Kainé is a companion and deuteragonist of NieR, who accompanies Nier after he helps her kill Hook. The left side of her body is possessed by a Shade who dubs himself Tyrann. As a result of her upbringing and Tyrann's occupation of her body, she has a disposition towards being crude and violent, but occasionally shows off a kinder side, especially toward Emil.
|Weiss, you dumbass!|
SPOILER ALERT - Plot details for NieR follow.
Originally raised in a village called The Aerie, Kainé is a coarse individual who suffers from the left half of her body, which she keeps under bandage-like coverings, being possessed by a Shade named Tyrann. This hybrid form has caused her to live as an outcast, unwelcome in villages and befriended by few. As a response to the harassment she received in her childhood for being intersex, she took a liking to clothes that emphasize feminine characteristics.
She has grown accustomed to being alone, and her veneer of shyness is easily shattered by sudden outbursts and irrational displays of violent anger. Though she is secretly glad to have Nier's company, she is accustomed to surviving on her own due to her strong demeanor, skill with twin swords, and her ability to wield magic.
The only person that previously showed her kindness and protection was her equally foul-mouthed grandmother Kali, with whom Kainé lived her childhood with and inherited her attitude from. She held both love and respect for her grandmother, who accepted her the way she was and treated her as a woman. One day when returning home, she encountered the Shade Hook who was attacking the pair's shared home. The shade had Kali pinned down, sadistically enjoying Kainé's despair as it murdered her and left Kainé mutilated. It was then that the Shade Tyrann fused with Kainé, allowing her to live and causing her deep hatred of Shades.When half of her body was taken over by Tyrann, Kainé became possessed and gained exceptional physical and magical power. She also gained the ability to understand the voices of Shades, but convinced herself that they were all evil and deserved to die (Tyrann even mockingly asking her at one point if she's going to sympathize with the Shade Gretel after hearing its vow to protect its fellow Shades). After becoming possessed Kainé suffered even more persecution from others, deciding to live only to exact her revenge on the Shade who killed Kali, even if it meant using the powers of Tyrann.
Kainé makes her first appearance after Nier and Grimoire Weiss investigate a wreath of Lunar Tears in her shack outside of The Aerie. The two are forced to fight her until Hook appears, leading them to direct their efforts towards the large Shade instead. They succeed in driving it off, but Kainé is knocked unconscious. She is carried back to her shack, and promptly introduces herself after she wakes before telling them to leave.
After Nier acquires the upgrade for his weapon, he and Weiss head back to The Aerie, on their way seeing Kainé fending off a group of Shades. The three team up to confront Hook, and while they fight, the latter manages to hypnotize her for a time by parading as her grandmother. She shakes off the illusion before taking out the large Shade with Nier's help, and accepts succumbing to her wounds before the two convince her to join them. Learning about Yonah's illness, she directs the group to Facade, as the city had been researching the illness to cure their king, who had also been afflicted.
On their travels, Kainé prefers staying at the outskirts of villages due to her appearance. At the entrance to Facade, she encounters Fyra, a young girl whom she had saved years prior. This act is what grants Kainé—and by extension, her friends—access to the city, as she had then been considered a benefactor according to the city's rules. Shown to be knowledgeable about Facade's legal system, she invokes Rule 1,024 as a way to enter the Barren Temple, the area otherwise being off-limits to anybody but nobility.
While inside she is abducted by one of the magical blocks in a puzzle room, having violated the room's requirement of not using magic. She manages to find her way out later on, and helps with taking out Shahriyar at the end of the temple. They retrieve Facade's Prince, who had gone inside in search of the Royal Mask, and are then asked to come back to Facade as friends.
Returning from the desert, Kainé continues with the rest of the party as Nier investigates a letter written to Yonah from a manor in the Southern Plains. She nods off in the manor's dining room before disappearing to explore on her own, only later appearing in the manor's study while Emil and the others are attacked by Grimoire Rubrum. Kainé leaves Emil with some parting words before the group leaves, empathizing with his struggle because of his eyes of petrification.The two meet up again shortly after at the library, as the Village is besieged by Shades led by Jack. The party succeeds in locking the large Shade in the library's basement, but Nier is stabbed as Kainé blocks the door. He fends off Grimoire Noir, but fails to prevent the Shadowlordfrom leaving with an unconscious Yonah. Still at the door, Kainé has Emil petrify her to keep Jack from escaping. She remains there for five years until Nier and Emil's return.
See also: Strait is the Gate
Upon Halua's defeat, Nier and Emil head back to the library to free Kainé from her petrification. Almost immediately, Jack bursts out from the basement, but Nier finally defeats the Shade for good. Kainé awakens, and is given a Lunar Tear as a welcome-back gift. Before the party can celebrate further, they are informed by Popola that Emil and Kainé have to stay outside the village due to their appearances. Nier argues against the twins' decision, but ultimately relents. As the party explore the Lost Shrine, he apologizes to the two, and tells them that he'll try to convince the twins to let them in.
During this time, Tyrann's voice can be heard taunting Kainé, and is almost successful in taking over her body after she is knocked unconscious from Gretel's poleaxe impaling her chest. The party defeat him, bringing her back to her senses. She then continues to accompany the group as Nier acquires the key fragments for entering the Shadowlord's Castle, even witnessing The Aerie's destruction at the hands of Emil.
Once at the castle she begins speaking to the Shades more directly, although without revealing to the party what they say, in particular Goose. The group discover Devola and Popola's betrayal—as well as the truth behind humans and Project Gestalt—then manage to defeat them. The magical blast Popola generates in her defeat threatens to eliminate the group, but Emil sacrifices himself so that the rest can continue. Believing that he died, Kainé takes her anger out on a grieving Nier, but soon decides they have to keep going.
The remaining party reach the Shadowlord, and after defeating Grimoire Noir, discover that he is the original, 'human' Nier as seen in the game's prologue. He was the primary test subject for Project Gestalt, driven by a desire to save Yonah. Having taken her, he gave the 'human' Yonah her Replicant body, but she realizes that she cannot keep it, as she hears the Replicant Yonah calling for Nier.She vacates the body, and Nier and a grieving Shadowlord do battle. During the fight, Weiss loses all his strength and disappears, leaving Nier to fight the Shadowlord alone. After defeating him, Nier and Yonah are reunited. However, with the failure of Project Gestalt, the Replicants are doomed to extinction.
Ending A: Call Her Back
Replicant Nier kills Gestalt Nier, hesitating for a moment before dealing the final blow. Nier calls back an unconscious Yonah with the help of the disembodied voice of Weiss, and the two finally reunite.Kainé turns to leave, but is stopped by Nier, who asks if she wants to stay with them. She declines, stating she has "her own shit to take care of," and tells the pair to have a good life before departing.
Ending B: Lingering MemoriesEnding B contains no additional scenes of Kainé.
Ending C: Thank You
After Nier kills the Shadowlord, as Kainé turns to leave she begins to relapse. She then goes into her shade form, forcing Nier to fight her. After Kainé is incapacitated, Tyrann explains to Nier how he can save her—either by killing her, or forgoing his entire existence for her.
If the player chooses to kill her, Nier stabs Kainé as he kisses her, finally ending her pain. Tyrann tells Nier Kainé's last words, "Thank you."A Lunar Tear falls next to a distraught Nier, and he picks it up as he gazes through a window, stating that they'll "always be together".
Ending D: Something Very Special
If the player chooses to sacrifice Nier's existence for Kainé, the player's data is erased and everyone forgets he ever existed.Nier disappears, and Yonah thanks Kainé for saving her. A Lunar Tear falls on the ground, which Kainé picks up. When she holds it, she has a flashback of Nier and mentions that it feels like she "found something special".
Ending E: e8a898e686b6e382b5e383bce38390e383bc
See also: The Lost World
After waking from a recurring nightmare of the events at the Shadowlord's Castle, Kainé makes her way to the Forest of Myth. Defeating machines exiting the Divine Tree, she goes inside to find a pair of humanoid machines that identify themselves as the Administrators. They explain Project Gestalt, much to Kainé's annoyance, and spawn machine copies of her to fight.
Just as Kainé is about to be defeated, Emil reappears and helps her go further inside. Turning her memories against her, the Administrators conjure a memory of Hook that is only defeated once Grimoire Weiss reappears and allows her to use magic.The battle defeats the Administrators, and the Divine Tree rises into a giant Lunar Tear. As the petals unfurl, Kainé sits in the middle holding a recreated Nier.
In a Get News interview with Yoko Taro, he stated that female members of the development team demanded a "male heroine". Taro taking their request to the extreme led to the initial idea of Kainé's intersex condition. During the second part of the interview, it was stated that the graphic stabbing scenes and blood led to the game's Mature rating, not Kainé. Later, he shared that he thought her biology would be a huge reveal for players to discover and was surprised when it was included in the earliest advertisements for the game.
In another interview, Taro said the first request character designer D.K was given for Kainé's design was "something to cover her half-Shade body that is weak to sunlight" and feminine. D.K interpreted this to mean "covering one arm, one leg" and drew several women in lingerie. While surprised by the results, Taro liked the striking image it created and pushed through other developers' hesitations to make it a target for finalization.
Taro said the censored beeping noise for Kainé's Japanese profanity was an homage to the game's own dubbing history and a contrast to other media with serious narratives. However, it was considered "too comical" by localizers and abandoned in English. While not knowledgeable about Japanese voice actors, Taro was unsatisfied with the "cutesy" voices that were considered for Kainé's role at first. He personally pushed for Atsuko Tanaka because he wanted "a sharp and bold voice".
Grimoire Nier and subsequent interviews with Taro revealed that Kainé's Gestalt was not originally intersex. She was a woman with a fiancé, but her Replicant was born as intersex due to an error in the long-running Replicant system.
Instead of Endings C and D being a decision for "Kainé and Nier", it was more a choice for "Kainé and the Player". Taro explained, "If you like Kainé after playing through the game twice, then sacrifice yourself and save her, if you don’t then you don’t have to save her."
Meanwhile, novelist Jun Eishima expressed her opinion that Ending C would have been Father Nier's choice, while Ending D would be Brother Nier's choice, stating: "A father is responsible to his own daughter, so he couldn’t just give up his existence. He feels that it’s his duty to protect Yonah and raise her, so he’d kill Kainé and live on. On the other hand, a brother and sister both coexist with and depend on each other, so maybe he’d choose to disappear and be relieved from his burden."
The NieR RepliCant × SINoALICE collaboration has Kainé available as a potential character through the collaboration gacha. Her swords can be unlocked through a payment of 150 or 300 crystals. Her job story has her cursing the world, her existence, and her life of killing. She nearly gives into suicidal despair before remembering that she has people she still trusts. Their existence is enough to renew her resolve to keep fighting.
During the collaboration event, she is given a passing mention when Emil remembers the truth. Unlike Nier, who turned into a Shade, Kainé is mentioned to have only "passed away". The ending afterword implies that her swords' emergence in the Library (SINoALICE's setting) contributed to the recreation of Emil's memories. Clicking on the "Follow" option for the Emil Copies NPC after the final battle in Normal difficulty has him mention the white flowers she liked.
When player characters attack with Kainé's Swords in battle, they are given an animation that is unique to that weapon. Its weapon story is a retelling of Kainé's looks and troubled emotional state in third person. Though filled with anger, sorrow, and hate with each kill, she couldn't bring herself to part with the bloodshed. With no one to understand her, she felt broken by loneliness. The last part describes Ending C, stating her heart was at peace while dying in her loved one's arms.
- Kainé’s Sword
She was slender, with smooth, white skin.
The hint of a dark shadow in her expression highlighted her beautiful features.
But something about the sword in her hand didn't seem to fit the picture.
Anger, sorrow, hatred.
When emotions overwhelmed her, she would swing the sword, so there was never a lack of blood to quench its thirst.
The problem was that she couldn't put the sword down.
A heart and body in constant conflict.
No one in the world could understand her.
And loneliness was eating her alive.
The long war came to an end, and darkness devoured her.
But her heart remained at peace.
Because she faced fate in the arms of the one she loved.
The NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... crossover event in NieR Reincarnation has Kainé available through two costumes and signature weapons, one available through a limited medal exchange and one available through premium summons (gacha).
The event also features an Event Story (Record) based on Kainé, a short story about a young girl in The Aerie hiding a birthmark on her leg with bandages. She has a chance encounter with Kainé, who tells her that she shouldn't strive to be like her, despite the girl's admiration for her.
- Kainé is the only character in the group who doesn't directly kill any main antagonists or bosses; Emil kills Popola and helps kill Wendy, Weiss kills Grimoire Noir, and Nier kills every other boss.
- Kainé is good at tongue twisters. A few times through and she starts adding curse words to them, though.
- Though originally rumored to be a character exclusive to the Japan-only NieR Replicant, the third trailer for NieR showcased an audio-only monologue of Kainé berating Grimoire Weiss.
- Kainé is mentioned in NieR:Automata, along with Nier, Yonah, and Emil (the latter appearing in game).
- Yosuke Saito conducted a Niconico livestream to promote Automata which included a character popularity poll for Replicant. Users voted Kainé to first place.
- A 4Gamer interview detailed that Kainé's inclusion in the SINoALICE scenario was considered, but prevented due to budgetary reasons—PokeLabo could only afford enough for two voice actors.