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Raziel surveys the frozen Southern lake in Soul Reaver 2
"The frozen surface of the lake had bound the gates of the stronghold shut.
The Sarafan surely had some other means of entry, but this was the only one known to me.
To infiltrate the fortress, I would need to find some way to release these gates from their icy bonds.
―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]

Ice was a terrain type encountered encountered in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance. Typically it behaved as a solid object but could be very slippery. Because of the status of ice as frozen water, ice could also be used as a puzzle element or related to elemental applications, where it was particularly associated with the Fire Reaver and Water Reaver.

Profile[edit | edit source]

Role[edit | edit source]

Terrain and Environment[edit | edit source]

Ice was first seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain where it appeared in the capacity of a terrain type, often used to indicate colder areas of the map. Ice was usually found alongside water and near fallen snow. Neither the ice or fallen snow would cause damage to Kain although it was dangerous for other reasons. Ice was unusual in that it was very slippery, meaning that when Kain developed any momentum in a particular direction, he would continue to slide in that direction for a short time, even when attempting to turn or stop. This was made even more hazardous by the placement of ice nearby water or other obstacles such as Spike pits. Ice was useful in some contexts however, with few enemies able to cross over it.[BO1][BO1-C4][BO1-C5][BO1-C8][BO1-C9][BO1-C10][BO1-C11][1]

Ice returned as a terrain type in Soul Reaver 2 where it was seen in the latter stages as Raziel traveled into Nosgoth's early history and when Raziel arrived in this time it was presumably winter as much of the land was covered in fallen snow and icy textures. Bodies of water, such as the Great Southern Lake and the lake outside Janos Audron's Retreat were frozen over by ice and largely impenetrable because of this. Ice could also be found in abundance inside Janos's retreat and certain doorways even had large build ups of cracked ice covering them. Icy textures were still mildly 'slippery' but this was much toned down and barely noticeable compared to its previous apperance in Blood Omen, with little more than a subtle footstep sound difference to indicate and change from ordinary terrain.[SR2][SR2-C7][SR2-C8][SR2-C9]

Reaver elemental puzzles[edit | edit source]

In addition to its role in terrain and environmental conditions, ice was also associated with a number of Reaver enhancements and was often related to them in a number of puzzles. The first of these to be encountered were several iced-over cracked barriers that were seen in the 'inner sanctum' of Janos Audron's Retreat in the Vampire Interview chapter of Soul Reaver 2. These required the Reaver bolts of the Air Reaver to 'blow them apart', dispersing the barriers.[SR2][SR2-C8][2]

Shortly afterward in Blade of Vengeance (or potentially earlier if Raziel explored that way in On to the Past) Raziel would discover that the surface of the Great Southern Lake had frozen over, preventing his access to the dock doorway of the Sarafan Stronghold. To enter the stronghold he was required to use the Fire Reaver on the nearby Fire Plinth which would heat a portion of the lake, melting the ice and allowing the dock doorway to swing open.[SR2][SR2-C7][SR2-C9][2]

In Legacy of Kain: Defiance ice was particularly associated with the Water Reaver and when Raziel gained the enhancement in Find Vorador he was able to use it in combat - allowing him to briefly freeze enemies when it was charged, as well discharging an 'ice blast' as a Reaver spell. In addition the Water Reaver also had a puzzle application - it allowed Raziel to freeze Waterfalls, turning them into ice temporarily so they could be climbed as ordinary Scalable walls.[DEF][DEF-C8][3]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Ice is not openly acknowledged as a special terrain in either of the Blood Omen manuals, even though it does have very distinct effects in game. The prima guide does highlight the threat caused by ice in its walkthrough, but balances this with the potential effect on enemies. Soul Reaver 2 sources do not mention any special effects with icy terrain.[4][5][BO1][1][6][2] Possibly as way to avoid spoilers the manuals of Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance do not directly mention the ice-related applications of the Wraith Blade, however all of the Reaver effects are laid out in the respective Prima guides.[6][7][2][3]
  • The variations of the Fire Reaver and Water Reaver seen in Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance respectively seem particularly related to ice - as they allowed ice to be melted into water and water to be frozen into ice - however it is perhaps unusual that with both weapons having planned variations in all Soul Reaver titles that these are the only versions to have specific applications with respect to ice.[SR2][DEF] It is unclear if the other variants were intended to have similar ice applications that were unfinished or not included for whatever reason; however it is known that he 'icy' charged attack and Reaver spell of the Water Reaver in Defiance originated as part of the Water Reaver augmentation planned to upgrade the Water Reaver of Soul Reaver 2.[8][9] The freezing effects of the Water Reaver are also notably similar to the petrification effect seen in the Stone Glyph of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and planned for the associated Stone Reaver.[SR1][10][11][12][13]
    The similar petrify effect of the Stone Glyph/Reaver (SR1)
  • Ice is particularly related to cold weather both in-universe and in the real world, and is often seen alongside Snow or fallen snow. Arguably this implies that ice may have been present or was planned to be present in all of the Legacy of Kain games, due to the recurring appearance of snowy terrains. In Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain ice is particularly seen northern areas of Nosgoth, such as the Oracle's Cave, Malek's Bastion, Stahlberg, the Lake of Lost Souls and the Land of the Nemesis (the only places ice is seen outside of the northern areas are in the Lost City and Avernus Cathedral)[BO1]; the same appears to be true in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, as the northern areas including the Ruined City and the Oracle's Cave are covered in snow (although in the case of the former it is also possible that this is falling ash from the Smokestack)[SR1][10][14][11][15][16]. Soul Reaver 2 apparently shows seasonal snow in winter in the final era of Nosgoth's early history, with all of the outdoor areas of the map covered in icy/snowy terrain[SR2][SR2-C7][SR2-C8][SR2-C9]; while Legacy of Kain: Defiance demonstrates a similar effect on all outdoor areas some years later in the same era.[DEF] Blood Omen 2 does not directly feature icy or snowy environments in game, however concept art demonstrates that much of the environment was originally planned as covered in ice and snow, but a much warmer climate was seen in the final game[BO2][17]. Even the cancelled title Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy included areas apparently dominated by snow and ice.[18]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Water, Cracked doors, Fire Plinth, Waterfalls, Air Reaver (SR2), Fire Reaver (SR2), Water Reaver (Defiance), Swamp (terrain), Lava

Appearances[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Icon-Prima.png Prima Games / Ian Osborne. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain: Official Game Secrets. (1996)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Icon-Prima.png Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Icon-Prima.png Prima Games / JDP and Gerald Guess. Prima's Official Legacy of Kain: Defiance Guide. (2003)
  4. Wiki-Icon-BO1.png Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain manual. Silicon Knights. (Crystal Dynamics). PC. (November 1, 1996) Download.
  5. Wiki-Icon-BO1.png Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain manual. Silicon Knights. (Crystal Dynamics). Playstation. (November 1, 1996) Download.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Wiki-Icon-SR2.png Soul Reaver 2 manual. Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (October 31, 2001) Download.
  7. Icon-Defiance.png Legacy of Kain: Defiance manual. Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). PC (November 11, 2003) Download.
  8. Electronic Gaming Monthly, August 2000 issue
  9. Wiki-Icon-TLW.png Reaver Upgrades at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Icon-SR1.png Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver manual (US version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (August 16, 1999) Download.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Icon-Prima.png Prima Games / Mel Odom. Prima's Official Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Guide. (1999)
  12. Wiki-Icon-TLW.pngThe Elemental Reavers at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  13. Wiki-Icon-TLW.pngThe Elemental Reaver Forges at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  14. Icon-SR1.png Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver manual (UK version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (August 16, 1999) Download.
  15. Wiki-Icon-DC.pngThe Ruined City of the Dumahim (Ash Village) at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
  16. Icon-DCab.pngAsh Village/Ruined City questions at DCab Design Legacy of Kain forums (by Raina Audron, post#2 by Daniel Cabuco)
  17. Wiki-Icon-TLW.png Blood Omen 2- Deleted Levels at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
  18. Icon-Eidos.pngLegacy of Kain 6 - The entire first section of the game at the Eidos Forums (by Divine Shadow)