Defiance, one of the few things known with high confidence about The Dark Prophecy is that the protagonist and main playable character would have been Kain.">
[ Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds ]


article by Divine Shadow



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All of the images and concept pieces of Kain show him to be indistinguishable from his incarnation in Defiance. The graphical user interface on some of the screenshots is identical to the previous game, with both the blood-health meter and Reaver-charge bar shown at various levels. Kain is shown to be wielding the Soul Reaver in all of the images.

Story Speculation - The Scion of Balance

It is known that in the original planned ending for Defiance, Kain was to have returned to the future to spend a final moment in the Sanctuary of the Clans (see A Return to the Soul Reaver Era, in the Defiance section). The various media presented here shows us that in The Dark Prophecy, Kain remains in Nosgoth's past. This suggests that the originally intended direction of his story arc has been postponed or abandoned altogether.

Why is Kain still in Nosgoth's past, in this dark time immediately after the collapse of the Pillars of Nosgoth?

Consider Kain's state at the end of Defiance. For the first time since the moment of his birth, he is cleansed of the madness Nupraptor infected him with. He has been imbued with the pure energies of the spirit-imbued wraith blade, and has consequently become one of the first beings in history to see the Elder God for what it really is. Armed with a greatly enhanced Soul Reaver, he fights the monolithic ancient creature, harming it enough for it to shout out in pain. Kain leaves the chamber as it collapses, while the Elder God roars desperate threats through its flailing and damaged tentacles.

You cannot destroy me, Kain. I am the engine of life itself. The wheel will turn, the plague of your kind will be purged from this world, and on that inevitable day, your wretched stagnant soul will finally be mine!

— The Elder God, in Defiance

The Elder God's reference to Kain's downfall being an "inevitable day" is considerable, and an admission that regardless of future events the Elder is unable to subdue and defeat Kain at this moment in time. It is an inadvertent admittance of impotence, an acknowledgement that despite the scope of the Elder's great powers, true omnipotence is not amongst them. It is no longer the ancient God veiled by divinity, but an exposed monster that for the first time in history has lost its security.

Through these events Kain has somehow ascended to become an obscure but pivotal figure in the mythology and prophecies of The Ancients: the Scion of Balance. He stands at the broken walls of the Vampire Citadel staring out at the devastated ruins of the Pillars of Nosgoth, contemplating Raziel's sacrifice and considering for the first time the value of "hope".

We need to understand what Kain's intent is, and what he means by "hope". In Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance, Kain explores his agenda:

Raziel: We agree then, that the Pillars are crucial and must be restored?

Kain: Yes, Raziel. That's why we've come full circle to this place.

Raziel: So, after all this, you make my case for me. To end this stalemate, you must die so that new Guardians can be born.

Kain: The Pillars don't belong to them, Raziel. They belong to us.

Soul Reaver 2

Kain: It may yet be possible for me to assume my role as Balance Guardian, and return the Pillars to their rightful inheritors.

Raziel: To the vampires?

Soul Reaver 2

It was my destiny, not Raziel's. My role as Scion of Balance, whose secrets I was here to discover.

— Kain, in Defiance

These statements would suggest that Kain's long-term goal is to restore the Pillars, and ensure that their ownership is passed on to worthy inheritors. There is a certain ambiguity as to who these inheritors would be. Consider that Kain says that "they belong to us" only when himself and Raziel are present, and Raziel is at this point in time no longer a vampiric creature. Could Kain mean "us" as in sole guardianship is to be managed by him as Scion of Balance, accompanied with the powerful Soul Reaver blade?

Kain may have started his quest with the intention of returning the Pillars to the idealised Ancients, but much has happened since then. He has a fuller understanding of the failings of the Ancients, that they started a war based on religious dogma and ignorance, and righteously tried to completely annihilate the Hylden race. He understands now that the Pillars were constructed as a weapon of mass destruction with a sadistic intent: the banishment of the enemies of the Ancients into the corrosive Demon Dimension where they suffer unending tortures and madness. Though it could be argued that such a cruel act was in response to the Hylden's own genocidal machinations towards the end of the war (construction of The Device), it must be added that the Hylden were not the aggressors in the conflict, and their own doomsday weapon would have merely killed their adversaries and not banished them to a domain of prolonged and incorporeal torment. With this darker understanding of Ancient history in mind, Kain has also learned that the spiritual and motivational nexus of Ancient existence, "The Wheel of Fate", is nothing more than the feeding pool of a powerful malevolent squid creature.

This enlightenment combined with Kain's recovery from madness, would suggest a change in agenda. He is no longer the fledgling vampire fighting against a genocidal human crusade. He is no longer the surviving Pillar Guardian trying to repair an edifice he doesn't fully understand. He has transcended these limited objectives to become the one being powerful and enlightened enough to take the fight to the true enemy of Nosgoth. He can now see, and contest against a hidden force that has exerted its influence over every Ancient, Hylden, human and vampire, since known history began.

Restoration of the Pillars it would seem, is an irrelevant goal. Even if Kain were to repair the Pillars entirely and somehow attune them to summon vampire guardians, the fundamental problem of the Elder God still remains. Nothing has purpose while this creature continues to exert influence. Given that the Pillars were constructed by a race with no understanding of their God's true motives, there is little to suggest that the Pillars of Nosgoth could destroy the Elder. Kain therefore, must have insight into a grander objective that is inspiring his "hope".

Let us consider the role of "The Scion of Balance". Janos, Ariel, Moebius, the Hylden General and Raziel all acknowledge this prophesised figure in Defiance:

You believe you are that myth of Vampire prophecy, the Scion of Balance, and that Raziel holds the key to fulfilling your destiny.

— Moebius, in Defiance

You have done well, Raziel. But there is one more trial for you to bear. You must unite what has been set asunder. Only then will the Scion of Balance be armed for his true endeavour.

— Ariel, in Defiance

The Reaver now blazed with purifying flame. But far from being enlightened, I found myself entangled in an even greater web of mysteries. What had Janos expected me to learn, and what of Ariel's cryptic message? If the sword was endowed for the Scion of Balance - for Kain - and he was now dead, what hope remained?

— Raziel, in Defiance

Raziel: We had arrived at that cataclysmic moment, when a younger Kain faced his fateful dilemma as Balance Guardian. Choosing self preservation over sacrifice, he doomed the Pillars to eternal ruin.

Janos: Raziel there may yet be hope. There is one who will be called. You must seek the Scion of Balance.


You pathetic creature! You haven't got a clue. The seduction of the Circle and possession of Mortanius, Ariel's murder, the corruption and collapse of the Pillars, all orchestrated as a prelude to this moment. We sought an incorruptible vessel, and you provided one. We required the blood of our ancient enemy, and you delivered Janos Audron, having first been lured to the Heart of Darkness. Best of all, you murdered the Scion of Balance to get it. We've already won.

— The Hylden General (while occupying the body of Janos Audron), in Defiance

Moebius condescends to Kain that the Scion of Balance is a myth, and from his perspective he may not have been lying. Moebius' own omniscience fails him just as Kain returns from the dead, in the moment Kain fully asserts his role as the Scion. Moebius is shocked, and from this we can assume that despite all of his foreknowledge and mastery over time, Moebius never saw this happening. From his supposedly infallible understanding of history, he saw Kain dying at the hands of Raziel, and therefore would have believed his entire life that the Scion of Balance prophecy amounts to nothing. This ignorance eventually led to his downfall, and the entire series of events suggests that the powers and presence of the Scion of Balance greatly overshadow the limited abilities bestowed by the Pillar of Time.

When Janos sees that the Pillars are approaching total collapse, he asserts that the Scion of Balance "will be called". As The Tenth Guardian and one who was present at the erection of the Pillars, his comment is invaluable in helping us understand the nature of the Scion. He speaks as if an automatic process is initiated by the Pillars themselves when their destruction is imminent, the calling of the Scion of Balance to contain and repair the damage. The Hylden General refers to Raziel's murder of this figure as the "best" outcome for them, in that it would have prevented the collapse of the Pillars and thus halted the release of his race. It is unclear of the Hylden as a whole have knowledge of the Scion, or if his comments come from his new access to the memories of Janos.

Ariel notes that the Scion has a "true endeavour" for which he must be armed with the power of spirit. Consider that Ariel now possesses knowledge of who Raziel is, and is speaking on behalf of the collected souls of all the previous Balance Guardians, she seems to talking about a purpose beyond merely repairing the corrupted Pillars.

What can we conclude from these different perspectives on the Scion of Balance? It seems that the Ancients and the Hylden believe the Scion to be a figure that will be automatically called by the Pillars when collapse is inevitable. This function was presumably programmed in at the moment of the Pillars creation by the Ancients as a response to the worst-case scenario they could envisage, the corruption of the edifice and its Guardians. When Kain was "called" (born as the Balance Guardian and turned into a vampire), he was simultaneously being called by the Pillars as the Scion of Balance. He fulfilled this pre-programmed function by slaughtering the corrupt Guardians and healing the Pillars, with the exception of his own. Kain then abandoned the function of the Scion and refused the sacrifice, causing the entire system to fail.

With the Pillars physically destroyed and the Hylden seemingly free to return, what further role could the Scion of Balance play? If the expectation is for the Scion to heal the Pillars and restore guardianship to the Ancients, then the true problem of the Elder God's continued presence remains unsolved. Let us consider then, the possibility that both the Ancients and the Hylden are wrong, that their understanding of the Scion as merely the healer of the Pillars is limited.

We know from Defiance that those rendered pure by spirit can see the Elder, and we also know that all the souls of the dead Balance Guardians were summoned to the Vampire Citadel at their deaths to enable the Spirit Forge with the necessary purity to render the Soul Reaver pure by spirit.

When these pure, dead souls of previous Balance Guardians came together gradually over history, perhaps they developed an understanding about the true nature of their reality. As more and more Balance Guardian souls arrived, their combined purity of spirit may have allowed a gradual awareness of the malicious Elder God to form. With this knowledge, the collected dead guardians could have come to a new, more enlightened definition of "Balance".

In all of the Legacy of Kain games, the concepts of "balance" and "restoration" have seemingly referred to restoring the Pillars to their intended functionality and their original creators. The Ancient's definition of bringing "balance" to Nosgoth was incredibly limited and aggressive. "Balance" meant the Ancients as sole custodians of the Pillars, with them in complete control of the life energies of Nosgoth, while the neighbouring Hylden were exiled into the Demon Dimension to suffer eternal torment for not submitting to the Ancient's God. For the Ancients, the aggressors in the War, "Balance" meant total world domination. "The Scion of Balance" was presumably a means to restore this domination should the system of the Pillars begin to fail them.

Consider the collected dead souls of the Balance Guardians as being armed with an abstract awareness of the Elder God, and possessing an understanding that this unperceivable entity has manipulated the Ancient and Hylden War, led to the downfall of both of the elder races, and is still depriving the inhabitants of Nosgoth of their free will through its constant manipulations. These collected souls of the Balance Guardians could have reached a new definition of "Balance", perhaps one that prioritises the restoration of free will, and the destruction of the Elder God as an entity that continues to prohibit free will. Perhaps this new definition of "Balance" could even work towards reconciling the Ancients, the Hylden, the humans and the vampires so that Nosgoth is not dominated by any particular side, effectively balancing out the constant warfare that has dominated recorded history with the possibility of peace.

This understanding and intent would have developed in the Guardian souls within the abandoned Vampire Citadel over millennia, leaving them waiting for the day that they could pass such clarity to the Scion. When Raziel eventually comes to them, Ariel speaks as the recognisable representative of the Balance Guardians souls and informs him that a "true endeavour" is to be followed by the Scion of Balance. This "true" purpose is presumably the destruction of the Elder God and restoration of free will. The original (now not "true") endeavour would have been merely for Kain to restore the Pillars and reassert Ancient domination, while the Elder God continuing its veiled manipulations and consumption of Nosgoth's souls.

If any of this speculation has merit, then the meaning and role of "Scion of Balance" appears to have been redefined over Nosgoth's history. Originally referring to a prophesised figure who would repair the Pillars in their time of crisis (revered by the Ancients and reviled by the Hylden), the term now seems to refer to a being who will bring a broader sense of balance to Nosgoth through expulsion of the Elder God.

When Kain was cleansed with the souls of his predecessor Balance Guardians (through the medium of the wraith blade), perhaps he inherited more than just cleansing energies? Perhaps some of their memories and understanding of the Elder God passed into him too. As Kain reconciles these memories with his own, he may have undeveloped ideas of the ways and means to meaningfully fight the Elder God ("Hope"), and to achieve this goal, perhaps he must remain in Nosgoth's past. It could be that Kain needs something from this time period, or is required to interact with others who are here (such as The Seer or the Hylden King) in order to further his agenda as the Scion of Balance.

Another possibility is that the Soul Reaver in its current form is only strong enough to physically irritate the Elder God, and is incapable of destroying it completely. Kain may be seeking out further Reaver Forges to charge the blade with more esoteric energies (starting with the Dragon Statue Reaver Forge). To expand on this idea, it could be that Kain needs to be armed with both Ancient and Hylden enhancements to completely defeat the Elder, and might be scouring Nosgoth for both Reaver Forges and Hylden Glyph Altars. This would certainly fit into the agenda of "balance", the unification of the different strengths of the great elder races in order to free the land from tyranny.

What we can conclude from this speculation is that Kain has chosen to stay in Nosgoth's past as it serves his agenda as the Scion of Balance. There is something here, or something he must do here, that he believes will eventually allow him to destroy the Elder God and finally free Nosgoth.

Story Speculation - The Dark Prophecy

The title of The Dark Prophecy raises many questions: What is the prophecy? Who makes it? Who does it concern? Why is it dark? All we know for certain is that the prophecy is of enough significance that the entire game is named after it.

A prophecy can be delivered by a prophet or visionary, and only one such creature is known to exist in this era. She is The Seer, the prophetic figure who recognises Kain and provides him with assistance during the events of Blood Omen 2. A particular piece of Dark Prophecy concept art shows us a female Hylden who strongly resembles The Seer.

[ Hylden concept art ]
Hylden concept art
[ The Seer in Blood Omen 2 ]
The Seer in Blood Omen 2


The appearance of The Seer would make a great deal of narrative sense for the wider series. Consider her initial dialogue with the young Kain in Blood Omen 2:

The Seer: Be gone, Dark One. I did not send for you.

Kain: And yet, here I am.

The Seer: So I see. Kain, the disruptor, the pebble in the pond who destroys all he touches.

Kain: You know me, woman?

The Seer: Better than you know yourself.

Blood Omen 2, Chapter 7: The Canyons

The Seer's presence in this time makes her the most logical suspect to deliver a prophecy to Kain. Her reference to the younger Kain in Blood Omen 2 as "dark one" could render any prophecy about his actions and future as indeed being a "dark prophecy".

The Seer's appearance would also begin to explain her "Better than you know yourself" declaration, confirming she had indeed met the older Kain some point in her own past. Her "pebble in the pond" metaphor also could relate to the elder Kain's "You and I are pebbles, Raziel, and have even less hope of disrupting the time-stream" metaphor, suggesting she shares his nuanced view of time and time travel.

What could this prophecy be? Consider the use of prophetic figures in the series so far, and how we learn in Defiance that the Ancients and the Hylden both prophesised a figure that would arise as the hero and saviour of their respective races. It seems that the Ancient and Hylden War extended beyond the immediate conflict at hand, each side countering the other with prophecies of future victories. We have as of yet, not seen what counter prophecy the Hylden made regarding the Ancient's prophesised Scion of Balance figure. Could the dark prophecy be the Hylden's own interpretation of Kain's role as The Scion?

Let us consider what Kain's primary objective likely is: expulsion or extermination of the Elder God. The Hylden as far as we are aware, do not have any knowledge of this creature and may not fully understand Kain's moves. Kain's objective to shatter the "Wheel of Fate" could be seen as an apocalyptic intent. Another consideration is that we do not actually know what the consequence would be if the Elder God were to perish. Consider its dialogue throughout the series:

There is no balance. The souls of the dead remain trapped. I cannot spin them in the wheel of fate. They can not complete their destinies. Redeem yourself... or, if you prefer, avenge yourself. Settle your dispute with Kain. Destroy him and your brethren. Free their souls, and let the wheel of fate churn again.

— The Elder God, in Soul Reaver

The agony of birth, and death, and rebirth. This is the Wheel of Fate - the purifying cycle which sustains all life.

— The Elder God, in Soul Reaver 2

I am the engine of life, the source of Nosgoth's very existence. I am the hub of the Wheel, the origin of all life, the devourer of death.

— The Elder God, in Soul Reaver 2

I am eternally present. Here, and everywhere. Now, and always. I am the still center of the turning wheel - the hub of this world's destiny.

— The Elder God, in Defiance

I am the origin of life, the devourer of death. I am the hub of the Wheel, the purifying cycle to which all souls must be drawn.

— The Elder God, in Defiance

You cannot destroy me, Kain. I am the engine of life itself.

— The Elder God, in Defiance

Could the downfall of the Elder God be an apocalyptic event for the souls of Nosgoth? The creature has been present since before recorded history, and seems adamant that it is a vital part of the world's life cycle. It asserts itself as the creator of Nosgoth, the origin of its life, the spinner of souls in the "wheel of fate", and the facilitator of death and rebirth. If we assume for a moment that there is some truth to this, then what would the consequence be for Nosgoth if it were to actually die? Taking its declaration at face value, it would have us believe that people would stop being born, cease to age, and be unable to die. The world, separated from its creator, would cease to exist. It would be the apocalypse.

Kain's certainty of the Elder being a "false god" and Raziel's labelling of it as a "parasite" would certainly contest the Elder's grandiose descriptions of itself, and it is evident that the Elder has repeatedly lied to them both. But simply put, when presented with the Elder God's explanation of its role in Nosgoth's life cycle, we do not know what is true and what is false.

If the Elder God's description of itself is accurate, then Kain's quest to destroy it will lead to the end of the world. This could be the dark prophecy, the vision of the Scion of Balance destroying one of the fundamental components of the world of Nosgoth and ending everything. This vision could be so vast and horrific in scale that it is being seen by prophets throughout history, leading to every culture and race trying to stop Kain before he triggers the apocalypse.

If the Elder God is not the pivotal figure it portrays itself to be, we can presume that its death will not trigger Armageddon. However, consider its encounter with Kain at the end of Defiance. For the first time in history the Elder has been discovered. Kain possesses a weapon capable of inflicting it harm, and has the intent to completely destroy it. Despite the protestations and bravado it directs towards Kain, it could be that the Elder senses itself to be in significant danger. It also no longer has the servitude of the powerful and intelligent Moebius to advance its agenda.

It would make sense that the Elder God would begin to form some line of defense, perhaps employing its ability to communicate and act outside of the linear flow of time. One possible strategy would be for the Elder to make contact with influential figures at different points in history. It could contact the Ancients, the Hylden, the humans, the Sarafan, Demons and other cultures and races throughout time, explaining itself to be the voice of God (as it did with the Ancients in the distant past) and passing onto them a dark prophecy, the story of Kain on his path to shatter "the wheel of fate" and destroy the world. The Elder God would therefore be guiding every culture in history to try and stop Kain before he succeeds, manipulating into each race a desperation to prevent the Elder God's dark prophecy from being fulfilled. Therefore, "the dark prophecy" could refer to a time-transcendent piece of propaganda constructed by the Elder God to make every society in history rush to prevent Kain from completing his task.

When the Elder God transports Kain forward in time in the Vampire Citadel in Defiance, we see a potential defense mechanism that it could use. If the Elder has made different cultures and races throughout history aware of Kain's intent, and misled them into believing that this will end the world, it may recruit willing participants from different periods in history to be summoned to this era, to hunt down and destroy the Scion of Balance.

If there is any accuracy to this speculation, then does The Seer deliver this prophecy to Kain during her initial encounter with him? Does she try to help him fulfil the prophecy, or attempt to manipulate him into failing it? If the Elder is able to impart this prophecy to all of the powerful civilisations in Nosgoth's past and future, then does Kain have any allies at all in his quest?

Regardless of the nuances of the story, it seems very likely that The Dark Prophecy would end with the dark prophecy being fulfilled or denied, possibly with Kain either destroying the Elder (with unknown consequences), or the Elder God's forces destroying Kain .

Story Speculation - Kain's Journey

The various screenshots, concept pieces and renders have provided some insight as to where Kain's journey would have taken him in the initial chapters of The Dark Prophecy. From the discovered media, we can assemble a rudimentary map of Kain's path through Nosgoth, beginning at The Ruins of The Pillars of Nosgoth and ending at the Boss Arena.

[ Speculative arrangement of the game world ]
Speculative arrangement of the game world
[ Speculative progression through the game world ]
Speculative progression through the game world


A possible sequence of progression is as follows:

  1. Kain arrives at The Ruins of The Pillars of Nosgoth, probably via his bat form. Here he encounters someone (possibly The Seer) who provides him with his motivation for the game and may explain the nature of the titular dark prophecy. This encounter directs Kain to Malek's Bastion and informs him that for plot-related reasons, he cannot use his bat form to ascend to the Bastion's summit. The encounter ends, and Kain travels on foot northwards.
  2. Kain follows the Cobbled Road north, and during this journey enters an large building for unknown reasons. Kain likely has to fight enemies during this journey.
  3. Kain eventually reaches Base Tower One, at the foot of the large mountain cradling the Bastion. Kain climbs the towers in this area.
  4. Kain enters The Bridge area, and discovers a number of strange tunnelling devices embedded in rocky walls on platforms ascending the mountain. Kain must manipulate these devices in order to reach the summit.
  5. Kain reaches the top of the mountain and passes through the ruined and medieval Outer Bastion.
  6. Kain reaches the architecturally sophisticated Inner Bastion and explores it. He has encounters here with Hylden Armour Wraiths and Earth Elementals.
  7. Kain discovers the Winged Being Shrine, and perhaps realises here that the Ancients built the Bastion.
  8. Kain passes through the Skull Corridor. Kain discovers the manacled bodies of dead vampires on the walls.
  9. Kain discovers the Hallway Elevator and uses it to descend to a series of underground areas buried deep beneath the mountain.
  10. Kain passes through the Steam Pipe Cave, and uses valves to redirect steam making the area traversable.
  11. Kain enters the Headless Statue Chamber and finds a stone head. He places this onto a headless statue and triggers a battle of some sort. Kain overcomes this battle.
  12. Kain passes through the Subterranean Campfire area, and likely encounters humans who started the fire.
  13. Kain enters the Soul Machine Mine, and is required to push minecarts full of ore to create a passageway to the next area.
  14. Kain enters the Dragon Statue Reaver Forge and discovers murals of the Ancients holding dragons in great reverence. Kain solves the forge and imbues the Soul Reaver with a new ability. Kain activates the exit to the forge and leaves.
  15. Kain enters the Soul Machine Core area, and destroys the gargantuan subterranean Soul Machine, possibly by sabotaging its vent pipes. He uses a tunnelling device to transport himself out of the complex, and arrives on a platform in an area immediately beneath the Inner Bastion.
  16. Kain passes through the Inner Bastion and uses one of his newly acquired abilities to open and enter the Red Carpet Hall.
  17. Kain enters the Boss Arena and fights the concluding battle of the Bastion.

Story Speculation - Beyond The Bastion

Some of the concept pieces have enabled speculation as to where Kain travels after completing Malek's Bastion. This map has been amended to include these speculated environments:

[ Speculative placement of Dark Eden ]
Speculative placement of Dark Eden
[ Speculative progression through the game world ]
Speculative progression through the game world


The continued speculated progression is as follows:

  1. Kain descends Malek's Bastion using a second Base Tower.
  2. Kain travels across the mountains beyond the Bastion, and passes through the Dark Eden energy dome.
  3. Kain passes through burnt villages, endures monster-inhabited devastation, and crosses lakes of lava to reach the Dark Eden tower.
  4. Kain enters the tower and fights his way through the laboratories within.
  5. Kain discovers an Ancient structure buried beneath the tower, and enters it.

The reasoning for this speculated path is presented in-depth in the Dark Eden essay.

Story Speculation - Destiny Fulfilled

Consider Kain's long-term goal of destroying the Elder, and how he was incapable of achieving this victory at the end of Defiance. It is apparent that Kain needs to enhance and develop his powers further in order to destroy his enemy. The existence of the Dragon Statue Reaver Forge and Glyphs in the Bastion area may hint that Kain is unearthing buried forges and shrines throughout Nosgoth in order to become powerful enough to defeat the Elder. These facilities may have been long since ruined in the centuries of cataclysm that led up to Kain's Empire, and therefore the best way of obtaining these powers would be to remain in Nosgoth's past.

When Kain acquires all of these enhancements, then perhaps he will be ready to fulfil the dark prophecy and destroy the Elder God. If this is to be carried out in a direct battle, then it is possible that Kain returns to the future (last seen in Soul Reaver) for the fight to take place. After Soul Reaver 2 provided so much exposition on time-travel and the risks of being expelled as an "irritant" of history, it would make narrative sense for Kain to try to remove the Elder at a point in time where the future is unwritten. Assuming Kain is successful in defeating the Elder, and considering that he is now cleansed of his guardianship corruption, it is possible that the "hope" Kain mentioned at the end of Defiance will emerge, and that Nosgoth's descent into decay and death will finally reverse itself.

Alternatively, perhaps Kain has an even grander destiny. Rather than trying to repair his doomed Empire, he may be intending to rewrite history altogether. Consider his opening monologue in Defiance:

Given the choice, whether to rule a corrupt and failing empire, or to challenge the fates for another throw, a better throw against one's destiny, what was a king to do?

But does one ever truly have a choice? One can only match, move by move, the machinations of fate, and thus defy the tyrannous stars.

— Kain, in the opening sequence of Defiance

Kain expresses his intent to achieve a "better throw" and defy the "stars". These do not read like the words of a man who wants to repair a faulty empire in a doomed land, but one who wishes to rewrite the entirety of history.

There is a possibility that Kain intends to go backwards in time, and stop the Elder God's manipulations before they even begin, hopefully rewriting the entirety of Nosgoth's history for the better. This would certainly be one explanation as to how he encounters the pre-banishment Hylden seen in some of the concept pieces such as the Hylden King and the War Lords.

Regardless if Kain intends to rewrite the past or the future, his expression of "what was a king to do" is telling, and seems to show a man who intends to resume his role of monarch the moment victory is achieved. Consider the results of his rule as shown in Soul Reaver: mass enslavement, mutation, "thinning" of the human herd, decay, polluted skies and the whole planet being on a course to extinction. Would The Dark Prophecy give us clarity as to why Kain is a more responsible custodian of Nosgoth than the Elder God?

Kain's corruption has been healed through Raziel's sacrifice, leading to the question: Has Kain changed? Would he lead with responsibility to balance Nosgoth's forces and inhabitants, rather than rule with them with blunt force? Perhaps the game would have declined to answer these questions, and conclude with the moral ambiguity the series is famed for: the Elder God is dead and Kain rules Nosgoth. Is the world in safe hands, or has one tyrant God been swapped for another?


The pieces of concept art were 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:

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-the dark prophecy(cancelled Game)concept artists (ag/dez) 2003-04


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.

The 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).

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 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.


The Dark Prophecy: Xbox, PS2 CANCELLED

These are screen shots from the playstation 2 version of 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


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