The Ring Menu, also known as the Glyph menu, Glyph spell menu or Select menu, is circular menu interface used in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2 to select Glyphs and other similar applications.
- Game: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (terms/gameplay)
Soul Reaver 2 (terms/gameplay)
- Protagonist: Raziel
- Related Articles: Glyphs, Eldritch energy, Shift Glyph/Shifting, Force Glyph, Stone Glyph, Sound Glyph, Water Glyph, Fire Glyph, Sunlight Glyph, Spirit Glyph, World map, Wraith Blade/Material Reaver, Balance Glyph, Conflict Glyph, Death Glyph, Dimension Glyph, Energy Glyph, Mind Glyph, Nature Glyph, States Glyph, Time Glyph
The Ring Menu first appeared in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, where the menu was accessible through a specific button press and consisted of seven slots for Glyph spells arranged in a circular pattern. Raziel started with a single position filled - The Shift Glyph - all others were represented by white dots and gaining their Glyph spells was entirely optional. In order to acquire the other spells, it was necessary for Raziel to solve the specific Glyph altar related to the spell; solving a puzzle which unlocked the particular Glyph and opened their entry on the ring menu. Each of the Glyphs consumed a different amount of Eldritch energy which was displayed in the ring menu in the top-left corner: The Force Glyph costs 1, Stone costs 2, Sound costs 4, Water 6, Fire 8 and the Sunlight Glyph costs 10 Eldritch energy; only the Shift Glyph costs no energy. All of the Glyphs would be 'greyed out' and inaccessible when in the Spectral Realm, with the exception of the Shift Glyph which was only available if Raziel was stood on a planar portal with a full Health coil. Glyphs would also be greyed out if Raziel's eldritch energy was insufficient to cast the spell.[SR1]
One Glyph spell - the Spirit Glyph - was intended to feature in the ring menu, but the glyph and its accompanying Reaver enhancement were ultimately cut due to timing and budgetary constraints. Though it does not appear in the retail version of the game, preview material reveals that the glyph was implemented and included in the ring menu in early stages of development, taking a position between the Stone and Force glyphs.
|Menu Item||Icon/Principle||Gained from||Cost||Availability|
|Shift Glyph/Shifting||innate||None||Available continuously in Material Realm but only available in Spectral when stood on a planar portal with full health.|
|Force Glyph||Force Glyph Altar, The Necropolis||1 eldritch point||Unavailable if Eldritch energy is insufficient.|
|Stone Glyph||Stone Glyph Altar, Nupraptor's Retreat||2 eldritch points||Unavailable if Eldritch energy is insufficient.|
|Sound Glyph||Sound Glyph Altar, The Silenced Cathedral||4 eldritch points||Unavailable if Eldritch energy is insufficient.|
|Water Glyph||Water Glyph Altar, The City||6 eldritch points||Unavailable if Eldritch energy is insufficient.|
|Fire Glyph||Fire Glyph Altar, Raziel's Clan Territory||8 eldritch points||Unavailable if Eldritch energy is insufficient.|
|Sunlight Glyph||The Sunlight Glyph Altar||10 eldritch points||Unavailable if Eldritch energy is insufficient.|
|Spirit Glyph (cut)||unknown||unknown||unknown|
The Ring menu returned in Soul Reaver 2 but was significantly reduced for that title, consisting of only three symbols; only two of which were initially available. The Shift Glyph/Shifting icon was the only returning icon, featuring a slightly redesigned symbol, it again allowed Raziel to switch Realms but could only be used in the Spectral Realm when stood on a planar portal with a full Health coil. The next icon related to the World map and this displayed a simplified map of Nosgoth with the current area and objective highlighted and previously visited locations listed - this was the only icon available continuously in either realm. The third and final symbol represented the Reaver and summoned the Wraith Blade to the Material Realm, however it was not gained until part-way through A Reaver in Time when the Wraith blade was upgraded following its encounter with Moebius's Staff - previous to this the wraith blade depended upon Raziel being at full health and after it could be summoned at will.[SR2]
Several Glyphs related to the Pillars of Nosgoth were planned to complete the ring menu for Soul Reaver 2 but these were ultimately cut and removed due to time constraints. Initially planned to revolve around "new ways to interact with the environment" rather than the direct combat applications of their predecessors, these glyphs were not featured in the Ring menu in the retail version of the title, which only contained the three standard interactions; however the Pillar-related Glyphs did appear under Debug menus as non-functional entries and pre-release demo versions (like the Air forge demo) also featured debug options allowing the full 12-item ring menu to be manifested with inactive placeholder symbols or white dots representing the incomplete/cut glyphs. No applications or abilities of the Soul Reaver 2 Pillar Glyphs are currently known.
The following table list the ring menu items both present in and cut from Soul Reaver 2, illustrating the symbols and their corresponding applications and availability :
|Menu Item||Icon/Principle||Gained from||Effect||Availability|
|Shift Glyph/Shifting||innate||Shifting between Realms||Available continuously in Material Realm but only available in Spectral when stood on a planar portal with full health.|
|World map||innate||Displays the World map with the current location highlighted||Continuous, though only displays known locations|
|Wraith Blade||William's Chapel, Sanctuary, A Reaver in Time||Summons the Wraith Blade to the Material Realm||Menu item unavailable in Spectral Realm|
|Balance Glyph (cut)||unknown||unknown||unknown|
|Conflict Glyph (cut)||unknown||unknown||unknown|
|Death Glyph (cut)||unknown||unknown||unknown|
|Dimension Glyph (cut)||unknown||unknown||unknown|
|Energy Glyph (cut)||unknown||unknown||unknown|
|Mind Glyph (cut)||unknown||unknown||unknown|
|Nature Glyph (cut)||unknown||unknown||unknown|
|States Glyph (cut)||unknown||unknown||unknown|
|Time Glyph (cut)||unknown||unknown||unknown|
- Though most commonly referred to as the "Ring menu" (presumably relating to the circular shape of the menu), a number of other terms are used to describe the menu in various sources. Prima's Official Strategy Guide - Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver refers to the ring menu as the "Glyph menu", while manuals refer to the "Glyph Spell menu". Other sources, particularly related to the Playstation versions refer to the "Select menu", presumably relating to the button pressed to summon the menu.
- Of the Ring menu options shown, the World map of Soul Reaver 2 is the only ring menu item from either game that can be used continuously at any time in either realm without any cost: all other ring menu items have some kind of restriction on their usage. The only place where the world map is not immediately accessible is the Soul Reaver 2 pre-release Air Forge demo, which features the map as a placeholder white dot (presumably due to the rest of the game world not being in place). The only item to return between games is the Shift Glyph/Shifting icon which was subtly redesigned.[SR1][SR2]
- Early versions of the Ring menu exist in both titles which feature a large amount of developmental and placeholder symbols for the ring menu entries, which were eventually updated or discarded before the retail versions.
- The usage of the ring menu resembles a refinement of the various quick menus used to select items and spells in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain.[BO1] A circular 'wheel' menu system similar to the ring menu would subsequently be used to select Dark gifts in Blood Omen 2,[BO2] however Legacy of Kain: Defiance discarded the system, returning to a quick menu style system for selecting Reaver enhancements (and Shifting) and an inventory system for other items.[DEF]
- Eldritch energy
- Shift Glyph
- Force Glyph
- Stone Glyph
- Sound Glyph
- Water Glyph
- Fire Glyph
- Sunlight Glyph
- Spirit Glyph
- World map
- Wraith Blade
- Material Reaver
- Balance Glyph
- Conflict Glyph
- Death Glyph
- Dimension Glyph
- Energy Glyph
- Mind Glyph
- Nature Glyph
- States Glyph
- Time Glyph
- Glyphs at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- Eldritch Energy (Glyph Energy (SR1)) at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- The Spirit Glyph at The Lost Worlds (be Ben Lincoln).
- The Pillar Glyphs at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- The Full Ring Menu at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Prima Games / Mel Odom. Prima's Official Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Guide. (1999)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver manual (US version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (August 16, 1999) Download.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver manual (UK version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (August 16, 1999) Download.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The Spirit Glyph at The Lost Worlds (be Ben Lincoln).
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Soul Reaver 2 manual. Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (October 31, 2001) Download.
- ↑ Soul Reaver 2: Director's Interview - PlayStation 2 Feature at IGN (by Douglass Perry), page 6
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Debug Menu at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The Pillar Glyphs at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 The Full Ring Menu at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Early Versions of Soul Reaver 2 at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 The Air Forge Demo at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)