Home > Soul Reaver > Impossible Geometry
One of Soul Reaver's groundbreaking features was its use of streaming terrain information to provide a seamless gaming experience with no "loading" screens. In the late 1990s, this generally meant breaking the game world down into individual rooms and tunnels, in order for enough pieces to fit simultaneously into the tiny amount of RAM in a PlayStation console.
Even the development workstations used by the Soul Reaver's designers couldn't display the entire game world at once, and yet those designers were meticulous enough it's possible to assemble all of them into a whole that's mostly cohesive using Soul Reaver to Blender Conversion Toolchain.
There are a few notable exceptions, and these are generally indicated by connecting arrows on the annotated versions of the maps in World Map Evolution. The most significant problems generally occur where an area is connected to three or more others.
- The Sarafan Tomb and the "Morlock Boss" room it leads to cannot be consistently connected in any version of the game. Prototypes from January and February 1999 match most closely, but it is still impossible to connect the Tomb itself to the boss room without breaking the shortcut back to the Pillars, or vice-versa. Later versions of the game include a greatly-extended tunnel from the Tomb entrance to the Tomb itself, and this makes matters even worse.
- Rahab's Drowned Abbey cannot be connected both to Raziel's territory and the Chapel without at least minor gaps in the tunnels. Some prototypes include a tunnel that seems intended to correct one of these gaps, but which is pointed 180 degrees from where it would need to go to achieve this.
- In the Stone Glyph area, the westernmost area is connected to the giant-skull ruins of Nupraptor's Retreat via two parallel tunnels. It is not possible for both of these tunnels to be connected simultaneously.
- Later versions of the game use a design for Melchiah's territory which cannot be reconciled, although it is consistent in early prototypes.
- Most versions of the Citadel have issues with the interior of the spherical water tower not lining up with the exterior, unless the tunnel back to the Citadel from the Water Glyph area is broken instead.
- In versions of the game from 1999-05-12 onward, only two of the three tunnels leading to Dumah's gas-burner area can be connected at once without gaps.
- In versions of the game from 1999-05-12 onward, the various pieces of the central lighthouse tower in the Sunlight Glyph area cannot all be connected without gaps.
- In most versions of the game, there are minor inconsistencies between the location of the Lake of the Dead and the first room in the Underworld. Reconciling these as best as possible generally causes an intrusion of the roof of the Underworld room into the middle of the Lake of the Dead.
- In prototype versions of the game from 1999-01-23, 1999-02-04, and 1999-02-16, the second puzzle room of the Undercity has a massive overlap with the tunnel to the third puzzle room.
- Most versions of the Silenced Cathedral have numerous inconsistencies and overlapping sections in the upper reaches of the central tower. This area also includes numerous leftover, unused sections hanging off to the side of that central tower.
- Most versions of the Silenced Cathedral also have at least minor issues with the connection from the room at the very bottom of the Cathedral back out.
- A bonus room in Melchiah's territory completely overlaps with an unrelated passage.
Additionally, the final version of the game features one area with impossible geometry which may have been intentionally included in order to disorient the player, and/or serve as an obscure Easter egg. The passageways in the Chronoplast where Raziel sees visions of the past and future are arranged in the shape of a Mobius loop (infinity symbol) when viewed from above.