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The Amplified Reaver, also known as the Ariel Reaver or the Kain Reaver, was an enhancement for the Wraith Blade that was planned for inclusion in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, but was ultimately cut due to time constraints.

DevelopmentEdit

The Amplified Reaver was an enhancement for the Wraith blade and the final ability Raziel would have earned. The ability was intended to be gained by Raziel in the final stages of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, presumably as he pursued Kain to his mountain retreat. Informed by Ariel that only with her soul would he be able to harm Kain, Raziel absorbed Ariel's soul into the wraith blade, creating the Amplified Reaver - which would be an all powerful blade encompassing the abilities of the other Reaver enhancements.

When he visited Kain's Mountain Retreat and struck Kain down with the Amplified Reaver it would absorb Kain's soul. This final version of the blade would enable him to fight off the vampire hoard at the Pinnacle of the Silenced Cathedral.[1][2] Prerelease materials mentioned the blade but it was cut from the final game:

Near the very end of the game, the default Soul Reaver is permanently amplified (in an event that has a lot of story significance, so I don't want to give it away here). The Amplified Reaver is so powerful that it supercedes all other elemental Soul Reaver types - it encompasses all of their abilities.

Raziel needs the Amplified Reaver to be able to set the final game events into motion, when he returns to the Silenced Cathedral.

―Steve Starvis (Eidos)[3]
SR1-MovieBeta-ArielReaver

The early red and black Ariel Reaver

The Amplified Reaver does not make any appearance in the final game however mock-ups of it known as the Ariel Reaver and the Kain Reaver after the respective souls it had consumed were present in the game and appeared in the final Chronoplast visions. In this version revealed the Ariel version to be a golden blade with a white core and the Kain version to be a red blade with a black core (white in PC versions). It is uncertain what the original colour scheme of the Amplified Reaver would be, but in the June 1st Beta the Ariel Reaver in the Chronoplast visions is red and black - suggesting this may have been the original colorscheme intended for the Amplified Reaver. Artist Daniel Cabuco said of the colors:

The Red Kain Reaver in SR1 was meant to be a black and red reaver used after striking down Ariel to absorb her and kill Kain, as seen in the Chronoplast. We had a thought in Defiance to match that shot and style for the Spirit Reaver Purification scene, and use the black/red to show that what you saw in SR1 wasn't exactly what you thought it was. However the black and red didn't match the look we wanted for the Purified Spirit Reaver and was redesigned. We hung on to the old one for comparison when showing to Amy.
―Daniel Cabuco[4]
Hahaha oh yeah that's right! It was the same problem twice over. In SR1 we used the black and red, then went with the yellow/white purified reaver, then in Defiance we did the black and red again, then I think Amy reminded us it was yellow/white.I really wish we could have used the red/black one, I really liked it.
―Daniel Cabuco[4]

The exact relationship between the Amplified Reaver and its replacements was something of a mystery until alpha builds of Soul Reaver were publicized in 2020. The Amplified Reaver was known to exist and was mentioned in prerelease interviews and materials as an all-powerful blade superseding and encompassing the prior elements. But the retail game made no mention of this - instead referring to the two blades seen in the Chronoplast Visions as the Ariel Reaver and the Kain Reaver, with both able to be activated from Debug menus. The alpha revealed that neither Ariel or Kain Reaver had been present originally and instead the Reaver list was purely made up of the 'elemental' Reaver enhancements. The Amplified Soul Reaver was listed differently as an ability - the last in the game - although activating it didn't appear to have any effect at this time. As the game moved into beta development most of the famous cut content was removed including the Amplified Reaver, but some time later the Chronoplast Visions were recorded and during this time the Sunlight and Spirit Reavers were repurposed - and in some case recolored - to become the Ariel and Kain Reavers, respectively. These stood in for the Amplified Reaver in the visions and were left into the retail game, resulting in not just the absence of the Amplified Reaver but the Sunlight and Spirit Reavers as well.

NotesEdit

  • The concept of an all powerful super weapon used at the end of the game has reappeared in future games; Soul Reaver 2 not only had the 'Blood' Reaver but originally had another super weapon, the Spirit Reaver (modified from it Original Soul Reaver elemental properties.) This would be modified further in Defiance, with Raziel finally gaining the Spirit Reaver and Kain gaining the Soul Reaver, although only the Spirit Reaver has its all powerful properties in game[1][Soul Reaver 2][Defiance].

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