2003 April Fools - Explanation and Reaction
As many of you have no doubt guessed, the "3 new Legacy of Kain titles in 2003" article, and the "press release" from Eidos were a giant April Fools joke. All told, it has been about four months in the making, so hopefully you enjoyed it.
The original plan was conceived by myself as a kind of LoK equivalent of the Fan-produced Star Wars trailers, but I decided it would make an even better April Fools joke. However, I soon realized I would not be able to carry it out on my own, and enlisted the help of Willow Ayala (of Just Play With Them), and Divine Shadow (LoK Hacker Extraordinaire, and author of his own incredibly cool April Fool's joke). Only together could we create a fully convincing package to spring on the public.
[ Trimmed down to only links that still work in 2007 - the Nosgothic Realm and GameFAQs forums no longer contain the relevant posts. ]
That's a pretty good count if you ask me, even if a few people didn't appreciate the joke =). If I missed any, please let me know.
The response overall was very good. Most people either fell for the joke, or at least thought it was funny. A funny phenomenon I noticed was that a lot of people who were sure it was a hoax came up with completely bogus evidence to support their theories (see "nitpicking the nitpickers," below). A small minority were actually offended by the whole thing, which was kind of disappointing.
Some of my favourite quotes:
Nitpicking the Nit-Pickers
As I mentioned above, one of the funniest things I noticed was the bogus "evidence" that some naysayers came up with to discount my expertly-fabricated evidence. There were certainly some flaws, but much of what was pointed out existed only in the minds of the viewers. Normally I don't like to nitpick, but I figure this is just what's coming to them =).
"the Lake of the Dead image is just pictures of the cliffs from SR1 but with the SR2 compass, the one with Ariel is nothing more than Raziel crouching... plus, why does he have the spirit Reaver if he's just about to get it?" - Omega One, Eidos Forums
As the 2003 April Fools - Behind the Scenes page shows, the "Lake of The Dead" image has no elements in it from SR1. However, there are comparison pictures at the bottom of this page for the unconvinced.
I'm glad I got it close enough to cause confusion, but the mock image has *nothing* from the original in it.
See the 2003 April Fools - Behind the Scenes page for a look at the Ariel image. The colour of the Reaver is a valid point, but I was trying to make it look like she was already being absorbed into it.
"I thought the most obvious fake was this one..... [ the image of Kain in the future at the Pillars ] Looks like Kain's been decapitated and had his head put on backwards Plus the medallion is on the front, not the back." - Anubis_Orr, Eidos Forums
That image of Kain is actually an unaltered picture of him from Soul Reaver 2. Again, there are comparison screenshots at the bottom of the page.
He needs another medallion on his back to hold his tabbard to his shoulder-harness.
"Hmmm...no screenshots, yet they made the cover? O_o" - FFKonoko, GameFAQs Forum
I used to work in UI design. We would always have the layout set LONG before the graphics were actually ready. One time I had to create a completely fake UI that was never going to be used, just to make a client happy with our progress. Besides, I didn't have time to make immitation cel-shaded mock screenshots =).
Someone complaining about the way Kain's head looks - I'm too lazy to track this comment down, sorry
Kain's head really does look like that. See the Deleted Bonus Material! below.
I had a lot of fun with this joke, and I hope you did too reading it. I promise the next SR3 images I post will be genuine. Um, unless they're not.
If you haven't already, check out the 2003 April Fools - Behind the Scenes page!
Bonus Deleted Material!
I had a label all printed out and ready to use on a box, but I completely forgot about it. I also had some screenshots from SR2 that I was going to try and doctor into looking like the player was controlling Kain, but I couldn't come up with a HUD design that I liked enough.