Zephon in Soul Reaver
Zephon was seen standing in the Sanctuary of the Clans at the start of Soul Reaver's opening FMV (Full Motion Video). He looked slim, with fairly short, spiked-up black hair. His shoulder cape was dark green; a darker shade than Turel's. Zephon stood to the left of Kain's throne, with Turel to his left, and a space - presumably for Raziel - to his right.
Raziel arrived at the the Sanctuary of the Clans, and presented his newly-grown wings to Kain and his fellow lieutenants. Zephon did nothing to intervene when Kain ripped the bones from Raziel's wings, and ordered Raziel's execution. Zephon travelled to the Abyss with Kain and his brethren, and witnessed Raziel being thrown in.
Raziel returned from the Abyss, seeking revenge on Kain and his lieutenant 'brothers' who had supported Kain's treatment of Raziel through their actions or inaction. He found that "centuries had apparently passed". After encounters with Melchiah and Kain, the Elder God directed Raziel to hunt out Zephon. Zephon's stronghold was a "derelict cathedral" to the east (the Silenced Cathedral). Raziel infiltrated the Silenced Cathedral and started to work his way up the building. Zephon's chamber was at the top.[3,4,5]
All of the lieutenants had evolved into monstrous forms since Raziel's execution. Zephon's form was the largest, and he towered over Raziel. Raziel commented that Zephon's visage was "an appropriate reflection" of his corrupt soul. In return, Zephon mocked Raziel: Raziel was no longer handsome.
Zephon's lower body was a bulging egg-sac. He had long, thin forelimbs and a crested skull. Zephon also had additional limbs hanging from the ceiling of the chamber; he claimed the cathedral had become his body, and it looked like he had grown into it somehow. He called it a "cocoon", but Raziel retorted that the cathedral was Zephon's "crevice in which to cower, only scuttling from the shadows to devour a victim already ensnared in [Zephon's] cowardly trap."
Zephon was less spider-like in appearance than his descendants. He made a reference to the "insect mind" - his mind - and with his egg-sac, he did have the look of an insect hive queen. Zephon and Raziel fought. Zephon attacked Raziel with the six limbs hanging from the chamber ceiling. They would get stuck in the floor if Zephon missed, and Raziel could hit and destroy them. Each time a limb was destroyed, Zephon would scream, and expel an egg from his egg-sac. If Raziel destroyed all the limbs, he could hit the egg-sac directly to get an egg.
Zephon's eggs weren't viable, and nothing hatched from them. A short time after Zephon expelled them, they exploded, giving off a purple gas (which could injure Raziel). Their instability have been partially due to the Blood Curse, as one of the effects of the curse was sterility. Raziel used Zephon's curious eggs as a weapon against him. At some point, a human Vampire Hunter had found his way up to the chamber, armed with a flamethrower. The human was dead, but the flame still burned. Raziel picked up the eggs, set them alight with it, and threw them at his huge sibling. Eventually, after Raziel had thrown three eggs at Zephon, the fire took hold, and Zephon burned to death. Raziel consumed Zephon's soul, and gained the ability to scale walls (in the Material Realm).[7,6]
Later in Soul Reaver, Raziel found the Tomb of the Sarafan. Zephon's name was carved above one of the empty caskets, and Raziel's name was above another. Raziel realised that he, Zephon, and all of Kain's lieutenants had once been Sarafan warrior-priests.
Zephon in Soul Reaver 2
In Soul Reaver 2, Raziel uncovered more evidence of the history he shared with Zephon in the Sarafan Stronghold. Zephon's chapter house mural revealed that he had been red-haired as a human, although he had the same spiked-up hairstyle he had as a vampire in Soul Reaver's opening FMV.
When Raziel travelled back in time to meet Janos Audron, five centuries before the events of Blood Omen, he encountered the living Zephon. Zephon was one of the five Sarafan who broke into Janos' Retreat, murdered him and stole the Reaver.
Raziel chased the men back to the Sarafan Stronghold, to avenge Janos' death and to take back the Reaver and the Heart of Darkness. He killed them all with the Reaver, which he had reclaimed. Zephon died in battle alongside Melchiah, in the open air courtyard. He had been armed with a sword. His corpse was interred in the Tomb of the Sarafan, where it awaited Kain's arrival around a thousand years later.[11,12]
Zephon was the fifth-born of Kain's six lieutenants. It could have been inferred from Soul Reaver, from the order in which Raziel confronted his brethren. It is a videogame convention to fight 'boss' characters in order of difficulty, with the easiest/weakest first. Raziel looked for Zephon after killing Melchiah, who "was made last, and therefore received the poorest portion of Kain's gift". Zephon's place as fifth-born was confirmed in Soul Reaver 2. Raziel, confronted by the Sarafan Melchiah and Zephon, called them "the weakest of Kain's brood".[13,14]
Zephon was the only lieutenant whose shoulder cape colour - as seen in Soul Reaver's opening FMV - did not match the flags of his clan in-game. His shoulder cape was dark green, but the Zephonim flags were grey. An in-universe explaination could be that Zephon simply changed the clan's banner colour sometime after Raziel's execution. Alternatively, perhaps the flags hadn't been dyed very well, and faded to that grey colour. In reality, the inconsistancy probably occurred during the development of Soul Reaver. It was likely decided that the Zephonim and Turelim flags were too confusingly similar, so the in-game Zephonim flags became grey, but it was too late to change the opening FMV accordingly. This is all speculation, however.
Zephon's evolved form in Soul Reaver was reminiscent of the Alien Queen from the 1986 film Aliens . Zephon's long, thin limbs and crested skull gave that impression, along with the scream he gave when Raziel first approached him. However, there were many differences, one being that Zephon's egg-sac seemed to make up his entire lower body, and looked permanently attached. The Alien Queen could discard hers and she still had legs.
It didn't look as if Zephon was able to leave his chamber in Soul Reaver, so he likely relied upon his offspring, or the cathedral's Vampire Worshippers to bring him humans from the levels below. Raziel had seen many humans down there, wrapped in thread by the spider-like Zephonim for easy feeding. The textures covering the chamber wall around Zephon appeared to show encased humanoid figures, but it's not obvious what they were.
The Soul Reaver Game Manual (UK and US versions) mentions that some of the Clan Leaders (Kain's vampire lieutenants) had a limited ability to shift between the Material Realm and the Spectral Realm. Zephon could momentarily appear in the Spectral Realm, but he seemed unable to see or attack Raziel there.
When Raziel devoured the souls of the evolved lieutenants, their bodies disintegrated/vanished. Zephon was the exception; his body remained in his chamber throughout Soul Reaver.
All the lieutenants in Soul Reaver's opening FMV appeared to have black hair (apart from Melchiah, who was bald). Could Zephon's change in hair colour, from red as a human to black as a vampire, indicate that black hair was an odd side-effect of vampirism in Kain's descendants?
Despite Zephon's reference to the "insect mind", spiders aren't technically insects. Then again, the Zephonim vampires weren't exactly spiders anyway, they just evolved to have a few spider-like traits.
- The Background Story, as given in the Soul Reaver Game Manual (UK and US versions)
- The Soul Reaver Game Manual (UK and US versions)
- [SR1] The Elder God to Raziel: "Redeem yourself. Or if you prefer, avenge yourself. Settle your dispute with Kain. Destroy Him and your brethren. Free their souls and let the wheel of fate churn again. Use your hatred to reave their souls... I can make it possible. Become my Soul Reaver, my angel of death..."
- [SR1] Raziel: "In the instant between my execution and resurrection, centuries had apparently passed..."
- [SR1] The Elder God to Raziel: "Your brother Zephon's keep lies far to the east, beyond the ruins that greeted your first exit from the Underworld. He and his brood have cocooned themselves in a derelict cathedral, having murdered its human guardians."
- Soul Reaver Dialogue: Silenced Cathedral at Nosgothic Realm
- [DEF] Raziel (referring to the mural: 'The Dark Gift Is Passed'): "This was the Vampires' desperate bid to preserve their bloodline... for their enemies had cursed them not only with blood-thirst, but with sterility as well."
- [SR1] Raziel (referring to the caskets in the Tomb of the Sarafan): "These crypts... defiled caskets of Sarafan saints... bearing my brothers' names... And my own..."
- [SR2] Raziel: "This chapel, I realised, was a memorial to my former Sarafan brethren, and myself, all of us martyred here, and then so cruelly profaned by Kain when he imposed his gift on our noble corpses."
- [SR2] Vorador to Raziel: "Janos Audron - the Reaver Guardian, the last of the Ancients, and my maker - was murdered by the Sarafan nearly five centuries ago."
- [SR2] Raziel: "I would pursue the Sarafan dogs to their loathsome fortress, and avenge Janos Audron's murder.
Moebius would pay dearly for his treachery, and my Sarafan brethren would reap the horrors they had sown.
I would retake the stolen Reaver, which was rightfully mine.
And finally, when all these debts had been paid, I would reclaim Janos Audron's heart from their filthy, unworthy hands."
- [SR2] Raziel (referring to the Sarafan Dumah and Rahab): "For it was I who put these bastards in their tomb, thus providing the corpses for Kain to raise as his vampire sons a millennium from now."
- [SR1] Raziel: "My brother, Melchiah, was made last, and therefore received the poorest portion of Kain's gift."
- [SR2] Raziel: "Melchiah and Zephon, the weakest of Kain's brood..."