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Sound Glyph is an optional chapter of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver which deals with Raziel's discovery of the Sound Glyph Altar and gaining of the Sound Glyph spell. Exploration and discovery of the area is entirely up to the player and is not required to progress the story.


At some point after defeating the Tomb Guardian, collecting the telekinetic relic and gaining the ability to fire Telekinetic force projectiles, Raziel returns to the Silenced Cathedral and navigates the caverns beneath. Here he uses the new ability to smash a stained glass and enter the Sound Glyph Altar. After completing its puzzle he gains the Sound Glyph.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/Sound]


Silenced Cathedral[]

Returning to the open pipe chamber at the bottom of the Silenced Cathedral - usually by travelling from the lower cathedral warp gate - Raziel could jump down the middle pit to the fans at the bottom. From here he could reach a passage in the west which led down into a rocky series of caverns. Following through the caverns and defeating or avoiding the Zephonim vampires within led to a small clearing with a scalable wall and a high window. Smashing the window with Telekinetic force projectiles and climbing the wall would lead Raziel through to the Sound Glyph Altar area.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/Sound][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]

The Sound Glyph Altar[]

The main area of the Sound Glyph altar

Following the passage through led Raziel to a grate which forced him to Shift into the Spectral Realm to phase through the bars. Passing through, the chamber opened out into a large room with three tall columns down the center. Following them to the far end of the room and either dispatching or avoiding the two Vampire wraiths, Raziel could reach a Planar portal and shift back into the Material Realm.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/Sound][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]

Directly in front of him would be a unique gong stick weapon which it was necessary for Raziel to pick up. Looking upward he could then throw the item up onto one of the high alcoves or platforms above. Turning back to the entrance, Raziel could then climb one of a series of scalable walls around the entry door to reach a high platform marked with the sound symbol. Turning back to the room, Raziel needed to shift back into spectral, which made the columns bend into a new position: bringing them closer to the platform he was standing on. With the column now closer, Raziel could jump to the first column and use the portal there to return to the material realm, which shifted the column back the other way, allowing him to jump along to the second and third columns. At the end of the room was a large stained glass illustration showing a bald man with a long gong stick striking a gong. It was necessary to break this window with a projectile to reveal the passage to the altar.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/Sound][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]

The Sound glyph altar activated and Sound Glyph manifested

Before progressing through, Raziel needed to recover the gong stick from where he had thrown it and throw it to the platform he had just revealed behind the mural. Shifting back into spectral while stood on the third column allowed Raziel to once again be moved by the spectral warping effects - and this brought the platform within jumping distance of the next corridor. Jumping across the gap, Raziel could use the portal there to shift into material and recover the gong stick again.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/Sound][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]

He could then take the gong stick through to corridor to the altar where he could use the gong stick to strike the bell. This caused the bell to raise up and unleash a series of sound waves which shattered the nearby pillars, dropped and cracked the bell and caused the Sound Glyph to manifest in front of it.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/Sound][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]

Following completion of the altar an Eldritch recharge will appear in front of the altar and if this is Raziel's first Glyph, Eldritch energy will begin to appear in the environment.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/Sound]

Alternative Method[]

Although apparently not the intended method, it is possible to throw the gong stick directly through the window as soon as it is gained. This breaks the window (removing the need to use force projectiles) and put the gong stick where it needs to be - thus skipping steps involving placing and retrieving the gong stick.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/Sound]
In some builds - notably in the alphas - it is also possible to ignore the gong stick entirely, with it possible to strike the bell with the Sound Reaver for the same effect.[1][2][3]


  • Raziel could potentially have gained access to the Sound Glyph for the duration of the game. However the ability does not carry over to Soul Reaver 2, which may indicate that he loses them or never canonically obtains them.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/Sound][Soul Reaver 2]


The Sound Glyph altar is present in the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver alpha versions but the altar is in a completely different place, being located off the passage between the Sanctuary of the Clans and the Tomb of the Sarafan rather than in the caves beneath the Silenced Cathedral. This in turn means that the entry passages to the altar are different with an initial U-shaped corridor giving way to another curve and an L-shaped corridor before leading into the main chamber of the area. In later builds these initial corridors are replaced with the wide pillared curve seen in retail. The passages beneath the Silenced Cathedral are still present in the alpha, but there is no breakable window or climbable wall at the apex of the passage - only a shallow pool is found with no bonuses associated.[1][2][3][4][Soul Reaver]

Much of the alpha altar area appears plainer than the retail or beta versions. The trademark green hue is present although many of the recognisable designs are missing: there is no climbing wall, no sound symbols, no lamps, the gong stick is an dull gray color and the gong stained glass is a simple transparent square design. Although much of the puzzle procedure appears to be the same as in retail, the gong stick can't actually be used to activate the altar - presumably for technical reasons. However an imbued Sound Reaver can activate the altar instead: In a similar manner the Fire Reaver can be used to activate the Fire Glyph Altar even into the retail version of the game. Once completed the broken bell can even be used to reimbue the Sound Reaver. The Sound Gylph altar is also one of the few altars in the alpha to have a completed icon appear when the altar is activated - this manifests an icon of the early sound symbol.[1][2][3][Soul Reaver]

By the time of the beta versions the Sound Glyph altar has been moved to its final place under the Silenced Cathedral, however the cavernous passages leading to the Sound glyph altar are populated with Vampire worshippers as opposed to the Zephonim seen in the retail version: indeed these versions have the lower levels are populated Humans rather than vampires and a number of Vampire hunters are found in the outer village area. Only upon entry to the main cathedral are the Zephonim encountered for the first time.[4][Soul Reaver]


  • Like some of the other altars the Sound glyph altar area contains a number of subtle indications of the power found within. Primarily this is communicated through a pair of murals bearing the Sound Glyph symbol. The stained glass at the top of the main chamber is also an indication of this, with the with the image showing the gong stick being used to strike a gong to generate a musical note. The mural also hints at the solution to the puzzle: with Raziel using the gong stick to strike the nearby bell. Similar musical interactions - mostly with bells are used throughout the Silenced Cathedral.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/7][Soul Reaver/Sound]
    • The Sound symbol used for the Sound Glyph and Sound Reaver underwent several changes during the course of development. The original version can be seen in early video previews where it appears as a series of green curves emanating from green dot: likely to have intended to represent traditional illustrations of sound waves, the symbol does nonetheless bear a strong resemblance to the modern symbol for wifi. This version of the symbol continued to be used in the alphas with minor modifications, with the Sound Glyph represented on the Ring menu by a thicker version of the symbol with a darker green background. Although using placeholders for many of the glyph icons the alphas do feature an icon design for the sound glyph when that puzzle is completed, which consists of this version of the symbol with darker green curves. Later builds feature a redesign of the symbol that went on to feature in the retail version of the game, with the symbol represented by a pink/purple symbol resembling a musical note on a black background - the same symbol is seen used in the Sound glyph altar although the colors are swapped.[5][1][2][3][4][Soul Reaver]

The gong stick's burning ability

  • Due to the optional nature of this chapter no dialogue is necessarily associated with it. However if this is the first glyph Raziel has obtained he will be given the explanation of Glyphs and may also be given the following explanation of Eldritch energy upon discovering the first energy token appearing in the environment.[Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)][Soul Reaver]
  • The Sound Glyph altar area notably contains a unique weapon that is not found elsewhere in the game. The unique gong stick weapon is named "gong" in files and is used in the altar area for a puzzle application, but does use animations generally associated with torches. The gong stick is not intended to be carried to the rest of the levels as there are bars preventing it being taken from the area, however it is possible to throw it outside using various tricks. When taken in this manner, the gong stick can be used in combat where it behaves as a torch - but one which can burn down enemies without the need to ignite it with flames.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/Sound]


See also[]