Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is a third-person adventure game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Eidos. It was released for the PlayStation and PC in 1999 and for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000. Soul Reaver entered development alongside Blood Omen 2: Legacy of Kain in 1997 and focused on puzzle solving instead of Blood Omen 2’s action.
Initially, the game was set to be released October 1998. The secondary release date was then made January 1999. Due to the game still remaining unfinished. It was granted a final delay of approximately 7 months which then, the game went gold in July 1999 and subsequently got released August 1999.
Unfortunately, these delays occurred because the game wasn’t progressing quickly enough in terms of asset creation to fulfill their original vision for Soul Reaver. Several interviews suggested the designers noticed they had an overly designed game thus had no option but to remove certain areas of the game.
Some removed areas are known as:
- Under City
- “Turel’s Territory”(Must confirm the exact name)
- Mountain Retreat
Amy Hennig stated that the development team split the original, much larger plans in two after realizing that they had “over-designed the game”. This decision explains Soul Reaver’s cliffhanger ending and the appearance of originally planned material in later games. Despite the split, Hennig explained that the team left unused components in Soul Reaver’s game engine to avoid unforeseen glitches that might have arisen from their removal. [Infos from Wikipedia] This is why certain reavers are accessible even though they are not actually obtainable on the retail version.
As we can read in this interesting article from The Lost Worlds, many items, weapons and areas were removed / not used in the final game, as the Amplified Force Projectile & Possession abilities, The Amplified Reaver and The Ariel Reaver weapons, Five additional Reaver upgrades and the The Mountain Retreat area. You should check the Lost Worlds article for more informations, it’s really well done!
Thanks to John Doom for the contribution!
Alpha: July 1998
Alpha: January 1999
Beta: 12th May 1999
Beta: 28th June 1999