[ Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds ]

Soul Machine Mine

article by Divine Shadow



[ Concept Art [1/4] ]
Concept Art [1/4]
[ Concept Art [2/4] ]
Concept Art [2/4]
[ Concept Art [3/4] ]
Concept Art [3/4]
[ Concept Art [4/4] ]
Concept Art [4/4]
[ Untextured 3D Model [1/1] ]
Untextured 3D Model [1/1]



The area appears to be a large underground mining facility, with many huge cogs and gears fitted into numerous gargantuan mechanisms. The entry point appears to be a viewing platform of sorts, with a human-shaped figure drawn in by the artist to give us the scale of the facility. Chains dangle from the ceiling, and beneath these is a metal-looking cart track. The track appears to come from the direction of the viewing platform, and then takes a harsh right turn towards a heavily-damaged door surrounded by small piles of rocks and ore. The door appears to have been forced open and is dislodged from its frame. On the cart tracks, a decorated cart is filled with what appears to be ore. One of the artists notes says that the "player pushes cart" and indicates in the direction of the damaged doorway.

At the side of this cart track, there appears to be pipes funnelling liquid into an underground river or sewage drain.

[ Annotated Image [1/3] ]
Annotated Image [1/3]
[ Annotated Image [2/3] ]
Annotated Image [2/3]
[ Annotated Image [3/3] ]
Annotated Image [3/3]


Story Speculation

We can assume that Kain accesses the Hallway Elevator area in the Inner Bastion, and descends to the caverns deep beneath. Kain would have likely eventually discovered the Soul Machine Mine, the outer area of the greater Soul Machine complex.

The mining facility still seems to be in a good state of repair, and other than some slight cracking on the walls and one particularly worn metal door, the place could still be fully operational. It is notable how the complex equipment and massive mechanisms here contrast with the primitive wooden carts and cart tracks seen in the Steam Pipe Cave nearby.

If we consider the Bastion to be originally of Ancient construction, then perhaps this Soul Machine complex buried beneath is also one of their relics. The possible history and purpose of the Soul Machine itself is discussed in the Soul Machine Core essay, but this mine does seem to be a vital component.

Consider that in Blood Omen, Malek possessed machines that would create Sarafan Wraiths. These wraiths, the long-dead spirits of Sarafan warriors, were resurrected into shells of animate metal armour and attacked Kain during his time in the Bastion. If these wraith-producing machines were merely somehow channelling the functionality of the greater Soul Machine buried deep beneath the Bastion, then some part of this process would presumably need access to raw metals and ores to construct the armour bodies for the summoned souls to inhabit. Recall what we see of this in Blood Omen, the machines in Malek's Bastion were not observed taking empty armour and fusing souls into it, they were seen generating the metal armour and summoning Sarafan souls to them in one efficient process.

Perhaps at some point during the Ancient and Hylden war, the Ancients purposely built this facility due to mass quantities of nearby underground ores. The mine itself would be automated, gathering ores (possibly filtering them from the nearby underground river), and then transporting them to the Soul Machine Core. The Soul Machine Core would then summon a soul from another plane to inhabit a shell constructed from the ore materials. When completed, the process would result in golem-like creatures that were seen in Defiance, souls bound to artificial bodies, immediately ready to be troops in the ongoing war against the Hylden.

When Malek discovered the Soul Machine long abandoned and forgotten beneath the Bastion, he could have reactivated it and with careful experimentation, attuned it to manufacture Sarafan armour and gather Sarafan souls from beyond death, to create the wraith army seen in Blood Omen.

We can assume that the facility and mine is still operational (possibly with some modifications and maintenance completed by the Bastion's Hylden occupiers), and is now ferrying ore to the Soul Machine Core for the manufacture of shells for Hylden souls to inhabit, thus creating the Hylden Armour Wraiths seen in many of the Dark Prophecy screenshots and renders.

The artist's notes confirm that Kain would have been required to push some of the carts through this area, perhaps to smash through barriers of ore (or even causing the damage to the wrecked door seen in the concept art). Through pushing these carts and possibly other puzzles, Kain would have possibly gained access to the Dragon Statue Reaver Forge, and the Soul Machine Core.

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



The untextured 3D model image discussed here was discovered on the official website and portfolio of Aaron Hausmann in 2008. Shortly after it was added to his site, the image was removed, but fortunately had been saved and preserved for the purposes of this essay.

[ Aaron Hausmann's Portfolio ]
Aaron Hausmann's Portfolio


Aaron's LinkedIn page confirms that he was employed as an artist at Ritual Entertainment between December 2003 and January 2007, and now works for Nerve Software.

Some very limited description was provided on Aaron's site, now removed:

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


Modelled and unwrapped props to hand off to texture artist.

Modelled, mapped, and lit environments based off of designers' layouts. Textures created by another artist.


The concept art images were originally found in the DeviantArt account of Andez Gaston, and was later published on his official blog. Screenshots are preserved here for historical reference.

[ A page from Andez Gaston's blog [1/4] ]
A page from Andez Gaston's blog [1/4]
[ A page from Andez Gaston's blog [2/4] ]
A page from Andez Gaston's blog [2/4]
[ A page from Andez Gaston's blog [3/4] ]
A page from Andez Gaston's blog [3/4]
[ A page from Andez Gaston's blog [4/4] ]
A page from Andez Gaston's blog [4/4]


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 young.my 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.- agartofgastonbros.blogspot.com


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 name "Soul Machine" has been used as both the image filenames and artists' notes, and seem to confirm it to be the designation for this area during development. The artwork and renders were originally published under the filenames kain-soulmachinearea3_unit7, kain-soulmachinearea4_unit7, kain-soulmachinearea6_unit7, kain-soulmacineareaoreandrockfor and LOK_CrystalRocks_01.


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