[ Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds ]
The Dark Prophecy and TLW's 10th Anniversary

The Lost Worlds is celebrating its 10th anniversary today!

In one of the most extensive updates to TLW since the release of Defiance, I am proud to present an incredibly well-researched new section courtesy of Divine Shadow - The Dark Prophecy, a sixth entry in the series which was in the works during the mid-2000s, but cancelled. While you may have read some of this information elsewhere (probably in Divine Shadow's own forum posts), I guarantee that this section contains material you haven't seen anywhere else. Incredibly, this is just the beginning - there is still more to come!

I've decided to take a chance and set free a piece of Legacy of Kain series history that's been sitting in my collection for almost as long as this site has existed: the pair of Blood Omen Scripts that were given to me back in 2002. Hopefully the (anonymous) benefactor who provided them approves.

The Technical Documents section has finally returned (only five years later than I planned). This is a small archive of information from the early days of TLW, but a number of people had asked for it to be brought back online. Andrew Fradley contributed a brand-new article for the revived section: Soul Reaver 2 Gex Engine Notes.

Andrew Fradley has also released an alpha of a brand new version of ModelEx, which can read the models from Soul Reaver 2. Yes, you can now export the areas and characters from that game too :).

As a special bonus, I have released the source code to all of the applications I've written over the years related to the Legacy of Kain series. This is mostly of use to other hackers, but also serves as the best documentation I know of regarding the proprietary file formats that they handle. The source code is in a big bundle in the Source Code Collections article, and the source code for numerous applications of Andrew's (released and unreleased) is also posted there.

While I was getting the code together for that, I used it to build new releases of the Blood Omen 2 Control Station, The Eye of RAW, Only Skin Deep, Quintessence, the Soul Reaver PC Texture Utility, the Soul Reaver 2 Trainer, Soul Spiral, and The Sound of Her Wings. All of this software should run correctly on any version of Windows® now (as long as the .NET Framework is available for it) - including the 64-bit version of 7, which I know was a long-standing complaint in the case of at least two of those applications. I did the same thing for the old and new versions of ModelEx as well.

Jenny Pans contributed a high-quality recreation of the Soul Reaver as it appears in in-game artwork in the original Blood Omen. You can find it (in raster and vector formats) in the Blood Omen - Miscellaneous Artwork article.

Josh Modva mentioned a very impressive reimagining of Raziel, created by Tsvetomir Georgiev. This appears to just be a piece of (extremely high-quality) fan art, but if a Square-Enix executive happens to see it and greenlight another game as a result, I won't complain.

One last contribution from Divine Shadow - he discovered that Tension Studios' website has a couple of the cinematics from Defiance in very early draft form, with temporary textures and other elements. This is a rare opportunity to see what a game with high visual polish for its time looked like in its early stages!

By now, most of you will have already seen Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, but if you haven't, it is another outstanding action/adventure title by former Legacy of Kain series director Amy Hennig. Unlike most series which reach a third episode, Uncharted isn't a simple rehash of the original installment. Each sequel has been markedly different than what came before it, and Uncharted 3 is no exception. You'll see echoes of the earlier games (as well as a few of the Kain series), but this is most definitely a true sequel and (unlike games released by certain notorious publishers) not what would have been sold as an "expansion pack" back for half the price of the original game back in the 1990s. However, the new elements are woven into the game so well that I think if you play through this one, then go back to the first two, you will find yourself missing things you didn't even realize were new in 3.

I have been asked by another anonymous party not to disclose the reason that I am mentioning the new console release NeverDead, but I am going to discuss that game anyway even though I can't tell you why I am doing so. Gameplay-wise it seems to me like a cross between Batman: Arkham Asylum and Devil May Cry / Bayonetta, with bits of Vanquish thrown in. From a genre/style, and humour perspective, it reminds me again of the aforementioned Vanquish, but mostly the cult Japanese films Tokyo Gore Police, The Machine Girl, and Helldriver. In fact, I'm actually a little bit surprised that that genre seems to have registered enough on Konami's radar that they financed an entire game in that same general style. If you like very fast action and dark, quirky comedy, I highly recommend this one - especially because unlike most games in this genre, it's not table-poundingly difficult on the "Normal" setting.

PS: The menu bar on the left side should finally be a little easier to read.

Additions and Corrections

I just added some information on the very useful and amazing patches produced by the Russian Legacy of Kain community to the Running Blood Omen on Windows XP and Vista and Running Soul Reaver on Windows XP and Vista articles.

I've also applied some minor corrections to The Dark Prophecy section that went live today.

More Dark Prophecy Articles, Soul Reaver Beta Comparison, And More

After a longer-than-expected delay, I've posted the next two articles in Divine Shadow's series on The Dark Prophecy: Ariel, and The Seer.

I'm happy to present another guest author - Raina Audron, who many of you already know of thanks to her involvement in numerous fan-projects. I had noticed Raina's comparison screenshots of pre-release/beta versions of Soul Reaver awhile ago, and she greatly expanded on this concept to provide a fantastic amount of detail. The result is a seven-article series! You can get started with the Beta Comparison - Introduction article, which links to the other six.

Thanks to Umah Bloodomen from the Eidos forums, I've been able to add a second variation on the text in the Early Versions of The Story article and some scans of the brochure she emailed me that hint at the deleted content.

Stefan Paker noticed that one of the Soul Reaver 2 videos from the old version of TLW was missing - the one that shows the remains of the Possession and invisibility abilities, The Full Ring Menu, and some of the graphics debugging options. It's been re-added to the appropriate articles.

Previously-Unseen Footage of Turel's Territory

Brazilian fan Thiago Paulino tipped me off to a fantastic discovery - a previously-unknown video of Soul Reaver which contains footage of The Turelim Clan Territory which (to my knowledge) does not appear anywhere else. You can find some screenshots and download the entire video in the Video Demo - 1999-03-16 article. Thank you, Thiago!

A few people have also written in to let me know that the PC version of Soul Reaver is now available from GOG.com. This is great news if you've been trying to find a legitimate copy of the game and coming up empty.

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