On the next Due for a Remake feature, I take a look at a franchise that desperately needs to return. The Legacy of Kain franchise is a videogame franchise that captured my imagination as a young gamer. I was between nine and ten years of age and I was given a lend of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain by my uncle and my mind was blown.
In the first title, you play as Kain a young nobleman who is murdered on his way to a town. While in hell he is given the opportunity to exact his revenge. He takes the offer and is returned to life as a vampire. He exacts his revenge quite quickly but is then swept up into a battle between the forces of good and evil. Along the way, he time travels, slays an otherworldly entity and ultimately damns his world.
The studio followed this up with Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver which follows Raziel the “son” of Kain who has been banished by Kain. This story followed Raziel as he tried to exact revenge on his “father”. Raziel was a completely different character but equally as in-depth as the previous protagonist. From there the series went from the strength to strength.
With a sequel for Raziel and a sequel for Kain, all the story threads lead to Legacy of Kain: Defiance where the two protagonists would have to deal with their common enemy, an enemy that was always there.
The fifth title Legacy of Kain: Defiance ended in a gripping cliffhanger. This was however in 2004, sixteen years ago and I’ve been waiting for a conclusion ever since.
The unusual foundation to the return of Kain
I’ve always had it in the back of my mind. At least once a year I’d think, “Where is Legacy of Kain?” Square Enix has the rights and if done properly the conclusion could be something epic. Only heavy-duty fans of Defiance enjoyed it as it wasn’t as successful as previous titles. This was likely due to the countless hours they poured into that story as well as previous titles in the franchise.
Now years later several key moments have happened to me to remind me of the Legacy of Kain universe. First off I played Final Fantasy VII Remake which seems to be an inspiration for me on discussions of remakes. I’ve talked enough about my love of that so I’ll move to the second more important moment. I played Vampyr on PlayStation Now.
Vampyr is a PlayStation 4 game that involves you playing as newly reborn vampire doctor Johnathan Reid as he travelled across 20th Century London battling supernatural forces as well as his own thirst for blood.
It is a story with that dry London charm and it reminded me a lot of the Legacy of Kain franchise. The use of the various vampiric abilities, the decisions of morality and the gods that you find yourself tangled with is close to the epicness of the Legacy of Kain franchise.
The important takeaway from this playthrough was that the structure, the bones of a remake are there and are ripe for Square Enix to pick. After all Final Fantasy VII Remake was a touching love letter to the original while also giving fans old and new something fresh to sink their teeth into.
Vampires, an Elder God & time-travel oh my!
During my research I have learned that the developer’s Silicon Knights designed Blood Omen as “a game which adults would want to play”, intending to evolve the action role-playing genre and bring artistic cinema to video game consoles. Which looking back now it totally makes sense. This was a mature story that dealt with vampire mythology, William Shakespeare’s plays and themes of an ethical dilemma. Now as a young gamer I may not have fully understood them but I still gravitated toward them.
The developers looked to sources like Unforgiven, qualities of the Necroscope novels, and the intricate plot of The Wheel of Time book series. Which again I gravitated towards in my adult years. I am a huge fan of The Wheel of Time book series.
As an older wisened gamer I understand the politics and the nuances of what goes into a game so I understand that this is wishful thinking. Ultimately though I also have to point out from a financial point of view this could work for Square Enix. A remaster of the Legacy of Kain franchise could be something quite spectacular.
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