Beta Comparison - Gameplay
The early version has an extra option called cheats at the title screen. It has options to turn on all warpgates, skip all cutscenes (which freezes the game though) and other. Those are the same functions which are found in its debug menu. Later beta and final release do not have this option at the title screen.
There are two Raziel models which werer made for the PlayStation versions - the early Raziel model found in the Lighthouse Demo and SRD video and the final version of the model, found in the betas and retail. The only difference between Raziel's model in betas and RV is the slightly lighter tone of Raziel's textures (notably the cowl) in TEB. Raziel's wings sometimes get stuck in certain position in TEB, which was fixed in RV.
Raziel's stance during cutscenes differs in each of these versions. In the early beta, the stance would always correspond to the type of weapon Raziel was holding. In the later beta, the weapon becomes transparent and Soul Reaver always retracts into his palm and Raziel still appears to be holding it. In the final version, the stance is defaulted to non-weapon and weapon becomes transparent at all times (except for the Soul Reaver).
Raziel's attacking weapon animations are the same in all versions but there is one exception. When trying to ignite an enemy with the torch, the animation of igniting is much slower in the early beta than the other versions and resembles the igniting animation from the KainDemo Video.
Raziel's side climbing in TEB resembles the animation from Defiance. It's a bit slower and it was changed in TLB and RV for a faster animation.
The particles surrounding Raziel when he phases through gates were added in TLB and RV. He also phases through gates notably faster in TEB.
Raziel always turns his head and looks on nearby enemies in TEB and the retail. However, this was temporarily removed in TLB for unknown reason and it was replaced with Raziel following important objects (such as obelisks in the Force Glyph Chamber or breakable stained glass in the Drowned Abbey).
Since movable or breakable objects are not as frequent as encountering enemies in the game, the developers probably changed it back to Raziel's head tracking enemies instead of objects in the retail version.
Raziel's attack changed from "hack'n'slashing" with claws as seen in The Lighthouse Demo or The KainDemo Video. Dodging an enemy attack was probably difficult and was replaced with various strikes which can be chained to make a three strike combo instead. For a bigger diversity, the new system also added a possibility to perform powerful thrust towards the enemies. The way Raziel performs the move has been changed from an upward to a downward slash (TEB and TLB) to a horizontal slash (RV) while being locked onto an enemy.
When impaling an enemy in TEB, the animation sometimes occurs twice.
One of the first soul devouring animation had lots of small blue particles spawning when Raziel tries to devour a soul (as seen in The KainDemo Video and The Lighthouse Demo). That was later changed and replaced by a quicker soul devouring animation accompanied by lesser amount of bigger, green particles, possibly for framerate reasons. The blue particles returned in Soul Reaver 2 and in Defiance, they have been completely removed, replaced by a white light emanating from Raziel's throat.
Raziel's health coil underwent few design changes as well. Originally, it was blue in TEB and the spectral version was a slightly distorted version of the material one. In TLB and RV, the coil's colour was changed to green and the spectral version has sharper corners.
Raziel's telekinetic projectile has a polygonal shape in TEB. In TLB, the shape is thinner, while in RV, the projectile has a shape of a ball.
Raziel's shifting animation also underwent a slight change. In TEB, the animation occurs slower.
For some reason, during a cutscene, Raziel is not placed in the middle where he was standing but is positioned slightly to the right (the first Underworld cutscene and obtaining the Reaver).
The Soul Reaver
The Reaver blade functions a bit differently in the betas than in the retail version. In TEB, the Reaver is acquired by defeating Kain at the Pillars (just like in the RV) or by using the debug menu. It already possesses the projectile ability while in the later beta and final version, the player needs to acquire Morlock's relic to enable the Reaver to shoot projectiles.
The Reaver's projectile colour and particles changed in the different versions.
The Reaver can be charged to destroy stunned enemies only in TLB and RV. This ability hasn't been added in TEB yet and Raziel will always pickup the enemy if it is reduced to a stunned state.
The Reaver makes a regular "swoosh" sound in TEB in both realms. However, in TLB and RV, the wraith blade makes a "crying" sound in the spectral realm (slightly reminiscent of the Soul Reaver�s cry in Blood Omen).
In the beta versions, the Fire Reaver can destroy enemies by igniting them in a single slash. The Fire Reaver projectile appears to be unfinished in TEB but is still capable of killing enemies. In the final version, the enemies require to be stunned (it stuns them in one blow, while a regular Reaver requires two strikes).
The one hit kill slash of the Fire Reaver in TEB and TLB was probably altered to the charging strike in RV because the battles became too easy.
When Raziel shifts from spectral realm to the physical world in TEB, the Reaver doesn't change its colour from green to blue like in TLB and RV. This is possibly because this mechanic wasn't implemented yet. However, it is still possible to trigger it in the debug menu. The green coil is also much thicker in TEB than later versions and it constantly emanates a "resonating sound" even in the spectral realm. This was fixed in TLB and RV.
The direction of the coil changed throughout the games. In Soul Reaver, the Reaver coils from its tip toward Raziel's body (maybe resembling the fact that it sustains him), while in SR2 and Defiance it was reversed and the Reaver now coils from Raziel's body, outside through his palm.
|Screenshots of the Soul Reaver
Some of the objects and characters have slightly different textures in the early beta version. Some of the staves that Raziel can pick up look differently and can be found in different places than in the retail. Normally, it is impossible to use the gong stick on an enemy because the bars are too thick. However, it is possible to throw the gong stick through it and it can be used as an unlimited torch. In TLB, when Raziel tries to put down a weapon, it will always remain in a vertical position, unlike in TEB or RV, where it depends on if Raziel is standing near a wall.
The most frequently found green spike in the early beta has been replaced by various types of staff in the game. There is only one left in the Ruined City in the final game.
The movable block from the chapel has a regular texture in TEB, but in TLB and RV this texture was replaced by a woman's face. As the Priestess and the Undercity weren't part of the game at that time anymore, maybe the developers put her face on the block as a reminder of the cut content.
Raziel is unable to flip over this movable block in TLB and RV.
Raziel could also originally pick up weapons of the human enemies such as vampire hunters or vampire worshippers. It is possible to acquire a decorated stave, knife, crossbow or a flamethrower in the early beta, but those weapons can only be used as melee weapons.
It is possible to impale a vampire using a knife. It plays the same animation as when impaling with a staff.
Depiction of souls also underwent a change. In the Salvation, Revelation, Deceit trailer, the souls actually have the appearance of their bodies (later seen again in Defiance) but this was changed pretty early on, possibly due to PlayStation's hardware limitations. The souls were replaced with an green orb of energy as seen in The Lighthouse Demo and The KainDemo Video. However, in the betas and the retail version, the souls were given a brighter, non-transparent green colour with white core (with the exception of the souls of the bosses).
Planar portals appear as glowing blue orbs of energy instead of a round circle in TEB.
Another interesting thing is that the rocks don't shatter when used against enemies or thrown against walls in TEB, unlike in the TLB or RV.
Health Upgrades, Glyphs and Eldritch Energy
Raziel can collect health upgrades in all of the versions, however, in the early beta, they are placed in different spots than in the later beta and the retail.
The Glyphs in the Glyph menu are in a different order in TEB. With the Shift Glyph as its center to the left (clockwise): Sunlight Glyph, Water Glyph, Fire Glyph, Stone Glyph, Force Glyph and Stone Glyph. This order was fixed in the later beta and the retail to correspond to the order that Raziel can obtain the Glyphs.
The hud sprite for Eldritch energy in the early beta has darker blue colour and displays two "0" when the Glyph menu is summoned (but displays only one "0" when pressing Start). The first one is possibly for the max energy Raziel can carry and the second number goes up as you collect eldritch energy orbs. Collecting an Eldritch energy upgrade gives a health upgrade instead of increasing Raziel's max Eldritch amount he can carry in TEB. The maximum capacity of Eldritch energy in TLB is 24. This was increased to 52 in the RV.
Using a Glyph also does not consume any energy in the early beta. The Sunlight Glyph is not finished and even though Raziel has the casting animation, it has no visual effect or any effect on the enemies. The Water and Fire Glyph share the same visual effect and are impossible to tell each one apart in TEB. The Sound Glyph is deadlier. Instead of stunning the enemies like in RV, the sound waves shatter their bodies. The Stone Glyph only stuns the enemies in TEB. They turn to stone only in TLB and RV. When executing the Force Glyph, Raziel turns transparent only in TLB and RV.
Getting the Sound Glyph is difficult in TLB, because after ringing the bell Raziel has to jump and catch the orbiting Glyph.
It is impossible to gather all of the Glyphs regularly in the early beta version, because the game usually freezes during cutscenes when Raziel obtains the Glyphs. However, it is still possible to activate all of them in the debug menu.
There is a glitch associated with the Glyph statues. The Stone Glyph statue and Fire Reaver statue often disappear from their places in TEB. This could possibly explain the missing Water Glyph statue on some of the early Soul Reaver screenshots or maybe it hasn't been added yet.
The blue eye icon drawn on the ground which refills Raziel's Glyph energy is not working in TEB since his Glyph energy never depletes.
The game has several block puzzles and originally, this mechanic included moving the blocks on a steep ramp. It is possible to find a steep stone ramp in the Necropolis in the early beta version and push the block up or down the ramp. The second ramp is located in Ruined City, in the room with the two pools. Even though the mechanic was fully functional, it was probably removed due to being redundant because the player doesn't need to return the block to its original position. Several test chambers for pushing blocks are accessible through the debug menu and one of them has the steep ramps where it is possible to further test this functionality out.
The Stone Glyph puzzle in the early beta was originally a lot more complicated than in LTB and RV and required much more time to solve. The mural blocks are harder to get and this puzzle was probably simplified because of its difficulty.
The Warp Gates function differently in the early beta. Instead of locking Raziel into choosing the destination and going through the gate during short walking animation, or leaving, resulting in the default setting (the Abyss gate), Raziel can freely choose any gate he already unlocked and leave and come back without resetting it. This was removed in TLB and RV. When Raziel crosses over, the gate symbol on the other side is its mirror reflection, which was fixed in TLB and RV.
In the early beta, Raziel can also carry any item between the gates, since he can run in and out freely. The developers probably decided to limit carrying over the weapons through the Warp Gates only to the Soul Reaver, possibly to make use of the items found in the environment.
The order of the gate is random in the early and later beta for unknown reason. This was fixed in the retail version, where the order of the gates corresponds to the game's progress.
The order of the gates in the betas is: Underworld, Razielim Territory, Zephon's chamber, Silenced Cathedral, Chronoplast, Oracle's Cave, Ruined City, Sunlight Glyph, Abyss, City, Sarafan Tomb, Necropolis, Drowned Abbey, Stone Glyph.
The image of the Chronoplast on the wall was flipped in TLB, displaying different time than in TEB and RV.
The Warpgate symbols on the doors are missing in TEB.
Enemies are the same throughout the betas and retail. The only exception is that in TEB, none of the projectiles fired by enemies are capable of doing any damage to Raziel and that their projectile colour changed over time (from blue, green to transparent).
It is possible to impale humans or ignite them (but not necessary for killing them) in TEB unlike in TLB and the retail where they disappear instantly.
This mechanic was probably removed to distinguish the humans from vampires and perhaps depict them as more fragile and vampires as stronger, requiring more effort to kill them.
In order to not be attacked by humans in TEB, you cannot attack or kill any vampire worshippers. This was fixed in the later beta and retail.
After you witness the human slaying by the two adult Melchiahim, the human soldier in the next area will always attack you. Ignore him and all of the humans will start worshipping Raziel (if you do not harm any of them).
The sluagh behave a bit differently in TEB and TLB. If Raziel hits them with projectile, they will be thrown back and in in TLB, even "blood" will appear on their bodies.
In Soul Reaver, originally seven boss encounters and three Kain encounters awaited Raziel. This section contains all the information known about each boss encounter.
Although it is possible to reach him in TEB, the moving floor which Raziel can lower in TLB and RV is immovable here, because the lower sections of the puzzle have not been built yet or they display incorrectly and are passable. However, the tunnel leading to Melchiah is visible. The cutscene in TEB has some missing lines and slightly different angles. The battle is the same as in the early beta as in the retail version.
Melchiah's soul looks different than in the final version and it is possible to assume that all boss� souls looked the same in TEB, while in TLB and RV they have a different colours.
First Kain Encounter
In TEB, there are no doors leading to the main Pillars chamber, only an opening. Inside Raziel finds Kain, always teleporting to the spot furthest away from Raziel. If he is hit three times, it initiates a cutscene of acquiring the wraith blade. Achieving this is almost impossible, because the game freezes every time when Raziel tries to enter the Pillars throne room. This can be overridden if Kain can be hit three times before freezing occurs. In TLB, the introductory Kain cutscene is present and is the same as in the final version (with the exception of few closer angles on Kain).
After defeating Kain at the Pillars, the way is open to defeat Zephon. In the early beta, Zephon has no moving script implemented and his dialogue is different. He is also impossible to defeat since Raziel can't damage any of his legs or his body with any weapon or claws. The side doors to the soul sacks are present but they are non-functional. The dialogue has one different line (Raziel: "You were always weak, Zephon, and once again you will bend to my will.") in this version. In TLB, Zephon is fully animated and it is possible to defeat him. The dialogue has been changed to the one present in the retail version. The side rooms have been preserved and it is possible to phase through them in the spectral realm. The soul sacks in the side rooms are capable of spawning souls for Raziel to feed on in the spectral realm Raziel must be careful. Zephon has a retractable claw in the floor of the chamber, so if Raziel stands too long in one spot, it will strike and greatly damage him. These rooms were removed from the final version, possibly due to being redundant. Raziel can defeat one of the wraiths in the main chamber or devour a soul to gain his energy back.
Morlock was part of the game even in TEB. However, no dialogue is playing during their encounter. After Raziel throws Morlock into water, he does not gain any relic but instead, he devours Morlock's soul, just like in the case of other bosses (there are two souls spawned - a regular green and white one and a "boss" type of soul, same as Melchiahs'). Again, no dialogue is triggered and Raziel gains the telekinetic projectile for himself, since the Reaver already posseses this ability. In TLB, the dialogue is the same as in RV, however, a Force Glyph is spawned after Morlock's death. It appears that the Force Glyph was only a place holder until the telekinetic relic replaced it in the final version.
Rahab's textures look distinct in TEB and were changed in TLB. The dialogue between Raziel and Rahab in TEB differs from TLB and the final version (Rahab:"Raziel!" Raziel:"You speak with Kain?" Rahab:"When it pleases him." Raziel: "What more did he tell you?" Rahab: "That you will destroy me. Raziel: "Do you know what we were before Kain spawned us?" Rahab: "Human." Raziel: "Sarafan, Rahab, Sarafan." Rahab: "Does it matter? We were lost, he saved us." Raziel: "Saved us? From what?" Rahab: "From our selves."). After killing Rahab a cutscene plays, but Raziel doesn't devour Rahab's soul and there is no voice over either.
Dialoge with Dumah in TEB is the same as in the final version, though some lines are missing. Dumah's voice hasn't been also deepened yet in TEB. Dumah's eyes don't glow after he is resurrected and his taunt in TEB and TLB is different from the final version. It is impossible to kill Dumah in TEB because it is not possible to lure him to the gas chamber (the bridge will always be closed).
Second Kain Encounter
Raziel finds his way deep inside the Oracle's Cave and at the end, Kain awaits him. There is no door leading to the final Chronoplast chamber and no cutscene in TEB. Kain appears in different places in the room and if Raziel slashes him with the Soul Reaver, a trail of blood appears, unlike in TLB or the final version.
After Kain gets hit twice, he stays invisible and it is impossible to resume the fight from that point. It appears that the cutscene when Raziel gets Shift-at-Will from Kain was not implemented yet or was already removed.
If the player turns on Shift-at-Will in the debug menu before he activates the swimming ability, and then opens the Glyph menu, a screen message pops out: "You cannot have the shift anytime without the swim ability. Beat the Aluka Boss then win the second Kain Encounter."
The Priestess and the Undercity
After getting Shift-at-Will, Raziel's next goal was probably the Undercity Lair. Only City10/11 are preserved and it is possible to load City 10 from the debug menu in TEB. Just like in the final version, City 11 doesn't lead anywhere in TEB because it's missing the rest of the locations. Also, these two areas are incorrectly connected. City 10 appears to be lower than its actual opening. Even in TEB, the Undercity Lair levels are not present on the disc.
Raziel would have taken the path in the mountains, high above the Oracle's Cave to reach Turel's Smokestack. Areas labeled Morlock 1, 2, 7, 8, 14 are still part of the game. Rooms Morlock 7 and 8 are part of the Human Citadel, even in TEB, possibly because they needed a room for a health upgrade.
Turel himself was cut from the game together with his clan territory. Textures, labeled as Boss, have been posted online by one of the artists, which appear to be Turel's textures. Turel's dialogue is preserved on the disc and his voice actor in Soul Reaver is Richard Doyle.
It seems that Raziel even as a vampire was on good terms with Turel and wants to avoid killing him if possible in Soul Reaver ("Let me pass, Turel. I have enough blood on my hands today. My quarrel lies with Kain.") and also in Defiance, Raziel seems to be concerned about Turel's situation ("Why do you stay in this terrible place?").
Third Kain Encounter
By using the smokestack to get to Kain's Mountain Retreat, Raziel gets closer to the destined battle between him and his maker. The only depiction of Kain's Retreat is seen in the Chronoplast visions of Ariel and Raziel facing Kain. The fight itself would have probably been the same as the previous two - Kain would teleport around the room and Raziel try to slay him with his newly acquired Ariel Reaver.
|[ The weapons that look like giant darts, discussed in The Deleted Armoury. - Ben Lincoln ]
|See The Deleted Armoury for more information.
|See also Alternate Silenced Cathedral Areas.
|See The Undercity and The Temple and The Priestess for more information.
|See Turel and The Turelim Clan Territory for more information.
|See also The Death of Ariel and The Final Battle with Kain.
|See also The Ariel Reaver.