|Final Fantasy IV: The After Years Character|
- "To take his life... I will kill Cecil with my own hands!"
Dark Kain (ダークカイン, Daaku Kain?) is a character from Final Fantasy IV's continuity. He is the incarnation of the darkness in Kain Highwind's heart, fueled by Kain's hatred and jealousy towards Cecil and his unrequited love of Rosa. He first appeared in the Lunar Ruins in Kain's Trial in Final Fantasy IV Advance, acting as the main antagonist of the trial.
He later reappears in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years as an antagonist, working with the Mysterious Girl to collect the Crystals while the heroes believe him to be the real Kain. For a short time, he is known as Kain? until the true Kain reveals himself and exposes Dark Kain as an imposter. Dark Kain is also temporarily playable during the game.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
As Kain's darkness incarnate, he appears identical and is often mistaken for him. He initially appears in Kain's Lunar Trial as a cloaked, shadowy figure, later casting his cloak off to reveal a set of armor similar to Kain's but colored purple. In his artwork for The After Years, Kain has a pale complexion with dark, scaled armor and a long red sash fluttering from the back of his helmet. His CG render for Complete Collection is mostly identical to Kain's render for the DS release of Final Fantasy IV.
Being Kain's dark side, he holds a powerful hatred towards Cecil, and his mission in The After Years is to kill him at any cost and seize Rosa for himself. He claims he is the "true" Kain and resents his other self, though he does not kill Kain after breaking free from him and overpowering him. While working with the Mysterious Girl, Dark Kain initially shows curiosity towards her identity and motives, but eventually tells her he does not care what she does with the Crystals as long as he can fight Cecil in exchange for them.
Despite this, Dark Kain has several moments of compassion. He saves Porom's party from monsters, and tells the Baron guards accompanying him to Damcyan that they should value their lives, even though they are mind-controlled. Like Kain, he remains loyal to Baron as a country, claiming it was always his homeland. In his fight against Rosa and Edward, Dark Kain refuses to harm Rosa and any attempt to attack her will miss, indicating that he retains Kain's love for her. This may mean that he is only the embodiment of Kain's hatred and jealousy for Cecil, and while it takes precedence above acts of kindness, he is otherwise a good man towards others. When on his way to duel Cecil, he exclaims "Freedom is finally upon me! Yes, Cecil...I'll finally be free from you!", implying that his drive to kill Cecil may not be something he can help.
Dark Kain appears during Kain's trial in the Lunar Ruins, taking place in a parallel universe of Baron. During the night, a black cloaked figure has attacked people with a lance, evading the authorities by leaping across rooftops, and leaving a blood-soaked lance in Kain's room at the inn as the only clue. This serves to incriminate Kain after repeated murders, and he is arrested. Kain eventually apprehends a guard as the perpetrator, but returns to his bedchamber to find the lance once again. Dark Kain tells him telepathically that it cannot end until Cecil is dead.
Kain realizes Cecil is in danger, and follows him into the Devil's Road where they are teleported to a mirrored chamber. Kain finds Cecil unconscious and Rosa bound, while Dark Kain emerges from the mirrors, declaring himself the embodiment of Kain's deep-seated dark desires, and that the trial's world was one he created. Dark Kain invites him to kill Cecil with the bloodied lance and claim Rosa. If the player accepts, Kain absorbs his dark side and kills Cecil, failing his trial.
If refused, Dark Kain takes the lance and uncloaks himself to fight Kain. During the battle, Dark Kain transforms into Lunar Bahamut, but he is defeated. For his victory, Kain receives the bloodstained lance as Abel's Lance, along with the Dragoon Gloves. Kain then exits the trial, only to find that no time has passed outside the trial; Cecil is waiting at the entrance, unaware that Kain even entered. Kain chooses to remain silent about what happened within.
- "A former dragoon of Baron. He secluded himself atop Mt. Ordeals in order to overcome his weaknesses. His whereabouts have since been unknown."
- —Game Description
Years after Final Fantasy IV, Kain trains on Mount Ordeals and eventually faces Dark Kain in combat again, with Dark Kain emerging victorious and left to wander the world freely. Kain abandons his identity to find him. When Porom is sent to retrieve Kain from the mountain for assistance, Dark Kain saves her party from monsters and accompanies them when they mistake him. After arriving at Mysidia, the city is under attack from monster hordes commanded by the Mysterious Girl. Dark Kain betrays Porom by stealing the Water Crystal and offering it to the girl.
Dark Kain heads to Baron Castle through the Devil's Road with the Mysterious Girl, where she offers him a duel with Cecil in exchange for the Crystals. Dark Kain accepts and commands numerous Baron soldiers on an airship for his task. At Fabul, he launches a massive invasion on the castle, eventually engaging Yang and Ursula in the Crystal room. After getting by them, he steals the crystal.
His next destination is Damcyan, where Edward unleashes a horde of Bombs that kill Dark Kain's men, and despite Rosa and Edward's attempts to defend the Crystal, Dark Kain defeats Edward and captures both Rosa and the Crystal. Dark Kain returns to Baron with the intention of killing Cecil before Rosa, but is stopped in the throne room's antechamber by Ceodore, Cid, Edward, and the true Kain who has been assisting Ceodore under the alias of the "Hooded Man."
Kain reveals that the one committing these atrocities was only his dark side. The two then duel each other, with Kain emerging triumphant. Kain then says he has learned he cannot repress his past and must accept his darkness in order to truly conquer it. Although the defeated Dark Kain protests, Kain consoles him that he will not die and instead becomes one with Kain. Kluya's spirit then fashions Kain into a Holy Dragoon in recognition of his trials.
Dark Kain is fought as a boss in The After Years, facing Kain in a showdown at Baron Castle. He is also fought in Kain's Lunar Trial in the Gameboy Advance and PSP releases of Final Fantasy IV, but he is not a true enemy; he has no bestiary entry, counters all damage with an attack, and transforms into Lunar Bahamut after a few turns. He can be defeated with a Tornado from Abel's Lance, but this triggers a glitch where the player does not receive the Grimoire LB for defeating Lunar Bahamut, thus preventing them from accessing Kain's Trial on subsequent trips through the ruins (completing a trial earns the player a summon Grimoire for the boss defeated and the trial cannot be entered again until that Grimoire is used).
As a guest character in The After Years, Dark Kain is a relatively strong character with the Jump ability, and is equipped with the Wind Spear and a full set of Mythril Equipment. Although Dark Kain has some MP, he has no skills or Band abilities to expend it on. He is available after the player completes Porom's tale for her Challenge Dungeon, and is a solo playable character in some sequences during Kain's Tale, where the story's perspective shifts between Dark Kain and the real Kain. Interestingly, Dark Kain can equip the Dark Sword, the Shadowblade, and the Deathbringer if hacked into the game. In Porom's Tale Dark Kain begins at Level 25 and caps at Level 40, and in Kain's Tale begins at Level 30 and caps at Level 50. His stat growth in both tales is the same, but as Porom's Tale's data is not imported into Kain's Tale, his level and equipment will not carry over.
Kain is purchasable as downloadable content, as one of the monsters that can be summoned by Mira. He appears wearing Dark Kain's attire.
An alternate costume for Kain Highwind, "Noir Dragoon," is directly based on Dark Kain.