Sarafan Crusaders were a Sarafan variant enemy class that were encountered by Kain in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. They were the lowest ranked of the Sarafan classes seen in Defiance and were seen predominantly in Kain's early chapters in Nosgoth's early history at the Sarafan Stronghold and the Pillars of Nosgoth.
Sarafan Crusaders were troops of the Sarafan faction, encountered by Kain in Nosgoth's early history at the start of Defiance. The Crusaders wielded a two-handed polearm and wore a uniform that had a metallic armor with purple clothing underneath of a similar shade to the Sarafan Archers - from whom they could be distinguished by weapons and attack style. The crusaders were described as faithful rank-and-file soldiers of the Sarafan with little training, hence they were a lower priority in combat than their brethren - the ranged attacking Archers, charging Zealots and skilled Templars. Crusaders aspired to reach the higher ranks of Templar or Inquisitor, but relative lack of skill meant they were ordinarily 'teamed' with the better ranks to attack and overwhelm Kain.[Defiance][Defiance/1][Defiance/3][Defiance/5][Defiance strategy guide]
The Crusaders had the distinction of being the first enemy encountered in the game - with three encountered and one killed in the opening cutscene as Kain returned to the Sarafan Stronghold in Nosgoth's early history in the chapter Infiltrate the Stronghold. They were also the first enemies to battle Kain in playable gameplay, confronting him on the initial 'street' section of the Stronghold. Thereafter Crusaders were one of the more common enemies of Kain's endeavors in Nosgoth's early history, confronting him throughout Infiltrate the Stronghold, Pursue Moebius and Reveal the Guardian Citadel.[Defiance][Defiance/1][Defiance/3][Defiance/5][Defiance strategy guide]
- Sarafan Crusaders are not named in game. They are however titled as such in Legacy of Kain: Defiance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide where they are classified and grouped along with other Sarafan enemy types.[Defiance strategy guide] Scripts refer to the Sarafan in cutscenes alternatively as "Sarafan Guard" or simply "Sarafan".[Defiance][Defiance/1] Another alternative term "Sarafan Warrior" is seen in Daniel Cabuco's former online profile concept of the class - although he does mention the piece bears "crusader style armor". The Sarafan Cursaders are labelled as "sarafanpole" in game files and their weapons as "sarapolea", "sarapoleb" and "sarapolec".[Defiance]
- Like many of the Defiance Sarafan ranks, the design and role of the Crusader Sarafan does not match with the roles seen previous in Nosgoth's early history in Soul Reaver 2 Developer comments revealed that much of Kain's Defiance journey in Nosgoth's early history actually takes place 'some years' after the conclusion of Soul Reaver 2 and the ranks and organisation of the Sarafan may have changed in the interim.[Defiance] Ultimately the Crusader fills in a role similar to the Sarafan Warrior Pikemen of Soul Reaver 2 - although not featured in Defiance, this class was seen in the Legacy of Kain: Defiance comic set just before Kain entered the Stronghold.[Soul Reaver 2/7][Soul Reaver 2/9][Defiance comic]
- Early Sarafan designs resembling for Sarafan Crusaders can be seen in artwork for Defiance fan kit, Bonus materials and the former online profile of artist Daniel Cabuco where they can be seen utilizing twin swords - despite this crusaders in the game only wield staff-like weapons and it is the Sarafan zealots that use twin blades.[Defiance] Ultimately it's probable that the troops colors and weaponry varied through the development of the title and the artwork was produced before the final distinctions were put in place. The accompanying annotation on Cabuco's website also provided some background to the Defiance Sarafan design:
It supposed to be a few years after SR2, so I evolved the armor from Roman to Crusader style armor"
- The uniform of the Crusader is a similar color to those worn by the Sarafan commanders Dumah or Malek - both of whom wore similar purple shades of clothing underneath their armor and also used pike/spear weapons. It is possible this was intended as a deliberate callback or the Sarafan using the martyred lieutenants as inspiration.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2/8][Soul Reaver 2/9] The same color was also used for the Dumahim banners in the events of Soul Reaver of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/2][Soul Reaver/6][Soul Reaver/13]
- Sarafan archers (Defiance)
- Sarafan templars
- Sarafan zealots
- Sarafan inquisitors
- Sarafan warriors (pikemen)