- "Once a testament to mankind's defiance of Kain's empire, this towering cathedral now stood derelict, the humans who worshipped here, centuries dead. Its architects conceived this tower as a holy weapon against the vampire menace, a colossal instrument of brass and stone. The cathedral's pipes, once tuned to blast a deadly hymn, now stood silent, and these vacant spaces whistled their impotence."
- ―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]
The Cathedral was a landmark in the events of Soul Reaver. Constructed by the humans as a holy weapon of destruction against Kain's empire, it was conceived to blast a deadly hymn which would destroy every vampiric creature on the face of Nosgoth. However, Zephon and the Zephonim murdered its guardians before its purpose was fulfilled. They coccooned themselves in the derelict Cathedral, now "a stifled titan [...] in mute surrender – unwilling host to a parasitic swarm."[Soul Reaver/Miscellaneous]
The Silenced Cathedral was apparently built as a weapon against Kain's burgeoning vampire empire. It's complex arrangement of pipes channelled airflow with such force that when a musical note (of the right frequency) was played through them, it was deadly to vampires who came near. At some point in Kain's empire, the Cathedral was attacked, its inhabitants slain and the weapon disabled. Soon afterward, Zephon and his progeny moved in using the Cathedral as their home. Eventually various vampire worshipping humans also moved in.
When Raziel returned, centuries after his execution, he sought out Zephon after gaining the Soul Reaver as a weapon. He had to manipulate the airflow of the Cathedral to reach the upper spires where Zephon dwelt. When Raziel finally reached Zephon, he discovered that Zephon, like much of his clan had (d)evolved in insectoid fashion, with Zephon claiming that he had become infused with the building, effectively making him immobile, though it is likely he fed on the cocooned humans imprisoned elsewhere in the Cathedral.
The cathedral has several elements that were changed during development and appeared differently in the alpha builds:
- The Cathedral seems to have been at the heart of an order reshuffle with debug listings and progression barriers indicating it was to be tackled immediately after the Necropolis - as such the initial sealed door is not present, only the grate afterward. The Sanctuary of the Clans likewise seems to be access through climbing
- Neither the Sunlight Glyph Altar or the Sound Glyph Altar are present beneath the cathedral. These are instead found off the routes before the Sanctuary of the Clans and the Tomb of the Sarafan respectively. The incomplete Sound Forge however can be found in the upper levels of the Cathedral in a chamber off the room 'Cathy42'
- The village area contains no Zephonim but a human hunter is present. The buildings have some alterations to the height and a grate is positioned on a side ledge preventing jumping across.
- Throughout the Cathedral large pipe-like openings can be seen on the walls which are covered by webs that move with air current. This gives the impression of external openings that had been blocked by the zephonim.
- The main lower chamber has a large human statue overlooking the room from a ledge and the pipes bend into a different arrangement in Spectral making the jumping puzzle almost double-tiered. The mechanisms on the ledge are activated by placing boulders on pressure pads.
- The side chambers in the spiral corridor have much shorter passages leading to them. An extra passage can be found which leads nowhere, suggesting planning for a later collectible. The top stained glass window has no bell design
- The large blocked entrances in the retail version of 'Cathy65' are open -as in some later beta versions - and this reveals them as another half of a branching corridor both of which pass either side of the central fan room. At the start of the branch a large unique constrict object and a unique block are positioned. The function of these are not definitively known but fragments of similar unused pipe and air-flow puzzles may suggest a late-game task to unblock the pipes of the Cathedral - possibly reflecting the final challenge before Raziel reached the pinnacle.
- In Cathy 36 the upturned pipe and grated platforms move and the large stone barriers are moved like blocks. Along this floor of the Cathedral webbing and its victims are incomplete
- Zephon's lair has two side corridors which curve back to the top of the main chamber. Later builds shorten these corridors and put 'souls spouts in them - this design can be seen in later beta versions.
- Behind Zephon's head is a further corridor leading upward. In earlier builds it's a narrow spiral walkway leading upto a large untextured open space , whereas the latest alpha build has a larger multiple ledged ascending chamber. These presumably represent attempts to render the pinnacle of the cathedral. The pinnacle location seen in the Chronoplast visions is not among the areas in the alpha and appears to have been a mock-up created later using the textures of Turel's Clan Territory.
- The Cathedral is an area that was originally planned to be much larger than it is in the release version of Soul Reaver; along with a few obviously blocked doorways (which led to unfinished puzzles), the original Soul Reaver storyline would have had Raziel returning here with the Amplified 'Kain' Reaver, and ascending to the pinnacle(shown in the opening FMV) to open the remaining sounding pipes so that all vampires could be cleansed from Nosgoth. Part of this original ending to Soul Reaver still exists in Raziel's "Hymn of Death" speech; which is still present in the games files.
- The Cathedral's arquitecture is clearly based in a Spiral Minaret - a distinctive architectural feature of mosques. A perfect example of a Spiral Minaret can be seen in the Great Mosque of Samarra .
- The Silenced Cathedral at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn).
- Map at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya, Guilherme Coelho and Andrew Fradley).