[ Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds ]
The Light That Burns Twice as Bright

Umah over at the Eidos forums let me know last weekend that Kyle Mannerberg had passed away. Kyle was part of the team at Crystal Dynamics that made Defiance, and was the last of the three team members who had officially "taken up the torch" of the series' story when Amy Hennig moved on to work at Naughty Dog. I never had the opportunity to meet Kyle, but the memorial which his family created for him makes it obvious how much he meant to them and his friends. Their comments are more than worth your time to read if you haven't already. Kyle was 29, and died of natural causes.

Umah created a separate memorial thread, and an interview which he was a part of is available in the Defiance section.

A New Address for Crystal Dynamics

There is a new address to send letters to if you would like to voice your support a new game in the series:

Crystal Dynamics
Attention: Chris Bruno (or) Legacy of Kain Series Team
1300 Seaport Blvd. Suite 100
Redwood City, CA

I've received the new NECA Raziel figures, and they are quite detailed. I am planning on having a review online in the near future. I've also played through Uncharted twice (on Normal and Hard), and am working on the most difficult setting ("Crushing") in order to unlock the remaining bonus content. Once I've managed to do that, I will be posting some detailed information about it. This is definitely an adventure game that fans of the Kain series should take a look at.

Good News for Brazilian (and Portuguese) Fans

ALX wrote me recently to let me know that he and his team have finished a fan-produced Portuguese translation patch for Defiance. There are a surprisingly large number of fans living in Brazil, and I'm sure they will appreciate having subtitles and menu text in their own language.

Nosgothic Realm Returns and Too Human is Released

Tenaya from Nosgothic Realm wrote to let me know that that site is now being updated again (after a saga which you can read about on the main page there). This is great news for fans of the Kain series! Nosgothic Realm is the longest-running fan site, and has a ton of official concept art as well as fan art and fiction.

Last week, Silicon Knight's Too Human was released after being "in the works" for over ten years (first for the Playstation, then for the Gamecube, and finally completed for the Xbox 360 as the first part of a trilogy). If you enjoyed Blood Omen or Eternal Darkness, I would recommend giving Too Human a look. In the same way that I found Uncharted to retain the "feel" that Amy Hennig and Richard Lemarchand brought to the Soul Reaver games and Defiance, the Blood Omen to Eternal Darkness to Too Human progression is also quite pronounced. The story and voice acting are excellent, and the gameplay is a hybrid of Diablo-style fast action with more traditional adventure elements.

Both Too Human and Uncharted have free demos available for download from their respective console's online service.

Dead Space and the Legacy of Kain Soundtracks

Less than a week ago, Dead Space hit store shelves. Its executive producer was Glen A. Schofield, who previously directed Blood Omen 2. One of the things I really noticed about Blood Omen 2 was the attention to detail in terms of the design of Meridian - for a PS2-era game, the city felt surprisingly lifelike. Dead Space takes that mentality and multiplies it many-fold. The mining starship on which it's set is mind-boggling in its realism. From the warning labels to corporate motivational posters to the dirt and grime to the tools that the protagonist uses as improvised weapons, every inch feels as though it were painstakingly modeled after a photograph sent back in time from a real space vessel.

The ground that the story and setting tread are well-worn by sci-fi horror films - you'll see bits and pieces of the Alien series, Event Horizon, Supernova, and virtually every other movie in that genre - but the Dead Space team has managed to take the very best of all of them and create what is literally the most stylishly-executed videogame I've ever played. Every level looks like something that Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher, or Paul W.S. Anderson would have built if they'd had an unlimited budget. Even the lighting feels as if it were created by a film professional.

Unless you are faint of heart (or stomach - this is a very gory game), I highly recommend giving Dead Space a try. It's available for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. There is also an animated prequel coming out on DVD later this month.

I am finally getting around to sorting out the hosting for the Legacy of Kain soundtracks. You may notice the LOKMusic.com redirect page come and go for a week or two, but I am on track to fulfill my promise of having them online again before the end of the year.

The Soundtracks are Back Online

The Lost Worlds has moved to a new host, and I am now able to host the Soundtracks (previously at LOKMusic.com) here. This has been in the works for most of this year, so I apologize for the delay.

Soul Reaver 2 Soundtrack

Some people were having trouble downloading the Soul Reaver 2 soundtrack (the biggest file) from the Soundtracks page, so I split it into two parts.

Download Script Updated

Some people were still running into problems downloading the Soundtracks.

I've updated the download script to work a bit better, and it should be more visitor-friendly as well.

It supports resuming of transfers now (although that will still count against your total number of downloads of a particular file, so don't use this feature unless you have to). It will not even allow you to attempt downloading the same file multiple times within the space of a few minutes (rather than allowing the attempt and then adding to the count of times you've downloaded the file). Also, as long as your browser has JavaScript enabled, the download link will disappear after it's clicked on to prevent people from clicking more than once and downloading the same file multiple times.

Sorry for any hassles this has caused. I wish I didn't need to use the script at all, but there are a few people out there who think it's clever to download the same file literally hundreds (or thousands) of times. I've already had to ban entire ISPs in Russia and Brazil from accessing the site altogether because of the actions of that small number of people.

A Short-Lived Defiance Sequel and TR: Underworld

A lot of this site's visitors are still anxious for news about a sequel, so I'm posting this even though it's probably not the news most of you want to hear.

Back in March of this year, forum member Rabban sent me a link to Ranjeet Singhal's portfolio, which includes a composite image of a Kain model partway in-between his appearance in Blood Omen 2 and in the Soul Reaver games. At the time, I didn't really understand the full meaning.

Then in October, Nosgothic Realm forum member FallenVVarrior found the portfolio of Aaron Hausmann (an artist from Ritual Entertainment) which included a few screenshots of a project titled "Legacy of Kain: Canceled Sequel".

Now, Divine Shadow has returned to tie it all together (mostly). His thread describes the available information in detail, but from what he pieced together, this project seems to have been started shortly after Defiance shipped, but was canceled after about 3 months in development. All three of the artists who mention it work(ed) for Ritual, who would later go on to work with Eidos on 25 To Life. The title (according to Jason Muck's portfolio) was Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy.

The available screenshots aren't much to go on, but there are some interesting clues about what might have been. Please keep in mind that just because this particular sequel was canceled doesn't mean that there is no possibility of a different sequel being made at some point in the future. Game developers and publishers cancel projects frequently before they're ever announced publicly. For example, Eidos themselves canceled Core's remake of Tomb Raider: Anniversary and gave the concept to Crystal Dynamics to build from scratch.

Speaking of Tomb Raider, Underworld ships next week (for the PS3, Xbox360, PC, Wii, and PS2 - the latter three being significantly cheaper). I thought Crystal Dynamics did a fantastic job on Anniversary and Legend, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what they've done with their first title built from the ground up for next-gen systems. The team that made Underworld has a number of names that will be familiar to fans of the Kain series, including Riley Cooper (who did design work on Blood Omen, both Soul Reaver games, and Defiance) and Chris Bruno (who has tested or been in charge of testing all of the Kain games).

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