- "Consuming Zephon’s apostate soul has bestowed on you a new gift. Like his vampire spawn, you are able to scale certain walls which are otherwise impassable - but only in the physical realm. In the spirit world, these insubstantial edifices will not support you."
- ―Elder God[src]
Scaling Walls, also known as Wall Crawling or Climbing, was as ability featured in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance. Originally the ability was gained after the death of Zephon in Soul Reaver and allowed Raziel to climb Scalable walls.
Climbing was first featured as an earned ability in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and apparently originally developed by the evolution of the vampire Zephon in the events of Soul Reaver. As the gifts of evolution were eventually passed to the descending Vampire Clans, so the insectoid vampires of the Zephonim inherited the ability to stick to and climb vertical surfaces, frequently using the ability to hunt prey. [Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)] When Raziel traveled to the Silenced Cathedral in Chapter 7 of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, he was frequently assaulted by Adult and Fledgling Zephonim using the wall-crawling ability to approach undetected and escape from damage. When Raziel reached Zephon's lair near the top of the Cathedral, he found that Zephon himself had become a part of the Cathedral and was largely immobile. Confronting Zephon, Raziel was able to defeat him and consume his soulgaining the climbing ability for himself.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/7][Soul Reaver/8] Unlike the Zephonim vampires, Raziel could not use the ability indiscriminately - he was only able to climb specially textured Scalable walls and only whilst in the Material Realm.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (US)] Raziel would continue to use the ability throughout Soul Reaver, initially using it to climb beyond the Sanctuary of the Clans and find his way to the Tomb of the Sarafan.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/9]
Climbing was retained as an innate ability in Soul Reaver 2 and could be used at any time by Raziel, again allowing Raziel to scale specially textured vertical surfaces and reach higher levels. As before, Climbing was only available in the Material Realm and would be aborted if Raziel Shifted or was struck by an enemy or projectile, causing Raziel to drop to the floor below.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)]
Climbing was again featured in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, this time as a common ability used by both Raziel and Kain. As in previous titles, horizontally lined Scalable walls could be climbed simply by jumping towards them, though the process would be aborted if struck. There were several minor changes to the ability however, with Raziel now able to use it in the Spectral Realm as well as the Material Realm; both characters could also kick-jump off the walls to propel themselves away to higher platforms behind them.[Defiance][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]
In the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver alpha the Scaling Walls ability allows Raziel to climb walls facing any direction - including sideways and downward - in a manner which more closely corresponds to the Zephonim use of the ability.
Because his hands are otherwise engaged, Raziel can't engage in combat while scaling a wall - he has to avoid enemies, or dispatch them before climbing the wall. Only certain wall types are scaleable - generally, rough, organic, crumbly or mortared stone walls are unclimbable (Raziel can't get good enough purchase with his claws). Only smooth walls are scaleable.
- The Wall-Climbing ability is referred to by many similar titles. For Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver it is named as Scaling Walls in the US Manual[Soul Reaver manual (US)] and as Scale Walls in the UK version,[Soul Reaver manual (UK)] but Wall-Crawling in the Prima guide. For Soul Reaver 2, the manual lists the ability as Scaling Walls,[Soul Reaver 2 manual] whilst the Prima Guide list it as simply Climbing.[Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)] Legacy of Kain: Defiance resources refer to the ability (for both protagonists) simply as Climbing.[Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide] Debug menus label the ability as Wall Crawling.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver 2][Defiance]
- The Vampire Zephon is the only clan-leader not to demonstrate the use of his earned ability and it is suspected that his massive size and incorporation into the upper levels of the Silenced Cathedral prevented him from openly using the climbing ability himself. As such the ability, though gained from Zephon, is only seen in use by the Zephonim vampires and protagonists.[Soul Reaver]
- In Legacy of Kain: Defiance, for the first time Raziel was able to use the scaling walls ability in the Spectral Realm. Although the addition was unexplained in-game, Chris Bruno suggested the improvement was something "Raziel has learned over time". The ability was originally intended to be revealed in cut underworld room Eldergod 5a, but the room and its dialogue were removed. Perhaps connected to Raziel's Spectral climbing, it is noted that certain Scalable walls will now appear in only one realm, forcing Raziel to shift to use them.[Defiance manual]
- Kain demonstrated the ability to climb the same walls as Raziel in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, though it is unknown how he developed this ability.[Defiance] Kain was previously shown "Climbing Ladders" in Blood Omen 2, but this was counted as an 'Object Interaction' and not a distinct ability. Presumably any humans could have used them, though they are not observed doing so in-game.[Blood Omen 2][Blood Omen 2 manual (US)][Blood Omen 2 manual (UK)]
- In some sources, the use of the Scaling Walls ability is mentioned to specifically involve the use of Claws.[Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)]
- Scalable walls
- Soul Reaver: Earned Abilities at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni).
- November 24, 2001 snapshot of Soul Reaver Playstation (PSone) Cheat Codes in ABSOLUTE PLAYSTATION ( PSX, PS, PS1 ) - Soul Reaver at ABSOLUTE PLAYSTATION
- Answers to questions from the Defiance team at the Square Enix Forums (by Chris@Crystal)
- The Eldergod 5a Room at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)