- "I recognized these two as my former brethren... in life, as Sarafan; and in unlife, as Kain's vampire 'sons'.
Melchiah and Zephon, the weakest of Kain’s brood... These bastards had no idea what future lay in store for them – how they would become the very thing they so despised.
The Reaver hummed with ravenous anticipation – Janos had called it a 'vampiric' blade, endowed with the power to drain its victims of their lifeblood.
I was eager to see what the Reaver would do to these two..."
- ―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]
In the final areas of Soul Reaver 2, shortly after retrieving the Reaver, Raziel faced the Sarafan warrior inquisitor Zephon along with comrade Melchiah in combat. The battle took place in the Courtyard area of the Sarafan Stronghold.
After witnessing the death of Janos Audron at the hands of the Sarafan warrior inquisitor group,[SR2][SR2-C8][SR2-C9] Raziel pursued them as they retreated to the Sarafan Stronghold carrying with them the Heart of Darkness and Reaver blade. Infiltrating the stronghold, Raziel was able to recover the Reaver during a brief confrontation with Malek and Moebius but soon found himself channeled into combat with the inquisitors themselves.[SR2][SR2-C9]
When Raziel reached the Cloister area, portcullises sealed the exits and he was he was confronted by the first pair of inquisitors - Zephon and Melchiah. Unlike other 'boss' battles in the series, the battles with the inquisitors had no puzzle aspect to them and were treated the same as any regular combat encounter - albeit against incredibly powerful opposition and with Raziel invincible due to the effects of the Reaver.[SR2][SR2-C9]
At a distance all the inquisitors would walk slowly, while in direct combat Zephon had power, speed, health and defensive capabilities far exceeding that of ordinary enemies. Armed with a Sarafan sword, Zephon was a close-range fighter (broadly comparable to Sarafan warrior swordsmen), attacking viciously and often with a series of deadly sword strikes, frequent lunges and relentless blocking, but also being somewhat vulnerable to counters and sidesteps himself. Appearing together with Melchiah also allowed Zephon to double-team Raziel, preventing any offensive maneuvers on his part. With Raziel's Health coil sustained by the Reaver, any damage was healed almost immediately, making the defeat of the inquisitors inevitable. Upon Zephon's death his soul was released but quickly rose away, and when both inquisitors were defeated Raziel reflected on the Reaver's new-found power to make him invincible before heading further into the stronghold and confrontations with the other inquisitors.[SR2][SR2-C9]
- The battles against the warrior inquisitors in Soul Reaver 2 are arguably not true boss encounters. Unlike battles against major characters in other titles in the series, these battles were confined to a final 'rush' at the climax of the game, contained only regular combat with no puzzle element, conferred no special abilities upon completion and did not mark the end of 'levels' - apparently efforts by developers to avoid the artificial nature of levels and boss battles. The final rush arguably begins at the onset of Blade of Vengeance, as after leaving Janos Audron's Retreat Raziel is confronted by increasingly difficult battles against various Demons utilizing Combat barriers (each similarly marked by a cutscene), culminating in the battles with the inquisitors.[SR2][SR2-C9]
- In game files, textures used for Zephon are labelled as "zephon" and "mrd_zep".[SR2]
- The Sarafan Zephon is memorialized in the Chapter House of the Sarafan Stronghold in the Pre-Blood Omen era. In this depiction, Zephon is depicted with a sword and he is armed as such when faced in battle.[SR2-C1][SR2] He can also be observed among the inquisitors infiltrating Janos Audron's Retreat in Nosgoth's early history.[SR2-C8][SR2-C9]
- With Zephon's death, the Reaver can be seen drinking his Blood and his soul can be observed departing the body. The souls of the inquisitors, destined to become lieutenants in Kain's empire, were colored blue unlike other human souls (which were yellow) and quickly rose away, unable to be consumed by Raziel or the Reaver (hinting at later revelations about the nature of the blade).[SR2-C9] After his death, Zephon's body was taken with the other inquisitors and interred in the Tomb of the Sarafan, providing the corpses for Kain to revive as a lieutenants a millennium later, keeping them ignorant of their human lives.[SR2-C9][SR1-C6]
- Using the debug menu it is possible to skip passed the scene where Raziel gains the Reaver and battle the inquisitors unarmed without the healing effects of the Reaver, presenting a much greater gameplay challenge than the usual fight where Raziel is invincible. This allowed Raziel to enter the Spectral Realm in these locations and recover the Pikes (and swords) of the inquisitors as weapons, but did not allow Raziel to consume their souls, which were unaffected by attempts to devour them.[SR2][SR2-C9]
- Zephon's Sarafan appearance contains subtle references to his later vampire form,[SR2][SR2-C9] seen in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.[SR1][SR1-C1][SR1-C5] Zephon has tall spiked up hair, like his initial vampire form (seen in the opening prologue), though it is red instead of the black seen in his vampire incarnation.[SR1-C1] Series artist and art director Daniel Cabuco explained that "his hair was red as a human, and turned black as his soul when he turned into a vampire". Zephon's pauldrons are light and his helmet had adorned with a plume, but no other features though the helmet caused Zephon's eyes to appear inhuman, somewhat reminiscent of his insectoid devolved form.[SR1-C5] The symbol later associated with the Zephonim clan is also seen on the 'sash' beneath his waist and the black color of Zephon's armor is reminiscent the color-coding of the grey color of the later clan standards in Soul Reaver (the standards initially seen in the opening video were dark-green, but this is changed to grey in game).[SR2][SR2-C9][SR1]
- The order of the 'boss' encounters in Soul Reaver 2 also closely matches the order of boss encounters (and by extension the revival and ranking order of the Vampire Council members) in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver,[SR2][SR1] with Zephon - generally thought to be the penultimate lieutenant created and second weakest and lowest ranked of the lieutenants, the second encountered in each title[SR1-C5][SR2-C9] - though here he is fought along with Melchiah, they are collectively referred to as "the weakest of Kain’s brood",[SR2-C9] with Melchiah already acknowledged as the sole weakest council member. This ranking is not necessarily related to human age, with Raziel acknowledged as the youngest and Turel the oldest at the time of their human deaths.
- ↑ Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
- ↑ Zephon at deviantART (by SpectralJin)
- ↑ Zephon at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn ).
- ↑ Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver manual (US version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (August 16, 1999) Download.
- ↑ Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver manual (UK version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (August 16, 1999) Download.
- ↑ Some questions about SR2 Sarafan at DCabDesign (by Lexy), post #3 (by Daniel Cabuco)