Kain, the once nobleman from Coorhagen, just beheaded Moebius, and I was on the floor tucked up against my bedside, a PlayStation controller cradled on my lap, a wired phone shoved awkwardly between my head and neck, waiting for my best friend down the road to pick up on his end. When he did, I recounted what happened, going so far as to imitate Kain in his moment of triumph where he proudly–and ironically–stated that he was already dead. There was little time for chit-chat, just straight to the details.
“Oh wow, wish I could’ve seen that!” Willie exclaimed, a hint of disappointment there. The last time he saw Kain in action was earlier on in some dungeon.
“Can you sleep over this weekend?” I asked. “I’ll save my game and wait for you. I don’t know how much further I have to go.”
Together, we saw Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain to its end, lapping up all the over-the-top violence, sinister ways, cruel spells, and amazing voicework. At its conclusion, a choice is presented: have Kain sacrifice himself and end the vampire race to save all of Nosgoth or refuse the sacrifice and rule the empire with total power. For us, the decision was easy, though not something I’d make now, some sixteen years later. We gave in to the power, and allowed Kain to slip into the darkness he constantly seemed teased by, ruling with blood-red eyes and unrelenting disdain. I have to believe that we both didn’t want to see Kain go, especially not after all the time we spent with him, helping him on his path of revenge and righting. He was our friend, no matter how silly that seems, and a friend of my friend is my friend and so on.
This connection to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain later blossomed into some franchise love, as Willie picked up Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver three years later, and we’d go through the same routine, just with the roles reversed. Now it was me riding my bike over as fast as I could on Saturdays before the sun set to see what latest puzzle he was stuck at. I never got to play, but I watched enough, even if the game itself was pretty different.
Today, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is remembered as a darker The Legend of Zelda clone, one with terrible loading times. And yes, that all rings true. Though the loading times at that point in videogame history did not seem atrocious, just something to deal with. I think Suikoden had pretty long load times, too. But we all moved a little slower back in the day, and Willie and I just learned to fully explore a place before moving to the next screen to prevent needless backtracking. Reflecting now, it actually added to the overall experience.
But I remember this game differently, as an adventure and triumph shared, one with dramatically gory moments to ooh and ahh over while bouncing on a trampoline in the backyard. I miss it, and I miss what opportunities it used to give me.
GAMES I REGRET PARTING WITH is a regular feature here at Grinding Down where I reminisce about videogames I either sold or traded in when I was young and dumb. To read up on other games I parted with, follow the tag.