Standing stones, also known as Menhir or simply Stones, were a series of destructible objects encountered by Kain in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain that acted as an immoveable barrier but could be smashed with the Spiked Mace.
- Name: Standing Stones
- Category: Blood Omen terms
- Introduced: • Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (1996)
- Related Articles: Spiked Mace, Ugly statues, Trees, Breakables
Standing stones were destructible objects encountered by Kain in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain which acted initially as barriers. Kain could encounter the first Standing stones in Nupraptor (chapter) as he explored the town of Vasserbünde on his way to Nupraptor's Retreat. Just south of the town he could discover a blocked off area containing several Battle artifacts nearby the gypsy camp at the entrance to the town, and another could be found in the north of the town blocking entrance to a house in the north central area of the settlement - both were immovable and impeneterable at the time.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/3][Blood Omen strategy guide]
Kain moved on to Nupraptor's Retreat and confronted Nupraptor and as he left the building he would encounter a circle of these stones surrounding a new weapon - the Spiked Mace - and blocking his exit. Retrieving the mace, Kain discovered that the mace could destroy the stones with a single strike, reducing them to rubble.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/3][Blood Omen strategy guide]
Thereafter Kain would occasionally encounter the stones blocking his path and would be able to break them down with the mace. Frequently the stones were used to hide and protect a number of Secrets - these included the first two stones he had encountered before gaining the mace.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen strategy guide]
"Standing Stones" and "Menhir" are both basic forms of monolith or megalith structure frequently constructed by prehistoric humans in the real world. Such stones can be grouped together to form the basis of more complex arrangements like stone circles - as such the "stonehenges" (as they are called in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain—Official Game Secrets, where they are named from the most famous megalithic stone circle - Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England) may well be considered related to or having a shared origin with the standing stones, with several secret areas - including the Lost City - also related to the 'stonehenge' constructions.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen strategy guide] Stone circles and other megalith structures are seen again in Legacy of Kain: Defiance where the outer areas of the Dark and Light Forge are marked by them.[Defiance][Defiance/4][Defiance strategy guide] Similar constructions can be seen outside the entrance to the Underworld in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and in the garden of Vorador's Mansion in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, however these are of a design more reminiscent of the much later classical or neoclassical architecture.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/2][Defiance][Defiance/8][Defiance/12]
- Standing stones are not acknowledged in scripts, however they are specifically titled as "Standing Stones" in manuals where they are classed as a terrain type and their vulnerability to the Spiked Mace is also mentioned. Manuals also deal with them in the section covering the mace, where an overarching set of "breakable obstacles" is mentioned - presumably classifying them along with Ugly statues and iron chests.[Blood Omen manual (Windows)] The official guide Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain—Official Game Secrets refers to them simply as "rocks" in its introduction to the mace, and "stones" in its walkthrough section - it does however give the full "standing stones" title in its backtracking section.[Blood Omen strategy guide] Silicon Knights Blood Omen FAQ also mentions the stones in its section on Secrets, calling the them "menhir".
- One of the standing stone designs bears Blood script which reads "GRNDL" - the meaning of this is unclear.
- The Standing Stones share a lot in common with Ugly statues - both are destructible objects which form immovable barriers, but can be destroyed by a strike from the Spiked Mace. Similarly Trees can be seen as another equivalent, instead requiring the Axes to 'chop' them down.[Blood Omen] Arguably the Breakables of Legacy of Kain: Defiance can be seen as something of a successor to the Standing Stones - requiring strikes from a weapon to break through otherwise immovable barriers.[Defiance]
- Defiance features a number of similar standing stones in the Cemetery which may be something of a sucessor to the stones of Blood Omen. These do not have any special gameplay significance, do not form barriers and are simply objects that can be broken in combat, however their appearance is reminiscent of the earlier stones, with a seemingly primitive prehistoric construction combined with a simple runic symbol - in this case an eye design, possibly related to the Elder God - contrasting with the other more standard graves in the cemetery.[Defiance][Defiance/4]
- Another variant of the menhir is seen in the Lightning Dungeon which are colored green but otherwise appear identical to the usual standing stones - this particular variant is unbreakable however and must be negotiated around. Blood Omen also contains a number of vertical stones which at first glance appear to perform a similar function to standing stones: they are of a different design - appearing as flat curved stones embedded vertically into the earth - but are placed in similar locations, blocking the path to Secrets and other collectibles. The curved stones are not acknowledged in sources and are indestructible in game, regardless of weaponry or power, meaning that Kain is forced to manoeuvre around them rather than smash through them.[Blood Omen]