Do any of you remember Raziel? If you've played any of the Legacy of Kain games (besides Blood Omen I or II) then you probably do. Chances are you also liked him. Why, you ask? Simply because he was awesome in almost every way.
Raziel is a character who appeals to the everyman (by "everyman" I mean every vampire-turned-wraith man), his character design is strikingly original, and his dialogue is extremely well written. His voice is done, and done rather well, by Michael Bell (who also voiced The Fear from MGS 3). In fact, Raziel's voice is so awesome that it could practically induce orgasms. Not to mention the story of his downfall and eventual redemption is so full of twists, turns, and plot holes (I kid) that you don't mind struggling with the sometimes awful camera or the long, drawn out levels to get to the next juicy cutscene.
Now, you're probably thinking that I love all the Legacy of Kain games and that I've played all of them. Not true, in fact, I've only played three—Blood Omen, Soul Reaver, and Defiance—out of the five games. Blood Omen I maybe played for two minutes when I was about 6. As for Soul Reaver, I couldn't even beat the first level (I was 7 and I had the attention span of a cockroach). Nevertheless those few minutes I played (and the opening cutscene for Soul Reaver) were enough to convince my young mind that Raziel was the coolest character I had ever seen, and to fuel a lifelong love of the character.
Enter: "Defiance"; this was the game that did me in. Finally, for the first time in my life I was experienced and competent enough to beat a Legacy of Kain game. I hadn't gone back to the others simply because I didn't have them anymore. I was finally prepared to experience what I could only imagine when I was younger: a complete Legacy of Kain game. It. Was. Awesome. There were problems of course, but I loved it as only a bright-eyed and hopeful gamer (who hadn't been warped by cynicism) could. The atmosphere was dark and compelling; I loved the storyline; the characters were all interesting; the sound design was awesome; the conclusion plucked my heart strings more than expected (that's saying a lot for me); and best of all, the gameplay didn't suck! Actually, the best part was (you guessed it) Raziel. I finally could play as Raziel the way that I had hoped to for years and I loved every second of it.
If it wasn't for Raziel I would have forgotten the Legacy of Kain series as easily as I had picked it up. He is the sole reason why I played the finale and the only reason why I am so interested in the series now. For that, I love him.
I know that I didn't really go into detail about Raziel as a character, but if you want an elaborate look into Raziel's past and his personality look it up on Wikipedia (it'll spare us both some time). Thank you for reading my first blog and feel free to start a flame war in the comments section for my amusement.
P.S. Check out the opening cutscene for Soul Reaver:
Written by Miguel
Edited by Matt