[ Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds ]
Uncharted 2 and Various Updates

It's hard to believe that it's been close to a year since I posted an update to The Lost Worlds. There is a good reason for that, and I'm going to have some exciting news to share soon. But enough about that for now.

Tomorrow (13 October 2009), Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will hit store shelves. Uncharted 2 is the latest game that Legacy of Kain director Amy Hennig and designer Richard LeMarchand have been working on for Naughty Dog. The original was a truly spectacular adventure game, and based on the previews I've seen of this sequel it looks to be even better. I've had my copy pre-ordered for quite awhile, and I cannot recommend more highly that you check it out.

A few months ago, Daniel Cabuco (another former long-time member of the Kain team) sent me some original texture files from The Undercity and The Temple, one of the major areas deleted from the original Soul Reaver, and they are now available on that page. Thanks Daniel!

In other prerelease/deleted material news, Raina Audron (a fan of the series in Slovakia) has put together a really comprehensive and interesting comparison between two different beta versions of Soul Reaver and the final (retail) version of the game.

Legacy of Kain: Prodigal Sons is one of the more promising fan efforts I've seen over the years. Creating a complete game is still a daunting task, but I'm looking forward to seeing how Jake Pawloski's project turns out.

As part of this update, I've removed the download-limiting functionality from TLW. It was causing a lot of people to have trouble downloading the Soundtracks, which I apologize for. As far as I can tell, it was something related to differences between PHP4 and PHP5, because I switched hosts last year and that's the only change I'm aware of (my old host was using PHP4). It could also just be that PHP is a terrible language. All I know is that the scripts worked fine on the old host, but not on the new one. This new host doesn't cap my bandwidth, but if the crazy Russians or Brazilians (or anyone else, for that matter) start downloading the same thing over and over again I will just outright ban them from the site because I don't want to aggravate my provider unnecessarily.

Removing that functionality involved performing a complete rebuild of TLW using an updated version of Charon, the batch software I wrote to create and maintain the site, so if you notice any bugs (broken links, etc.), please let me know using the Contact form. Note that you may need to clear your browser cache in order for the site to display properly, since some of the links and code are different now.

Finally, I know it's a little late in coming, but for those of you with access to a PS3, I'd recommend giving inFamous a look. I actually bought and played through it when it came out earlier this year, and I was blown away by what a solid adventure game it was. I noticed a lot of aspects that made me think that the design teams were big fans of Soul Reaver, even though the setting (a modern-day city) is very different on the surface. I don't want to provide any spoilers, but this feeling only intensified the further I got into the game.

Blood Omen on PSN, Uncharted 2: The Verdict and My Other Project Revealed

In my last update, I neglected to mention that Blood Omen is now available in downloadable form from the online Playstation Store (at least in some parts of the world). This is great news for anyone with a PS3 and/or PSP who has had trouble tracking down a secondhand copy of the game.

I finished playing through Uncharted 2 last week, and in an unprecedented feat, it manages to leap past the spectacular original both in terms of the stunning visuals and the gameplay. Obviously I have a personal attachment to the story and setting of Legacy of Kain, but judged on its own merits, Uncharted 2 is by far the best game that Amy Hennig (director of Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2, and Defiance) has made. There are already a chorus of voices praising Uncharted 2, but it is one of those rare titles that truly deserves the recognition being heaped upon it. It has outstanding action and puzzles, a great story, and plenty of ancient ruins, including some that make use of ultraviolet light to eerie effect. Which brings me to an announcement I've been wanting to make for quite some time now:

For almost three years now I've been spending almost all of my free time working on a new hobby - multispectral photography (specifically, infrared and ultraviolet photos in addition to "visible light"). I finally have something to show for it too - a new website where you can see some examples of what I've done so far, and an explanation of what the images represent. To bring this back to the topic of Legacy of Kain, the first outing I went on to take a lot of pictures in the field (back in 2007) involved me heading down to Los Angeles, where I was honoured to have lunch with Amy Hennig, Richard LeMarchand, and Michael Bell(!). It's been a very interesting project for me, and I hope at least some of you think so as well.

A New Version of ModelEx, Soul Reaver on PSN, And More

Andrew Fradley has just released a new version of ModelEx. He's been working on this one for quite awhile (the last official release was almost 3 years ago), but it was worth the wait. This version can load the models and textures from all three versions of Soul Reaver, and it can export the results in .x format so they can be imported into a 3D modeling application. This includes both the Material and Spectral versions of each area, as well as both model variations for objects that have two (vampires, humans, etc.).

As several of you have let me know, Soul Reaver is now available in the online Playstation store. Like the release of Blood Omen in this format a few months ago, this is great news for anyone who never had a chance to play the original game, or doesn't have their disc anymore.

Despite the end of United Cutlery, there is still an effort to convince someone to manufacture a licensed (and accurate) replica of the Soul Reaver sword. If you'd like to chime in to add your support, that link will take you right to the forum thread at Epic Weapons.

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