A knight clad in draconic armor, with lance in hand. Though not one to display emotion, he is compassionate and possesses a strong sense of justice.
Kain Highwind is a warrior of Cosmos and one of the new characters introduced in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. He is the third representative of Final Fantasy IV. He was a Dragoon that served alongside his best friend Cecil in Baron, but Golbez took control of him and used Kain to attack his friend and obtain the crystals. In time, Kain resisted Golbez's control and redeemed himself. He specializes in high-speed aerial combat, fighting with his lance and Jump, along with a variety of other Dragoon abilities and Wind spells.
In the game's story mode, his opposing villain is Exdeath.
Kain's default outfit is based on Yoshitaka Amano's design for Final Fantasy IV. He wears dark purple armor with a dragon motif, featuring a helmet that covers his eyes, accented with a variety of elaborate patterns and designs in blue and white. Tetsuya Nomura originally drew Kain facing at an angle like the artwork of the other characters, but redrew him to face to the side to match Amano's artwork, which he felt was an iconic image. The original artwork revealed Kain's eyes, but when the staff told him that Kain would take off his helmet during EX Mode, Nomura redrew his face with his eyes concealed. In his EX Mode, Kain's armor becomes a lighter color as in his Super NES sprite, also removing his helmet to reveal his face and long, blond hair.
Kain's first alternate outfit, "Noir Dragoon", is based on Dark Kain as he appears in Final Fantasy IV Advance and The After Years. He has scaled red and blue armor with more draconic features, and wields a forked spear. His EX Mode is his Holy Dragoon class change, giving him a winged headpiece and light blue and white armor with a cape.
Kain's second alternate outfit "Light Seeker" is his disguise as the Hooded Man from The After Years. Kain wears blue garments with a brown, tattered cape and a wide belt. His Holy Dragoon form is identical to the EX Mode for his second outfit, but colored purple.
Much like his Final Fantasy IV personality, Kain is calm and collected, and keeps to himself a lot. Despite some of his actions, Kain is well-meaning and selfless, often acting in the best interest of his peers ahead of his own safety, sometimes without caring about how it personally reflects on himself. Kain often provides the wisdom of the group, and while he acts alone, he does seem to find strength in others, with Tifa acting like an emotional crutch to lean on.
During Prologus, Kain joins a conversation between Lightning and Jecht about the Warrior of Light. Lightning does not see eye to eye with the Warrior, and Kain puts forward the idea that her arrogance may not live up to her strength, before suggesting that she works with the Warrior to witness his prowess. After the Warrior separates from Lightning, she and Jecht ask Kain if he thinks they are capable; he tells them that he would not be here if they disappointed him.
After receiving his dormant crystal, Kain receives a visit from Golbez who divulges on the war's cycle of death and rebirth; in order for the revival to work their memories of the last war and their original home worlds must be erased. Golbez mentions Kain fell in the previous cycle, but still retains memories of their own world, and that he will recover more with every battle he wins. Cecil enters and attacks Golbez, who teleports away. Before rejoining the others, Kain asks Cecil if he remembers anything about their world, to which Cecil responds he can only vaguely remember Kain.
Kain informs the Warrior of Light of what he learned and the two reach the agreement they should defeat the other warriors of Cosmos before the manikins do, who are the only ones that can permanently kill the warriors summoned by Cosmos and Chaos. Kain proceeds to defeat and kidnap Bartz, which alerts the attention of the Chaos faction when he tries to take Lightning out as well. However, he ended up sparing her due to the Chaos faction being alerted, not willing to risk giving away his allies' location by fighting and defeating her.
After knocking Firion out, Exdeath asks Kain to disclose the whereabouts of the warriors of Cosmos, and turns a group of Delusory Dragoons on him when he refuses, with Kain emerging triumphant. After taking out Zidane, he intervenes in Tifa's fight with Ultimecia and protects her.
Despite Tifa's joy at Kain's arrival, Ultimecia gloats about Kain's treachery and he flees with Zidane. By the time she finds him, Kain begins to suffer the toll of his fight as he tells Tifa to leave, but when she offers him her last Potion to Kain out of trust, he tells her the truth about the cycle. While Tifa remains positive, Kain asserts he cannot guarantee she will survive the path she has chosen.
After they reunite with Laguna, Yuna, Lightning, and Vaan, Exdeath and Golbez appear to tell them the number of manikins in the surrounding area is low. Kain catches onto the fact that the manikins are heading towards Cosmos, and stays behind to fight Exdeath while the other five hurry to her aid. Kain defeats manikins of the warriors he kidnapped, and finally Exdeath, which was partially due to Golbez's interference.
Golbez expresses gratitude to Kain, as his actions have given him a chance to stop the cycle and save Cecil. He tells him he will not make it back alive if he leaves, but Kain resigns himself to his fate. Despite his injuries, Kain joins the other five in their stand against the manikins at the Empyreal Paradox, where they eventually succumb to them and lose their power. Kain sheds his light and fades away.
After the player defeats the Chasm in the Rotting Land gateway and is directed to the Southern Lufenia gateway, Kain can be found wandering near Gulg Volcano Ring, provided he is not currently in the player's party. When spoken to he vanishes with the words "prepare yourself". As the world of Confessions of the Creator is a hypothetical nightmare world where the cycles of war kept going and Feral Chaos killed all summoned warriors, this Kain is likely a spectre of the Kain of this alternate world. He can no longer be found after the player conquers the Southern Lufenia gateway.
Kain is the main focus of "Kain's Quest 012: A Dragoon's Betrayal". After failing to defeat Lightning, Kain abandons his plans to put her to sleep with Exdeath pursuing him. Encountering Ultimecia who questions his actions and his alliance with Golbez, Kain defeats her and sends her into retreat, then meets Squall. Kain defeats Squall and puts him to sleep, and has a brief encounter with Tidus, who asks if Jecht is on Kain's list of targets. Kain continues on after this to Ultimecia's Castle where he senses another warrior nearby, leading into Tifa finding him and the defeated Zidane at the area soon after.
In "Cecil's Quest 012: A Re-encounter With a Close Friend", Cecil recovers his memories of him and Kain serving in Baron's military together, and Kain is happy his friend remembers him. The two duel to commemorate the occasion, Kain telling Cecil that in time further memories will become clear.
Kain is described in the game as a Tactical Striker. He fights by using attacks that let him dash and leap through the air with ease. Pressing after using one of his melee Bravery attacks will cause him to dash through the air, allowing him to continue his attack while his opponent is still staggering. Additionally, Kain jumps higher than any other character in the game, as he is a Dragoon, but has slow movement.
Kain can choose the orientation of where the final blow of his aerial attacks will send the opponent by tilting the analog stick up, down, or keeping it stationary, alternatively leading to wall rush or a chase sequence. His HP attacks are effective at both close and long ranges and are versatile across many altitudes. A downside to his battle style is that he lacks long-ranged attacks, and his attacks are slow, making them easy for a prepared player to fight back. His list of attacks is also comparatively small.
|Move||Type||CP (Mastered)||AP||Priority||Effect||Damage type||Obtained||Image|
|Spiral Blow||Ground||30 (15)||100||Melee Low||Wall Rush||Physical||Initial|
|Charge toward the opponent and strike them once to knock them back.|
|Ground||30 (15)||90||Ranged Low||None||Physical||Initial|
|Spin lance and conjure a spiral of wind that launches the opponent into the air.|
|Lance Burst||Ground||30 (15)||100||Melee Low||Chase||Physical||Level 19|
|Charge forward to stab the opponent, then flip and kick them into the air.|
|Lance Barrage||Aerial||30 (15)||100||Melee Low||Wall RushNeutral follow-up|
Chaselow or high follow-up
|Slash the opponent twice, then either charge forward stabbing several times, or slash to knock them away.|
|Crashing Dive||Aerial||30 (15)||100||Melee Low||Wall RushLow follow-up|
ChaseNeutral or high follow-up
|Descend while spinning lance, then either drive it through the opponent and then kick them to the ground, or slash to knock them back.|
|Celestial Shooter||Aerial||30 (15)||100||Melee Low||Wall RushHigh follow-up|
ChaseLow or neutral follow-up
|Charge upwards while slashing, then either spin lance and slam the opponent higher into the air, or slash again and knock them back.|
|Aerial||30 (15)||90||Ranged Low||None||Physical||Level 27|
|Spin lance and conjure a spiral of wind that launches the opponent into the air.|
|Move||Type||CP (Mastered)||AP||Priority||Effect||Damage type||Obtained||Image|
|Jump||Ground||40 (20)||130||Melee High||Dodge|
|Leap into the air and descend from above to impale the opponent and drive them into the ground. Can be charged to jump higher. Can control direction of descent with the analog stick.|
|Ground||30 (15)||130||Melee High||Wall Rush||N/A||Level 23|
|Fling lance to stab the opponent. Short ranged, but can throw on an angle.|
|Gungnir||Aerial||30 (15)||130||Ranged High||Wall Rush||Physical||Initial|
|Throw lance forward that sends the opponent flying through the arena if it hits. Quick execution but short-ranged.|
|Sky Rave||Aerial||30 (15)||130||Melee High||Wall Rush||Physical||Level 8|
|Spin downwards while hitting the opponent multiple times and slam them to the ground. Does more damage the longer it makes contact.|
|Aerial||30 (15)||130||Melee High||Wall Rush||N/A||Level 31|
|Fling lance to stab the opponent. Short-ranged, but can throw on an angle.|
|Rising Drive||Aerial||30 (15)||130||Melee High||Wall Rush||Physical||Level 36|
|Spin upwards while hitting the opponent multiple times and knock them into the air. Does more damage the longer it makes contact.|
Kain's EX Mode is Holy Strength. Kain removes his helmet as seen in Final Fantasy IV's ending, and his armor turns white and turquoise blue. While in EX Mode, he gains the special attack "Lancet" activated by pressing and . The attack strikes from directly below the opponent and has a small charge time, but restores Kain's HP equal to the HP damage it inflicts and quickly restores Kain's Bravery to its base value. Kain is able to move while using Lancet, and like his melee attacks the player can press after using it to dash towards the opponent, even if Lancet does not hit them.
Kain's EX Burst is Dragoon's Pride, where Kain launches himself into the air at high-speed. The player has to input the button commands that appear to fill a meter, with the commands changing twice at random. If the meter is filled Kain reaches the peak of his jump with two moons shown in the sky behind him, and quickly descends and drives his lance through the opponent, leaving a beam of light that consumes them in an explosion that deals HP damage. If the player fails to fill the meter Kain will not reach the peak of his jump and less Bravery damage is done.
|Black Dragon Spear||1||HP -195 ATK +22 DEF -2||N/A||Treasure Chest in Treachery of the Gods - Chapter 6|
Trade: Spear x1, Mithra Tooth x1, Knight's Desire x5
|Holy Dragon Spear||30||HP -377 ATK +44 DEF -2||Assist Gauge Duration +10%||Trade: Black Dragon Spear x1, Scarletite x1, Dragoon's Desire x5|
|Abel's Lance||90||HP -288 ATK +65 DEF -1||Assist Gauge Duration +20%||Trade: Holy Dragon Spear x1, Electrum x1, Dragoon's Dream x5|
|Highwind||100||HP -328 ATK +70 DEF -1||Assist Gauge Duration +30%|
Back to the Wall effect
|Trade: Abel's Lance x1, Price of Treachery x1, Dragoon's Hopes x5|
- The pose Kain adopts upon successfully executing his EX Burst is his iconic pose from Amano's original artwork, which has also been used in several illustrations.
- At the start of a fight, Kain enacts the same pose from another of Amano's artworks
- Kain's victory pose is the same one he assumes in the DS version of Final Fantasy IV.
- Kain's Spiral Blow and Sky Rave (also known as Sky Grinder) are based on his Band abilities from Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, performed together with Golbez and Cecil respectively.
- Kain's attacks on the other Warriors of Cosmos refer to his storyline as a "traitor" in Final Fantasy IV, where he turned on his allies due to Golbez's mind control. However, Kain did not attack the Cosmos Warriors for antagonistic reasons.
- Kain rejoins his comrades right before they prepare to seal the manikins' portal, just as how he rejoined the party in Final Fantasy IV before heading to the Lunar Subterrane.
- Kain's Aerial HP attack, Gungnir, is the weapon he was equipped with when he joined the party for the last time in Final Fantasy IV. It also refers to Odin's attack, where he throws his spear at opponents.
- Although he cannot use magic in Final Fantasy IV, Kain can cast Cyclone in Dissidia. This may refer to his ultimate weapon in Final Fantasy IV Advance or Complete Collection versions, Abel's Lance, which randomly casts Tornado, or the whirlwind augment he can be taught after defeating Barbariccia in the 3D versions.
- When facing Jecht, Kain asks "Confident in aerial combat?" referring to his dialogue before entering battle with Barbariccia at the Tower of Zot.
- Upon initiating his EX Burst, Kain says, "Let me ease your pain." This paraphrases his line after defeating Cecil at Fabul, "Let me ease your suffering."
- When Kain faces himself in a fight, his dialogue alludes to the battles with his dark side in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.
- Abel's Lance was Kain's ultimate weapon in Final Fantasy IV Advance and Complete Collection, while the "Highwind" is based on his surname. The Black Dragon Spear and Holy Dragon Spear may refer to Dark Kain and his Holy Dragoon transformation.
- Upon reaching level 100, a secret voice clip is unlocked in the PP catalog of Kain saying, "I've returned to my senses!", his retort to Barbariccia after she accuses him of treachery. He randomly says when initiating his EX Burst.
- In the epilogue of Treachery of the Gods, Lightning tells Kain, "I wanna see you fight harder than you ever have," to which he replies, "Then you've nothing to fear." This exchange mirrors the opening of the DS version of Final Fantasy IV, where Cecil tells Kain he will be counting on him, and Kain gives the same response as he gives Lightning.
- When facing the Onion Knight as Kain, the former will remark "Can you catch birds with that jump?" This refers to Kain's Whyt mini-game in Final Fantasy IV for the DS, where the player must tap the touch screen to knock birds out of his path while jumping. It may also be a nod to Garuda, a boss in Final Fantasy III that is a humanoid bird that is difficult to defeat without the Dragoon's Jump ability.
- When facing Kain as Golbez, the former will declare "I will not hesitate." This may refer to a line from Golbez in Final Fantasy IV during the Siege of Fabul: "Kain. Why do you now hesitate?"
- Kain was originally considered to appear in the original Dissidia, but was left out. Tetsuya Nomura stated that if there was a sequel, Kain was sure to appear. In an Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy interview, Nomura said his only request to director Mitsunori Takahashi was to include Kain. Before Dissidia 012 was announced, a fake Famitsu scan stated Kain would appear in the original Dissidia as DLC.
- Kain was alluded to in the original Dissidia Final Fantasy in one of Benjamin's quests for Mognet, if the player tells him to travel to Mount Ordeals to find a dragoon dressed in blue.
- According to some Dissidia 012's developers, some play testers found Kain overpowered, while others acknowledged his fighting style difficult to adapt to. Consequently, the developers decided the true answer was somewhere in-between and considered him adequately balanced.
- When Kain shatters the glass at the beginning of his EX Burst, it cracks in the shape of a dragon.
- Kain's EX Burst deals the fewest hits of any, amounting to only three.
- Abel's Lance was originally one of Firion's exclusive weapons in Dissidia Final Fantasy. Firion's version was renamed to "Rebellion Army" in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.
- When Kain uses Gungnir in battle, he yells "Lance of the Covenant!", a reference to Norse mythology. Gungnir was a spear given to Odin by Loki as a bribe for shaving off Sif's golden hair. This sealed a divine agreement between them, as a covenant is an agreement between gods, or a god and mortal.
- A sheep sound is incorporated in all of Kain's HP attacks.