The Vampire Hero and the Adversary (Hylden) Hero

The Vampire and Hylden heroes battling
The Vampire and Hylden heroes battling

The Vampire Hero and the Adversary (Hylden) Hero were first mentioned in Defiance. Kain and Raziel found murals that depicted a confrontation between a champion of the Ancient Vampires and a champion of the Hylden.

One mural, seen in the Air Forge and the Water Forge, showed them both locked in battle. Two other murals - seen in the Air Forge, the Vampire Citadel and finally in the Spirit Forge - were thematically a matched pair, and illustrated the possible outcomes of their fight. In one, the Vampire hero was defeated. In the other, he triumphed over his Hylden adversary. In the murals, the Vampire hero was shown with the classic features of their race (black wings and blue skin) and he was wielding the Reaver. The Hylden champion was depicted as having "flaming eyes, and a fiery sword".[1]

In Soul Reaver 2, Janos tried to give Raziel the Reaver, and when it was stolen, Janos urged him to reclaim it, saying it was forged for Raziel alone. In Defiance, this caused Raziel to identify with the Vampires' hero who was shown holding the Reaver in a Dark Forge mural. But Raziel was confused: if he was this prophesied hero, why had the Reaver tried to consume him (at the end of Soul Reaver 2)?[2,3]

The Vampire hero defeating the Hylden hero
The Vampire hero defeating the Hylden hero

Raziel's doubts grew as he learned that the Hylden also had a hero, and the "resemblance [Raziel] bore to the adversary" - with his glowing 'eyes' and wraith-blade - "mocked all [his] hopes." He wondered if Kain, and not himself, had actually "been the Vampire hero of prophecy all along". Kain didn't look much like the image of the Vampire hero, but at least he was a vampire, and carried the Reaver. Although Raziel had actively pursued a confrontation with Kain in Soul Reaver, he had since put his quest for vengeance aside, focussing instead on seeking answers about his destiny. The murals of the Vampire and Hylden heroes suggested to Raziel that a final battle between himself and Kain was inevitable, and one of them would be destroyed.[1]

The Hylden hero defeating the Vampire hero
The Hylden hero defeating the Vampire hero

Moebius told Kain that Raziel was destined to kill Kain, regardless of Raziel's free will. Kain asked for proof, and Moebius directed him to the Vampire Citadel to find "a testament written in stone". Kain knew he was the Scion of Balance - a heroic figure in Vampire prophecy - and when he saw a mural of the heroes (the one where the Vampire hero was slain), he interpreted it as the evidence Moebius wished him to have. The Vampires "had prophesied not one, but two champions - one destined to be Nosgoth's redeemer, the other its destroyer". Kain later found the murals which illustrated both outcomes of the heroes' fight. He was suspicious, and wondered what Moebius "was trying to concoct", but the idea that the hero images represented himself and Raziel had crossed his mind.[4,5,6,7]

By the time Kain and Raziel met in Avernus Cathedral, Raziel had decided he was definately the Hylden hero, and Kain was his Vampire counterpart. He had come to this conclusion after exploring the Avernus Catacombs and meeting Mortanius. In the catacombs there were murals that showed the Hylden "opposed the Vampires' god" - the Elder God - "and refused to submit to the Wheel of Fate". Considering his own conflict with the Elder, Raziel mused that his "resemblance to the Vampires' enemy no longer seemed so accidental". Looking at an image of the Hylden 'Messiah', Raziel questioned what was going on, why "every player on the board claimed the same pawn": him. In Soul Reaver 2, Janos had certainly thought Raziel was on the Vampires' side, possibly a messiah figure for them. How could he be both? The Elder God spoke to Raziel for the first time since Raziel escaped from the Spectral Realm to state that Raziel had never been the Vampires' champion. He belonged to the Hylden race. The Elder God's assertion was supported by Mortanius, soon afterwards. Mortanius told Raziel he had "created the champion foretold by [his] masters" - Kain, the Scion of Balance - who was destined to be Raziel's destroyer.[8,9,10,11,12]

Kain encountered Raziel exiting the Avernus Catacombs. Kain tried to avoid fighting Raziel, but Raziel was enraged rather than placated by Kain's attempts to reason with him. Raziel was fearful of the Reaver, sick of being manipulated by Kain, and believed their battle was destined. Also, Raziel knew that the Heart of Darkness - which he needed to resurrect Janos - was in Kain. They clashed, and Raziel won; he thrust his claws into Kain's chest and wrenched Kain's heart out.[12,13,14,15]

In Vorador's Mansion Moebius congratulated Raziel on his victory over Kain. The Time Streamer said that it did not matter which hero - Vampire or Hylden - Kain and Raziel convinced themselves they were, as long as the outcome was the same: that they would fight and Kain would die. Clearly Raziel's interpretation of the heroes prophecy wasn't as certain as he had thought, and been led to believe. Mortanius, therefore, had also been mistaken.[16]

Raziel shows Janos the wraith-blade
Raziel shows Janos the wraith-blade

Raziel resurrected Janos, and pressed him for an explanation. He said he was not who Janos thought he was. Janos re-iterated his belief that Raziel was the saviour of the Vampires, so Raziel asked why they devised the Reaver to consume and imprison him. Raziel unsettled Janos further by showing him the wraith-blade; he already held the Reaver, but not in the way Janos had been expecting. Janos didn't abandon his faith in Raziel, however, he just wondered if he had misread all the signs. Janos teleported them both to the Vampire Citadel, and directed Raziel to the Spirit Forge. There was a trial awaiting him there, Janos said, and if Raziel prevailed, he would have his answers.[17,18]

Raziel activated the Spirit Forge despite the interference of the Elder God. Ariel, summoned to the forge to imbue the wraith-blade with Spirit, told him to 'unite what has been set asunder' to arm the Scion of Balance 'for his true endeavor'. Raziel didn't immediately understand this; after all, Kain was supposed to be dead.[19]

Raziel's sacrifice
Raziel's sacrifice

Kain survived the loss of the Heart of Darkness due to his nature as the Scion. He arrived at the Spirit Forge after Raziel's fight with the Hylden Lord had stranded Raziel there in the Spectral Realm. Kain killed Moebius, providing Raziel with the knowledge of Kain's continued existence, and a body to re-enter the Material Realm with. This prompted an epiphany in Raziel: he realised that he could enable Kain to see the Elder God. He could make a move that would end the conflict, strife, fear and hatred that kept souls "trapped in the pointless round of existence" feeding the Wheel of Fate.[20,21]

Raziel used Moebius' body to re-enter the Material Realm, and allowed himself to be drawn into the Reaver as Kain was healed of his corruption by the Spirit-imbued wraith-blade. In doing so, he simultanously fulfilled the prophecy shown by all the heroes murals. They didn't depict the fight between Kain and Raziel at Avernus; they depicted Raziel's sacrifice. Raziel was both heroes all along and Kain was neither. The Defiance team FAQ external link at the Eidos Forums explains:[21,22]

Raziel's prophesized arrival is interpreted differently by the Hylden and Vampires, because of their different points of view. In Amy's words, "As the Hylden champion, he destroys the Vampire messiah with his fiery sword (the Reaver) by sacrificing himself. And as the Vampire hero, he vanquishes the Hylden savior, by obliterating him(self) with the Reaver." As the Hylden champion, he is able to bring about their "release" (in a sense) by bringing Janos back to life. As the Vampire Messiah, he purifies the Scion of Balance insuring that the pillars are once more in the possession of the Vampires. His ability to fulfill both prophesizes is because he alone possess free will and was able to make those choices.[22]

Further Observations

Ariel's statement that Raziel should "unite what has been set asunder" has been interpreted by fans to mean that the Ancient Vampires and the Hylden need to be reconciled for Kain to defeat the Elder God. This is supported by Raziel's desire to end the conflict, strife, fear and hatred that kept the Wheel of Fate turning. Otherwise, it could just mean he had to reunite the roles of Vampire and Hylden hero in himself through his sacrifice.[19,21]

The phrase 'Reedeemer and Destroyer' was used in Defiance to refer to the heroes individually. As the prophecy was presented from the viewpoint of the Ancient Vampires, the Vampire hero was the 'Reedemer', the Hylden hero was the 'Destroyer'. However, Moebius seemed to know the truth of the matter, as the first time the phrase appeared was in Soul Reaver/Soul Reaver 2, when he greeted Raziel in the Time Streaming Device.[23]

Vorador also appeared to understand something about Raziel's dual destiny. In Defiance, he wondered what side Raziel was on, and when Raziel asked why Vorador forged a weapon - the Reaver - to imprison the Vampires' supposed saviour, Vorador replied that Raziel had "chosen [his] path". Vorador knew that there was a choice for Raziel to make, and two paths he could take. He probably didn't realise that Raziel could fill both hero roles at the same time.[24]


  1. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - Mural: Raziel Recognizes The Adversary Hero)
  2. [SR2] Janos to Raziel: "You must reclaim the Reaver - it was forged for you and you alone..."
  3. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - Mural: The Vampires' Prophesied Hero)
  4. [DEF] Moebius to Kain: "Yes, Raziel is shrouded from us, but we see the ripples of his potential actions. And every path he might choose leads to the same outcome: he will kill you, Kain. In sparing Raziel, you have written your own death sentence."
  5. [DEF] Kain: "And your incontrovertible evidence?"
    Moebius: "The answers are plain if you know where to look. Go west of the Pillars - there you will find a testament written in stone."
  6. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - Mural: The Fall Of The Vampire Hero)
  7. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - Mural: Redeemer And Destroyer)
  8. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - Mural: History Is Written By The Victors)
  9. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - Mural: The Hylden Messiah)
  10. [DEF] The Elder God: "So, Raziel... your true nature is finally revealed. You were never the Vampires' savior - it is to the Hylden race you belong. And when Kain realizes this, what do you think he will do?..."
  11. [SR2] Raziel: "So it's all true, then - what Kain and Vorador have told me - I really am some kind of unholy vampire messiah..."
    Janos: "Unholy? -no. Messiah... perhaps."
  12. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - Mortanius' Redemption)
  13. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - Two Heroes Collide)
  14. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - A Deadly Confrontation)
  15. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - The Heart Of Darkness)
  16. [DEF] Moebius to Raziel: "Which hero do you think you are now? The vampire savior? Or the other one? Have you realized yet that it didn't matter to us which one either of you thought you were, so long as the result was the same in the end? And now, Kain is dead. Really, I cannot thank you enough."
  17. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - The Resurrection Of Janos Audron)
  18. [DEF] Janos to Raziel: "I cannot accompany you; you must face this trial alone. If you prevail, you will have your answers."
  19. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - The Transformation Of The Reaver)
  20. The first Defiance Q&A page external link at The Lost Worlds
  21. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - Vengeance And Sacrifice)
  22. The Defiance team FAQ external link at the Eidos Forums
  23. [SR1/SR2] Moebius: "Raziel...
    Redeemer and destroyer.
    Pawn and messiah.
    Welcome, time-spanned soul.
    Welcome... to your destiny."
  24. The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - The Vampire Vorador)

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