- "Your wings, though ruined, are not without purpose. Take hold of them as you leap, and they will carry you across this chasm."
- ―Elder God[src]
Gliding was an ability used by Raziel in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance, allowing Raziel to use the remains of his wings to extend his jump range and take advantage of updrafts.
Gliding was an innate ability possessed by Raziel after he became a Wraith. The ability itself had its roots in Raziel's evolution of wings when he was a Vampire, but because of Raziel's execution he was unable to use them before his death in the Abyss.[Soul Reaver/1] When he returned as a wraith, Raziel was able to use the tattered remains of his wings to extend his jumping range by gliding and he would often use this ability throughout Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance.
Raziel was first taught about gliding and its applications as he began his tutorial in the Underworld in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and was prompted to cross a chamber with a large chasm at the center using his jumping and gliding abilities.[Soul Reaver/1] Gliding consisted of Raziel jumping from a point and (using the same button) grabbing his ruined wings, unfurling them and holding them open to slow his descent. Gliding was used throughout Soul Reaver, where it was most often used to extend the range of a jump, allowing Raziel to cover a much greater horizontal range than an ordinary jump and allowing Raziel to silently drop to the floor, as well as providing extra time to react to potential dangers. Gliding also had another vital function, where Raziel could take advantage of Air updrafts from machinery allowing him to be propelled upwards and onto higher areas. Whilst gliding in an updraft, Raziel could halt his forward momentum by autofacing or by spiraling within the updraft.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]
Gliding returned as an innate ability in Soul Reaver 2 with identical functions, allowing Raziel to slow his decent and extend his jumps. When he entered the Air Forge Raziel was able to use updrafts of Air to glide to the top of the forge ultimately gaining the Air Reaver. Once armed with the Air Reaver Raziel was able to activate Air plinths, providing him with Air updrafts which could be glided into to enable him to reach higher areas or extend his jumping distance. As before, Raziel could halt his forward momentum by autofacing or by spiraling within the updraft. Holding items would prevent Raziel from Gliding.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)] Gliding was one of Raziel's Unique Abilities in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, roughly presented as the equivalent of Kain's Floating ability and sharing much of the same functions. In Defiance, Gliding was again an innate and often used ability, allowing Raziel to significantly increase his jump range and descend slowly.[Defiance][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]
- Most updrafts of Air in the series are used by Gliding. The Air plinths of Defiance do not rely on gliding however, instead simply 'shooting' Raziel upwards.[Defiance]
- Defiance was planned to feature a Hang-gliding ability, an enhanced form of gliding, that was ultimately cut.
- Raziel is the only character explicitly credited with the Gliding ability, however a number of other inhabitants could demonstrate other ways of flying or hovering, with the Ancient vampires,[Defiance] Lesser demons,[Blood Omen 2] Poltergeists,[Blood Omen 2] Reaper archons,[Defiance] Vampire wraiths[Soul Reaver] and several Animal species all demonstrating some means of defying gravity within the games.
- The Gliding ability has its origins in the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver precursor Shifter, whose plane-Shifting protagonist was envisioned as able to "glide on the tattered remains of his wing-like coattails". Amy Hennig would later reflect that it was one of the games "core ideas" and an element she took most pride in.
- ↑ Designer Diary: Legacy of Kain: Defiance, Part 4 - Playstation 2 News at Total Playstation (by Riley Cooper)
- ↑ Behind the Classics: Amy Hennig Talks Soul Reaver Secrets at Playstation.Blog (by Amy Hennig)