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 also has feelings for 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.
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 Amano artwork and Dissidia 012 appearance 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-game in The After Years (which is 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.
It would seem your life is spared... for now.
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 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'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 Ceodore.
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 suddenly one day 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 himself. It was often Rosa who would stop the two from fighting. The three eventually 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 was, but Kain wished to follow in his father's footsteps down the path of the Dragoon in order to defend the 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 eventually 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.
As Final Fantasy IV begins, Kain tries to defend Cecil after Cecil was 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 for Mist. They 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 discuss the fact that 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.
After this event, Kain's whereabouts are unknown. It is assumed, however, that he returned to Baron, where the mage Golbez was named new Lord Captain of the Red Wings. Kain is appointed Golbez's second-in-command, although it is unknown if he did this of his own will or if he was already manipulated. Either way, Kain eventually becomes subjected to Golbez's mind control. During an attack on Fabul to seize their Crystal, Kain betrays Cecil, knocking him down. However, 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 in order 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 the 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. At the summit, Golbez decides not to exchange the Crystal for Rosa. As a result, Tellah attacks Golbez out of vengeance for his daughter Anna, and casts Meteor on him. This not only weakens Golbez, but also released 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. However, 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. However, Kain speaks of the Dark Crystals hidden in the Underworld. These Crystals had only been rumored to exist, but Golbez knows of these rumors. Kain explains that 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 eventually enters the underground and reunites with Rydia following a confrontation with Golbez, where he 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. However, 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 open 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, Cecil and his allies destroy the giant, and the Lunarian Fusoya reveals Golbez as Cecil's brother, under the control of Zemus. 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 make their way to the Lunar Subterrane. During the journey Kain's thoughts can be seen in the Nintendo DS version—though Zemus is once again trying to take control of Kain's mind, he overcomes it and makes it to the core. There the party finds Fusoya and Golbez fighting Zemus. They defeat him, but cannot defeat the manifestation of Zemus's hatred, Zeromus. Eventually, Cecil, Kain, Rydia, Rosa, and Edge defeat Zeromus themselves and return to Earth.
In the game's Advance release, Kain, along with several other characters, undergoes a "Lunar Trial", but his is much more character-based than the other characters'. Unlike the other trials, Kain is forced to enter his trial room alone. Kain awakens alone in Baron 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. The player can then decide if Kain kills Cecil or not; if the player chooses to kill him, it results in the scene ending immediately and Kain returning to the party outside.
Refusing, the figure casts off its cloak to reveal itself as Kain's dark doppelganger, which later transforms into Lunar Bahamut. Kain defeats Lunar Bahamut and acquires his ultimate weapon, Abel's Lance, as his prize. 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".
In the credits, Kain is one of the only characters not to attend Cecil and Rosa's wedding. He feels tremendous guilt about his unintentional acts of treachery and blames his own weaknesses. Instead, he climbs Mount Ordeals to undergo 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.
Some time between Final Fantasy IV and The After Years, 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 character named Kain in the company of Porom betrays her and assists the Mysterious Girl.
This character 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. The two battle and Kain defeats Dark Kain, absorbing him. On Mt. Ordeals, the spirit of Kluya 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. At this point, 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.
Final Fantasy IVEdit
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 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.
Final Fantasy IV: The After YearsEdit
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 two 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.
Additionally, 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.
|"Disbelief" from Final Fantasy IV (DS)|
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
Kain's theme is called "Disbelief", alternatively called "Suspicion" or "Kain's Betrayal." It plays whenever Kain betrays the party under Golbez's command, and is reprised in -Interlude-and The After Years when a party member acts suspiciously or betrays the party.
Another track, "Cry In Sorrow", plays during Kain's Lunar Trial and whenever he rejoins the party.
Kain has appeared in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy XIV as an outfit.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord as a summon.
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- 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.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad as a card.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearancesEdit
Kain has made key guest appearances in the following non-Final Fantasy games:
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.
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.
Beaufort scale, an empirical measure that relates wind speed to observed conditions at sea or on land. A highwind is the level 7 number on the scale. The sea heaps up while some foam from breaking waves is blown into streaks along wind direction with moderate amounts of airborne spray. On land, whole trees are in motion and an effort is needed to walk against the wind.Highwind refers to the
In the English localization of the DS version 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.
- Kain's Lance, a recurring spear in later installments of the series, is named after him.
- Kain's father Richard harkens to Ricard from Final Fantasy II, where Kain states in the Nintendo DS remake that his father died fighting an evil empire. Additionally, 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 Kain right-handed; Yoshitaka Amano's artwork features Kain holding his lance right-handed, while his in-game Nintendo DS model depicts him this way. On the contrary, his artwork for The After Years in both his Hooded Man and Holy Dragoon forms depict him left-handed.
- In Final Fantasy V, Bartz's Dragoon sprite depicts armor similar to Kain's, only with a different shade of blue and a mask covering his mouth.
- The first Super Nintendo entry in Square's Hanjuku Hero series features parodies of Final Fantasy IV characters, where some of the playable generals are named after them, including Kain.
- 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.
- Kain has four different menu portraits across all releases of Final Fantasy IV and six more from every release of The After Years, tying him with Rydia and Cecil for the most in the series.
- During the first playthrough in the DS version, the player will see the back of Kain's head without his helmet, but on the two times it is possible to play over the game, more and more of his head is revealed.
- 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.
- The Artifact Armor for Dragoon in Final Fantasy XIV is a reference to Kain Highwind's armor. The presentation artwork of Dragoon also resembles Kain's pose on the the Final Fantasy IV logo.