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YMMV: Legacy of Kain
  • Angst? What Angst?: For all the stuff Kain goes through, he doesn't seem to react much to most of it.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Doing battle with Kain in Soul Reaver isn't very impressive in comparison to his sons. Each time you smack him three times while he stands still and shoots lightning bolts at you, and then you watch a cutscene.
    • The end of Soul Reaver 2, and the closest thing the entire game has to a boss encounter. While the Sarafan Inquisitors are really strong and you fight them all in a row, it's completely impossible to die because the Reaver keeps your health at maximum, and you can't even drop the sword to give yourself a challenge. Thanks to this, the final encounter against Sarafan Raziel becomes drawn out, but still unchallenging.
    • The Sarafan Lord in Blood Omen 2. For all the fear surrounding him, the fight itself proves to little different from the combat in the rest of the game apart from the amount of damage it takes to kill him. The fight start with same strategy of blocking his attacks and hitting him back with Incinerate while avoiding his unblockable attacks, and when Kain gets the Soul Reaver back the fight is about the same as any another in the game apart from the boss's attacks doing more damage.
  • Awesome Ego: Kain is one of the most smug, arrogant, self-righteous, cruel bastards you'll ever meet. But he's badass enough to live up to his own boasts, and moreover, the fans wouldn't want him any other way.
  • Awesome Music: The series is not really known for its soundtrack but Ozar Midrashim remains memorable as its one iconic theme.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Blood Omen 2; some fans hate it(see Dork Age, below) for being "out of place" with the rest of the series in terms of tone and content, and possessing the only true scrappy in the series, while at the same time presenting Kain with a characterization drastically different from what he showed in either Soul Reaver game. Others enjoy it for capturing the Puzzle Boss aspect that was dropped in Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance, and found it's use of steam punk and magitech unique and interesting, and justify it by pointing out that the game takes place in a separate time period from the rest of the setting, and pointing out that elements of steam punk and magitech were present in both Blood Omen and Soul Reaver, just considerably less priminent(and in the former case, sometimes harder to pick out due to the graphics), and that Kain's characterization is appropriate for the time frame.
    • The wraith-blade in Defiance; in Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2, it looked like a simple blade of energy emminating from Raziel's arm. In Defiance, it looked like a complete spectral sword, complete with a hilt he would grab; this was the intended appearance of the weapon all along, but graphical limitations at the time prevented it. Some prefer the original look due to it feeling more primal and "otherly", some feel that it shouldn't have been changed simply for continuity's sake. Others enjoy the look of the new blade, noting that it lends itself better to combat more complex than Raziel flailing his right arm about, and point out that the previous reavers- especially the fire reavers - looked like Raziel just stuck a traffic cone over his hand.
  • Broken Base: The announcement of Nosgoth created one between fans who were okay with the idea, and fans who were disgusted that after eleven years the series is brought back to life... bringing no resolution whatsoever to any lingering plot threads from Defiance, not helped by the fact that since Nosgoth is a Team-based deathmatch game, the odds of any story at all are slim.
  • Complete Monster:
  • Disappointing Last Level - Blood Omen 2 - The game starts promising, and most stages are true to the "gothic", pseudo-medieval flavour of the games in the series, with some steampunk technology introduced to show that centuries had passed in the plot - an enjoyable and credible fantasy setting. Then, the last few stages are set in a pseudo-sci-fi alien facility that would look more at home in a futuristic FPS than in a Legacy of Kain game. A game where its fun-factor was playing as a vampire, exploring atmospheric gothic/baroque architecture, attacking human guards and knights, was turned into a messing of genres where you have to find the switch to progress in bland similar corridors with little lights on the walls. The Hylden themselves, previously alluded to in Soul Reaver 2, are something of a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere, but Defiance brings them more in-line with the feel of the setting.
    • This is due to Blood Omen 2 being influenced by TWO canceled games that project lead Steve Ross had previously worked on. The first half of the game has elements of an unreleased Dreamcast title called Chakan 2 (a sequel to a Sega Genesis title) while the last part of Blood Omen 2 was influenced by a cancelled title called Sirens. Both unfinished games were entirely unrelated to each other hence the jarring differences when game elements were utilized in Blood Omen 2.
  • Dork Age: Blood Omen 2, which starts out with the traditional pseudo-medieval setting the series is known for and later descends into a Steam Punk setting rife with Magitek and extra-dimensional demons trying to invade Nosgoth. Defiance explains some of it, but keep in mind Defiance originally came out after Blood Omen 2...
    • Granted, there was always a bit of Steam Punk and magitek in the original Blood Omen as well as Soul Reaver, it just wasn't as promeniently focused as it was in Blood Omen 2.
      • Considering that Blood Omen 2 took place about 400 years after the first game there had to be some technological advancements.
      • And the first game had some really weird magitek of its own - how about a machine that makes animated armor soldiers in Malek's bastion?
      • And Soul Reaver 1 doesn't even sometimes bother with magic part of magitek - like in Melchiah's clan territory. Really, of all the series, SR 2 and Defiance are the less magitek-y ones.
  • Evil Is Cool - Let's face it, Kain wouldn't be as much of a badass as he is if he wasn't such a colossal dick.
  • Fan Nickname - "Blood Reaver," referring to the Soul Reaver before it became a soul-consuming weapon and instead drained the blood of its victims. The term is Fanon and the term Blood Reaver never appears in the games, but prior to becoming a soul-consuming weapon it was just called "The Reaver," which is obviously just going to get confusing.
  • Foe Yay: There's tons of it between Kain and Raziel.
    Zephon: And you are not His handsome Raziel anymore.
  • Game Breaker: In Blood Omen, Repel spell + Chaos Armor = WIN.
    • In Soul Reaver 2 there's a really glaring example. After you're able to summon the Reaver at will regardless of your remaining health, hide the Reaver and you can use the infinitely spammable combo of Light Attack, Light Attack, Heavy Attack, which will not let enemies retaliate at all while you attack them (and others will not attack you while you're focused on one), thereby eliminating nearly half the challenge of the game. (The other half comes from the platforming segments, which aren't generally hard at all.) If you prefer fighting with the Reaver, just alternate between Light and Heavy Attacks for the same effect.
  • Ho Yay: It doesn't matter whether or not you're wearing your slash goggles, some of the dialogue sounds... questionable.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Kain and Moebius, arguably. Their ability to time travel and see the effects of predestination give them advantages that most Magnificent Bastards don't have, but nonetheless, their manipulations are pretty impressive. Kain is probably superior to Moebius, because while Moebius is working with the Elder God and the predestined timeline, Kain is working against them and nonetheless manages to manipulate on a fairly even footing. Also, Kain most definitely has the Badassery, and the Large Ham style and flair that Magnificent Bastards usually posses, while Moebius is inferior in that regard.
  • Memetic Mutation - "This edifice was clearly significant, but I did not yet have the means to reach it."
    • You pissed off Raziel? You bastard.
  • Mondegreen: So who's this "Victor" Kain keeps yelling about?
  • Moral Event Horizon: Kain is initially believed to have crossed it when he chose not to sacrifice himself to restore the Pillars of Nosgoth simply because he wanted to rule of the world himself, and again with tossing Razeil into the abyss simply because he developed a Dark Gift before him. He's saved from it with The Reveal in Defiance he found himself in a lose lose situation, where Nosgoth would be doomed to an invasion by the Hylden if he died as the last vampire in Nosgoth, and that his actions with Raziel he had no choice doing do You Cannot Fight Fate present.
    • The Elder God crossed it before the series began when he ordered the ancient vampires to go to war with the Hylden after they refused to submit to him, and then really crossed it when he contentiously worked to wipe out the vampires after the Hylden cursed them, even though they had done exactly what he ordered them to.
    • Moebius crossed with his plot exterminate all vampires in Nosgoth. Even with his Freudian Excuse it's made clear he sees all vampires, regardless of their actions, as a plague that need to be wiped out and doesn't even care if his actions lead to the return of the Hylden, which Defiance showed he was aware would happen.
  • Most Annoying Sound - Kain's catch phrase, "Vae Victis" turns into this in the first game for his tendency to shout it at the top of his lungs every three or four swings of a sword.
    • Also in Blood Omen are those chained humans going "OOOOOH! Oh please! Help me kind sir!" again and again and again. The irony is that this gives you an incentive to kill them all, as quickly as possible.
    • And in Soul Reaver, the sharp noise that Raziel's claws make when he digs into scaleable walls or moveable blocks.
  • Only The Creator Does It Right: Most of the series is considered inferior to Blood Omen, since its designers — Silicon Knights — were cut out of the loop, the trademark essentially stolen by the publisher.
    • The Broken Base surrounding this started fading with Soul Reaver 2. Mechanically, it fixed many of Soul Reaver's problems like the repetitive block puzzles. Story-wise, many players infuriated with Soul Reaver's rushed cliffhanger and smaller amounts of plot were pleased with where the plot went, a return to a story driven feel instead of sparse cutscenes and dialog, and even with Soul Reaver 2's own cliffhanger, which clearly had more planning and thought put into itnote . Crystal Dynamics taking advantage of the time-travel aspect to add in heaps of Continuity Porn was also pleasing to many fans. Meanwhile, Silicon Knights has turned into a possible dodged bullet; their next two games were very well received (Metal Gear Sold The Twin Snakes as well as the near-universally acclaimed Eternal Darkness) but the two after those were anything but, effectively putting the studio in the ground even before they managed to lose a huge lawsuit against Epic Games that they started themselves.
  • Paranoia Fuel: All the antagonists that can manipulate you across time to their benefit, and can observe your every action from the day you're born until the day you die without you ever realizing it.
  • Player Punch: Razeil's Heroic Sacrifice. Even Kain is hurt by it.
  • The Scrappy: Umah, for her unreasonable character design, condescending attitude, and her betrayal later in Blood Omen II.
  • Sequelitis - With sparse dialogue, uninteresting villains and a plethora of block puzzles, Soul Reaver seemed to fall victim to this at first, but showed the depth of its morality and hints of a far-reaching plot - at the very end of the game, leading into Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance, which pulled the whole thing together into a far more interesting, many-sided and complex plot than even Silicon Knights could have foreseen despite the series' troubled development history. On the other hand, pretty much everyone agreed that Blood Omen 2, which was handled by a different team entirely and conflicted in many ways with the established plot, was pretty bad.
    • Blood Omen 2 is a complicated case; it's contradictions exist because the events of the game don't exist in the original timeline; the entire sequence of events portrayed in the game is how history re-shuffled itself when Kain delayed Raziel's imprisonment in the Reaver. Raziel himself noted that he could tell Kain was remembering things that didn't originally happen as history was re-written, and those new memories are Blood Omen 2. Of course, it's just as possible that was originsl and we saw the new one. The biggest loose end is Vorador being inexplicably alive, which was explained in a scene that had to be deleted due to time constraints.
    • Soul Reaver 2 does deserve a note, though, despite its contribution to the series plot: It cut out the exploration and much of the character advancement (with the Elemental Reavers being the only new skill, and those only really applying in the dungeons they are found in) from the first game, leaving only the story strung together by sequences of bland combat and a few interesting puzzles. The worst comes in the final stretch of the game, in which the player is subjected to a long corridor of unavoidable fights against highly frustrating demons, followed by another sequence of tedious fights that the players couldn't lose even if they tried.
      • Fridge Brillance comes to mind if you see it trough Raziel's eyes. For him, this unavoidable fights means that he is getting closer to his true destiny and everyone is trying to stop him at all cost from succeding. So every time he dies it only serves to reinforce that he must get to his destiny a soon as possible, without thinking for a second that this may be a trap and bites him in the ass. It works for Soul Reaver 2 but not for Defiance, where he already learned from this mistake so the unavoidable fights here are meaningless and repetitive even with the new combat system
  • The Woobie - Raziel goes through a lot. He gets destroyed and abused and manipulated so many times in so many humiliating ways that you can't help but feel sorry for him.
    • Averted with Kain. Even though he's back from the dead three times, was condemned to death by his fate, was corrupted since he was born, felt the weight of the world on his shoulders for some thousand years (which alone without training, which he didn't have, could drive one mad) and got manipulated to kill his kindred before being told to kill himself, he always manages to stay strong and confident, really rarely letting his feelings show themselves.
    • Poor, poor Janos Audron.

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