Villagers are NPCs in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. They, alongside their vampire hunter warrior class, represented the last surviving humans of the events of Soul Reaver during the dying ages of Kain's empire, and were almost exclusively found in the City. Depending on his interactions with the vampire hunters, villagers would consider Raziel either an ally or an enemy.
By the time Raziel returned to Nosgoth following his execution, humanity in the land had been almost entirely wiped out, the few still-existing mortals taking refuge in the northern City. The Citadel's commonfolk, the villagers, would "occasionally venture out of the city, but only rarely", and were "easy prey for either the vampires or Raziel".[Soul Reaver manual (US)] Though they would "flee in terror" if confronted by an enemy, they were non-combative, never posing a direct threat, and were very easy to kill. However, they held the allegiance of their warrior counterparts - the vampire hunters - and if Raziel attacked either villagers or vampire hunters, he would permanently earn the hunters' ire.[Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver]
If Raziel refrained from preying on humans, villagers would "see him as a savior, an avenging angel, and worship him".[Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver] Raziel first encountered a live villager in the Necropolis, witnessing the man being killed and fed upon by adult Melchahim. He could not save this citizen, but he was able to choose between slaying or sparing the life of a vampire hunter in a nearby area. If he ignored the hunter, killing only vampires, humans would no longer consider him "a demon", and would bow down before him on approach.[Soul Reaver/4] Though deceased villagers were seen in the Silenced Cathedral and elsewhere, living ones were encountered only in the City. They were male and female, wandering the city and audibly speaking to each other in indecipherable tones.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/7][Soul Reaver/City]
Ordinarily, harming villagers would permanently break Raziel's alliance with the humans. However, he could still use them to his advantage if friendly towards them. "Humans' souls [were] not as deeply rooted as the vampires - the humans [did] not have to be killed before Raziel [could] draw energy from their souls". If Raziel got close to a villager, he could grasp them and drain soul energy from their body; "if he [chose] only to "sip" at a human's soul - recovering his health slightly, but not draining the victim completely - the human [would] faint, but recover. As long as Raziel [did] not drain his victim completely, he [would] not be vilified by the humans".[Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver] Villagers, like other humans, could not be harmed by the Water or Sunlight glyphs.[Soul Reaver]
There were five variations of villager character model in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, two female and three male, each with different styles of clothing and distinctive features. Like the villagers in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and the NPCs of Blood Omen 2, these differences are purely aesthetic.[Soul Reaver][Blood Omen][Blood Omen 2]
It is not mandatory for the player to travel to the City and interact with villagers at any point in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.[Soul Reaver] This was not originally going to be the case: the developers intended to set a storyline scenario in the Citadel, entailing Raziel traveling to the subterranean Undercity and destroying the Priestess, the leader of Nosgoth's Vampire worshippers.[Soul Reaver/Cut content] However, this was cut due to time constraints.
In the Soul Reaver alphas the villagers were present however they were far fewer in number and lacked their usual indecipherable dialogue.
Daniel Cabuco, Legacy of Kain series artist and Legacy of Kain: Defiance art director, provided some insight on the City's history and its citizens' lifestyle and culture by the time of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver:
- "Well, the citadel was meant to be in it's [sic] twilight years, with the few humans left scraping by. In it's hey day [sic], it would have had crops, and flourishing trade.
By the time of SR, I imagine there would have been small underground vaults with crops being sustained by magic. (imagine light spells or such to help keep the crops alive)
The more insidious side of me would have had a machine powered by the life force of several vampires held captive, powering a lighting system through perverse magics. (Hylden Glyph anyone?)
Water would be both defense and survival. No doubt by the time they got to SR's stage they would have been bartering what little things they had. We didn't get to make them, but I always wanted there to be somewhat of a high council or leadership group that led the humans. They'd ration everything and have strict rules on how to deal with suspected vampires for the good of the citadel.
I would have loved to make a small water garden as well for their inner sanctum."
- ―Daniel Cabuco
- ↑ The Aftermath of The Chronoplast at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ Shift-at-Will at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ The Undercity and The Temple at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ The Priestess at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ GLoK Interviews with Amy Hennig at Nosgothic Realm (by Raziel Fan), post #4 (by RazielFan)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Soul Reaver quietly cut before release (spoilers) at the Gaming Intelligence Agency
- ↑ Soul Reaver at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ The City at DCabDesign (by Cradlis), post #3 (by Daniel Cabuco)