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"And so it ends. My history comes full circle."
―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]

Epilogue, also known as Epilogue: The Final Confrontation, is the tenth and final "level" of Soul Reaver 2, marking the formal conclusion of gameplay. It follows Raziel as he confronts his former Sarafan inquisitor self. An epilogue reveals Raziel's ultimate fate and Kain's ignition of the Third paradox in an attempt to avert it.

PlotEdit

After blazing his way through the Sarafan Stronghold, regaining the Reaver and killing his former brethren of the Sarafan warrior inquisitors in the previous chapter, Raziel made his way to the Chapter House, where he was confronted by the Sarafan inquisitor Raziel - his former human incarnation.[SR2][SR2-C9][SR2-C10]

As the two met, the Sarafan Raziel acknowledged the wraith's killing of his brothers and his pursuit of the Heart of Darkness, but refused to stand aside, instead goading Raziel into attacking.[SR2][SR2-C10]

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Raziel battles his former human self

Main article: Raziel (SR2 boss)

Impaling his former self on the Reaver, Raziel killed his human incarnation and renounced his past completely. As he did so, the Wraith Blade manifested (after being disabled by Moebius's Staff in the last chapter). Raziel watched in alarm as the wraith blade uncoiled from him completely and wound around the physical Reaver blade, forcing it to turn on and impale Raziel himself.[SR2][SR2-C10]

Vainly fighting the blade, Raziel was struck by an epiphany that the physical Reaver is empty - the soul devouring entity that Raziel has sensed within the physical Soul Reaver previously and had carried with him as the Wraith Blade throughout his journey was in fact a future version of himself, taken into the blade at this moment.[SR2][SR2-C10]

Overwhelmed by despair, Raziel was outraged when Kain showed himself, accusing him of orchestrating his fate. Kain did not respond in the same way and instead pleaded with Raziel to let go and to trust him. As Raziel's strength faded he felt a growing sense of displacement - as his soul hovered both inside and outside the Reaver, granting a small window where there was a Reaver-convergence.[SR2][SR2-C10]

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Kain spares Raziel, altering the course of history

Acting quickly Kain used this window to rip the Reaver from Raziel, apparently sparing him from his fate - igniting the Third paradox and spawning the Fourth timeline. As history reshuffled and new memories formed in Kain's mind Raziel feared that they might have caused fatal paradox, but the juncture eventually subsides, leaving Kain shocked at the changes caused in the Time-stream.[SR2][SR2-C10]

Kain desperately tried to warn Raziel about a trap set by "the Hylden" and that Janos Audron must not be revived, but his warnings were lost as Raziel was drained of strength and slipped into the Spectral Realm. There Raziel found the Wraith Blade awaiting him - proof that his destiny to enter the blade had not been changed, only postponed.[SR2][SR2-C10]

TranscriptEdit

Players (in order of appearance)Edit


Dark Chronicle: RenunciationEdit

[Armed with the Reaver, Raziel has confronted and slain each of his former Sarafan brethren in turn. Entering the Chapter House of the Stronghold, he finally comes face to face with his former self – the Sarafan Inquisitor Raziel, who has apparently been waiting for him here.
As he crosses the threshold, the portcullis slams down behind him – this is clearly a trap, calculated to channel Raziel into combat with the most formidable of the Sarafan commanders.
The Inquisitor addresses Raziel with self-righteous disdain, blissfully ignorant of this demonic creature's true identity.]
Sarafan Raziel: (hatefully)
So, vampire – here we are.
You've destroyed my brethren – and now you've come for me? You'll find I am not such easy prey.
Raziel: I don't want to kill you, but I will if I must.
Return the heart to me, and we can end this now.
Sarafan Raziel: (mocking)
So you've come to avenge that filthy parasite, and reclaim his foul heart?
You're a righteous fiend, aren't you?
Raziel: (referring to Sarafan Raziel)
Apparently I am.
Sarafan Raziel: (icily)
No, vampire. This is where it ends, but you won't be leaving this room.
Now, let's finish this – I'll make it mercifully quick.
Raziel: As you did for Janos.
Sarafan Raziel: (laughs coldly)
No, that beast had eluded us for far too long.
It would have been a shame to end him too quickly.
(He continues, goading Raziel into battle –)
It's ironic, really – the 'great Janos Audron' turned out to be no challenge at all... thanks to you.
Did you hear his cowardly screams when I tore that black heart out of his carcass?
[Raziel can no longer contain his rage – raising the Reaver, he lunges at the Sarafan Inquisitor.]

Dark Chronicle: Full CircleEdit

[The Sarafan Inquisitor is defeated, and as he staggers, Raziel runs him through with the Reaver. Transfixed on the blade, Sarafan Raziel chokes and gasps as his lifeblood is drained from his body. Face to face in this deadly embrace, Raziel curses his former self with the solemnity of an oath –]
Raziel: (with revulsion and finality)
I renounce you.
Sarafan Raziel: (gasping and dying)
[The Sarafan Inquisitor collapses to the floor, and the Reaver blade slides free of his body.]
Raziel: (quietly, to himself)
And so it ends. My history comes full circle.
[As Raziel stands over the corpse of his former self, the wraith blade begins to manifest, its power gradually returning. Raziel watches in growing alarm as the wraith blade abandons its symbiotic grip on his arm, and coils itself around its twin – its former, physical self – instead.]
Raziel (V.O.): Sensing its twin, the wraith blade uncoiled itself from me – and instead wound lovingly around its former self.
I felt its grip loosen, and as the blade left me, its absence chilled me more than its presence ever had.
A foreboding sense of emptiness and loss stole over me... and a terrible revelation gathered like a storm at the edge of my awareness...
[Thus joined, the twinned blades turn on Raziel – with the blade still bound to his hand, Raziel is dragged helplessly as the Reaver exerts its own will. Raziel struggles, but is powerless to resist the blades as they turn inexorably toward him.]
Raziel (V.O.): (a horrible epiphany)
With all other foes exhausted, the conjoined blades turned themselves on me. And I realized, finally, why I had sensed nothing when Janos offered me the blade.
The Reaver was never forged to be a soul-stealing weapon...
(The Reaver plunges toward Raziel and impales him. His eyes widen in agony, despair and recognition –)
...the ravenous, soul-devouring entity trapped in the blade was – and always had been – me.
This is why the blade was destroyed when Kain tried to strike me down – the Reaver could not devour its own soul. The paradox shattered the blade.
So – this was my terrible destiny – to play out this purgatorial cycle for all eternity...
I could not bear it – despair overwhelmed me.
[Raziel falls to his knees, transfixed by the Reaver. His hand, still bound to the blade, forms a perverse vicious-circle as his soul is gradually but relentlessly drained away, absorbed slowly and torturously into the Reaver. Raziel strains against the blade, trying vainly to escape this horrible fate.
At this moment, Kain reveals himself, stepping out from the shadows of the Chapter House. Raziel sees him, and immediately believes he has been betrayed – that this is a trap set by Kain himself.
Overcome with rage and agony, Raziel accuses Kain –]
Raziel: You!
[Kain approaches, watching Raziel with intense fascination. Raziel cries out in anguish –]
Raziel: Are you enjoying this, Kain?!
Kain: (intense)
Don't fight it, Raziel...
Kain: Give in to it...
Raziel: (in agony)
Was this your destiny for me, all along?!
[Kain urges him intently –]
Kain: Trust me...
[Raziel's strength is fading; he begins to collapse.]
Raziel (V.O.): I felt myself weakening... unable to hold on any longer.
The Reaver was too strong... the compulsion to simply let go too great...
[Out of strength, Raziel surrenders his will. As he nears the brink of oblivion, a fluttering distortion tangibly begins, and Raziel approaches a dawning revelation –]
Raziel (V.O.): And then... a growing sense of vertigo, and the familiar displacement...
...the paradoxical moment when my twinned soul hovered both outside and inside the Reaver blade...
This was the instant – the glimmer of temporal distortion – Kain had been counting on all along.
This was the edge of the coin – the minute flicker of probability upon which Kain had gambled everything.
[Kain lunges forward – and with a massive, history-defying effort, tears the Reaver from Raziel's chest.]
Raziel: (screams in agony)
[The Reaver flies across the room, and the wraith blade flickers and fades as it is separated from its twin. Raziel falls forward, rescued from the threshold of oblivion, but nearly completely drained.]
Kain: Now you are free to reclaim your true destiny, Raziel.
[Gradually, the room begins to warp around them as history strains to find a course around this new obstruction. As the future reshuffles itself, a look of horror slowly dawns on Kain's face. With new memories blooming in his mind, Kain realizes he may have just made a terrible mistake.]
Raziel (V.O.): Behind Kain's eyes, I could see new memories blooming and dying, as history labored to reshuffle itself around this monumental obstruction...
And I could see by the dawning horror on his face that perhaps we had strained history too far this time...
...that by trying to alter my fate, he may have introduced a fatal paradox.
[Then the reshuffling begins to settle, as history finds its new course. But the horror on Kain's face remains, as he realizes what price has been paid to restore Raziel’s future.]
Kain: (quiet, awestruck horror)
My god... the Hylden...
...we walked right into their trap...
(Then, with a sudden realization, Kain tries to warn Raziel –)

Raziel! Janos must stay dead!
[But Raziel, drained almost to the point of annihilation, is losing consciousness. He falls to his knees, and begins to waver out of existence as he sinks into the spectral plane.]
Raziel (V.O.): But Kain's warning was lost as I slipped into the spirit realm, too weak to maintain my physical form...
And there, waiting for me as always, was the Reaver... the wraith blade – my own soul, twinned and bound eternally to me.
And I realized that I could never escape my terrible destiny...
I had merely postponed it.
History abhors a paradox.

ConclusionsEdit

  • Raziel has killed his former human self. After dispatching the other Sarafan warrior inquisitors in the previous chapter, this means Raziel is responsible not only for the original deaths of himself and his brothers but also the loss of most of the leaders of Sarafan hierarchy[SR2][SR2-C9][SR2-C10] - the only survivor is Malek who will be disgraced and doomed to live as a wraith for his failings.[SR2][SR2-C9][BO1][BO1-C1][BO1-C4][BO1-C6]
  • Raziel has uncovered the truth of the Soul Reaver blade and his own cyclical destiny - that he is the entity within the blade, and it was not intended to be a soul devouring weapon, it only gained this ability by its imprisonment of Raziel. Raziel has thus been carrying his own future soul as a weapon. Raziel is apparently fated to enter the 'vacant' Reaver blade.[SR2][SR2-C10]
  • Kain has used some careful timing around Raziel's 'consumption' by the blade to take advantage of a brief Reaver-convergence - in doing so he has ignited the Third paradox, giving birth to the Fourth timeline.[SR2][SR2-C10][SR2-C5]
  • Judging by the the effect on the the Time-stream and Kain's own altered memories, the new timeline has some major changes to an extent not seen in previous timelines. Kain's new memories include a mention of the apparently antagonistic Hylden and his belief that Janos Audron should not be revived.[SR2][SR2-C10][BO2][DEF]
  • Kain's attempt to alter history has not changed Raziel's fate - his possession of the Wraith Blade shows that he is still destined to enter the Reaver blade at some point.[SR2][SR2-C10][DEF]

DevelopmentEdit

The conclusion of Soul Reaver 2 brings to the fore Amy Hennig's research on time travel and its implications. As explained by Hennig:

"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[1]
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The Ouroboros and three Raziels

Fundamentally Hennig saw Raziel's journey going back in time as one of personal discovery and epiphanies. The conclusion of Soul Reaver 2 ultimately features this in two different forms as Raziel discovers not only of the distasteful part his often lionized human self has played in history, but also of his supposed inevitable fate to be imprisoned within the Reaver and the purgatory his future incarnation has endured.[1][SR2][SR2-C10]

The decision for Raziel to be eventually revealed as the spirit within the Reaver blade was made as far back as the development of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and the the shattering of the Soul Reaver against Raziel in the eponymous chapter was deliberately planned with the intention of revealing that Raziel was trapped within.[2][SR2][SR2-C10][SR1][SR1-C5] As recalled by Daniel Cabuco:

"When the scene first played out, I asked Amy why it broke on Raziel. She explained that 'you can't reave your own soul'. That made sense to me. Somehow she had always planned for Raziel to be inside the reaver, and probably would have addressed it in the next game in some meaningful way. There wasn't a different explanation for the Soul Reaver as far as I know. "
― Daniel Cabuco[2]

NotesEdit

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GalleryEdit

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See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Official U.S. Playstation Magazine (september 2000), 'Funk Soul Brother' (by John Davison and Joe Rybicki/Amy Hennig) archived at Square Enix Forums
  2. 2.0 2.1 Icon-DCabInitial Soul Reaver plot at DCabDesign (by Boltar/Daniel Cabuco)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Icon-Prima Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
  4. Icon-NR Soul Reaver 2 - Dialogue at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Icon-Prima Prima Games / Ian Osborne. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain: Official Game Secrets. (1996)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Icon-Prima Prima Games / Mel Odom. Prima's Official Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Guide. (1999)
  7. Icon-Prima Prima Games / JDP and Gerald Guess. Prima's Official Legacy of Kain: Defiance Guide. (2003)
  8. Wiki-Icon-SR2 Soul Reaver 2 manual. Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (October 31, 2001) Download.
  9. Wiki-Icon-SR1 Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver manual (US version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (August 16, 1999) Download.
  10. Wiki-Icon-SR1 Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver manual (UK version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (August 16, 1999) Download.
  11. Icon-DCab"Sarafan Crusader Notes" on Daniel Cabuco's online portfolio (Archived Notes at 'Legacy of Kain Wiki: Sources')
Preceded by:
Wiki-Icon-SR2 Blade of Vengeance
Soul Reaver 2 chapters
Wiki-Icon-SR2 Chapter 10: Final Confrontation
Followed by:
Wiki-Icon-BO2 Welcome to Meridian

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