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SR1-FlipSwitch

A 'flipping switch' variant in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

Switches are a simple contextual object seen throughout the Legacy of Kain series that can be interacted with allowing the operation of complex mechanisms. Switches generally have two distinct states of operation - usually corresponding to open/close or on/off - that can be 'switched' between to operate more complicated objects.

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Switches are a simple mechanism that is used throughout the Legacy of Kain series where a small physical device could be used to activate or initiate the process of a larger device or mechanism, typically by 'switching' the device between two or more states. Switches have appeared throughout all the games of the series and have a number of varying activation mechanisms, however broadly speaking they generally used a physical point of activation to change a larger mechanism between on/off or open/close states.[Blood Omen][Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver 2][Blood Omen 2][Defiance]

The first switches seen in the series were encountered in Kain's Mausoleum in the chapter Seeking Revenge in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2] Most of the switches in Blood Omen were activated simply by approaching or walking into or over them to trigger the mechanism to activate. As Kain progressed switch mechanisms became more complicated: some switches could be activated or deactivated multiple time to different effects, some required specific patterns of switches to be activated and some could not be activated by hand, requiring possession spells or telekinesis to activate.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen manual (Windows)][Blood Omen strategy guide]

Switch6

Raziel activates a flip switch in Soul Reaver

For Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver the jump to 3D meant that many switches were updated and resdesigned for the new genre, although several apparently drew inspiration from the forms seen in Blood Omen.[Soul Reaver][Blood Omen] Few switches maintained the simple activation from Blood Omen and many required Raiel to be in the Material Realm and physically push or pull part of the mechanism with the aid of the action button - although some switches could still be activated by walking onto them. Raziel could first encounter a switch in Raziel's Clan Territory (chapter) at the drawbridge tower in his territory which enabled him to lower a drawbridge and pass onward to the Necropolis and thereafter switches were seen throughout in varying forms.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/3][Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]

Soul Reaver 2 continued in much the same vein as Soul Reaver although there were noticeably less variation and most switches were the same types as established previously. The only twist was that some switch types needed to be held down until the mechanism 'locked' into place. Switches were noticeably rarer in Soul Reaver 2 than previous games and played less of a role in puzzles - they were first seen in A Reaver in Time as Raziel used a wheel to escape the Sarafan Stronghold and the Great Southern Lake; switches were often used to temporarily bar doors and such, forcing Raziel into combat scenarios, with the puzzle components previously taken by switches often using elemental Reaver enhancements instead.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2/1][Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)]

BO2-IQ-ExplosiveDevice

Blood Omen 2 flip switches mounted on Explosive devices

Switches returned to a larger role in Blood Omen 2 where they were seen much more often and were involved both in simple operations such as opening Doors and more complex puzzles - and were first seen from the opening chapter Welcome to Meridian. Once again familiar types of switch were seen, sometimes with slight differences from previous operations. Switches also could be featured in a number of more complicated operations, with some also be mounted on other mechanisms such as industrial machinery, Explosive devices and Glyph magic components. In addition, certain switches were out of reach and required Telekinesis to activate.[Blood Omen 2][Blood Omen 2/1][Blood Omen 2 manual (US)][Blood Omen 2 manual (UK)][Blood Omen 2 strategy guide]

Despite their prevalence in previous titles, switches were seldom seen in Legacy of Kain: Defiance and like Soul Reaver 2, a lot of their functions seemed to have been taken by various elemental Reaver enhancements and other interactable objects. One type of switch that remained was Telekinetic switches, now a different design and origin but still operated by manually targeted telekinesis - these were seen from Infiltrate the Stronghold as Kain explored the caverns beneath the Sarafan Stronghold and could be seen involved in basic tasks as well as more complex puzzles. Another variant that returned were pressure pads, which now usually activated timed mechanisms or required the placement of Blocks to lock the switch in place.[Defiance][Defiance/1][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]

Types of SwitchEdit

BO1-Mausoleum-Buttons

A Floor button (mid-left) and a wall button (top-right) in Blood Omen

Switches appear in various forms throughout the games, with many seen in a number of different titles. Each title has a number of different switch-types and many are seen to cross over between titles. A number of these can be identified visually, however they often have little official identification in materials beyond the title "switch". The following is a list of different types of switch mechanism that can be observed in the games.

Wall buttonsEdit

Main article: Wall buttons

Wall buttons or Wall Switches were the first type of switch seen in the series. First seen in Seeking Revenge of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain as Kain explored his mausoleum and seen throughout the rest of Blood Omen - perhaps being the most commonly found switch type in the game. These switches consisted of a glowing pattern or square on the wall that could be activated by walking into them or by using projectile attacks such as Energy Bolt.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen manual (Windows)][Blood Omen strategy guide]

Wall buttons are called "wall buttons" in the Blood Omen manual[Blood Omen manual (Windows)] and given the alternative title "wall switches" in the official guide. Generally they are called "wall switches" or simply "switches" in the walkthrough section.[Blood Omen strategy guide]

Floor buttonsEdit

Main article: Floor buttons

Floor Buttons or Floor Switches were also found in Blood Omen, appearing as a colored square or pattern which could activate a mechanism when stood on As with wall buttons they were first fund in Kain's mausoleum and could be found prevalently throughout the rest of the game, with a number of different designs. Often floor switches could be hidden from view by obstacles or similar.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen manual (Windows)][Blood Omen strategy guide]

Floor buttons are called "floor buttons" in the Blood Omen manual[Blood Omen manual (Windows)] and "floor switches" in the official guide. Generally they are called "switches" or "pressure pads" in the walkthrough section.[Blood Omen strategy guide]

LeversEdit

Main article: Levers

Levers were found in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2, these generally consisted of a long handle pivoted at a control box on the ground which would activate depending upon the direction the handle was pushed. These were activated in Blood Omen simply by approaching them closely to flip the handle, whereas in Soul Reaver they required the action button to be pressed to pull the lever - occasionally levers required holding down until the mechanism locked in place.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen manual (Windows)][Blood Omen strategy guide][Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)][Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)]

Levers are called "levers" in the Official guides of Blood Omen, Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2 and in the Soul Reaver 2 and Blood Omen 2 manuals.[Blood Omen strategy guide][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)][Soul Reaver 2 manual][Blood Omen 2 manual (US)][Blood Omen 2 manual (UK)] They are called "floor levers" in the Blood Omen manuals"[Blood Omen manual (Windows)] - and occasionally titled as "floor switches" or simply "switches" in walkthroughs.[Blood Omen strategy guide]

Flipping switchesEdit

Flipping Switches were perhaps the most common switch design from Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver onwards. These generally consisted of a wall-mounted mechanism with one or two linked prongs emanating from it to form a handle, which could be flipped up or down to activate the mechanism. These switches were initially seen be seen in Malek's Bastion in Blood Omen where they were activated by approaching them, much like ordinary Wall buttons. They were found much more commonly in Soul Reaver from their first usage in the Necropolis - where they needed to be physically activated instead. Flipping switches were absent from Soul Reaver 2 but were found abundantly in Blood Omen 2.[Blood Omen][Soul Reaver][Blood Omen 2]

Flipping switches are named in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain—Official Game Secrets simply as "switches" and likely classified along with wall buttons.[Blood Omen strategy guide] They are referred to Soul Reaver manuals as "switches" under "manipulating objects" or "contextual objects"[Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)] and in Blood Omen 2 manuals as "flipping switches" under "using objects".[Blood Omen 2 manual (US)][Blood Omen 2 manual (UK)] Both the Blood Omen 2 manual, scripts and the in-game prompts in Welcome to Meridian offer "lever" as an alternative title;[Blood Omen 2 manual (US)][Blood Omen 2 manual (UK)][Blood Omen 2/1] although this term is notably more often related to larger floor mounted Levers in other games in the series.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen manual (Windows)][Blood Omen strategy guide][Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)][Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)][Soul Reaver 2 manual][Blood Omen 2][Blood Omen 2 manual (US)][Blood Omen 2 manual (UK)]

Rotatable SwitchesEdit

Rotatable Switches were one of the rarer form of switches and were found only in the Silenced Cathedral in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. The rotatable switches consisted of a set of square tiles on the floor each of which bore two handles - the mechanism could be operated by using the handles to lift and turn the tile through 90 degrees before placing it back down. The first of these tiles to be encountered were initially covered in a glass dome which required specific sound frequencies to shatter.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/7]

Rotatable Switches are called "floor switches", "knobs" or simply "switches" in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver: Prima's Official Strategy Guide[Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]

HatchesEdit

Hatches were another rare form of switch found in the Silenced Cathedral, these were related to the piping of the cathedral and its ability to create certain frequencies of sound. Ostensibly found covering pipes or air reservoirs these hatches could be opened to release a blast of air and sound at a certain frequency. The first of these was used to shatter the domes of the rotatable switches; an optional set of hatches could be used to emit a deadly sound wave killing any Zephonim vampires nearby.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/7]

Hatches are called "hatches" in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver: Prima's Official Strategy Guide[Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]

Pull ChainsEdit

Chains were seen frequently throughout Blood Omen where they were often used to imprison Chained humans. A few of these housed secret switches allowing the chains to be pulled to activate a mechanism - these were triggered similarly to wall buttons or floor buttons but required physical contact.[Blood Omen]

Another pull-chain mechanism was seen later in the Drowned Abbey in Soul Reaver where it was necessary to ring the bell in the belltower of the abbey to open the way to Rahab's lair. The chain was pulled and the bell rung by the use of the action button.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/10] Other bells could be found in the Silenced Cathedral in Soul Reaver and Meridian Cathedral and the Upper City in Blood Omen 2 - with each having notable effects to ringing them - but these were not rung by pulling chains but by other means such as directly striking them or using other switch variants.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/7][Blood Omen 2][Blood Omen 2/4]

Main article: Bells

Pull chains are called "chains", "chain switches" or simply "switches" in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain—Official Game Secrets. They are also named as a chain" in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver: Prima's Official Strategy Guide[Blood Omen strategy guide][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)] Bells are referred to as such in prima guides[1][2] and occasionally in dialogue.[SR1-Comic][Blood Omen 2/4]

Wheels and ValvesEdit

Main article: Wheels

Wheels, Valves or Cranks were a from of circular switch that was wall mounted and operated by rotation. Seen throughout Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and Blood Omen 2 wheels could be operated by a single press to turn the device or held until they rotated to the proper point and locked in place.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)][Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)][Blood Omen 2][Blood Omen 2 strategy guide][Blood Omen 2 manual (US)][Blood Omen 2 manual (UK)]

Larger wheels are named as "cranks" in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver: Prima's Official Strategy Guide, with the smaller ones named as "wheels" or "valves"; they are called "wheels" in Soul Reaver 2: Prima's Official Strategy Guide and "valves" in Blood Omen 2: Prima's Official Strategy Guide - the Blood Omen 2 manual calls them "wheels" or "wheel switches"[Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)][Blood Omen 2 strategy guide][Blood Omen 2 manual (US)][Blood Omen 2 manual (UK)]

Pressure PadsEdit

Pressure Pads were a series of floor based switches seen in Soul Reaver and Defiance that acted similarly to the floor buttons of Blood Omen. The pads were activated in Soul Reaver by standing upon appropriate area until it dropped and locked in position - these were fairly rare in the retail version being seen only once in the Silenced Cathedral, however more were seen in beta developmental versions of the game.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/7][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)].[3] The pressure pads of Defiance were still fairly rare but were seen more regularly than their Soul Reaver counterparts - often Defiance pressure pads required Blocks to be maneuvered onto them to lock the switch into place and consistently activate a mechanism.[Defiance][Defiance/3][Defiance/8][Defiance strategy guide]

Pressure Pads are simply called a "platform" or variant terms in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Legacy of Kain: Defiance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide calls them "weight sensitive switches" or "pressure sensitive switches".[Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)][Defiance strategy guide]

Wall SwitchesEdit

Wall Switches (not to be confused with the similar wall buttons of Blood Omen) were a form of switch seen only in Blood Omen 2 in the Upper City and the mausoleums close to Meridian Cathedral. Appearing as a wall high panel bearing significant symbols, certain panels (bearing Kain's symbol) could be pushed in a manner similar to regular Blocks, pushing them back slightly and activating a mechanism which opened the back entrance to the Cathedral.[Blood Omen 2][Blood Omen 2/4][Blood Omen 2 strategy guide]

Wall Switches are named primarily as "wall switches" in Blood Omen 2: Prima's Official Strategy Guide, but "stone walls" and simply "walls" are listed as alternatives.[Blood Omen 2 strategy guide]

Glyph sealsEdit

Main article: Glyph seals

Glyph Seals were a series of wall-bound switches appearing in Blood Omen 2 that had a distinctive green circular design. Typically too high to reach by hand, these switches were activated by the use of the Telekinesis dark gift. Kain was first educated on their usage and shown their design by the Seer in Wild Places before he was teleported to the Device, whereupon he used one to gain entry. Glyph seals were seen frequently thereafter and were generally linked to the Hylden.[Blood Omen 2][Blood Omen 2/7][Blood Omen 2 strategy guide]

Glyph Seals are called "TK switches" in stage directions,[Blood Omen 2][Blood Omen 2/7] but named as "Seals" in on-screen prompts and "Glyph Seals" in Blood Omen 2: Prima's Official Strategy Guide.[Blood Omen 2][Blood Omen 2/7][Blood Omen 2 strategy guide]

Telekinetic switchesEdit

Main article: Telekinetic switches

Telekinetic Switches were wall-bound switches seen in Legacy of Kain: Defiance and something of a successor to the Glyph seals of Blood Omen 2. Like their predecessors they could not be activated by hand and required Telekinesis to activate, but their design was different and possibly more inspired by the Ancient vampires symbolism. These switches were first encountered by Kain in Infiltrate the Stronghold as he opened the way to Moebius's chamber and could be found throughout Nosgoth thereafter, though they were notably usually found in areas connected with the ancient vampires.[Defiance][Defiance/1][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]

Telekinetic Switches are vaguely called "distant switches" in sections dealing with manually aimed Telekinesis in the Defiance manual. Named as "TK switches" and other "switch" variants in Legacy of Kain: Defiance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide.[Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]

DevelopmentEdit

  • The standard lever in Melchiah's lair that was replaced by a crank
  • The ornate pressure pad variant in the bell corridor that was replaced by a crank

Several of the switch mechanisms in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver appear to have undergone changes in the course of development, with some being changed to different mechanisms between the beta and the final version of the game. An example of this is the crank wheel in Melchiah's lair which was initially featured as an ordinary lever in the early beta and the crank wheel in the 'bell corridor' within the Silenced Cathedral which was originally an ornate pressure pad platform in the early beta. Crank wheels do appear in the Fire Glyph Altar area in the early beta, clearly indicating that the crank mechanism had been designed and presumably suggesting the change was because the the final device was either yet to be implemented or was initially planned as another mechanism and changed because the original lever was found to be unsuited to the task.[3][Soul Reaver]

In the real world, switches are a component in an electrical or mechanical system intended to either break the circuit (thus turning the system 'off') or to divert the current or power to a different part of the system (usually 'switching' the system to a different function). Often switches use a form of external stimuli to control them - such as through levers, buttons, pull chains and dials - with several variants of these seen in the switches of the Legacy of Kain series.[4]

NotesEdit

Glyph Box

A Blood Omen 2 flip switch mounted to a Glyph magic box

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named SR1-Prima
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named BO2-Prima
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wiki-Icon-TLW Beta Comparison - Graphics at The Lost Worlds (by Raina Audron)
  4. Icon-Wikipedia Switch at Wikipedia
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