|The Reaver/the Soul Reaver|
|Kain's signature sword|
Recurring unusable object
The Soul Reaver as it appears in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and subsequent games.
|Introduced in||Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (1996)|
|Obtained at|| The Heaven realm, Avernus Cathedral|
The Sarafan Stronghold (Nosgoth's early history)
The Hylden City (while battling the Sarafan Lord)
N/A (Kain begins with it)
|Parameters|| No combo attack|
Drains magic energy proportional to blood of killed enemies
Prevents use of magic
Deals damage on par with the Iron Sword if Kain has no magic energy
Always deals maximum damage
|Appearances||• • • • • •|
The Reaver, and, later, the Soul Reaver, is a weapon which has appeared in every title in the Legacy of Kain series. It is a flamberge-class sword with a broad, undulating serpentine blade, forged from unknown materials. Through most of the series, it is the signature weapon of the vampire Kain, and plays a key role in the games, as both the protagonists' ultimate weapon and a story element. In its physical manifestation, it can be wielded in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Soul Reaver 2, Blood Omen 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance also include the later, spiritual version of the sword - the Wraith Blade - as a weapon.
The Reaver was originally an enchanted sword, forged by Vorador at the ancient vampires' behest to destroy their prophesied adversary, the Hylden champion. It could drain its victims' blood, but was altered when it absorbed the soul of the time-traveling wraith Raziel. Hereafter, Raziel's spirit inhabited the blade, and it obtained the ability to devour the souls of those it struck. Much later in Nosgoth's history, when Kain attacked Raziel with the physical blade, it proved unable to devour its younger self, and shattered, releasing Raziel's soul (the Wraith Blade). The sword's passage through time is a complicated one, and its existence has been, and will be, entwined with Raziel's for all infinity within the Nosgoth universe.
The Soul Reaver possessed many unique qualities beyond its originally-intended purpose. As it acted as a vessel for Raziel's soul, it could be used to decouple history, creating paradoxes and new timelines if brought into proximity with Raziel or another version of itself. Its power could only be temporarily quelled by an artifact known as the Nexus Stone, and it could be enhanced with magical powers by the Balance Emblem. Most importantly, the physical Soul Reaver was the only weapon in Nosgoth capable of harming the Elder God, damaging him in both the Material and Spectral Realms. Thus, it was a vital component in Kain's ambition to destroy the Elder and restore the land.
- 1 Role
- 1.1 History
- 1.2 The Soul Reaver
- 1.3 The Wraith Blade
- 1.4 Usage in-game
- 1.5 Enhancements
- 1.6 Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
- 1.7 Soul Reaver 2
- 1.8 Legacy of Kain: Defiance
- 2 Background
- 3 Notes
- 4 Gallery
- 5 Appearances
- 6 See also
- 7 References
In the Blood Omen era, during his journey to kill the corrupt Pillar Guardians of the Circle of Nine and restore the Pillars of Nosgoth, the fledgling vampire Kain traveled to Avernus on his quest to cleanse the Pillar of Dimension, advised only that he would need to "rise, [and] fall, and find [his] salvation in between".[BO1-C7][BO1-C8] Once Kain entered Avernus Cathedral, he found that it touched upon different "dimensions", with a Heaven realm and a Hell realm creeping into the usual reality it had been built in. Negotiating the hazards of the building, Kain was able to "rise" into the Heaven realm, where he discovered and claimed the Soul Reaver, a "prize" caressed in the arms of an angelic statue.[BO1-C8][BO2-C5]
Kain recognized this fabled soul-devouring weapon, whose origin had "been lost long ago". He deemed it his "kindred", thoroughly unaware just how true his remark would prove. Azimuth, the Dimension Guardian, noted his discovery with surprise, having been unaware that the Soul Reaver was hidden in her Cathedral. The newfound blade was greatly effective in the battle against her; a single strike was enough to kill her.[BO1-C8] On his exit from the Cathedral, Kain found another artifact - a time-streaming device - and, investigating the manipulations of the Time Guardian Moebius, he later found himself embroiled in the Battle of the Last Stand between the legions of the Nemesis and Willendorf's Army of the Last Hope.[BO1-C8][BO1-C9]
As the Army of Hope was defeated, the time streaming device activated, and propelled Kain nearly fifty years into the past - the pre-Blood Omen era.[BO1-C9][BO1-C10] Seizing a chance to alter the fate of Nosgoth, Kain traveled to the stronghold of William the Just to eliminate the boy-king William, who would one day become the tyrannical Nemesis and threaten the land. Kain overheard a conversation between Moebius and William, in which the Time Streamer provided William with the Soul Reaver of that earlier time period. Kain confronted William in battle, and, as arranged by Moebius, both were armed with incarnations of the blade. The presence of two Soul Reavers created a Reaver-convergence, enabling William to be killed and history to be changed.[BO1-C10][SR2-C5] William's earlier incarnation of the blade was broken in two in the fight.[BO1-C10][SR2-C1]
- "The Soul Reaver, Kain's ancient blade – older than any of us, and a thousand times more deadly.
The legends claimed that the blade was possessed, and thrived by devouring the souls of its victims.
For all our bravado, we knew what it meant when Kain drew the Soul Reaver in anger – it meant you were dead."
- ―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]
Kain, still ignorant of the Soul Reaver's true power and the implications of his actions, returned to the Blood Omen era to find that his murder of William had sparked a genocidal hatred of vampires amongst Nosgoth's human population.[BO1-C10][SR2-C5][BO1-C11] Moebius had taken advantage of this, creating a mercenary army that had decimated the vampire race.[SR2-C5][BO1-C11] Though he was able to defeat and kill Moebius, and continued his quest, the Time Streamer's manipulations had left him the last surviving vampire in Nosgoth.[BO1-C11][BO1-C12][SR2-C2] After he discovered he was the Balance Guardian, and refused to sacrifice himself to restore the Pillars and Nosgoth, Kain retained possession of the soul-devouring blade, adopting it as his weapon of choice.[BO1-C12][SR1]
The Soul Reaver remained in Kain's hands for many centuries after the collapse of the Pillars, as he subjugated humanity and raised his vampire lieutenants.[SR1-C1] While he built his empire alongside his sons, the "ancient blade"'s already-fearsome reputation was compounded further; even the Council feared it above all else, appreciating that if Kain drew it against any foe, their death was imminent.[SR1-C4] When Kain's firstborn lieutenant, Raziel, revealed his newly-pupated wings to the Council at the Sanctuary of the Clans, the sword sat cradled next to his throne.[SR1-C1] After Raziel's subsequent execution in the Abyss, Kain held it until Raziel returned, revived by the Elder God as a wraith, five centuries later.[SR1-C4]
Bent on revenge, Raziel soon infiltrated the Sanctuary of the Clans, where he found Kain waiting, armed with the Soul Reaver. Raziel feared the sword's power, but fought Kain, and, after a short battle, Kain raised it against him, preparing to attack.[SR1-C4] "The ancient blade, believed to be indestructible, shattered when Kain attempted to strike Raziel down. The soul-devouring sentience captive in the blade was thus released, and binding itself to Raziel as a wraith-blade, became his symbiotic weapon". Incredibly, "Kain seemed not stunned, but strangely satisfied with this shocking outcome".[SR1-C1] Raziel wielded the Wraith Blade throughout the Soul Reaver era, but had barely begun to understand its significance - to his own future and all of Nosgoth's.[SR1]
- "And here I discovered the source of the displacement – the Soul Reaver itself, laid out like a holy relic... And broken, apparently in the battle between William and Kain.
I had not thought such a thing was possible...
Until, of course, Kain shattered the blade against me when he tried to strike me down.
Thus the captive spirit inhabiting the Reaver was released – and binding itself to me, became my symbiotic weapon."
- ―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]
Raziel pursued Kain back in time through a portal to the pre-Blood Omen era, still armed with the Wraith Blade.[SR1-10][SR2-C0] Initially, he attempted to use the blade to threaten Moebius after his arrival in the Sarafan Stronghold, but Moebius's Staff temporarily disabled it. Left alone in the Stronghold, Raziel found his way to the Sanctuary and William's chapel: William's body had been interred here, twenty years after Kain killed him, and the two halves of his broken Soul Reaver were splayed out on his sarcophagus. A "strange sensation" of "vertigo" and "displacement" crept over Raziel as he approached the chapel; it seemed as if "reality itself appeared to warp and bend", with the sense of dislocation intensifying as he came closer to the Soul Reaver.[SR2-C1]
Here, as Raziel curiously examined it, the Wraith Blade involuntarily "snaked down the length of the physical blade". Though damaged, the "corporeal shell" was still inhabited by the captive, soul-devouring spirit - the Wraith Blade's "mirror self". As the Wraith Blade embraced the Soul Reaver, it took parasitic control of Raziel's actions, and he "felt [his] soul being leeched to restore the blade". Soul energy passed down his arm and into the sword, drawing the two halves of the Soul Reaver together; they were "instantly re-fused". Raziel confronted Moebius with the conjoined swords, but soon relented, discarding the corporeal Soul Reaver in the Sanctuary and continuing on his journey.[SR2-C1]
While exploring the area beyond the Pillars, Raziel found a large sealed door depicting the Reaver and an ancient vampire. Using the Wraith Blade, he unlocked the door, and followed the passage to a Subterranean Pillars Chamber. Murals within were inscribed with images of the Reaver, revered as a holy weapon by this long-dead civilization.[SR2-C2] In the Swamp, Raziel found the Dark Forge, one of a series of ancient vampire shrines engineered to enhance the Soul Reaver with elemental powers.[SR2-C5][SR2-C3][SR2-C4][SR2-C8] On his exit from the Forge, he encountered Vorador, who suggested he track down Janos Audron - the last of the ancient vampires, whom he referred to as the "Reaver Guardian".[SR2-C3]
- "This one reckless act unravels the skein of history.
The Nemesis never becomes the Nemesis; William dies a martyred saint. I, the vampire assassin, become the author of my own species' extinction. And Moebius profits from it all.
I destroyed a tyrant only to create one far worse.
But how can it be so? How, if history is immutable?
The answer is here in this room, Raziel.
Moebius propelled William and me together – but ensured first that we were both armed with the Soul Reaver.
The Reaver is the key.
Two incarnations of the blade meet in time and space – a paradox is created, a temporal distortion powerful enough to derail history."
- ―Kain — Listen (file info)[src]
After forging the Wraith Blade to obtain the Light Reaver, Raziel was able to re-enter the Sarafan Stronghold and return to William's chapel, where he met Kain.[SR2-C5][SR2-C4] Kain elucidated on the nature of free will and destiny, explaining the Reaver-convergence effect created when Raziel's Wraith Blade came into contact with the Soul Reaver. He had long since deduced that only while in the proximity of two Soul Reavers had he been able him to slay William and alter history: "the Reaver is the key", he uttered. Moebius had masterminded that particular paradox, but now Kain sought to trigger one of his own.[SR2-C5]
Amidst the temporal distortions, Kain seized the healed Soul Reaver, back at its resting place on William's casket, and presented it to Raziel: now Raziel "[held] all the cards". History dictated that he would kill Kain here, but Raziel had the opportunity to defy his destiny and spare his former master. He tested Kain's sincerity by holding the blade to his throat, but the time-stream suddenly took hold, the pull of history compelling the Soul Reaver to strike Kain. At Kain's urging, Raziel gripped it and resisted its influence, trying to divert its course.[SR2-C5]
The Soul Reaver smashed downwards and cleaved William's casket in two, narrowly avoiding Kain. History was changed, and visibly reshuffled before their eyes, the distortions in the room beginning to subside. Disdainful of Kain's future schemes and ambitions, Raziel departed, leaving the Soul Reaver embedded in the sarcophagus. Kain congratulated Raziel for sparing him, and simply told the wraith that his "truths [were] for [him] to discover alone" - that "there [was] much more for [him] to unearth, if [he had] the heart for the truth and the will to see it". He knew the Soul Reaver's deeper secret - the nature of its very origins - but divulged nothing as Raziel walked away.[SR2-C5]
- "The most formidable weapon ever forged by our swordsmiths...
They infused the blade with vampiric energy, empowering the Reaver to drain our enemies of their precious lifeblood."
- ―Janos Audron[src]
Rewrite to be completed
The Reaver was forged in Nosgoth's ancient past by the Human swordsmith Vorador,[DEF-C6] at the behest of Janos Audron [DEF-C8](as a reward for this action, Vorador would become the first 'turned' Vampire). After its forging, Janos endowed the Reaver with the power to drain its victims of their blood,[SR2-C8] as well as to transform using the energies of the elemental fonts. At that point, the sword was known as "The Reaver", (though some fans have taken to calling the blade the "Blood Reaver" after its vampiric abilities). At the time of the binding, when the first Guardians were called to serve the Pillars of Nosgoth; Janos was also called as a 'tenth guardian' to serve as guardian of the Reaver blade, keeping the sword (explicitly the weapon of the vampires' salvation) safe until the Vampire champion of prophecy came to claim it.[SR2-C8]
Centuries later at the time of the human Sarafan crusades against the Vampires, the Sarafan Inquisitors Raziel, Turel, Dumah, Zephon and Melchiah stormed Janos' Retreat,[SR2-C8] where they murdered Janos and stole the Reaver blade. The Wraith Raziel, who had traveled back in time from the future and spoken with Janos, sought to avenge Janos and chased the Sarafan down to the Sarafan Stronghold.[SR2-C9] After a confrontation with Moebius and Malek, Raziel was able to reclaim the Reaver and with his Wraith Blade disabled by Moebius' Staff, Raziel was left with the Reaver as his only choice of weapon.[SR2-C9] As the Vampire Champion of prophecy, the Reaver bound itself to Raziel making him invincible and unable to drop the blade; and when Raziel was confronted by the Sarafan Inquisitors he was easily able to dispatch them[SR2-C9], including his former human self[SR2-C10].
But as the human Raziel died, the Wraith Blade manifested and turned the Reaver on Raziel, absorbing him into the blade and temporarily creating the Soul devouring Soul Reaver blade. However, with interference from the time traveling Kain a Soul Reaver paradox was created, with Raziel's fate postponed and a new timeline of history created.[SR2-C10]
With Raziel lost to the Spectral Realm, Kain collected the vacant Reaver blade and kept possession of it as he investigated Nosgoth's early history in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. During his search throughout Nosgoth for the answers to his destiny and the whereabouts of Raziel, Kain found fragments of the Balance Emblem to augment the powers of the Reaver and when completed, the Balance Emblem consisted of the Balance Hub [DEF-C1] along with the Flame,[DEF-C3] Dimension,[DEF-C5] Lightning,[DEF-C7] and Time fragments;[DEF-C9] which each allowed a specific enhancement for the blade based upon the Pillars of Nosgoth. During the events of Defiance, Kain was able to use the completed Balance Emblem to enter the inner sanctum of the Vampire Citadel; where the "Oracle of the Ancient Vampires" (the Elder God) sent him forwards in time to the Blood Omen era to prevent Raziel's attempts to restore Janos Audron.[DEF-C9]
When the two met at Avernus Cathedral (at this time believing themselves to be opposing champions of prophecy), they were both armed with their respective versions of the blade and with the Hylden fueling Raziel's rage (and with Raziel once again narrowly averting being absorbed by the vacant Reaver blade), Kain was defeated and apparently killed by Raziel, having his heart ripped out and being blasted into the Demon Realm[DEF-C11]. But Kain was able to survive and brought the Reaver back with him into the Material Realm and feeling the pull of the Spirit Forge activated by Raziel, returned to the Vampire Citadel where Kain killed a resurrected Moebius and Raziel sacrificed himself to create the Soul Reaver; whilst simultaneously healing Kain of his corruption and enabling him to see the Elder God ("the true enemy")[DEF-C13].
Raziel was then drawn into the blade, transforming it into a soul-devouring weapon. Hereafter the blade was known as the Soul Reaver. After a short battle demonstrating the effectiveness of the Soul Reaver against the Elder God (see also Elder God (boss)), Kain retired with the newly created Soul Reaver blade.[DEF-C13] The exact chronology of the blade following this point is uncertain (see Notes).
The Soul Reaver
The Sarafan Lord
For two centuries following the Collapse of the Pillars of Nosgoth, Kain would retain possession of the Soul Reaver and he would be wield the blade throughout the rise of his vampire army and its conflict with the new Sarafan Order. Kain would wield the blade into the battle of Meridian,[BO2-C1] unaware that the Sarafan Lord had in his possession the Nexus Stone, an artifact that was able to negate the power of the Soul Reaver.[BO2-C5] With Kain unable to use the power of the blade, he was defeated and apparently killed by the Sarafan Lord who took the Reaver and began his own conquest of Nosgoth.[BO2][BO2-C1]
When Kain returned two centuries later, killing the Sarafan Lord and regaining control of Nosgoth were his main objectives, but he remained unaware of the whereabouts of the Soul Reaver for some time. After Kain infiltrated the Sarafan Keep to rescue Umah (in Chapter 5) he was confronted by the Sarafan Lord, who was armed with the Soul Reaver.[BO2-C5] Umah was able to Teleport both vampires to Sanctuary before the Sarafan Lord struck,[BO2-C5] but the revelation that the Sarafan Lord had possession of the Soul Reaver deepened Kain's resolve to kill and overthrow the Sarafan Lord.[BO2-C5]
The Sarafan Lord would again be armed with the blade when he interrupted Kain's meeting with the Seer at her cottage (where the Sarafan Lord also demonstrated his ability to use Reaver Bolts).[BO2-C7] When Kain travelled to the Hylden City, he was confronted by the Sarafan Lord with the Reaver and with Kain now in possession of the Nexus Stone, their roles from the battle of Meridian were reversed and the Sarafan Lord was unable to harm Kain with the Reaver.[BO2-C11]
The Sarafan Lord briefly retreated, reappearing shortly afterward with the Reaver, to fire Reaver Bolts at Janos and Vorador shortly after they teleported to the Hylden City. Kain finally confronted the Sarafan Lord above the Hylden Gate and in the initial phases the Sarafan Lord fired Reaver Bolts at Kain, switching to direct attacks with the Reaver when Kain used the Nexus Stone to collapse the Hylden Gate. Only in the final phase of the battle was Kain able to regain use the Soul Reaver, after interference from Janos[BO2-C11]. (it was however possible to access the Soul Reaver earlier using several methods - see 'Notes' below[BO2].). With Kain armed with the legendary blade once again, the Sarafan Lord was defeated and killed along with the remaining Hylden in Nosgoth.[BO2-C11]
The Wraith Blade
See Also Main Article : Wraith Blade
Soul Reaver 2
In Nosgoth's early history, Raziel infiltrated Janos' retreat and met the ancient vampire who attempted to give Raziel the original blood-devouring Reaver blade; but their meeting was interrupted by the Sarafan Inquisitors armed with Moebius' staff and Raziel was teleported to the nearby Fire Forge as the Inquisitors battled Janos.[SR2-C8] Imbuing the Fire Reaver, Raziel was able to return to the battle but was powerless to prevent the Sarafan killing Janos and taking the Heart of Darkness and the physical Reaver blade.[SR2-C9] Seeking revenge, Raziel returned to the Sarafan Stronghold and when the wraith blade's power was nullified by Moebius, Raziel used the (Blood) Reaver[SR2-C9] to kill the Sarafan Inquisitors[SR2-C9], including his human self.[SR2-C10][SR2-C10] Afterward, the wraith blade, which had acted as his symbiotic weapon left Raziel, entering the physical Reaver and then impaled him, absorbing his soul and creating the legendary Soul Reaver blade. However Kain saved Raziel from the reaver, taking advantage of a soul reaver paradox to change history and temporarily spare Raziel from his imprisonment within the blade; though as Raziel would quickly learn, the presence of the wraith blade in the Spectral Realm confirmed that Kain had only postponed Raziel's fate.[SR2-C10]
Legacy of Kain: Defiance
Raziel continued to use the wraith blade in the Blood Omen era seen in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, now aware that it was in actuality a future version of his own soul; and parallel to Kain's search for augmentations for the physical (Blood) Reaver, Raziel also advanced his own wraith version by entering ancient spiritual forges and imbuing more permanent elemental enhancements. At each forge entrance, Raziel would be Teleported by a Warp Gate to sealed forge chambers within the Vampire Citadel, where he would be able to imbue the Reaver by allowing the wraith blade to consume the souls of the original ancient vampire pillars guardians. Forging the wraith blade with the Dark,[DEF-C4] Light,[DEF-C4] Fire,[DEF-C6] Air,[DEF-C6] Water[DEF-C8] and Earth,[DEF-C10] Raziel slowly discovered the ancient prophecy of the champion's battle and convinced once again that Janos held the key to Raziel's destiny, Raziel headed to Avernus to seek out the Heart of Darkness, where Raziel discovered that it had been hidden inside Kain. As Raziel left Avernus Cathedral, Kain entered the building armed with the physical Reaver; with the two believing that they were the opposing champions of ancient prophecy, they fought and Raziel was able to defeat Kain, recovering the Heart of Darkness.[DEF-C11]
After Raziel revived Janos, Janos gave Raziel access to the final ancient enhancement at theSpirit Forge, locked deep within the ancient Vampire Citadel. All six acquired elements of the sword were required to open the means of imbuing the final transformation and as the other elemental forges had their energies guarded by their original Pillar guardians, the Spirit Forge was operated by every balance guardian (represented by Ariel). After activating the forge and releasing Ariel, the final baptism of the blade cleansed the sword, gaining Raziel the powerful Spirit Reaver and giving Raziel a cryptic hint that he must "unite that which has been set asunder" for the Scion of Balance.[DEF-C12] Shortly afterward Raziel wielded the Spirit Reaver against the Hylden Lord when he possessed Janos at the Collapse of the Pillars, but was unable to prevent the Hylden Lord's escape. At the climax of Defiance, Kain was revived and returned to the Spirit Forge where Raziel tricked Kain into impaling him with the Reaver creating the Soul Reaver, but also dispersing the Spirit Reaver into Kain; healing his physical injuries, cleansing him of the corruption and enabling Kain to see the "true enemy", the Elder God (as well as freeing Raziel from centuries of imprisonment).[DEF-C13]
The Soul Reaver first appeared as a weapon in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, where the fledgling Kain found the Reaver for the first time in the depths of Avernus Cathedral. In that game, the Reaver was a two-handed weapon, meaning that whilst wielding it, Kain was unable to cast any spells or use any items. The Reaver was incredibly powerful in game and when fully charged, it could kill (non-boss) enemies in a single strike but also drained Kain's magical energy and was only as powerful as his Iron Sword when his magical energy was fully depleted. Though the plot implications of the Soul Reavers usage were only discussed in later games, it is necessary to use it to kill both Azimuth and William in their boss battles.
The Soul Reaver blade returned in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver where the blade was observed in the opening cutscene and during Raziel's confrontation with Kain at the Sanctuary of the Clans. After the destruction of the physical blade in that battle, Raziel gained a version of the blade as his symbiotic weapon, the Wraith Blade. The Wraith Blade, much like the physical Soul Reaver in Blood Omen, was the most powerful weapon in the game and was able to dispatch most enemies with a small number of strikes and a finishing move (Spears were the only other weapon that allowed the use of a finishing move).Once gained, the Wraith Blade could be used at any time in the Spectral Realm, though it could be used in the Material Realm only when Raziel's Health coil was completely filled. Once manifest in the Material Realm it would sustain Raziel's form, preventing the usual drain on his health, however a single strike from an enemy would disperse the blade until Raziel topped up his Soul Spiral.[SR1-C4] After Raziel gained the Telekinetic force projectile, he was able to use the Wraith Blade to fire Reaver bolts and the Wraith Blade could also (optionally) be upgraded with the Fire Reaver enhancement.
Raziel's use of the Wraith Blade continued into Soul Reaver 2 with much of the same game mechanics asits predecessor(though Raziel did not initially have the Fire Reaver). After Raziel's first meeting with the physical Soul Reaver blade the Wraith Blade was 'upgraded', allowing Raziel to summon it at will, regardless of his health; this had a cost however, as using the Wraith Blade quickly filled the Reaver bar 'over-arousing' the Reaver and causing it to turn it's hunger on Raziel. Throughout the game Raziel was able to imbue the Reaver with various enhancements (Dark,Light, Air and Fire) and in the final stages Raziel gained the physical (Blood) Reaver which along with being the most supposed most powerful weapon in the game (it could only be tested on the elite Sarafan Inquisitors) also temporarily made him invincible.
In Blood Omen 2 the Soul Reaver was stolen from Kain by the Sarafan Lord  and it would be seen throughout the game in the hands of the Sarafan Lord, though in the storyline it could only be used by Kain in the final boss battle against the Sarafan Lord. The Soul Reaver could be unlocked earlier by using cheats or other methods such as Bonus mode - upon starting a new game, Kain would be attired in the Iron Armor and armed with the Soul Reaver (this combination is also visible in the first cutscene at the intro which glazes over the Collapse of the Pillars of Nosgoth) when used, the Reaver was immensely powerful allowing Kain to easily defeat all non-boss enemies with approximately three slashes. The Reaver's moveset made it effectively a Long swords variant; with the same combinations, pommel/impale grabs (the power of the impale grab upgrades it to 'instant kill' status) and Fury strikes. As with the other 'instant kill' weapons, the Reaver's Stealth Kills were a decapitation and jumping downward smash (an upgrade over long sword variants simple downward smah). Unlike other weapons, Kain was unable to drop the Reaver and it was unbreakable.
In Legacy of Kain: Defiance, both Raziel and Kain were armed with different versions of the Reaver as their only weapon (Raziel armed with the Wraith Blade and Kain with the physical 'Blood' Reaver blade). As the only weapon available, the Reaver was a vital part of combat technique, with both Raziel and Kain able to Feed The Reaver, thereby filling Reaver charge, which enabled the use of Charged attacks and Reaver spells (see also Combat (Defiance)). The Reaver could also be upgraded with several enhancements (with Dark, Light, Fire, Air, Water, Earth and Spirit for Raziel; andBalance, Flame, Dimension, Lightning and Time for Kain) which could be imbued by forging the blade in a particular forge within the Vampire Citadel, or by collecting fragments of the Balance Emblem. Each collected enhancement had specific applications for combat or puzzles and these often changed the Charged Attacks and Reaver Spells. In the final part of the game, Raziel's sacrifice created the final enhancement; the Soul Reaver blade, supposedly the most powerful weapon in the game (though as in other games; it can only be used in the final boss battle).
Throughout Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance it has been possible for Raziel and Kain to imbue the Reaver with a series of different 'elemental' enhancements; most were cut from the Soul Reaver but in successive games, more of the planned Reaver list was completed .
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Though only the Fire Reaver made it into the finished game a series of other Reaver enhancements (related to the methods of killing vampires in that game) were planned but cut before release. Each enhancement would have been gained from small specialized forge (like the Fire Forge in the finished release) and once enhanced the elemental affinity could be regained by exposing the Reaver to the appropriate element.
Soul Reaver Reavers
- Spectral Reaver (unmentioned)
- Material Reaver (unmentioned)
- Fire Reaver
- Water Reaver (cut from final game)
- Stone Reaver (cut from final game)
- Sound Reaver (cut from final game)
- Sunlight Reaver (cut from final game)
- Spirit Reaver(cut from final game)
- Ariel Reaver (cut from final game)
- Amplified Reaver (cut from final game)
Soul Reaver 2
The enhancements included for Soul Reaver 2 were based on more traditional elements than those used in Soul Reaver. As before each enhancement had a (large and complicated) individual forge that could be used to imbue the enhancement and once forged, the element could be re-imbued at Reaver Fonts throughout Nosgoth. Once again several Reaver enhancements were planned but not included in the final game, with their respective forges removed (though ruins of the Spirit Forge remain)
Soul Reaver 2 Reavers
- Spectral Reaver (unmentioned)
- Material Reaver (unmentioned)
- Dark Reaver
- Light Reaver
- Air Reaver
- Fire Reaver
- Water Reaver (cut from final game)
- Earth Reaver (cut from final game)
- Spirit Reaver (cut from final game)
Legacy of Kain: Defiance
In Defiance the Reavers list from previous games was finally completed, along with a set of new Reaver enhancements for Kain. Each was imbued at a specific forge in the Vampire Citadel (in the case of Raziel) or by collecting fragments of the Balance Emblem (in the case of Kain) and once forged could be selected again at any time. As in previous games several Reaver enhancements were planned but not included in the final release.
Defiance Reavers: Raziel
- Spectral Reaver (default Spectral Realm manifestation)
- Material Reaver (default Material Realm manifestation)
- Light Reaver (blinds enemies, operates crystal oriented devices)
- Dark Reaver (makes Raziel invisible, can create matter from darkness)
- Fire Reaver (burns enemies)
- Air Reaver (launches shockwave)
- Water Reaver (can turn water into ice and vice-versa)
- Earth Reaver (grants Raziel control over his own weight, used to create earth brigdes)
- Spirit Reaver (the only Reaver attuned to the Balance element, can also manifest in the spectral realm)
Defiance Reavers: Kain (Balance Emblem)
- Balance Emblem - A blast that damages surrounding enemies and strengthens its wielder
- Flame - Deals Fire Damage to attacked foes and causes its enemies to attack each other (also enhance Kain's own pyrokinesis)
- Dimension - allows the wielder to move at the speed of light and make clones of themselves. Also allows the wielder to disperse damage done to one of the enemies in the area.
- Lightning - allows its wielder to manipulate lightning
- Time - all enemies are slowed down drastically
- The Soul Reaver - obtained at the final battle with the Elder God.
- Mind (cut from final game)
- Nature (cut from final game)
- States (cut from final game)
- Death (cut from final game)
- The Reaver has many gaps in its chronology. It is currently not definitively known what happened to the blade following the creation of the Soul Reaver at the climax of Defiance; original plot outlines for Defiance contained a scene (which was ultimately cut) which featured Kain returning the Soul Reaver to Avernus, apparently for his younger self to find, though it is unclear how this scene would have fit in with the known chronology of the blade. Daniel Cabuco instead suggested that the Reaver was intended to be returned to "the base of the Pillars so William the Just could find it" - with this action presumably allowing William to come into possession of the blade and wield it against the younger Kain in the Pre-Blood Omen era in Blood Omen, thus triggering the First paradox. Other notable gaps surround the Soul Reaver blade used by William against Kain; with it unresolved how William came into possession of the Reaver (though the influence of Moebius may be implied), and the path of the blade after its restoration and abandonment by Raziel (following the Second paradox) later in the Pre-Blood Omen era in Soul Reaver 2 also unclear; though it may be required to make its way to Avernus Cathedral by the Blood Omen era for the fledgling Kain to acquire originally.
- The Soul Reaver is illustrated in all of the Legacy of Kain comics[SR1-Comic][DEF-Comic], appearing in all of its forms in the Legacy of Kain: Defiance comic[DEF-Comic].
- The Soul Reaver in Blood Omen:Legacy of Kain depletes Kain's Magic energy and is only effective when Kain has an appropriate amount of Magic Energy[BO1]. In later games The Soul Reaver's dependence on 'magic' is dropped, though this may be because Magic Energy itself is not seen again in the series. Arguably Defiance's Reaver spells and Charged attacks can be seen as developments of this concept[DEF].
- In Blood Omen, the Soul Reaver makes a distinctive 'screaming' sound[BO1]. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver gave the Wraith Blade a Light Saber-like 'Swoosh' sound effect (perhaps as homage to the Star Wars Franchise)[SR1]. Throughout Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance the tone and pitch of the 'swoosh' varied with the various Elemental Reavers[SR1][SR2][DEF]. When Raziel finally acquired the Spirit Reaver in Defiance, the sound effect has graduated to once again become a 'scream' reminiscent of the sound effect in Blood Omen.[DEF]
- The Soul Reaver is also available in the video game Tomb Raider: Legend. The weapon is available through a cheat code only accessible after 100% completion of the game.
- Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain
- Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver comic
- Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
- Soul Reaver 2
- Blood Omen 2
- Legacy of Kain: Defiance comic
- Legacy of Kain: Defiance
- Wraith Blade
- Blood Omen Weapons and Armor at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn).
- Defiance - Kain's Reavers at Dark Chronicle (by Maire Walter).
- Soul Reaver 2: Background Story at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain miscellaneous dialogue. Silicon Knights. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. (Crystal Dynamics). PlayStation. (November 1, 1996)
- Miscellaneous Questions & Answers at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver manual (US version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (August 16, 1999) Download.
- SR2 Air Forge and Defiance Forges at DCabDesign (by The Hylden), post #3 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- Blood Omen 2 manual (UK version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (March 19, 2002) Download.
- Blood Omen 2 manual (US version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). XBox. (March 19, 2002) Download.
- Prima Games / Mark Androvich. Prima's Official Blood Omen 2 Guide. (2002)
- Raziel "I plunged the Reaver into that furnace, and forged the blade with elemental Fire. With the Reaver thus imbued, I was now armed to unlock the elemental barrier, and rescue Janos from his executioners." Crystal Dynamics. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (October 31, 2001) Transcript.
- Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain manual. Silicon Knights. (Crystal Dynamics). Playstation. (November 1, 1996) Download.
- Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain manual. Silicon Knights. (Crystal Dynamics). PC. (November 1, 1996) Download.
- Weapons: The Soul Reaver Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Blood Omen:Legacy of Kain. Silicon Knights (Eidos Interactive). (1996) Official Silicon Knights Blood Omen Guide - Items, Spells and Forms.
- Prima Games / Ian Osborne. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain: Official Game Secrets. (1996)
- Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver manual (UK version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (August 16, 1999) Download.
- Prima Games / Mel Odom. Prima's Official Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Guide. (1999)
- Soul Reaver 2 manual. Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (October 31, 2001) Download.
- Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
- Legacy of Kain: Defiance manual. Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). PC (November 11, 2003) Download.
- Prima Games / JDP and Gerald Guess. Prima's Official Legacy of Kain: Defiance Guide. (2003)
- SR1 The Elemental Reavers at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- SR1 - The Ariel Reaver at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- SR1 - The Amplified Reaver at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- SR2 Deleted Elemental Reavers at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- Defiance Deleted Reaver Upgrades Page at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- Placing the Soul Reaver in Avernus Page at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- Soul Reaver 2 questions at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- Das Offizielle Lösungsbuch - Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. (Eidos Interactive).