Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy/Blood Omen III (cancelled game)

#1


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 Rather than bump the old thread (which very scattered in content and out of date) I thought I'd create a new OP with all the past and newly-discovered info and media.

FAQ

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)

  • Kain
  • Ariel
  • 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


Concept art

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.








Character renders

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.













Prop renders














Proof of concept screenshots














In-Game 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.
 
#8
Relaxed Muscle said:
Part of me, wants S-E giving another opportunity to this series, the otehr part it's just terrified at how Wada can defile and tarnish such a great series.
So far SE are doing okay with the Eidos stuff, but then most of the stuff was already well into development when they took over.
 
#16
First Let me say awesome work Mama Robotnik
Second I would bought the hell out of this damn it.
Third and most importantly please let us have more of this wonderful series
 

Archaix

Drunky McMurder
#20
I'd love to see this series come back, but not as a God of War clone.

...

It'd be a God of War clone, wouldn't it? You know, nevermind. Forget I said anything. Just put all of the games from the series on XBLA/PSN or something. That would be much less painful.
 
#24
I'm impressed with how much they apparently did in just a few months. While i would kill for a proper and high quality send off for the series, the odds of another GOOD LoK game are fairly slim. I found both Defiance and Blood Omen 2 to be quite dissapointing.
 
#25
In compiling this information, I've come across some really amazing artwork from the games. Take this from Daniel Cabuco (Lead Artist), in Soul Reaver 2 we only see it as a small mural but look at the amazing detail!



One of the most historically significant moments in the entire Legacy of Kain.

Happy you guys like the thread by the way!
 
#28
I made some kind of excited gasping noise as I read the title only to quickly segue that into a "d'aww" noise by the time my eyeballs got to the end of the title. Sadness.
 
#29
Mama Robotnik, I think that, by now, I'm starting to hate you. You keep reopening this wound and pouring salt all over it and it hurts every time as much as the first time.
I really loved this franchise, I would love to have a new game with Kain, and yet I keep reading these things about cancelled games, knowing full well that I'll never get another awesome Kain game.
 
#33
First off let me say it sucks they didn't make it for the fans of Kain and the Blood Omen games.

That said I have to admit I am a heathen and wouldn't have supported it, I don't like Kain and only play the Blood Omen games for Raziel so with out him staring I wouldn't have bought it.
 
#34
TruePrime said:
First off let me say it sucks they didn't make it for the fans of Kain and the Blood Omen games.

That said I have to admit I am a heathen and wouldn't have supported it, I don't like Kain and only play the Blood Omen games for Raziel so with out him staring I wouldn't have bought it.
Raziel was in the Soul Reaver games. Kain is Blood Omen. Your comment surprises me because I always liked Kain better than Raziel. Raziel was a pawn, literally. A bitch to Kain's golden path so to speak. The problem with the series is it's like MGS. The canon is too big and convoluted now. I would definately support a reboot of the IP. Legacy of Kain is the classic revenge story that could work with new characters.
 

Jocchan

Ὁ μεμβερος -ου
#35
GillianSeed79 said:
The problem with the series is it's like MGS. The canon is too big and convoluted now. I would definately support a reboot of the IP. Legacy of Kain is the classic revenge story that could work with new characters.
Most plot points were resolved, except Vorador's resurrection, Janos Audron's fate and Kain's revenge over we-know-who. The series needed a conclusion, possibly one that opened up some doors for a new story arc involving new characters, but not a reboot.

Count me in between those clamoring for a sequel.
 
#37
I totally missed this series but the more Mama keeps posting about the more I want to seek copies of the game and try it out.

The first two games, how would they play on the PSP?
 
#39
Ho-ly fuck.

Too much awesome source material, backstory, mythos, and lore in this series to have it ever end. Please continue the IP for current gen systems. You know what? I'd even be happy with a Wii or PSP game.

3DS!
 

truly101

I got grudge sucked!
#43
Hesemonni said:
I totally missed this series but the more Mama keeps posting about the more I want to seek copies of the game and try it out.

The first two games, how would they play on the PSP?

Blood Omen plays pretty well on the PSP (despite the loading, but that is every version) Have not tried Soul Reaver yet.
 

Kanik

Sonic handles my blue balls
#46
Everytime I see "Legacy of Kain" my heart races.

I'm always hoping for a sequel...but it's at least nice to know they were working on one and the series wasn't declared to be over.
 
#48
Garcia said:
EIDOS ! You know we want more LoK !
Its not Eidos' choice anymore, their masters at Square-Enix own the franchise. Unfortunately, I don't think they are even aware of its existence.

Splatt said:
I have to wonder, how good would the sequel be without the lead writer Amy Hennig :|
As incredible a writer as Hennig is, Blood Omen is still my favourite story in the series and it's a wonderful tale even without her masterful way-with-words. I'm comfortable to let someone with appropriate writing talent give a new script a go. Of course, caution is needed as we don't want another Blood Omen 2 on our hands. (Time has not been kind to that game).

Why aren't any of the LoK games on Steam? Like... everything else Eidos has done is on Steam except those games.
I've been really puzzled by this. The only game with serious compatability problems is the original Blood Omen, and they could circumvent that by releasing the PS1 version in an emulation wrapper or somesuch. I take it as more evidence that Square-Enix doesn't really know much about the franchise.

TruePrime said:
That said I have to admit I am a heathen and wouldn't have supported it, I don't like Kain and only play the Blood Omen games for Raziel so with out him staring I wouldn't have bought it.
Raziel's story is told, it ended was a perfect conclusion for the story arc and a magnificent moment of character development. Raziel's role was to be what Kain never can: A hero.

He should not start in any more games, it would cheapen the story greatly (as with Vorador in Blood Omen 2).

kai3345 said:
Legacy of Kain is like all the OP ever fucking talks about
Nonsense. I also make threads expressing my disdain with the current state of Sonic. Give me credit for being two broken records, not one.