Gaignun Kukai, Jr.

Gaignun Kukai, Jr.

Gaignun Kukai, Jr. (usually just Jr. and often called "Little Master" by those under his command) is a fictional character from the "Xenosaga" series. He is the director of the Kukai Foundation, an organization based on Second Miltia. He looks like a child, and is thought by the public to be the child of fellow director Gaignun Kukai, but he is actually Gaignun's older brother. His real name is Rubedo, but he does not like people calling him by that name because of his regrettable past he had with it.

Basic information


*Real Name: Rubedo
*Born: T.C. 4740
*Hair: Red
*Eyes: Blue
*Sex: Male
*Height: 4' 7"
*Weight: 84 lb
*Age: 26; looks 12
*Voice Actor (Japanese): Eriko Kawasaki
*Voice Actor (English): Brianne Siddall
*Voice Actor (Anime): Greg Ayres

Background

Jr. was a survivor of the U.R.T.V. (U-DO Retro Virus) unit created by the scientist Dr. Yuriev to combat U-DO, a mysterious waveform that threatened to destroy the galaxy. Rubedo's unit number as a U.R.T.V. was 666. He possesses the unique abilities of all U.R.T.V.'s, including telepathy and various telekinetic powers. However, despite being a "designer child," he was born with his twin brother attached to him through the heart—a problem that was remedied when they were separated. He is the most powerful U.R.T.V. and is reputed to have the one perfect anti-U-DO wavelength (generated when Jr. goes into his "Red Dragon" mode), and was therefore made the leader of the U.R.T.V.'s. Although to date he hardly uses his unique powers compared to his living brothers, instead preferring to fight with his guns or machines, Albedo states that Rubedo is weaker than he was before either indicating a lax in training or that Albedo himself has become much stronger (or both). He was known as Rubedo, while his formerly conjoined twin brother was called Albedo, U.R.T.V. #667. Gaignun Kukai was the last brother, christened Nigredo.

Over the course of the first two games, Jr. and MOMO have grown very close to each other. This is due to Jr's past with Sakura Mizrahi, whom MOMO was modeled after. During his childhood, he fell in love with Sakura, and promised her that he would protect her mother and "little sister." That little sister was MOMO. Over time Jr's feelings for MOMO seem to be brotherly as fans mix this up with romantic, although she is only a child and he is a man.

While Jr. looks like a child, and can act rashly, he is also capable of making tough decisions and cutting observations since he is in truth a matured man. He also has a fondness for guns, action movies, and classic novels, including "The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe", "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", and "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea". Because of his hobbies Jr. is a master of gunplay, especially with pistols and enjoys fighting akimbo. At the beginning of "Episode I", Jr. carries a pair of Rook Company pistols. However, in "Episode II" he wields two antique Makarov pistols (mistranslated as Makalov in the English version due to the lack of the distinction between "r" and "l" in Japanese and translators' infamiliarity with handgun types).

During the Miltian Conflict, Rubedo and the other U.R.T.V.'s fought against U-DO before the planet’s disappearance into the void known as the Abyss. As leader of the U.R.T.V.'s, Jr. was responsible for keeping them connected through a spiritual link, which would protect them from U-DO’s destructive powers. A moment before the U.R.T.V.'s were to destroy U-DO, Rubedo had a vision of the Old Miltian planet being destroyed when something monstrous emerged from within. Rubedo, fearing for the lives of his companions, broke the Spiritual Link leaving the other U.R.T.V.'s with no protection against U-DO. U-DO slew or drove mad all of the standard U.R.T.V.'s, as well as Albedo during the fighting, and Rubedo carried an injured Nigredo several minutes before Canaan and chaos rescued the U.R.T.V. duo on the E.S. Asher. Therefore, the only documented surviving U.R.T.V.'s were Nigredo and Rubedo, though Albedo and Citrine survived as well.

Along with Albedo, Nigredo, and Citrine, Jr. is one of the "variants," U.R.T.V.'s who undergo a stimulated mutation. Superficially this caused his hair to turn a bright red and his eyes a deeper blue but more significantly it allowed him to pause his cellular development. In addition to that he has a unique power called "Red Dragon Mode." The "Red Dragon Mode" is a special power that Jr. has which allows him to amplify the anti-U-DO waves that are emitted by both himself and Standard U.R.T.V.'s. This apparently increases Jr.'s power to some degree as well, as when Jr. used the power when overcome with emotion in his one on one battle with his brother Albedo. Part of Gaignun's role as a U.R.T.V., besides being the future host of Dimitri Yuriev's consciousness seems to be a living stop-gap meant to keep Jr.'s "Red Dragon" from going out of control. He has a tattoo of a red Chinese dragon on his left upper-arm that somewhat symbolizes his "Red Dragon Mode." Rubedo subconsciously suppresses his Red Dragon mode; as an unintentional side effect, his aging is also suppressed.

Because Rubedo and Albedo began life as conjoined twins, the two share similar but opposite powers regarding the regulation of their cellular growth. Jr. is able to slow down his aging at the cellular level, thus his youthful appearance, and Albedo is able to speed up cell growth to the point of being able to instantly regenerate any part of his body. Furthermore, the database indicates that Jr.'s halted development is "half-subconscious" which may lead to questions as to whether Jr. has full control over his range of extraordinary abilities.

In "Episode III", Jr. returns to his role as the secondary protagonist alongside Shion. He is forced to finally come to terms with issues surrounding the remains of his "family"; his brothers Albedo and Gaignun, his sister Citrine and his father Dimitri Yuriev. After the group confronts Dr. Sellers on the Tactical Warship Merkabah he reveals to them that the reason Dimitri Yuriev is still alive is because he is inhabiting the body of his "son", Nigredo aka Gaignun Kukai. He also tells Jr. what Yuriev's goals are and where to find him; on the "Durandal". Jr. and the group return to the Kukai flagship to find the entire crew murdered by Yuriev soldiers with the exception of Mary and Shelly Godwin and the cruisers' two guests, Juli Mizrahi and Canaan. They head to the Isolation Area to stop Yuriev but before they can reach him they are confronted by U.R.T.V. #668, Citrine.

Jr. tries to plead with Cirtine to step out of their way and how what she and Yuriev is wrong, but Citrine wants none of it. She is so dedicated to her father's ideals that she is willing to fight her own "brother" and die if need be. She is fought and killed by the party and Jr. derides the needlessness of her death and how he has lost yet another of his U.R.T.V. comrades. In the Isolation Area, Jr. comes face to face with Yuriev as he removes the Zohar Emulators from their containment units. As Jr. tries to reach Gaignun with his words Yuriev outlines his plan to conqure his fear of God (U-DO), by ascending to the realm of the gods himself and killing him. Before the group can stop him, the Durandal's engines kick in and the ship flys off on a collision course with Abel's Ark. Yuriev disappears into the inner recesses of Isolation Area and Jr. and the others are forced to evacuate before the ship is absorbed by the Ark.

Knowing Yuriev must be stopped, Jr. and the others descend into Abel's Ark and fight their way through the numerous defences Yuriev created within it. He eventually comes face-to-face with Yuriev and defeats both him and Ω Res Novae/Ω Metempyschosis. It is at this point when Albedo, as the White Testament arrives. He takes both the Zohar and Abel away from Yuriev then proceeds to deal with him directly.

Jr.'s reunion with Albedo is short-lived, as Albedo gets right down to business with him, ordering him to link with him and use their anti-U-DO waves to destroy Yuriev. Their plans go slightly arwy when Gaignun's consciousness emerges from Yuriev's. Jr.s is hesitant to destroy his brother and best friend, but when Gaignun says it must be done he resolves to finish it. It had been Albedo's plan to transfer Gaignun's consciousness into Jr.'s body, but Gaignun instead took over Albedo's body and threw Albedo's consciousness into Jr. Powerless to stop him, Jr. (and Albedo) was thrown backward as Gaignun proceeded to shift himself and Yuriev into a higher dimension. Before disappearing, Gaignun communicates with Jr., saying goodbye and showing Jr. his true form. At this point a grown up version of Jr. is briefly glimpsed, looking very similar to Gaignun and Albedo. Jr. then finally settles his ordeal with Albedo as the two become one single person, like they were meant to be in the first place.

From there, he follows Shion and the others to Michtam to stop Zarathustra and Wilhelm. When Shion's new mission presents itself at the end of the game, finding Lost Jeruselam, Jr. is the only surviving party member to accompany her and Allen when the Elsa departs.

As a matter of trivia, Jr.'s adult form was originally meant to appear in "Episode II". In the original script written by Soraya Saga, part-way through the game Jr. unpauses his growth and rapidly ages to adulthood. This new adult Jr. would still be a playable character in the game and be part of several key sequences in the later sections of the game, such as a reunion with U.R.T.V. #668 Citrine and a three-way battle between KOS-MOS, U-DO and himself and Albedo. This version of Jr., and many other things from Saga's "Episode II" script were cut out by a new team of writers and editors brought in by Monolith during production. Like several other removed concepts, it was put back into "Episode III", after a fashion. However, Jr.'s adult form only appears as a representation of Jr.'s true self instead of his actual self in the form of a playable character.

Trivia

* 666 is the number of the Beast, a seven-headed emissary of the Devil in the Book of Revelation; alongside his power of the Red Dragon, Jr. is set up as a demonic character superficially but lacks any such personality traits.
* The names of Jr.'s assistants are Mary and Shelley. Mary Shelley was the author of the novel "Frankenstein".


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