The Spirit Reaver was last and most powerful of Raziel's elemental enhancements. It was found near the end of Defiance, when a newly resurrected Janos Audron gave Raziel the Golden Ouroboros, opening his way to the Spirit Forge . Inside the Spirit Forge, Raziel had to fight off the Elder God and activate the Spirit Forge using all the powers of the different elemental reavers. Once activated, the forge called the souls of all the former balance guardians - represented by Ariel - for "the final baptism of the blade" where it was rendered pure by spirit - creating the Spirit Reaver; a powerful enhancement which superseded his other Reavers.[Defiance][Defiance/12][Defiance strategy guide].
The Spirit Reaver manifested as a pale blue wraith blade. The blade was incredibly powerful in combat and dealt further damage when charged, with its Reaver Spell causing major splash damage on nearby enemies.[Defiance][Defiance strategy guide]. Despite its great power, Raziel was only able to use the Spirit Reaver briefly in normal gameplay, but its use had major plot implications.
Raziel would use the blade against the Hylden Lord-possessed Janos Audron in battle but was unable to stop the Hylden Lord taking Janos' body[Defiance/12]. Ultimately Raziel would crucially use the Spirit Reaver in the final scenes of Defiance. He impaled Moebius with it when he arrived in the Spectral Realm; with this cleansing the time-streamer's sight and allowing him to see the Elder God for the first time. Realizing he could not strike the Elder God as the Spirit Reaver was "only a wraith blade", Raziel sacrificed himself to create the Soul Reaver whilst dispersing the Spirit Reaver into Kain to heal him of the corruption that had plagued him since birth and also allowing him to see the Elder God[Defiance/13].
Amy Hennig and Carol Wolf's script for Defiance's The Transformation of the Reaver scene - where Raziel gains the Spirit Reaver - directed that "we see first Ariel manifest, transformed into her perfect state when she is summoned, and then one spirit after another join and unite with her. The player may notice, we do not see Kain's spirit."[Defiance/Cut content] However, only Ariel's spirit is distinguishable in the final product, with the other Balance Guardians manifesting as multicolored soul energy.[Defiance/12] The predecessor Balance Guardians do appear in some fashion however, with the textures of the Spirit Reaver made up of a number of faces - presumably representing the previous guardians.[Defiance]
- Versions of the Spirit Reaver were planned to appear in every game in the Soul Reaver arc; with a Spirit Reaver planned for inclusion in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, but ultimately cut due to time constraints - although its appearance in Soul Reaver was more related to the Glyph-style Reavers from that game and is possibly not an Ancient vampire creation for this reason[Soul Reaver]. Despite the name, the Spirit Reaver concept in Defiance was ultimately based more upon the Ariel Reaver and Amplified Reaver enhancements removed from Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver - as an all powerful final blade; with the Ariel Reaver itself gained from Ariel's sacrifice.
- Soul Reaver 2 was also planned to feature a version of the Spirit Reaver as the final all powerful enhancement but this was ultimately removed and it would be left to Legacy of Kain: Defiance to debut the more permanent Spirit Reaver enhancement and its special abilities.[Defiance/12][Defiance].