[ Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds ]

Boss Arena

article by Divine Shadow



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The Boss Arena is a circular room with five large statues evenly-positioned along the walls. The statues are identical, each a large silver face with green eyes. At the top of the faces are what appear to be complex copper and silver headdresses, with some of the finer details resembling wiring or piping. Along the upper rim of the headdresses are swirl-shaped symbols, and in multiple places on the statues are small green sphere-shaped orbs.

At the very tops of the objects (just above the foreheads), large curving brown pipes connect each statue to an unclear grey metal object mounted to the center of the arena's ceiling. Beneath this on the floor is a large gold triangular symbol surrounded by ornate decoration. A short distance away is the curved, pointed emblem seen in the Red Carpet Hall.

There appears to be one exit to this room, a large series of golden doors beneath a grey arch. On the other side of this doorway seems to be the Red Carpet Hall area.

One screenshot shows the room covered in a glowing green haze. The central triangular symbol has changed in colour from gold to green, and the torches on the walls are burning with an intense green flame.

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Story Speculation

If the Red Carpet Hall leads directly to the Boss Arena, then it would appear the arena is a very important place for Malek and the Sarafan Order. Consider that during Kain's visit to Malek's Bastion in Blood Omen, only a single room was decorated with red carpeting: Malek's personal chamber, a very significant location. The use of such prestigious decoration here suggests a place of similar importance.

So, why does this room exist? What role did it serve for the Sarafan, and in what capacity does Kain fight a "boss" here?

An immediate theory could be that the pipes pump steam into the statues, activating some sort of movement in them. Kain must therefore destroy the statues to conquer the chamber. Though concise, such a conclusion to the Bastion would not be particularly memorable or climatic, and would be incidental at best to what Kain has learned about the Soul Machine and the Hylden Armour Wraiths.

Let us consider a more story-centred explanation, starting with the reason this chamber exists: We have explored in other essays the ample evidence suggesting that the Bastion is of Ancient origin, with the buried Soul Machine also of same manufacture. We have also explored the idea that millennia ago, the Ancients could have made the machine itself as a way of summoning souls from the underworld for converse, a way for the race to literally interact and learn from their ancestors. The Sarafan Armour Wraiths and Hylden Armour Wraiths seem to evidence that for a summoned soul to remain in Nosgoth even temporarily, it must be infused into a vessel, be such containers stone, metal or flesh. Perhaps these statues served as temporary vessels for long-dead souls? A possibility is that the Ancients used the Soul Machine to summon souls from beyond death, and then the network of pipes seen in the caves below the Bastion would redirect the souls into this chamber, into the statues. These statues would give the souls a face, with eyes and a mechanical mouth to speak, and would allow the Ancients to question and learn from their deceased ancestors.

If this theory has merit, then perhaps during the Ancient and Hylden War, the chamber fell into disuse. During such a state of total war, with the Ancients fighting for their survival against a powerful and relentless foe, it would not be difficult to imagine the Soul Machine being repurposed as a weapon of war, perhaps infusing the souls of dead Ancient warriors into the dark stone winged golems seen in Defiance, to fight as soldiers against the Hylden.

Long after the war is forgotton, Malek and the Sarafan inherit the Bastion and discover the chamber, and come to revere it to such a degree that red carpeting must be fitted to its hallway. Why is this? Perhaps over the centuries, Malek learns to use the Soul Machine to summon vampire souls from the underworld, and redirect them into the chamber statues. Contrasting the Ancients use of the chamber as a construct of education and enlightenment, Malek could have bastardised it into an interrogation and torture facility. The souls of vampires, brought back from death by the Soul Machine and bound into the statues, would be at the mercy of the Sarafan Inquisitors. The soul could be questioned on the whereabouts of hidden vampire cabals and other secrets, and it is not difficult to imagine the Sarafan modifying the statues to torture the summoned vampire soul within. If this speculation is accurate, then this room would be one of the most important facilities in the entire Sarafan movement, their data-gathering and intelligence nexus. The red carpet therefore, has been fitted so its surroundings befit its importance.

When the Hylden took control of the Bastion, it seems that they were able to find some use for this chamber. One of the screenshots in particular shows the area bathed in a green haze, suggesting Hylden energies are operating here. A possibility is that while the Soul Machine is bonding the souls of warrior Hylden to armour (producing Hylden Armour Wraiths), it may also be summoning the souls of the strategists and scientists of the Hylden race from the Demon Dimension and infusing them into these statues, so they can oversee and command their foothold into Nosgoth. The Hylden Armour Wraiths would therefore come to this chamber for orders and guidance from their commanders. Only when the foothold is secured and the necessary resources gathered, would these senior Hylden leave the safety of the statues to be bonded to their own metal bodies.

[ Speculation on the use of the Soul Machine ]
Speculation on the use of the Soul Machine


When Kain cuts his path through the Bastion, we can presume that he deactivates or destroys the Soul Machine. He may then return to the surface and perhaps using the powers gained from the Dragon Statue Reaver Forge, fight his way to the most heavily guarded location he can find. He could discover that the Hylden Armour Wraiths are defending this chamber, overcome them and enter.

Considering our speculation earlier, if the statues do indeed contain the senior Hylden souls commanding the occupation of the Bastion, they will presumably be enraged at Kain's destruction of the Soul Machine, completely thwarting their plan and capability to summon reinforcements from The Demon Dimension. Perhaps after some exchanges of dialogue between sworn enemies, the chamber floods with green energies and the statues engage Kain in battle.

The images show that embedded in the central ceiling area of the chamber, there is a grey structure with pipes feeding into each of the statues. One possible way this battle could play out is that the grey structure may feed Hylden souls into statues, forcing Kain to avoid the statues attacks and target the ceiling. It could be that if Kain damages the central grey object enough, all the souls within it lose their vessel and disperse, ending the boss battle.

Another possibility is that the battle is a puzzle, like those seen in Soul Reaver. Perhaps to achieve victory, Kain must manipulate the structure on the ceiling so that through its connecting pipes, it takes Hylden souls from possessed statues and deposit them elsewhere. Perhaps by placing all the Hylden souls into one single statue, Kain causes that vessel to become overwhelmed and eventually explode, taking the Hylden souls with it and ending the fight.

Regardless of how the battle plays out, Kain would have conquered the Boss Arena. This might have been the conclusion to his entire journey through the Bastion.

There is no conclusive information concerning where he travelled to next, though some evidence suggests the possibility of Dark Eden.

Speculative Map

[ Speculative arrangement of this area in relation to others ]
Speculative arrangement of this area in relation to others
[ Speculative progression through the game world ]
Speculative progression through the game world



These screenshots were discovered in the online portfolio of Jason Muck in November 2008.

Jason is a former Ritual Entertainment staff member, and was employed as an Environment Artist between January 2004 and September 2005. Jason has recently worked on Red Dead Redemption and its expansions, and now works as a Senior Environment Artist at Big Huge Games. His portfolio is available to view online (as of February, 2012), and relevant screenshots are preserved here for historical reference:

[ Jason Muck's Portfolio [1/2] ]
Jason Muck's Portfolio [1/2]
[ Jason Muck's Portfolio [2/2] ]
Jason Muck's Portfolio [2/2]


It is worth noting that over a year ago, Jason's website was redesigned and one of the released images was removed for reasons unknown. This image was however saved before the redesign and is included in the above screenshots.

Elsewhere on the site, Jason provides us with some insight into his role on The Dark Prophecy and its development timeline:

Environment Artist on Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy - PS2, Xbox, PC CANCELLED

Ritual Entertainment - Jan 2004 - April 2004

Responsible for modeling, texture mapping, and lighting in-game environments while following art direction and maximizing target platform memory limitations.


Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy: Xbox, PS2 CANCELLED

These are screen shots from the playstation 2 version of Legacy of Kain : The Dark Prophecy. It was canceled after about 3 months of production work. These are the levels I worked on including modeling, texture mapping, and lighting. On this project I was not responsible for actual texture creation but working from a library provided by our texture artists. I would then model out the level, create props, map textures, and apply the lighting. All lighting was vertex based and applied in Max.


LEGACY OF KAIN THE DARK PROPHECY: Environment Artist, Texture UVs, Lighting, 2004, CANCELLED


Please note that the name used in this essay for the presented locale, "Boss Arena" has been used as many of the screenshots were published with the filenames "BossArena01.jpg", "BossArena02.jpg", etc.


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