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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 commanders 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]

SR2-DC-FullCircle-001

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]

SR2-DC-FullCircle-080

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]

ConclusionsEdit

  • Raziel has killed his former human self. After dispatching the other Sarafan commanders 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]
SR2-DC-FullCircle-047

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

ContinuityEdit

GalleryEdit

  • SR2 Dark Chronicle: Renunciation

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')

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