Home > The Dark Prophecy
Overview By Divine Shadow
In 2004, the sixth Legacy of Kain game was in development at Ritual Entertainment. The project, alternately titled Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy or Blood Omen 3, was worked on by Ritual Entertainment and Crystal Dynamics staff, and employed a number of freelance artists and modellers. With the game seemingly out of preproduction and in a playable (if significantly incomplete) form, it was eventually cancelled by Eidos with less than a year in development. As no official announcements were ever made to the public regarding the existence of the game, it was quietly buried and the staff moved on to other projects.
Eventually in 2008, evidence of the game's existence began to appear on the internet in various portfolios and resumes. By 2012, enough material has been gathered to inform speculation concerning the structure, sequences and story of Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy.
My internet aliases are "Divine Shadow" and "Mama Robotnik", and I have been a part of the Legacy of Kain online community for the last thirteen years. I have made numerous contributions to various projects and sites (including a number to Ben Lincoln's The Lost Worlds), and once moderated the legendary Nosgothic Realm forums. Though I am less involved in the community than I used to be, my interest in the series remains. This interest led me to scrutinise hundreds of industry websites and portfolios, and discovering nearly all the information and materials on the cancelled game now publicly available.
Last year, Ben approached me and asked if I would be interested in writing a guest article for The Lost Worlds. Both complimented by his suggestion and intrigued with the prospect of writing the definitive analysis of the cancelled game, I began work. The articles became essays, thumbnails became annotated diagrams and the commission inflated from hundreds to tens-of-thousands of words. After a year of work, these essays are now presented for your consideration.
I feel the need to present a disclaimer: You should be aware that nearly everything you are about to read is informed speculation supported by the discovered materials. I make every effort to try to inform the reader of any reasoning or evidence supporting the speculative theories provided, but it is important to understand that the essays are best-guesses based on limited information. Some of what you are about to read could be quite, quite wrong.
Each essay is divided into a number of common subheadings:
Media: The untouched media. This could be concept art, screenshots, sketches or renders that are linked to the cancelled game.
Description: A detailed description of the material, with attempts to bring attention to easily-overlooked small details. Annotated diagrams may be presented here.
Story Speculation: An attempt to speculate on how the material would have fitted into the story of The Dark Prophecy, and in the lore of the whole Legacy of Kain series. This subsection will often go on wild tangents with attempts to connect the material with minutiae found in the earlier games, and may make very broad story speculations based on very limited evidence. Consider these writings to be the personal theories of their author, informed through meticulous analysis of the games and study of The Dark Prophecy materials.
Miscellaneous Theories: Small theories, ideas and observations that the reader is invited to consider alongside the provided story speculation.
Source: An explanation of where the media came from, and the context in which it was discovered.
Links: Links to the source of the discovered materials, and any community discussions and articles regarding their content.
Finally, I have included a number of miscellaneous essays, such as the searching techniques I perfected when finding the presented materials, and a theoretical Legacy of Kain timeline that includes the all of the speculation presented in the collected essays.
I hope that you enjoy the essays. Many thanks are due to the Legacy of Kain online communities and the Neogaf discussion forums for their thoughts on the materials, and to Ben Lincoln for kindly hosting my work. Please, enjoy.
Comments From Ben Lincoln
I've watched with great interest over the last few years, as Divine Shadow has uncovered more and more of this "lost chapter" in the Legacy of Kain series.
When it became clear that a fairly substantial amount of work had been put into The Dark Prophecy before its cancellation, I decided it deserved its own section here. Who better to write it than the man who had already done more research on it than anyone outside of the team at Ritual which had been working on the project?
I was absolutely delighted when Divine Shadow agreed, and I think you will be too. Unlike most fans of the series, I tend to avoid speculating (even privately) about the storyline. This is the first section on TLW to cater to the many of you who have asked for that sort of content, in addition to the vast treasure trove of hard evidence that Divine Shadow also dug up.
I've tried to keep my meddling hands off of these writeups, but you'll see a handful of comments from me at the end of a handful of articles when I thought they'd be helpful. All credit for everything else goes to Divine Shadow and the artists who worked on the game before its demise.
One word of warning: even more than usual for this site, there are numerous spoilers of major story elements for every game in the series in these articles, particularly in the Story Speculation sections.
A Work In Progress
Despite spending countless hours on writing this content, Divine Shadow still wasn't able to finish all of it in time for the initial release on the tenth anniversary of TLW. Updates on introduced characters, abilities and other information will be appearing over time!
|The Ruins of The Pillars of Nosgoth|
|The primary landmark of the Legacy of Kain series, the land about them newly-devastated by the younger Kain's refusal to sacrifice himself.|
|An intermediate area linking the Pillars and Base Tower One.|
|Base Tower One|
|The route by which Kain would have re-entered Malek's Bastion.|
|An intermediate area, perilously high on the cliff walls ascending to Malek's Bastion.|
|The outermost section of Malek's Bastion, which would have marked the first appearance of this Blood Omen location in a 3D Legacy of Kain title.|
|Within the outer walls of Malek's Bastion.|
|Winged Being Shrine|
|A room of unknown purpose featuring a statue of a winged humanoid.|
|A possible twist on what at first glance appears to be a Blood Omen-style "hallway lined with chained corpses".|
|A means of transit within Malek's Bastion.|
|Steam Pipe Cave|
|An abandoned mine, possibly beneath Malek's Bastion.|
|Headless Statue Chamber|
|An underground area of uncertain purpose, featuring at least two statues.|
|Another underground area, believed to be connected to the others.|
|Soul Machine Mine|
|The first section of the larger Soul Machine complex.|
|Dragon Statue Reaver Forge|
|Believed to be the first Reaver Forge the player would have entered in The Dark Prophecy, this area is depicted in concept art as featuring an elaborate dragon statue.|
|Soul Machine Core|
|The second, main section of the larger Soul Machine complex, which would have involved Malek's arcane machinery from the original Blood Omen.|
|Red Carpet Hall|
|A possible connecting area leading to the main battle arena within Malek's Bastion.|
|The location of what may have been the first major battle in the game.|
|A possible return to another location familiar to fans of the original Blood Omen.|
|The potential location of a Defiance-style Raziel level, taking place after the completion of the Bastion while playing as Kain.|
|As a sequel to Defiance, one of the few things known with high confidence about The Dark Prophecy is that the protagonist and main playable character would have been Kain.|
|At least one screenshot suggests that Raziel would have returned in The Dark Prophecy.|
|A younger version of Kain also seems to have been intended to appear in this cancelled sequel.|
|The murdered Balance Guardian from Blood Omen, Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2, and Defiance.|
|The mysterious uncorrupted Hylden who first appeared in Blood Omen 2.|