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"These forges are tuned to the Soul Reaver’s energy. One you have baptized the sword in these elemental fonts, the blade may be imbued with that element at any future time."
―Elder God — Listen (file info)[src]

The Spirit Forge was a deleted elemental Reaver forge that was intended to feature in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. Originally positioned within the Human Citadel, the forge would have allowed Raziel to imbue the Wraith Blade with elemental Spirit allowing him to forge the Spirit Reaver. Both the forge and its accompanying enhancement were ultimately cut due to time constraints.

Profile[]

The Spirit Forge was an optional playable location that was intended to make an appearance in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, and was one of many elemental Reaver forges that were supposed to make an appearance in the game. The forge was a special chamber associated with elemental Spirit where Raziel would be able to imbue the Wraith Blade with spirit to forge the Spirit Reaver enhancement. Due to the time constraints, all of the other forges were cut and only the Fire forge remained in the final version - with both the Spirit Reaver and Spirit forge removed.[Soul Reaver][1][2][3][4]

Development[]

The Spirit Forge was originally mentioned and featured in pre-release materials promoting Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver which discussed the planned enhancements for the game - although no imagery of the forge was present in these materials.[1][5][6][7]

Model of the Spirit Forge that appears in the alphas

Despite records of its presence the release version of Soul Reaver contained only one of the elemental forges that had been discussed - the Fire Forge - with the others cut before release. The Spirit Reaver was one of the few Reaver enhancements which was not represented in any form in the behind the scenes Debug menus in the retail version as it was adapted to become the Kain Reaver which was seen in the Chronoplast visions. The Spirit forge was not present in any capacity in the retail or beta versions of the game and the location of the forge was not definitively known until many years later.[Soul Reaver][8][1]

In 2020 alpha versions of the game containing much of the previously cut content were publicised and these contained all of the lost forges - with the Spirit Forge able to be identified through a process of elimination. In this version The Spirit Forge was found to be present in the the Human Citadel in a high passage coming off from the square "City2" room - in a location that would be taken by a different room containing an Eldritch power up in later builds. Interestingly the replacement room used textures and designs that originated in the similarly cut Kain's Mountain Retreat area.[2][3][4][1]

The Spirit Forge had the same layout as the other forges with one prolonged corridor and forge at the end, with the chamber fully textured and decorated in the scheme of the City. The forge mechanism consisted of a strange spike metal mechanism at its end which was not functional in the alpha, preventing the Spirit Reaver from being obtained. It is presumed that - like the Spirit Glyph Altar - it may have been necessary to Possess a nearby human and make him walk into the pedestal, thus sacrificing his soul to the machine. This could also be seen as a potential nod to the Spirit forges in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain.[2][3][4][1][Blood Omen]

The Spirit Reaver is present in the alpha builds but needs to be manually activated and cannot be imbued from the forge. It was intended to be reimbued from lost Souls and would have killed enemies in one hit but devoured their souls in the process making sure Raziel was unable to feed - this mechanic is similarly not implemented in the alphas.[2][3][4][1][9][6]

Initially a generic explanation of all forges by the Elder God was intended to play when Raziel discovered his first forge, but upon deletion of the other forges this dialogue was tailored to be specific to the Fire Forge. The original voice recording is still present but unused in the files of some builds.[Soul Reaver]

"These forges are tuned to the Soul Reaver’s energy. One you have baptized the sword in these elemental fonts, the blade may be imbued with that element at any future time."
―Elder God — Listen (file info)[src]

Design and Layout[]

The Spirit forge was originally found in the Human Citadel near the upper part of the city, branching off from the large square room labelled as "City2". A high passage here led to a set of descending staircases - which are missing their stairs in the alpha versions - and this led into the forge itself, which is is labelled as "City4" and the object within is labelled as "mforge". In the retail version, the corridor leading to the forge is still there, however the forge room has been replaced with a different room which houses an eldritch energy upgrade. Interestingly this room bears the texture set from the deleted Kain's Mountain Retreat and keeps the "City4" designation.[2][3][4][1][Soul Reaver/City]

The Forge itself appears to keep much of the basic forge layout as seen in the other forges in the build, consisting of a long rectangular chamber with a curved end, adorned throughout with decorated pillars on both sides. - and the room was notably decorated with the same red brick textures seen throughout other areas of the City. A wide shallow channel could be distinguished running along the middle of the chamber towards the back of the room. At the curved end of the room, the channel ended in front of a large circular pedestal with a smaller raised font at its center. At the back here the six pillars at the end of the room were finished with a grey stone or metal look and emanating from each was a menacing looking metallic protrusion. Each appendage narrowed and lifted to a position above the central plinth before narrowing to a sharp point tipped with a pale purple shade which was pointed directly downwards at the font.[2][3][4][1]

The exact purpose and functioning of the forge remains unknown with the forge not able to be used but given the sacrificial nature of the puzzle of the Spirit Glyph Altar (and the potential similar usage of the Spirit forges in Blood Omen) it would seem likely that the appendages were intended to impale a Possessed human to imbue the Spirit Reaver - with the Vampire hunter nearby seeming to be a prime candidate.[2][3][4][1]

Inhabitants and collectibles[]

  • Glyph-spirit.png The Spirit Reaver (cannot be forged or imbued in known builds): "Once Raziel has visited the Spirit Forge and baptized the Reaver in the elemental altar, the blade has the potential to be imbued with spirit whenever it appears in the environment. Once manifest in the material plane, the blade can be imbued with spirit by striking any fleeing soul with it. (Note - the soul is absorbed into the Reaver, so Raziel can't get any health benefit from it, but he shouldn't need it if the Reaver is active).
    A single blow with the Spirit Reaver blade, or impact with a Spirit Reaver projectile, destroys the affected enemy."
    [6]

Notes[]

  • The Spirit Forge is not directly named in dialogue, however it was titled as such in pre-release materials and follows the convention mentioned for the Fire Forge in guides and manuals.[6][Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]
    • In game files, the Spirit Forge is labelled as "City4" - relating to its position within the Human Citadel. The room notably contains the object "mforge": although this does not directly identify the forge a process of elimination from the other identified objects leaves only the Spirit Forge unaccounted for. The "City4" designation does continue to be used into later builds but the room itself is changed - with a new hexagonal room created from parts of the similarly deleted Kain's Mountain Retreat taking its place.[2][3][4][1][Soul Reaver/City]
  • The Spirit Reaver cannot be imbued from the Spirit Forge in the alpha builds. No cutscene or interaction with the forge is present and no change is made when attempted, even in Debug menus. This leaves it currently unclear how the forge was intended to function - though as with the Spirit Glyph Altar it seems likely that using Possess to trigger a sacrificial offering may have been likely.[2][3][4]
  • The role of the cut forges and elemental Reavers was intended to be much larger and better integrated with the rest of the game. Originally the Wraith Blade lacked a finishing move and Raziel was thus unable to kill vampires with just the basic version. Imbuing the Reaver with the various elements gave it deadly properties and enemies could then be killed just by striking them. Once the additional forges had been cut, the developers added the charging attack seen in the retail version which was capable of destroying enemies - and in the process removed the reliance on elemental imbuing.[2][3][4][8][10][Soul Reaver]
  • The concept of the Spirit Forge and Spirit Reaver would be repeated in subsequent games in the Soul Reaver arc of the series with each planned to contain a themed area which would deliver such an enhancement - although the successor 'Spirit Reaver' enhancements were conceptually closer to the Amplified, Ariel or Kain Reaver enhancements. Soul Reaver 2 was planned to feature an expansive Spirit Forge which was designed by the Ancient vampires whose ruins can be found on the bottom of the Great Southern Lake - it would have gifted a similar temporary Spirit Reaver which could then be reimbued from specific Reaver fonts - ultimately it was quickly decided that there wasn't enough time in the schedule to complete them so the forge wasn't completed beyond the initial designs and both Reaver enhancement and forge ended up cut from the game. Legacy of Kain: Defiance finally debuted the concept featuring a specialised Spirit forge, again designed by the Ancient vampires but with simpler puzzle elements and a greater combat focus to gain its more permanent Spirit Reaver.[Soul Reaver 2][11][12][13][Defiance]

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