Dreadnaught archons were an enemy class encountered in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. Part of the archon creature family, the dreadnaught archons were native to the Spectral Realm and could be encountered throughout Nosgoth in the Spectral Realm as Raziel explored the events of Blood Omen.
Dreadnaught archons were large crab-like predators native to the Spectral Realm that fed on souls. Unlike their reaper brethren they were far less mobile and slower and were confined to ground level, however they made up for this by being much tougher and stronger and attacking with moves designed to pin and drain energy - often this was combined with their trademark Draining Leash ability - opening a wound through which they could draw further energy in a glowing tether until the link was broken through attacking force or retreating to a distance.[Defiance][Defiance/12][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]
Dreadnaught archons were first encountered in the chapter Battle Kain as Raziel returned to Vorador's Mansion in the events of Blood Omen. Thereafter Raziel could encounter the archons as enemies throughout the Spectral Realm.[Defiance][Defiance/12][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]
- Projectile Hold - A green projectile of a sticky web-like substance which is spat at Raziel, paralyzing and holding him in place, allowing the archon to land further attacks.[Defiance][Defiance/12][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]
- Energy Draining Leash - The archons land a strike on Raziel which opens a spiritual tether through which the archons can drain further energy. Only striking the enemy or retreating to a safe distance could break the bond.[Defiance][Defiance/12][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]
Description: This second type of Archon (the "Dreadnaught") is the larger and stronger than its predecessor. One could relate them to being the ‘heavy infantry' of the Archon world. Due to their size and lack of speed they prefer to stay close to the ground while still exhibiting the same sinuous swimming the Reaper Archon's do.Special Attacks/AI: Projectile Hold – The Dreadnaught Archon's main form of attack other than swiping with their massive hooklike arms is a projectile of spectral ichor. If this projectile strikes the player its spectral webbing will cause Raziel to become immobilized. This chain is initiated via a projectile of energy that if hits will cause the victim to become immobilized. Once immobilized the Dreadnaught Archon will approach the victim and attempt to slam its massive claws into their vulnerable flesh. Most of the time if the opponent is not held then the Archon will stay back away from the prey until a successful projectile attack.
Energy Draining Leash – The Dreadnaught Archons second form of attack is a energy draining leash very similar to the Reaper Archon. This can be started from a successful melee hit but is most often used in conjunction with the Projectile Hold. As the prey will be completely vulnerable during the Hold the Reaper Archon is free for a moment to initiate this health draining ability without resistance. Once latched on the Dreadnaught Archon will back off in an attempt to protect this connection.Strategy: The main strategy here will be defensive in nature both for avoiding the projectiles and the deadly swipes of its claws. The energy drain and throw of the claws makes them very vicious attacks. If you are caught in its deadly hold, tap attack rapidly to break free. Strafe around them for an opening and deal as much damage as you can.
- The archons are only identified by their overall creature family in manuals, scripts and dialogue. The individual classes are identified and subdivided as reaper archons and dreadnaught archons in Legacy of Kain: Defiance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide.[Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide] Dreadnaught archons are listed as "archon" in game files.[Defiance]
- The term "archon" comes from the ancient greek world and means "ruler" where magistrates were typically given the title. However the word has a deeper meaning in Gnosticism (which inspired Legacy of Kain) where it relates to "demonic entities subordinate to the embodiment of evil". Among some belief systems they prevent souls leaving the Material Realm. The term "Dreadnaughts" or "Dreadnoughts" relates to powerful battleships from the early 20th century - derived from innovative and influential English ships from the 16th and 20th centuries.
- The moves of the dreadnaught archons are named specifically in the Legacy of Kain: Defiance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide where they are identified as Projectile Hold and Energy Draining Leash.[Defiance strategy guide]
- The Draining Leash ability of the archons is actually listed slightly differently for the two archon variants in the official guide. The Reaper archons variant is listed as "Draining Leash", while the Dreadnaught variant is listed as "Energy Draining Leash" - the similarity of the attack is noted however and the only difference referenced is the tendency of the dreadnaught archons to use it as a follow up to their Projectile Hold attack. Visually and in gameplay terms the two leash attacks seem to be virtually identical.[Defiance][Defiance strategy guide]
- The reaper archons, the dreadnaught archons and the tentacles enemy class share a common theme - all being identified as agents of the Elder God. This label could also apply to Raziel, Moebius, Janos Audron, Ancient vampires in general and the Ancient, primitive cult.[Defiance][Soul Reaver 2]
- Like other Spectral fauna, the archons are only found where they are required as enemies. Attempts to enter the Spectral Realm in Kain's chapters through Debug menus or the like will include few Spectral effects and no Spectral enemies.[Defiance]
- In terms of gameplay the archons are something of a successor to the Vampire wraiths in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and the Greater sluagh seen in Soul Reaver 2 as the highest predators of the Spectral Realm in each title. Each of these enemies is notably only seen in the one title and cannot be seen elsewhere - the reasons for the absence in other areas/time periods unknown.[Defiance][Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver 2]
- Although it is only explicitly listed as an ability in Defiance, the Draining Leash ability bears a remarkable resemblance to the unnamed ability used by Spectral entities such as Vampire wraiths, Revived vampires and the revived Dumah to drain Raziel's health in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver - both are used by species and individuals that have adapted to the Spectral Realm and learnt to consume souls or soul energy, both require an initial wound to be opened, both consist of a similar blue/purple band and both form a 'leash' of sort that can be broken by distance or damage. Arguably Draining Leash may be considered to be the same ability with updated visuals. Another ability that is highly related is Constricting, which again uses a similar spectral band and may have been directly developed from the vampire wraith ability.[Defiance][Soul Reaver]