|“|| Rule of thumb, Hassan. You can't kill the Messiah.|
Mysterious advisor to Joseph Stalin, Nod's prophet, self-proclaimed Messiah
Kane is the charismatic, absolute leader of the Brotherhood of Nod, who features prominently in all of the Tiberium Universe games, as well as in the original Red Alert game as the secretive advisor to Joseph Stalin.
|“|| I found you people in mud huts—you were living in CAVES!|
- Kane on his first contact with humans
The problem with Kane's identity, according to the Global Defense Initiative's profile on the enigmatic prophet figure, is that the sole source of all information on the subject is Kane himself—who is not particularly noted for his trustworthiness. At times, he has also gone by the names 'Caine', 'Jacob' (INTERPOL, File TRX11-12Q); and 'Amir al-Quayym' (MI6, DR-416.52).
Although Kane became the number one public enemy of the industrialized countries only at the end of the 20th century, their intelligence agencies have linked him directly to Joseph Stalin, the infamous leader of the Soviet Union, as far back as the early 1950s.
Numerous intel files exist on the mysterious man, the most important of which are the GDI's criminal dossier on Kane and Interpol file GEN#4:16. Both list the various aliases he used throughout history, and indicate that no reliable sources exist for reconstructing his past, as all of Kane's records are either false, forged, or outright planted by the Brotherhood of Nod as decoys and deceptions.
Kane claims to have come to Earth thousands of years ago, only to find humans living in mud huts and caves, which would place his first appearance somewhere between 6000 and 4000 years BC. Again according to Kane; to humans, he is like a father figure—Kane, allegedly, uplifted a fledgling humanity, giving them tools and knowledge, guiding them every step of the way. Among the Brotherhood's faithful, he's openly revered as a "prophet" and "The Messiah".
Kane appears to be known to the Scrin, a spacefaring and Tiberium-based alien species vastly superior to man, as his existence is recorded in the data cores of their Motherships. However, Kane's "genetic derivation" (i.e.: his DNA) is wholly unknown and a confounding riddle even to them. Indeed, Kane's form seems to possess a virtual immortality and exhibits a preternatural resilience to physical injuries—including to normally fatal ones.
|“|| No, I'm not God. But I am a close second.|
- Kane to Michael McNeil
Kane is viewed in equal measure by his loyalists and enemies as an extraordinarily astute, charismatic figure. Most estimates by GDI psychoanalysts have placed his IQ around 196 at the least—well above what is formally classified as a genius; made evident not only by the Brotherhood of Nod's unanticipated rise as a superpower, but in its astonishing ability to go toe-to-toe with the GDI in modern high-tech warfare. GDI characterizes Kane as "a brilliant and charismatic sociopath, obsessed with accelerating the worst ecological catastrophe in history", and declines to make any official comment on the mystery of his seeming agelessness.
Kane is a master at propaganda and information warfare, evidenced when he broadcasted a news report about the alleged GDI slaughter of civilians in Białystok, Poland, as well as manipulation and control, evidenced by him managing to control Joseph Stalin's actions (while avoiding being purged). Kane's own messages may reflect his reputed charisma, speaking with a confident deep voice. Interestingly, recovered footage from a Nod propaganda studio reveals Kane speaking with an uncharacteristically softer tone.
Kane is undoubtedly ruthless, showing little regard for ethical constraints when they stood in the way of his goals and willing to sacrifice thousands or millions of people in order to succeed; but at the same time, he does not appear to be without sympathy for the plight of human suffering. He is known to have expressed seemingly genuine anger at the plight of the destitute of the slums of Rio in a non-public context.
While making limited use of tactical nuclear weaponry, he has never made use of them directly against major civilian targets and had always avoided any escalation into a full nuclear war; despite being defeated in multiple wars. But at the same time, he was quite willing to endorse the use of false-flag operations involving the killing of limited numbers of civilians.
Kane's relationship to his subordinates is a complex one. He showed a certain amount of mercy and was able to forgive even betrayal up to a point. For instance, he did not allow his anger at Brother Marcion's betrayal and his assassination of Anton Slavik to cause him to execute Marcion and prevent him from being put to good use. At the same time he showed no mercy to Seth's attempts to subvert his authority, even going so far as making a public example of his body, and yet showed a certain leniency in dealing with Kilian's questioning of his authority. However, he ultimately came to believe in her betrayal and she was executed.
Kane also has a certain tolerance for failure. Anton Slavik and Oxanna Kristos were completely forgiven for their capture by Michael McNeil and were rescued rather than being allowed to rot in GDI captivity. At the same time, however, he used a nuclear warhead to kill General Vega after his multiple failures, but this may have been simply in order keep the intelligence within his Pyramid Temple out of GDI hands.
Perhaps the most remarkable trait of Kane is his apparent survivability and seeming-immortality: despite being supposedly killed three times, or at least subjected to harm easily sufficient to be fatal in most cases, Kane has repeatedly managed to resurface after his 'demise'. Also, Kane has not shown appreciable signs of physical age at any point since at least the filming of the first video footage of him known to exist, during the early 1950s. While any reasons for this remain unknown, it unmistakably adds to the mystique of the Nod leader.
Within the Brotherhood, Kane is viewed as a prophet and considered an immortal, as he has lived through over one hundred years without aging. Although Kane does not go out of his way to confirm or deny any of the wide variety of views and theories regarding himself, his followers are absolutely loyal to him and the Brotherhood's ideals: they would fight for the Brotherhood, but die for Kane. GDI, on the other hand, considers him to be the single most threatening man to the status quo, and constantly wages war against the Brotherhood of Nod to remove him and any and all chances he may have to interfere with worldwide 'peace'.
The Brotherhood of Nod
|“|| He who controls the past, commands the future. He who commands the future conquers the past.|
Kane, seemingly immortal, had always sought to influence human civilization over the long arc of history, and "guide" its development along lines which he found to his liking. To this end, he founded the Brotherhood of Nod in an age before recorded history: a movement part religion, part political which was wholly devoted to himself, his ways, and his vision.
Through the Brotherhood, Kane would embark on steering human societies from the shadows. The first, and thus far only, verified example of this shadowy influence dates back to the Second World War. Still a secret society at the time, Nod was discovered to have held a substantial sway in the highest levels of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; with Kane somehow having been involved with the reign of its notorious leader Joseph Stalin.
Kane was first identified by the West as a mysterious advisor to Stalin in the early 1950s. Unbeknownst to the Soviet dictator, his mistress Nadia Zelenkov was a secretive agent of the Brotherhood of Nod. To this day, it is unclear whether Kane played a role in the USSR's whole history, including the activities of Lenin and the 1917 October Revolution, or whether Nod only attained its influence through the rise of Stalin, which the Brotherhood may have arranged at Trotsky's expense.
This conundrum is compounded by the fact that Nod's involvement with the Soviet Union may be the sole confirmed example of Kane interfering with the course of human history out of numerous such incidents—with all other cases having remained obscured.
What's for certain is that it was only after Tiberium's arrival on Earth, in the year 1995, that the Brotherhood emerged from the shadows and manifested itself as a worldwide religious and political movement, lending Kane a power unlike that of any other name in history. Through Nod, he would openly start to contend with the United Nations' Global Defense Initiative for the allegiance of whole nations; on the diplomatic, media, economic, political and military fronts.
Rulers across the world became persuaded or intimidated into aligning with the Brotherhood, populations were incited to rally against their governments by instigating social and political upheavel through unparalleled manipulation of mass media, and Nod expanded its Tiberium operations globally, gaining immense economic leverage and technological advantages over the industrialized nations. Political and social movements acting as fronts for the Brotherhood seized power in third world countries, and military or paramilitary forces, ranging from terrorist groups to conventional state armies, were assimilated into Nod's fold and became deployed against the GDI.
Although Kane rose to become the most powerful man in the world through the Brotherhood's emergence as a superpower, it did come at a price. Nod absorbed so many disparate elements into itself that some retained a semblance of their identity or maintained an own agenda, and these fissures soon turned to fractures after the Brotherhood's first two military defeats and Kane's subsequent disappearances. Eventually, by the Third Tiberium War, there were those such as Marcion, who while claiming the Brotherhood's mantle were openly denouncing Kane's memory, and by the time of the Incursion War and Ascension Conflict some Separatists were willing to wage war against a clearly living Kane.
|“|| More than alien. More than human! The next step in our evolution as a species!|
- Kane holding Umagon hostage
An earlier goal of Kane, if it had not been his ultimate goal, was Divination: the transformation of the human race itself into a form that, unlike current humans, did not suffer and die in the presence of Tiberium. Since Tiberium is a resource without equal, such humans would be able to bask in the power of Tiberium and create a world without scarcity, a paradise on earth, inhabited by "divine" beings capable of anything.
As humanity suffered and prospered from Tiberium in equal measure during the First Tiberium War, Nod conducted highly unethical secret research into Tiberium mutation and augmentation known as Project ReGenesis. The GDI did not understand the true purpose of this research, considering it only a means of creating supersoldiers, but they were successful in terminating the project thanks to the efforts of Captain Nick "Havoc" Parker.
By the Second Tiberium War it became clear to Kane that the GDI would inevitably disrupt Nod's Divination research, thus it was necessary for the GDI to be eliminated or emasculated for it to be completed. But with Nod forces unable to decisively prevail on the battlefield, Kane devised the World Altering Missile, a device that would massively and rapidly accelerate Tiberium growth globally, leaving the human race and the GDI with no choice but to cooperate with Nod Divination plans or die.
The destruction of the World Altering Missile, along with Kane's Cairo Pyramid Temple seems to have led to Kane abandoning his Divination plans for the human race. He would instead focus on his Ascension through the means of the Scrin, although the launching of the World Altering Missile would have, through the proliferation of Tiberium eventually led to the arrival of the Scrin anyway, thus Ascension may have been his real reason for Divination and the World Altering Missile anyway.
|“|| Inside that tower the secrets to Tiberium await us. And with them... control of the Universe!|
- Kane to the Legendary Insurgent
Kane's ultimate goal was "Ascension". The precise meaning of this is understood no better by the Global Defense Initiative other than as the activation of a gateway at one of the Scrin's Threshold Towers, and Kane using the passage while in possession of the knowledge held within the Tacitus device. All of Kane's actions throughout the thousands of years he has spent on Earth were evidently focused on accomplishing this singular event, which Kane referred to as the "prophecy" of the Brotherhood of Nod.
Kane would achieve it by manipulating GDI into detonating a Liquid Tiberium bomb hidden beneath Temple Prime, after they hit it with a massive Ion Cannon strike. The catastrophic event prematurely awakened the alien Scrin, who were laying dormant outside of Earth's solar system, as had been revealed by the Tacitus. While Kane and his Inner Circle were unsuccessful in creating a large enough detonation sequence to stir the Scrin from their slumber, it turned out that GDI, under the command of director Redmond Boyle, could be goaded by Nod's extreme aggression in the opening of the Third Tiberium War to retaliate as severely as possible, in a manner which ultimately achieved Kane's goal—at staggering human and ecological cost.
During the unprecedented chaos following the Scrin's "invasion", the Brotherhood secured one of the Threshold Towers constructed by the "Visitors" and guarded it from GDI assault—the same tower Kane would use to Ascend. At the conclusion of the Ascension Conflict, the Nod prophet, his Inner Circle and the most devout among the Brotherhood's followers used the "Threshold 19" tower Nod had secretly gained access to. Thus, Kane and his loyalists achieved "Ascension". What the ramifications are of Kane having completed his millennia-old objective, either for Nod, GDI, or indeed for humanity and the Scrin themselves, remains one of Kane's greatest unsolved mysteries.
|“|| I have spent... thousands of years trapped here working toward this!|
According to Kane himself, he had discovered humans "in mud huts" and "living in caves", which would place his first contact with them anywhere between 6000 BC and 4000 BC. To humans, again according to himself, Kane was like a father figure—he uplifted the fledgling human species, giving tools and endowing knowledge, "guiding them every step of the way."
A common Nod belief holds that Kane is none other than the biblical figure of Cain ('Kayin' in ancient Hebrew and 'Qabil' in Arabic), which again would render him thousands of years old. If this were true, however, it indicates Nod holds an inverted reading of the Abrahamic religions, since they are identifying their "prophet" as the biblical first murderer—rejected by God.
As this puts Nod's devout on similar footing with Crusaders who violated their faith's commandment ('Thou Shalt Not Kill') or Jihadists despoiling their religion's tenet of peace ('A Religion of Peace'), these precedents offer chilling insight into how the 'Father of Murder' became accepted as a living prophet by the desperate, downtrodden masses of the Tiberium age.
Kane's most important tool towards achieving that aim, the Brotherhood of Nod, was first founded by him in 1800 BC according to the Brotherhood's archives, which GDI has dismissed as being exaggerated or fabricated. However, when a GDI operative infiltrated an ancient Temple of Nod in Egypt, he came upon a thousands-year-old stone sarcophagus which supposedly held the remains of Abel: the biblical Cain's brother—and his first victim.
Second World War
|“|| Comrade Chairman, I am the future.|
|“|| It is, as I foresaw it.|
- Kane to Elena Petrova
Kane, along with the Brotherhood of Nod, remained out of the public's eye until the day Tiberium arrived on Earth, in the year 1995. Nod arose rapidly in the wake of the alien substance's emergence, and transitioned seamlessly from a secret society to a worldwide popular movement, characterized by its keen understanding of the human condition and the strategic value of the extraterrestrial crystals. Kane stated that he has named Tiberium after Tiberius Julius Caesar, in accordance with his claim that it was the Brotherhood who first discovered the substance in Italy, thereby revealing its "miracle" to the world. The Nod prophet placed Tiberium at the heart of the Brotherhood's religious beliefs and political ideology.
Under Kane's directives, Nod science ministers researched Tiberium and its limitless applications aggressively, pursuing the Messiah's doctrine of the "Technology of Peace". Their efforts pioneered efficient methods of harvesting and processing the crystal, which abruptly put the Brotherhood at the forefront of the development of next-generation technology. Moreover, without being bound by conventional morality and constraints, Kane initiated several research programs widely considered unethical at best, with the most significant of these being Nod's Project ReGenesis.
At the same time, the Brotherhood cemented its influence throughout much of the third world, exploiting the disparity in global wealth and offering developing nations the use of Nod's Tiberium-based technology, in order to free themselves from their subservience to the industrialized countries. Countless of the world's disenfranchised came to embrace Kane's vision of "brotherhood, unity, peace", with this granting the Brotherhood immense sway among large segments of the global population, and an open access to the fast proliferating Tiberium deposits. Moreover, interviews with international television networks such as WWN seemed intent on influencing first world audiences as well, as the suave and charismatic Nod leader modestly expressed his concern to them about the real purpose of the G7's "Global Defense Initiative".
Kane's activities would greatly alarm the industrialized world. Several of their institutions, ranging from international law enforcement groups such as Interpol to state intelligence agencies as MI6, conducted extensive background checks on, and investigations of, the mysterious figure. However, none of them were able to uncover useful information, as no social security numbers, licenses or indeed no form of identification whatsoever seemed to exist on the man. Kane was an enigma, defying any clear-cut explanations as to his motives or goals and eluding all attempts at capture, while the Brotherhood's political and religious influence continued to expand across the world.
First Tiberium War
|“|| GDI and the Brotherhood view the benefits and threat of Tiberium differently. They see a scientific anomaly, a curiosity. I see the future.|
- Kane to the Nod Commander
The First Tiberium War was the first grand struggle between the Global Defense Initiative and the Brotherhood of Nod. Kane waged war on the GDI on several fronts, including military, propaganda, and science. While Nod was not a match for the UN-funded military forces in direct confrontations, the Brotherhood's troops soon proved to be uniquely adept at covert and fast strikes, capturing technology, subverting popular support for GDI, assassinating enemy scientists and commanders, and destroying vital assets, hampering their arrival on the battlefield.
In terms of propaganda and the swaying of popular opinion, Kane was second to none. His most important move in the campaign to win the hearts and minds of the people was orchestrating the Białystok scandal through a WWN reporter, and collaborator, Greg Burdette, blaming GDI terrorists for the massacre. The media offensive seemed to work when the UN suspended GDI funding.
The Nod leader also occasionally contacted GDI commanders and soldiers to try and goad and demoralize them. Then-Commander James Solomon, waging successful battles against Nod in Europe, received such a message shortly after suffered funding cuts when Kane interrupted an EVA briefing; although Kane claimed to know Solomon's location and made a veiled assassination threat, the commander was ultimately not deterred. Kane also targeted Nick Parker for jibes as the GDI commando continued interfering with Project ReGenesis.
The conflict also highlighted the deep divide between Kane's and GDI's vision for Tiberium. In terms of scientific research, Kane was unstoppable. Not constrained by petty morality or international scrutiny, his Brotherhood could explore areas of science GDI and its member nations refused to consider. From weaponizing Tiberium to Tiberium-induced mutation and augmentation, Nod had made considerable advances in technology, all under Kane's guidance. The biggest research project Nod undertook during this time was Project ReGenesis, aiming to create the perfect soldier and the next stage of human evolution. As such, the Nod leader derided GDI's tentative approach to the substance and did not have a high opinion of Doctor Ignatio Moebius. In turn, GDI regarded Kane as a madman for experimenting with Tiberium on humans.
Kane's leadership did not go unchallenged. When Seth, his most trusted commander, began to plot behind his back and plan the overthrow of Kane, he executed the latter by a single shot to the head with his Beretta 92. While he stayed calm during the following briefing, Seth's treachery caused him to throw a tantrum, demolishing his former commander's office with a fire axe and preserving his corpse as a trophy of sorts.
End of the war
Kane was present to witness the Temple near Cape Town, South Africa, became operational, and the netwarriors infiltrate GDI's data networks and gain control of the ion cannon. The Nod leader then gave a Nod Commander who was significant to the success of the African campaign the honor of choosing the satellite weapon's first target.
|“|| Your actions have led us here, my faithul friend. The Temple is complete, and we are about to embark a path of our greatest exploit. For now relax, and watch as my Netrunners dance through the web of cyberspace... Once inside, the world is at my fingertips... Begin!|
- Kane at the end of Nod campaign.
|“|| The world... Where to strike? Where shall the world most keenly feel the blade of GDI treachery? You have done much to aid the Brotherhood towards this final victory. The choice my friend, is yours.|
- Kane allowing the Commander to obliterate by the Ion Cannon strike either White House, Eiffel Tower, Houses of Parliament or the Brandenburg Gate.
But eventually, GDI Agent Delphi finally managed to track down Kane in the rump state of Yugoslavia inside a research lab and GDI launched an assault on a biochemical research lab, assuming that the Nod leader was on site. When forces led by James Solomon entered the facility, it turned out that he was, in fact, not on site. However, they recovered many test subjects and prisoners, among them Nod's greatest achievement - an infant supersoldier, Michael McNeil. Ironically, GDI remained oblivious to McNeil's augmentations.
GDI forces converged on the Temple and broke through Nod defenses after a three-day siege. Kane remained in the Temple as it came under direct attack and when it became evident that GDI's victory was a matter of moments, he calmly left his command center and emerged into the main hall of the Temple, moments before the ion cannon was fired, seemingly vaporizing him.
Kane's body was never recovered by GDI and he was presumed dead. This would prove to be GDI's worst mistake in the years to come. The official investigation into Kane's fate was only terminated decades later.
Life in Death
|“|| Kane lives in death!|
- Nod mantra after Kane's supposed death
Kane survived and escaped the defeat at Sarajevo despite popular opinion, however, he did not escape unscathed. By the Second Tiberium War, his scarred face was partially covered by a metallic mask. To hide his disfigurement, he favored remote communication where real-time video editing ensured he appeared unscathed to friend and foe alike. In the years since his "death", he went underground and continued to spread his Tiberium vision while keeping his survival a secret from the world.
Nod factions continued to revere their "fallen" prophet. Parts of the Brotherhood took up the cry "Kane lives in death!" to signify their continued adherence, at least in spirit, to Kane's Tiberium vision. A few believed Kane was still alive.
During this period an author by the name of Jannero Drake wrote a book Kane: False Prophet, dedicated to destroying Kane's image. The author was assassinated by a Nod Fate Squad and the manuscript seized by GDI before publication. Former GDI InOps officer Lia Suskind drew upon the work when compiling a criminal dossier on Kane.
As the Second Tiberium War approached Kane began re-establishing contact with Nod. He gained the allegiance of General Cesar Vega, leader of the largest Western Hemisphere factions, and Commander Anton Slavik, leader of the Black Hand. Kane clandestinely supported Slavik's bid to overthrow General Hassan, leader of factions in the Eastern Hemisphere, who was a GDI collaborator.
The removal of Hassan reunified Nod under Kane. GDI noticed an increase in Nod activity and they were alerted to the full significance by Kane himself: the Nod leader contacted old nemesis General James Solomon and announced his return to the world stage.
Second Tiberium War
|“|| You're only delaying the inevitable. I have the Tacitus. I am invincible. The Tacitus told me of Tiberium missiles, of invulnerable flying ships, of real-time genetic mutation!|
- Kane speaking on the Tacitus
Kane's Tiberium research was unwittingly assisted by the Forgotten; Nod secured the Tacitus from the mutants and Kane persuaded Tratos, the Forgotten leader, into helping CABAL translate the device. Tratos realized too late that Kane was not interested in preserving the Earth or humanity as they knew it; Kane used the translated data to further efforts into Tiberium Divination and the creation of the World Altering Missile. Considering the purpose of the Temple Prime detonation, it is likely that apart from transforming Earth, the missile was also supposed to create a strong enough signal to draw the Scrin to Earth.
As the war progressed, the Tiberium prophet strategized several key points. He isolated the Mutant Forgotten which resulted in the Mutants forming an alliance with GDI. Kane ensured that his Brotherhood would secure a military victory but it ended in total disaster with most of the Nod generals and warlords of the Inner Circle proved to be incompetent and greedy. The exception was Anton Slavik. The Nod Messiah abandoned General Vega, disappointed with his duties when Vega failed to repel GDI. Although the Black Hand seized GDI's Hammerfest Base in Europe, Commander McNeil and his squad succeeded in retaking the region. Kane left a recording for McNeil gloating that his brother Jake McNeil had died a very slow and painful death. Kane's campaign did not escalate in victories as McNeil and his forces defeated most of his military leaders and survived a direct Nod assault sent by Kane himself. Capturing Umagon, Kane unveiled his now ready Tiberium missile. The missile's launch was foiled by a daring GDI assault under the command of Michael McNeil, who ignored his superior's orders to refrain from the attack in order to allow GDI more time to plan and prepare for the deciding conflict. Kane was confronted by McNeil within his pyramid. The GDI Commander impaled him which resulted in the Brotherhood's defeat once again. Kane's defeat and "death" shattered Nod to its very core. But Slavik, a brilliant tactician, would unify it.
|The following is based on the Nod campaign for Tiberian Sun and some details might contradict canon.|
|“|| "Our enemies believe that we have been defeated, and that I am no longer among the living. They are gravely mistaken."|
The grievously wounded Kane was recovered by CABAL and placed in a medical tube to regenerate. While sequestered for years Kane pondered the way forward. In envisioning the future Kane's thoughts returned to CABAL. Although the AI had not made a favorable impression on either GDI or Nod, Kane recognized that there were solid foundations which to improve upon.  Kane was eventually fit to walk on his own again but a partial face mask was required to hide the still-healing scars.
Conceptualization of the plan that would take the Brotherhood to the end of the Third Tiberium War continued. During this time Kane struck on the idea for a new AI to be built upon the lessons from CABAL. Kane used information from shards of the Tacitus to help develop the new AI. Kane eventually named the new creation LEGION.
Anton Slavik was assassinated after the Firestorm Crisis by a follower of Marcion. Marcion seized control of the Black Hand and set himself up as Nod's new prophet. This was partially legitimized by controlling the largest faction of the Brotherhood. Marcion's ideology also required demonizing the supposedly-deceased Kane.
Angered at being abandoned, Kane resorted to the familiar strategy of clandestinely reforging the Brotherhood. He operated in secret from a bunker with LEGION as Operational Agent. The reclamation of Nod began in the slums of Rio where minor Nod cells and the disaffected were impressed or cowed into Kane's service. It was during the uprising in Rio that a future Nod Commander of the Third Tiberium War first gained prominence.
Eventually, Kane's faction was strong enough to challenge Marcion and the Black Hand. Marcion was brought low in Australia and returned to the fold. As it was not yet prudent for Kane to return to the public spotlight, Marcion was required to act as a figurehead in the prophet's stead. With the Brotherhood reunified, preparations for the next confrontation with GDI could begin, and Kane deactivated LEGION for upgrading.
Third Tiberium War
|“|| The wheels of war are in motion—our destiny within grasp. The Philadelphia was only the beginning. Our forces will spread like a great plague across the Earth. Every Blue Zone will feel our wrath.|
- Kane to the Commander as the Third Tiberium War is set in motion
Kane was not to surface again until 2047 when the Brotherhood successfully attacked GDI's A-SAT space defense systems and the Philadelphia space station that housed GDI high command. In fact, Kane - completely intact and without a single scar following his regeneration - appeared in front of millions of television viewers when he interrupted a W3N news broadcast on the Philadelphia's destruction.
Under Kane's leadership, the Brotherhood rapidly emerged as a serious global power once again. When GDI finally pushed Nod back to Temple Prime, Kane already had the necessary components for his latest venture - a liquid Tiberium bomb. Nod's most brilliant commander managed to defend Temple Prime to the last, even when traitorous Nod forces attempted to abort his mission - forces presumed to be led by Nod general Kilian Qatar, but in reality, controlled by LEGION on orders from Abbess Alexa Kovacs. When Temple Prime was obliterated by an Ion Cannon strike, the liquid Tiberium bomb that Kane had developed in secret was detonated spectacularly, taking out Sarajevo and most of the Eastern European Yellow Zone.
Kane, whose last known whereabouts was inside the Temple, was once more presumed dead by all - even his own commanders. Qatar assumed control of the Brotherhood, forming a pact with GDI against the Scrin aliens that had recently started attacking Earth. When Kane once again resurfaced he ordered his most loyal commander to destroy Qatar's forces, and shortly thereafter he ordered her execution for treason. Following this, Kane's new second-in-command secured, in the face of overwhelming odds, the key codes for access to one of the alien superstructures being constructed on Earth. Finally, the same commander successfully defended an alien tower from GDI attack, making it invulnerable to human assault.
|“|| The Third Tiberium War is over and Nod is but a shadow of what it once was but then that is how it should be. For only the chosen few will be allowed into the Promised Land.|
- Kane addressing LEGION
Kane discovered that Abbess Alexa Kovacs, a devotee entrusted with overseeing the developmental progress of LEGION, Kane's greatest creation, in fact plotted to destroy the artificial lifeform out of fear it would repeat the actions of CABAL—whom had murdered her parents during its notorious uprising. Moreover, Kovacs also confessed to being responsible for framing Kilian Qatar shortly before committing suicide right in front of her prophet. Convinced at this point that the majority of humans are unworthy of the "Ascension" Kane had prophesized to bring to Nod's followers, he turned to the Marked of Kane as the ultimate and "redeemed" soldiers of the Brotherhood.
When LEGION regenerated from the supposedly terminal damage which Alexa Kovacs had inflicted upon it, as Kane had foretold, the Nod prophet immediately instructed LEGION to awaken the Marked of Kane from their slumber and to retrieve the increasingly unstable Tacitus device from GDI's Rocky Mountains research complex. The raid of the Marked on the heavily fortified location was successful, and with the priceless artifact finally in his hands, Kane was able to have his "child" achieve its true purpose: LEGION merged with the Tacitus and then activated "Kane's Tower", bringing Nod's ancient prophecy of "Ascension" to its fulfillment.
Tiberium Control Network
|“|| Brothers, sisters... I have a proposition.|
In 2062, the global spread of Tiberium was on the verge of making the planet uninhabitable to humans. In light of this crisis, Kane decided to approach GDI. Under GDI escort, he was airlifted to GDI's global headquarters in Manchester, where he greeted the assembled GDI leadership as "brothers and sisters" and laid out a proposition to prevent Tiberium from overrunning the world - the Tiberium Control Network. To further convince them, he presented the Tacitus to the Council.
Kane's alliance with GDI caused much strife within the Brotherhood. Gideon, an outspoken, fanatical Nod preacher decried the Prophet as a traitor to the cause of the Brotherhood and broke off, forming his own movement, much to the dismay of Kane (though it is debatable whether Gideon was Kane's opponent from the beginning).
In order to hold all the assets, Kane needed information. The Tiberium Control Network was the cornerstone of his final plan to Ascend, but GDI still had data he couldn't access. As such, he devised a plan to create a GDI soldier that'd get him what he needed, without knowing that. For this, he chose Christian Pierce, an unlucky Kentucky farmer from Red Zone 483, to do his bidding.
His plan worked perfectly - after Pierce was manipulated into becoming Evelyn Rios' most trusted aide, Kane had Gideon attempt to destroy Chicago by crashing a GST into it. GDI commando Christian Pierce stopped it, unknowingly following Kane's plans for him.
Gideon managed to capture the GDI captain and forced Pierce to raid the New York Public Library to obtain a "data store" with information on Kane. To do so, he had to fight his way past "GDI" soldiers. Pierce discovered the information was hundreds of years old and didn't appear to be of GDI origin. He smashed it. Kane stopped Pierce there. Kane explained that the object - which he could easily repair - was much more than a data store and that he'd shaped Pierce's entire life in order to get him to that point. Even the GDI soldiers sent to stop him were actually disguised Nod troops. An irate Pierce attacked Kane, hitting him once, but Kane defeated and killed him.
As the Incursion War went on, Nod's arsenal continued to grow and improve in light of the Separatists' modifications to their weaponry. Kane had personally overseen the development of a new stealth tank and was the mastermind behind a Nod raid to capture a functional Obelisk of Darkness held in a GDI lab to develop an Obelisk of Light that was capable of destroying aircraft. When GDI began fielding the Crawler in 2073 to counter the Separatists, Kane commissioned Nod to develop their own Crawler and not fall behind. However his best commander Alphus turned out to be Gideon's sleeper agent and hijacked the prototype Crawler, giving the Separatists a level playing field.
|“|| For me, Ascension is Real!|
In 2077, the storm of world war has come again. Tensions between GDI and Nod mounted, as resentment on both sides, hidden for the past fifteen years, began to surface, and Ascension became a reality with the activation of the TCN.
The Ascension Conflict erupted when Kane initiated the final phase of his plan. His actions drew the attention of Nod Separatists and rogue GDI units under the command of Colonel Louise James, resulting in a brief, but an extremely bloody conflict that lasted ten days, but consumed countless lives.
Kane's plan came dangerously close to failure, as Gideon had been killing off the Threshold`s "keys" one by one (humans modified with implants invented with the help from the Tacitus). The only remaining implant was Commander Parker, so in order to protect him, Kane ordered Gideon to be brought to heel. His will was done, and Gideon was brought to justice for the followers of Nod at a stage near Threshold 19.
With Gideon dead, the TCN online and Parker in his grasp, he could finally ascend. The Commander activated the tower, but Colonel Louise James arrived to find the Commander, believing him to be Kane.
When the Commander did not answer her how to shut it down, the rogue GDI leader shot him point-blank, only to have Kane arrive and strangle James at the very end. The activation of Threshold 19, and the bullet Parker took from James, began to take its toll on his vital status. Kane said that the commander is too fragile to live, and thus steps through the Scrin Portal, ascending in the process, leaving him and Lilly behind, the latter mourning Parker's slow and silent passing, his implant's shutdown sequence coming to a full circle.
As Parker arrives at the tower, he finds Kane, who reveals that it was not Kane who killed Lilly after all. James ordered an Orca Bomber strike to destroy the bunker Lilly was hiding in to get the Commander to despise Kane.
Kane continues by explaining that Parker's optical implant is the key to activating the TCN, the Threshold's portal, and his Ascension. Failing that, he then warns that not doing so will doom Earth to Tiberium and never-ending war. Shortly afterward, James arrives and commands Parker to stand down. After shooting Kane, Parker begins to walk towards the portal. James understands that he finally realized the truth and shoots him. But before she can put a bullet in his head, Kane pulls her gun away and tell the commander to activate the portal.
Parker manages to turn on the portal, before losing consciousness again. Regaining consciousness one last time, Kane stands by the activated portal, tilts his head skeptically, and says, "Thank you," to the commander, before stepping through and leaving him to his fate.
After the tower sends out visible beams to space, the W3N news reports that after the surge of the Scrin tower, the last piece of the Tiberium Control Network has been completed. The Tiberium near Threshold 19 was also reported to be dissipating. Next, General Secretary Evelyn Rios claimed that to be a "historical moment" and that humanity has persevered. Another news report mentioned that thousands of Kane's followers simply vanished after entering the portal, and the tower is now dormant again.
With GDI marking this as a success, its possible GDI might gather Tiberium near the tower to dissipate all of it, it's also possible that all the Tiberium on earth is starting to dissipate independently due to the tower's activity.
A random middle-aged man (played by Daniel Kucan) was street interviewed, and merely said "Kane's gone? Yeah, right.", hinting that there were still many people believing that Kane is still with them.
|“|| When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened. We cannot cultivate our garden without digging in the dirt.|
|“|| We have waited centuries for this moment. The rivers will flow with the blood of those who oppose us.|
|“|| Don't look so surprised, commander. And don't look around for your EVA, it can't help you now. Well... what shall we talk about, hmm? Your powerful GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children... Of course, that is not true, but the world only believes what the media tells them to believe, and I tell the media what to believe, it's really quite simple. Oh, here's you little pet... But now that I know where you live, commander, it's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause, but you know that you've lost.|
- Kane intercepting Solomon's transmissions (Tiberian Dawn)
|“|| The world... Where to strike? Where will the world most keenly feel the blade of GDI treachery? You have done much to lead the Brotherhood tons of this final victory. The choice, my friend, is yours.|
- Kane to the Nod commander (Tiberian Dawn)
|“|| He who controls the past commands the future. He who commands the future, conquers the past.|
- Kane (Red Alert setup)
|“|| For the foreseeable future... Comrade Chairman, I am the future.|
- Kane (Red Alert Soviet ending)
|“|| If I am cut, do I not bleed?|
- Kane to general Solomon (Tiberian Sun)
|“|| It would be a sad error in judgement, General Solomon, to mistake me for a corpse... I've seen the future - our Tiberium future - and as you watch this battle just beginning to unfold, I've already seen the final act! It is my destiny to lead the way for all mankind.|
- Kane to general Solomon (Tiberian Sun)
|“|| Rule of thumb, Hassan. You can't kill the Messiah.|
- Kane before Hassan's execution (Tiberian Sun)
|“|| Rise, my people. I have returned, never to leave your side again. GDI sought to destroy me, but they have only made me stronger. Today, we march forward into our future. A stronger people... a divined people, enhanced for the Tiberium world. The time has come, to claim this world as our own! The time has come, to destroy GDI! One vision, one purpose! Peace through power!|
- Kane showing himself to Nod forces (Tiberian Sun)
|“|| I am sorry to hear about your dear brother. He died in a slow, yet painful death.|
- Kane to McNeil (Tiberian Sun)
|“|| You're only delaying the inevitable. I have the Tacitus. I am invincible. The Tacitus told me of Tiberium missiles, of invulnerable flying ships, of real-time genetic mutation. More than alien. More than human! The next step in our evolution as a species!|
- Kane to McNeil (Tiberian Sun)
|“|| God? *laugh* No, I'm not God. But I'm a close second.|
- Kane to McNeil (Tiberian Sun)
|“|| I am the future. The Tiberian Sun has risen!|
- Kane (Tiberian Sun)
|“|| This morning was the most glorious morning in the history of the earth. Peace is upon us. A gift to every man, woman and child from the Brotherhood of Nod. Victory, not just for our people, but for our species. The time for questioning is over. Rising from our trenches, our bunkers, our factories, we must all now partake in the technology of peace. One purpose, one vision! Tiberium is the way and the life. Today the sun rises on the new world and a new people. The end is the beginning!|
- Kane (Tiberian Sun Nod Ending)
|“|| The destruction of Philadelphia was not an accident. It was a merciful bullet to the head of a malignant ideology. It was the death of fear and the birth of hope! Rejoice, children of Nod! The blood of your oppressors will flow and the 50 years of tyranny will finally end! Transformation is coming, a new day will dawn! The future... is ours.|
- Kane (Tiberium Wars)
|“|| And he cried in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come forth!', and Lazarus did arise from the grave... I have always believed that faith was measured in deeds, not words. And while many of my children worshipped my name, their deeds betrayed them. In my absence, they strayed from the path, but you... you, my son, your faith never waned. Not in Honduras or Jericho, not in the great Rio Insurrection. You risked your life countless times to topple GDI, to perpetuate our cause to honor my name. And now I call upon you again to bring glory to the Brotherhood. I have seen that GDI is vulnerable, bloated by arrogance and complacency. Now is the time to strike. While they congratulate themselves on Tiberium advancements Nod made decades ago, we will expose their weaknesses for all the world to see.|
- Kane to the Nod commander (Tiberium Wars)
|“|| Good afternoon, Commander! You must be lost, this is not your precious Blue Zone, this is Nod territory! Tell you what, I'll have my forces send you home... in a bodybag.|
- Kane to the GDI commander in Croatia (Tiberium Wars)
|“|| They have abandoned us, my child. The Brotherhood of Nod has been broken, you are the only one who has not forsaken me. At this very moment, McNeil and his GDI lackeys celebrate their victory in what they are calling the Second Tiberium War. They have the Tacitus... but no understanding of its true purpose. Our technology has failed us. CABAL is no more... though his memory lives on. Our enemies believe we have been defeated, and that I am no longer among the living. They are gravely mistaken. You and I are all that remain, but all that is necessary, for together we will raise a great army. Together we will show the worlds downtrodden who the real enemy is. GDI promises them prosperity, but in the slums of Rio, the hungry and hopeless know the truth! They have been forgotten, they have nothing! But. Their. Anger! We will take that spark and start a fire which will become a great conflagration! Peace... through... power!|
- Kane to LEGION before Rio Insurrection (Kane's Wrath)
|“|| ...In bunkers deep beneath the earth, in a red zone in Russia and Southeast Asia, a sleeping army awaits your call. They are the Marked of Kane. They are devoted to the prophecy and sacrificed their minds and bodies to our cause. Half human, half machine, they have been dormant since the end of the Second Tiberium War. They need but one thing: someone to give them purpose, someone to give them life!...|
- Kane, detailing the Marked of Kane to LEGION, 2052
|“|| Yes, we were tested. But in the end we held constant and our fortitude was rewarded! The prophecy has come to pass! At last, the Tacitus is in our hands! It is dangerously unstable, GDI may have damaged it beyond repair. We must put it to use before it is too late. LEGION, my child, you are my greatest creation. It is time for you to achieve center stage, time for you to receive the purpose for which you were created! One vision, one purpse!|
- Kane, intefaces LEGION with Tacitus, 2052
|“|| I am concerned by GDI politicians waving flags of 'freedom,' 'democracy,' and 'justice.' In countries small and large, no organization has done more to hamper freedom than GDI. They present a program of democracy but are unwilling to grant its principles or support the guarantees of peace. What GDI supports is the destruction of peace for the sake of world domination.|
- Kane expresses his concerns about the true nature of the Global Defense Initiative
|“|| Historically, the Western powers spread leaflets over enemy lines telling those who said the word "republic" when captured would receive better treatment. Today, our communications are so advanced every member of our Brotherhood can accesses data electronically from his or her person. This technology is being used against us, as propaganda is broadcast to mislead our troops. I ask every member of our Brotherhood to be conscious of the potential for corruption and the inherent dangers of our technology.|
- Kane on GDI propaganda
|“|| GDI claims Nod were the aggressors, but it was GDI who began a war against the Brotherhood without provocation. They have tried, without success, to persuade the world of their 'sympathy' for a 'threatened Europe'. Yet, the facts are clear and their flood of lies cannot contradict the truth. Nod seeks freedom where GDI warmongers seek domination.|
- Kane on GDI intentions
|“|| The world should re-examine what I and the Brotherhood have done for society's benefit. They must agree the historical results have been unique. Yet, the people do not want to believe in me, but the time will come when they must. The Brotherhood is free, strong, great, and united. What leader has ever done more for his people? //You can be certain of this: Today you are facing a different Nod than the Nod of the past. |
- Celebratory speech
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn
The GDI campaign shows two possible endings to the final mission, depending on whether the ion cannon is used on the Temple. If the ion cannon is used Kane ascends from the Temple's subterranean command center to the heavily damaged hall on the surface where he is engulfed by an ion cannon strike. If not, Kane is buried by rubble while walking away from the command center. It was never officially revealed which ending is canon, but the severe injuries Kane was still recovering from in Tiberian Sun would hint at the former.
Behind the scenes
Kane is portrayed and voiced by Joseph David Kucan, who also served as Full Motion Video director and dramatic director for games produced by Westwood Studios from 1992 to 2002. His brother, Daniel Kucan, also appeared in several Command & Conquer games.
The role of Kane
Kucan frequently joked about his role and how he got it in the first place. In an interview, he said that Kane would, in fact, be a woman and that Tiberian Twilight was a musical.
There were multiple "stories" on how he got the role of Kane:
- he won the role in a lottery from 7-11, scratching the ticket and getting three "Kanes" (Tiberium Wars Kane Edition blooper reel, 2006)
- there was a special election in the United States of America between him, Pauley Shore and John Malkovich. He mostly got votes from the western states. (Tiberium Wars Kane Edition blooper reel, 2006)
- he got a prize in a Cracker Jack box (Battlecast Primetime episode 1, 2007)
- he was fishing in the Colorado River when he found Brett Sperry drowning. Joe then jumped in and saved him, where Brett dubbed him Kane. (interview for XG247, 2009)
- in a street fair, accompanied by four friends, Kucan climbed a booth where "you shoot the water into the clown's mouth, and the balloon gets bigger". He was spraying and giving the elbow to the others. His balloon popped first and was given the role of Kane. (interview for IncGamers.com, 2009)
- he was lounging in the park one day and the hand of God himself came down from the heavens [giving him the role] (Kane - The Man interview, 2010)
- his father before him and his father before him played Kane as well, while his father before him was a plumber, but his father before him also played Kane, making it a hereditary role. (Kane - The Man interview, 2010)
- aliens abducted him when he was walking in a green meadow in Las Vegas, and selected him to play Kane. They shaved his head, slapped a goatee on his otherwise bare face, and threw him down to Westwood Studios. (The Cyber Den interview, 2014)
The only instance where he stated the true version was at CommandCom 2009 in Cologne. Since Westwood Studios did not have a large budget at the time, they employed the game developers as actors in full motion videos. When making a placeholder video to test the compression methods, Westwood assigned Kucan to say a line in which he would imitate a villain character. That test video actually gave him the role of the charismatic leader of the Brotherhood of Nod, Kane.