10 Cancelled Legacy of Kain Titles Discovered

10 cancelled Legacy of Kain titles and a convoluted history shape the future of Legacy of Kain.

The Legacy of Kain games have not been at a standstill. Today, the remnants of 10 cancelled Legacy of Kain titles have been unearthed.

The series has lain dormant for years since its last title, Defiance, appeared back in 2003. Now, with a new multiplayer title, War for Nosgothon the way, the series seems set to make a grand comeback to hungry fans.

And yet, an intuitive NeoGAF user revealed today that development on Legacy of Kain games has been anything but dormant. In an expository post, user Mama Robotnik details ten Legacy of Kain titles cancelled at various stages of development, some of them near completion.

The NeoGAF post includes details of each, and also lists the surprising number of developers and publishers that have been involved throughout the years.

Industry players tied to this franchise include  Square Enix, Activision, Crystal Dynamics, Climax, Silicon Knights, Eidos and Ritual Entertainment.

Fans of the series are highly encouraged to visit the original post on NeoGAF. It contains gameplay screenshots and concept art from the ten cancelled titles, and details the intricate politics that inhibited the franchise.

The series did not begin with its 1996 release of Blood Omen. It originated in 1994, as a cancelled 3DO game titled The Pillars of Nosgoth, and now comes full circle to the upcoming War for Nosgoth by Square Enix.


Original artwork for the first title.

The Complete List of Legacy of Kain Titles

  1. Pillars of Nosgoth (cancelled 1994)
  2. Blood Omen (released 1996)
  3. Blood Omen Enhanced - Sega Saturn(cancelled 1996)
  4. Sirens (cancelled 1997)
  5. Kain II (a) and Kain II (b) (cancelled 1997)
  6. Shifter (cancelled 1998)
  7. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (released 1999)
  8. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 - PS1 (cancelled 2000)
  9. Chakan II (cancelled 2000)
  10. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 (released 2001)
  11. Blood Omen 2 (released 2002)
  12. Legacy of Kain: Defiance (released 2003)
  13. Legacy of Kain: Dark Prophecy (cancelled 2004)
  14. Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun (cancelled 2012)
  15. War For Nosgoth (released TBA)

An Ugly History

The Legacy of Kain series suffered incredible setbacks, lack of faith and constant cancellations. Rising hostility between its initial developers Silicon Knights and Crystal Dynamics resulted in disrupted projects, cancelled games and wasted effort. The epitome of this occurred around the production of Kain II, the sequel to Blood Omen.

Activision, who took on the project, tasked Crystal Dynamics to develop a concept, but was unsatisfied. Then Silicon Knights was asked to create another, but the developer claimed Crystal Dynamics tried to disrupt its progress. In the end, neither of the titles ever came to fruition, nor were they mentioned again. All that is known about Crystal Dynamics’s version is that it was not Soul Reaver.

Recycled Concept Art and Ideas

The concept art and stories of cancelled games often made reappearance in proceeding Legacy of Kain games. Blood Omen 2, for instance, borrowes heavily from its predecessors. It utilizes the leftover progress from Chakan II and Sirens, resulting in the jarringly inconsistent feel of the game as compared to previous Legacy of Kain titles.


Daemons from Sirens (left) inspired Hyldens in Blood Omen 2 (right).

The Future of Kain

Square Enix’s upcoming multiplayer, War For Nosgoth, wasn't the only attempt to revive the series after years at a standstill. Another game titled Dead Sun was slated to be the single-player counterpart to Nosgoth. The game set in the far future long after the events of Soul Reaver. Tragically (a notion familiar to this series) Square Enix felt that it wouldn't achieve expected sales targets and cancelled it well into development.

Luckily for Legacy of Kain fans, the publisher doesn’t feel the same way for its upcoming multiplayer title.

With its history of reusing plots, graphics and ideas from past games, it is likely that the latest game will display remnants of its dead predecessors. You may well see something of Dark Prophecy or Dead Sun in a future installment. For now, however, all that progress remains lost.

 Image 1
Gameplay Screenshot from War For Nosgoth

Were those cancellations redundant or truly necessary? Tell us what you think.

Correspondent

Girl, Canadian, caffeine worshipper, currently in school for book publishing. I like to write about games and complain about the lack of a good zombie RPG. You'll find me lurking on various game forums in various guises.

Published Jun. 18th 2013
  • Deleon Newsome
    If the cancellations lead to such a phenomenal plot then Im going to have to be optimistic. Of course on the flip side they missed their chance to make tons of money by giving up on dark prophecy. Defiance brought tons of attention to the series and the best way to keep momentum is to strike while the iron is hot. The producers were foolishly blind to what the true consensus of the impact the story line had on its fans and how many new fans they accumulated. Sadly war for nosgoth does not appeal to me or the Legacy Of Kain fan base. This being the case I hope they decide to actually listen to us the next time they waste money on a game no one wants. Given the history of this series's ability to resurrect it self,we are left with some modicum of hope. If the developers realize the size of the fan base and adhere to their cries for a sequel relevant to the plot they will see mountains of profit.
  • MirandaCB
    Columnist
    This series is so great; most of these titles would probably be gobbled up by hardcore fans. If previously cancelled games made a come back with updated graphics, I feel they'd be successful and look amazing. The story and characters are by far some of my favorites in any games.

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