Claws are curved appendages, sharpened to a point, that grow on the ends of the limbs of many animals. Typically Claws are used in the animal kingdom to grip surfaces and attack prey. Within the Legacy of Kain series, claws are implied to be a natural development of Vampires, which provide them with a basic weapon when unarmed;[BO2-C1] as such Claws are featured as a 'weapon' in Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and Blood Omen 2.
Claws were first able to be utilized as a weapon in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (the first game in the series to allow the protagonist to be 'unarmed'). Raziel was able to extensively use his claws against enemies in Combat (see also: Combat (SR1)), where claws were faster than other weapons, but lacked much of the power. Raziel's claws, whilst allowing Raziel to perform several combos and effectively 'stun' a Vampire, were not powerful enough to finish them outright - instead Raziel had to take advantage of the surrounding environment to kill Vampires (using one of the 'finishing moves'), or alternatively impale the vampire using a Spear or other weapons. Raziel's claws were insufficient to permanently cleave and impale a vampire in themselves[SR1].
Claws returned in Soul Reaver 2, once again utilised as Raziel's default weapon whilst unarmed. Like their appearance in Soul Reaver, they were the quickest but also the weakest of the weapons at Raziel's disposal. Raziel could use claws extensively in combat against enemies (see also: Combat (SR2)) if he was not armed with any of the more powerful weapons. Unlike their use in Soul Reaver, claws were now powerful enough to penetrate and 'impale' an enemy (as he mostly fights humans, rather than vampires) enabling Raziel to execute a 'fatal blow' when the enemy was stunned, by ripping out their heart (possibly a nod to the fate of Janos Audron later in the story)[SR2].
BO2 Claw Moves - Grabs - Throat Squeeze
BO2 Claw Moves - Grabs - Backhand Slap Throw
BO2 Claw Moves - Stealth Kills - Heart Rip
BO2 Claw Moves - Stealth Kills - Neck Crank
BO2 Claw Moves - Fury Strike
Kain was also shown to use his claws in Blood Omen 2, where he used them in combat when unarmed [BO2](see also: Combat (BO2)) and Kain was instructed in their use in combat by Umah in Chapter 1:the Slums.[BO2-C1] Similar to previous appearances, claws were quicker than many weapons but were considerably weaker. With Blood Omen 2 lacking a waver state (and thus 'finishing moves'), Claws could also comfortably kill an enemy as in Soul Reaver 2[BO2].
Kain baring Claws and fangs (BO2)
In addition Kain was able to use his claws to attack enemies using three of his dark gifts; Fury and Berserk both used his claws into striking attacks, as well as the Mist Dark Gift's Stealth Kill ability, which used Kain's claws to rip out an enemies heart (and twist their neck)[BO2].
Gloved Vampire Claws Close-up
- Claws are only used as a weapon in games which allow the protagonist to drop, break or otherwise lose their weapons; in both Blood Omen[BO1] and Defiance[DEF], the protagonist cannot lose their weapons.
- Claws are implied to be a by-product of Vampires long lifespans, probably developing from Human nails - it is not revealed however, how long this change takes and this may be an alternative reason for Kain only wielding weapons in Blood Omen, as his claws were yet to develop. Many other species, including the Hylden, Sluagh, Shades, Mutants, Poltergeists, Tentacles, Demons, Werewolves and many Animals have also developed claws.
- Though claws are generally mentioned in a combat/weapon context, they are likely to be involved in the Scale Walls ability demonstrated by Raziel throughout the Soul Reaver arc and Kain in Defiance.