This is a list of characters and associated tropes from Legacy of Kain. Characters who span multiple installments and play important roles in the overarcing plot are listed under "Main Characters." Other characters are listed in the folder for the game they first appeared in. Be warned, unmarked spoilers are present.
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"Given the choice; whether to rule a corrupt and failing Empire, or to challenge the fates for another throw, a better throw, against one's destiny...What was a king to do?"
Voiced by Simon Templeman
The titular character and the guy who the series revolves around. Not always the main protagonist though. Was killed as a nobleman and revived as a vampire, and when he came to revel in his new powers he decided to conquer the world. When he discovered the destiny that had been set up for him though, he decided to play a game of Gambit Roulette to try and Take a Third Option between the choice of ruling a dying world or dying himself to save it. In his arrogance though, he failed to realize that Screwing Destiny isn't as simple as he'd hoped.
Admiring the Abomination: In Blood Omen, when seeing creatures mutated by the Circle's magic, while he finds the sight of them horrifying, he admits to having some admiration for the mind that created them.
Raziel: "Kain is deified. The clans tell tales of him, few know the truth — he was mortal once, as were we all."
A Lighter Shade of Grey: Compared with his enemies, his goals at least would leave humans and vampires alive. The behind the scenes manipulators who set the series in motion, not so much.
Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: Zigzags either way. He's trying to save the world from destruction and demonic invasion, but he's trying to save it so he can conquer it with a vampire army. On the positive side, he is not without the capacity for mercy, values his allies and considers some of them friends, and has some lines he still won't cross. On the negative side, he's a remorseless mass-murderer, is very arrogant and self-righteous, and will turn his back on the noble path if it's more advantageous to do otherwise. In any other franchise, Kain would be a straight villain, but in the Black and Grey Morality of this one, he's the guy to root for because his enemies are worse.
At Least I Admit It: He's motives are selfish and he won't deny it, but he looks down on hiding selfish motives behind supposedly altruistic ones. By the point where Soul Reaver starts at least, around the point where Blood Omen 2 took place, he was a at point where a Hannibal Lecture saying that his own drove away his followers got to him.
Back from the Dead: It's what sets the events of the franchise in motion — his revival as a vampire by Mortanius. Late into Defiance, he invokes it again by somehow surviving having his heart ripped out.
Badass: Telekinesis, shapeshifting, magic, levitation, teleportation, swordplay skills, a wealth of Stock Superpowers including strength, speed, reflexes, and senses. Kain is about the textbook definition of the classical vampire overlord, and is all kinds of awesome for it.
Badass Boast: Kain's self confidence is pretty much impossible to undermine. He treats any enemy like an insect that will soon be squished under his boot. Even if they are clearly a lot stronger then he is. For a sample, here's his Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? moment, though a major spoiler.
"False god! Thisis the end! The final turn of your wheel!"
Badass Cape: His iconic attire for the series as pictured involves a sash with his clan emblem round over his chest and draping over the shoulder.
Like a Badass out of Hell: Pseudo-invoking of Type II in Blood Omen, when he's shown trapped in a Hell dimension until Mortanius ropes him into service. Invokes a Type I in Defiance when he's banished to the dimension of the Hylden, which conveniently looks like the same place as he was sent in Blood Omen, and he fights his way out.
Bad Boss / Benevolent Boss: Ziz-zags these. One on hand, there's what he did to Raziel and the fact that he planned for him to kill his other lieutenants, but on the other hand he does still occasionally show some value for the lives those that stay loyal to him.
Bad Liar: He makes some attempts at lying in Blood Omen 2, and they don't fool anybody.
Break the Haughty: Set up a couple times, but ultimately subverted — even when Kain's plans blow up in his face, his arrogance is unshaken, and he sets out to find out what went wrong and how to correct it. As such, he isn't shown to dwell on failures and generally continues on with his usual behavior. However, Moebius's Batman Gambit of using the death of William the Just to enact a vampire genocide thanks to Kain likely shattered what limited idealism he had in the early days of the series.
The Chessmaster: Very much so. Spending centuries with access to a time machine certainly helps him predict and plan the various results he wants, but even so, Kain is damn good at this.
Xanatos Speed Chess: However, it only works so far as averting Raziel's fate — once that's been done and the timeline is changed, Kain is at a loss for what has changed and has to scramble to find answers and try to keep playing his gambits.
The Chosen One: Defiance reveals Kain thinks he is the prophesied Scion of Balance who is destined to return Nosgoth to vampire rule. Actually his true destiny as Scion is to wield the Soul Reaver to destroy the Elder God and free Nosgoth from his control, and with Raziel's sacrifice, he fulfills it.
Cool Sword: Wields the material Soul Reaverm also known as just "The Reaver").
Cosmic Lottery Winner: It's a bit fuzzy on exactly whyhaving his heart torn out and being banished to a Hell dimension doesn't kill him. There's been a Hand Wave from Word of God that it has to do with his nature as the Scion of Balance, but that's it. There's a discussion about this on the WMG page.
Cosmic Plaything: The series is all about Kain fighting back against people trying to make him this because the fate of the world hinges on his actions and his destiny being fulfilled or not. The problem for Kain is they know he's fighting back, which is why almost everyone in the series, past or present, wants him dead because he's too hard to manipulate (like say, Raziel). This fact is lampshaded by Raziel several times when he notes that people are lining up to tell him Kain has to die, and he knows there must be a bigger reason for it than they let on.
Dark Messiah: He provides the page quote even. Kain's destiny is to Save The World, but he's still a right bastard while doing it. His refusal to become a martyr to save the world at the end of Blood Omen is a perfect example — while it turned out to be the right thing to do because of the Hylden, Kain's refusal at the time was mostly because he wanted to find a way to save the world without having to resort to sacrificing himself, and in the meantime the world suffered for his decision.
Raziel thought Kain killed him because he grew wings, and Kain was furious that Raziel evolved before he did. The truth is far more complicated.
Kain holds a particular dislike of Malek, as he was the only Pillar Guardian in Blood Omen he couldn't defeat in single combat; he had to summon Vorador to do it. He defaced Malek's headstone in the Tomb of the Sarafan, and in Defiance when he needs to retrieve a sword and shield for a statue of Malek to open the path forward, he takes a moment to snark that restoring the statue's dignity is not a task he enjoys.
Evil Laugh: Heard quite often during Blood Omen when he's swinging his sword around, and again in the canon ending.
Femme Fatalons: In Blood Omen 2 — as do all the other more human-looking vampires in that game. It seems that vampires develop long, black claws prior to their hands (and feet) becoming cloven.
Genre Savvy: On many, many occasions. For example, when he notices a pair of Living Statue tomb guardians in Defiance who haven't yet moved, he remarks:
Kain: "These statues were singularly inanimate. I knew better than to assume they would always remain so."
Heroic BSOD: Has one at the end of Soul Reaver 2 when he realizes everything that he has planned and gambled on throughout the entire game has served the ends of his enemies.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: Killing the defenseless Moebius in Defiance while taunting him about how his abilities have failed him. Moebius might not have posed a danger to him anymore, but after five games, he's had this moment coming.
Magic Knight: He has straight magic in Blood Omen, but in later games sticks to his telekinetic and vampiric powers more.
Mega Manning: Absorbs power from his former lieutenants in Blood Omen 2.
Mercy Kill: Kain's pulled these off a few times. Though generally a sadist, he doesn't seem to have a taste for prolonged torture, preferring quick (if extremely painful and messy) deaths. Notably shown when he killed Nupraptor's servant girl in Blood Omen and Magnus in Blood Omen 2.
Mind over Matter: As of Defiance, telekinesis seems to be the most-used power in his magical repertoire.
Mr. Exposition: In Blood Omen, providing everything from info on abilities, weapons, and just information on the world and the characters he meets.
Multi-Melee Master: Kain has demonstrated skilled use of a large variety of weapons; in Blood Omen he carried three different swords(one of which was on fire and the other was the SoulReaver ), a mace, and a pair of axes. In Blood Omen 2 he used a variety of disposable, breakable weapons. However, he's never been shown using ranged weapons, only using magic at a distance; indeed, he admits to having fairly poor aim.
My God, What Have I Done?: When he sees the Elder God in Defiance, he realizes that what he forced Raziel to go through is much worse than he earlier believed.
Noble Demon: Not as noble as Raziel, but Kain does have a sense of honor and morality, however loose and skewed it may be due to the circumstances he finds himself in.
Older and Wiser: In Soul Reaver, he's MUCH craftier than in Blood Omen and Blood Omen 2, and thinks far more before charging in, given the time he's spent plotting and looking across the timeline. He's also far more willing to admit his own selfishness.
Orange/Blue Contrast: Wears red clothing, his checkpoints in Defiance and health meter are red, and lets not forget the hellish dimension of the Hylden he keeps revisiting. By contrast is Raziel's blue skin, blue and green checkpoints and life meter, and the design aesthetic of the Spectral Realm.
Pet the Dog: Now and then Kain does show altruism and kindness without any selfish motives behind the act. He sees Raziel as a valued ally or even friend and really does want to save him from his fate and is deeply hurt when he fails, and he seems to have affection for Umah, commenting she was at least brave to try and confront the Sarafan alone, and if she hadn't betrayed him she could have been his queen. In Blood Omen 2, he performs a Mercy Kill on Magnus, ending his centuries of torment and comforting him that he was a loyal lieutenant and the cause he fought for is not lost.
Moebius: You have seen my plan, vampire, as I've seen your destiny. The future says you die! Kain: But I am dead... (chops Moebius' head off) as are you.
Psychotic Smirk: He unleashes an epic one shortly before killing Moebius for the second time.
Red and Black and Evil All Over: Many of his outfits in the Blood Omen games, as well as his iconic image in the Soul Reaver games and Defiance, namely black leather pants and a red cape tied over his chest.
Removed Achilles Heel: In Defiance, Raziel tearing the Heart of Darkness from Kain's chest has the handy side-effect of making him immune to Moebius' vampire-weakening scepter.
Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Is a firm believer in this. Should anyone betray him, there's no way back for them. Umah learned that the hard way, when he killed her as she was half-dead and begging to save her. As Kain himself says, "Cowards and traitors deserve no second thought, only their complete annihilation."
Scars Are Forever: It's not easily visible, but he still has the scar on his torso from being assassinated as a human. It gets healed in Defiance.
Sociopathic Hero: Sure, he's saving the world, but in the meantime, Kain has absolutely no problems with slicing up anyone in his way, be they extra-dimensional demons, Sarafan knights, or just innocent civilians going down the wrong alley at night. That evil laugh mentioned above? Perhaps most terrifying when heard as he was about to feed... on helpless prisoners chained to walls who were begging him for help.
Sophisticated as Hell: When he first sees the Elder God, after five games of spouting all kinds of Shakespearean dialogue, the only thing he can say is "What in the hell?!"
The Fatalist: He's taking a huge gamble on his plan, so he's spent centuries gazing into the time stream to decide the best way to go about executing it. Thus, he knows how a lot of things are meant to be.
White Hair, Black Heart: His transformation into a vampire turned his hair white, and thus his transformation from an unpleasant nobleman to a wicked vampire overlord begins.
Vampire Monarch: Emperor of the clans, progenitor of all vampires post-Blood Omen era (the Continuity Snarl of Vorador in Blood Omen 2 not withstanding). and ruler of Nosgoth (for a time, anyway).
Villains Never Lie: Leaving aside the question of whether he is truly a "villain", this trope holds true with Kain. He tells ambiguous half-truths and makes vague hints, but he rarely lies. The few times he does he's a Bad Liar and the recipient tells him so, to which Kain usually admits it. The reason for this trope is mostly his arrogance — he's confident that the truth can never be used against him and he will prevail if he tells it. There are times when lying would work to his advantage, but he still plays it straight.
And this dialog in Defiance:
Sarafan Guard: Surender fiend and we will grant you a quick death.
Kain: I could promise you the same, but that would be a lie.
Villainous Valor: Kain's motives might be selfish, but he's not afraid to risk his life to achieve his goals. In Soul Reaver 2, when meets Raziel at the moment he was supposed to kill him, and while he does show some fear of his possible end, he takes the riskier option of talking Raziel into asserting his free will rather than trying to fight him.
Villain Protagonist: Kain is The Protagonist, and does have some good traits, but he is by no stretch of the imagination The Hero. When the series shifts to Raziel's point of view in the Soul Reaver games and parts of Defiance, Kain is treated as a villain while still having the same goals and personality as when players control him.
Will Not Tell a Lie: He'll withhold information, usually from Raziel, but he doesn't outright lie. It's not made clear if he's actually honest by nature or is just too proud.
He does tell very minor lies in Blood Omen 2 to access areas of the city that are off limits to the common folk. But he never lies when it really matters.
Worf Had the Flu: His defeat at the hands of Raziel in Defiance wasn't exactly decisive; he gained the advantage early on and held his own throughout; it was only when he let his guard down in surprise at the Reaver absorbing Raziel that the latter was able to strike the finishing blow.
"This one thing I readily admit—I have been used by others time and again. But always I seem to stray from their path...What is it about me, Demon, that makes me such an unreliable instrument?"
The other protagonist of the series besides Kain, he was Kain's right-hand man in his vampire empire, until he grew wings before Kain. Kain had him tossed into the Lake of the Dead to burn forever, but he was saved by the Elder God, deformed but given new life and a chance to avenge himself. However, Kain instead led Raziel on a trip through Nosgoth's bloody and complex history to make him see the bigger picture and the grander destinies they both deserve. Raziel discovers he has free will and so he alone has the power to change history, and in doing so he could bring about the doom of Nosgoth, or its salvation. Everyone knows it, and is trying to sway him into helping them more than their enemies — and unfortunately, he often falls for it.
Amazing Technicolor Population: As a result of his disfigurement in the Lake of the Dead and subsequent resurrection as a wraith, Raziel has bright blue skin.
Amnesiac Dissonance: He has no memories of his life as a human when he's raised as a vampire. This turns out to be a plot point.
And I Must Scream: First, he gets cast into the Lake of the Dead and burns for several centuries until the Elder God plucks him from the time stream, then between Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance he spends a few more centuries as the Elder God's prisoner. According to the Elder God this is the best he can do—Raziel's nature as his agent means he's physically incapable of dying, so he settles for keeping Raziel weak and immobilized. Raziel's fate to be drawn into the Soul Reaver may be considered this, the series doesn't make it clear if the "Raziel" spirit in the Reaver has full sentience or not.
It is implied that the "Raziel" spirit in the Reaver is not fully sentient, and is this way because he was dragged into it kicking and screaming, in the knowledge that he is doomed and everything he's striven for has only helped his enemies, in addition to the And I Must Scream nature of the prison. It is possible that Raziel's willing sacrifice with the knowledge that he is finally striking a definite blow against his nemesis will allow him to keep his sanity.
Anti-Hero: He's fundamentally good, but is not above morally questionable acts depending on the circumstances. He's also willing to kill whoever he needs to that gets in his way, but unlike Kain who relishes combat Raziel takes no pleasure from it and stays his hand on occasion. However, Raziel is simply too naive and doesn't understand the true nature of Nosgoth's Gambit Pileup for most of the series. This leads to a habit of helping villains without realizing it, which in tandem with his initially selfish motivations (i.e. revenge), keeps him from being considered a true hero.
Badass: Though not quite as much as Kain, Raziel is still very awesome, and in Defiance is able to defeat Kain in one-on-one combat. Kain states himself that Raziel was the strongest of his lieutenants.
Like a Badass out of Hell: Type II and later a Type I, he begins as a loyal servant to the Elder God but comes to rebel against him, and in Defiance fights his way out of the Elder God's realm.
Scarf of Asskicking: While Kain wears his clan sash as a cape, Raziel wraps his around his face and torso like a cowl to conceal the fact he's missing a jawbone as a result of his burning.
Body Horror: After being tossed into the Abyss, Raziel is little more than a blue walking skeleton and has no lower jaw. (And no genitals, for that matter. He doesn't wear pants in any of the games — because there's nothing left to cover up.)
Borrowed Catchphrase: When he defeats Kain in Defiance, he calls out Kain's own "vae victis" as he deals the final blow.
Cosmic Plaything: By virtue of possibly being the one being in existence who truly has free will, everyone tries to manipulate him into helping them, mostly all at the same time.
Cape Wings: Sort of. He did have bat-like wings, but Kain tearing the bones out and a few hundred years burning in water (which is acidic to most vampires) left them as dead flaps of skin. They act like a cape, and Raziel can hold them up with his hands to catch wind and glide with them.
Deadpan Snarker: He definitely begins to pick up Kain's wit as the series goes on.
"Ah, my ancient 'benefactor'... And I dared to hope we had parted ways forever. Your silence was refreshing, while it lasted. No doubt you have a conveniently inexpressible reason for your presence here?"
Deuteragonist: To Kain's Protagonist — the fact that Kain's name is in the series title proves the series is his story, but Raziel is clearly the secondary protagonist. And if not for the last half hour of Defiance, one could argue Raziel is the true protagonist with Kain as a Decoy Protagonist.
Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In Defiance, Raziel in no uncertain terms lets the Elder God know repeatedly he is quite over the gratitude of his revival.
Raziel: I should have known I'd find you here. Elder God: Here and everywhere, now and always. I am the Wheel and its turning, I am the circle of life and death. Raziel: And I am beginning to think the Vampires committed suicide only to escape your voice.
Doomed Protagonist: Unless he wants to undo history with dozens of paradoxes, eventually Raziel has to merge with the Soul Reaver whether he wants to or not. According to Word of God however, he eventually subverts this with Defiance, as the wraith blade Raziel holds is released into Kain to purify his sight during his Heroic Sacrifice, freeing Raziel's future self at last.
Dull Surprise: When he meets Kain in Avernus Cathedral in Defiance, he flat-out says that he's not surprised to run into him.
Easily Forgiven: Since Kain was responsible for what he went through in the first place, he never holds any ill will against Raziel for killing him and tearing the Heart of Darkness out in Defiance.
Fallen Angel: A recurring motif connected to him, particularly with him being thrown into the Lake of the Dead and rising as the Elder God's servant to hunt the vampires. The Elder God even directly refers to him as "my angel of death" a few times.
Faustian Rebellion: When he discovers more about what the Elder God really is, he stops serving him willingly. The Elder God and Raziel discuss that because of the way he was revived, the Elder God actually can't kill Raziel, he can only weaken him to keep him contained, and when Raziel is moving on his own the Elder God's only method to keep him in line is his Combat Tentacles.
Future Me Scares Me: Given that his future self is a ravenous, barely sentient ethereal entity eternally imprisoned in a sword, it's understandable.
Glowing Eyes of Doom: His eyes glow white, sometimes green. Green denotes that Hylden possession is influencing his actions.
Heroic BSOD: Has a brief one in Soul Reaver 2 when he discovers that it was his Sarafan self who murdered Janos, and again when he discovers that the Soul Reaver is actually his own soul, sucked into the blade and trapped there for millennia.
Ham-to-Ham Combat: While decidedly less hammy than Kain, the two shared some hammy moments in Soul Reaver.
Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of Defiance, he lets himself be impaled by Kain to grant him the power to defeat the Elder God.
Hunter of His Own Kind: Thrice over, believe it or not. He hunts vampires in Soul Reaver, wraith-creatures like himself in Soul Reaver and Defiance, and Sarafan in the latter half of Soul Reaver 2.
Immune to Fate: By virtue of being able to Screw Destiny freely. Defiance explains that while Moebius (and presumably other omniscient beings) can see the ripples in time from Raziel's potential actions, they cannot see which single path he will take of them because he really does have free will. Raziel essentially has a blank check to do what he wants because he's either too valuable or too powerful to be killed, but is also too emotionally unstable to manipulate with certainty.
It's Personal: His rivalry with Kain is centered on Kain casting him into oblivion and disfiguring him for a relatively petty act of treason.
I Was Quite a Looker: While he doesn't dwell on it too much, Raziel does often lament his current visage is a big step down from how he looked in life. Of course, this might be less about how handsome he once was and more about the fact that he used to have a stomach and a jawbone.
Knight Templar: Raziel has a natural urge to behave like he's entirely justified and in the right, and his enemies are entirely wrong, regardless of what causes or motives are involved. His Sarafan and vampire selves were exactly the same, only working for different sides. It's only after he becomes a soul eater that Raziel learns to see the viewpoints of others and understand the Black and Grey Morality that permeates the series.
Sarafan!Raziel: "You're a righteous fiend, aren't you?" Raziel: "Apparently I am."
Kain also lampshades this at the end of Soul Reaver.
Kain: "Did it trouble you to murder your brothers?" Raziel: "Did it trouble you when you ordered me into the abyss?" Kain: "No. But I had faith in you. In your ability to hate, in your self-righteous indignation."
Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Look carefuly at his concept art, and cutscene when he is thrown at the Abyss in Soul Reaver. He has his hair tied.
Magic Knight: Not as much as Kain though—he was at the height of his magical prowess in Soul Reaver when he could find glyphs that gave him access to magic attacks. The Glyph system and the abilities Raziel got from them were dropped in the next game, and the only magical powers or equivalent that Raziel was left with were his telekinetic skills and the powers of the Soul Reaver itself, which he cannot use on his own.
Meaningful Name: The Archangel Raziel is known as the Keeper of Secrets and Angel of Mysteries, and is associated with the Sephira Chokmah, for wisdom. Appropriately, Raziel is often compared to a dark angel due to his grotesque appearance, and his discovery of Nosgoth's bloody history and how he handles the information are the crucible on which the plot comes to turn.
Mega Manning: As he kills his brothers he absorbs their souls and powers. In Defiance, he unlocks new powers for the Reaver by feeding it the souls of former Pillar Guardians.
Muscles Are Meaningless: According to the Elder God, even though Raziel's more or less a skeleton, his physical strength is greater as a wraith than it was as a vampire. Indeed, he's able to push and pull big stone blocks and overpower vampires with ease. He was muscular when he was a Sarafan and a vampire though.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: So many times. Killing Kain most prominently, not to mention giving the Sarafan access to Janos' lair to kill him, and reviving Janos later to give the Hylden Lord the vessel he needs for his plans.
Noble Demon: While Kain is only in it for himself, Raziel really does want to do the right thing, he just doesn't see the larger scheme of things and so doesn't know that "the right thing to do" is a very hard term to define in this series.
Not So Different: Killed and revived to take vengeance on his murderers via a Deal with the Devil, forced to do morally unpleasant things for a greater good, prone to manipulation by others, prone to being very self-righteous — for all their differences, Raziel and Kain are very much the same. Kain lampshades to Raziel that if he would just learn to trust Kain, he'd understand they could be allies, since in his opinion they work for the same causes.
Orange/Blue Contrast: See Kain's entry for the same. Raziel is associated with blue-greens while Kain is associated with red-orange shades.
Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: Sorta. He's more moral than many of the characters in the series, and he displays a lot less respect when meeting Kain and Moebius than they show him in turn, though the latter was feigning it.
The Power of Hate: While he doesn't claim it, himself, Kain sees it in him. In Soul Reaver, he even claims this is how he knew Raziel would come back for revenge.
Raziel: "Did it trouble you when you ordered me into the Abyss?"
Kain: "No- I had faith in you. In your ability to hate. In your self-righteous indignation."
Prophecy Twist: Throughout Defiance Raziel and Kain both find murals depicting two champions locked in combat to decide the fate of Nosgoth, but the murals variably depict either of them victorious. Raziel presumes the two champions are him and Kain, though he's uncertain which is which. According to Word of God, it's much more complex than that — Raziel is both champions. He is the champion of the Hylden by way of reviving Janos and giving them the vessel they need to break the seal on their dimension, and he is the champion of the Ancients by allowing Kain to kill him and receive the empowered Soul Reaver needed to fight the Elder God. The murals show either champion victorious because Raziel allows himself to die to serve the greater good, perishing and triumphing with the same action.
Properly Paranoid: He's VERY distrusting, but it's still not enough to keep him from getting played, by the very people he distrusts.
Protagonist-Centered Morality: As noted under Knight Templar, this is an in-universe case. Raziel typically behaves like he's always acting in the right and his enemies are evil and should be defeated; the causes either of them fight for or the morality of their actions is secondary to this. Kain lampshades this repeatedly, referring to it as "self-righteous indignation".
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: A majority of his quest during the games, though he develops other motives eventually. Goes on a smaller-scale one at the end of Soul Reaver 2 against the Sarafan when they kill Janos.
Screw Destiny: This becomes his driving force once her learns that his fate is to become the ravenous soul-devouring spirit within the physical Soul Reaver. Ironically, he ultimately succeeds in doing so by giving into this fate...but under entirely different conditions. In doing so, he was able to purify the Soul Reaver, which allowed Kain to see and fight the true enemy; the Elder God.
Spanner in the Works: By virtue of possibly being the one creature in all existence who can Screw Destiny. Double Subverted since this simultaneously makes him the guy who can ultimately screw with everyone else' evil manipluations, but at the same time makes him the one guy to be the subject of said evil manipulations as everyone but him realizes this. Ironically, despite this power, he is the character in the game most likely to angst about how he seems to have no control over his own fate and finds himself manipulated at every turn.
The Unchosen One: As Moebius and The Elder God point out to him in Defiance, despite Raziel's belief he's The Chosen One, that title belongs to Kain. Raziel isn't the savior of Nosgoth, he's the guy who can make it right/screw it up for the real thing.
The Unintelligible: Defied. Though Raziel has no lower jaw to speak of, he is still capable of perfect speech. Amy Hennig has given a Hand Wave this as a result of "very supple throat muscles."
Unwitting Pawn: Ho boy, where to start. Pretty much everything Raziel ever does up until his sacrifice at the end of Defiance helps further the plans of someone else in ways he doesn't realize until it's too late. And even with that act marked in the spoiler tag, he's still submitting to the will of someone else and going along with their plan, he's just doing it willingly now.
Villain Protagonist: In the later parts of Defiance. The player knows that reviving Janos is a terrible idea, but Raziel does not and pursues his goal regardless of warnings from Kain. And ultimately and inevitably, it backfires and causes the events of Blood Omen 2.
Wrong Genre Savvy: By the time Defiance rolls around, Raziel has wizened up and realizes everyone is going to try and manipulate him for their own ends. However, when Kain tries to play it straight and tell Raziel the truth, Raziel assumes it's just more manipulations and refuses to trust him.
Your Soul Is Mine: Raziel devours souls to sustain himself. In Soul Reaver 2 the Soul Reaver itself will devour the souls of enemies Raziel fights with it, ultimately leaving nothing for him to snack on for healing if he deals the final blow with the sword. Furthermore, if he lets it get too worked up, it'll start to suck the life out of him instead.
The Soul Reaver
"The image of the Reaver was inscribed throughout this place, always depicted with reverence. The Vampires' holy weapon was borne by their prophesied hero, for whom it was forged."
The Soul Reaver is a legendary Vampire weapon, forged in ancient times by Vorador at the command of the ancient Vampires. The sword drains the blood of its victims, and is originally known as simply "the Reaver", but at some point it gained the ability to devour souls, transforming it into the Soul Reaver. The blade houses a parasitic entity that has a semblance of sentience, causing the Reaver to act on its own accord at times. This parasitic entity is eventually freed as the sword's spectral half to be bonded to Raziel. The history of the blade connects it to many of the power struggles and gambits being played through history.
Ancestral Weapon: As of Defiance, the Soul Reaver Kain wields in the Blood Omen games was originally used by his future self further in the past, making both versions of the weapon this to the other in a sense.
And I Must Scream: The parasitic intelligence in the blade has been trapped in it for centuries verging on millennia. It is implied when Raziel purifies it at the end of Defiance and transfers its power to Kain, his future self in the blade is finally freed.
Art Evolution: In the Soul Reaver games the spectral sword is a simple blade of energy emerging from Raziel's hand. In Defiance the Soul Reaver is instead a complete spectral sword with crossguards and a hilt that Raziel holds. This was the intended design all along, but graphical limitations of the time prevented it.
BFS: While the sword is much longer Blood Omen than in the later games (the longer reach probably because in that game it drained magic everytime it was swung) where it was longer than Kain was tall, the rest of the series the still presents it as a very long sword.
Blade Below the Shoulder: As described above, originally the spectral Soul Reaver was a blade of energy Raziel conjured from his palm.
Empathic Weapon: In Soul Reaver 2, Raziel awakens a parasitic intelligence within the blade, granting it a semi-sentience and causing it to act of its own accord at times. Turns out this entity is Raziel's future self, when he goes back in time and is absorbed into the material Soul Reaver.
Laser Blade: Its spectral form is technically made of spiritual energy, but the visual effect is the same, and it has sound effects similar to a Star Wars lightsaber.
Name's the Same: invoked Raziel is often referred to as a "soul reaver" as well. This is very relevant.
Overly Long Tongue: The blade of the Soul Reaver is actually the tongue of the skull carved into the handguard.
Power Glows: Takes on an aura when fully charged in Defiance, the type of aura depending on the elemental power equipped. Fire, of course, makes it a Flaming Sword.
Reforged Blade: Ironically, it was Kain himself who broke it, breaking William the Just's past version of the sword with his own Soul Reaver that was repaired between the two incidents.
Soul-Cutting Blade: The blade drains the souls of enemies. This also allows it to instantly kill vampires, normally immune to normal weapons bar impalement or decapitation.
Sword of Plot Advancement: For reasons that are obscenely complex to explain, the short of it is that the fate of the world hinges on the Soul Reaver, who uses it, and how it is empowered.
Weapon Wields You: Sometimes the Soul Reaver does things Raziel does not necessarily want to do, and even when it doesn't exert direct influence, Raziel comments he can feel when the sword is compelling him to do something.
Moebius the Time-Streamer
"Poor, deluded Raziel... did you somehow imagine you had the guile to change history on me? I'm the Time-Streamer: I knew your every intention before you did, you imbecile."
Voiced by Richard Doyle
One of the Circle of Nine and a central antagonist, he controls time and thus can travel though time and see the past and future. He manipulated Kain in Blood Omen to further his agenda to exterminate all vampires, but was killed. He reappears later in the series, where it's revealed he had plans for Kain and Raziel in place that transcend his death.
Ascended Extra: Goes from just being another antagonist in Blood Omen to being a major antagonist in the rest of the series.
Asshole Victim: Moebius meets his death in an unpleasant fashion, but no one can say he doesn't have it coming.
Back from the Dead: Got revived in Defiance about ten minutes after he died during the events of Blood Omen. He got to enjoy his second chance for all of another ten minutes before he found out Kain had also invoked this trope.
Consummate Liar: He manages to fool Razeil even though he knew he was untrustworthy.
Didn't See That Coming: As Kain delights in pointing out, Moebius definitely didn't expect him to survive his battle with Raziel in Defiance. Doubly effective because not only is Moebius The Chessmaster, he can also see the future.
Evil All Along: Though Kain initially believed that he was driven to villainy by Nupraptor's telekinetic attack on the Circle, it's shown throughout the series that he was a manipulative bastard waaay before then.
Foil: To Kain. While they're both manipulative, Kain at least places some value on loyalty and the lives of those faithful to him, and isn't afraid to risk his life to achieve his ends. Moebius cares nothing for those under him, and it is a Dirty Coward that only acts brave because knowing the future means he already knows how nearly every encounter he has will turn out.
Freudian Excuse: Kain discovers the reason for his hatred of vampires over the course of Defiance: When he was a child, he was kidnapped by vampires who knew he was to become the Guardian of Time, and wanted to turn him into a vampire so he would be better suited to his duties.
Humiliation Conga: See Kick the Son of a Bitch further down the page. In the span of about sixty seconds, all of Moebius's schemes blow up in his face, his powers fail him, and we see him reduced to a simpering old man before he's finally put of his misery for good.
Jerkass: Far more so than Kain even, as he often shows his face before his enemies just to mock them for how futile their actions are and/or that they've played into his hands.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: In Defiance, he's impaled and killed by Kain, and then his spirit rises from his corpse to be impaled and reaved by Raziel in the Spectral Realm, and both times they taunt him before he goes. Harsh, but after all that he's done up to that point, it can't be denied he had it coming.
Kryptonite Factor: His staff can subdue vampires with a wave. Even Kain and Janos can't resist its powers.
Works in reverse too—though he has other powers he's definitely not a fighter, and he's pretty helpless if his staff doesn't work.
Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Three times, in fact! At the end of Defiance, Kain impales his body, his spirit rises in the Spectral Realm to be impaled by Raziel, and then Raziel possesses his corpse for Kain to impale yet again.
Magic Staff: His signature staff can subdue vampires. It also has the power to subdue Raziel's spectral Soul Reaver, being that it's formed from Raziel's former-vampiric soul.
Manipulative Bastard: Oh yes. He has definite advantages in this regard (what with being The Omniscient time-streamer and all), but his ability to play Raziel, who is Immune to Fate, shows that his more conventional manipulative abilities are still pretty impressive.
Non-Linear Character: At any one point, the Moebius you're seeing could easily be the Moebius from another time period. He appears in Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance at times when he's technically supposed to be dead. Word of God said that the Continuity Snarl in Defiance when he appears at Vorador's mansion when he should have been killed by the Blood Omen-era Kain by then, was just Moebius jumping ahead in time briefly to taunt Raziel before he went back to face his death.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Invoked when Raziel first meets him. He doesn't buy it and Moebius quickly drops the act and laughs in his face. However he still hides his true role in the events of the series, and it isn't until Defiance that he lets everyone see just how powerful and in-control he really is.
The Omniscient: He can see through time, backward and forward, at will, so he not only knows all that has and will happen, but any time the timeline changes you can be sure he already knows exactly what's changed by the time Kain or Raziel find him next, and will know better than them.
Not So Omniscient After All: However, his sight is not completely foolproof. He can't see Raziel's future or what he'll do because he has free will — he can see the ripples in time from the potential actions Raziel might take if he chooses to, but they're liable to change any time so all he can do is manipulate Raziel into making the choice he wants him to take and hope he falls for it. And come the end of Defiance he doesn't foresee Kain's return either. Kain lampshades this trope when he realizes it for himself.
Kain: Is there a crack in your omniscience after all, Moebius?
Smug Snake: He is eternally confident and in-control, and tosses out a lot of smirks and sneers at Kain and Raziel. Mildly subverted in that this never bites him in the ass, he's just that good at what he does. And when he finally meets his end at Kain's hands in Defiance, it's due to something no one thought possible.
Squishy Wizard: Without his anti-vampire stick, he's not much of a threat, to say the least.
Raziel: This blade has instilled fear in the heart of creatures much more' *finger pokes Moebius* sturdy than you.
Time Master: His entire shtick, having the title of "Timestreamer" and all.
The Unfettered: In his goal to exterminate all vampires, he doesn't to care how many humans he sacrifices, needless or otherwise, to do it.
Unwitting Pawn: He was just the Elder God's tool with which to marginalize the vampires, once he's done that the Elder God has no problems letting him die.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: If we're to believe the murals Raziel finds, the humans were dominated by the vampires before Moebius led his rebellion, so for a while being a human in Nosgoth got a lot better thanks to him. He led that rebellion in the first place because he thought the Elder God was a genuine god, and believed his decree that vampires were a plague on Nosgoth that needed to be wiped out. As Raziel lampshades, when Moebius finds out he's been serving an Eldritch Abomination all this time, he realizes to his horror how wrong he's been.
An ancient entity dwelling in Nosgoth's underground, he controls the Wheel of Fate, which controls the destinies and souls of all of Nosgoth. As such he naturally despises the immortal vampires, and revived Raziel as a wraith to wipe them out and allow the Wheel to turn freely. After Raziel begins pursuing Kain through time and comes to doubt if Kain needs to die, the Elder God tries to sway him back to this path.
A God Am I: Presents himself as one. And the Ancients worshiped him as one too, as does Moebius.
Ambiguously Evil: Raziel doesn't fully trust him in Soul Reaver, but given that he's offering him a chance at resurrection and vengeance and helps him in his path for the latter, how can he say no? Turns out he was right to be suspicious.
Badass Boast: See his quote a little higher up. He uses variations of this speech a lot throughout the series.
Big Bad: Though there are many antagonists in the series, the Elder God is the central one. Defiance reveals he's the one who convinced the Ancients to war with the Hylden, making him responsible for the creation of Hash'ak'gik and thus guilty of his deeds by proxy, and he's also the one who gave Moebius the power to exterminate the vampires and motivated him to overthrow them. All he does is to further his goal to conquer Nosgoth and spin all souls in his wheel without dissension.
Bigger Bad: He's been around since Soul Reaver, but his role in Nosgoth's bloody history isn't revealed until Defiance.
Big Bad Ensemble: With Hash'ak'gik. Whatever events can't be traced back to Hash trace back to the Elder God or one of his servants.
Non-Action Big Bad: He prefers to manipulate people, and when we see him fight someone, his combat abilities are severely unimpressive.
Boss Banter: His Badass Boasting keeps going even in the middle of combat.
God Is Evil: Ambiguous since it is hinted that the Elder God may not be a god, but instead a very, very powerful Eldritch Abomination. However, since all other "gods" in the series are also shown to be some variation of demonic creature, and Nosgoth is a Crapsack World, a genuine god being an Eldritch Abomination fits right in.
The Man Behind the Man: To almost everyone. Even if the Hylden are his enemies, it was the Elder God's actions that set them on the path to becoming secondary antagonists with him.
Non-Linear Character: Raziel is quite surprised when he travels back in time and the Elder God calls to him by name. See below.
No Name Given: He's only ever called "The Elder God", and the title is never mentioned in-game at all. The only specific title or name given to him is "the Oracle", which he identifies himself when speaking to Kain.
The Omniscient: Being that he seems to control the concept of fate itself, he likely exists outside the boundaries of the normal spacetime continuum.
Puny Humans: While "human" isn't apt for most of the people he talks to, in general he doesn't think too high of much anyone.
While fighting Kain: "Pathetic creature."
The Stoic: Impressive example given the number of insults Raziel throws his way, up until Defiance where he starts taking more amusement in Raziel's suffering.
Stupid Evil: Wanting the extermination of the vampires. He's trying to kill the race that served him loyally and are keeping his enemies the Hylden from entering Nosgoth.Word of God says that he may have known this would be the result and didn't care, since the return of the Hylden still results in more war and death, and thus more souls for him to spin in his Wheel — presumably he'd find more servants to use against them once they got out of control as he'd done before.
Threat Backfire: Does a variant of his Badass Boast against Kain in Defiance while also threatening to bring the entire cave down on him. Rather than be intimidated, Kain realizes that if the Elder God wants him dead, it must mean he's a threat and can hurt him now with the empowered Soul Reaver.
Ungrateful Bastard: The vampires follow his orders and wage war against the Hylden in his name, and for their efforts got cursed. He abandons them and spends the rest of time trying to wipe them out.
Unreliable Expositor: Sometimes he's telling the truth, sometimes he's lying. Raziel settled on never trusting a word he says.
Walking Spoiler: His real hand in the events of the series completely turn the plot on its head.
Wild Mass Guessing: An in-universe example—Raziel suggests the Elder God isn't a true god but just a powerful entity presenting himself as one, and also wonders if it was really the Elder God who revived him, or if it was another force that did it and the Elder God just took credit for it to win Raziel's allegiance. Both theories are entirely possible, and Word of God says they would have explored them in future games that never came to light, but in the canon it's unknown what the truth is.
The Voice: In Soul Reaver, he's heard in voice but he doesn't make a physical appearance until Soul Reaver 2.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: No one is in-disposable to him; anyone that serves him shall be deemed not worth keeping around anymore if he decides so, even entire races.
"Rest...? A body is needed for sleep. Flesh and bones are required to recline. No, child, all I may do is watch, and remember, ceaselessly conscious as this wretched world's history unfurls. Ghastly past, insufferable future, are they one and the same...? Am I always here?"
Kain's predecessor as the Guardian of Balance in the Circle of Nine, her death sparked the circle's corruption and the events of the first game. The corruption of the Circle binds her spirit to the Pillars, and she will haunt them until the Pillars are restored — namely, until Kain dies. Thus she's pretty much condemned for eternity, and she knows it.
Break the Cutie: Not only did she have a terrible death, but she ended up with this after, too. See below.
Morality Chain: Her death is what caused her lover Nupraptor to go insane and corrupt the Circle of Nine.
Spirit Advisor: For Kain in Blood Omen and Raziel in Soul Reaver. Briefly revisits the role for Raziel in Defiance, but having a different idea of what he is compared to her future self, she just aids him so he'll leave her alone.
What the Hell, Hero?: Gets one from Raziel when he points out that she caused Nupraptor to be among Kain's first victims and deceived him into doing her bidding.
"Centuries of persecution have taught me well. Five hundred years ago, our race was nearly exterminated by the fanatical crusades of the Sarafan. And now the same sick drama unfolds again: in merely a decade, Moebius's cutthroat citizen army has nearly accomplished what the Sarafan could not. Vampires meddling in the affairs of men... Look where it has brought us."
Voiced by Paul Lukather
A high-ranking Vampire and the first human to be "blessed" with the dark gift from the Ancients. He's the one who forged the Soul Reaver for Janos Audron, though he doesn't know its true purpose. He prefers to remain absent from human affairs, as he considers them nothing but trouble, and fully embraces the idea that the vampires are superior beings.
Badass: He killed Malek in Blood Omen, the one opponent in the game Kain couldn't defeat.
Badass Boast: Vorador gets one in Blood Omen when he meets Kain for the first time.
"After slaughtering six of the sheep, I defeated their pathetic little shepherd Malek..."
Bald of Awesome: He's certainly a powerful fighter, though rarely shown in combat on-screen. Moebius remarks when his vampire hunters capture him in Defiance that the deed came with a high cost paid in blood.
Back from the Dead: They never fully explain why he's alive in Blood Omen 2: chronologically his death during the events of Blood Omen still happens, as Defiance takes the time to demonstrate. Defiance was supposed to explain it, with some cut content indicating Kain (present version) would have revived him, but it was left out.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Soul Reaver 2 shows us that Vorador's slaughter of the Circle was direct revenge for the murder of Janos Audron, his Sire.
Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Kain in Blood Omen 2. While they have a common enemy, they don't like each other, and nearly come to blows after Vorador learns about Umah's death before Janos breaks the fight up.
"Strange, isn't it Kain? That one cannot quite accept that which sustains him: you in your death and me in mine. But death cannot reign in a world without life... and soon you will find the quest ahead of you is yours and yours alone."
Voiced by Tony Jay (Blood Omen)/ Alistair Duncan (Defiance)
The Guardian of Death in the Circle of Nine, he's the one who revived Kain as a vampire in Blood Omen. Kain eventually finds out he's also the one who killed Ariel and caused the Circle's corruption. Outraged by the rest of the Circle's abuse of their power, he had Kain killed and revived him as a vampire to use as an assassin to kill the Circle, including himself. Defiance reveals he helped Moebius overthrow the vampires and some time later became a vessel for Hash'ak'gik to corrupt the Circle and loosen the shackles on the Hylden. His resurrection of Kain is his attempt to set the prophecy of the Scion of Balance going and put things right.
The Archmage: Mortanius was considered by most to be the most powerful magic wielder in Nosgoth at the time of the corruption of the Pillars. He's powerful enough that he could easily kill another member of the Circle on his own.
The Atoner: Mortanius, having unwillingly murdered Ariel, spends most of the first game trying to repair the damage this has caused. It's also revealed that he's atoning for an even bigger misdeed- helping Moebius overthrow the vampires and removing the Pillars from vampire ownership- by his resurrection of Kain as the Scion of Balance
Batman Gambit: Once he figured out the Vampires were supposed to be the ones in charge and Moebius' rebellion was in error, he revived Kain since he knew Kain was supposed to be The Chosen One, and hoped for the best.
Comes Great Responsibility: The reason Blood Omen gives for him killing the rest of the Circle besides the corruption, he views the power granted from the Circle gives them responsibility to rest of Nosgoth. Pretty much the only character besides Janos that believes in this.
Big Bad: Of the first game. Actually was the unwilling puppet of Hash'ak'Gik, the real villain of the first game.
Dark Is Not Evil: Mortanius' Necromancy is a perfectly natural form of magic tied with the Pillar of Death; also, demonic possession aside, Mortanius himself is actually one of the nobler characters in the series, especially compared to the rest of the Circle.
Defector from Decadence: As he believes that Circle exist for the benefit of Nosgoth, unlike the rest of the corrupted members.
Demonic Possession: Something dark is inside him and influencing his actions. Defiance reveals he's a vessel of the Hylden Lord, controlling him to bring down the Pillars from within the Circle.
Do Not Go Gentle: He freely admits prior to his battle with Kain that he has embraced his fate to die at Kain's hands. Doesn't mean he's gonna go down without a fight.
Easily Forgiven: While Kain does still kill him, he doesn't seem to hold any ill will against him despite learning he was responsible for Kain's death in the first place.
Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: In Defiance, it's revealed that under his mask, he's mostly human in appearance except for his unhealthily pale skin- which would be an Undeathly Pallor if Mortanius hadn't still been alive at the time.
Expressive Mask: His skeletal "face," in the first game is actually a mask- a very convincing one at that.
Prophet Eyes: Both his mask and his true self show blank white eyes.
"Embrace your destiny, Raziel. You must reclaim the Reaver—it was forged for you and you alone...Without it, there is no hope."
Voiced by Rene Auberjonois
The last Ancient Vampire and one of the highest-ranking of them, he is Vorador's sire and the one who commissioned the forging of the Soul Reaver. This also makes him the only person who understands its true purpose and thus the key to many mysteries. His heart, torn out of him centuries before Kain's birth, is known in legend as the Heart of Darkness, and is said to be able restore vampiric unlife.
Anti-Hero: Janos is probably the only character in the series who is unambiguously good and is always portrayed as helpful, gentle, and wise. However, he's still a servant of the Elder God with the rest of his race, even if he doesn't realize it, which potentially casts a shadow on everything he does.
Back from the Dead: Raziel's quest to revive him and get some answers out of him is his driving motivation in Defiance.
Beware the Nice Ones: Despite being kind and affable, Janos can and will kick ass if it's required of him. He would prefer not to, though.
Body Horror: In Blood Omen 2, he's deformed and devolved from powering The Device.
Cosmic Plaything: He worshiped an Eldtrich Abomination that desires the death of all vampires, got murdered by Sarafan and was brought back thanks to the manipulation of the Hylden to serve in their plans to wipe out humans and vampires alike. And as of the unaltered time, his final fate is to get chucked into the Hylden dimension.
Demonic Possession: What happens to him in Defiance, and kick-starts the events of Blood Omen 2. With the Pillars of Nosgoth corrupted by Kain refusing the sacrifice to purify them, the Hylden seal cracks wide enough for the Hylden Lord to seize Janos as a vessel.
Fate Worse Than Death: His ultimate fate, as of Blood Omen 2? Thrown through the Hylden Gate into the Demon Dimension.
Humans Are Flawed: His thoughts on humans. As vampires prey on humans, and also kidnapped the humans chosen by the Pillars to turn into vampires, he understands why humans see vampires as monsters.
Mr. Exposition: Though pretty much every character in the series can qualify for this (it's a very dialogue-heavy series), Janos deserves special mention as this is his purpose in-game. Raziel goes through hell to seek him out and later to restore his heart and bring him back to life just so that Janos can tell him what the heck is going on. When watching a cutscene featuring Janos, be prepared for a very long history lesson.
Lampshaded rather hilariously by Michael Bell (Raziel's voice actor) in the outtake videos for Defiance.
Bell: Oh good. You have the big chunk. You have the big exposition. Thank you! Thank you for giving him the exposition!
Religious Bruiser: He prefers not to fight, but he can when needed. And like the rest of the Ancients, he is a devout follower of their God.
Team Dad: Treats everyone, including Kain in Blood Omen 2, in a gentle and paternal manner.
Token Good Teammate: Between Nosgoth being a Crapsack World and the series running on Black and Gray Morality, Janos is probably the only character that is truly "good" through and through. He has no hidden agenda, he doesn't manipulate anyone, he has no selfish or self-serving motivation or goal, doesn't hold any grudges against humans for their actions, whenever he's on screen he's polite and affable, and he plays it straight when Raziel demands answers from him. It says something that in a series where most recurring characters are varying degrees of Magnificent Bastards, Janos is not.
Click the note to see how he looks later in the series. Massive spoiler warning. note
"Don't you see? My silencing of Ariel and its calculated repercussions is but the first act in my theater of Grand Guignol, of which you are the tragic hero. Play on, little vampire, play on..."
The main antagonist of the original game, he possessed Mortanius and murdered Ariel with the intent to destroy the Pillars of Nosgoth. His existence was revisited in later games, revealing he was a much more important character than Kain suspected at the time, and his plans were not limited to just the Circle.
Authority Equals Asskicking: The apparent leader of the Hylden and the strongest of their ranks, and was also the strongest among the Sarafan.
Batman Gambit: As Kain realizes when he saves Raziel at the end of Soul Reaver 2, Hash was banking on Kain doing this so Raziel would eventually revive Janos, giving him the vessel he needed to open the gate to the Hylden realm.
Big Bad Ensemble: With Moebius and by proxy the Elder God. Most of the conflicts Kain and Raziel face throughout the series trace back to one of them, and while we never see them come into conflict during the games, the backstory establishes that the two are enemies and are directly opposed to each other. The end of Defiance has Moebius addressing that now that Kain and Raziel have been dealt with, it's time to turn attention to the Hylden.
Hijacked by Ganon: Retroactively hijacks Blood Omen 2. Blood Omen 2 came out and named the villain "the Hylden General" aka the Sarafan Lord, but it wasn't until Defiance that it was revealed that he was the Dark Entity/Hash'ak'gik from the first game.
Body Surf: He's possessed Mortanius, Janos, and has likely used other vessels when needed.
Breaking Speech: Gives a good one to Kain at the end of Blood Omen 2, ridiculing him as a man that got far more power than he ever should have and still couldn't be satisfied with it and endlessly craved more while destroying everything touched, hence why everyone around Kain kept betraying him. Even though Kain follows with a Shut Up, Hannibal!, it's not a particularly convincing one, and the player is left thinking that Kain was trying to avoid facing the fact that his enemy was right.
I Have Many Names: Hash'ak'gik, the Hylden Lord, the Sarafan Lord, the Hylden General, the Unspoken. Though he's nice enough to share one with Turel, who also goes by "Hash'ak'gik".
Large And In Charge: As the Sarafan Lord, to his human servants, some of the Hylden under him are even bigger than he is.
Knight Templar: The war between the Ancients and the Hylden was started by the former, and only because the Hylden refused to submit to the Elder God's control. Hash is entirely justified in wanting to wipe the vampires out and free his people. He could be an outright Hero Antagonist except that, much like Kain, he has no regard for any humans caught up in his plans.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: His victory over Raziel in Defiance weakens Raziel enough for the Elder God to reign Raziel in and trap him in his realm again, thereby setting the stage for Raziel to have his epiphany moment and grant Kain the empowered Soul Reaver.
Not So Different: In Blood Omen 2the rule of the Sarafan under him is just as bad as the rule of Kain's empire in Soul Reaver, and worse when one realizes he planned on wiping out the humans. Noted by Umah, who asks outright how Kain's empire will be any different from the Sarafan, and by Hash himself.
With regards to Janos, they both feel their race was in the right with the war and the acts they committed, Hash'ak'gik feeling the vampires deserved their curse for starting the war and Janos feeling the Hylden deserved to suffer for what the curse did the vampires and what it drove them to do to the humans.
Omnicidal Maniac: His Evil Plan in Blood Omen 2 had him planning to use a superweapon wipe every remaining vampire and human.
The Omniscient: Possibly, since he seems to exist outside the boundaries of the normal spacetime-continuum. He clearly knows a huge amount about time travel, and is able to manipulate Kain and Raziel to his own ends across centuries backwards and forwards. If he doesn't have some way of seeing through time, he's a king among Magnificent Bastards for pulling it all off in a linear timeframe.
Puny Humans: His thoughts on humans are never made clear besides not caring if he wipes them out to wipe the vampires, but if he actually has the same disgust from them that the rest of the Hylden who appear in Blood Omen 2 do or is indifferent to them in unknown.
Tautological Templar: Insists that he, and by proxy the rest of the Hylden, are on the side of "justice" with their actions, including the cures on the vampires, even the part of it that drove them to pray on humans.
Xanatos Gambit: Through Mortanius, it orchestrated the events of Blood Omen in the hopes of destroying the pillars. Specifically, the pillars would collapse if either the Scion of Balance remains corrupted, or if there are no vampires left to sustain the barrier between worlds. By ensuring that the corrupted Scion of Balance was also the last vampire in the world, the pillars would fall regardless of whether Kain lived or died.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He is arguably this. A person spending countless centuries imprisoned in a hell dimension that twists its inhabitants and inexorably makes them mad, banished there for defending himself against crusading oppressors who are ultimately serving a parasitic abomination, could be excused for being a bit angry when he comes out. Targeting the now-innocent generations of humans in addition to the vampires with The Device might be a result of rage carried over from the war of the ancients spurred by the demon realm's madness, as the humans sided with the ancient vampires in that war.
Wrong Genre Savvy: During his final battle with Kain at the end of Blood Omen 2, he and Kain are at a stalemate with Kain holding the Nexus Stone keeps him him being harmed by the Soul Reaver, but he doesn't need to kill Kain because as long as the gateway is open he can just stall for time and let the rest of the Hylden pass through it. He didn't count on Kain having the guts to throw the Nexus Stone into the gateway and seal it, leaving himself vulnerable to the Soul Reaver but keeping the Hylden from entering Nosgoth.
Introduced in Blood Omen
Nupraptor The Mentalist
"Come, Kain... come share my pain..."
The Guardian of Mind in the Circle of Nine, Nupraptor went mad when he found that his lover Ariel had been murdered; with his psychic powers, he went about spreading his insanity to the rest of the Circle, kicking off the events of the first game.
The Empath: According to the Silicon Knights FAQ, Nupraptor is "hypersensitive to peoples' emotions and thoughts" and was more than a little unstable due to this- even before Ariel's death.
Walking Wasteland: according to both deleted lines and the Silicon Knights character biographies, Dejoule's powers have grown to the point that her presence can blister the skin and sterilize the cells of anybody standing too close to her- hence the reason why she wears an insulating cloak.
Malek The Paladin
"It is not often that a man sees his own corpse: it is a sobering experience. But I am far less interested in my own corpse than I am in yours..."
The Guardian of Conflict in the Circle of Nine, and the official bodyguard of the other members. After his failure to protect the Circle of Nine from Vorador's attack, Malek was punished by having his body destroyed and his soul bound to a suit of magical armour, condemning him to the post of Defender of the Nine for all eternity. In Soul Reaver 2, it is discovered he only failed to protect the rest of the Circle because Moebius stopped him from doing so; given that Moebius went on to be one of the people who sentenced him to eternal imprisonment within the armour, this makes him quite The Woobie.
On a more one sided note, to Kain. With the exception of Moebius, Kain never held a grudge like he held a grudge against Malek, defacing his (never used) tomb centuries after his death. This is likely because Malek is the only foe Kain faces in the series that he was never able to personally defeat. For his part, Malek's hatred was too firmly rooted on Vorador to care that much for Kain.
"I'll cut you from crotch to gizzard and feed what's left to your brides!"
Badass Normal / Empowered Badass Normal: As a human he was already a strong warrior that could fight against vampires on his own, even Vorador (though he still lost). As Animated Armor, he could reassemble himself if damaged, making him the only antagonist Kain couldn't defeat.
Dead Guy on Display: In the throne room of his fortress, he's left a rotting corpse "holding court." However, contrary to the quote, the body doesn't actually belong to Malek.
There's some confusion on that; there are two bodies in Blood Omen that are said to belong to Malek, one under Avernus where he was executed and one in his fortress. Both are identified as his in the strategy guide, and word of god has never cleared it up.
Well, the one under Avernus is just the skeleton. Possibly the one in his fortress is the rest of him.
The Dragon: Served as the Dragon to the Circle during their crusade against the vampires. Was dragon his feet during Vorador's assault on the circle Thanks to Moebius, and Kain was Genre Savvy enough to go after him early on.
Genius Bruiser: He might not be the most tactically-sound mind in the Circle, but he did manage to construct a number of machines built to recycle and fuse the souls of dead warriors into suits of armour.
Hopeless Boss Fight: Kain cannot kill him personally because Malek simply reassembles himself, and eventually creates an Advancing Wall of Doom. All you can do is keep up the attack long enough for the exit to appear.
Spikes of Villainy: His armies, along with their creepy red armor. The Nemesis himself is extra-spiky.
Vocal Dissonance: One of the few characters who shouldn't have been voiced by Tony Jay. As the Nemesis, perhaps, but not the polite, unsure boy we see.
Elzevir the Dollmaker
An accomplished toymaker and minor magician. During the backstory, he took part in a contest to produce a doll worthy of the Princess of Willendorf's birthday and won; as a reward, he requested a lock of the princess's hair- which he received. Shortly afterwards, the princess fell into a coma, and Elzevir ended up becoming one of Kain's targets in his mission to rally Willendorf against the Nemesis.
You Do NOT Want To Know: It's probably for the best that we never find out just what he wanted with the princess' soul. Even Kain seems pretty creeped out by it.
Introduced in Soul Reaver
"Do you not recognize me, brother? Am I so changed?"
One of Raziel's brothers, he was the last to be resurrected by Kain, and having the least of his power, still suffers from decay. Thus, on top of having to drink blood, he has to skin the corpses for hides to replace his own festering skin; by the time Raziel emerges from the Abyss, this practice has degenerated into incorporating entire bodies into his own, transforming Melchiah into a hulking mass of corpses and mangled organs. Even his fingers are actually severed limbs grafted onto the ends of his arms.
Puzzle Boss: Raziel has to lure him under spiked gates to impale him.
Sliding Scale of Undead Regeneration: Due to being the youngest and weakest of Kain's sons, his body is afflicted with decay, and he and his clanmates must graft the skins of their victims onto their own bodies in order to prolong their immortality.
"See how the humans' weapon of destruction has become my home- indeed, my body. A cocoon of brick and granite from which to watch a pupating world..."
Another of Raziel's brothers, his offspring have mutated into arachnid-like creatures capable of climbing walls and wrapping their prey in cocoons for later meals. Zephon himself has grown more massive and more insectoid, to the point that he resembles a thinly-veiled version of the Alien Queen.
All Webbed Up: the Zephonim's victims generally end up like this.
Tennis Boss: Though not in the usual sense of direct deflecting—he spits out eggs that Raziel has to pick up, light on fire and throw back at him.
The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: "Will... instinct... reflex action... the insect mind finds little difference. I warn you, brother, as my stature has grown, so it is matched by my appetite..."
Womb Level: The uppermost levels of the Silenced Cathedral have become a part of his body.
"You, of all of us, should respect the power bestowed by a limitation overcome."
One of Raziel's brothers, he and his brood have become aquatic creatures and overcame the vampire weakness to water. While his spawn are amphibious, Rahab himself has metamorphosed into a merman rather reminiscent of a shark.
Boss Arena Idiocy: A rather magnificent subversion—Rahab's territory is a flood abbey, and both his lair and the passage to it are also flooded. If Raziel couldn't shift to the Spectral Realm where water is insubstantial, he wouldn't even be able to get to Rahab's lair. And once you do get there, the only dry land are small pillars where he can easily knock you back into the water, forcing Raziel to shift back to the Spectral Realm.
Played straight in other ways though. If you have an aversion to sunlight, it might be considered unwise to make your lair in a room full of shatterable windows.
"The centuries in limbo have honed my strength. Not even Kain is my equal."
One of Raziel's brothers, and along with Turel one of the two who actually threw Raziel into the Abyss. By the time he is encounted, he has been impaled, trapping his soul in limbo. The centuries like this have transformed him into a wraith, able to exist and act in both realms at once and making him stronger than ever. Ironically, his offspring were scattered and disorganized when he was finally defeated by an army of humans, and serve as the main Mooks of the game, easily killed in two or three hits.
Advancing Boss of Doom: Even shifting into the Spectral Realm doesn't grant an escape, because he can move through both realms now.
Meaningful Name: Dumah is the angel of "the stillness/silence of death", reflecting Dumah's trapping in limbo due to his impalement.
Only Mostly Dead: His killers didn't really kill him, they just trapped him in limbo by impaling his body. Removing the spears allows his soul to return to his body.
Overly Long Tongue: His offspring sport long tongues capable of draining the blood from victims.
Small Name, Big Ego: It's mentioned that Dumah's own arrogance was what let the humans stake him in the first place. After being revived, he claims that the time spent in Limbo have honed his strength to the point that he is now more powerful than Kain himself.
Useless Useful Spell: The Constrict power Raziel gets for defeating him—there's a good reason why this is the one power Raziel doesn't retain in later games. It lets you bind enemies in place by running a circle around them, but to do this you're both letting the enemy attack you while you run, and you're relying on them letting you complete the binding in which case they're already holding still anyway. Its only practical purpose is to solve puzzles.
The Usual Adversaries: Not Dumah himself, but his vampire offspring serve this purpose. Since he was destroyed, his clan scattered throughout Nosgoth and are thus the most common enemies Raziel fights; they can be found not just in Dumah's old territory, but also in Raziel's, as well as around Kain's fortress and near the Sarafan stronghold, and other miscellaneous encounters. In fact, in and near Dumah's haunt is more or less the last place you run into them.
"Yes. I am changed. I have become a God. Greater than you ever were, Raziel. You were never a God. Greater even than Kain!"
The final brother and the strongest for sure, he has telekinetic abilities surpassing Kain's own. He is spared Raziel's vengeance in Soul Reaver, but returns later in the series.
A God Am I: Considers himself one, since he has a cult dedicated to worshipping him. Considering he is forced to be worshipped and is a prisoner against his will, however, this could be self-depreciation.
Boss Arena Idiocy: The giant gongs- though this may have been the Cult's way of keeping him under control.
Large And In Charge: Aside from the Elder God, Turel is probably the largest boss in the series. His vampire offspiring are also the tallest and most dangerous regular enemies in Soul Reaver 1, pretty much serving as Elite Mooks, with the first one you meet actually being a mini-boss fight.
Left Hanging: The exact means and reason of how and why he was pulled back in time to the Blood Omen era was going to be covered in a future game. Word of God has since explained it was Azimuth who pulled him back, using a time-streaming device of Moebius's. The intent was for him to be a host for the Hylden Lord, but he was too large and hard to control so they left him in the basement of Avernus and used him to invoke fear and reverence to the Hylden Lord among the humans.
Sanity Slippage: He shows some shades of this. Centuries of imprisonment and being worshiped as an idol haven't done wonders for his mental state.
Super Senses: In just about every form except for sight - he's almost blind. Note that he first recognizes Raziel by scent, despite Raziel possessing a random corpse at the time; apparently, his sense of smell is so powerful he can smell people's souls.
Wham Line: When he first appears you probably have no idea who or what he is, you just know he recognizes Raziel somehow. And then Raziel mutters his name, and suddenly the scene takes an interesting turn.
Introduced in Blood Omen 2
A member of the Vampire resistance, she is Kain's contact and assists him when she can.
The Mole: Kain believes this towards the end of Blood Omen 2, but it is never revealed if this is true or not.
Morality Pet: Seemed to be becoming Kain's, thanks to the Ship Tease. This makes the manner of her death all the more shocking. Kain's forcing her to acknowledge his dominance before killing her anyway is one of his few Kick the Dog moments in the series.
Also possibly for Vorador, since he seems to treat her more as a daughter than as the sex toys most of his female companions were in Blood Omen. His reaction to Kain killing her is the only time in the series he is seen to lose control and show strong emotion.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: She steals the Nexus Stone from Kain because she fears when he returns to power, he'll become the same type of Evil Overlord the Sarafan are, to vampire and human alike. It's hard not to understand or even agree with her concerns.
Wake-Up Call Boss: If you haven't figured out how to block attacks and use your Dark Gift powers yet, prepare to suffer.
I hold the cards now, Kain. Surrender yourself to me, or I will kill him.
One of Kain's former lieutenants, Kain apparently tried to kill him. Marcus claims it was because Kain feared his growing powers, but of course Kain denies this. However, Kain nonetheless has trouble shaking off Marcus's mental powers at first, and seems hesitant to fight him. Considering how eager Kain is to flatten other enemies, Marcus could well be right.
I failed you. I tried to kill him. Even now, I cannot remember how he defeated me. I was struck down, helpless at his feet, and then through his foul magic, he took my mind and transported me here to this... hellhole.''
Kain's final lieutenant, he ran away before the climactic battle between Kain and the Sarafan to side with the Sarafan. Or so Kain assumes. Actually Magnus snuck away to try and assassinate the Sarafan Lord, and was caught and thrown into an extra-dimensional prison. When Kain finds him he's lost his mind.