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Soul Reaver 2 Technical Information (Overview)
This article was part of the content on the original (pre-2007) version of The Lost Worlds. I found it while looking around for things to post on the 10th anniversary of the site in 2012. It is presented here for historical interest, and has not been audited for 100% accuracy.
This particular article was last updated on 26 April, 2003.
I have not had time to explore the technical aspects of Soul Reaver 2 as fully as those of the original game (see Soul Reaver Technical Information (Overview)). However, I have learned the following:
Soul Reaver 2 is based on a port of the original game to the Playstation 2. It uses a greatly-enhanced version of Crystal Dynamics' Gex Engine (see Soul Reaver's Gex Engine) which supports a much higher polygon count, room size, et cetera. The basic construction of areas is identical, however.
Unlike the first game, Soul Reaver 2 stores its variables in dynamic locations, making it next to impossible to alter aspects of the game world on-the-fly. The only real way to accomplish similar results is to edit the savegame files (see Savegames (PC)). Divine Shadow has written an excellent tutorial on this subject. [ but unfortunately it was lost when EZBoards was absorbed by Yuku. Also, see the more recent content like the The Debug Menu article. ]
Even though only four Elemental Reavers are used in the game, the game engine recognizes seven settings for the variable that controls which one the player currently has.
The PC version of Soul Reaver 2 uses Ogg Vorbis audio compression for the dialogue. The PS2 version uses Sony's VAG ADPCM format for the dialogue (but with a non-standard header).
snailrush, the author of PSound and SoundReaver 2, was kind enough to implement extraction capabilities for the Playstation 2 version once I provided him with details about the headers. It can be extracted from the PC version using Project X.
Soul Reaver 2's music (on both platforms) appears to be stored in a proprietary tracker-style format, which - even if it could be extracted - cannot be played. Only the title theme ("Ariel's Lament"), and the end credits music (and the Soul Reaver bonus music, from the PS2 version) can be extracted.
Soul Reaver 2's code still includes the mention of the Constrict ability (obtained in the first game), even though it can't actually be used.
Soul Reaver 2 has a debug menu embedded in its code (see The Debug Menu) that is based on the one from the first game (see The Debug Menu). The text of this menu implies that the Blood Reaver and Soul Reaver 2-style health are handled as abilities just like Phase and Swim.
The SR2.EXE file has several development/debugging dialogue boxes embedded within it, as it is possible to discover by opening it with Resource Hacker. No way has been found to utilize these in the retail version of the game.