Question and Answer with Amy Hennig
Former Kain series writer/director Amy Hennig scoured the fan forums looking for questions about the game that she thought needed answering. I have posted them here as a historical archive. Questons are written in bold text, and her answers (which were paraphrased by me at her request) are in italics.
How does the Hash'ak'gik/Turel/Hylden relationship work?
"Hash'ak'gik" is the name the human worshippers use for their god. The actual Hash entity is a leader among the Hylden, who has his own agenda. In Defiance, he possesses Janos. In Blood Omen, he uses the transformed body of Mortanius as a vessel. In Blood Omen 2, he appears as the Hylden Lord (AKA Sarafan Lord). When Raziel meets Turel, Turel is actually being possessed by a number of other Hylden (not the Hylden Lord). Many different Hylden did so in order to command their disciples.
Why does Mortanius have a different voice actor than in Blood Omen?
To avoid confusion with Tony Jay's voice acting as The Elder God. Tony has a great voice, but it's always clear that it's him, and the intention was not to make The Elder God and Mortanius sound the same. Alastair Duncan is actually married to Anna Gunn (Ariel), but Amy didn't realize that when she was casting him.
Does the young Kain still kill Moebius?
Yes. When Moebius is summoned to the Citadel at the end of the game, the Elder God has resurrected him from dying at the hands of Blood Omen-era Kain.
How does Defiance relate to the events of Blood Omen 2?
The events of Defiance cause Blood Omen 2 to be possible. During the rift when the Pillars collapse, the Hylden Lord/Hash is able to escape his imprisonment and possess Janos. This means that not only does he have an indestructible vessel for himself, but once he gets another body in BO2, he has Janos prison to use to power The Device. Vorador's appearance in that game was going to be explained a little bit in the original Defiance design, but this part was trimmed down.
Why does Janos recognize Raziel in Soul Reaver 2 if they've never met?
The ancient vampires' prophecy foretold Raziel's coming. Janos was expecting the hero depicted in the murals, and was surprised to see Raziel's true appearance.
How can Kain survive without the Heart of Darkness?
His nature as the Scion of Balance allows him to survive.
How could the young Kain collect Hearts of Darkness in Blood Omen if he had it inside of his chest all along?
The Heart of Darkness cards are representations of the relic, not the real thing. Janos didn't have 99 hearts anyway =).
Which figure is Raziel in the murals?
He is both. His free will results in a hybrid destiny, where he is both redeemer and destroyer. As Amy put it, "he does triumph, and paradoxically he does destroy himself at the same time."
How did Turel come to be in Avernus?
This was left deliberately vague so that a future game could cover it if desired. The implication based on the story of Blood Omen is that the circle used their dimensional- and time-travelling powers to bring him to them. Amy says that casting him as Hash wasn't a recent decision, but was made shortly after he was cut from Soul Reaver.
Why does Raziel need to re-imbue the Reavers he already gained in Soul Reaver 2?
He needed fonts to imbue the Reaver that way, and the fonts were no longer available in Defiance. Amy wanted to include a cutscene or artwork indicating that the fonts had been destroyed, implying that the Elder God had pulled them under or caused them to be destroyed in some other way, but it didn't fit in the final game (see below).
Why were some changed aspects of the game left unexplained?
There were a number of changes (e.g. imbuing the Reaver) that needed to be made to make the game a better finished product. Many of these are explained in the game, and there is a logical explanation for 90% of them even if it wasn't explicitly revealed. Defiance needed to appeal to both the hardcore fans and newcomers, and explaining all of the changes wouldn't have worked for both groups.
What is the difference between the Scion of Balance and the Balance Guardian?
The Scion of Balance is the figure who is destined to return the Pillars to vampiric rule, the one who was prophesied by the ancient Vampires. Kain is both, whereas the other Balance Guardians were not.
There has been speculation in the past that both Lady Azimuth and Moebius were devout followers of Hash'ak'gik. Would it be safe to say that this is indeed the case? Azimuth alone wouldn't be able to summon Hash, but could with Moebius' help.
Azimuth and Mortanius served the Hylden, who they knew as "Hash'ak'gik." They were seduced away from their service of the Pillars by the power they unearthed beneath Avernus.
Moebius didn't serve Hash'ak'gik, though. He's always been a servant of the Elder God.
The means of summoning Turel was left deliberately vague, so that a future game might be able to cover it.
When did Moebius begin worshipping the Elder God? Was it during the SR2 (Sarafan) era? Or was this something he did later?
Moebius was introduced to the Elder God when he lived among the Vampires of the Citadel. The Elder God spoke to him even after he stopped communicating with the Vampires. The human revolt was orchestrated through Moebius by The Elder God.
What is meant by Janos being "the uncorruptable vessel?"
Possession by a Hylden "uses up" regular hosts. Mortanius lasted longer because he was the Death Guardian, but eventually succumbed. Janos and Turel - as immortal Vampires - could last forever, but Turel was trapped in the Catacombs. Janos also was able to power the Device because he was the last of the Ancients. The Hylden can be gentle with their possession, which makes the host last longer, or they can fully possess them, which transforms the body - this is what has happened to the Revenants later in the game, as well as what happens to Mortanius at the end of Blood Omen.
Is that a mask that Mortanius is using when Raziel first enters his chamber?
Yes. He is using a Death's Head mask, which he can summon and dismiss through magic.
Is the Vampire Citadel the Lost City?
No, the Lost City is in a different area.
Do the runes in the games mean anything, like they did in Blood Omen?
Yes. The runic writing uses the actual futhark phonetic definitions. This is why the writing can look like gibberish when translated back into English - it's not a simple alphabetic equivalency like in Blood Omen.
[ Jen from Crystal Dynamics (one of the artists from the Defiance team) was kind enough to let me know that the writing in Kain's mausoleum says "Here lies Kain." ]
Is that a painting of Umah in Vorador's Mansion?
No, it is of a character who is part of the backstory and not revealed in the games. There is a painting of her in the Mansion in Blood Omen as well.
Why was Simon Templeman's "and your so-called Wheel of Destiny will shatter upon my sword" line cut?
This was an earlier version of Kain's response to the Elder God, which Amy ended up not being happy with. She re-wrote it and had it re-recorded after the clip in the bonus material was filmed.
Late in the game, Raziel meets Mortanius speaking his "come to me, my undead son" line, which takes place after Moebius is killed by the young Kain in Blood Omen. How can Raziel then run into Moebius in Vorador's Mansion?
This is a bit of a mistake due to some shuffling of the story near the end. Moebius was originally not going to make an appearance in the Mansion, but it was decided that it would make the story better to have Raziel face him again before the final battle.