[ Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds ]

The Chess Match

article by Ben Lincoln


Of the deleted elements of Blood Omen, the Chess Match is almost certainly the most (in)famous. It is briefly described in Silicon Knight's FAQ for the game:

There originally was a chess match in Vorador's Mansion, but a serious bug was discovered just prior to shipping, and in order to not delay the release, it was removed at the last minute.

The chess match was a board with real people on it, which Vorador had set up to challange Kain. Kain had to figure out which piece to move using the Control Mind spell, and, if he made a mistake, the pieces would come to life and attack him. The correct move was a classic chess checkmate.

Chris Bruno (a long-time Crystal Dynamics employee) actually played through the Chess Match sequence while Blood Omen was being created. In his words, "I remember testing the BO1 Vorador's Chess game, it just was not working very well towards the end of the development cycle, so it was cut."

The dialogue files for the final version of Blood Omen contain a few phrases that bookend the chess match. Kain notes that "Vorador enjoyed his game," and Vorador appears to congratulate his victory with "so there is fight in you!"

In the summer of 2018, Lost Worlds staff obtained several prerelease builds of Blood Omen which feature the chess match. A video from the more stable of the two builds is presented at the end of this article.

Roy Wiedenhoeft provided The Lost Worlds with a screenshot of the Chess Match from Issue 30 of EGM2 (December 1996), which can be viewed at the end of this article. The clock in the screenshot appears to be from the MacOS of that era. How it got in the screenshot is unknown.

The opposing player's king appears to be Ottmar. Perhaps this was foreshadowing of his defeat later in the game.

[ Chess Match screenshot with caption ]
Chess Match screenshot with caption
[ Chess Match screenshot close up ]
Chess Match screenshot close up
File Size Author
The Chess Match (1996-09-15 Build) 48 MiB TLW/SK/CD
A video of successfully completing the chess match in the 1996-09-15 build of the game, as well as several less-successful attempts.
Audio Reconstruction
File Size Author
The Chess Match 536 KiB TLW/SK/CD
Audio extracted from Blood Omen, arranged by Ben Lincoln
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