The Smokestack was a landmark in Nosgoth's events of Soul Reaver. It was a gargantuan furnace constructed by the vampires of Kain's empire, designed to perpetually belch smoke into the sky, and thus shield the land from the sun. While the Smokestack featured in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, it was not a playable location. It had originally been intended to have a role in the cut Turel's Clan Territory area, but was excised due to time constraints.
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The Smokestack was constructed long after the collapse of the Pillars and the era following Blood Omen, at some stage within the nine centuries between Kain's domestication of the humans and Raziel's execution. It was devised to diminish Nosgoth's sunlight, which would typically weaken, or even kill, vampires. According to Raziel, "after the taming of the humans, our real work began; shaping Nosgoth to our will. Around the Pillars, slaves constructed a shrine worthy of our new age, worthy of our new renaissance. Huge furnaces were built to belch smoke into the sky, shielding the land from the poisonous effects of the sun. Never had the world known a time of such beauty".[Soul Reaver manual (US)]
The Smokestack's creation predated the point at which the vampires and the Council "grew bored". By the time of Raziel's execution, it remained in operation, and continued to produce smoke. From the horizon at the Lake of the Dead's cliffs, it was visible as a colossal tower in the mountains roughly north and east of the Lake, and roughly north of the Silenced Cathedral.[Soul Reaver] It was ambiguous whether the Smokestack endured until the time of Raziel's resurrection; Raziel did not encounter it. However, sunlight was sparse during his quest to destroy Kain and the Council, while fog was prevalent.[Soul Reaver] The "feeble rays of Nosgoth's sun" in this time perhaps indicated that even if the Smokestack's mechanisms had been discontinued, its effects had already taken firm root in the ecology.[Soul Reaver/10]
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In the background materials of multiplayer spin-off Nosgoth it was mentioned that Turel's Clan Territory was chosen of the site of the first smokestacks, designed to blot out the Sunlight of Nosgoth.[NOS]
The territory eventually appeared as part of the Crucible map area and contained a number of Turelim statues, industrial mechanisms, furnaces and chimneys, and prominently featured the main Smokestack nearby.[NOS]
Development[edit | edit source]
In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, the Smokestack can only be seen in the background of the Lake of the Dead scene during the GlyphX introductory cinematic, and has no presence in gameplay.[Soul Reaver] However, before time and resource constraints obliged Crystal Dynamics to cut content from the game, the Smokestack was planned to feature as an area within the Turelim clan territory. This region would be accessible after first defeating Kain in the Chronoplast, and then the Priestess in the Undercity. The Smokestack would be manned by Turel and the mechanically-inclined Turelim, and featured rivers of lava.
Cut dialogue reveals that the Elder God was to mention the tower: "this smokestack will permit your ascent to the summit of Kain's mountain sanctuary".[Soul Reaver/Cut content] Ben Lincoln, of The Lost Worlds fansite, said, "Raziel would have used its powerful updraft to soar high enough to reach the redoubt of his master". The Lost Worlds collected three screenshots of Raziel at the foot of the Smokestack, but no playable builds or vestiges of the area had been publicly released. Series art director Daniel Cabuco relayed that the Turelim territory was designed to entail "a lot of sneaking past eggs, and great fire blasts you had to either time or turn off".
The Soul Reaver alphas publicized in 2020 confirmed the Smokestack as placed at the heart of Turel's clan territory and was revisited several times through the level.. Raziel would pass through an impressive orrery and the bottom of the smokestack early in the level and much of the rest of the level would involve unlocking the way back to higher levels of the smokestack to activate levers placed on the blades of its stationary fans - with each fan level opening a side door of the orrery. Once Turel was defeated Raziel could activate the final lever at the top of the smokestack and then return to the orrery. Here he would be able to constrict objects in its three side chambers to make the orrery spin which in turn activated the blades of the fans in the smokestack giving a powerful updraft which Raziel was intended to glide on to reach Kain's mountain retreat - although this functionality isn't active in the alpha and it just propels Raziel upwards.
The mythology surrounding the Smokestack, and the proliferation of fog in Soul Reaver-era Nosgoth, may have been devised to help satisfy the game's technological demands. During Soul Reaver 2's development, series director Amy Hennig said that, for the new game, "fog isn't used as a way of obscuring your view [...]... the ugly pea-soupers that have obscured so much detail in so many PlayStation games, including Soul Reaver, are no longer necessary. "We just use fog as a way of creating an eerie atmosphere now [...] We don't need to use it to hide inadequacies anymore. It's exciting to be able to create these environments with the level of detail that we always imagined".
A screenshot from the cancelled sixth game, Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun, depicts a giant plume of smoke rising into the air in the background, though the source of the smoke is obscured by mountains. Since Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun was to take place in a setting later than Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, it is possible that the Smokestack could have appeared.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Crystal Dynamics stated that Turel's Clan Territory was not to be interpreted as a location within, or related to, Dark Eden, despite their geographical proximity and visual similarities. Thus, the Smokestack was probably not connected to Dark Eden either.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Day/night cycle
- Kain's empire
- Kain's Mountain Retreat
- events of Soul Reaver
- Turel's Clan Territory
- Vampires (events of Soul Reaver)
- The Turelim Clan Territory at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- The Mountain Retreat at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
References[edit | edit source]
- Soul Reaver: Background Story at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni)
- The Turelim Clan Territory at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln) Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "TLW-TurelimTerritory" defined multiple times with different content
- 'Tyrants – Disputed Heirs to the Throne' at the Nosgoth official blog (by George Kelion) (preserved at Tales of Nosgoth/Nosgothic Realm)
- Soul Reaver Response at GameSpot (by Chris Johnston)
- Soul Reaver at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- The Aftermath of The Chronoplast at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- Soul Reaver questions at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- GLoK Interviews with Amy Hennig at Nosgothic Realm (by Raziel Fan), post #4 (by RazielFan)
- The 10 Cancelled Legacy of Kains (Mama Robotnik Research Thread) at NeoGAF (by Mama Robotnik)
- The 10 Cancelled Legacy of Kains (Mama Robotnik Research Thread) at NeoGAF (by Mama Robotnik), post #60 (by Mama Robotnik)
- My Visit to Crystal Dynamics at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
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