Combat was a notable and recurring feature in Blood Omen 2, where it developed the auto-face style introduced in Soul Reaver. Blood Omen 2's combat focused primarily on combinations, grabs, blocking and unblockable attacks. Kain was first taught of the various applications of combat in Umah's tutorial in Chapter 1: the Slums.
At the most basic level,Kain was able to enter combat mode by 'autofacing' an enemy/NPC character, which would lock onto the nearest assailant. From this position, Kain could change targets, block/dodge attacks or attack. Enemy characters frequently displayed the ability to block, dodge and strike back at Kain.
By repeatedly attacking an Enemy, Kain could trigger a combination of strikes upon enemies. Kain could then strike an enemy character up to three times, with the third hit likely knocking the character down. Enemies were generally able to out-perform Kain in combo-counts, with many being able to put together combinations of much more than three hits. Enemy combinations were often followed up by Power Moves
particularly useful when an enemy had taken some damage and was breathing heavily; grabs made Kain lunge at an Enemy and pick them up by the throat. With the enemy held aloft, Kain could throw them a great distance by using the grab button again, or use on of two attacks; these varied with the weapon held, but generally involved a Kain pommeling the opponent or impaling them. Three weapons had instant kill grab attacks; two of these through decapitations (the Long Axe and Broadsword ); the third was the Soul Reaver, whose sheer power killed enemies when they were impaled. Enemies could not use grabs, though some enemies were immune to them - Demon Spiders could not be grabbed and Sarafan/Glyph Knights had armor which protected them against decapitations.
Powerful Enemy attacks. Typically an Enemy attack on Kain would consist of a high hit combination attack, followed up by one of two power moves; 'Yellow' power moves were stronger than an ordinary strike, but were not powerful enough to break Kain blocking, instead they would merely knock Kain backwards, putting him slightly off balance; 'Red' power moves (also called 'Unblockable attacks') were powerful enough that they would cause high damage and could not be blocked, instead requiring Kain to dodge them. Power Moves in early levels were non-existent or easy to anticipate as Enemies often glowed yellow or red well in advance of the attack, in later levels little warning was given and the yellow and red attacks were toned down (with Lesser Demons having a green unblockable 'venom spit' attack and Hylden Warriors giving no warning). Some enemies in later levels lacked power moves entirely, presumably to encourage players to block and build up Kain's Rage meter.
Blocking, Rage and Combat Dark Gifts
Kain's answer to enemy 'power moves' were his combat Dark Gifts (Fury, Berserk and Immolate). Kain had to repeatedly block enemy attacks to build up his Rage Bar to an appropriate level to initiate them. (approximately a third for Fury, two thirds for Berserk and a fully completer Rage Bar for Immolate). In each case Kain would glow red, as in enemy unblockable attacks, and would unleash one of three unblockable moves; a single strike (Fury), a Flurry of strikes (Berserk) or a burning incantation (Immolate).[Blood Omen 2]
Other Dark Gifts
Though lacking direct Combat applications, most of Kain's other Dark Gifts had uses in Combat. Mist allowed Kain to sneak up upon enemies and utilise an often gory, instant death Stealth Kill. Jump allowed Kain to select Enemies from a great distance and use a 'jumping attack' to strike them (or nearby rats and cats), enemies could dodge this attack if they 'saw it coming'. Telekinesis also allowed Kain to target enemies at a distance, this time through a 'ranged attack' that shot psyshokinetic energy at them. Charm had no direct combat usage, although 'possessed' NPC's could be used to lure enemies into position.[Blood Omen 2]
Many Enemies had 'ranged' attacks, which allowed them to strike at Kain from a distance. These (usually female) enemies (Thieves, Sarafan Archers, Smugglers and the Gunship) were armed with either a crossbow to shoot 'fire arrows' or had a habit of using throwing knives.[Blood Omen 2]
Unlike other installments in the Legacy of Kain Series, Blood Omen 2 had no 'waver state'; this meant the only way to feed in the game was on (fully dead) corpses. Blood Omen 2 instead featured a more realistic take on the 'waver state', with severely injured enemies attempting to crawl away from Kain. During this time they could be attacked with a 'final blow' on the downed enemy.
- "Ways To Kill:" Crystal Dynamics. Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2 manual. pg11-13 (Eidos Interactive). (2002) Download.
- Chapter 1:The Slums-Welcome to Meridian Crystal Dynamics. Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002) Transcript.
- "Combat Training" Prima Games. Prima's Official Strategy Guide to Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2(2002). Page 10. ISBN 0-7615-3774-0
- Umah: "You’re ability to survive will depend upon your ability to fight. It’s time for you to learn how to kill."//Umah: "Your first line of defense is your agility. You can dodge around an opponent using your inhuman speed. You can also defend yourself by blocking attacks. I shall now strike at you. Do not be concerned, I shan’t use my claws. Block my attacks, and we can proceed to the next lesson." (~Kain blocks her attacks nine times~)//Umah: "We are all armed with a natural weapon: our claws. Use them to kill your enemies. You can practice by attacking me."(~Kain hits Umah nine times~)//Umah: "If you see an enemy become tired, use this opportunity to grab him. Once grabbed, you can throw him a great distance."(~Kain grabs and throws Umah twice.~)//Umah: "Excellent. Your lesson is over, for the moment. Continue through The sewer, and I shall meet you again shortly." Crystal Dynamics. Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002) Transcript.
- Umah: "Here you are at last. Through this door lies your first true test. A gang of criminals are encamped ahead, and one of their number stands guard, unaware that his fate approaches. You must kill him, Kain. You have the skill to block and dodge his attacks. Bring him down using your claws. Once you have felled him, drink his blood to restore yourself from any wounds you may receive. I will be watching." Crystal Dynamics. Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002) Transcript.
- "To strike an Enemy: 1)Press the Action button to deliver a light attack with Kain's claws or with the weapon he's holding. 2)Tap the Action button repeatedly to execute a combination of claw strikes or weapon attacks." Crystal Dynamics. Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2 manual. pg12 (Eidos Interactive). (2002) Download.
- Crystal Dynamics. Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002).
- "A Sarafan Guard will appear from around the corner ahead. Unlike previous enemies, he is able to launch an attack which you cannot block. Whenever you see an enemy's weapon glow red instead of yellow, jump left or right to dodge. Kill the Guard and then make your way down the street." Prima Games. Prima's Official Strategy Guide to Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2(2002). Page 26. ISBN 0-7615-3774-0
- "Heads-Up Display (aka HUD)The horizontal bar at the top of the H.U.D. is your Rage Meter. Every time that you successfully block an attack, the Rage Meter will increase. When it is full enough, you will be able to use Fury, Berserk, or Immolate to strike an enemy with more power." Prima Games. Prima's Official Strategy Guide to Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2(2002). Page 2. ISBN 0-7615-3774-0