Fire Forge (SR2)
|The Fire Forge (SR2)|
|Soul Reaver 2 location • Elemental Reaver forge|
The Fire Forge as it appears in Soul Reaver 2.
|Introduced in||Soul Reaver 2 (2001)|
|Architects||• The ancient vampires|
|Ownership||• Janos Audron|
|Features||• Winged Raziel statue with Reaver blade, Air plinths, Light Crystal, changing 'Blood' level filled by gargoyles, unique torches, golden cauldron/braziers, Greco-Roman Ancient vampire reliefs|
|Items||• A Torches, the Fire Reaver|
The Fire Forge was an elemental Reaver forge encountered by Raziel in Soul Reaver 2. Created by the Ancient vampires, the forge was located within Janos Audron's retreat and was the fourth and last forge encountered by Raziel in the game, only discovered after meeting with Janos in Nosgoth's early history. Completing the puzzle of the forge, Raziel was able to imbue the blade with elemental Fire, creating the Fire Reaver
The Fire Forge was a playable location in Soul Reaver 2, indicated as one of the main areas on the World map - shown as encompassing an area in the northeast of Nosgoth just north of the entrance to Janos Audron's Retreat, and within the top level of the hollow mountain structure that composed the internal rooms of the retreat. The Forge was the fourth and last of the ancient elemental forges found by Raziel in Soul Reaver 2, being discovered in Nosgoth's early history in Vampire Interview.[SR2][SR2-C8]
After solving the Dark,[SR2-C3] Light[SR2-C4] and Air Forges,[SR2-C6] Raziel had traveled back to Nosgoth's early history, attempting to reach Ancient vampire Janos Audron before his death.[SR2-C7] Arriving at Janos Audron's Retreat in Vampire Interview, Raziel was able to enter the retreat and ascend through it to the upper levels where he could find Janos's private chamber and the ancient vampire himself. However as Raziel conversed with Janos, their meeting was interrupted by the Sarafan warrior inquisitors who had followed Raziel through the retreat and arrived bearing Moebius's Staff. Ostensibly to protect Raziel, Janos teleported Raziel to the nearby sealed Fire Forge.[SR2-C8] The Main objective of the fire forge was to return a flaming torch to the forge altar at the top balcony of the forge. This was achieved in several stages, involving Raziel gradually moving the lit torches between several cauldron-like braziers to ignite them. With each phase the level of a red water-like substance (possibly Blood) changed - variously filling and draining at different times - and different features of the forge became active or altered position. Notably using a Light crystal to change the liquid level and utilizing various Air plinths and Air updrafts to glide across the forge, Raziel was able to slowly ascend back up to the main activation point of the forge with a lit torch and use it to ignite the forge altar. Imbuing the Wraith Blade with the elemental Fire therein created the Fire Reaver, allowing Raziel to unlock the sealed door and return to Janos's private chambers, as well as activating all Fire-affiliated Reaver fonts.[SR2-C8]
Raziel returned just in time to witness Janos's death, as his former Sarafan self tore the Heart of Darkness from Janos' chest and fled with the other inquisitors, taking the Reaver blade with them. Speaking with the dying Janos one last time, Raziel set off to avenge himself on his former brethren.[SR2-C9]
Design and Layout
Like the other elemental forges, The Fire Forge is illustrated on the World map simply as a Fire symbol and no effort is made to outline its area. In game, the forge appears to be high up and roughly in the center (or east-central area) of the retreat, however the maps shows it as slightly north of the area identified as Janos's retreat on maps - it appears that the area identified as the retreat is only by an outline of the externally visible areas (like the main facade) and does not include the internal areas of the retreat, most of which are north of the Fire Forge.[SR2]
In contrast to the other forges in Soul Reaver 2, which were all large complicated buildings featuring many rooms, the Fire Forge was a much simpler area, with much of the action taking place in a single large chamber and minor adjoining rooms. An small arched corridor led north away from the Sealed door connecting to Janos's chambers (itself emblazoned with a Fire symbol and a depiction of the Reaver blade), reaching a small circular room decorated with several Fire symbols divided by red 'spokes' descending from the ceiling and containing a Fire Reaver font at its center (which was initially inactive). Progressing beyond this, the corridor headed northwest emerging on a high balcony above the main forge chamber which curved westward along the south end of the main chamber passing the main altar point of the forge - in front of a statue depicting a winged wraith Raziel armed with the Reaver blade - and led southwest into another small circular chamber decorated with Fire symbols and red spokes, this one containing a Save altar.[SR2-C8]
The main chamber itself was a large room shaped like a rounded rectangle extending northward below the curved balcony, with several large steps appearing at the end of the balcony in the Spectral Realm. The walls of the forge were decorated with arches, stained glass and fire motifs, while the ceiling was dominated by a series of gargoyles in two lines heading northward along the middle of the forge and a Light crystal at the center; several Greco-Roman-like reliefs depicting Ancient vampires were also present on the ceiling of the forge, subtly hidden in darkness. The floor of the forge was marked with two rows of four small square 'platforms', each marked with the fire symbol, and a thin shallow pool of 'blood' (with several 'drains' hidden beneath the surface) ran north along the center of the forge directly below the gargoyles. Two circular fire marked platforms each containing a golden brazier-like cauldron marked the northern and southern ends of the pool - the northern one at ground level was already ignited (with a nearby rack containing torches), while the unlit southern one was higher and initially inaccessible, but provided access to two alcoves to the south beneath the balcony containing torch-racks; a third cauldron was found on a small square high up in the far north of the forge (along with more torch racks). Five small pillars rose at varying heights along the center of the forge, three topped with Air plinths and the others with Air and Light Reaver fonts; another four high pillars reaching the ceiling were placed some distance apart either side of the Air and Light fonts, though many features of the forge varied between phases - with different parts becoming active or changing position.[SR2-C8]
With the liquid initially at its lowest level Raziel was able to proceed to the low flaming cauldron at the north end of the room, where he could retrieve a torch from a nearby rack and light it from the cauldron. This caused red liquid to pour from the mouths of the gargoyles, temporarily half-filling the chamber and raising the square platforms into steps leading to the raised circular platform at the southern end where he could light the second cauldron - the torch would quickly be doused and the sequence reset if Raziel was not quick enough. Once the second cauldron ignited the next phase began, locking the liquid at its raised level and changing the heights of the pillars - making the air font descend under the liquid to ground-level, the light font become level with the water and the air plinths slightly raised. Imbuing the Light Reaver from the font Raziel could fire at Light Reaver bolt at the Light Crystal in the ceiling, temporarily draining the liquid and allowing Raziel to imbue the Air Reaver from the font. Swimming back up once the liquid returned, Raziel could jump to one of the Air plinth pillars and activate them, causing the plinths to issue Air updrafts and change heights - providing three 'steps' of updrafts leading up to the small northern balcony. Retrieving a torch from racks in alcoves beneath the southern balcony, Raziel could ignite the it from the second cauldron and use the updrafts to glide north up the middle of the forge to the small northern balcony and ignite the third cauldron. Once this was lit the room was completely filled with liquid and the four highest pillars descended revealing air plinths atop them, but all of the plinth pillars were quickly submerged leaving only the font pillars (with the Air font too high to reach). Utilizing the Light font, Raziel could again use the Light Crystal to make the liquid temporarily descend exposing the air plinths. Quickly igniting a torch from the third cauldron, Raziel could glide across the updrafts in a 'figure of eight' pattern (careful to avoid the liquid pouring from the gargoyles, which would douse the torch) and allow Raziel to reach the southern balcony and main altar point of the forge with a lit torch to power the forge enabling him to imbue the Fire Reaver. Once forged, the eyes of the Raziel statue glowed and its Reaver blade ignited with flame.[SR2-C8]
From the balcony overlooking the main forge.
- The large chamber below and to the north is the main forge chamber ("Fire 1")
- The southeast passage leads into a small room containing a save altar ("Fire1")
- The southwest passage leads through a small corridor to a chamber containing a Fire font ("Fire2") and on through another corridor to the Sealed doors leading back to the retreat ("Fire3"). Beyond the doorway the passage emerges in the top-level northern balcony in Janos's chamber within Janos Audron's Retreat ("Janos7")
- The Fire Forge is called the "Fire Shrine" by Raziel in Soul Reaver 2 dialogue, also noting it as a "forge";[SR2-C8] while the Prima guide universally lists it as the "fire forge". Under Debug menus and game files, the Forge is broken down into three chambers, each listed under the main "Fire" entry - "Fire1" represents the main forge room, overlooking balcony and small save altar room, "Fire2" represents the small room along the exit passage containing the Reaver font, while "Fire3" represents the area immediately in front of the sealed door leading back to Janos's retreat. The areas only exist in one era, Nosgoth's early history.[SR2]
- The Fire forge notably makes use of an unexplained red liquid in place of Water, which changes levels several times during the puzzle.[SR2] Given the vampire nature of the forge's creators, it is possible that this liquid is Blood, which would provide sustenance as well as negate the harmful effects of water on vampires.
- Once the fire forge is completed (formally concluding Vampire Interview), Raziel's Health coil increases in capacity and all Fire-related Reaver fonts become active.[SR2-C8][SR2][SR2-C9]
- A unique torch design is seen in the Fire Forge, somewhat resembling the Gong Stick seen in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.[SR1] With no enemies present in the fire forge, these torches are used more as an item than as a weapon, allowing Raziel to ignite different cauldrons as he progresses through the Forge. As with other torches in Soul Reaver 2, these are put out and discarded after one use, necessitating Raziel's retrieving new ones from several nearby torch-racks. Dropped or thrown torches quickly disappeared.[SR2-C8][SR2] Previously the Dark, Light and Air forges had all featured unique weapon designs found exclusively within each forge, including variant staves, halberds, tridents and axes.[SR2-C3][SR2-C4][SR2-C6]
- The presence of the Fire Forge within Janos Audron's Retreat is foreshadowed throughout the interior areas of the retreat. Blood basins, Blood chalices and their stands have several Fire Reaver symbols hidden in their designs (most noticeable in texture files). The inner sanctum area also imitates the usual forge structure with a large multi-layered puzzle with a single overarching goal and containing only Shade and Thrall enemies - in this case, four Greater thralls, each carrying red Emblem keys (previous forges also used themed coloring or design for emblem keys).[SR2-C8][SR2]
- The small room containing the Fire Reaver font notably has a design on its floor previously seen in the 'mini aeries' in the canyons between Uschtenheim and Janos Audron's Retreat,[SR2][SR2-C5][SR2-C9][SR2-C7] perhaps hinting at an Ancient vampire origin for them.
- The fire forge had a somewhat unique activation sequence, with three rune symbols appearing from fireworks during the activation; the symbols are unexplained but all could be observed in previous textures.[SR2]
- Like the other Reaver forges of Soul Reaver 2, the fire forge was based upon distinct architectural elements from real-world ancient temples - the Fire Forge specifically seems to draw mainly from the gothic architectural style, although some elements appear to be shared with much older Greco-Roman temples and architecture.[SR2-C8]
Murals and Textures
- Janos Audron's Retreat
- Fire Reaver (SR2)
- Soul Reaver 2 Bonus Material - The Reaver Forges at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- Soul Reaver 2 - Map of Nosgoth at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya)
- Soul Reaver 2 - Map of Nosgoth at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- The (almost) definitive Legacy of Kain maps thread at the Eidos Forums (by Shrykull/Bazielim)
- Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
- Behind the Scenes - The Aerie at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- Various art and plot questions at DCabDesign (by Dubiel), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- Various art and plot questions at DCabDesign (by Dubiel), post #29 (by Daniel Cabuco)