Blood Omen.">
[ Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds ]

Dark Eden

article by Divine Shadow



[ Monster Concept Art [1/2] ]
Monster Concept Art [1/2]
[ Monster Concept Art [2/2] ]
Monster Concept Art [2/2]



There are two creatures shown in the concept pieces that have numerous markings that suggest surgical modification and mutation. The first image shows a monster with large animal-like limbs each ending with sharp claws. The left arm of the creature has extensive tattooing. The body of the monster appears to be ripped open with exposed cartilage along its back. The head of the creature appears to have human-like hair, and above this there is a line of stitching along the entire scalp.

The second image shows us a heavily-built creature, with large forward legs resting on what appears to be organised piles of skulls. The creature appears to be muzzled with some sort of restraining device partly covering its mouth. Ropes appear to be binding the creature along its back. Along the front of its torso is a large line of stitching vertically from its neck to gut.

[ Annotated Image [1/2] ]
Annotated Image [1/2]
[ Annotated Image [2/2] ]
Annotated Image [2/2]


Story Speculation

There is no media that absolutely confirms where Kain would have travelled after completing the Boss Arena in Malek's Bastion. Given that The Dark Prophecy seemed to be very strongly influenced by Defiance, there is ambiguity as to whether the game would have jumped to another playable character at the conclusion of (or during) Kain's journey through the Bastion area. Discussion on other possible playable characters is explored in the essays on Raziel and the Young Kain(s).

So, where does Kain go after conquering the Bastion? These two pieces of concept art may tell us his next destination.

A number of observations suggest that these creatures do not share the same origins as the demons seen in the wider Legacy of Kain series. The tattoos and hair on the first image suggests that this creature may have once been human, and was horribly mutated into its present form. The second image shows us a creature that has extensive stitching in its flesh and binding around its jaws, signifiers that the creature has been artificially constructed or altered through surgery.

In Blood Omen, there is one area which contained monsters that had been artificially constructed and surgically modified. The same area mutated any humans unfortunate enough to come into contact with its dark magical energies. The territory was Dark Eden, the fortress and deranged experiment of the mad guardians of Energy, Nature and States. The area was located to the north-east of Malek's Bastion.

[ Dark Eden, depicted in Blood Omen [1/6] ]
Dark Eden, depicted in Blood Omen [1/6]
[ Dark Eden, depicted in Blood Omen [2/6] ]
Dark Eden, depicted in Blood Omen [2/6]
[ Dark Eden, depicted in Blood Omen [3/6] ]
Dark Eden, depicted in Blood Omen [3/6]
[ Dark Eden, depicted in Blood Omen [4/6] ]
Dark Eden, depicted in Blood Omen [4/6]
[ Dark Eden, depicted in Blood Omen [5/6] ]
Dark Eden, depicted in Blood Omen [5/6]
[ Dark Eden, depicted in Blood Omen [6/6] ]
Dark Eden, depicted in Blood Omen [6/6]
[ A section of the Blood Omen map ]
A section of the Blood Omen map


Dark Eden was a highly volatile and hostile area in Nosgoth's northern-most territories. In Blood Omen, Kain discovered that a large dome-shaped shield of red energy was expanding outwards, instantly altering any creature it came into contact with into monstrous demonic wretches. The shield incinerated at least one settlement as it expanded, and transformed any local geography into rock and lava. The magic of Dark Eden even altered the weather, creating storms of flame that Kain observed raining down from the sky:

Magic seethed and shifted. I watched the dome of energy as it expanded, absorbing and recreating, consuming life and leaving behind only a twisted parody.

From the heavens, the tears of angels danced around me in a frenzy of fire.

I knew that this Dark Eden I had trespassed upon would continue to grow until all of Nosgoth was consumed.

I passed through the wall unharmed. It seemed the magic only preyed on things that were alive and pure. Or, perhaps it simply decided that I was twisted enough.

A tower stood in the distance. From its apex spewed the vortex of energy that shaped the lands below.

— Kain, in Blood Omen

Kain describes the creatures he encounters in Dark Eden, his approach of the dimensionally transcendental tower that expelled the dome of energy into the skies, and the laboratory within that masterminded the facility:

The poor wretch was warped beyond recognition. To think that it was once human.

Such strange creatures that had been spawned by this dark magic, things half-insect and half-mammal, human torsos grafted onto abominations of the flesh. Sick as it was, I could not help but admire its creator's ingenuity.

If it could be said that a land descended into madness, 'twould be an accurate account of Dark Eden. A garden of horrors, seeded with sick perversion of nature's design.

— Kain, in Blood Omen

The surface of the castle belied its interior, for it was far larger inside than out. With the powers the Circle had at its disposal, 'twould have been simple to distort space to accommodate this strange structure.

The sorcerer's sanctuary, his laboratory. Inside was all manner of items arcane, pickled bodies, dissected corpses both man and beast, and metal constructs that heaved arcs of energy into the air. I sensed more than one force being manipulated in this place.

Strange, rarely did a sorcerer condescend to work with others.

— Kain, in Blood Omen

The two "demon" creatures in the Dark Prophecy concept pieces would certainly fit the descriptions given here, one an unfortunate mutated human (with the hair and tattoos the only remnants of its human origins) and the other a grafted creature made by joining parts of other monsters together, with the stitching of this surgical process still visible.

If this theory is correct and Dark Eden is indeed Kain's next destination, his encounters with these creatures would suggest he travels their on foot, once again not applying his bat flight ability. Why would Kain use such a pedestrian method of transport? This is especially puzzling considering that in Defiance, Kain demonstrated very liberal use of his bat transformation powers.

Perhaps the recent collapse of the Pillars of Nosgoth has caused a massive dust or smoke cloud to be released in Nosgoth's atmosphere (with darkened skies visible in a number of The Dark Prophecy images), and consequently this pollution heavily interferes with Kain's ability to fly to different locales. This would be a possible explanation why Kain had to follow the Cobbled Road and ascend the Bastion on foot, and would also explain Kain's encounters with these Dark Eden wretches.

The visit to Dark Eden could be part of Kain's quest to earn further abilities to enhance him and the Soul Reaver for their final battle with the Elder God. In the same way that the Oracle's Cave hides the Chronoplast, and Malek's Bastion hides the Soul Machine Core, Dark Eden too may also have a buried complex beneath.

If we look at a map of known and suspected Ancient and Hylden territories during their war, we can see that the area that now contains Dark Eden was once deep in Ancient territory.

[ Speculative map of Ancient Vampire and Hylden territory ]
Speculative map of Ancient Vampire and Hylden territory


Considering the site's location as being once under Ancient dominion, and the presence of a blood fountain in the nearby mountains (as shown in Blood Omen), a working theory begins to emerge.

  1. During the Ancient and Hylden War, the Ancients construct an underground reaver forge in the northern-most territories of Nosgoth. This reaver forge is attuned to the energies of life, and would allow the Soul Reaver to mutate and twist any life it comes into contact with.
  2. Thousands of years later, the deranged Pillar Guardians known as Bane the Druid (Nature), Dejoule the Energist (Energy) and Anacrothe the Alchemist (States) discover this buried forge and do not understand its purpose or origin. After some experimentation, they discover that they can channel the forces of the forge elsewhere, and construct a large tower above to pump the forge energies into the skies. They use the forge to construct their Dark Eden, and slowly begin to consume Nosgoth with it.
  3. The events of Blood Omen take place. The fledgling vampire Kain kills Bane and Dejoule, and Anacrothe is executed by Mortanius. The Dark Eden facility remains functional, evidencing that it was not reliant on the three sorcerers.
  4. The older Kain, having conquered the Bastion and destroyed the Soul Machine Core and the Statue Boss, stands at the height of the Bastion and sees the Dark Eden dome expanding in the distance. He is informed (perhaps by a mural in the Bastion or The Seer) that there is a Reaver Forge buried beneath the Dark Eden tower. He also decides that he has unfinished business regarding Dark Eden, and vows to do what his younger self was incapable of and destroy it before it can consume Nosgoth.
  5. Kain descends Malek's Bastion using Base Tower Two, and traverses the mountainous and snowy terrain beyond.
  6. Kain passes through the Dark Eden energy shield unharmed just as he did in Blood Omen. He traverses the burnt village within, fights through monster-inhabited devastation, crosses vast lakes of lava, and endures fire raining down from the sky. He eventually approaches and enters the central tower.
  7. Kain fights his way through the laboratories within, and descends to the buried Life Energy Reaver Forge beneath.
  8. Kain discovers the sorcerers' pipes directing energy out of the forge and into the tower above, fuelling the dome of energy consuming the land.
  9. Kain uses his abilities to complete the puzzle of the reaver forge, and imbues the Soul Reaver with life energy. The activation of the forge causes the power fuelling the Dark Eden tower to overload, violently exploding the tower and collapsing the dome of energy.

We can expand on our map of the Bastion to include the areas that would potentially exist for this scenario to be carried out:

[ 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


If Kain does indeed travel to Dark Eden and destroy it, then the event would certainly explain a particular plot hole in the series: When the facility was last seen in Blood Omen, it was still continuing its seemingly-unstoppable expansion to slowly consume Nosgoth. By Blood Omen 2 it was not mentioned by anyone, suggesting that the threat had been neutralised.

Kain's visit to the area would also certainly raise some interesting observations in him, as it would give the newly healed Balance Guardian a first-hand look at the Circle's crimes against nature, their magical irresponsibility and desecration of a buried sacred reaver forge.

Comments From Ben Lincoln

Long-time readers of The Lost Worlds may remember that in a very early version of the Soul Reaver section, I claimed that Turel's territory was located in Dark Eden. This was because the available screenshots of that deleted area have many similar characteristics, and geographically (using known landmarks and maps from the series), it fits. However, I was later told by series writer/director Amy Hennig that it was a coincidence, and no such connection had been intended.

In the case of this concept art, it certainly seems to fit with the way the creatures of Dark Eden were depicted in Blood Omen (although I could see a counterargument that several of the creatures in earlier sequels would as well, and they were denizens of other areas).

Given that we know for a fact that Malek's Bastion was one of the main locations being built for The Dark Prophecy, the idea of revisiting Dark Eden seems believable to me, but I would definitely leave it as an open question due to the small number of hard facts. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that any official answers will be provided, as representatives of the game development industry are typically loathe to discuss cancelled projects.


These images were originally found in the DeviantArt account of Andez Gaston, and was later published on his official blog.

Andez and his brother Anderson were freelance conceptual artists hired by Ritual Entertainment in 2004 to work on The Dark Prophecy. Andez confirms his work on the game on their joint portfolio blog site, on his individual portfolio, and in image annotations in his DeviantArt account:

Legacy of Kain: Dark prophecy (cancelled game of 04)

while scoping YouTube I manage to run into a video of a project quite familiar and it brought back memories when we were still brother and I had just been hired at a video game company at the time which was still known as ritual entertainment to work on a game that many people knew very well. though nothing came to fruition that project was to be legacy of Kain: Dark Prophecy for the PS2. for those of you interested in seeing some of the character/creature designs click on the link below


Ritual Enertainment-Legacy of Kain: the dark prophecy(cancelled Game)concept artists (ag/dez) 2003-04


Legacy of Kain: Dark Prophecy concept art

concept art done during our time at the company once known as ritual entertainment. for what was supposed to be the final chapter in the Kain series. The game was later cancelled for reasons unknown if given the chance i would work on this again in a heartbeat.-

Legacy of Kain:Dark Prophecy game art(cancelled) the non interesting stuff about game development art. If you're planning to work in games be prepared to do a lot of breakaway concept art and props.


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