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Video Game / Nosgoth

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This is a war for Nosgoth.

Nosgoth is a cancelled online free-to-play multiplayer game created by Psyonix and Square Enix set in the universe of the Legacy of Kain series. After Kain's rise to power and the enslavement of humankind, free humans have been scattered to the far reaches of the world. After executing his first lieutenant, Raziel, by ordering him to be thrown into the Lake of the Dead, Kain disappears into the timestream to look for a way to avert Nosgoth's gradual decay. This left his five remaining lieutenants in charge. The Great Clans began fighting among themselves almost immediately and humankind took this as their cue to take back Nosgoth. In secret, humankind had rebuilt their society, developing technology to level the playing field against their supernatural overlords. The vampires, suddenly faced with a common enemy, unite. Now a war for Nosgoth between humanity and the vampire clans is waging.

A war where every battle is comprised of two ten-minute rounds for up to thirty kills a round.

Compared to the rest of the series, Nosgoth was not story driven. Lore was released alongside new content and it can be currently read here, but the game itself contained very little overall plot. The gameplay was third-person, with the Human faction being ranged and the Vampire faction being melee. There were five classes for each faction (with plans to release more) each with their own distinctive abilities. Each battle involved eight players, with both teams of four swapping to the other faction after ten minutes or thirty kills. There were two different game modes: Team Deathmatch and Flashpoint (King of the Hill). Sometimes Flashpoint was replaced with Drag the Body, a capture the flag like game mode that the developers did not finish. There were plans to release more maps, classes and gameplay modes, the majority of which never materialized.

On April 08, 2016 Square Enix Europe abruptly announced that Nosgoth's servers were shutting down on May 31, 2016. Officially, Square Enix claims that the cancelation was due to Nosgoth "failing to captivate a broad audience".

Nosgoth contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Surprisingly, Kain is hit by this through the lore expansion of the events between Raziel's execution and his resurrection: After ordering Raziel's execution, Kain did not order the genocide of the Razielim clan, he only left orders to his vampiric sons to not fight against each other and vanished from the face of Nosgoth, presumably to prepare for his real gambit. The extermination of the Razielim was carried out by his lieutenants alone.
  • Allegedly Free Game: Averted as of its closure. The only things that can be bought for real money are cosmetics and XP/Money boosts. A patient player can get all the abilities for in-game currency and classes can be unlocked with Class Tokens that are given away for free each five levels. When it became clear the game was going to be shut down, all classes were made available to all players for free.
  • All There in the Manual: Though the gameplay itself has zero impact on the story, there's an enormous amount of lore explaining how the war came about, how the classes reflect characters in the series, where everyone's powers come from, the niches filled by each of the clans, even the religions practised by both human and vampire. If you want to learn about it, however, you'll have to find it online.
  • Archer Archetype: The Scout.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Vampires. Not that the humans are that much better, really.
  • Automatic Crossbow: The weapon of choice for the Hunters.
  • The Beastmaster: Literally the last Human Class. They view themselves as nature's wrath unleashed on the vampires and go into battle with a special breed of hawk.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Sure, the vampires are bloodthirsty conquering empire, but the humans are more than a little unpleasant themselves, and once upon a time they were even worse.
  • Call-Back: Some of the details of the human classes are tied with Blood Omen
    • The Alchemists are cultists whose knowledge of their craft comes from the last Guardian of the States, Anacrothe.
    • The Prophets make use of the Blood Fountains to create their hexed bullets.
  • Call-Forward: Just as with Blood Omen, there are also many to Soul Reaver.
    • The surviving Razielim Sentinels, trapped and starving to death in a vault, found themselves mutating hideously as a result of their lack of sustenance; foreshadowing the fate of the entire vampire species once Nosgoth loses the ability to sustain natural life.
    • The lack of substantial sunlight is due to the furnaces of the Turelim, who were tasked with polluting the skies to block the sun from Nosgoth.
    • Both the Crucible and the Silenced Cathedral maps are close in appearance to how they look once Raziel emerges from the abyss. The Crucible is based on the design of the Turelim's territory while the Silenced Cathedral is depicted as the city within the tower that it would have looked like once it was finished.
    • The Evolved skins take this further - with the exception of the Sentinel, they're based on the degenerate vampires' appearances from Soul Reaver and were even designed by Dan Cabuco, that game's lead artist.
    • The abilities and their descriptions foreshadow some of the actions and skills that the clans would eventually take on. The Zephonim, who are regarded as masters of deception, will eventually overrun the Silenced Cathedral, and the Turelim are developing the telekinetic powers by which they are most representative.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: The entire reason why the Razielim are kept alive by the rest of the Lieutenants is because their flight abilities are too useful in the war against the humans to finish them off.
  • Cold Sniper: The Scout. A little warmer than most, but still not a guy you want to hang out with.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: Sort of, to really keep track of everything that's featured in the game and the online lore one needs to have knowledge of the original games, from Blood Omen to Defiance.
  • Crapsack World: Nosgoth is set in the early years of the Bad Future created when Kain refused to sacrifice himself to restore the Pillars of Nosgoth at the end of Blood Omen. Vampires are the dominant species on the slowly-dying planet, with humans little more than a slave-race. Within a few hundred years, Nosgoth will have completely decayed into the lifeless wasteland of Soul Reaver, populated by the vampires' feral, mutated descendants and a single dwindling citadel of humans.
  • Deadly Lunge: The Reaver's primary ability - to lunge towards his opponent and and lay into them with claws for a few seconds.
  • Expy: The Deceiver reflects the Spy from Team Fortress 2 - his abilities include backstabbing, masquerading as the opponent, and Invisibility.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: The Tyrant's primary ability.
  • Foregone Conclusion: By the time of Soul Reaver, though the vampires nominally won the war, their empire is in ruins and the vampires themselves are barely more than feral beasts.
  • Gratuitous German: Sommerdamm means... "Summer dam", dam of Summer. This is possibly a Mythology Gag referring to Blood Omen's towns, which had German-sounding names that didn't actually mean anything.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Two actually, the first is Dumah allowing the Razielim to stay alive under his service after hearing the news of the humans uprising since dealing with the humans takes priority over kinstrife; the second is the meeting in the Sanctuary of the Clans between the five remaining Lieutenants, who only agree to do so after confirming that the human revolt has gained enough traction to threaten the rule of the vampires in Nosgoth.
  • Guns Akimbo: The Prophet dual-wields flintlock revolvers. Yes, it's as badass as it sounds.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Male classes are specialised for melee, with the exceptions of Hunters and Scouts. Alchemists, Prophets, and Summoners either cast spells or wield projectile weapons.
  • Interquel: The game acts as one for Soul Reaver, picking up after Raziel's execution but before his resurrection.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: The 'Evolved' alternate skins primarily feature the vampires partially transformed into their monstrous Soul Reaver appearances. However, the Razielim Sentinels are already changed, so instead their Evolved skin depicts them as they would've looked before the mutations set in. Like Raziel himself, they were incongruously beautiful.
  • Jack of All Stats: Hunter for humans, Reaver for vampires - both are very average in speed, size and damage and make for good beginner characters.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Alchemist class is a big fan of fire, with her Fire Wall and Flamethrower abilities. No surprise, considering the founder of the Alchemists burned the laboratory she was enslaved in (killing everyone, including her fellow prisoners) using the naptha being manufactured there.
  • Malevolent Architecture: This is somewhat the humans' fault. In the 'Fane' map of the game, there is a section inaccessible to humans as a result of the rubble caused by them blasting in. A good Sentinel can pick up a human and drop them off there, cutting them off from teammates while the rest of the vampire squad finishes the lone human off.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The Zephonim Deceivers wear abstract masks over the upper-half of their faces.
    • Ditto for Razielim Sentinels. Not as noticeable on their default skins, but explicit on Evolved Razielim skin.
    • On the human side, most skins have some kind of mask, presumably to protect their identities.
  • Master of Disguise: The Deceiver can make himself look like the enemy at the drop of the hat.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Tyrant. He's slow, but he hits harder than other vampires and has the most HP.
    • Ditto for the human Vanguard - he's big, has a lot of HP and a shield that can protect him from a lot of damage, and his throwing axes pack quite a punch - but he's not very fast and can't throw those axes very far.
  • Our Vampires Are Different/Vampire Variety Pack: The vampires of Nosgoth are divided into six bloodlines, each descended from and named after one of Kain's six lieutenants, whom he sired himself. However, only five of the bloodlines were given playable classes; the Rahabim were planned, but never finished before Nosgoth's shutdown.
  • Path of Inspiration: Many humans worship the old Guardians of the Pillars and view them as having been martyred by Kain. They attack the vampires relentlessly in revenge, hoping to destroy the "corruption" of the land with them. Unfortunately for all involved, the Guardians had already succumbed to corruption when they died, and the rites practised by their worshippers worsen the corruption both in the world and themselves. The vampires, in contrast, worship only Kain.
  • Precision F-Strike: The human characters tend to drop the F-words in their dialogue, though rarely. What's even shocking about it is that the previous Legacy of Kain games, despite being rated M, the characters never said any profane language stronger than "damn", "hell", and, occasionally, "bastard".
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The end conclusion of the war: The humans are defeated and reduced to a single citadel in Nosgoth, losing all of their chances to overthrow the vampires in the centuries to come; however, Dumah would be sealed later on by human hunters, sending his own clan into decay; Turel would be snatched from his time by Azimuth to the past to serve as vessel for Hash'ak'gik, leaving his own clan leaderless; Melchiah's decay and devolution would later on make life unbearable for him; Zephon's conquest of the Silenced Cathedral would ultimately lead to him becoming fused with the structure and Rahab's own victory over water would later make him a waterbound monster unable to walk ashore ever again. As for the vampire race as a whole, Kain's own taint and the corruption of Nosgoth would eventually turn every single one of them into hungering, hideous and primal beasts.
  • Rain of Arrows: One of the Scout's primary abilities.
  • Retcon: The entire existence of the Razielim clan in this game is one, originally the clan was wiped out after Raziel's execution and no surviving member of it appears in Soul Reaver; in the lore of the game, a small portion of the clan survived their extermination at the cost of becoming devolved by hunger, Dan Cabuco, original artist of Soul Reaver, also theorized that the Razielim could have survived up until the events of that game.
  • Sibling Rivalry: After Kain's departure, the Lieutenants started a civil war, something that Kain explicitly forbade them from ever doing in case it gave the humans ideas. It did.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: A bit of that. The vampires are sophisticated, vain and obsessed with their complex traditions; humans are crude, ragged and even drop F-bombs, although rarely. This is intentional on the part of the developers.
  • Sneaky Spider: The Zephonim, who in Soul Reaver appear as arachnid-like mutants, are presented in Nosgoth as masters of deception and subterfuge.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: None of the Lieutenants are happy with having to cooperate with each other, the only things that unites them are their shared disdain for humanity and desire to maintain the supremacy of the vampires over Nosgoth.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The Melchahim Summoner is the only vampire class represented by a female model. This would have been remedied by the release of the Rahabim, but the game was closed before this came about.
  • Two Girls to a Team: The human side has the Prophet and the Alchemist. As noted in The Smurfette Principle above, the vampire side was planned to have a second female class as well, but it never materialized.
  • Theme Naming: Sommerdamm is one of four fortresses surrounding Meridian, each named after a season.
  • Vertical Kidnapping: The Sentinel's primary method of attack is to kidnap a human opponent mid-flight and then drop them from above.
  • Winged Humanoid: The vampires of Clan Razielim somehow developed wings before anyone else. It prompted Kain to execute Raziel, and the other Great Clans to exterminate his descendants after Kain's departure. The Sentinels are comprised of a ragged handful of survivors who were in hibernation, then bullied by Dumah into servitude when they emerged.