Beta Comparison - Music and Sound Effects
The Soul Reaver music can be divided into these basic five types - normal (indoors), suspenseful (outdoors), puzzle, danger and combat. Each boss has its own theme and Kain has also a transitory track before you enter his chamber.
It is interesting that only Raziel's territory does not have a puzzle type of music track, probably because it is smaller than other areas.
The music is in most cases the same for all of the versions. However, some differences are present. After Raziel emerges from the Underworld, defeats the two Dumahim and enters the tunnel leading to the Sanctuary, the Underworld music changes to the Pillars-Tomb track in TEB, unlike in TLB and retail, where the Underworld music continues to play all the way until the Lake of the Dead.
The early beta is incapable of triggering the Spectral variations of the music, unlike the later beta and final version. However, it can triggered manually through the debug menu. The volume of the music is also louder in TEB than other versions and when it transitions between different areas, the game plays a combat track of that variation for a second (this glitch is present in TLB as well).
The early version and later beta are missing some of the suspenseful and puzzle variations of the music. TEB has one rare track, which has been cut from the other two versions, playing during Dumah encounter. It is unknown why it was cut from the final version of the game since all other brethren encounters have their own encounter themes. It was replaced by a Ruined City danger track in TLB and final version. The second rarest track which is found only in the later beta of the game is the spectral theme of the boss encounter tracks. It is the same for all of the bosses and it always plays when you shift to spectral during a boss fight. It was later changed in the retail to a combat spectral version of the area you were in for each of the bosses for unknown reason.
Every boss character in the game has its own variations of the boss encounter theme (Melchiah, Zephon, Rahab, Dumah, Turel). In the early beta, the encounter theme starts playing right when Raziel enters the boss chamber, while in the retail version, it only starts when the cutscene initiates. Morlock has its own theme. The later released track Underworld Lt. is the same as Morlock's Encounter in the final game, but while the former uses Underworld type instruments, the latter uses Pillars-Tomb theme. This is probably because originally, the Underworld music was supposed to play underneath the Sarafan Tomb, which was later changed to a Pillars-Tomb variation.
There is a glitch associated with the first room of Underworld. In TEB, the music playing is the Underworld material realm track, which is also the case in TLB. In RV this was fixed to the spectral realm Underworld track.
It is still possible to trigger the material version of the track in the RV. Start the game, switch to material realm, quit the current game and reload the save.
The Drowned Abbey music in TEB appears to be a prototype track and has lower quality than TLB and RV version. Underworld combat track from TEB was also improved in TLB and RV. The Lighthouse music was originally made to fit Turel's smokestack area. Turel's Encounter track uses the same type of instruments and also the Lighthouse track codename is actually Morlock. Another interesting thing is that the Ruined City music is labeled as Undercity in the game's code and not Ash Village, like the area's code. Also, Razielim Territory music is labeled as "Kain" in the debug music menu.
The earliest version of the Underworld track is only present in The Lighthouse Demo and was modified into the Underworld music in betas and final version.
There is one track called "Limbo" which is found in the early beta version. It can only be accessed through the debug menu in TEB version. This track is from Akuji the Heartless, a game by Crystal Dynamics which was released before Soul Reaver. It was probably included for testing purposes.
The sound effects stayed basically the same with a few exceptions such as the sluaghs' cry when their energy is depleted in the early beta version. This sound was later warped to sound more like a beast's cry. Some of the vampire cries were altered or replaced as well. Rahab's and Dumah's voices are more deepened in the final game.
It seems that the developers initially intended for the vampires to talk to Raziel when he encountered them (there are lots of single lines on the disc: "Traitor!", "Heretic!" etc.). This functionality was probably removed, despite the dialogue having been recorded. In the betas and retail, only humans respond to Raziel if he preys on them (getting too close to them makes them cover and say "No!"). The ability of regular enemies to speak was either removed or never implemented, possibly due to hardware limitations. However, it returned in Soul Reaver 2.