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MIA - Legacy of Kain

A franchise worth sinking your teeth into

Welcome to PixlBit’s inaugural edition of Missing in Action, a biweekly series that takes a look into the games and franchises of days gone by with an eye for bringing forgotten gems back from the dead.

To qualify for the MIA treatment, a game or franchise cannot have appeared on any of the current generation hardware, nor can a new title be currently in development, though unconfirmed rumors, speculation and hearsay are certainly permissible. In addition, the title or franchise must be well suited to the current generation. In other words you won’t be seeing E.T. for the Atari showing up on these digital pages.

In this edition I present to you for your consideration – Legacy of Kain!

The Legacy of Kain series began its development life in the Canadian based studios of Silicon Knights. The year was 1993 and Denis Dyack, the founder of Silicon Knights, decided that he wanted to make a console game that not only challenged gamers’ reflexes, but also their mind as well. Dyack’s vision was realized with the creation of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, a top down, two-dimensional action adventure game with some RPG elements to boot.

Published by Crystal Dynamics in 1996, Blood Omen follows the rise, the fall, and the rise again of Kain – a nobleman of Nosgoth. The game begins with Kain in his mortal form. This doesn’t last long though as he is quickly dispatched by a group of hired assassins. When given the chance to become immortal and avenge his death, Kain is quick to accept and rises from the dead as a vampire.

Kain is not the typical video game hero. He was deliberately crafted to be a malleable character that would be able to overcome the restrictive nature of what usually defines a hero. The motives for his actions are completely self serving, so the audience has no problem believing that Kain could swing in either direction on the morality scale. And since he’s so charismatic, Kain can quite literally get away with murder. Designing Kain in this fashion allowed for a level of creative freedom not often seen in video games at the time and opened up a slew of possibilities for future games in the series.

Vorador is a perennial character in the Legacy of Kain franchise. He is the oldest known vampire and was responsible for the creation of the Soul Reaver blade that played such a pivotal role in the series. With such a wealth of story possibilities that could tie right into existing games, it seems only logical that this would be the direction to go. But then again I’m not a game developer.

What do you think should be done with the Legacy of Kain series? Who was the better vampire: Kain or Raziel? Have any memories of the series that you would like to share? Make your thoughts known by sounding off in the comments section below!



Esteban Cuevas Staff Alumnus

09/09/2011 at 02:45 PM

Great MIA this week! I've personally only played Soul Reaver 1 and 2 for a bit on the Dreamcast and PC. I did enjoy the first one, second game was not as enjoyable. However, I didn't actually get too far into either one. As for Blood Omen, I'm aware of both games but never played them. I always thought the Legacy of Kain series seemed interesting. Not too many games stick so strongly to the macabre, gothic atmosphere these games had. Eventually, someone starts sparkling...

Nick DiMola Director

09/09/2011 at 02:56 PM

I have Legacy of Kain on the Dreamcast and I've wanted to play it for ages. I never really followed the whole series and didn't even realize that Blood Omen was a Silicon Knights game! I knew they had some connection with the series, but I was never clear of exactly what it was. Now I do.

Given that's the fact, I'm going to have to check out the game with Chessa. We both enjoy Silicon Knights' work, so it should be a treat.


09/09/2011 at 04:01 PM

My love for this series started with Soul Reaver on the DC and I chased that buzz all the way through to Defiance but never quite felt the rush again. Excellent work Jesse.


09/12/2011 at 01:52 PM

i never got to play any of these titles....I wasn't into video games during those years. Seems like when I try to play the classics these days, I'm unable to find motivation, based primarily on the fact that my current-gen backlog is ridiculous.

Oh! Xenogears!!! One day I'll get around to playing you...


09/16/2011 at 06:31 PM

Team Vorador!


09/19/2011 at 01:19 PM

Blood Omen, Soul Reaver, and Soul Reaver 2 are the pinnacles of the series. SR2 has a wonderfully convoluted plot that spans time and crosses destinies. The ending is a real brain-melter. Blood Omen 2 had some nice atmosphere, but was the first 'sub' game in the series. Defiance tried to be some other game instead of an installment in the Kain series - it had Raziel running around forges AGAIN and only advanced the plot through murals. Not up to scratch at all. The environments were also upsettingly twee in comparison to those of Soul Reaver 2 (the Sarafan compound in SR2 for example was cavernous, but not so in Defiance.)


11/09/2011 at 01:42 PM

Love the series since Blood Omen one. Any one can vouch. The LOK series is my number 1 rebootable series. Best voice acting(and dialog) in any game period.


01/06/2012 at 08:56 PM

I miss these games, I started playing the series from soul reaver 1 on the dreamcast. I never really got to spend too much time with this series or soul reaver 1, my best friend at the time owned a dreamcast when it had come out and he owned this game for the DC, He had let me try it out and years later I struggled to hunt down an original DC copy of soul reaver 1 for the DC seeing as Dreamcast tanked when PS2 was launched **sigh** I miss those days back to the topic at hand just the other day I walked into a gaming store and saw LOK: Defiance for 1.99 used so I bought it thinking it would work on my Xbox 360 to some dissapointment when I popped the disc in the drive and the message stating that the xbox 360 doesn't support this game I was mortified and was angry that I couldn't play the game **sigh again and again** thanks to microsoft they aren't really adding any more supportable titles for backwards compatiblity on the xbox 360.. Shame on your Microsoft you can and should learn from this it just goes to show you that backwards compatibility for old games is key to replay value of any game!

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