Gaignun Kukai
Gaignun in Xenosaga Episode III

Master Gaignun
U.R.T.V. #669
26 (I, II)
27 (III)
T.C. 4741
Hair color
Eye color
Teal green
Kukai Foundation chairman
Voice actor (Japanese)
Koichi Yamadera
Mikako Takahashi (child)
Voice actor (English)
Crispin Freeman
Jennifer Hale (child, II)
Wendee Lee (child, III)
John Gremillion (anime)
Shannon Emerick (child) (anime)
I know that I never should have existed in this world to begin with. My duty to keep watch over you is over. No... I want it to be over. I'm not saying goodbye. Let's play together again sometime. Until then, take care, Rubedo, Albedo.
—Gaignun to Rubedo, upon sacrificing himself.

Gaignun Kukai, original name Nigredo, is the chairman of the Kukai Foundation, a special organization based in Second Miltia. He has a gentle personality and is well respected both within and outside the Foundation, especially by Mary and Shelley Godwin.

Nigredo is a genetically altered clone of Dr. Dmitri Yuriev, along with Rubedo (Jr.) and Albedo, but they consider themselves brothers. However, due to the fact that cloning is now considered taboo, Jr. charades as Gaignun's adopted son.

Personality Edit

According to the Enneagram personality analysis, Gaignun is classified as a type 8 (gallant / confident in himself / coercive / confrontational). This is the same type as Albedo, Jr., Luis Virgil and Margulis.

Type 8s have self-control, are broad-minded and have great confidence in themselves; there are many cases of them making names for themselves in history as entrepreneurs. Also, when they are extremely healthy, there is a chance that they may even be called a hero and leave behind their name in history. As the representative director of the Kukai Foundation, Gaignun's ability to preserve the juridical foundation and cause rapid growth until he possesses the greatest share in the world of business for each of the sectors of the Foundation's amusement, environment, and industry depends greatly on his personality type. Also, his ability as a U.R.T.V. is the power to control other people. His personality type and this ability have many common features. Comparing a case in which a person with an introverted personality has the same ability and a case in which a type 8 like him has this power, a surprising difference in the effectiveness is generated when the power is used. He is a leader by nature and excels in the ability to motivate others to do things; he suppresses his self-assertiveness and has the ability to control the actions of others while convincing them that they are acting freely of their own will. He controls his own emotions and, without controlling his opponent, conversely he makes them feel his strength. He uses his power to make his opponent submit and, rather than ruling by twisting people's arms, he governs leniently.

Even if he finds himself in a dilemma, he does not become disconcerted. His manner that makes you think he has complete control over himself has a very strong charisma. Not only does he walk down a path that he believes in and have plenty of necessary courage, he also displays it, leads people, he has the respect of people, and is regarded as a hero. Even if he is unable to realize the ideals that he is aiming for within the span of his own life, the people who inherit his will will carry out his ideals and he will survive in history. As an idea, this represents the possibility of surviving longer and suggests one possibility of the conquest of death. In order to protect his own health, he must not surrender to anyone. When type 8s feel that fear, they become self-reliant and protect themselves by overwhelming others.

Background Edit

Yuriev Institute Edit


Nigredo as a child at the Yuriev Institute.

Gaignun Kukai is U.R.T.V. Unit #669, who is a biological weapon designed to combat U-DO. Despite this, he doesn't react to U-DO's waves. U.R.T.V. Unit #669 is nicknamed Nigredo, a reference to his black hair. Gaignun was created to let Dmitri Yuriev observe Rubedo and Albedo. Gaignun can telepathically communicate with Jr. and Albedo and can use his voice to hypnotically manipulate people, if need be he can telekinetically destroy a person.

Gaignun's dilemma had always been secretly that he had struggled with the notion of eventually killing his own brother Rubedo. Albedo knew about Gaignun/Nigredo's true form for many years. In truth his actual creation and very meaning to his own existence was to simply monitor his own brother Rubedo and if necessary terminate his life, to this end Yuriev had secretly implemented a second Red Dragon drive inside of Nigredo in the expressed purpose of rivaling Rubedo's power but as seen in Gaignun's nature, he hides it.

Sometime around T.C. 4753, Nigredo apparently shot and killed his father at the Yuriev Institute. A moment before being killed by Nigredo, Dmitri Yuriev's spirit somehow enters Gaignun's body and dwells in waiting for fourteen years.

Miltian Conflict Edit


Nigredo injured in the Miltian Conflict.

During the Miltian Conflict, Rubedo and the other U.R.T.V.s fought against U-DO before Miltia's disappearance into the Abyss.

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, 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 survived as well. U.R.T.V. #668 Citrine secretly survived the Miltian Conflict as well.

Kukai Foundation Edit


Gaignun Kukai as Kukai Foundation director.

"Kukai" was a fictional persona created by the Second Miltian government as a means to pool their special operation funds. Following the Miltian Conflict and Helmer's rescue of Nigredo and Rubedo, they took on the Kukai surname to justify and establish the Kukai Foundation, and became Gaignun Kukai and Gaignun Kukai Jr., respectively. This also allowed the U.R.T.V. units to live their lives more normally.

Taken in by Helmer after the Miltian Conflict, Gaignun inherited the name of "Soze/Zoze Kukai" upon establishment of the Foundation. Incidentally, "Soze/Zoze Kukai" is the name of a fictitious industrialist invented by the Second Miltian government in order to pool special activities capital.

Gaignun completely runs the business side of the Kukai Foundation; he leaves the practical side of things like the retrieval of the Zohar Emulators to Jr. and concentrates on providing logistical support. Military power and political power should be talked about as being of the same importance. In addition, political power needs military power and military power needs political power. Gaignun and Jr. are in this kind of relationship. With both of their powers combined it becomes possible for them to preserve the plan for the present condition of the Kukai Foundation. If one side was lacking, the preservation of the Foundation would be difficult.

There has been much speculation about Jr. and Gaignun's relationship. Because of their economic activities involving the entertainment and tourism industry, Gaignun has attracted a lot of attention as an entrepreneur and, as to be expected, there has been some scandalous gossip. However, for those who face phenomena that are related to the fate of the world, scandals have about as much influence as a mosquito bite. Political power that can be blown away with a scandal was only about that powerful from the beginning. Just as Gaignun and Jr. have two names, the Kukai Foundation also has an official face and a hidden side. The Kukai Foundation's true objective is contained in its real name.

Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht Edit

Docking at the Kukai Foundation

Docking at the Kukai Foundation

Shion and her group meet Gaignun.

Gaignun is first introduced to the main party on the Durandal when they first enter the Kukai Foundation. Shion Uzuki, however, upon meeting him, felt that she had just apparently acted quite rude to him while shaking his hand and noticing his #669 brand on the palm of his hand, possibly alluding that even Shion was able to see or detect Gaignun's powers and true nature.

Gaignun tells Helmer they recovered the twelfth Zohar Emulator on the Woglinde, and that they also have the 100-Series Prototype Realian: MOMO Mizrahi.

Afterwards Gaignun is arrested by Galaxy Federation captain Lapis Roman on allegations of suspicion of treason against the Federation, along with most of the main party, due to the U-TIC Organization falsifying video footage of the Durandal attacking the Woglinde. Gaignun is put into a separate holding facility by Lapis Roman, however, because of Lapis' connections to Helmer, she gives Gaignun and Shion's group the chance to prove the Kukai Foundation's innocence through KOS-MOS's triple A data recordings. Gaignun is then cleared of all charges.

When Albedo eventually uses the Song of Nephilim, only Gaignun, chaos and Jr. could hear the song being played at first while on the Durandal. On the bridge almost immediately after, Gaignun and Jr. conversed telepathically over the proceedings until Shion was able to faintly hear the song being played.

As the ending credits roll Gaignun is seen one last time discussing the status quo with Helmer over a video link, commenting that a vortex of temptation and obsession still remains in the aftermath of the game's climax and finally adds that Albedo is being drawn into it all just the same.

Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse Edit


Gaignun telepathically destroys Albedo's arm.

He is first requested by Helmer when arriving on Miltia with MOMO. To obtain reconnaissance information from a brief conversation with Albedo via a telepathic link in order to gain insight into Albedo's plans for the future tense, the two converse with Gaignun offering to come to terms with Albedo at the time but Albedo was only interested in goading his brother and even goes as far as calling him two-faced when Gaignun kinetically destroyed Albedo's right arm at one point during the conversation when Albedo had threatened Rubedo's life.

Later on, flashbacks occur when the main team take subconscious dives into Sakura Mizrahi's mind in order to allow her to speak once again. These adventures showed the rift growing between the trio of U.R.T.V. units, which eventually led to a breakdown during the Miltian Conflict, causing Albedo to come into contact with U-DO and become insane.

Xenosaga Episode II HD Cutscene 60 - Father and Son - ENGLISH

Xenosaga Episode II HD Cutscene 60 - Father and Son - ENGLISH

Dmitri Yuriev awakens in Gaignun.

At the end of Episode II, Gaignun suffers from a double personality; one part is Gaignun, the other is Dmitri Yuriev, his father. Apart for being Jr.'s failsafe, Dmitri also created Gaignun as a host for his consciousness, as he somehow transmigrated into his body at the time of his "death" in T.C. 4753 when Gaignun as Nigredo in his childhood had apparently shot and killed his father. Yuriev awakened in Gaignun's body during the events of Episode II. Although Gaignun's consciousness now struggles to regain control of his own body, Yuriev currently has complete control of him and first makes his renewed presence known to Pellegri on a video link, tasking her to tell her superiors that he is not dead and will never die.

Near to end of the game, after Yuriev has a UNM communication with Junior, Gaignun regains control of his body and says that Junior shoul not trust his words.

Between Episode II and Episode III Edit

After some time Yuriev takes over Gaignun's body again. Yuriev reunited with Citrine and with his followers of the Salvator Faction; thanks to them he regains his influence over the Federation Parliament.

Thanks to his influence in the Federation Parliament, Yuriev moves the Zohar Project under his control. Under his supervision, the Zohar Project changed from a project to restore Lost Jerusalem to one to destroy Ormus and the Gnosis. The Strategic Integrated Warship Merkabah and Ω Res Novae were completed under his control of the Zohar Project.

Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra Edit

Occupation of the Durandal

Occupation of the Durandal

Yuriev controlling Gaignun's body.

Gaignun's story comes full circle resulting in his eventual redemption when he comes to terms with what he is and had always been, Albedo arriving as a Testament during Yuriev's power bid after kidnapping Abel and the Zohar sheds some light on the fact that Gaignun had presumably let his own father take control of his body during the takeover with the thoughts of making his father proud somehow.

Abel's Ark

Abel's Ark

Nigredo dies and Albedo reunites with Jr.

On Abel's Ark, Albedo and Jr. initiate a link in order for Gaignun to be sent into Jr.'s body while Albedo in his Testament form would be sent into another dimension with their father Yuriev still in Gaignun's body. However, Gaignun sees through Albedo's feelings during this link, expressing that he does not like taking orders, and makes a desperate attempt at switching this vis-a-vis of minds around. This results in Albedo's mind being thrown into Jr.'s body, evidently reuniting the twin brothers for the first time in one body since their very birth.

Saying his farewells to Rubedo/Jr. inside of Albedo's Testament body, Gaignun shows his brother his true form and tells him that his duty to keep watch over him has now ended or rather that he had wanted it to be over, but admits that if he had denied his nature in the end he would have been literally denying his own existence regardless. Jr. makes a last-ditch attempt at saving him by telling him they were always friends as Gaignun/Nigredo offers to him that he'd like to play with his brothers again someday.

Etymology Edit

The name Nigredo refers to the philosophic beliefs of Carl Jung, who believed that the process of self-realization has three major steps, which he named using terms derived from alchemy, which he studied prior to developing his theories. These three steps are known as Negredo, the death of the old, perceived self, Albedo, the discovering of one’s inner identity, and Rubedo, the process of living a self-aware life. This is the magnum opus. In the Jungian archetypal schema, nigredo is the "Shadow". (Carl Jung got his ideas of Nigredo, Albedo and Rubedo from the ancient philosophy of Hermeticism, which was the origin of alchemy. )

Gaignun shares his name with the horse Roland, a general of medieval French King Charlemange and wielder of the legendary blade Durandal rode into battle on. Jr. and Gaignun both raised a cat named Gaignun, which is the origin of Nigredo's alias.

Kukai is also the name of a famous Japanese Buddhist monk; Buddhist undertones can also be seen in Xenosaga.

chaos made an allusion in Episode II, insinuating that the four variant U.R.T.V.s are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the Xenosaga universe. Nigredo is the black rider, "Famine."


  • "No! I'm abandoning my mission! I WON'T FOLLOW YOUR ORDERS ANY MORE!" (killing Dmitri Yuriev)
  • "Don't go shooting that thing all over the place. Remember, you're older than I am. Try to act like it once in a while, all right?" (to Jr. about his guns)
  • "Where am I? What? G-get away! Stop! Stay back! Stop! Stop it! Stop it! Don't touch me! Stop it! Don't talk to me! I refuse to acknowledge you! Stop talking to me! Stop it! I won't do what you want! I-I... U...U-DO."
  • "Rubedo. That is your true form. You see, I was created to observe the two of you. The only reason why I existed was to kill you. I tried to abandon that duty, but that would have meant that I was denying my own existence. I... I was afraid of being separated from the two of you. Albedo knew from the beginning, that I was nothing more than a danger to you."


  • Gaignun has the ability to hypnotize people with the power of suggestion. When he does, his eyes light up. One of his aliases is "Executioner". All of these are qualities Myyah Hawwa from Xenogears possesses, and Gaignun's powers are likely a reference or inspiration to her. Another similarity between them is Gaignun being a vessel/body host for his father, much like how the bodies of women are vessels for Myyah by possessing their consciousnesses.


Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht Edit

Xenosaga: The Animation Edit

Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse Edit

Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra Edit