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Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain[edit source]

Vorador’s Larder[edit source]

Kain was the project I cut my writing teeth on. Although I had written some story glips and character bios for two of SK’s first few games – Fantasy Empires and Dark Legions – Kain was the first game where I contributed largely toward content, world building and story, as an Artist, Writer and Designer. This excerpt is one of my favourites, even though it is buried deep in the game, when Kain confronts the ancient vampire Vorador inside his own “feeding” room.

“The room I had entered had but one purpose – the torture and execution of human beings for the sadistic pleasure of its engineer. Dried blood was spattered on every available surface, coating the jagged rusty spikes that jutted from the arching walls, and filming the stones on the floor.

“My vampire ears picked up the lingering shrieks of agony of past victims, still echoing around the lethal walls. I tried to shut them out, to cancel their pain in my mind, but there were too many of them. The painful cries and screams of a thousand men, women and children called out in dreadful symphony. I heard their howls, their accusations: “Murderer! Vampire!”

“Then, from amongst the cacophony of pleading, screaming souls came the subtle laughter of the Vampire himself…”

―Ken McCulloch[1]

”Help me Kind sir!”[edit source]

I feel that this excerpt marked the beginning of my approach to interactive content. The idea was to present a sympathetic situation for the player concerning a half-dead woman, manacled to a wall in a depraved dungeon, yet to suggest the interior conflict of the player’s character who was a vampire and desired to feed upon the girl. The voice over does not cover what the player actually does – does he take mercy on her, or does he succumb to his vampire desires. I think most players went for the latter.

“I found the girl, catatonic with fear, in that wine cellar. She sobbed and babbled incoherently, forcing out half-words from between broken teeth so tightly clenched that blood issued from their very roots. Tousled, frightened and bleeding from self-inflicted wounds, my thirst was tempted to take her right then, but I let the girl live, if only for her to tell her story.

“She spoke of her Lord Nupraptor the Mentalist, driven into insanity by the brutal slaying of his beloved Ariel. She told of how he mutilated himself, sewing his eyes and lips shut so that he would not have to endure the outside world. And then fueled by despair and hopelessness, turned his magic on the Circle, disrupting their minds; then his servants; spreading lunacy amongst some and controlling the corpses of others like obscene puppets. Nupraptor cared for nothing now, save his self-pity.

“Although she had survived the mental assaults, she had much to overcome afterward. I will not say what became of her.”

Note: Legacy of Kain and Blood Omen are, unfortunately, registered trademarks of Crystal Dynamics/Eidos. Copyright and all that.
―Ken McCulloch[1]

References[edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Archive.png Sun, 16 Dec 2012 23:01:43 GMT snapshot of Creative Writing Sampler at Pan Spectrum Analyzer (by Ken McCulloch)

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