The solitary, gentle-souled dragon knight whose heart lies with the dragons.
Kain Highwind is a playable character in Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. He is a Dragoon from the kingdom of Baron, Cecil Harvey's childhood friend and adoptive older brother. He has feelings for Cecil's beloved Rosa Joanna Farrell, but he hides them so they do not hinder his relationship with either of the two: Rosa in turn has feelings for Cecil.
- 1 Profile
- 2 Story
- 3 Gameplay
- 4 Musical themes
- 5 Other appearances
- 6 Other media
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Etymology
- 10 References
Profile[edit | edit source]
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Kain wears full body armor colored dark purple or blue in most of his appearances. He wears a helmet the shape of a dragon's head that obscures most of his face and sharp spikes extend out of his armor on his shoulders, elbows and calves, to give it an even more draconian look. He has long blond hair , tied back in a ponytail in most appearances. His original Yoshitaka Amano artwork and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy appearances seem to depict him with purple hair, but in Dissidia 012, it was revealed to be an attachment to his helmet, covering up his real hair.
In his appearance as "the Hooded Man" in The After Years (his first in-game appearance without armor), Kain wears blue garments with a hooded purple cloak. His concept artwork and FMVs instead depict him with blue clothes and white boots with a white hood. His Dissidia 012 outfit as the Hooded Man is based on his concept art rather than his in-game sprites. After becoming a Holy Dragoon, Kain wears light blue and white armor, a winged hairpiece that reveals the whole of his face, and a blue cloak.
Personality[edit | edit source]
It would seem your life is spared... for now.
Kain to Cecil
Forgive me, Rosa... not all I've done was because of Golbez's spell. I just wanted to... I just wanted to keep you by my side.
Kain to Rosa at the Tower of Zot
Kain is a calm, sometimes sarcastic young man, driven by his dream of following his father's footsteps of becoming a Dragoon and shunning the King of Baron's wish for Kain to follow Cecil's profession of a Dark Knight. He has been friends with Cecil and Rosa since they were young, but their relationship is strained by their rivalry as soldiers and their love for the same woman, although Kain hides his feelings.
Kain's personality changes when he is possessed by Golbez, becoming cold towards Cecil, though his love for Rosa still shows. Once freed from Golbez's control, Kain is forgiven by Cecil and vows to atone for his past actions, a promise that carries over into The After Years, as he tries to vanquish his dark side and helps Cecil's son Ceodore.
Story[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
The commander of the Baron Dragoons. Like Cecil, Kain lost both parents at an early age and was subsequently raised by Baron's king. He has long been a friend and a rival to Cecil.
Kain was born in Baron to the Commander of the Dragoons, Ricard Highwind. His father was particularly active, but died while Kain was still young, sprouting rumors that he may have been assassinated. In The After Years, Kain recounts that he used to hate his father for how strict he was. Kain was raised with Cecil by the King of Baron.
Initially, Kain disliked Cecil, since the king treated Cecil more like a son than Kain. It was often Rosa who would stop the two from fighting. The three became friends, and Kain became Cecil's rival and developed romantic feelings for Rosa, although she and Cecil were likewise enamored.
The king wanted Kain to become a Dark Knight like Cecil, but Kain wished to follow in his father's footsteps down the path of the Dragoon to defend the Baron Castle. Kain cared for his father's dragon, who grew weak but still faithfully awaited his master's return. The Dragoons were on the verge of disbanding after Kain's father's death, but reformed when they saw the devotion of both the dragon and Kain. Kain was appointed the Commander of the Dragoons. The fate of the dragon is unspecified, but it does not appear in any version of Final Fantasy IV.
I owe His Majesty much, but not so much I'd soil the Dragoons' name in his.
Kain to Cecil
Kain tries to defend Cecil after the latter is discharged from the command of the Red Wings. Cecil is ordered to deliver a ring to the village of Mist, and slay the Eidolon Mist Dragon in the Misty Valley that blocks the way. Kain is ordered to accompany him. The next morning, Cecil and Kain depart and pass through the Mist Cave and dispatch the Mist Dragon. When they arrive at the village, the ring they were supposed to deliver activates, and bombs are summoned to burn the village.
Cecil and Kain find a little girl and her dead mother, the Summoner who conjured the Mist Dragon who died when the Eidolon was slain. While Cecil and Kain realize they must have defeated the Mist Dragon and thus accidentally killed her mother, the girl blames them for her death. Cecil and Kain offer to take her to safety after pledging not to follow any more orders from the king, but she does not listen. She summons Titan and causes an earthquake that sparks an avalanche, which separates Mist from the rest of the valley.
Kain goes missing, but it is assumed he returned to Baron, where the mage Golbez is named new Lord Captain of the Red Wings. Kain is appointed Golbez's second-in-command, although it is unknown if he does this of his own will or if he is already being manipulated. Kain becomes subjected to Golbez's mind control and during an attack on Fabul to seize their Crystal, Kain betrays Cecil, knocking him down. Before he can deliver the finishing blow, Rosa enters and Kain hesitates when she calls out to him. Golbez arrives and kidnaps Rosa, and Kain takes the Crystal, leaving Cecil alive.
Kain is assigned to guard Rosa in the Tower of Zot, a task he does faithfully to remain near Rosa and keep her safe from any harm one of Golbez's other minions would inflict upon her. He requests Golbez give him another chance to defeat Cecil, but Golbez refuses and sends one of his Archfiends instead—Scarmiglione. When the second Archfiend Cagnazzo, who was impersonating the King of Baron, is slain, Golbez has already stolen Baron's airship fleet. As Golbez ponders retrieving the last Crystal, Kain suggests they exchange Rosa for it after having Cecil get it for them. Golbez agrees, and Kain delivers Cecil the ultimatum―deliver them the Earth Crystal, or Rosa perishes.
Cecil follows through on the deal and Kain takes him to the Tower of Zot, Golbez's headquarters. At the summit, Golbez decides not to exchange the Crystal for Rosa. As a result, Cecil's party member Tellah attacks Golbez out of vengeance for his daughter Anna, and casts Meteor on him. This weakens Golbez and releases Kain from Golbez's control. Kain rejoins Cecil's party, and accompanies him to rescue Rosa. He reveals his secret love for Rosa and apologizes. Rosa forgives him and invites him to fight alongside them, to which Kain agrees. Barbariccia, the Archfiend of Air and a seeming rival of Kain, attacks, and has to be defeated before they can escape the tower. Rosa casts the Teleport spell and the party is warped to Cecil's room in Baron.
Cecil's party is worried, as Golbez now possesses all four Crystals, magical objects entrusted to each kingdom's protection. Kain speaks of the Dark Crystals hidden in the Underworld only been rumored to exist, but Golbez knows of these rumors. Kain explains Golbez needs the Crystals to open "the way to the Moon". Cecil decides his party has to head underground to protect the remaining Crystals. Kain shows Cecil the Key of Magma, which could be used to enter the Underworld. The party enters the underground and reunites with Rydia—the little girl from the Mist Village who is now an adult due to having spent time in Feymarch, the land of the Eidolons—following a confrontation with Golbez. Golbez is defeated but escapes with a Crystal, leaving only one remaining.
With the remaining Crystal sealed, the party attempts to invade the Tower of Babil to take back the other Crystals, an attempt that ultimately fails when it is revealed the final Archfiend Rubicante has moved them to the upper world. They return to the surface, and with the help of Edge, the ninja prince of Eblan, they climb the tower and defeat Rubicante. A booby trap leads them back underground, where they steal a Red Wing airship that Edge christens the Falcon.
The party heads for the cavern containing the final Crystal and opens the sealed door. They retrieve the Crystal and return to the surface, but Golbez calls out to Kain possessing him once again. Kain steals the Crystal and flees. With all eight Crystals, the Tower of Babil is activated and the Giant of Babil is summoned. After a journey to the Moon where they meet the Lunarian Fusoya, Cecil and his allies destroy the giant. Lunarians are people with great magical powers who sleep in stasis on the Moon, and Fusoya reveals Golbez is Cecil's brother, under the control of an evil Lunarian called Zemus, who wants to annihilate mankind from Earth so that the Lunarians could populate it instead. Kain is again freed from Golbez's control and allies with Cecil to take revenge on Zemus.
The party heads back to the Moon, and makes its way to the Lunar Subterrane. During the journey Zemus is once again attempting to take control of Kain's mind*, but he overcomes it due to the "death upon betrayal" promise he made to the others upon rejoining the party. Kain makes it to the core together with the others and finds Fusoya and Golbez fighting Zemus. They defeat him, but cannot defeat the manifestation of Zemus's hatred, Revealed in the thought bubbles in the 3D versionsZeromus. Cecil, Kain, Rydia, Rosa, and Edge defeat Zeromus themselves and return to Earth.
In Kain's "Lunar Trial"* he is forced to enter his trial room alone. Kain awakens alone in Game Boy Advance and Complete Collection versionsBaron to find the town plagued by a series of murders from an assailant jumping from roof to roof, wielding a lance. Agreeing to help Cecil and the guards investigate, Kain is plagued nightly by mysterious dreams, and keeps finding a lance soaked in blood lying in his room. Cecil and the guards lead the investigation, and even Rosa is attacked. Eventually, Kain is apprehended for the attacks, but he unmasks the true culprit shortly after.
The next night, Kain leaves his room during the night and follows Cecil to the Devil's Road room where he finds a mirrored chamber with Cecil unconscious and Rosa tied up. A cloaked figure, the true assailant, emerges from the mirrors and tells Kain that it is the embodiment of his dark desires, and urges him to fulfill them and kill Cecil. If Kain chooses to kill Cecil, the trial is failed and Kain simply returns to the party outside.
If Kain refuses to kill Cecil, the figure casts off its cloak to reveal itself as Kain's dark doppelganger, which later transforms into Lunar Bahamut whom Kain defeats. As Kain returns to his allies, Cecil tells him no time has passed since he entered the door to the trial, and asks Kain what was behind the door. Kain replies, "Nothing. Absolutely Nothing". The same reply will be given if Kain fails his trial.
Kain doesn't attend Cecil and Rosa's wedding as he feels guilt over his unintentional acts of treachery and blames his weaknesses. He climbs Mount Ordeals to undergoes a spiritual trial similar to what Cecil went through when he became a Paladin, with the hope of becoming a great Dragoon worthy of his father's legacy. No one hears from him again for some time.
Who is this mysterious man and why is he helping Ceodore? It seems he has issues with a certain Dragoon, but seems reluctant to talk about his past or his goals.
Description as the "Hooded Man".
Kain entered the mirrored chamber on Mt. Ordeals and engaged his dark side. Failing to dispatch him, Kain was struck down and his dark side escaped. Kain abandoned his name to seek out and destroy his evil half. Later, a person named Kain in the company of Porom betrays her and assists the Mysterious Girl.
This person is actually Dark Kain, while the true Kain assists Ceodore and is known as the Hooded Man. He rescues Ceodore near Mysidia when the Red Wings crash, and the two head to the village of mages and use the Devil's Road to get to Baron. When the soldiers guarding the castle, under the Mysterious Girl's control, refuse them entry, Kain directs Ceodore to the waterway leading into the castle moat. The two infiltrate the castle, and while Ceodore searches Kain encounters Cecil under the Mysterious Girl's control. Realizing he is not himself, Kain tells Ceodore they must go to the Mist Cave.
The two cross the Misty Valley and head to Kaipo when they see the Red Wings flying to Damcyan. Arriving at Damcyan shortly after Dark Kain, commander of the Red Wings under the Mysterious Girl, steals Damcyan's Crystal and Rosa, the two meet with Cid and Edward and pursue Dark Kain back to Baron in the Enterprise.
In Baron Castle, Kain confronts his dark half and reveals his true identity. Kain defeats Dark Kain, absorbing him. On Mt. Ordeals, the spirit of Kluya—A Lunarian who is Cecil and Golbez's father—recognizes Kain's strength and grants him the power of light transforming Kain into a Holy Dragoon. Kain assists Ceodore, Rosa, Cid and Edward in breaking Cecil free of the Mysterious Girl's control and he continues to fight alongside the party, reaffirming his bonds with the friends he had abandoned.
After defeating the Creator with the rest of the party, Kain returns home to Baron. He leaves the ranks of the Dragoons to join the Red Wings, and goes with Ceodore to help the boy attain his own Proof of Knighthood. In the Final Fantasy IV: The After Years novelization, Kain tells Ceodore that although Cecil is his best friend and ally, he still considers him a rival and looks forward to defeating him one day.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Final Fantasy IV[edit | edit source]
As a party member, Kain's special ability is Jump allowing him to deal extra damage and avoid damage for a brief time, and he primarily wields spears (with ability to wield other weapons, but not take advantage from additional Jump damage) and wears heavy armor, shields, armlets, helmets and gauntlets in battle. His stats are more geared towards physical damage and defense, with limited magic growth (and in the 2D release, he has no MP growth). Kain's ultimate weapon in releases featuring the Lunar Trials is the Abel's Lance though in the 3D release it is the Holy Lance, and the 2D version of the weapon is the most powerful weapon in 2D releases lacking the Lunar Trials.
Kain is also fought as a boss, and appears as the Dragoon in the scripted battle with Cecil in Final Fantasy IV at Fabul's crystal chamber.
Kain has four different menu portraits across all releases of Final Fantasy IV and six more from all releases of The After Years, tying him with Rydia and Cecil for the most in the series. At the end of Final Fantasy IV Kain removes his helmet to reveal his hair, but is facing away and thus his facial features remain unseen. During the first playthrough in the 3D remake version, the player will see the back of Kain's head without his helmet at the ending. In the following New Game Pluses more and more of his head is revealed.
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years[edit | edit source]
Kain has two different playable forms, firstly as Hooded Man and as Holy Dragoon Kain. They have different stat growth, particularly in HP and MP (which can be made up for in items to increase growth), and the Holy Dragoon Kain is the final form.
As the Hooded Man, Kain has overall decent stats in the physical department, but lacks any special abilities. He retains Jump only when battling Dark Kain.
As Holy Dragoon Kain, he retains the Jump command and gains a few White Magic abilities (but does not learn any new ones). He has access to several Band abilities with other characters. His weaponry is similar to previous games, giving him access to many spears, with gained access to Paladin-exclusive weaponry.
Kain is faced as a boss in some cinematic battles in flashbacks at the end of the Lunarian's Tale. In each of these battles the player's actions mean nothing, after a few turns the battles end in dialogue sequences and the enemy party nor the player can be KO'd in that time.
Musical themes[edit | edit source]
Kain's theme is called "Disbelief", alternatively called "Suspicion" or "Kain's Betrayal." It plays whenever Kain betrays the party and is reprised in -Interlude-and The After Years when a party member acts suspiciously or betrays the others.
Another track, "Cry In Sorrow", plays during Kain's Lunar Trial and whenever he rejoins the party.
Other appearances[edit | edit source]
Kain has appeared in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy XIV as a minion.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord as a summon.
- Final Fantasy Dimensions II as a summon.
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy NT as a playable character.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy series as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character and an enemy.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as summonable Legend.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy All the Bravest as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy World Wide Words.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a summonable vision.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad as a series of cards.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances[edit | edit source]
Kain has made key guest appearances in the following non-Final Fantasy games:
Other media[edit | edit source]
Along with other characters, Kain is featured on the loading screens for Final Fantasy Chronicles, where he enacts his iconic pose before the Final Fantasy logo appears.
Users in Square Enix Members Virtual World community can make their character appear as Kain Highwind.
In Heavenstrike Rivals, a Square Enix strategy game for mobile, Kain was released as a unit in a Final Fantasy IV event from 13 to 20 January, 2016.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Kain's father, Richard, hearkens to Ricard from Final Fantasy II; in the 3D remake Kain states his father died fighting an evil empire. In Final Fantasy II, Ricard adopts a young boy after his father was killed by Palamecia's attack. Beginning with the Dawn of Souls remake, this boy is named Kain. It is unlikely this is more than a passing reference, as in The After Years, Kain mentions he was Ceodore's age when his father was killed, with Ceodore being older than the Kain seen in Final Fantasy II.
Officially, Kain is considered left-handed, yet numerous illustrations depict him right-handed; Yoshitaka Amano's artwork features Kain holding his lance right-handed, and his in-game 3D model also depicts him this way. His artwork for The After Years in both his Hooded Man and Holy Dragoon forms depict him left-handed.
Kain has served as inspiration to many Dragoons in the series that came after him, and Kain's Lance has become a recurring weapon. In Final Fantasy V, Bartz's Dragoon sprite is based on Kain's, featuring a different shade of blue and a slightly different helmet, and a mouth-covering mask. The Artifact Armor for Dragoon in Final Fantasy XIV refers to Kain Highwind's armor, bearing similar spikes and overall silhouette, as well as the eye-obscuring helmet design. Dragoon's presentation artwork also resembles Kain's pose on the the Final Fantasy IV logo (as does the optional idle-pose for the Dragoon job accessed with the "/cpose" chat command), and the Gae Bolg relic weapon has a hydraulic cord reminiscent of the strap on the spear Kain is typically depicted with.
Voice[edit | edit source]
Kain shares his English voice actor with Red XIII from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Caius Ballad from Final Fantasy XIII-2, and Cu Chaspel from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Etymology[edit | edit source]
Cain was the brother of Abel in the Tanakh/Old Testament book of Genesis. Cain became the first murderer by killing his brother out of jealousy stemming from God choosing Abel's gift over that of Cain. This reflects the love triangle between Kain, Cecil and Rosa, Kain being jealous of Cecil being the target of Rosa's affections and not him. Kain's ultimate weapon in the Advance port, Abel's Lance, takes its name from the same source. In some versions, including the original Japanese releases and the Spanish release of the Advance port, Kain's named is spelled with a "C", the same as the Biblical spelling. Kain's Lance, a recurring spear in later installments of the series, alludes to both Kain Highwind from Final Fantasy IV as well as the Biblical Cain.
Beaufort scale. When wind travels this fast (approximately 32 to 38 miles per hour), the sea heaps up. Streaks of foam from breaking waves are blown in the direction the wind is traveling, and there are moderate amounts of airborne spray. On land, high wind moves entire trees, and effort is required to walk against it."High wind" is typical of wind speeds that place a seven on the
In the English localization of the 3D versions as well as in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Kain is pronounced [keɪn], just as Biblical English "Cain". However, in the Japanese version his name is spelled カイン (Kain) in kana, which is closer to the name's pronunciation in Continental Europe and to the Hebrew form קַיִן Qáyin. However, the Japanese manual lists his name written in Roman alphabet as "Cain" which would suggest the English pronunciation.
As well as the aforementioned etymology, the name Kain is similar to the Hebrew word kidon (כידון), meaning "javelin", which is also significant to his character.
Kain is called Kain Ventalto in the Spanish DS version, and Caín Céfiro in the Spanish GBA version.