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"This isn't a chase, Raziel – we are merely passengers on the wheel of destiny, describing a perfect circle to this point.
We have been brought here for a reason.
I have seen the beginning and the end of our story, however – and the tale is crude and ill-conceived.
We must rewrite the ending of it, you and I."
―Kain — Listen (file info)[src]

Chapter 2: Decision at the Pillars is the second 'level', or chapter, of Soul Reaver 2. It followed Raziel in the Pre-Blood Omen era as he pursued Kain to the Pillars of Nosgoth and explored the Subterranean Ruins beneath, unexpectedly encountering the Elder God along the way. The chapter opened as Raziel progressed along the trail to the Shrine and Pillars, and concluded as Raziel entered the Swamp.

ProfileEdit

PlotEdit

Departing the Great Southern Lake for the Pillars of Nosgoth Raziel ventured down a series of grassy and lightly wooded canyons to an open area where a notable Shrine|scaled shrine could be identified and discovered the impaled bodies of several of the victims of the humans crusade against the vampires of this era.[SR2-C1][SR2-C2][BO1-C11] These vampires, he mused, were humanoid and genuinely persecuted, unlike the deranged monsters he faced in the Soul Reaver era.[SR2-C1][SR2-C2][SR1] Passing beyond this, Raziel was able to follow the canyons as they twisted upwards to a battlement and a set of giant double-doors which marked the entrance to the clearing of the Pillars of Nosgoth.[SR2-C1][SR2-C2]

SR2-DC-TheCorruptionOfThePillars-060

Raziel and Kain witness the Corruption of the Pillars

As Moebius had previously indicated, here Raziel found Kain awaiting him at the heart of the Pillars, themselves pristine and whole in the era.[SR2-C1][SR2-C2] However instead of the expected battle, Kain began to reveal a greater quest, picking apart Raziel's vengeful motivation by revealing that he had actively encouraged Raziel's outrage to draw him into following and countering by unexpectedly agreeing that the health and restoration of the Pillars were of paramount importance.[SR2-C2][SR1] As Kain recounted the stories of his youth and the tale of his birth and the Corruption of the Pillars, Raziel watched in horror as the events unfolded before him and off-screen Ariel's death and Nupraptor's madness led to the corruption of the ancient edifices.[SR2-C2][BO1-C1][BO1-C2] Finally Kain discussed his fateful dilemma as Balance Guardian thirty years later as he was presented with a choice to sacrifice himself to restore the pillars or rule them in their damnation – analogizing the choice to a coin toss.[SR2-C2][BO1-C12] Kain recounted how by choosing to preserve the vampire race the pillars had collapsed, but either way the game was rigged.[SR2-C2][BO1-C12] Most shockingly of all, Kain hinted that the Pillars actually belonged to the vampire race and when Raziel countered that for the pillars to be restored Kain must die for new guardians to be born, Kain mysteriously hinted at a third choice – a way out of his dilemma, hidden in Raziel's presence – before teleporting away.[SR2-C2]

SR2-DC-TheElderGod-032

Raziel converses with the Elder God after finding ancient murals beneath the Pillars

Intrigued by Kain's words Raziel pushed onwards, noticing that several crows appeared to be watching him. Soon he found a passage hidden on a ledge high above the pillars which led downwards into an underground cavern - its main door marked by a huge mural of a blue skinned and winged figure with cloven hands, notably reminiscent of Raziel himself.[SR2-C2] Passing through into the Subterranean Ruins beyond, Raziel discovered a number of ancient ruins in the caverns before he emerged in a chamber beneath the pillars where the pillars descended below ground level, which was undoubtedly constructed along with the Pillars. On the walls were several murals depicting an ancient war between two unknown species, the raising of the pillars by the blue winged race, an apparent curse causing blood-thirst inflicted on them and the forging of the Soul Reaver as a prophetic weapon.[SR2-C2] As Raziel studied the room he discovered the Elder God in the Water beneath the pillars platform, wrapped around the Pillars.[SR2-C2] With the earlier revelation that Moebius was a servant of the Elder God, Raziel was far more suspicious of his former benefactor and much less polite.[SR2-C1][SR2-C2] The Elder denounced the murals as "lies" and chastised Raziel for letting Kain "slip through [his] grasp". Parting on a distinctly sour note, The Elder encouraged Raziel to remember his rage and let it guide him before Raziel left and, passing through several further caverns, soon arrived in a dense forest area.[SR2-C2]

WalkthroughEdit

The Pillars of NosgothEdit

SR2-Pillars-Pillars4-PillarsSide-Material-EraA-Pure

The Pure Pillars of Nosgoth in the Pillars area

Raziel begins on a trail heading away from the Great Southern Lake and towards the Pillars of Nosgoth at a point where a small stream is crossed by a bridge. Raziel must initially continue on up the stream and over the bridge where an Vampire hunter attack dogs|attack dog will soon pursue followed by a Vampire hunter swordsman. Killing or evading them, Raziel could continue on to Ariel's Shrine in front of a small waterfall. Passing the shrine and heading to the west, Raziel was able to follow a trail that curved upwards around the nearby large rock formation, encountering another swordsman on the way.

At the top the trail opened out into a wider area atop the waterfall where a cannoneer, attack dog and a checkpoint awaited across the other side of the river. After dispatching or evading them Raziel could follow the river north into a cavern area and ascend the stairs in the west to reach the bridge crossing the top of the room heading east. Dispatching the cannoneer at the end of the bridge, Raziel would comment on the Vampires of this era before continuing to follow the path as it curved in an arc back towards the west before switching north to a wide avenue in front of a battlement. Defeating the two hunters and attack dog here allowed him to use the nearby lever freely and hold it down to open the way to the pillars.[SR2-C2][1]

The Subterranean RuinsEdit

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The entrance to the Subterranean Ruins

After the meeting with Kain it was necessary for Raziel to head to the north of the pillars clearing where two of the standing stones were marked with spectral symbols. Shifting into the Spectral Realm here and the cliff between them would morph into a stairway upwards, enabling Raziel to progress beyond. Following the narrow twisting path revealed and dispatching or evading Sluagh until he reached the planar portal as the path widened, Raziel was able to restore his health from Souls or Sluagh and return to the Material Realm to activate the next checkpoint. Proceeding to the large mural-decorated double doors passing through after the cutscene allowed Raziel to enter the Subterranean Ruins.[SR2-C2][1]

Entering the narrow corridor revealed led Raziel into the first underground caverns of the ruins and following as it curved east, he could discover several ruined arch structures, defeating or avoiding several Shades (or Greater sluagh in the Spectral Realm) along the way. Passing through the first archway and following the passage as it turned south/southwest then sharply east again led Raziel into a more architecturally structured area with paved floors and walls. Continuing east, the passage led down a stairway where Raziel would encounter several aggressive Shades before the path turned north into the Subterranean Pillars Chamber.[SR2-C2][1]

SR2-SubPillars-Back-EraA

The Subbteranean Pillars chamber

After the cutscene, Raziel could activate the nearby Save altar then jump into the waters beneath the platform, swimming to the opening in the east marked by glowing stones. Following the submerged passages northeast - using the glowing stones to guide him in the darkness or switching to spectral if necessary to make out the darkened surroundings - Raziel was able to progress further through the ruins before surfacing in a chamber with three shades. Defeating the shades and following the ramp upwards led him to a gap which could be jumped and the trail then continued across a bridge as the path twisted towards the northeast to a high cliff-like ledge. Defeating or evading the shades at the top, Raziel could jump down to encounter another shade and then into the water, proceeding northeast through the flooded room with a notable statue at the center. Again following the glowing stones or switching to spectral to aid navigation through the darkened passages, Raziel was able to head northeast and ascend through a series of flooded caverns, passing two inactive plinth symbols before finally following a passage directly upward to surface in the Swamp.[SR2-C2][1]

ConclusionsEdit

NotesEdit

  • 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][2]
  • A cutscene was deleted from the beginning of this chapter - the only excised scene in Soul Reaver 2 for which dialogue was included in the game data.[SR2-Cut] Before reaching the Pillars, just after commenting on the brutality of Moebius's mercenary army, Raziel was to witness the vampire hunters actually slaughtering a Female vampire in person. The Lost Worlds fansite covered the excision: "according to former series director Amy Hennig, the vampire slaying cinematic was deleted because it didn't fit in well with the rest of the story. [...] The dialogue as recorded was also deemed less than ideal; in particular, the "whuh-huh?!" exclamation of the vampire hunters became an in-joke at Crystal Dynamics".[3]
SR2-FemaleVampire-CloseUp

The cut female vampire

  • The cutscene with the Elder God is his first appearance in the Material Realm. The cutscene can be approached in either realm indicating that, although unseen, he exists in both realms simultaneously. The Elder can be heard repeatedly calling Raziel's name in the staircase corridor in the Subterranean Ruins.
  • One of the flooded chambers in the Subterranean Ruins is noticeably dominated by a large central statue covered in eyes and several other ruins, arguably more primitive constructions than those leading upto the Sub-Pillars room.[SR2-C2] Though not revealed in the game, this was intended as "a symbolic representation of the Elder God fashioned by an ancient, primitive cult".[7] Beyond their worship of the Elder, little else is known of the cult and it was not clear whether they were related to the Ancient Vampires or Moebius (fellow Elder God worshippers); their race was unknown, and it is uncertain whether or not they survived into any of the eras explored by Kain and Raziel.[SR2][DEF]

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Icon-Prima Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
  2. Icon-NR Soul Reaver 2 - Dialogue at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya)
  3. Wiki-Icon-TLW Raziel Witnesses a Vampire Slaying at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  4. Icon-DCab Weaponry and other questions at DCabDesign (by BazL), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  5. Icon-DCabPillars of Nosgoth areas at DCabDesign (by Bazielim), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  6. Wiki-Icon-TLW The Pillar Glyphs at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  7. Icon-Eidos Chris@Crystal's Greatest Hits at the Eidos Forums (by Divine Shadow)

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