The Time Streaming Chambers were a set of three largely identical devices used to transport individuals through the Time-stream to the same chamber in the future or the past. After being seen briefly at the end of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, the Time-streaming chambers were featured as playable locations in Soul Reaver 2 and were used at scripted occasions to allow Raziel to travel between time periods.
The Time-streaming chambers were first observed at the end of Chapter 10 of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver as Raziel battled Kain in Moebius's Chronoplast chamber in the Soul Reaver era and pursued him as he activated the device and retreated through a portal into the Time-stream. Following Kain through the portal, Raziel emerged in a darkened time streaming chamber, where he was met by Moebius himself.[SR1][SR1-10]These events were re-capped in the Soul Reaver 2 Prologue, which once again depicted Raziel's arrival in the (now much brighter) time-streaming chamber, where he was greeted by Moebius.[SR2][SR2-C0] Moebius's introduction was continued in A Reaver in Time, with a much clearer view presented of the time-streaming chamber, showing it to be a similar structure to the Chronoplast albeit on a much smaller scale. With Moebius's revelations Raziel realized he had been transported back to the Pre-Blood Omen era, but had also been moved to a different location, arriving in a time-streaming chamber within the Sarafan Stronghold, just off the Circle's gathering-room. Encouraged by Moebius, Raziel left the stronghold and ventured out into Nosgoth, but not without noting a second time streaming chamber off the gathering room that bore a Light Crystal locking mechanism.[SR2-C1]
Discovering evidence of Nosgoth's ancient history, Raziel found the Light Forge and enhanced the Reaver accordingly, allowing him to use its enhancements to re-enter the stronghold in Chapter 5. Using the Light Reaver, Raziel was able to unlock the second time-streaming chamber in the gathering room, where he was met by Moebius and persuaded him to send him back to Nosgoth's early history via the time-streaming chamber. When Raziel emerged however, he discovered that he had been tricked by Moebius and instead sent to the demon-infested Post-Blood Omen era. With no understanding of the device to set it himself, Raziel was forced to find another way back into the past.[SR2-C5]
As Raziel investigated the Swamp in this era, he noted a third time-streaming chamber (which he had seen previously in the Pre-Blood Omen era) marked by a cracked door decorated with the infinity sign and realized that it was his only way to escape the Post-Blood Omen era.[SR2-C5] Finding his way to the Air Forge in Nosgoth's northern mountains, Raziel was able to imbue the Air Reaver and use its ability to blast apart cracked surfaces to enter the abandoned chamber in the swamp. Once again unable to set the time-streaming chamber himself, Raziel was forced to use as it was, discovering, somewhat warily, that the device had already been set (presumably by Moebius) to take Raziel to Nosgoth's early history,[SR2-C7] where he would finally meet Janos Audron and face his 'terrible destiny'.[SR2-C8][SR2-C9][SR2-C10]
Design and LayoutEdit
When seen briefly at the finale of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, the first time streaming chamber is largely depicted as a darkened room and few features can be identified beyond a large ringed infinity symbol, apparently carved into the stone floor of the chamber.[SR1][SR1-10] With the recap of these events in the Soul Reaver 2 Prologue, the chamber is once again indistinct, though this time obscured by the effects of the chambers usage. Differing views of the cutscene prevent the infinity sign from being seen and the floor of the chamber is no longer stone but appears as a semi-transparent material beneath which several gear-like mechanisms can be seen.[SR2][SR2-C0]
From the start of A Reaver in Time the first time-streaming chamber is seen much more clearly, revealing the room as large circular chamber. The ringed infinity sign remained in the center of the chamber beneath a semi-transparent material accompanied by several gear-like mechanisms and a smaller ring at the heart of the infinity sign itself. Beyond the larger central ring, the room was divided into six sections by small green and golden pillars emblazoned with the infinity sign. Each division had several 'waving' groves on the floor radiating out towards the walls which bore several gear-like mechanisms - three equally spaced walls contained identical mechanisms with a small gear wheel and two blade-like implements, whilst the remaining walls contained two large gear wheels, a set of 'wiring' and the main door of the chamber respectively. Several runic symbols decorated the chamber, with two sets of vertical arcane symbols (identical to those seen in Kain's magic meter in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain) flanking the main door, and a set of translatable Blood script (reading "Wendeler's monument") was repeated around the top of the chamber. Above the blood script ring, the division pillars trailed upwards into stylized golden spikes, between these the roof was a black expanse, through which many star-like lights could be seen flowing away from the center of the roof.[SR2][SR2-C1]
The other time-streaming chambers in the gathering room and the swamp were largely identical to the first with only minor feature changes due to cutscene events, identical textures and no changes apparent due to the passing of time. Perhaps the most noticeable of these changing features was the spherical activation 'switch' on an ornate pedestal at heart of the chamber, which was present only when Raziel would activate the chamber himself, and was thus only seen in the stronghold's second chamber in the Pre-Blood Omen era[SR2-C5] and the swamp's chamber in the Post-Blood Omen era[SR2-C7] - on both occasions, the switch was missing in the same chamber when Raziel arrived in the new era. The other changing feature was a small 'control panel' on the back wall of the chamber (underneath the 'small gear and blades' mechanism), consisting of a semi circular panel decorated with a gear-like motif and another infinity sign, along with several screw-like implements apparently used for inputting the destination of the chamber itself - this mechanism was only seen in the stronghold's second time-streaming chamber in the Pre-Blood Omen era (where it was used by Moebius to program the device to send Raziel to the Post-Blood Omen era) and was not present in the other rooms or in other times.[SR2-C5]
- The various time-streaming chambers are referred to throughout Soul Reaver 2 in dialogue and stage directions as a "Time-streaming chamber"[SR2-C1][SR2-C5][SR2-C6][SR2-C7], or on occasion as a "Time-streaming device"[SR2-C3][SR2-C4][SR2-C5][SR2-C7]. Guides and manuals also use these terms, with the Prima guide referring to "Time-streaming chambers" and manuals to "Time Streaming Devices". The initial stage directions given are more descriptive of the rooms, noting the area as "a small, domed chamber – similar to the Chronoplast room he just left, but built on a much smaller scale."[SR2-C1]
- The time-streaming chambers seemed to share much in common with the Chronoplast chamber, though the chronoplast seemed to be a much larger and more powerful time traveling device, with much more complicated controls - able to transport the user to a different time and place (or at least allowing the traveler to be intercepted and diverted);[SR1-10][SR2-C0][SR2-C1] whereas the smaller time-streaming chambers merely moved the participants through time and did not appear to allow the location to be changed.[SR2][SR2-C5][SR2-C7] To program the time-streaming chamber to transport to send Raziel to the Post-Blood Omen era, Moebius uses the control panel and activates the second-right, far-left and far-right screws in that order; a process considerably simpler than the different sequences used to activate the Chronoplast.[SR2-C5][SR1-10][SR2-C1]
- The time-streaming chambers are listed under Debug menus directly as "TSD", presumably referring to the "Time-streaming device" label - with "TSD1A" referring to the second chamber of the gathering room (Pre-Blood Omen era) and "TSD1B" referring to the chamber in the swamp (Post-Blood Omen era). Several other related rooms are also listed under different locations - "Strong1" allows entry to the stronghold's first time streaming chamber (and usually triggers the 'arrival' cutscene), whilst the "Swamp5" and "Swamp10" rooms refer to the entrance chamber and 'spiral' staircase of the swamp chamber respectively. As with other areas those locations, those with an additional "B" denote the Post-Blood Omen era and "C" denote the early history era, with the "Swamp5" area present in all eras (despite not being accessible in the Pre-Blood Omen era in the usual course of the game), the "Strong1" area absent from the early history era and the "Swamp10" area absent from the Pre-Blood Omen era.[SR2] The Time-streaming chamber shown briefly at the end of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver has the entry "Chrono19" in the files of the game, however it displays simply as a flat plane.[SR1]
- The Circle's gathering-room was only seen in the early history era in Blood Omen cutscenes, which do not feature the doors to the time-streaming chambers that are seen in Soul Reaver 2.[BO1][BO1-C1][BO1-C6][SR2] It is unclear if this implies that the chambers were constructed after this time, or if the were simply part of the redesign for Soul Reaver 2.
- Though not made explicit in-game, Moebius is implicated as the architect of the Time-streaming chambers, with it noted in manuals that "Moebius the Time Streamer - an ancient human sorcerer gifted with the power to bend time - constructed Time Streaming Devices to travel to various ages of Nosgoth's history. The success of Raziel's quest depends on his ability to find and unlock these chambers" in its summary of the time travel technology used by Raziel in Soul Reaver 2. Raziel himself refers to the individual chambers on several occasions throughout Soul Reaver 2 as "Moebius's time-streaming chamber" or "Moebius's time-streaming device".[SR2-C3][SR2-C4]
- The time-streaming chamber in the swamp is noted in the Pre-Blood Omen era as "long-ago sealed and abandoned to the encroaching swamp".[SR2-C3] When Raziel travels to Nosgoth's early history a different door is seen, suggesting it is yet to be sealed, but the chamber is still surrounded by swampland terrain and appears empty and abandoned.[SR2-C7]
- The Blood script that is repeated around the top of the time-streaming chambers approximately reads "Wendler's Monument"[SR2] in reference to artist Jacob Wendler, who had designed part of the environment and added the name himself. Comments by fellow artist Daniel Cabuco imply the message was originally located in a different place, apparently on an obelisk. The arcane symbols alongside the internal doors are identical to those seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain representing Kain's Magic energy and the Pillars of Nosgoth that had been restored.[BO1]
- A much greater role for the time streaming chambers and time travel in general was originally envisaged for Soul Reaver 2, similar to using shifting realms to solve a puzzle. As Daniel Cabuco commented: "We wanted to do a lot more with time streaming but didn't have the time to do it. (like planting a tree that would eventually become a ladder years later when it grew tall enough, etc.)". Cabuco also revealed that in early stages of development as many as five different eras may have been considered.
- Time Streaming Devices and Chambers at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn).
- Time-streaming devices
- ↑ Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Soul Reaver 2 manual. Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (October 31, 2001) Download.
- ↑ Weaponry and other questions at DCabDesign (by BazL), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ Time Streaming Devices and Chambers at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn).
- ↑ 'Hey guys what are some of your favorite lok areas and why?' at 'Legacy of Kain Fans' on Facebook (by Stark Spark), post #18/21 (by Daniel Cabuco).