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Shift At Will was an ability that Raziel was intended to have gained in the original version of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. An upgrade of the Shift Glyph, the ability would have allowed Raziel to move from the Spectral to the Material Realm without the aid of Planar Portals.[1]

DevelopmentEdit

"Even this small measure of Kain's soul has conferred on you a great gift: like your master, you may now shift into the material plane at will. While your health must still be fully restored, you no longer require a portal."
―The Elder God — Listen (file info)[src]

Raziel is believed to have gained this ability after a "partial victory" over Kain in the Chronoplast.[2] With the removal of many of the post-Chronoplast events from the original Soul Reaver storyline (and the storyline changed so Kain travelled into the past at this point), the ability was cut from the final game.

Shift At Will would have enabled Raziel to more easily traverse the Spectral and Material Realms of Nosgoth, allowing him to reach later areas of the game that were deprived of the planar portals (which up to this point were vital to shifting realms). Primarily this ability would have enabled Raziel to switch Realms at will, without requiring planar portals - although when shifting from Spectral to the Material Realms, a full Soul Spiral would still be required. This mechanic would have 'opened up' many of the later areas (such as Undercity, Temple and Turel's Clan Territory) as well as many bonus areas. The ability can still be utilised in Soul Reaver through the use of button cheats or the debug menu, though many of the areas it was originally intended to have reached have been removed completely, so it has little function apart from enabling the user to solve 'glyph-shifting' puzzles with less effort.

About two thirds of the way through the game, Raziel will discover (in a secret area) the ability to shift between spectral and material at will; he no longer needs to find a planar portal to shift into the material plane. He still needs to be at full health, however. With the ability to shift at will, the game opens way up for the player. Raziel can now access the Sound Forge, the Sound Glyph Altar, and the Force Glyph Altar, as well as now being able to get inside the mysterious Undercity lair of the vampire worshippers. Other secrets and bonus areas are also now open.
PSM issue 19
About 2/3 of the way through the game, Raziel earns the ability to shift between spectral and material at will - he no longer needs to find a planar portal to shift into material. (He still needs to be at full health, however).

With the ability to shift at will, the game opens way up for the player - Raziel can now access the Sound Forge, the Sound Glyph Altar, and the Force Glyph Altar, as well as now being able to get inside the mysterious Undercity lair of the vampire worshippers. Other secrets and bonus areas are also now open.

―Steve Starvis (Eidos)[3]

NotesEdit

  • The Shift At Will ability allows Raziel to perform a number of interesting effects allowing him to appear and disappear at will and allowing (with the special properties of the Spectral Realm) a form of 'pseudo-teleportation'. Any human which witnesses Raziel performing these abilities will be suitably horrified.
  • A similar feature to Shift At will is present in retail Debug menus where it is listed not as an ability but as a debug feature called“Shift Any Time”.


  • In the alpha versions of Soul Reaver the Shift At will ability is present but cannot be activated legitimately as Kain's Chronoplast boss encounter is not present, instead it must be activated through Debug menus. Here the name”Shift Any Time” is used, but it is listed here as an ability.
  • It is unclear what exactly the 'partial victory' over Kain would have entailed, but given that most of the abilities in Soul Reaver require the consumption of a Soul, it may be that Raziel may have been able to consume part of Kain's soul, possibly in a manner similar to the 'soul sipping' he can use (non-fatally) on humans in Soul Reaver .[2] Video reconstruction of this event can be found here.
  • Developer interviews suggest that the Force and Sound Glyphs were originally intended to be collected after Raziel gained the Shift At Will ability. Presumably Planar portal were put back into these areas after the Shift At Will ability was removed. The Sound Reaver was also to have been gained at this stage, but it was removed altogether.[1]

ReferencesEdit

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