|The Pillars of Nosgoth|
|Released||• Production began in 1993|
• Became Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain
The Pillars of Nosgoth was a video game proposal conceived by Silicon Knights' Denis Dyack. After being sent to Crystal Dynamics in 1993 and accepted for production, it ultimately evolved into Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, the first game in the Legacy of Kain series.
While working on Dark Legions in 1993, Denis Dyack and Ken McCulloch spoke about the worsening PC market, deciding to "get into the console market and do story-based action/adventures". Hoping to talk to publishers at an upcoming 3DO conference, they discussed "a couple of ideas [...] to write up. One [involved] a vampire, and another [involved] technology and being “too human”". The "complex story" of the vampire project was "outlined in a document full of sketches and concepts", and Dyack and McCulloch finalized its details. The designers "wanted to create a game where there was no ultimate weapon and armor. A game where you had to use your head as well as your reflexes" - a mature title "which adults would want to play". For six to eight months, Silicon Knights worked on the design document without a particular hardware platform in mind.
Before Dark Legions' completion, producer Lyle Hall of Crystal Dynamics met Dyack at a conference while sourcing third-party developers with talent and originality. Crystal Dynamics was one of several publishers who were sent the concepts for The Pillars of Nosgoth, Too Human and one other (unknown) proposal. Too Human was almost pursued, but Crystal Dynamics "thought fantasy would go over more then Sci-Fi", and chose to craft The Pillars of Nosgoth for the 32-bit marketplace. Hall and Dyack had bonded over the idea that games of the day should be given higher budgets, and should deliver on bigger expectations; Hall had been instantly taken by the "unbelievable character and epic story" of The Pillars of Nosgoth, and was impressed by Silicon Knights' passion to deliver an artistic, cinematic experience. The Soul Reaver, which was originally intended to be a weapon in Too Human, was transplanted to the "vampire action RPG", which Hall and Dyack felt could evolve the genre.
The Pillars of Nosgoth was eventually renamed to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, but the eponymous Pillars of Nosgoth remained a central aspect of the game's storyline.[BO1] Upon its successful release, Dyack discussed continuing what he referred to as the Blood Omen series, but after Crystal Dynamics obtained the rights to the intellectual property circa 1998 and created their sequels, the collection of games became the Legacy of Kain series. However, director Amy Hennig did not ignore its origins, striving to "[do her] best to carry the torch lit by Silicon Knights and Crystal Dynamics back in 1993". She commented in an interview that "Silicon Knights' original title for Blood Omen was actually 'The Pillars of Nosgoth' - the Pillars were the main focus of that game, as they are in Soul Reaver 2. They're the mythological and geographical hub of the whole thing". The arcane tomes in Legacy of Kain: Defiance also included a never-before-seen sketch of the original proposal's logo.[DEF]
- Tears in Rain - Blog #35 at the IGN Boards (by silicon-knights)
- Behind the Scenes at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain at siliconknights.com
- Playing Catch-Up: GEX's Lyle Hall at Gamasutra (by Alistair Wallis)
- Tears in Rain - Blog #35 at the IGN Boards (by silicon-knights), post #17 (by DenisDyack)
- Recreated PSXnation.com Interview with Denis Dyack at Nosgothic Realm
- The Art of Making Games at IGN (by Matt Casamassina)
- GLoK Interviews with Amy Hennig at Nosgothic Realm (by Raziel Fan)
- A farewell message from Amy at the Square Enix Forums (by blincoln)
- GLoK Interviews with Amy Hennig at Nosgothic Realm (by Raziel Fan), post #4 (by RazielFan)