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"Everything is decided here...
You cannot comprehend the magnitude – the rapture and the tragedy – of this moment...
And yet you must if Nosgoth is to be dragged from the wreckage of its damnation."
―Kain — Listen (file info)[src]

A Fateful Meeting, or Chapter 5: A Fateful Meeting, is the fifth "level", or chapter, of Soul Reaver 2. The chapter opens with Raziel reentering the Sarafan Stronghold in the Pre-Blood Omen era and follows his fateful meetings with Kain, Moebius, Ariel and the Elder God as he is propelled into the Post-Blood Omen era. The chapter concludes as Raziel reaches the Air Forge.

ProfileEdit

PlotEdit

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Kain presents Raziel with the Soul Reaver at William's Chapel

Having completed the puzzle of the Light Forge and imbued the Light Reaver, Raziel returned to the Great Southern Lake armed with the new enhancement. Firing the projectiles of the Light Reaver at the crystal above the Sarafan Stronghold dock entrance, he was able to open the doors and reenter the fortress, intending to use its time-streaming chambers to travel to the past and meet the ancient vampire Janos Audron.[SR2-C5][1]

Soon after Raziel once again reached the chapel of the sanctuary cathedral within the stronghold: where murals commemorated the murder of William the Just by Kain decades earlier - with both armed with the Soul Reaver and the Soul Reaver itself placed on the sarcophagus of William like a holy relic. As Raziel entered the gated area he realized that Kain was there waiting for him. Despite Raziel's declarations of his independence and free will, Kain began to explain the complicated mechanics of Nosgoth's time-stream: starting with the revelation that "History [was] irredeemable" and unchangeable. Kain went on to explain the means surrounding the death of William the Just by his own hand and how this action had altered the history of Nosgoth, removing William and his Legions of the Nemesis and replacing them with Moebius's vampire hunting army. Reconciling the contradictory accounts, Kain exposed a deeper loophole within the structure of history to Raziel: how with the presence of two versions of the Soul Reaver blade, a paradox would be created that enabled one to reshuffle and briefly change history.
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Raziel's refusal to kill Kain changes history

Surprisingly, Kain willingly gave Raziel the Soul Reaver from the chamber - recently restored by Raziel from its formerly shattered state - causing the wraith blade to manifest and present Raziel with just such an opportunity. At first Raziel sought to test Kain's sincerity, but soon the wraith blade began to act on its own, forcing Raziel's hand and dragging him to assassinate Kain. At that point Kain revealed that he was destined to die there by Raziel's hand. Kain urged Raziel to fight it and assert his free will; and with great effort Raziel was able to just barely divert the blade, sparing Kain and in the process creating a second paradox and third timeline. As the change subsided, Kain congratulated Raziel and conjectured that with this change it might still be possible for him to reclaim his role as balance guardian and return the pillars to the vampires. Raziel however was far from convinced by this outcome, still revering his humanity and believing he was being used as part of a game between time guardian Moebius and Kain, he left intending to be influenced by neither. Kain meanwhile congratulated Raziel as he left on being a champion of free will and promised that there was more for him to unearth.[SR2-C5][1]
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Raziel persuades Moebius to activate the Time-streaming chamber

Raziel continued on through the stronghold and made his way to the Circle's gathering-room, unlocking the time-streaming chambers using a Light Reaver bolt. He found Moebius within, apparently shaken and alarmed by the recent change of history. Moebius accused Raziel of succumbing to Kain's devious influence and condemning them all by sparing him, but Raziel countered that he had a choice and denounced Moebius for his own devious manipulations of history. When Moebius reminded Raziel of his messianic destiny, Raziel opined that he saw little reason to save bother saving Nosgoth and threatened Moebius with the Light Reaver, forcing him to activate the time streaming device and ostensibly set it to a period before the Sarafan crusades. Rejecting Moebius's pleas, Raziel activated the device and was swept away, but not before Moebius - away from Raziel's gaze - broke into a cunning grin.[SR2-C5][1]

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Raziel surveys the statue of Moebius in the Post-Blood Omen era

When the dust cleared Raziel found himself in the same chamber in a different time, but immediately suspected treachery as he found that the stronghold he had emerged in was abandoned and collapsing into ruin, with Demons regularly attacking the material realm and the humans formed into ragged demon hunters to counter them. As he made his way through the stronghold encountering demon and hunter attacks, Raziel found his way to sanctuary again where a new statue of Moebius holding aloft the severed head of Vorador commemorated the final kill of Moebius's mob: confirming that instead of being sent to the past, Raziel had ended up in the Post-Blood Omen era, a century after the fall of the pillars. Stranded in this era Raziel made his way to the exit of the stronghold and soon found himself faced with the specter of the deceased Moebius, who justified his act as a necessary evil; an attempt to show Raziel the wasteland created from Kain's survival. Dubious of Moebius, Raziel countered that these events were set in motion by Kain's original refusal at the pillars and would not have been effected by actions against his elder incarnation. Expressing continued doubt in the time-streamer, Raziel speculated that Moebius wanted Kain disposed of simply because he was unsure what he was planning and that Kain was "a wild-card" in Moebius's 'carefully shuffled deck of cards'. Raziel finished by expressing his doubt that Moebius even was a spirit and offered to consume his soul and confirm this for sure, causing Moebius to vanish and retreat.[SR2-C5][1]

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Raziel confronts Ariel at the Pillars

Finally escaping the stronghold through the destroyed dock doorway, Raziel was able to follow the trail to the pillars and find the spirit of Ariel there lamenting her fate. The two debated Kain's decision at the Pillars and against Ariel's wrath Raziel found himself defending Kain's actions, retorting that the pillars were toppled by forces invited by the guardians themselves and raising the possibility that Kain's choice would have brought down the Pillars either way; and the scenario would have been worse had Kain chosen sacrifice. Whilst Ariel argued that Kain had to die for the Pillars to be restored, Raziel taunted her with the thought that Kain's death might not restore the Pillars and she would be trapped and bound at the pillars for all eternity. Distressed at this Ariel fled to the spectral realm, but Raziel was able to follow and after exhausting all lines of questioning he left Ariel with a final promise that she was merely at the threshold of her purgatory.[SR2-C5][1]

Progressing further beyond the pillars to the Subterranean Ruins and into the Sub-Pillars chamber, Raziel next found himself confronted by the Elder God - bloated and grown large in this era - with its tentacles wrapped around the shattered Pillars. The Elder chastised Raziel for his failure to kill Kain and condemned him for the fate of Nosgoth. Raziel meanwhile returned to his earlier distrust of the entity, observing the guilty scene as if it has pulled down the pillars and commented on its apparent thriving in this era of devastation. As the Elder used its usual bombastic claims about fate and death, Raziel countered by claiming that it was simply a hungry parasite and the two parted ways.[SR2-C5][1]

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Raziel meets the Elder and surveys the damage to the Subterranean Pillars Chamber

Passing through the ruins and into the now mutant-infested swamp, Raziel found that the time-streaming chamber in the swamp was still sealed, although its entrance bore several deep cracks in this era. Progressing further, Raziel found that the tree blocking his way to the northern mountains had fallen and he was able to follow the passage northward through several mountain passes until he arrived in the village of Uschtenheim. Recognizing the legends surrounding Janos Audron implicated Uschtenheim as Janos's hunting ground, Raziel speculated that he was not far from the retreat of the ancient vampire and soon after venturing beyond the hamlet he found Janos's Aerie – a high cliff-bound dwelling with a large winged sculpture beneath a high balcony – however the years had taken their toll and the retreat was collapsed into ruin, impenetrable to further exploration.[SR2-C5][1]

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Raziel discovers the collapsed ruins of Janos' retreat

As Raziel turned to explore the canyons further, Kain arrived at the scene and the two discussed Moebius's deception with Raziel openly admitting that he no longer believed that Kain's death would make any difference to the fate of Nosgoth. Kain encouraged Raziel to make his way into the past to meet Janos but warned Raziel of the forces being "marshaled to eliminate [them]", assuring him that regardless of Raziel's sentiments they would be regarded as allies. Kain soon departed, cautioning Raziel that greater unseen forces were at work and warning him of another ominous possibility – that if history were pushed by either one into a "fatal paradox", they could both be expelled from the time-stream – and that their enemies may be intending to trick them into such an act.[SR2-C5][1]

Left alone at the foot of the retreat, Raziel explored the canyons furter and a short distance west of the aerie he found another ruin that was possible to enter from the ground, and using the Reaver to unseal the door, Raziel entered the Air Forge.[SR2-C5][SR2-C6][1]

WalkthroughEdit

The Great Southern Lake (Pre-Blood Omen era)Edit

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The 'outer' lake and Sarafan stronghold

Raziel began the chapter in the inner lake area having completed the Light Forge and gained the Light Reaver in the previous chapter. From here, Raziel could swim across to the island opposite to activate the checkpoint and spin the wheel nearby to open the underwater gates, allowing passage to the outer lake area. Swimming through, Raziel would emerge on the outer lake near the external stronghold doors and could then follow the short passage to the northeast to use the nearby save altar before turning back to the stronghold doors. If necessary, Raziel could follow a series of jumps along the northeast of the lake banks to reach a Light Reaver font to imbue the Light Reaver, before firing a Light Reaver bolt at the Light crystal mounted above the stronghold doorway to open the door and allow Raziel to swim into the stronghold docks.[SR2-C4][SR2-C5][1][SR2]

The Sarafan Stronghold (Pre-Blood Omen era)Edit

Once Raziel had surfaced inside the stronghold, he could climb out to the right and follow the passage at the back further into the stronghold. Progressing through the corridor as it turned south, Raziel would encounter two Vampire hunter swordsmen before passing through a doorway and facing another hunter and a pair of Vampire hunter pikemen. Upon entering the Sanctuary area the gates would be sealed and Raziel would be confronted by two swordsmen, two pikemen and a pair of Vampire hunter cannoneers. After defeating them Raziel could go through the main gate to the inner sanctum area and reach the chapel of William the Just, where he would meet Kain in an encounter that explained the nature of and changed the Timelines of Nosgoth.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

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The Sanctum of Sanctuary in the Pre Blood Omen era

After the meeting with Kain, Raziel could imbue the Light Reaver at one of the nearby Reaver fonts and continue out through the southern doorway in the inner Sanctum, dispatching two hunters on the way through the corridor to the Chapter House. Defeating or evading the pikemen in the room, Raziel could progress through the western doorway, where once again the exits would be sealed as Raziel was confronted by a swordsman and a cannoneer. After dispatching them Raziel could continue on through to the Cloister where he was confronted by a cannoneer, a pair of pikemen and two Vampire hunter attack dogs. [SR2-C5][1][SR2]

Killing them or fleeing, Raziel could continue through the western doorway to another antechamber which sealed behind him, locking him in with two pikemen and an attack dog. Once they were defeated, Raziel could reach the final corridors leading to the Circle's gathering-room. Dispatching a swordsmen and a cannoneer, Raziel could pass through the doorway and defeat or evade two more swordsmen and a cannoneer as the corridor turned east, before imbuing the Light Reaver if necessary at the font at the end of the corridor. Entering the double doors next to the font led to the gathering room, where Raziel could target the Light crystal above the second Time streaming chamber with a Light Reaver bolt. As he did so, Moebius would enter the room and a debate ensued, with Raziel ultimately being sent to the Post-Blood Omen era.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

The Sarafan Stronghold (Post-Blood Omen era)Edit

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The Sanctum of Sanctuary in the Post Blood Omen era

Emerging from the Time-streaming chambers and discovering Moebius's treachery, Raziel would immediately be confronted by two Acid demons and with a combat barrier preventing escape it was necessary to defeat them to progress. Once they were defeated, he could continue on into the gathering room corridors where two Demon hunter swordsmen could be seen battling a Lightning demon at the end of the hallway and as Raziel moved forward two Acid demons would drop from above and confront him. Killing or evading them, he could continue onto the next section of the hallway where two Demon hunters awaited and two Lightning demons would spawn as he entered. Dispatching (or even Sneaking by) the threat Raziel could enter the font antechamber to the east where another barrier would be raised, forcing him to battle two Acid demons. Once they were defeated, Raziel could move into the Cloister where three Demon hunters awaited, only to have them defeated by three Lightning demons as he moved into the chamber. Dispatching or evading the enemies within, Raziel could progress to the antechamber on the eastern wall where two Demon hunter cannoneers flanked the chamber.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

Passing through the doorway and through the corridor into the Chapter House, Raziel would find three hunters battling four Lightning demons and two Acid demons. After clearing the chamber, he could continue through the northern door into the corridor beyond where he would be ambushed by two Lightning demons using a combat barrier. Defeating these adversaries, Raziel could press on to Sanctuary where he could discover a statue of Moebius in the sanctum and was confronted by two Lightning demons. Defeating them, Raziel could move down into the nave where four more demons attacked and he was able to exit Sanctuary via the main doors in the west. In the small antechamber beyond, Raziel would encounter the supposed specter of Moebius before moving northward into the corridor beyond where he would be confronted by combat barriers and three Acid demons. Killing these enemies, Raziel could finally reach the dockyard doorway of the stronghold and after imbuing the Light Reaver at the nearby Reaver font, he was able to progress outside by Swimming through the now removed double doors.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

The Great Southern Lake (Post-Blood Omen era)Edit

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The lake in te post Blood Omen era

From the dockyard doors, Raziel could now swim out to the outer Great Southern Lake and climb out on the nearby bank to reach the Save altar at the end of the trail. Returning to the lake and jumping up the platforms to the northwest, he could follow the trail back towards the Pillars of Nosgoth. As Raziel reached the kink in the trail he would be confronted by two Demon hunter axemen and a cannnoneer, though he could evade them and continue up the trail. As he continued he would encounter several Demon hunters one at a time until he passed over the small bridge into the Shrine area and into the wider Pillars location.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

The Pillars of Nosgoth (SR2)Edit

Crossing over the bridge, Raziel would soon be assailed by a Demon hunter attack dog and two swordsmen as he made his way to the bottom of the Shrine area. With the passage to the west blocked it was necessary for Raziel to use the fallen obelisk to reach the top of the waterfall and the upper shrine area, and from here he could head north into the enclosed cavern area where he would be confronted by his first Gas demon. After defeating or evading the demon Raziel could head up the stairs to the top bridge which was fallen in this era, and by jumping and gliding using the broke stump in the middle, Raziel could cross to the other side where he would be confronted by another Gas demon. Following the curving path around, Raziel would be assaulted by another demon and several would drop in to ambush him as he reached the gates to the Pillars.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

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The Pillars in the Post-Blood Omen era

After meeting Ariel at the Pillars Raziel could progress towards the northern staircase in the Spectral Realm but as he did so he would be attacked by a dangerous Fire demon blocking his path. After defeating the demon, Raziel could progress up the stairs and through the narrow twisting passages, passing a Gas demon and continuing until he reached a planar portal and could return to the Material Realm; refilling his Health coil from a nearby Sluagh and Greater sluagh if necessary. From here he could head down to the large decorated doorway and defeat another gas demon before proceeding into the Subterranean Ruins.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

The Subterranean RuinsEdit

As Raziel ventured into the initial caverns of the ruins, he would be accosted by several shades and two acid demons would warp in as he attacked them. Continuing on, another shade and demon ambush awaited slightly further in and this was followed by another two shades as the cavern narrowed. As Raziel reached the top of the stairs two acid demons joined the fray followed by two shades on the staircase. After evading or defeating these enemies Raziel could progress to the Subterranean Pillars Chamber and another meeting with the Elder God.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

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The Subterranen Pillars Chamber

As soon as the conversation was over two acid demons warped in, forcing Raziel to fight of flee. Afterward progress could be saved at the nearby save altar and Raziel could continue by jumping into the water and swimming down beyond the Elder and through the opening below. Following the caverns through as he had previously, Raziel would be attacked by a pair of acid demons as he surfaced in the tunnels beyond and after defeating them he was able to follow the ramp upward, jump across the gap and continue upward following the route highlighted by glowing crystals. Two more acid demons would drop in separately before Raziel reached the top of the chamber and could jump down the climbable wall into the statue room which was now partially drained, exposing the statue in the center of the room.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

Jumping down into the main room, Raziel could avoid the projectiles fired by Shades in the distance and surface in the alcove in the southeast to defeat a shade and imbue the Dark Reaver at the Reaver font positioned there. From here, Raziel could swim through the tunnel in the northeast to reach the partially submerged ascending chamber. With the change in water level the layout and directions through the ascending chamber were slightly different from before, with Raziel initially required to swim straight ahead through the bottom of the chamber, surfacing as the chamber rose to a small island and then defeating a shade before returning to the water and swimming onward.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

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The subterranean statue room

Following the crystals until the trail stopped and headed upward, Raziel could surface and high jump to a raised ledge facing southwest. Following this ledge along, he would be attacked by an acid demon before the trail stopped at a gap in the northeast with a shadow bridge activation plate on the other side. Jumping and gliding across the gap, Raziel could reach the plate and activate it with the Dark Reaver to summon a Shadow bridge to cross the chamber. Continuing on toward the northeast, he would be confronted by a final acid demon before reaching the climbable wall that led up to the Swamp.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

The SwampEdit

Climbing up the wall led to the building in the first area of the Swamp and as Raziel exited, he would trigger a checkpoint and be confronted by two mutants. Defeating or evading them, he could move across the clearing to investigate the now cracked door bearing the symbol of Moebius the Time Guardian. Imbuing the Light Reaver at the nearby font and continuing along the trail to the northeast and jumping platforms over the terrain, Raziel could progress through the trail as he had previously, following the path as it curved south where he would be confronted by a Demon hunter axemen in front of the now open doorway.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

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The path north in the Swamp

Passing through, he would be confronted by another pair of mutants before the trail turned in a wide arc around a circular structure and headed back to the north. Another two mutants would attack before he reached the clearing containing the save obelsik in the east. Following the trail north to the northern-most clearing, Raziel would be attacked by two axemen with a cannoneer further ahead, defeating these enemies, he could observe the now cleared path to the mountains and evading the nearby mutants, continue to climb up the wall into the canyons on the way to Uschtenheim.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

UschtenheimEdit

As he reached the top of the wall, Raziel would trigger another checkpoint before coming to a ledge looking over a wide rocky area with a waterfall and a group of Demon hunters including two swordsmen two cannoneers and attack dog. Defeating these enemies, he could climb the wall in the north flanked by torches and follow the northern/western path to continue up the trail where he would shortly be confronted by Lightning demons summoning combat barriers as the trail curved back around. Defeating them to dispel the barriers, Raziel could drop down the ledges in the east to reach a path that curved northward, widening into an open clearing as it did. As Raziel reached the bottom level and followed the path to the open clearing he would be assailed by an attack dog which could attract the main group of two swordsmen, an axeman and a cannoneer set up in the clearing. Climbing the northern wall or western ramp after defeating them would lead down a short trail to the gates of Uschtenheim.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

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Northern Uschtenheim

The gates ahead were closed, but by crouch-jumping Raziel could reach the second level of the rampart where two swordsmen guarded the gate lever and by defeating these enemies he could use the lever to open the gate and enter the crumbling village. Progressing northward through the town, Raziel would be ambushed by an acid demon shortly after he entered and as he passed through the arch and neared the church, a hunter swordsman would attack while an attack dog and another hunter awaited nearby. Defeating these enemies, Raziel could enter the open church and use the save altar inside. Continuing north and passing the fountain on the western side of the church, Raziel would be confronted by an attack dog and its two hunter handlers before passing through the open gate in the northwest and leaving the village behind.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

Following the trail as it led west and curved back to the east, Raziel would be confronted by an acid demon summoning combat barriers, before he could reach the ledge overlooking the clearing below. In the clearing an attack dog and four swordsmen awaited, with two cannoneers on ledges above and as Raziel dropped down, two acid demons would join the battle. If knocked back to the Spectral Realm, Raziel could avoid the demons and sluagh and return to the Material Realm using the planar portal on the southern balcony though a cannoneer could be present if he hadn't already been defeated. Once the enemies were dispatched Raziel could jump up a small ledge in the north west to where a cannoneer guarded a climbable wall flanked by braziers and after defeating him, Raziel could climb up to another clearing where three swordsmen awaited. Defeating these enemies, he could move to the far western end of the clearing where another scalable wall flanked by braziers was positioned in the north. Climbing up and following the trail northeast, Raziel would be confronted by two lightning demons who summoned barriers and by defeating them he could progress up a small staircase to a lake dominated by the exterior facade of Janos Audron's Retreat.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

Janos Audron's RetreatEdit

After an unexpected conversation with Kain, Raziel was able to swim to the Light font on the south west bank of the lake, defeating the nearby axeman and imbuing the Light Reaver if necessary. From here he could follow the trail as it rose along the western wall of the lake area and jump up to a raised ledge where two hunters awaited. Following the trail west away from the lake, Raziel would be confronted by three axemen, with two lightning demons warping in as he approached. Defeating or evading the survivors, Raziel could follow the trail as it curved northward to where a climbing wall led up and as he reached the top two cannoneers would be present to fire at him but as he approached they were attacked by two Fire demons. Keeping his distance and firing Reaver bolts, Raziel was able to defeat them and continue to the next climbing wall at the far north, which led up to an overhanging balcony.[SR2-C5][1][SR2]

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The lake outside Janos' retreat

As Raziel reached the top and the balcony level, two swordsmen and an axeman would attack him and after defeating them he could follow the trail eastward towards the facade in the background, but as he approached a fire demon and two lighting demons appeared and cut off his escape using barriers. Using the charged Wraith Blade, Raziel could defeat them - using the checkpoint and planar portal in front of the building to ensure his quick return to the material realm quickly if sent into spectral. If Raziel approached the building too closely, he would be targeted by the sentry eye mounted above the entrance and once the enemies were defeated it was necessary to imbue the Dark Reaver at the darkness-attuned font on the overhanging balcony in the south of the area and use its Reaver bolts to blind the eye so he could approach and enter the Air Forge.[SR2-C5][1][SR2][SR2-C6]

ConclusionsEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Time Travel and the Reaver ConvergenceEdit

The mechanics of Nosgoth's Time-stream are given their most detailed explanation in this chapter with the descriptions by Kain in History and Destiny Collide and The Ruined Aerie. It is established that history is irredeemable and unchangeable, but also that there is also a loophole in this - the presence of two Soul Reavers allows history to be altered. This concept of history was inspired by research into time travel fiction - with the 1995 Terry Gilliam film 12 Monkeys cited as a major influence.[3] Hennig's full interpretation of the concept was described in an interview:

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Texture of the first Reaver convergence as seen in William's chapel in Sanctuary

"Is it impossible to escape preordained fate? And it's interesting to layer this quesiton into a time travel story. This is really the whole crux of the time travel concept - can you change history or not? And if so, what does it mean to change history - in terms of being responsible for the repercussions? I did some research into time travel fiction, in preparation for Soul Reaver 2. For me, the most interesting approach in time travel stories is summed up with the statement: 'you can't go back in time and change history because you didn't'. That's my favorite way of looking at it. If you do go back - then you did go back. Which means that time travel is ultimately a journey of epiphanies, where the protagonist realizes the role that he already played in history. Of course, Blood Omen established that history can in fact be changed - and we'll be respecting this precedent in Soul Reaver 2."
―Amy Hennig[4]

Series producer Andrew Bennett described it as follows:

"Initially, Raziel naively believes that history is fragile and may be altered easily. He gradually comes to understand, however, that there's a 'conservation of reality' at work, and that history is essentially immutable--that it requires a kind of 'temporal wildcard' to change its course. Raziel ultimately realizes that his comprehension of Nosgoth's multilayered, twisted past is much more limited than he initially believed. He also discovers that he continues to be manipulated by others who understand Nosgoth's history--and the nature of time--better than he does."
―Andrew Bennett[5]

Previously both William and Kain had versions of the Soul Reaver in their battle in Stranded in Time in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, but the full circumstances were not explained by Silicon Knights.[BO1-C10] The paradox created by the meeting of two versions of the Soul Reaver was ultimately developed by Amy Hennig both to satisfy the previous alteration of history in Stranded in Time against their concept of history, but also to account for the further changes to the background that would be introduced in the upcoming Blood Omen 2 by finding a loophole already existing within Blood Omen to justify the historical changes. As Daniel Cabuco explained:

"the Paradox was created to help explain some of the inconsistencies of BO2, and to create the ability to change fate. It was entirely Amy's creation: she found a way to use coincidences in BO as a way to explain the ability to change time. I thought it was a brilliant solution!"
―Daniel Cabuco[6]

Retroactively these developments made the meeting between William and Kain in Stranded in Time a juncture point where history was changed and a new timeline was created; while the convergence seen in A Reaver in Time became a point where history was not altered (by the possible death of Moebius at Raziel's hand).[BO1-C10][SR2-C1]

A Limiting factor was also introduced in this chapter as it was explained that only relatively slight diversions could be triggered; most major events remained constant in Nosgoth between each timeline. If a paradox blocked the time continuum, history would always follow "the path of least resistance while admitting only the slightest alterations". Defying the force of history was always a dangerous gamble - "if events [could not] be reshuffled to accommodate the change", the irritants responsible for the contradiction would simply be expelled from the time-stream.[SR2-C5] Such a fatal paradox did not overtly happen in the Legacy of Kain series, but the concept served as a looming danger which Kain and Raziel were forced to acknowledge and remain wary of.[SR2-C5][SR2-C10]

Demons and the Post-Blood Omen eraEdit

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Multiple Groundlings in pre-release images

The Post-Blood Omen era appears in this chapter for the first time since its brief showing in To the End of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Here it is similarly characterized as "nightmarish" - portrayed at night with darkened skies and a raging storm, with only lightning and scattered standing braziers providing significant lighting. Many of the major areas are overrun by Demons with few traces of other plant or animal life seen (save the mutants of the swamp). Much of the previous greenery has been replaced by bare rock and several buildings and other edifices - including the Sarafan Stronghold, the Shrine, the Pillars, Uschtenheim and Janos Audron's Retreat are seen as abandoned and collapsed into ruins. These may be the part of a long-term ecological collapse leading into the wasteland seen in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver or shorter term symptoms of the immediate devastation following the Collapse of the Pillars and associated weakening of dimensional boundaries; some may even be conditions that merely coincide with Raziel's visit. Titles dealing with stages after this do not appear to feature such a drastic scenario, but instead show more gradual changes and this has occasionally misled unwary fans into assuming that the era visited here is much later in history.[SR2][SR2-C5][BO1-C12][BO2][SR1]

This chapter implies that the boundaries between dimensions were weakened for a time after the collapse of the pillars, allowing creatures such as Shades and Demons to cross between realms - similar attributions are also made in manuals and the Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance Prima guides.[SR2][SR2-C5][2][1][7] Some demon variants seen resemble or have similar attributes to their Blood Omen predecessors but it is ultimately unclear whether these were intended to be different sub-races, related species or merely different artistic interpretations of the same creatures - The Lightning demons and Fire demons of Legacy of Kain: Defiance are ultimately the first recurrence of a classification in and the only official comment from developers is that there are "different type[s] of demon".[SR2][SR2-C5][1][8][7][BO1-C8][9] Several alternate and unused designs for demon types can be seen in concept art and Bonus materials. One particularly rare demon sub-type - Groundlings - can be seen in this chapter and are most frequently encountered along with the Fire demon at the Pillars of Nosgoth. Originally groundlings were apparently intended to feature more often and had a much more elaborate method of attacking Raziel - with a 'swarm' of them intended to 'gang up' and immobilize Raziel in preparation from a fire attack from the parent Fire Demon. Multiple groundlings would seem unlikely to achieve in the final game with Fire demons apparently only being able to produce one Groundling each, though pre-release screenshots show this to have been technically possible in at least one previous build of the game.[SR2][SR2-C5][10][11]

The 'Spirit' of MoebiusEdit

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Moebius's "specter"

In this chapter Raziel meets the spirit of the deceased Moebius in the Post-Blood Omen era. While Moebius was long dead by this time, Rcaziel speculates that he is not in fact a spirit but an illusion being conjured by the time guardian. Soul Reaver 2 offers no definitive answer as to whether or not the martyred spirit is genuinely Moebius's specter,[SR2-C5] but Crystal Dynamics staff members Jennifer Fernández, Richard Lemarchand, and Kyle Mannerberg later confirmed in an interview at The Lost Worlds that "it was an illusion created by Moebius to influence Raziel".[3] Stage directions in the original Soul Reaver 2 scripts are similarly definite: "This isn’t really Moebius’ ghost – this is past-Moebius who has traveled forward in time to deceive and influence Raziel. He’s masquerading as a ghost."[SR2-Cut] The real specter of Moebius is eventually encountered by Raziel near the end of Legacy of Kain: Defiance. It is appreciably similar in appearance to the fake, illusory spirit he created.[DEF-C13]

The Elder God and the Pillars of NosgothEdit

On his entrance to the Subterranean Pillars Chamber in the Post-Blood Omen era, Raziel noticed that the murals in the chamber had decayed and been smudged by the tentacles of the Elder God, which were holding onto the shattered stumps of the Pillars. Witnessing this scene deepened the suspicions between Raziel and the Elder - with a souring of their relationship previously hinted in Decision at the Pillars and Through the Swamp. In their heated debate here Raziel pointedly suggested the Elder looked as if it had "torn down the pillars single-handedly" and noted that it "appear[ed] to thrive" in the turmoil of the era, finally Raziel accused the Elder God of being "a spooling parasite burrowed deep in the heart of this world". All of these claims would eventually be shown to have a degree of truth to them as Raziel's meetings with the Elder become increasingly adversarial through the rest of Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance. [SR2][SR2-C5][DEF][DEF-C13]

SR2-SubPillars-TopDown-EraB

The Elder wrapped around the collapsed pillars in the Subterranean Pillars chamber

By the end of Defiance, the Elder is seen as "the prime mover" and a "parasitic fraud", responsible for "all of the pain and strife throughout history" in an effort to feed itself Souls from the Wheel of Fate. Thus the Elder can be viewed as initiating or complicit in most of the major events of the series, including the fall of the Ancient Vampires and the Collapse of the Pillars. Ultimately the turmoil seen in the Post-Blood Omen era provided the Elder with a plentiful supply of souls from which it could feed and profit and thus it can be seen to be largest in this era. This theme will return in Legacy of Kain: Defiance as the Elder is eventually seen as a "false god" by Kain for its self-righteous stewardship over the ancient vampires.[SR2][SR2-C5][DEF][DEF-C13]

Thematically, the character of the Elder is derived from the concept of the 'false god' Demiurge in a branch of pre- and early-Christian religious thought named Gnosticism[4][12][13] and his status as a parasite on the Wheel of Fate would subsequently be explicitly confirmed by Daniel Cabuco.[14][15]

'Urban' and UschtenheimEdit

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The early version of Uschtenheim

At least one area featured in this chapter underwent major design changes during development, with the hamlet of Uschtenheim originally intended to reappear as early as the tech demos of Soul Reaver 2 which demonstrated a town area labelled as "urban" with a church. The area was long unidentified and speculated to be an early concept for an Avernus reappearance (eventually seen in Legacy of Kain: Defiance) but was ultimately revealed to represent Uschtenheim.[16][17][18]

NotesEdit

  • Soul Reaver 2 is not formally divided into chapters or levels in-game.[SR2] The chapter names and definitions used at the Legacy of Kain Wiki originate from the supplementary Prima Guide, Prima's Official Strategy Guide - Soul Reaver 2[1]
  • The dialogue transcripts used in this article are, wherever possible, adapted directly from the Dark Chronicle summary transcripts available in game. Scenes not included in the Dark Chronicle feature are instead adapted from Tenaya's transcript of Soul Reaver 2 at Nosgothic Realm - itself derived from the Dark Chronicle and an official game script provided by Crystal Dynamics' Kyle Mannerberg.[SR2][19]
  • A Fateful Meeting is perhaps the largest level of the entirety of Soul Reaver 2, covering the biggest area and with the weightiest stroyline content. The chapter contains no less than six distinct dark chronicle storyline chapters, covers two separate time periods and features playable content covering six different major locations, while extending to the exteriors of four further locations which cannot be explored at this time (two have already been completed and sealed and two will be explored in upcoming chapters).[SR2-C5]
SR2-Shrine-Top-Scales-High-EraB

typical Post-Blood Omen era environs in Soul Reaver 2

  • Some aspects of this sequence relate to other chapters in the series:
    • After passing by in A Reaver in Time, Raziel again passes through the Sanctuary chapel whose murals make reference to the death of William the Just in Stranded in Time of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Kain goes further in describing these events here, explaining the circumstances surrounding William's death and the fact both were armed with the Soul Reaver, as well as explaining why this enabled him to change history.[SR2-C5][SR2-C1][BO1-C10]
    • As with A Reaver in Time, the mural illustrating the murder of Janos Audron is also seen in Sanctuary again, hinting at the legends told throughout Blood Omen and foreshadowing the events of Blade of Vengeance.[SR2-C5][SR2-C1][BO1][BO1-C2][BO1-C7][SR2-C9]
      SR2-Enemy-Demon-ConceptD

      An unused demon concept

    • Demons were first seen in the chapter Defeat Azimuth in Blood Omen, where they were summoned from the Demon Realm by dimension guardian Azimuth to attack the city of Avernus.[SR2-C5][BO1-C8]
    • The statue of Moebius and its gruesome trophy refers to the Blood Omen chapter The Vampire purges in which the results of Moebius's time manipulations and vampire hunting crusade were revealed and came to a climax with the execution of the last of the vampires of the era - Vorador - and Kain's retaliation by beheading Moebius.[SR2-C5][BO1-C11]
    • Ariel is once again featured, following on from her 'guide' roles in Blood Omen and Soul Reaver. Here she is over a century removed from the confidence of guiding Kain to restore the pillars and over two thousand years before she will guide Raziel to revenge against Kain. She is appropriately seen in a state of self pitying despair here and Raziel's promise that she is merely at the threshold hints at their meetings in the far future. Raziel will ultimately meet a far more confident Ariel guiding the young Kain in Defiance.[SR2-C5][BO1][SR1][DEF-C6]
    • Ariel's lamenting recall the events of the Welcome to Hell and Seeking Revenge as she was murdered by dark forces and her lover Nupraptor descended into madness causing the corruption of the Pillars and ultimately motivating her guidance of her successor, Kain.[SR2-C5][BO1-C1][BO1-C2]
    • As Ariel argues with Raziel, she mentions that Kain handed the dark forces their victory, evoking the events of To the End as Kain rejected the final sacrifice and initiated the Collapse of the Pillars, ultimately causing the devastation seen in the Post-Blood Omen era as well as keeping Ariel bound.[SR2-C5][BO1-C12][SR1]
      File:SR2-BonusMaterial-CharacterArt-Ariel-03.png
    • Raziel's 'hounding' of Ariel also alludes to Ariel's guidance of Kain throughout Blood Omen, with her deliberately setting Kain against her fellow guardians in Seeking Revenge, while keeping him ignorant of his further destiny as Balance Guardian. As was suggested by Ariel, Kain's first kill was indeed Nupraptor in the chapter Nupraptor - this was because he was the source of the Corruption of the Pillars.[SR2-C5][BO1][BO1-C2][BO1-C12][BO1-C3]
    • Raziel once again highlights the Time-streaming chamber in the Swamp as he initially observed in Through the Swamp – it is still impassable though he will return later. The high passage he noted in Through the Swamp is now clear, enabling him to progress to the mountains and Uschtenheim.[SR2-C5][SR2-C3][SR2-C7]
    • Uschtenheim is featured as a playable location for the first time since Threaten the Circle in Blood Omen and the village is again accompanied by legends of vampire Janos Audron and his death at the hands of the Sarafan, though the design of the village has changed somewhat.[SR2-C5][BO1-C7]
    • Kain's comments regarding Raziel finding his way back into the past to meet Janos Audron foreshadow him doing just that in On to the Past and Vampire Interview.[SR2-C5][SR2-C7][SR2-C8]
    • The dark forces hinted at by Raziel and Kain are slowly revealed over the course of Blood Omen 2 and Defiance, with their lack of co-ordination explained by their opposing natures. Kain's comment about Moebius being a puppet also relates to his revelation that he served the Elder in A Reaver in Time and his more explicit service throughout Defiance.[SR2-C5][BO2][DEF][SR2-C1][DEF]
    • Moebius explicitly states here that Raziel is destined to be the savior of Nosgoth, building upon the ambiguity of previous murals and the hints of Vorador. These foreshadow the later roles that Raziel will agonize over in Defiance before ultimately fulfilling both.[SR2-C5][SR2-C2][SR2-C3][SR2-C4][DEF][DEF-C13][3][9]
    • Janos's retreat is notably dominated by a large sculpture of a winged being (with another seen later inside the retreat in Vampire Interview).[SR2-C8][SR2][SR2-C5][SR2-C9] Presumably depicting Ancient Vampires, the figures - like a similar depiction in the Dark forge - bear a remarkable resemblance to a winged Kain.[SR2-C3] Given the developments of Legacy of Kain: Defiance it is possible that these more generally relate the ancient vampires artistic interpretation of Scion of Balance figure, in a similar manner to later depictions in the Spirit Forge.[DEF-C12][DEF-C13]

GalleryEdit

  • SR2 Dark Chronicle: Time Streaming
  • Cutscene: Moebius' Martyred Spirit
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  • SR2 Dark Chronicle: Moebius's Martyred Spirit
  • SR2 Dark Chronicle: Ariel's Lament
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  • SR2 Dark Chronicle: Raziel Defies the Elder
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See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 Icon-Prima Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wiki-Icon-SR2 Soul Reaver 2 manual. Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (October 31, 2001) Download.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wiki-Icon-TLW Question and Answer with Jen, Richard, and Kyle at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Icon-NR GLoK Interviews with Amy Hennig at Nosgothic Realm (by Raziel Fan), post #4 (by RazielFan)
  5. Icon-GS Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 Feature Preview at GameSpot (by Miguel Lopez), page 2
  6. Icon-DCab Initial Soul Reaver Plot at DCabDesign (by Boltar), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Icon-Prima Prima Games / JDP and Gerald Guess. Prima's Official Legacy of Kain: Defiance Guide. (2003)
  8. Icon-Prima Prima Games / Mark Androvich. Prima's Official Blood Omen 2 Guide. (2002)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Wiki-Icon-TLW Question and Answer with Amy Hennig at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  10. Icon-DCab Small demon/Small demon gang-up at Spectraljin.com archives (by Daniel Cabuco), Archived at Legacy of Kain Wiki
  11. Screenshots zu Soul Reaver 2 at 4Players.de (archived at Category:Soul Reaver 2 pre-release screenshots on Legacy of Kain Wiki)
  12. Behind the Classics: Amy Hennig Talks Soul Reaver Secrets at the PlayStation Blog (by Sid Shuman and Amy Hennig)
  13. Icon-IGN The Influence of Literature and Myth in Videogames at IGN (by Douglass C. Perry), page 3
  14. Icon-DCab Various art and plot questions at DCabDesign (by Dubiel), post #11 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  15. Icon-DCab So many questions at DCabDesign (by Luke27), post #10 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  16. Wiki-Icon-TLWThe Soul Reaver 2 Proof of Concept at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  17. Icon-NRSoul Reaver 2 - screenshots from cancelled PS1 release, internal Air Forge Design documents unearthed at Nosgothic Realm Forums (by Divine Shadow)
  18. Icon-DCab Soul Reaver 2 questions at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  19. Icon-NR Soul Reaver 2 - Dialogue at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya)

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