exe's affinity to a single CPU core.

Zain
Dec 6, 2009

It's only forever, not long at all


God! That opening was sooo beautiful. I never played this one, but I'm already in love with it.

KieranWalker
Sep 5, 2011

Me? Don't worry about me...

Grimey Drawer

Just wait until Raziel catches up to Kain. God, that scene is amazing.

Zain
Dec 6, 2009

It's only forever, not long at all


The LoK games probably is the only series that seems to do time travel and not make it a complete loving mess. Which I really appreciate cause most of the time I roll my eyes so fast at time travel story lines.

Guy Fawkes
Aug 1, 2014

Lvl 62, +5 meadow defense

Soul Reaver II was a vast improvement above the first one, but while liked it, in the end I found myself not enjoying very much the development of the story: this especially because it destroyed the strange irony of the first game, the monster that hunts the other monsters end try to redeem its past. This, and the fact that all the humans that appears in the story are negative figures. Among the Mobius Mercenaries or the very Sarafan there were also people scared and trying to protect their families form the fangs of the vampires, which were an effective possibility, and that's ignored, they are treated like scum unworthy of life or mercy. Heck, in the first game humans' life was miserable, forced to live in refuges and in costant fear of the vampires, under a bleak sky and with an even bleakest future. They were ready to think that the monstruos figure of Raziel was an emissary of salvation, only because he had killed vampires and spared a human. Such is the rule of Kain

Guy Fawkes
Aug 1, 2014

Lvl 62, +5 meadow defense

Zain posted:

The LoK games probably is the only series that seems to do time travel and not make it a complete loving mess. Which I really appreciate cause most of the time I roll my eyes so fast at time travel story lines.

That was true until BO2, which totally messed the story up leaving a handful of plot holes that not even Defiance was able to correct, first of all the presence of Vorador.

Anime Reference
Dec 10, 2007

Yeah, it's an anime reference.

Didn't they end up declaring BO2 non-canon?

Alexeythegreat
Apr 18, 2015

I shall devour your soul.


Grimey Drawer

Anime Reference posted:

Didn't they end up declaring BO2 non-canon?

Nope

Zain
Dec 6, 2009

It's only forever, not long at all


I heard that BO2 was an Alternate Universe. Like a WHAT IF scenario.

Alexeythegreat
Apr 18, 2015

I shall devour your soul.


Grimey Drawer

Zain posted:

I heard that BO2 was an Alternate Universe. Like a WHAT IF scenario.

It's not. I don't want to get into the specifics, as by doing that I would just outright spoil the entire SR2 story, but it's canon alright

Alexeythegreat
Apr 18, 2015

I shall devour your soul.


Grimey Drawer

Guy Fawkes posted:

Soul Reaver II was a vast improvement above the first one, but while liked it, in the end I found myself not enjoying very much the development of the story: this especially because it destroyed the strange irony of the first game, the monster that hunts the other monsters end try to redeem its past. This, and the fact that all the humans that appears in the story are negative figures. Among the Mobius Mercenaries or the very Sarafan there were also people scared and trying to protect their families form the fangs of the vampires, which were an effective possibility, and that's ignored, they are treated like scum unworthy of life or mercy. Heck, in the first game humans' life was miserable, forced to live in refuges and in costant fear of the vampires, under a bleak sky and with an even bleakest future. They were ready to think that the monstruos figure of Raziel was an emissary of salvation, only because he had killed vampires and spared a human. Such is the rule of Kain

I'd say that SR2 just shifted the focus to time travel and manipulation of the player character by literally everyone, kind of how it was in Blood Omen

Guy Fawkes
Aug 1, 2014

Lvl 62, +5 meadow defense

Alexeythegreat posted:

I'd say that SR2 just shifted the focus to time travel and manipulation of the player character by literally everyone, kind of how it was in Blood Omen

That's true, and that was what made the game enjoyable and the story compelling. But the way normal humans are treated in the game, especially the one with lines of dialogue, or the story characters, become more and more cringeworthy while the story unfolds. The violence of the Sarafan or the brutalty o Mobius horde is costantly brought to the attention, but the horrid crimes Kain and his vampires committed, the sufferences they inflicted on the mortals are glissed over.

Alexeythegreat
Apr 18, 2015

I shall devour your soul.


Grimey Drawer

Guy Fawkes posted:

That's true, and that was what made the game enjoyable and the story compelling. But the way normal humans are treated in the game, especially the one with lines of dialogue, or the story characters, become more and more cringeworthy while the story unfolds. The violence of the Sarafan or the brutalty o Mobius horde is costantly brought to the attention, but the horrid crimes Kain and his vampires committed, the sufferences they inflicted on the mortals are glissed over.

Well, there's Mortanius. And as far as Kain's crimes go, this seems to be all a part of elder Kain's plan to revert everything back to normal or at least normal-ish; plus there's the overarching "evil is relative" theme

George
Nov 27, 2004

No love for your made-up things.


Ariel.

Male of the Century
Jan 7, 2004

PISH-POSH!

Zain posted:

I heard that BO2 was an Alternate Universe. Like a WHAT IF scenario.

It technically is an alternate "universe" in that every time a paradox occurs the current one splits in two and the old one just sort of fades away and dies. You can actually see this happen I believe multiple times in this game when one occurs and characters are suddenly flooded with all sorts of new memories in order to have what they have done, and will do, match up with what they just did to cause it. From a purely "in game lore" standpoint, everything we saw happen in Blood Omen and Soul Reaver have now never actually happened the way they did originally and only Kain, Raziel, Mobius, and the Elder God (plus one other character waiting in the wings) have any idea what happened in the "past" because they are all either the direct or indirect catalysts of every paradox. This is how Blood Omen 2 and Defiance play into the series, as it's Kain and Raziel retreading old ground that time "forgot" in new ways because it happened different the second (4th) time around.

Guy Fawkes posted:

That's true, and that was what made the game enjoyable and the story compelling. But the way normal humans are treated in the game, especially the one with lines of dialogue, or the story characters, become more and more cringeworthy while the story unfolds. The violence of the Sarafan or the brutalty o Mobius horde is costantly brought to the attention, but the horrid crimes Kain and his vampires committed, the sufferences they inflicted on the mortals are glissed over.

It isn't until really late in the series when you start to find out that the way they are being depicted makes sense with the revelation of them being puppets and religious zealots following a rotten egg across time and space. But it does have the secondary effect of painting the main characters as mass murderers with very a strong "ends justify the means" mentality, which by today's standards isn't very different from other game "heroes" for example Nathan Drake, but in these games there are consequences to your actions and a well fleshed out story telling you just what those consequences are, so to have that bit go completely untouched for so long is strange. I'm not sure if that revelation in the story came along because they took a look at their characters and saw that their good guys were actually reprehensible, or if it was the plan all along, and at this point we will probably never know. Though if we do ever get another LoK game it's pretty exciting to know that it will be coming from the guys that are making some of the best action adventure games on the market currently.

Male of the Century fucked around with this message at Dec 26, 2015 around 21:38

Crigit
Sep 6, 2011

I'll show you my naval if you show me yours.
Let's get naut'y.


Male of the Century posted:

Though if we do ever get another LoK game it's pretty exciting to know that it will be coming from the guys that are making some of the best action adventure games on the market currently.

Huh? Amy Hennig is currently working at visceral, and square enix has the rights to the franchise. The new tomb raiders are pretty fun games but their writing is atrocious, and LoK games live or die on their writing.

Alexeythegreat
Apr 18, 2015

I shall devour your soul.


Grimey Drawer

Blood Omen 2 would be an example of a Legacy of Kain game without writing
It's basically the Star Wars prequel of the LoK series that has some neat things and then a lot of wrong upon wrong upon more wrong

I just hope that whatever future is there for LoK, its story won't be confined to forum posts, like that of a certain massive-multiplayer-something-words title

Male of the Century
Jan 7, 2004

PISH-POSH!

Crigit posted:

Huh? Amy Hennig is currently working at visceral, and square enix has the rights to the franchise. The new tomb raiders are pretty fun games but their writing is atrocious, and LoK games live or die on their writing.

There's probably only 3 or 4 writers left in games I would consider "good" and Hennig is tied to Star Wars for the next forever. At this point I would take a halfway decently written resolution over what BO2 had, so long as it has some well made environments and actually fun gameplay, which the new Tomb Raider's definitely are. Compared to BO2 which had mediocre writing AND bad worlds with unfun gameplay. It's a sad state of the world that it's literally a "pick 2" triangle these days.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010


Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


Ultra Carp

Henrig will be on 1313 so I'll make that trade.

Alexeythegreat
Apr 18, 2015

I shall devour your soul.


Grimey Drawer

Wait, we actually know that it's 1313 and not some "unspecified" Star Wars project?

MiddleOne
Feb 17, 2011



Alexeythegreat posted:

Blood Omen 2 would be an example of a Legacy of Kain game without writing
It's basically the Star Wars prequel of the LoK series that has some neat things and then a lot of wrong upon wrong upon more wrong

At least Defiance discarded everything but the last 5 miuntes of Blood Omen 2.

Alexeythegreat
Apr 18, 2015

I shall devour your soul.


Grimey Drawer

Then there's this thing

Male of the Century
Jan 7, 2004

PISH-POSH!

Alexeythegreat posted:

Wait, we actually know that it's 1313 and not some "unspecified" Star Wars project?

No, 1313 is "cancelled" as it stands, but pending some third party licensing it could get picked up by some other dev. So even if it did come back in a few years someone else would be making it and at best Hennig would be a consultant. Now that Battlefront is out the only other projects are "unannounced Star Wars projects" unfortunately.

Alexeythegreat
Apr 18, 2015

I shall devour your soul.


Grimey Drawer

DukeofCA
Aug 17, 2011

I am shocked and appalled.

I like the way Raziel thumps Moebius on the head. He's like a school bully.

Also, Rahab has little seahorses on his armor in the mural, very cute.

As to the crows vanishing in green mist, I believe it's because they're tied to another character we'll be meeting in the future, who disappears much the same way.

Alexeythegreat
Apr 18, 2015

I shall devour your soul.


Grimey Drawer

I forget things

Vicissitude
Jan 26, 2004

You ever do the chicken dance at a wake? That really bothers people.

I remember constantly bugging the game because I chased off those crows and the first dungeon wouldn't let me out at the end

Marmaduke!
May 19, 2009

Why would it do that!?

DukeofCA posted:

I like the way Raziel thumps Moebius on the head. He's like a school bully.

Yeah, that bit's great. Is there any more self-righteous (anti)hero in a video game than Raziel? At least Kain knew what he was doing was messed up, but I don't recall him soliloquising about how evil others' crusades were shortly after butchering a hundred humans who could never hope to defeat him.

Also, so many dead vampires in this area. You'd think Kain would have run into a few more in Blood Omen.

Zain
Dec 6, 2009

It's only forever, not long at all


Oh man can this game get any better. I love how it's really turning everything we thought about it after SR1 on its head.

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DukeofCA
Aug 17, 2011

I am shocked and appalled.

Vicissitude posted:

I remember constantly bugging the game because I chased off those crows and the first dungeon wouldn't let me out at the end

Oh god yes. I think its only a specific set of crows right outside the dungeon in question, but I usually try my best to avoid as many as possible to be safe.

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