Greater Shades were a Shade variant enemy encountered in Legacy of Kain: Defiance by both Kain and Raziel. They could be found in both Nosgoth's early history and the Blood Omen era and were often associated with Darkness and shadow.
Profile[edit | edit source]
Greater Shades were the larger of the two Shade variant enemies encountered in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. They were first encountered by Kain in the chapter Explore the Citadel as Kain ventured into the Vampire Citadel - where a pair would confront him along with their smaller brethern after Kain collected the Lightning fragment of the Balance Emblem from the Water Forge. Thereafter Greater Shades would be encountered as an enemy for both Kain and Raziel in both Nosgoth's early history and the Blood Omen era, and in both realms - although they were predominantly fought in the Material Realm.[Defiance][Defiance/7]
Much like Lesser shades, the Greater shades were composed of a cloud of purple smoke - in sharp contrast to their more humanoid predecessors. Compared to the Lesser Shades the cloud of the Greater Shades was generally larger and a darker shade than their smaller brethren - with the shape forming an almost muscular and larger shouldered look. Larger claws hung by their sides and three pink eyes at the 'head' of the cloud formed a triangular shape. Shades were often aggressive and would 'swim' through the air towards the protagonist before attacking with a range of claw swipes - they were notably less agile and more powerful than their smaller brethren. In combat the shades were fairly powerful and resilient enemies, preferring close-range combat and powerful claw attacks. Their color meant they could also take to hiding in darkened areas for ambushes and they could be particularly dangerous in groups. In addition to their regular attacks Greater Shades possessed one medium range special attack - Shadow Charge.[Defiance][Defiance strategy guide]
Like other Shade variants the Greater Shades were explained as remnants of malicious, partially consumed souls that had coalesced together to form a shadowy mist-like form with a glowing eyes. They were native to the Spectral Realm, but could be encountered in either the Spectral or Material Realms as the breakdown of the Binding weakened dimensional boundaries. Shades were resistant to ordinary weaponry, but were particularly vulnerable to magic such as telekinesis or certain Reaver enhancements. They also appeared to be attracted to shadows or darkened areas.[Defiance][Defiance strategy guide]
Abilities[edit | edit source]
- Shadow Charge - At medium ranges the Greater Shades can attack by propelling themselves forward quickly and charging at their victims. This creates a sudden and powerful attack but does leave them open to counter attacks.[Defiance][Defiance strategy guide]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Like other Shade classes, the Greater Shades are not directly named in game and are not acknowledged in dialogue.[Defiance][Defiance/1] Scripts reveal that the class is referred to in stage directions as "Shades" while the Bestiary section of Legacy of Kain: Defiance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide uses this as the overarching creature designation with two sub-classes: the smaller "Lesser shades" and larger "Greater shades". The Strategy guide also names their Shadow Charge" ability. [Defiance/1][Defiance strategy guide] The Greater Shades are identified as "Shade_p" in game files.[Defiance]
- Shades are likely derived from the shades of mythology - shadow-like spirits of the dead hailing from the underworld. Their appearance may also, more literally, be linked with Shade - the absence of direct (sun)light; as well as Shades - mixing a color with black to darken it.
- The Shades in Legacy of Kain: Defiance were quite different from their predecessors in Soul Reaver 2. Unlike the previously seen humanoid shape, shades had become more cloud-like and no longer stole elemental energy or used projectile attacks.[Soul Reaver 2][Defiance]
- The official guide to Defiance gave more background to Shades than had previously been known - describing them as remnants of malicious, partially consumed souls that had coalesced together to form a shadowy mist-like form. Presumably this explanation also applied to other Shade variants and explained their realm crossing abilities.[Defiance strategy guide]
- Shades are depicted in concept art from Daniel Cabuco's portfolio. In the concepts they are named as "shadows" and are able to combine together to form a larger Shadow master form.  The name used also potentially relates them to the Shadows from Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain - dark spots that could coalesce into a humanoid cloud not unlike the Shades of Soul Reaver 2 - and the Necromancers who summoned them.[Blood Omen]
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