"Time fades even legend..."
- Kain, describing the Soul Reaver
Every great story is pared down from a larger concept. The reasons vary, but the result is the same - a catalogue of the things that might have been.
This website is dedicated to preserving the deleted and altered material from the Legacy of Kain series of videogames. It is also a repository for the tools that are necessary to explore the remains of those Lost Worlds.
Because of the nature of the material discussed here, there are frequent plot spoilers for all of the games in the series. Even sections about earlier games in the series may give away the secrets of the later episodes.
|This Dust Remembers What It Once Was, and Contact Page Woes|
Soul Reaver turns 20 this month. Happy birthday to my favourite videogame :).
Last night I released an "alpha 2" version of This Dust Remembers What It Once Was (a reverse-engineering toolchain for PlayStation games) over at my personal website. It was originally written just to support decompiling various prototype versions of Soul Reaver using the NSA'a amazing tool Ghidra, but it should work to some extent with any PlayStation title, and if you have a build that includes the PsyQ .SYM file for the binary, you'll typically get back a pretty amazing reconstruction of the source code from Ghidra.
I'll be working on some new material based on the ability to decompile Soul Reaver, but it's most likely going to take awhile. If you have reverse-engineering experience and would like to be involved, please get in touch.
Speaking of which, I recently discovered that my hosting provider had basically broken the ability of my Contact page to reliably send emails to me, and they're not interested in fixing it. If you've tried to send me a message via that page in the last 6-12 months, there's a good chance I never saw it. As a workaround until I find a new provider, please use the social media contact information on the Contact page and I can send you my personal email address that way if necessary.
We've still got more fun stuff in store from those prototypes as well. More on that later.
|Posted by Ben Lincoln, 2019-08-14 @ 08:10|
|New Material, Part 3|
There are fewer additions by number in this update, but only because I'm trying to get them posted more frequently than once per month. I still have an enomrous amount of material to share.
|Posted by Ben Lincoln, 2018-12-30 @ 21:00|
|New Material, Part 2|
There is still much more to come :). At this point, I'd estimate that perhaps 25% of the deleted material from the alpha and beta versions of Blood Omen has been covered, and I have some additional material for Soul Reaver.
|Posted by Ben Lincoln, 2018-12-23 @ 21:40|
|Extensive New Material|
I'm very happy to announce the addition of a huge amount of new information to the site, as well as several other key fan sites.
This year, a small group of fans (including myself) were able to obtain multiple prerelease builds of Blood Omen and Soul Reaver, some with significant differences versus the released versions of those games. Many of these builds were acquired from Gh0stBlade, who you may know from his posting of videos of alpha builds of Soul Reaver on YouTube some years ago. Others were obtained from multiple sources who would rather remain anonymous, but we are all extremely grateful to everyone involved. This was a truly worldwide effort, and hopefully it's not over yet. If you are in possession of a prerelease build of a game in the series which you are interested in selling or donating, please get in touch with me using the Contact form. In particular, we are still offering US$1000 each for the alpha builds of Soul Reaver from January and February 1999, or for alpha builds of Blood Omen from early June 1996 or prior.
Blood Omen reached the 21st anniversary of its release last month. Appropriately enough, the prerelease versions of that game contain so much deleted material that it will be weeks or months before I've fully detailed it. I was genuinely surprised to discover how significantly that game had changed even in the five months before it was released.
One of the most exciting initial discoveries was a playable version of The Chess Match, which is now documented in video form in that article. This is probably the most well-known example of material which was removed from the game before release. However, it is now also known that this was one of the smallest changes to the game.
Again, please keep an eye on this space. I'm already aware of numerous additional material from these versions of both games, and just need to document it properly. There is a lot more to come.
|Posted by Ben Lincoln, 2018-12-01 @ 10:00|
|More Soul Spiral updates|
This is probably going to be the last Soul Spiral update for at least a few weeks. My next big goal with it is to rewrite some of the low-level code which is making it difficult to support games based on engines other than Gex.
|Posted by Ben Lincoln, 2018-10-08 @ 18:00|
|Soul Reaver on the Dreamcast, part 1|
I've been revisiting the Dreamcast versions of Soul Reaver, and finally figured out how the filename hashing works in them. It's different from every other version of the game, as well as the sequels. As a result, I was able to add full filename support for all Dreamcast versions of the game that I know of (including the demos, and the German beta build) to the newest release of Soul Spiral. It also adds some additional hashes for Defiance, courtesy of Andrew Fradley, and hashes for the PC demo version of Soul Reaver 2, and it will do a better job of identifying a number of uncommon versions of various games.
As part of the process of determining the filenames, I discovered that the Dreamcast version includes four pieces of music which don't appear to be present on other platforms. They appear to be specific to the Stone Glyph and Sound Glyph areas, and (like the music for the other areas) have both Spectral Realm and Material Realm versions.
|Posted by Ben Lincoln, 2018-10-06 @ 13:45|
In my last update, I unintentionally left out credit for the work that John Doom had done in reverse-engineering the data files for Blood Omen 2. His information was a critical resource when Andrew added support for that game to Soul Spiral. I've released an updated version of that tool which includes the proper credit, and apologize for my oversight. It also does a better job of recognizing files in most versions of Defiance thanks to Andrew. I've got support for additional Crystal Dynamics games in the works, but it's going to take awhile longer to get that implemented because of some bad decisions I made when I wrote the original version of the software.
We're still looking for prerelease versions of the games, as mentioned previously, and are willing to pay for them if necessary. In particular, while donations would be greatly appreciated, we're currently willing to pay US$1000 each for original discs (i.e. sent to reviewers) containing versions of Soul Reaver from April 1999 or earlier, as long as we don't already have them. I know there are at least a few of them out there, and given the age of the discs, it's critical to preserve them properly so that the contents aren't lost. I have the equipment and software to do this.
|Posted by Ben Lincoln, 2018-09-23 @ 16:45|
|A few long-overdue updates|
It's been almost four years since I had a chance to post new content here, but I'm pretty excited about some things that we have in the works. There will be more to come over the next two years.
I discovered Walt Disney World Magical Racing Tour while looking through old PlayStation demo discs, and did not realize until that time that it was made using the Gex engine. It appears to be a fork of the version from either Akuji: The Heartless, or Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko, and does not appear to incorporate any of the extensive changes made to the engine for Soul Reaver and later games. I was very surprised to look in the credits and find that it was directed by Glen A. Schofield, who would later go on to direct Blood Omen 2 and serve as executive producer for Dead Space (one of my favourite series for that generation of consoles).
We're hoping to add support for additional titles and versions in the months ahead.
If you're interested in helping us out (not just with Soul Spiral, but with other tools and content), and are in possession of prototype/prerelease versions of any of the following games that you don't mind selling (or donating/lending/etc.) to us, please get in touch with me using the Contact form. Versions for any platform would be extremely helpful. We've managed to collect a number of them already, but know that there are others out there.
|Posted by Ben Lincoln, 2018-07-04 @ 13:00|
|Another update to Soul Spiral|
Andrew Fradley has made some further updates to the list of filename hashes for Soul Spiral, so it can now correctly identify content in the bigfile for the NTSC Air Forge demo of Soul Reaver 2 as of version 1.7. Thanks Andrew!
|Posted by Ben Lincoln, 2014-10-04 @ 22:00|
|Updates to Soul Spiral and Only Skin Deep|
Andrew Fradley and I (but mostly Andrew) have been doing a bit of work on Soul Spiral and Only Skin Deep. The former can now correctly identify content in the bigfile for the various Air Forge demos of Soul Reaver 2, and the latter can now handle the VRM texture files from the NTSC version of that demo (not the PAL version yet).
|Posted by Ben Lincoln, 2014-09-21 @ 17:00|