When Raziel originally gained the Wraith Blade in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, it effectively had two companion enhancements; the blue Material Reaver and the green Spectral Reaver, with the Spectral Reaver the default manifestation of the blade in the Spectral Realm. Once gained, the blade was always present in the Spectral Realm and was the only weapon, save Raziel's Claws that could be used in combat against the inhabitants of that realm. In combat, the blade was more powerful than other standard weaponry and could also be enhanced with the Telekinetic force projectile relic to produce Reaver bolts.
The blade returned in Soul Reaver 2, where it acted in much the same manner initially; being a constant presence in the Spectral Realm and the only weapon (besides Claws) that could be used in combat against Spectral enemies. Shortly into the game however, the Wraith blade grew in strength after meeting its former self in William's chapel. After this incident, attacks using the Reaver would gradually fill the Reaver bar which encircled Raziel's Health spiral, increasing the power of the blade tremendously but devouring the Souls of its victims before Raziel could feed and eventually turning its hunger on Raziel when completely filled. As in Soul Reaver, the blade could also fire Reaver bolts.
The Spectral Reaver featured again in Legacy of Kain: Defiance where it was for the first time identified as a distinct version of the Wraith Blade, separate from the Material Reaver. The Spectral Reaver was now permanently present as Raziel's default Wraith blade manifestation in the Spectral Realm. Similar to Soul Reaver 2, the Material Reaver could be fed on enemies Souls to fill the Reaver charge and allow Raziel to use Charged attacks (which increased attack damage) and Reaver spells (which included splash damage on nearby enemies) in combat. Both the Spectral and Material Reaver would ultimately be superseded late in the game by the Spirit Reaver.
- The Spectral Reaver is only explicitly identified as such in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2, the Spectral Realm incarnation of the Wraith Blade is not given a title and it is implied that both the Spectral and Material Reavers are the same blade manifesting in different planes, though its differing appearance and attributes from the Material Realm version of the Reaver are frequently noted. Debug menus in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance recognize the distinction between the two and refer to the Spectral variant as the "Spectral Reaver".
- The colours of the Spectral and Material Realms highlight features of their respective realms - with the green of the Spectral Reaver reflecting the colour of Souls and the Material Reaver usually depicted as being the same shade as Raziel's material body.
- In all games the Spectral Reaver has been planned to be superseded by a more powerful default Wraith blade at the end; these include the Ariel and Kain Reavers in early versions of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and the Spirit Reaver in Soul Reaver 2, The Spirit Reaver eventually replaced it in Defiance.