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Blood_Omen_2

Blood Omen 2: Legacy of Kain

Blood Omen 2 is a video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Eidos. It is the fourth game in the Legacy of Kain series. Although chronologically it is set between the events of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, the events of the game did not occur in the original history, and only took place in Nosgoth's history due to a paradoxical time-altering event which took place in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 which distorted the timeline. It was released on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, and PC.

Story

The vampire, Kain, refused to sacrifice himself to restore the Pillars of Nosgoth at the end of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, thus damning the Pillars (and the world of Nosgoth) to an eternity of depravity and decay. Following his refusal, Kain built a vampire army with Vorador's help and attempted to conquer the world.

Four hundred years after the events of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Kain awakes in Meridian (Nosgoth's industrial capital city). He remembers very little, and is lacking much of his former power. He is greeted by a vampire called Umah, who informs Kain that he has been asleep for two hundred years.

Two hundred years before, Kain's conquest of Nosgoth had been opposed by an army of vampire hunters called the Sarafan Order. The Sarafan Order destroyed Kain's army, and Kain himself was defeated in combat by their leader, the Sarafan Lord who then claimed the soul reaver from Kain. In the years since, the Sarafan have imposed harsh martial law on Nosgoth's human population. Employing 'Glyph magic' - a new kind of magic, deadly to vampires - they have hunted the remaining vampires to near extinction. Umah is a member of the Cabal; an underground resistance movement formed of vampires and working to undermine the Sarafan at every turn. The Cabal hopes that Kain will destroy the Sarafan Lord, and the traitorous vampires that protect him, having betrayed their own kind for personal gain.

Kain sets out to get his revenge, reclaim the Soul Reaver sword from the Sarafan Lord, and continue his ascent to power.

Characters

Major characters

Kain
The protagonist of Blood Omen 2. Kain is a nobleman turned vampire, with ambitions to rule the land of Nosgoth. He is also the last survivor of the Circle of Nine, as the Guardian of the Pillar of Balance. Umah
A vampire and lieutenant of the Cabal. She guides Kain through the first part of the game, reminding him of his vampiric abilities, and introducing him (and the player) to Meridian. Sarafan Lord
The antagonist of Blood Omen 2. He is a Hylden, one of a race banished from Nosgoth by the Ancient Vampires before Nosgoth's recorded history began. When Kain refused to sacrifice himself to restore the Pillars of Nosgoth in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, this Hylden re-entered Nosgoth, and rebuilt the defunct Sarafan order. As the Sarafan Lord, he intends to wipe out all vampires and non-Hylden races by activating 'The Device', an ancient weapon concealed beneath Meridian. He is really the Hylden Lord. Vorador
An old vampire and an acquaintance of Kain from Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Vorador is the leader of the Cabal, and gives Kain directions and advice.

Secondary characters

Janos Audron
The last of the Ancient Vampires. Janos is enslaved to power the Device, and this has caused him to devolve into a huge beast. Later, when the Device is destroyed, Janos regains his normal winged, humanoid appearance. Faustus
A vampire who has sided with the Sarafan. Formerly one of Kain's lieutenants, this indifferent soul betrayed the vampire's army and sided with the Sarafan Lord for power and protection. Faustus confronts Kain after his revival in the Smuggler's Den, but is (apparently) killed. Kain drinks his blood by absorbing his veins, gaining his 'Jump' Dark Gift. Marcus
A vampire who has sided with the Sarafan Order, with powerful psychic abilities. Kain and Marcus meet in the Upper City region of Meridian, and after exchanging harsh words they engage in a race to find the Bishop of Meridian who will guide Kain to the Sarafan Keep. Kain kills Marcus using the holy power of the cathedral's sound (which Marcus is highly sensitive to), absorbs his veins and gains his Dark Gift, 'Charm'. Sebastian
The greatest of the Sarafan Lord's generals, Sebastian is a quick-moving vampire who sided with the Sarafan Order. He arranged the ambush that allowed Kain's army to be defeated by the Sarafan. Kain meets him in the Lower City region of Meridian, and later in the Industrial Quarter where they battle for the Nexus Stone. Kain defeats Sebastian, who reluctantly provides him with information on the Sarafan Lord's plans before dying. Kain claims the Stone, absorbs Sebastian's 'Berserk' Dark Gift, and narrowly escapes the Quarter. Magnus
A mad vampire in the Eternal Prison. Kain first 'meets' Magnus while observing him as he obliterates two of the Prison's guardians. Kain lures Magnus into numerous pits of water leading into the Prison's sewer system before confronting him in a large arena. After a lengthy fight, Magnus regains his sanity. After Kain realises that this vampire was in fact his most powerful general before his defeat, Magnus explains that he did not betray Kain, but attempted to assassinate the Sarafan Lord before the final battle yet was defeated and sent to the Eternal Prison. Kain grants the dying Magnus his release by absorbing his veins (gaining the 'Immolate' Dark Gift) and departs. The Seer
A soothsayer that lives in the wastelands outside of Meridian who helps Kain along his journey. She is "an extremely powerful and mysterious Hylden" According to Vorador, she owes him a favor, but the reasons for this are not detailed (though may be in a future sequel).

Gameplay

Dark Gifts

Legacy of Kain vampires evolve over time, and the curse of vampirism manifests differently in every individual, giving them various supernatural abilities. In Blood Omen 2, these abilities are known as 'Dark Gifts'. Kain's personal Dark Gift is 'Mist', the ability to assume an insubstantial form when immersed in clouds of fog or mist. He also possesses 'Fury', the ability to unleash a powerful attack when sufficiently enraged. Though he starts with only his own evolutionary traits, Kain can obtain and use (to a lesser extent) the abilities of the traitorous vampires who have sided with the Sarafan upon defeating them and 'absorbing their veins'. Each Dark Gift has a symbol which is visible in their respective recipient's health display in the interface during the boss battle with them. The Dark Gifts and their inherent benefactors are listed here.

Mist Form (Kain): One of the two initial Dark Gifts; when Kain is standing in mist he is able to assume a mist form, making him near invisible, unless he moves directly in front of an enemy. While in mist form, Kain moves silently, and is able to sneak up on and dispatch enemies with a particularly gory stealth attack. The attack varies depending on the weapon Kain is carrying at the time. When a skull appears above an enemy's head, a stealth attack can be employed.

Fury (Kain): The second of the two initial Dark Gifts; in combat this allows Kain to employ a single strike at double his normal strength. This particular power is fueled by Kain's 'Rage Bar' (at the upper left hand corner of the screen). When Kain starts to glow red, the Fury attack can be employed.

Jump (Faustus): Allows Kain to leap further than humanly possible. When the gift is activated, Kain tenses for the jump, and a ghost image of his form appears. This image shows where Kain will jump to. When the ghost image adopts a purple hue, the jump can be made by pressing the button again. If Kain jumps into an enemy, the ghost image turns red, and an attack is executed as Kain jumps.

Charm (Marcus): Allows Kain to take control of a non-hostile character. When the gift is activated, a target appears. Once it is moved over a civilian character, the button can be pressed again, and the player then assumes control over that character. While under Kain's control the character can be moved, and can activate switches etc, but cannot attack and cannot stray beyond a certain range of Kain.

Berserk (Sebastian): Allows Kain to execute a flurry of attacks against a single enemy, culminating in a slow motion scene where the enemy is seen flying through the air after Kain's final blow. Like Fury, this attack is fueled by the Rage Bar.

Telekinesis (The Seer): Allows Kain to manipulate certain objects using his mind, particularly the special telekinetic emblems which act as switches during the latter portion of the game. This gift is targeted, much like Charm. It can also be used to attack enemies. There is no boss battle to gain this gift; it is acquired after Kain meets the Seer in the canyons.

Immolate (Magnus): The final Dark Gift. This power allows Kain to set his enemies on fire using only his mind, causing instant death to the targeted foe. The sole enemy powerful enough to withstand this unstoppable attack is the Sarafan Lord, the final boss of the game. This gift, like Fury and Berserk, is combat only and is fueled by a full Rage Bar.

Soul Reaver (Sarafan Lord): While not a Dark Gift as such, this weapon is gained during the battle with the Sarafan Lord. It also acts as his interface symbol throughout the fight. It is the strongest weapon in the game, and is unbreakable. It can also be gained, along with Kain's Iron Armour from Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, at the start of a new game following the entry of a cheat code at the Main Menu.

Reception

Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot PS2: 7.4 of 10
GCN: 7.1 of 10
Xbox: 7.6 of 10
PC: 7.6 of 10
IGN PS2: 7.4 of 10
GCN: 7.0 of 10
Xbox: 7.7 of 10
PC: 7.1 of 10
GameSpy GCN: 2 of 5
Compilations of multiple reviews
Game Rankings PS2: 73.2% (based on 48 reviews)
GCN: 67.7% (based on 25 reviews)
Xbox: 72.7% (based on 44 reviews)
PC: 72.4% (based on 14 reviews)
Metacritic PS2: 67% (based on 18 reviews)
GCN: 71% (based on 15 reviews)
Xbox: 76% (based on 22 reviews)
PC: 66% (based on 8 reviews)

Trivia

  • Blood Omen 2 is the only Legacy of Kain game that does not feature Moebius the Timestreamer, in the flesh. However, a huge statue of him can been seen in the Eternal Prison, and is actively used as a weapon during Kain's fight with Magnus, crushing the insane vampire at the end of the battle.
  • Blood Omen 2's events take place on the alternate timeline created by the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 paradox.
  • Vorador appears as the leader of the Cabal, despite being executed (by decapitation) in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. His presence and apparent resurrection is not explained. This point was intended to be covered in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, but this element didn't make it as far as the released game.
  • Blood Omen 2 was developed by a different team from those who worked on Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance.
  • Much of the art and plot seems to be taken from the cancelled Dreamcast sequel to Chakan: The Forever Man, although there is no direct evidence to suggest this, only concept art and speculation.
  • There is a copy of the painting Girl with a Pearl Earring in one of Meridian's taverns.

External links

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