Today I've made some significant discoveries regarding the cancelled Legacy of Kain game. Rather than bump the old thread (which very scattered in content and out of date) I thought I'd create a new OP with all the past and newly-discovered info and media.
Where and when was Legacy of Kain 6 under development?
The game was being developed by Eidos and Ritual Entertainment, with (presumably) some input from Crystal Dynamics. Work took place between January and April 2004, before Eidos pulled the plug.
Where is all of this media from?
The following portfolios/websites belong to (former) staff for Crystal Dynamics, Ritual Entertainment and freelance conceptual artists attached to the project. All media is from these.
Aaron Hausmann (Artist at Ritual Entertainment)
Ranjeet Singal (Artist at Ritual - link now defunct)
Jason Muck (Designer at Ritual[/url]
Daniel Cabuco (Lead artist at Crystal Dynamics)
The Gaston Brothers (Concept artists for Ritual)
David Demaret (Freelance artist commisioned by Ritual.
Stephane Guadette (Lead artist at Ritual)
Richard Gray (Artist at Ritual)
Chris Anderson (Artist working at Ritual)
The banner at the top was originally from Jason Muck's portfolio, I've just edited Blood Omen 3 in as its been given as another possible name for the project.
What is the correct title? Blood Omen III or Legacy of Kain: Defiance?
Depends who you ask. Senior Environment Artist Jason Muck gives the name as Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy. Lead Artist Stephane Gaudette gives the name Blood Omen III. Given Stephane's seeming seniority on the team, I'm inclined to go with the latter, but both are valid.
Who unearthed this media?
Me, through Google-foo and painstakingly browsing the portfolios of artists/designers who worked at Ritual/Crystal Dynamics during the game's development.
I'm not saying I've got it all right, but all the screenshots/renders and most of the art are explicitly labelled as from the project. Some of the concept art (e.g the Razielim) is not explicitly labelled as such, but as the artist worked on the project and the resemblance is so apparent, its worth consideration.
What familiar characters, relics and locations were going to appear?
(assumptions based on the art/screenshots - these could be wildy inaccurate)
- The Soul Reaver
- The Banished Hylden
- Malek's Bastion
- The Armour Wraiths (last seen in Blood Omen 1)
What developments were we going to see?
(assumptions based on the art/screenshots - again, these could be wildy inaccurate so treat them as best-guess based on the media)
- The story was (possibly) going to be told by alternating between past Kain (the tyrant vampire) and future Kain (the Scion of Balance).
- Kain's dire wolf form. Kain regains his transformative ability somehow, and can become a dire white wolf.
- Kain's devolution into a beast form. The art seems to suggest he is finally succumbing to the devolution that destroyed his children and their empire.
- Possible appearance of The Razielim. Long-thought wiped out, it appears the lost clan was going to return, like the other clains, in a beastial devolved form.
- The ancient Hylden, a far more elegant race compared to their deranged demonic future-selves. They seem to be governed by The Hylden King.
- The future Hylden, last seen disintergrating back into their prison dimension at the end of Blood Omen 2, have discovered a way to circumvent the binding. They're returning to Nosgoth through the Wraith-Armour binders in Malek's Bastion. The fleshless wraith armour is taking their shape, infering that someone is helping them by forging it in their likeness.
- A cavern appears as a level, with a decayed mine cart and track and several ornate scattered artifacts and weapons.
- Ariel may appear for the first time as the Balance Guardian and before her murder.
Would Raziel / The Elder God / Moebius / Vorador (etc) have returned?
Uncertain. Given The Elder's massive importance to the LOK story (and as the project was active before Tony Jay's death) I would have expected it to appear. Also, Crystal Dynamics promised to explore Vorador's unexplained resurrection in a future game, so I would have expected this too. The Razielim's appearance strongly suggests a return to the post-apocalyptic future Nosgoth of Soul Reaver.
How would it have played?
Screenshots seem to suggest gameplay based on Defiance's mechanics and structure.
And the media
Kain's various forms. Kain's "dire" wolf-form seems to be larger and more mostrous than Blood Omen's werewolf transformation.
Ariel, before her murder as the Balance Guardian, and in her (reimagined) imprisoned-ghost form.
The Ancient Hylden, before their imprisonment and binding
Possibly a Razielim, the first we've ever seen in the series. It shares many traits with its sire, Raziel (bat wings, arm and leg bindings, talons, fangs), but also perfectly fits the pattern of devolution seen in other vampires of the era.
Though the image is unnamed on Chris Anderson's (Ritual) portfolio, given the massive design-similarities to Raziel and that the artist worked at Ritual during Dark Prophecy, its worth consideration. I've included some shots of Raziel for comparison.
Concept art of a female Sarafan Warrior.
Malek's Bastion. The filenames explicitly name the location.
Hylden-infused wraith-armour. In Blood Omen, Malek (Pillar of Conflict) was a wraith bound to a shell of animated armour. In his barren retreat, he developed machines that pulled souls of long-dead Sarafan warriors from The Abyss and infused them into similair armour. This technology is now being used to circumvent the Binding, and infuse Hylden into such shells. Note how the armour starts as Sarafan, but changes to become more and more Hylden-like. Either the armour is shifting into the form of its host, or someone is Nosgoth is forging Hylden-shells for them.
The coloured person-outline within the shell is, I expect, an aid to the renderer and would not be seen in the actual game. I've included an image of Malek (Blood Omen) for comparison.
Proof of concept screenshots
I've included as shot of Malek's Bastion from Blood Omen, for comparison.
And that's everything we know about Blood Omen 3. Vae Victus!
If you're interesting in further Legacy of Kain discoveries, I've also posted threads at Nosgothing Realm showing screenshots of the cancelled PS1/Dreamcast version of Soul Reaver 2 and some concept art of the lost Hylden Castes in Blood Omen 2.