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A few questions

I'll answer as best I can. I can illuminate the past, my friends.

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A few questions

Postby Divine Shadow » Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:41 pm

Hello Daniel. I am a long-term Legacy of Kain fan whose love for these games started as soon as I played Soul Reaver. Your designs were unlike anything I'd seen in a game, and really stuck with me. A decade later, and I'm still writing about the series. Thanks.

I have a few questions:

(1) A touch I always adored in Kain's design was the presence of Vorador's signet ring from Blood Omen - used as an earring. Can I ask, what other influences from Blood Omen if any inspired the designs in the Soul Reaver games?

(2) Were there any characters that you designed that did not make it into the final games? As I'm sure you are aware, there has been a persistent interest in excised content, so if you could add any insight it would be much appreciated.

(3) Did you have any idea of the form that the Razielim, or Raziel's evolution would have taken? The same question could also be asked of Dumah's final form, before his impalement and suspended evolution.

(4) We know that Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy was a brief, cancelled project that took place after Defiance. If you are unable to comment on this question then I fully understand, but do you know if any of your designs were being used in this abandoned project, or were you given any insight into the direction the series was going to go after your fantastic work on Defiance?

(5) The Glyph Forges have always awed me, the statues, carvings, locations, all hint that each has its own untold backstory. The giant blacksmith statue (?) for example, and the murals of tentacled creatures hinted at some lost history. Did you invent any history for these locations, or in any of your other designs, that are not explicit in the final release?

(6) What differences were there between the design of Turel that would have appeared in Soul Reaver, and his imposing appearance in Defiance?

Many thanks for offering to answer these, its exciting to be able to ask!
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Re: A few questions

Postby Daniel Cabuco » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:28 pm

Hi Shadow!

Thank you so much for your interest in all thinks LOK and SR. It's great to see you're writing about the series. Wow there are a lot of questions here. I hope I can remember enough in one sitting to give you all the information you're asking for. (I might follow up this post with 'Oh yeah, I forgot..' or ' And one more thing..')

1) When I joined the SR team I was very keen on bringing as much over from Blood Omen that I could that would pay homage to the original, but raise the bar on it too. The way Kain originally died, via sword impalement, was something I wanted to keep (thus the giant scar on his chest). There was stained glass in the chapel that had Vorador with a sword on his head, too. I am sure there were more than a more things as well, but right now I can't think of it.. You saw the Armor design for William the conqueror (where I explained his red and black horned armor, which looked pretty evil in the original, was adjusted to look more like a rose and thorns).

2) The Priestess, several vampire Hunter types, Demon designs, and vampire variants were all thrown out due to time or just plain not liking the design. I even tried to make a modular demon design so we could swap in parts and make different mix-and-match demons. :P That idea didn't last long. I tried some Sluagh variants and Vampire Wraith designs too.. and some Spectral creatures that nested in and around the Elder God. I have them all on a hard drive or CD.. somewhere.

3) I get this question a lot, and given the wing design on Raziel, I always thought either a giant bat creature or dragon/bat creature would be his evolution. An artist on Deviant Art, named Emilee made a cool drawing: http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=&secti ... e#/d4lnmmo That I found inspirational. I may try my own take on Raziel's devolved form just for kicks. So yeah.. bat dragon.. thingee. Dumah's would have been more Oni/Rhino/Juggernaught like. The armor would have been fused into his being and bony blades would have been popping out backwards from his wrists in a fan shape. I know there's an awesome drawing in there... let me thow on the headphones with 'Two Steps from Hell' and start sketching. LOL

4) Ritual did a great job trying to make Dark Prophecy into a Kain game. They flew myself, Richard Lemarchand, and Jen Fernandez in as consultants. I really liked working with these guys. Ultimately it's hard to know exactly why it didn't go forward.. politics, economics, or what have you. They did take the art style into a more 'heavy metal' direction, with I tried to steer them away from when it came to the original SR time. It was more City of Lost Children/Lost Steampunk kind of a look. Much of the game would have taken place in the Hylden Realm anyway, so their style worked really well for that.
5) The glyph forges were meant to be mysterious and give fans a lot to think about, and discuss in forums. I don't want to nail down that one particular thing meant, but I did want imagery that would spark the imagination and get people into the fiction of the world. Amy was explicit about the meaning of the murals, but left the rest to us. We all had a ball creating things like heart pulling spears, Boba straws of death, or soul devouring weapons. It all seemed to fit the technology of the Ancient Vampires.
6) Turel would have been more upright, like a huge version of the original Turelheim. Peeled back skin, merged into bone, part becoming exoskeletal armor or thick skin, other parts bony and malformed. He would have been Dumah sized, I think. But that's really speculation because we never got to his level. CD was like 'enough! get the game out the door already!' LOL
Thanks for the great questions.If anything more comes to mind I'll post it here. :)

Daniel
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Re: A few questions

Postby Divine Shadow » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:36 pm

Daniel Cabuco wrote:Hi Shadow!

Thank you so much for your interest in all thinks LOK and SR. It's great to see you're writing about the series. Wow there are a lot of questions here. I hope I can remember enough in one sitting to give you all the information you're asking for. (I might follow up this post with 'Oh yeah, I forgot..' or ' And one more thing..')


Thanks! Any information is very much appreciated - I have learned quite a lot your your response upon reading it, and any extra insight is considerably appreciated!

Daniel Cabuco wrote:1) When I joined the SR team I was very keen on bringing as much over from Blood Omen that I could that would pay homage to the original, but raise the bar on it too. The way Kain originally died, via sword impalement, was something I wanted to keep (thus the giant scar on his chest). There was stained glass in the chapel that had Vorador with a sword on his head, too. I am sure there were more than a more things as well, but right now I can't think of it.. You saw the Armor design for William the conqueror (where I explained his red and black horned armor, which looked pretty evil in the original, was adjusted to look more like a rose and thorns).


Yes, I remember the scar - and I thought the mural was likely Vorador, its good to have it confirmed! I remember reading the idea of using the roses with William's armour to help make him appear more innocent and divine - it was very clever and led to that beautiful mural!

Daniel Cabuco wrote:2) The Priestess, several vampire Hunter types, Demon designs, and vampire variants were all thrown out due to time or just plain not liking the design. I even tried to make a modular demon design so we could swap in parts and make different mix-and-match demons. :P That idea didn't last long. I tried some Sluagh variants and Vampire Wraith designs too.. and some Spectral creatures that nested in and around the Elder God. I have them all on a hard drive or CD.. somewhere.


Ha, I'm still impressed to this day with how ambitious Soul Reaver was. These creatures would be very interesting to see of course. I'm sure you are busy but if you ever choose to unearth that CD or hard drive, I'm pretty sure you'd get a heck of a lot of interest!

Daniel Cabuco wrote:3) I get this question a lot, and given the wing design on Raziel, I always thought either a giant bat creature or dragon/bat creature would be his evolution. An artist on Deviant Art, named Emilee made a cool drawing: http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=&secti ... e#/d4lnmmo That I found inspirational. I may try my own take on Raziel's devolved form just for kicks. So yeah.. bat dragon.. thingee. Dumah's would have been more Oni/Rhino/Juggernaught like. The armor would have been fused into his being and bony blades would have been popping out backwards from his wrists in a fan shape. I know there's an awesome drawing in there... let me thow on the headphones with 'Two Steps from Hell' and start sketching. LOL


Brilliant! That fanart is fantastic too - love the tail Raziel is given! I remember seeing a concept image for Kains "Beast Form" - do you remember this? If you do, was it an evolution stage for his own development, or some unused ability?

Daniel Cabuco wrote:4) Ritual did a great job trying to make Dark Prophecy into a Kain game. They flew myself, Richard Lemarchand, and Jen Fernandez in as consultants. I really liked working with these guys. Ultimately it's hard to know exactly why it didn't go forward.. politics, economics, or what have you. They did take the art style into a more 'heavy metal' direction, with I tried to steer them away from when it came to the original SR time. It was more City of Lost Children/Lost Steampunk kind of a look. Much of the game would have taken place in the Hylden Realm anyway, so their style worked really well for that.


This is very very insightful, and has confirmed things I did not know. I have done the most research into this sadly-absent game and wrote many thousands of words as guesswork - anything concrete is appreciated!

Daniel Cabuco wrote:5) The glyph forges were meant to be mysterious and give fans a lot to think about, and discuss in forums. I don't want to nail down that one particular thing meant, but I did want imagery that would spark the imagination and get people into the fiction of the world. Amy was explicit about the meaning of the murals, but left the rest to us. We all had a ball creating things like heart pulling spears, Boba straws of death, or soul devouring weapons. It all seemed to fit the technology of the Ancient Vampires.


That's really interesting - though the heart-pulling-spears and soul-devouring-weapons sound very much like the reaver forges of SR2, and not so much the glyph forges of SR1 - though the explanation you give of sparked imagination and mystery still certainly applies to them. I take it this confirms that the Glyph forges were of ancient vampire origin? I actually theorised that they were made by the Hylden - as tools for their saviour - and due to the naming connection with glyph magic in Blood Omen 2. It shared the symmetry of Raziel being both the Hylden and Ancient champion, using both sides upgrages (SR1 glyphs and SR2 reaver powers) in his quest. Looks like I may have been wrong!

Daniel Cabuco wrote:6) Turel would have been more upright, like a huge version of the original Turelheim. Peeled back skin, merged into bone, part becoming exoskeletal armor or thick skin, other parts bony and malformed. He would have been Dumah sized, I think. But that's really speculation because we never got to his level. CD was like 'enough! get the game out the door already!' LOL


Haha, yes in a way I'm glad things worked out the way they did because it was so fun seeing him rendered using the advanced PS2 tech, and a nice surprise for long-term players to find him in Azimuth's pit!


Daniel Cabuco wrote:Thanks for the great questions.If anything more comes to mind I'll post it here. :)

Daniel


Many many thanks again, this has been really interesting!
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Re: A few questions

Postby Liquid Yarullin » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:43 pm

Daniel, since you'be been discussin the Dark Prophecy in this thread, I have a question about it. One of the screens for this game clearly shows Raziel model. Do you know if Ritual planned to bring him back somehow (in my opinion, his return will ruin Defiance's great ending)?
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Re: A few questions

Postby Divine Shadow » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:06 pm

Just to ask also - I can't seem to send PMs on this forum, is this meant to be the case? I've sent an email to the email address given on dcabdesign.com, hope that's okay
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Re: A few questions

Postby Raina Audron » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:04 pm

Could you tell us what would Dark Prophecy be about? The only thing we got is the artwork and also some screenshots of Malek´s Bastion and theories about elder Kain turning off the Hylden machines installed there. Do you know if that is accurate? What would Kain do afterward? Would he fight the Hylden King and return to present(post SR1 era)? Thanks!

and I am also intrigued, just like Liquid Yarullin, was that model of Raziel in one of the screenshots just a test model or was there supposed to be a flashback of some sort in DP?
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Re: A few questions

Postby Daniel Cabuco » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:43 am

PM's should be working fine now Divine Shadow. Sorry if they weren't earlier.. I am a noob at Forums. Please bear with me.

Dark Prophecy.. hmm.. where to begin. It dealt more with Kain going to the Hylen realm, and kicking the ever living sh*t out of them, the Hylden Lord and Janos. (Kinda like how Liam Neeson did it to France in 'Taken') That's the 'once sentence elevator pitch' for marketing. A proposal was brought out that Kain should be able to 'summon' Raziel out of the blade during certain key points of the game. That was a proposal shot down by the Crystal delegation. The basic news we brought was that Soul Reaver was Raziel's story, and it ended with Defiance. After that it was all Kain. So with that basic premise laid out, we looked for ways to create the Hylden realm look and architecture, their technology and sorcery type, and worked out how we could get Kain into the Hylden realm and why. Rich and Jen were instrumental in creating a more compelling story than just Kain kicking the hell out of the Hylden... Kyle (RIP) and I worked on base level mechanics and art direction.
There were good ideas in the whole thing, but ultimately it just didn't wash. So the Raz you see was part of the gameplay they initially proposed before CD sent us over to Ritual to do more direct collaboration.
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Re: A few questions

Postby Liquid Yarullin » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:32 am

You have no idea how glad I am that Raziel wasn't supposed to return. Too bad that this game was never released...

As you know much about LoK's plot, I have another question - WHY Kain wanted Janos to stay dead? It was once again mentioned in Defiance, but never explained or even hinted why. We were led to belived that Kain experienced BO 2 at the end of SR2 when Raziel mentioned new memories blooming inside Kain's mind; however, he solved the Hylden's problem in BO2, so I have no idea why he was so afraid. Perhaps Amy planned something different and then BO2 was released and she had to change her plans?

Or Kain was just horrified to see BO2. Did you like this game? I always wanted to play another game as Kain, something similar to the original BO. However, BO2 wasn't very good game in my opinion and I was very disappointed.
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Re: A few questions

Postby Raina Audron » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:19 pm

oh wow, so they really wanted to use Raziel in DP after all.. good decision that you stepped in though :D
How far in development was DP?
Also, this screenshot might hint that Raziel had more freedom in his Defiance stages:
Image
Did he originally had to walk to Avernus? It was too bad we could not also explore the outside of Avernus :D that fire behind the windows was so tempting xD
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Re: A few questions

Postby The Hylden » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:03 pm

That's interesting about Kain going to the Demon Realm and beating the heck out of the Hylden Lord, etc.

The Hylden Lord has been bothering me and others for some time, as to why he's so scitzo between games. He seems to know that the Scion is Kain and that Raziel "kills" him by tearing out the HoD in Defiance, yet he doesn't know that's Kain actually, or else in BO2, he wouldn't have thought that he killed Kain's younger self. And, of course, he should know quite well that Kain would defeat him at the end of BO2, given Kain has to be alive to be the older version Raziel will face.

The HL does know the Scion is specifically Kain, as the HL was in Mortanius listening to the conversation Mort was having with Raziel that Kain was created by Mortanius to be the Scion. The HL interrupts and definitely shows he has been listening to the whole conversation "This one speaks truly, you are indeed overdue. But, it no longer matters in the least..."

So.... That has never made sense.

And here the revelation that elder Kain would have gone to the Demon Realm to beat the HL up ... well, I can't see Kain not killing him. He's already killed him when he was younger, though not yet on this timeline. However, two things are screwy. Either he doesn't kill him in DP, but still beats the crap out of him, so the HL should know who just beat him up (again, the living elder version of the being he will face a younger version of), or Kain will actually kill him in the Demon Realm, which then screws up the HL being in BO2.


Unless that wasn't really the HL at the end of BO2 that younger Kain kills (some clone, as has at times been speculated?).

I hope you get all of that. It's hard to type without going in circles, lol

Basically, was this to be the same HL we face in BO2 as younger Kain, and if so, how could that be?



Oh, also was there ever a plan to have Kain visit the ancients vampire/Hylden wars past in Dark Prophecy? Was that idea every batted around at any point, even if not in that game, that you remember?
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