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Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy was a cancelled Legacy of Kain game developed by Ritual Entertainment, with assistance from Crystal Dynamics, for publisher Eidos Interactive in 2004. It was conceived as the sixth game in the series, and as the direct sequel to Legacy of Kain: Defiance.

Dark Prophecy reprised Kain as its playable protagonist, and would explore the mythology of the Hylden and the Demon Realm in greater depth. A tech demo set in Malek's Bastion, returning from Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, had been created before production ceased.

Eidos Interactive never officially announced Dark Prophecy, and ended its development at an early stage within three to six months. Several Ritual Entertainment artists later posted media from the project on their online portfolios, which were largely publicized by Legacy of Kain fan Divine Shadow/Mama Robotnik between 2008 and 2012. Defiance art director Daniel Cabuco also described Crystal Dynamics' contributions to the title on his personal forum.

With the project's cancellation, the series remained on hold until Square Enix attempted to produce a new game, Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun, at the turn of the decade.

DevelopmentEdit

Kain was to feature as the main character in the game, much of which would take place in the Demon Realm, and would further the storyline surrounding the Hylden, the Hylden Lord, and Janos Audron. Targeted platforms included the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Microsoft Windows.

Little is known regarding the events the game would have entailed, although concept art by Ranjeet Singhal suggests that, similar to Legacy of Kain: Defiance, it may have involved parallel stories with the player switching between two incarnations of Kain in the fourth timeline: his younger, post-Blood Omen 2 self, and his elder, post-Defiance embodiment.[1]

3D imagery by environment artist Jason Muck depicts screenshots of the Defiance engine, showcasing the elder Kain traversing a snowy fortress populated by animated suits of armor. A later update to his site confirmed that the locale in question was Malek's Bastion. His portfolio also features screenshots of a tech demo, set in an expansive castle-like structure.[2] Further evidence uncovered by Divine Shadow in August 2011 suggested that several locations were linked to Malek's Bastion; including 'Malek's Bastion Base Tower', 'The Bridge', 'The Elevator', 'Malek's Bastion Boss Chamber' (related to a 'Statue Boss' in files) also present are two large puzzle locations 'The Soul Mine/Soul Machine' (possibly related to Malek's soul machinery in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain) and the 'Dragon Forge' (presumably a Reaver Forge-like puzzle with recurring images of Dragons).[3]

A multitude of concept images by the Gaston Brothers, uncovered in 2010, depict various Demons and male and female Hylden. The Hylden are markedly different from their portrayal in Blood Omen 2, most of them resembling their race's fairer forms from prior to the Binding. Some of the concepts have significant names; there are images named Hylden Warlords, Hylden King/Hylden Boss, and Demon Boss. Several images are annotated with the term "sisters", and one female Hylden image contains the comment "maybe the 3rd sister has wings".[4]

Numerous further Ritual Entertainment portfolios were unearthed and presented by Divine Shadow in July 2010.[5][6] Imagery of various Sarafan-stylised suits of armor was discovered in David Demaret's online portfolio. Each successive suit resembles the Hylden anatomy more closely.[7] Richard Gray's site displays artwork resembling Ariel and Kain's Dire Wolf form.[8]

In response to fan inquiries in 2012, Daniel Cabuco revealed some of the details of that were being considered for the title, commenting that the original idea was that "It dealt more with Kain going to the Hylen realm, and kicking the ever living sh*t out of them, the Hylden Lord and Janos [sic]".[9] On the subject of playable characters Cabuco confirmed that they were deciding whether the post-Blood Omen 2 Kain would be playable, a sunlight-triggered disguise, or part of another dual-protagonist story with the Elder Kain in the demon-realm assisting his unknowing younger-self in the Material Realm - even going so far as to hint that Kain may have met his Blood Omen self in battle as part of one of Moebius's traps.[10] Cabuco also explained that Ritual had proposed a way to summon Raziel from the Reaver, but "That was a proposal shot down by the Crystal delegation. The basic news [they] brought was that Soul Reaver was Raziel's story, and it ended with Defiance. After that it was all Kain.".[9] Other characters included Vorador who might similarly have been 'summoned' [10] and Janos, though his role and fate were undecided.[11] Cabuco also hinted that The Dark Prophecy would have featured a return to the Soul Reaver era.[12]

Andez Gaston has posted at Nosgothic Realm, revealing that a script for the story had not been written at the time he created his artwork, and expressing his support for a new game in the future.[13] The media discovered by fans has received coverage from online gaming sites, including Destructoid, Blue's News and ScrewAttack's Hard News (whose reporter demands "Now make it anyway, Eidos").[14][15][16]

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NotesEdit

  • Ranjeet Singhal's render of the "hybrid-Kain" is accompanied by the following comment: "A redesign I did of Kain. Of all the IP's I have worked on I have never recieved as many personal emails regarding any of them as I do with Kain. Eidos has not commited to another installment of the Legacy of kain series which I consider to be a serious mistake. There's a rather large and deicated audience to this IP."[1]

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