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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 Water Forge was a deleted elemental Reaver forge that was intended to feature in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. Originally positioned within the Drowned Abbey, the forge was designed to imbue the Wraith Blade with elemental water and create the Water Reaver enhancement. Ultimately, both the forge and its accompanying enhancement were cut due to time constraints.

Profile[]

The Water 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 water where Raziel would be able to imbue the Wraith Blade with water to forge the Water 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 Water Reaver and Water forge removed.[Soul Reaver][1][2][3][4]

Development[]

The Water Forge was originally mentioned and featured in pre-release materials promoting Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. The presence of the forge in the game was discussed, with screenshots and even snippets of video showing the forge also making their way into pre-release materials - although they were not explicitly identified as such. In these a forge with running water dominated by a large funnel shaped vortex of water could be seen.[1][5][6][7][8][9]

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. Although removed, the Water Reaver enhancement was present in the Debug menus of the retail game and could be activated through the menus or other means. The forge however was not present in any capacity in the retail or beta versions of the game and the location of the forge were not definitively known until many years later.[Soul Reaver][10][1]

In 2020 alpha versions of the game containing much of the previously cut content were publicised and these contained and definitively identified the lost Water Forge. In this version The Water Forge was found to be present located within the confines of the Drowned Abbey in the position that would later become home to the Fire Forge in later versions. The Fire forge in this version was instead located in Raziel's Clan Territory, meaning the Fire forge location was changed upon the removal of the cut content. From the beta versions onward the original position of the Water forge is instead taken by the Fire Forge and the Water Forge is removed from the game.[2][3][4][1][10]

The alpha Water Forge in model view

As seen in previous images, the Water Forge had the same layout as the other forges with one prolonged corridor and forge at the end. Distinctively there was a large vortex of water dominating the room and pouring upwards out of a hole in the ground. By plunging the Reaver into this stream, Raziel would have obtained the Water Reaver - although the forge does not function correctly in the alpha and the colors of the Water Reaver are also incorrectly displayed. Raziel would have needed to reimbue the Reaver by plunging it into waterfalls, fountains and spouts found in the world, although this functionality is also missing from the alpha.[2][3][4][1]

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 unusued 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[]

Like the Fire forge that would take its place, the water forge branches off from the lowest level of the 'church' structure within the Drowned Abbey and its entrance was initially blocked by a large stained glass decorated with a geometric pattern. The mural was breakable and could be shattered with a Reaver bolt or Telekinetic force projectile and behind it was a small antechamber with wave-like symbols on either side and a slanted staircase which led upto the forge proper.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/10][Soul Reaver/11][Soul Reaver/Fire][2][3][4]

The forge itself was a long rectangular chamber with a curved end, adorned throughout with decorated pillars on both sides. Along the center of the chamber was a narrow channel filled with water which flowed to the back of the room; through the water patterned brickwork could be seen beneath. At the curved end of the room, the channel met with a large circular pedestal from where a vortex of water flowed up to the domed ceiling in an inverted pyramid shape. Behind the pedestal several small waterfalls could be seen around the curve of the room in the gaps between the pillars - each heading to refill the vortex. A set of large tiles covered the floor behind the pedestal and in the gaps between tiles running water could be seen flowing from the waterfalls toward the vortex.[2][3][4]

Inhabitants and collectibles[]

  • SR1-Icon-Glyph-Water.png The Water Reaver (cannot be forged or imbued in known builds): "Once Raziel has visited the Water Forge and baptized the Reaver in the elemental altar, the blade has the potential to be imbued with water. When manifest in the material plane, the blade can be imbued with water by passing it through running water (e.g. fountains, spouts, waterfalls).
    A single blow with the Water Reaver blade stuns the enemy; a second blow kills (as though the enemy were burned by immersing it in water). An enemy struck only once will advance to a damaged state, then eventually recover. The Water Reaver projectile does water (e.g. burning acid) damage to a single enemy, stunning/damaging it."
    [7]

Notes[]

  • The Water 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.[7][Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]
    • In game files the Water Forge is labelled as part of its territory as "aluka13" - referencing its place within the territory of the Drowned Abbey, notably it also contains the object "mwater" which identifies the forge within. The "aluka 13" designation is not used after the alpha builds. The Fire Forge - which was originally titled as "huba12" when it was in Raziel's Clan Territory - takes the position from the early beta builds: here it is given the designation "aluka47". The "huba12" designation is similarly unused after the alphas.[2][3][4][10][Soul Reaver]
  • The Water Reaver cannot be imbued from the Water Forge in the alpha builds. When attempted, a brief cutscene plays showing Raziel bathing the Wraith blade in the water vortex, but the blade is not changed and no ability is given - even in Debug menus.[2][3][4]
  • Whichever forge is present in the Drowned Abbey, the entranceway is protected by a distinctive stained glass window. In the alpha builds - where the Water Forge is present - the window is decorated with a multicolored geometric pattern. By the earlier beta builds - when the Fire Forge has been substituted - the design is changed to a different distinctive design, this time showing a blue face with pointed ears at the heart of a flame-like pattern and flanked by two flamberge swords: in a clear hint toward the nature of the Fire Reaver within. The design that will be used for the retail version - a fiery abstract shape representing the Wraith Blade - only debuts in the July 14th beta and is used in every build thereafter. No other forge location in any build - including the original Fire Forge location - uses such a barrier to entry and it is ultimately unclear if such stained glasses were planned to mark the entrance to other forges; although the fandom has frequently speculated as to their usage and the design that may have represented the other forges.[2][3][4][10][11][Soul Reaver]
  • The concept of the Water Forge and Water 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. Soul Reaver 2 was planned to feature an expansive Water Forge which was designed by the Ancient vampires and would have gifted a similar temporary Water 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 more generic and less unique Water forge, again designed by the Ancient vampires but with simpler puzzle elements and a greater combat focus to gain its more permanent Water Reaver.[Soul Reaver 2][Defiance]

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