[ Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds ]

Character Names

article by Ben Lincoln


Quite a few characters in the Legacy of Kain series have names which were taken from figures in Biblical mythology. While most of them do not appear in the Jewish Torah, Christian Bible, or Islamic Koran, they are mentioned in related works. Most of the information in this article was researched in Gustav Davidson's excellent A Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels.

For the most part, the only connection between the Legacy of Kain characters and their Biblical counterparts are their names. However, a few names (such as Raziel's) may be seen as being used for a specific reason.

Most Biblical names are Hebrew (since the Christian Old Testament is actually the Jewish Torah). One of the many things that makes Hebrew an interesting language is that there is no standard method of transliterating its characters into English. This is very much unlike - for example - Japanese, which has strict rules when writing words in the Roman alphabet. Aside from the obvious example of "Hannukah/Channukah" (the "ch" is used as in German, not the English "chuh" sound), "Cain" and "Kain" would be written the same in Hebrew. However, it is *not* a free-for-all. A common error made by fans of the Kain series is to confuse "Raziel" ("Rah-zii-ehl") and "Azrael" ("Ahz-rai-ehl"), and assume that "Raziel" is an anagram of it rather than a distinct name.


In the Book of Genesis (4:8), Cain (one of the sons of Adam) becomes the first murderer when he kills his brother Abel.


"Ariel" (AKA Arael, Ariael) is Hebrew for "Lion of God."

In several apocyphal texts, Ariel is a male angel with a lion's head. This name appears in many stories, with many different associations - a prince of angels, a "3rd archon of the winds," and even a rebel angel and ruler of demons.


"Raziel" is Hebrew for "Secret of God."

In Jewish mysticism, the angel Raziel is the author of a book containing "all celestial and earthly knowledge."

According to the Dictionary of Angels, "Legend has it that the angel Raziel handed his book to Adam, and that the other angels, out of envy, purloined the precious grimoire and cast it into the sea, whereat God ordered Rahab, primordial angel/demon of the deep, to fish it out and restore it to Adam - which Rahab obediently did, although it should be pointed out that before this, Rahab had been destroyed."

An actual tome called The Book of the Angel Raziel really does exist (there is a small diagram from it in the Dictionary), but it is believed to have been written by a medieval author.


"Turel" (AKA Turiel, Turael) is Hebrew for "Rock of God."

The Book of Enoch lists Turel as one of the angels who descend from heaven and father half-angel children (the Nephilim) with human women, as described in Genesis 6.


"Dumah" (AKA Duma, Douma) is Aramaic for "Silence."

The Dictionary describes Dumah as "the angel of silence and the stillness of death... prince of Hell, and angel of vindication." It quotes his description in the Zohar as "chief of demons in Gehinnom [ Hell ] with 12,000 myriads of attendants, all charged with the punishment of the souls of sinners."


"Rahab" is literally translated as "Violence," although the Dictionary is unclear as to the source language. Rahab's Hebrew name is "Sar Shel Yam," or "Prince of the Primordial Sea."

As mentioned above, Rahab is described in Biblical legend as a demon or angel of the depths, who was destroyed twice by God - first for "refusing to separate the upper and lower waters at the time of Creation," and again for trying to prevent the escape of the Hebrews from the Egyptians when they crossed the Red Sea.

The Dictionary (through the Babylonian Talmud) associates Rahab with Leviatian/Behemoth, and the Angel of Death.

Apparently there is a woman called Rahab in the book of Joshua, but she is a seperate entity.


Zephon's name means "A Looking Out."

Zephon is a cherub (an angel with a flaming sword, not the popular image of a winged baby), and a guardian prince of Paradise, according to the Dictionary. In Milton's Paradise Lost, he is sent by Gabriel to find and confront Satan.

A reader named Rick recounts this story:

Satan convinced Zephon to join him in battle because Zephon was a brilliant strategist. During the battle that took place in heaven, Zephon's idea was to set heaven on fire. When Satan lost the battle, Zephon was cast out of heaven along with all the other fallen angels which include Turel, Dumah, Melchiah, and Rahab. Zephon's duty became forever fanning the flames of hell.


The Dictionary is unclear as to the meaning of Melchiah's name, but lists "Malkiyyah" as the primary spelling.

This angel is described as one who "serves the blood," whose name is used as part of magical amulets, in particular ones which protect against hemmorhaging.


"Malik"/"Malec" is a guardian angel of Hell in Islamic mythology. The Dictionary quotes him as telling the wicked "that they must remain in Hell forever because 'they abhorred the truth when the truth was brought to them.'"

A reader named Abbas mentioned that Malek is a name which is still used in Arab culture.

I am uncertain if Malek of the Sarafan was intentionally named after this angel.


"Hema" was an early name for either Melchiah or Turel.

The Dictionary describes Hemah (missing his H like Duma...) as an "angel of wrath, with dominion over the death of domestic animals," and who was "forged out of chains of black and red fire." In the Zohar, Hemah tries to consume Moses. God intervened, and subsequently Moses slew Hemah - although the Dictionary's summary does not describe how he managed to do this. According to Oren Kornman, "hema" is Hebrew for "rage".


"Ruman" was an early name for either Melchiah or Turel.

According to the Dictionary, Ruman is "a special angel of the lower regions who requires all of the deceased that come before him to write down the evil deeds they performed on earth and for which they were consigned to Hell."

It seems likely that the angelic nature of the characters created for Soul Reaver is related to both its original design (see Shifter), as well as the similarity between Blood Omen's "Sarafan" and "Seraphim" (a seraph is another type of angel, and the -im suffix is how words are made plural in Hebrew).

The development code-names for the Soul Reaver bosses are mostly more light-hearted, but are of note nonetheless.

The Skinner Boss

This was Melchiah's code-name. Although not explained directly in the game, his skin is supposed to have been sewn together out of pieces of his victims.

The Wallcrawler Boss

This was Zephon's code-name. Like Melchiah's, it is fairly self-explanatory.

The Aluka Boss

This was Rahab's code-name. "Aluka" is Hebrew for "leech", and has been used to describe mythical vampires outside of the Kain series.

The Ronin Boss

This was Dumah's code-name. A "ronin" was a samurai in ancient Japan whose master had been slain - a great dishonour to the samurai. Disgraced, they wandered the land, much like Dumah's clan ranged across Nosgoth while their "father" lay impaled on his throne.

The Morlock Boss

This was Turel's code-name. In H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, Morlocks are characters who rule a subterranean civilization. Similarly, [[SR1/The Turelim Clan Territory]] was supposed to be an underground level.

[ Hebrew translations by Oren Kornman ]
Hebrew translations by Oren Kornman
[ Hebrew translations by Oren Kornman ]
Hebrew translations by Oren Kornman
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