- "I tire of your games, Moebius. Now that I know you fear me, I needn't concern myself with you.
Kain is waiting for me."
- ―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]
Chapter 1: A Reaver in Time is the first true "level", or chapter, of Soul Reaver 2, taking place after the recapitulating Prologue intro. This chapter marks the beginning of gameplay, opening with Raziel meeting Moebius in one of the Sarafan Stronghold's time-streaming chambers, and concluding as Raziel leaves the Great Southern Lake on his way to the Pillars of Nosgoth.
As the mist settles in the time-streaming chamber, Raziel recognizes the man who has addressed him – Moebius the Time Streamer, Guardian of the Pillar of Time.[SR1-10][SR2-C0][SR2-C1] Having listened to Kain's boasted exploits, Raziel is well aware of Moebius's reputation for danger, and immediately accosts him.[SR2-C1][SR1-C9] He brandishes the Wraith Blade, though Moebius's Staff mysteriously dispels it. Moebius reveals that they were familiar when Raziel was one of the Sarafan, during his human life, but Raziel – though placated by Moebius's pandering demeanor – remains unsympathetic to the manipulative sorcerer.[SR2-C1]
In the adjacent Circle's gathering-room, the Time Streamer confirms that murals in the surrounding chamber depict Vorador's slaughter of the Circle, and speaks of the crusade his mercenary army leads against the vampires of Nosgoth.[SR2-C1][BO1-C6] Raziel has pursued Kain to the pre-Blood Omen era, it transpires – a time in which the Pillars of Nosgoth still stand. Moebius encourages Raziel to seek his vengeance there, where Kain lies in wait.[SR2-C1][SR2-C2] Raziel wanders the Sarafan Stronghold in search of an exit, and admires his former nobility – reflected in the corridors leading to the Cloister – as he progresses.[SR2-C1]
The Wraith Blade returns to Raziel as he enters the Sanctuary, no longer under the influence of Moebius's vampire-immobilizing orb.[SR2-C1] In this hall, Raziel comes upon the tomb of King William the Just, whom a younger Kain traveled back in time to assassinate during his quest to destroy the Circle of Nine.[SR2-C1][BO1-C10] The Soul Reaver is here, broken in the battle between William and Kain, and, as Raziel approaches, an indescribable sense of distortion begins to intensify with each step.[SR2-C1]
As he examines the Reaver, its future self – the Wraith Blade – suddenly begins to leech away Raziel's soul energy to restore the corporeal sword. Moebius, watching on without his staff, pleads for mercy once Raziel catches and threatens him with the conjoined blades. Desperate, Moebius lets slip that he, like Raziel, is an agent of the Elder God – this revelation is enough to stay Raziel's hand, and he departs in disgust, leaving the physical Reaver behind.[SR2-C1]
After the incidents in the Sanctuary, the Wraith Blade undergoes a significant change; its dormant, parasitic sentience is fully awakened, and will turn its hunger on Raziel if over-aroused.[SR2-C1] In an adjacent chapel, Raziel finds a mural of the infamous vampire, Janos Audron – whose heart was ripped from his body by the Sarafan, centuries ago.[SR2-C1][SR2-C9] The so-called Heart of Darkness, it is reputed, can resurrect vampires. Before departing the Stronghold, Raziel finds the Chapter House, now a memorial chapel to him and his closest comrades-in-arms, the warrior inquisitors. Portraits of the inquisitors line the walls, and Raziel himself is memorialized with a statue. The sight only redoubles his lust for revenge against Kain.[SR2-C1]
As he exits, emerging on a balcony overlooking the abundant life and vitality of the Great Southern Lake, Raziel marvels at Nosgoth's beauty. He recognizes that Kain and the Pillars lie to the northwest, and navigates the region, fending off Moebius's soldiers as he goes.[SR2-C1] On his short journey, he discovers the victims of the humans' crusade, impaled throughout the land – these vampires, he muses, are humanoid, and genuinely persecuted, unlike the deranged monsters he faced in the Soul Reaver era.[SR2-C1][SR1] Finally, he arrives at a set of giant double-doors, standing before his quarry.[SR2-C1] Pulling them open, he strides into the clearing where the Pillars of Nosgoth stand.[SR2-C1][SR2-C2]
Raziel begins in the Circle's gathering-room, and possesses almost all of the abilities he gained in the Soul Reaver era, with the exception of constricting, the Fire Reaver, and the glyphs. His health coil also starts at its maximum tier.[SR2-C1][SR1] There is a second time-streaming chamber in the gathering-room, the entrance of which is sealed by a light crystal: it's impossible to access it for now.[SR2-C1][SR2-C5]
Instead, Raziel must pass through the double-doors into the Stronghold corridors, where he will find his first combat with a vampire hunter swordsman. These can be avoided, or attacked and killed for their souls. He can slay them with his claws, or, alternatively, the nearby halberds can be equipped. Even if Raziel is defeated, he will simply be forced into the Spectral Realm, and can easily return using planar portals. At the end of the corridor is a second hunter, who must be killed before the portcullis blocking the exit will open.[SR2-C1]
In the next corridor, another vampire hunter guards the east door. When Raziel enters, he will find a deft vampire hunter pikeman who must be slain. After examining the lionizing imagery in the Stronghold, Raziel enters the Cloister, guarded by a further three pikemen. Upon dispatching them, he must shift into the Spectral Realm and phase through the gate in the northeast corner to reach the Sanctuary.[SR2-C1] In the Spectral Realm, he is always armed with his familiar sword:[SR2]
- Wraith Blade: "As a wraith-blade, the Soul Reaver is symbiotically bound to Raziel - as such, it can never be dropped or lost.
The Soul Reaver is the only weapon that Raziel can carry with him between the Spectral and Material Realms - all other physical weapons are discarded when Raziel shifts into Spectral. The Reaver is Raziel's sole and constant weapon while in the Spectral Realm.
At the very beginning of the game, the Soul Reaver is relatively weak, and will only manifest in the Material Realm when Raziel's spirit-energy is full..."[SR2]
The Wraith Blade returns to Raziel in the Material Realm as soon as he uses the Sanctuary planar portal. In this realm, the room is defended by eight vampire hunters. Raziel can choose to ignore or kill them, before climbing the steps to the large eastern gate.[SR2-C1] After the events in William's chapel, Raziel emerges with a fundamentally altered weapon:[SR2]
- Enhanced Wraith Blade: "...but early on, an event transpires which permanently enhances the Reaver and alters its behavior. Once this event occurs, the Soul Reaver can be summoned at will."[SR2]
The Wraith Blade's permanent change in behavior introduces a new gameplay mechanic:
- Feeding the Reaver: "From this point on, the Reaver is fundamentally altered - it's running the show, and you're just along for the ride. You can summon the Reaver anytime regardless of health, but its hunger for souls is now greater than your own. If you use the Reaver to kill an enemy on the Material Plane, it gets all the soul energy. If you need health, use your claws or another weapon. As you attack with the Reaver, it becomes increasingly powerful - note the new bar encircling your health spiral. As the bar increases, so does the Reaver's power, often felling enemies with a single blow. When the Reaver bar forms a full circle around your health spiral, the ravenous Reaver actually saps your soul, so be careful! You should also note that Raziel's health is drained after the incident in the chapel, so be aware of this as gameplay resumes."[SR2]
Raziel resumes gameplay just outside William's chapel, with his Material Realm health coil now reduced to its minimum level.[SR2] To progress, he must examine the adjacent mural of Janos Audron, then exit the sanctum via the door on the south wall. Following the hallway, and encountering another swordsman, he will emerge in the Chapter House. Two pikemen confront him: once they are dispatched, he can continue. Taking the spiral stairway (flanked by wall-mounted halberds) upwards, he will find an exit on the second floor, in the southwest. The following corridor leads to a set of double-doors, leading directly out to a balcony overlooking the Great Southern Lake.[SR2-C1]
Jumping into the water of the Lake, Raziel must swim to the outcropping on the left, where he finds a pole headed with an ouroboros-shaped ring - his first checkpoint. He can also examine the nearby entrance to the Light Forge, but it is inaccessible at this time. Turning the nearby wheel, he will open an underwater gate. He can either swim through the open gate quickly, or shift to Spectral to prevent it from closing and pass through at his leisure.[SR2-C1]
Once through, he must head towards the lakeshore on the left, and approach the Reaver-shaped obelisk just ahead. This is a save altar. Another light crystal crests the Stronghold's giant doors, again unusable for now. Heading east, Raziel must navigate the lakeside platforms to reach the path to the Pillars. This is accomplished with a combination of crouching, jumping and gliding.[SR2-C1]
Following the path, Raziel must battle or bypass more vampire hunters, including Vampire hunter cannoneers. The way is linear, leading past a wooden bridge to Ariel's Shrine and a small stream. Once over the bridge, Raziel is confronted by Vampire hunter attack dogs, and can activate a second checkpoint. Continuing up the stairs to the north, and following the wooden footbridge (guarded by a cannoneer), he reaches the gates to the Pillars. After slaying the nearby hunters and dogs, he must pull the lever until the barred doors are fully unlocked, and can then pass through.[SR2-C1]
- Raziel and Kain have traveled through the Chronoplast, passing from the Soul Reaver era back to the pre-Blood Omen era. The exact period they arrive in is thirty years prior to the Blood Omen era, and just prior to the corruption of the Pillars.[SR2-C0][SR2-C1][SR2-C2] Moebius has separated the two by summoning Raziel to his time-streaming chamber in the Sarafan Stronghold.[SR2-C1]
- Moebius has instructed Raziel to kill Kain. Raziel strongly distrusts Moebius, and more so when it is revealed that he is a fellow agent of the Elder God. He complies in traveling out of the Sarafan Stronghold, beyond the Great Southern Lake and towards the Pillars in pursuit of Kain, but solely for the sake of his own vengeance.[SR2-C1]
- The Reaver-convergence effect has been established; when Raziel comes into close contact with the physical Soul Reaver, he begins to feel an inexplicable sense of distortion. The nature of this peculiar vertigo has not yet been revealed.[SR2-C1]
- The broken Soul Reaver previously wielded by William the Just has been repaired by Raziel, probably enabling it to, in the future Blood Omen era, fall into the hands of Kain in Avernus Cathedral (or otherwise partake in history).[SR2-C1][BO1-C10][BO1-C8] Raziel's Wraith Blade has been altered; the dormant, ravenous sentience within the sword is awakened, and will turn against him if it becomes over-excited in combat.[SR2-C1]
- Soul Reaver 2 is not formally divided into chapters or levels in-game.[SR2] The chapter names and definitions used at the Legacy of Kain Wiki originate from the supplementary Prima Guide, Prima's Official Strategy Guide - Soul Reaver 2.
- The dialogue transcripts used in this article are, wherever possible, adapted directly from the Dark Chronicle summary transcripts available in game. Scenes not included in the Dark Chronicle feature are instead adapted from Tenaya's transcript of Soul Reaver 2 at Nosgothic Realm - itself derived from the Dark Chronicle and an official game script provided by Crystal Dynamics' Kyle Mannerberg.[SR2]
- A cutscene was deleted from the end of this chapter - the only excised scene in Soul Reaver 2 for which dialogue was included in the game data.[SR2-Cut] Before reaching the Pillars, just after commenting on the brutality of Moebius's mercenary army, Raziel was to witness the vampire hunters actually slaughtering a Female vampire in person. The Lost Worlds fansite covered the excision: "according to former series director Amy Hennig, the vampire slaying cinematic was deleted because it didn't fit in well with the rest of the story. [...] The dialogue as recorded was also deemed less than ideal; in particular, the "whuh-huh?!" exclamation of the vampire hunters became an in-joke at Crystal Dynamics".
- This chapter shifts the narrative from the Soul Reaver era to the pre-Blood Omen era. The pre-Blood Omen era was last seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain's Stranded in Time. Raziel arrives here in the Sarafan Stronghold twenty years after those events, and thirty years before the Blood Omen era will begin.[SR2-C1][BO1-C10]
- Some aspects of this sequence relate to other chapters in the series:
- In his surety that Kain will eventually kill him thirty years later in the Blood Omen era, Moebius makes reference to The Vampire Purges (chapter) of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Moebius's Staff also provides an explanation as to how the mercenary army "[decimated] the vampires so successfully" in that game.[SR2-C1][BO1-C11]
- Raziel's and his brothers' Sarafan past was previously established in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver's Tomb Of Sarafan (chapter).[SR1-C5]
- The slaughter of the Circle, last seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain's Vorador's Mansion (chapter), is referenced both in dialogue and in the level design of the Sarafan Stronghold in general. The Stronghold is the same building in which the slaughter took place, and the Circle's gathering-room is a recurring location, reconstructed directly from the Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain cutscene. Corridors from the cutscene, murals of the Pillar Guardians killed by Vorador and stained glass windows lionizing the Sarafan all relate back to those scenes. Moebius also uses the arcane basin the Circle of Nine were seen clustered around in the earlier game.[SR2-C1][BO1-C6][BO1-C1]
- Raziel notes Moebius's "reputation for deceit", and Moebius asks whether Kain is responsible for giving Raziel this impression of him.[SR2-C1] Kain's "boasted exploits" were indeed the main source of Raziel's misgivings, as he confirmed in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver's Oracle's Cave (chapter).[SR1-C9]
- Moebius describes the setting of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver as "the wasteland" (which itself relates to The Waste Land, a poem by T. S. Eliot, whose works influenced Amy Hennig).[SR2-C1]
- Repeated references are made to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain's Stranded in Time. Moebius mentions that "all great movements require a few martyrs" - William the Just probably being one such martyr. His death at Kain's hands in that chapter is commemorated at his chapel in the Sanctuary. Raziel repairs William's Soul Reaver which Kain broke, thus patching up the Reaver's timeline and enabling it to fall into the young Kain's hands in Defeat Azimuth.[SR2-C1][BO1-C10][BO1-C8]
- The Wheel of Fate is mentioned for the first time since Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver's prologue.[SR2-C1][SR1-C1]
- The events of Blade of Vengeance are depicted in the mural of Janos Audron's death. Janos Audron himself is mentioned for the first time since Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain.[SR2-C1][SR2-C9][BO1-Misc]
- Imagery in the Chapter House foreshadows events in the Soul Reaver 2 epilogue, specifically the ouroboros mural on the floor and the demon seen in the beatific mural of Dumah.[SR2-C1][SR2-C10]
- On the path between the Great Southern Lake and the Pillars, Raziel encounters a shrine which resembles a balance scales. Though this is not confirmed in the game, this is the same shrine where Mortanius/the Dark Entity kills Ariel in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain's Welcome to Hell. Series artist and art director Daniel Cabuco said he "always thought that was where Ariel was murdered. [He] wanted to put up the decorations similar to Blood Omen's intro, but just didn't have time to implement it".[SR2-C1]
- Some of Moebius's powers as Time Guardian are explored for the first time in this chapter. It is confirmed (in the form of his time-streaming chambers) that he has had even more widespread access to time travel than the time-streaming devices and Chronoplast would suggest, and that he is omniscient on some level (his inherent understanding of the time-stream enables him to predict future events).[SR2-C1][SR2-C9][SR2-C5] Furthermore, Moebius "[snatches Raziel] out of the time-stream" to meet him in the Stronghold. Though such a feat is probably well within his power, this remains the only known instance of time travel in the series where a character has conclusively been transported through both time and space.[SR1][SR2][BO1][BO2][DEF] Presumably, if Moebius had not interfered, Raziel would have emerged in this era at either the Chronoplast or the Pillars of Nosgoth.[SR2-C1]
- Moebius notes that three Guardians survived the slaughter of the Circle. Crystal Dynamics' Chris Bruno and Amy Hennig confirmed that these three were Malek, Moebius and Mortanius.[SR2-C1]
- It is never explained why Raziel loses some of his abilities from Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver from this chapter onwards. The fact that he no longer possesses the Fire Reaver or the glyphs may indicate that he never canonically obtains them, or perhaps loses the Fire Reaver enhancement when the Wraith Blade is altered in the Chapel incident.[SR1][SR2]
- Although William the Just's sarcophagus is in the Sarafan Stronghold, his place of death was his own stronghold in the far-northern Land of the Nemesis. The presence of his body and Soul Reaver in the Great Southern Lake region indicates that the mercenary army managed to transport his corpse from the opposite side of Nosgoth in order to facilitate their crusade.[SR2-C1][BO1-C10]
- Raziel was entirely capable of creating (and prepared to create) a significant paradox in this chapter, had he killed Moebius in the Sanctuary with the Soul Reaver. The Reaver-convergence ensures that there was a historical juncture at that point, but it was aborted when Raziel refused to exercise his free will. If he had instead slain Moebius, a new, replacement Time Guardian would have been born (and subsequently corrupted), and the events of the Blood Omen era may have been vastly different.[SR2-C1][SR2-C2]
- There is an easter egg in the Stronghold mural depicting Janos Audron's life and death. Daniel Cabuco revealed that the panicking human villagers in the left panel are based on Hong Park, Scott Krotz and Jason Bell, "engineers for Soul Reaver, SR2 and Defiance". Cabuco said that "they all got a big kick out of it when they saw it and we had a good laugh at this inside joke".
- This chapter introduces the Great Southern Lake as a playable location, but does not mark its first depiction in the series. It was originally seen, and identified, on maps included with Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain.[SR2-C1][BO1]
- Ruins relating to the cut Spirit Forge location can be seen at the bottom of the Great Southern Lake.[SR2-C1]
- Pre-Blood Omen era
- Sarafan Stronghold
- Time-streaming chambers
- Circle's gathering-room
- Chapter House
- Great Southern Lake
- Soul Reaver 2 - Dialogue at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn).
- Soul Reaver 2: Script (Dialogue) at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya).
- Raziel Witnesses a Vampire Slaying at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- Vampires at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Soul Reaver 2 manual. Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (October 31, 2001) Download.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
- ↑ Soul Reaver 2 - Dialogue at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya)
- ↑ Raziel Witnesses a Vampire Slaying at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ Behind the Classics: Amy Hennig Talks Soul Reaver Secrets at the PlayStation Blog (by Sid Shuman and Amy Hennig)
- ↑ The Influence of Literature and Myth in Videogames at IGN (by Douglass C. Perry), page 3
- ↑ Weaponry and other questions at DCabDesign (by BazL), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ Chris@Crystal's Greatest Hits at the Square Enix Forums (by Divine Shadow)
- ↑ Some questions about SR2 Sarafan at DCabDesign (by Lexy), post #25 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ Deleted Reaver Forges at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)