- "Throughout the Stronghold I discovered evidence of my former nobility, and my life as a Sarafan priest.
This was the heritage so foully stolen from me when Kain raided my sacred crypt and defiled me."
- ―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]
The Cloister, or Cloisters, were a pair of identically named and similarly appearing significant chambers within the Sarafan Stronghold. First featured as a playable area of the Stronghold in Soul Reaver 2, a second 'successor' Cloister would subsequently be featured in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. The Cloister was notably the site of Raziel's confrontation with Sarafan commanders Melchiah and Zephon in Nosgoth's early history. A Statue of Malek would occupy the courtyard in Defiance.
ProfileEditThe Cloister was a significant area within the Sarafan Stronghold, consistently shown as wide open-air courtyard surrounded by covered walkways. The chamber was first featured in Soul Reaver 2 as Raziel explored the history preceding Blood Omen stronghold in A Reaver in Time. Entering the courtyard, Raziel would comment on the Sarafan iconography of the area before he was confronted by Vampire hunters. After leaving the stronghold, Raziel would return in A Fateful Meeting, again passing through the Cloister on the way to the Circle's gathering-room attempting to use the Time-streaming chambers| to travel to Nosgoth's early history, but instead he was sent by Moebius to the Era following Blood Omen. Like many of the areas of the stronghold, the Cloister was noticeably run-down and weathered in the Post-Blood Omen era and was the scene of a battle between Demons and Demon hunters. When Raziel returned to Nosgoth's early history and re-entered the stronghold, he would be channeled into retrieving the Reaver and facing his former brethren in combat. When he reached the Cloister, Raziel faced the Sarafan commanders Melchiah and Zephon in combat.
Another identically named and similarly designed "Cloister" was again featured as a playable location in Legacy of Kain: Defiance as Kain returned to the fortress in Nosgoth's early history seeking answers from Moebius, some years after the conclusion of Soul Reaver 2. Kain would first enter the courtyard in Infiltrate the Stronghold, passing through it and defeating Sarafan troops twice before he was able to enter Moebius's chambers. The Cloister would feature in a greater capacity in Pursue Moebius as Kain noted the new statue of Malek at the center of the courtyard and endeavored to restore it by returning the missing shield and sword. Restoring each artifact opened the corresponding doors within the Cloister, ultimately allowing Kain to progress to the gatehouse and bridge area on his way to the tower to confront Moebius.
Design and LayoutEdit
Although maintaining the same features, The Cloister area of the stronghold appears to vary most between its portrayals, with the size, orientation, features and even position within the stronghold varying between appearances.
When the room first appeared in Soul Reaver 2 it was depicted as a large open air square-shaped paved courtyard area, containing four small grass enclosures with an eastward facing Sarafan symbol on the paving at the center. The courtyard was surrounded by a single story of arcade walkways, with two winged Sarafan icons on the center of each side and many banners around the area. Beyond the low walkways, the roofs of the Chapter House and Sanctuary areas could be seen. The area remained largely consistent within the eras visited in Soul Reaver 2, with banners and conditions subtly changing according era.
The Cloister in Legacy of Kain: Defiance featured a number of drastic changes from that seen in Soul Reaver 2. The chamber itself was similar to previous appearances, again presented as a large open air courtyard surrounded by covered arcade walkways, but many features had changed. The courtyard itself appeared to be extended, creating a larger, rectangular space and increasing the size of the central paving area, which now contained more elaborate paving, six grass enclosures (with trees growing in four of them), several entrance trapdoors for Sarafan troops a statue of Malek in the center at one end of the courtyard replacing the former Sarafan symbol. The covered arcade walkways around the courtyard remained but they were less open, with direct walking entrances to the central courtyard at only two points at either end of the chamber, with each flanked by two of the remaining winged Sarafan icons (Defiance showed only four in contrast to Soul Reaver 2's eight, with two on each wall). The walkways themselves had also been expanded and a second level tier added above the first, which now obscured the view over the roofs of Sanctuary and the Chapter House. Minor changes included a different design on the banners in the room and a more luxurious green and gold trim, presumably reflecting the supposed opulence and wealth-hoarding tendencies of the later Sarafan history.
Perhaps most significant of the changes was the positioning of the chamber itself; with the Cloister appearing alongside the main Sanctuary area in Soul Reaver 2, whereas in Defiance the room was joined to the "Sanctuary Entrance" chamber and main Sanctuary door, suggesting that it had apparently moved to an adjacent side of the Sanctuary chamber. Connections to other chambers also appeared to rotate, perhaps suggesting the orientation of the Cloister itself had been changed between titles. It is unclear if the major changes seen were in-universe extensions made to the area in the years between Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance or simply alternate design interpretations of the main areas of the Sarafan Stronghold.
In Soul Reaver 2:
- The Northern door leads through a small passage directly into the side of Sanctuary.
- The Eastern door leads into the "Strong8" antechamber and onto the Chapter House.
- The Western door leads into the Reaver antechamber and onto the "Strong5" corridors (for the Circle's gathering-room or "Strong6" antechamber).
- One door leads through the "Sanctuary Entrance" and onto the main entrance of Sanctuary.
- One door leads through "Small Drawbridge", "Training", "Small Battlements" and onto the Chapter House.
- One door leads to the lower "Main Battlements" (for "Staircase" or "Wall Cavity").
- Malek's Shield door leads to the upper level and onto the upper "Main Battlements" (for Malek's Sword).
- Malek's Sword door leads to the "Gatehouse", "Bridge" and "Tower".
- The Cloister was referred to as such in Soul Reaver 2 bonus materials and stage directions of Soul Reaver 2 scripts, with the Prima Guide noting the Cloister as the "Cathedral Courtyard" or simply "the Courtyard".Debug menus and game files label the area as "Strong3". For Legacy of Kain: Defiance, the Prima Guide goes into greater detail of the areas in game, giving the "Cloister" title and providing room maps, whilst Defiance scripts refer to "the courtyard". Both game files and debug information in Defiance refer to the room as "Shold5a"- Debug menus also label the Sarafan Stronghold area units as "Strong1", "Strong2", "Strong4". "Strong8", "Strong24", "Strong32", "Strong53" and "Strong100", though it is unclear which units relate to which areas as all crash the game when loaded.
- It is ultimately unclear if the Sarafan Stronghold rooms that apparently recur between titles were intended to literally be the same chambers. Though they share identical naming and similar appearances, the layout of surrounding rooms apparently changes, making certain areas contradict with previously established directions. These differences can be reconciled if the two titles take place in separate 'wings' of the stronghold (with the Tower at the center) which both feature similar rooms - thus the Stronghold may in fact contain two different cloisters which are visited in different titles.
- Like many of the significant rooms of the stronghold, the Cloister is presumably named after the architectural features of real-world religious buildings, with a Cloister being a square or rectangular courtyard surrounded by covered walkways. In real world religious buildings Chapter Houses are often located on the Eastern wing of a Cloister, a relationship which holds true for the Soul Reaver 2 version of the stronghold, but appears to change in Defiance.
- The Planar portal in the Cloister of Soul Reaver 2 notably changes position between eras, with it off to the side in the history preceding Blood Omen, but in the centre of the courtyard in Nosgoth's early history and the Era following Blood Omen.
- The statues on the sides of the courtyard area notably morph in the Spectral Realm in Soul Reaver 2. Though the Spectral Realm can be accessed in the Sarafan Stronghold in Legacy of Kain: Defiance through various means, no spectral effects appear to have been implemented and the statues remain in their Material Realm position.
- Sarafan Stronghold
- Melchiah (Soul Reaver 2 boss)
- Zephon (Soul Reaver 2 boss)
- Malek's Sword
- Malek's Shield
- ↑ Spectral Jin Archives (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ The (almost) definitive Legacy of Kain maps thread at the Eidos Forums (by Shrykull/Bazielim)