|“|| You're right! I am a weapon! Every cell in my body is aching for a fight!
Gaignun Kukai Jr., simply called Jr. (Junior) and originally named Rubedo, also callled Number 666, is a director of the Kukai Foundation, an organization based on Second Miltia. Jr. is a major playable character in the Xenosaga series.
He appears to be a child, and is thought by the public to be the adopted son of his fellow director, Gaignun Kukai (thus his alias, Gaignun Kukai Jr.). However, he is actually Gaignun's older brother.
Jr. is a U.R.T.V., the same as Gaignun and Albedo Piazzolla. However, that fact is not being divulged to the public. The frenzy of the U.R.T.V.s during the Miltian Conflict on Miltia 14 years ago has instilled in the heart of every person a distrust, a fear towards the U.R.T.V.s themselves. It is a past that is difficult to wipe clean. Therefore, Jr. changed his name and had to conceal his origins. Also being within the group called the Kukai Foundation which was established for mutants and by the hand of mutants who are the victims of the Life Recycling Act, he must conceal his true nature. The Miltian Conflict was something that impacts society even up to that degree.
While Jr. looks like a child, and can act rashly, he is also capable of making tough decisions and cutting observations. He also uses a lot of profanity.
Since he resembles a boy, someone may view Jr. as a "simple" character. However, the truth is far from this is. Jr. is actually quite complex and has emotional baggage. Jr. suffers from emotional trauma and guilt for abandoning Albedo Piazzolla and the U.R.T.V.s during the Miltian Conflict, leaving hundreds of them to die. The U.R.T.V.s were Jr.'s brothers and Jr. was the leader responsible for their safety and protection. Because of the emotional pain, Jr. halted his growth. Jr. dislikes being called Rubedo because it brings back painful memories for him. He also has the stigma of being a U.R.T.V. and doesn't want to be thought of as a "monster", as the U.R.T.V.s assaulted Miltians civilizations during the Miltian Conflict. Finally, Shelley in Episode I speculates Jr.'s "lust for conquest and absolute power and the desire to have a really big gun" is probably a result of Jr.'s probable complex about his height.
According to Enneagram personality classification, Jr., in his connection to people, is classified with a type-8 characteristic (brave, greatly self-confident, coercive, confrontational). This is the same type as Albedo, Gaignun, Luis Virgil and Margulis. By improving everything through self-power, possessing courage, and with a strength of will appealing to his surroundings, a type-8 is a personality that can take up leadership. Because he takes command of the Durandal, always stands at the front line of battle, and also because of an attitude that seems to rise above hardship, he is proven to be of this type. Behaving egocentrically and holding influential power over his surroundings, in time he overwhelms other people.
When in a healthy state, there is no existence that becomes more reliable than him. Contrary to his bodily youth, he was supported by a sturdy mental power and an unwavering self-confidence because he demonstrates constructive leadership ability.
However, being exposed to great stress, when his disposition appears to be at an unhealthy state, people around him begin to catch a glimpse of the figure of a tyrant there. It is due to the aggression that is within his own nature becoming prominent.
A type-8 has the tendency to try to rule over his circumstances. When healthy, this is ground in positive thought, and what materializes is leadership in order to improve his circumstances. However, when unhealthy, in order to conquer absolutely everything, what materializes is aggressive conduct.
Because of Jr.'s speech and conduct regarding the Kukai Foundation, it can be inferred that he is in a healthy state. However, as for Jr.'s speech and conduct at the time of the vicarious experience of the Miltian Conflict of 14 years ago through the Encephalon, and at the time of contact with Albedo, it is distinctly indicating an unhealthy state.
Showing both physical and mental bravery, the figure of a heroic Jr., who runs head-on into danger for the sake of something he believes, is not entirely seen as being in an unhealthy state. For the sake of protecting himself, he is extremely aggressive and is driven by a destructive impulse.
At the time of the Encephalon dive, Jr.'s attitude towards MOMO who worries and Ziggy who tries to grasp the situation, is aggressive yet dominant, and it brandishes his surroundings according to selfish behavior. Also, when he tried to release power due to Albedo's provocation, a merciless, savage aggression appeared as if a binding had been disconnected.
In this way, Jr. is in an unstable state, wavering between healthiness and unhealthiness. This is considered to be something that was caused by the Miltian Conflict of 14 years ago.
Because of his hobbies Jr. is a master of gunplay, especially with pistols and enjoys fighting akimbo. At the beginning of Xenosaga Episode I, Jr. carries a pair of Rook Company pistols. However later, and in Episode II he wields two antique Makarov pistols, which are mistranslated as "Makalov" in the English version likely due to the lack of the "r" in Japanese. The Pistolet Makarov was originally a soviet built pistol, taken from designs acquired from the Third Reich at the end of World War II. The Makarov is a 9x18mm caliber. The background story is that this gun, which Gaignun acquired at a "Lion's Heart" auction, was made by the former Soviet Union as a gift to a foreign VIP. Gaignun, however, didn't know that Jr. had already purchased a SPP-1 at another auction.
Jr.'s weapon of choice is an old-style gun. In the practical modern era of laser weapons, it is an old-fashioned weapon that would normally be exhibited in a museum. In the U-TIC Organization, too, guns of the type that use gunpowder are being provided, and there is the opinion regarding the practicality of old-fashioned weapons.
Whether it's a gunpowder-system or not doesn't matter; it must be called a "firing system", for Jr. prefers a weapon that shoots the aggressive power from his skill towards the target. It is neither bodily contact nor a shredding-like attack; it is a preference for the image that channels aggressive power.
It was Jr.'s imagination that controlled the firing of the heavily armed warship Durandal's main battery. Also, the old-style gun, too, is fired according to Jr.'s imagination, and exhibits aggressive power that far exceeds a bullet that is physically shot. This is considered to bolster the image of Jr.'s own aggressive ability which is given to his opponents by the use of a "firing system" weapon. In other words, direct damage is given by Jr.'s released aggressive surge, but in order to channel that surge into an opponent, a gun-like impetus (proxy tool) is essential.
For the sake of promoting imagination by means of a tool, it is necessary to make use of preferred tools. The more he is engaged by making use of a tool that he finds deeply interesting, compared to having used a tool that didn't suit his feelings, the image he promotes will not come to the point of being questioned. Precisely because of this, Jr. transforms that aggressive power by using a tool only as a substitute. Also because of this such thing, it is possible to infer the intimate connection between his imagination and the tool.
Rubedo was a survivor of the U.R.T.V. (U-DO Retro Virus) unit created by the scientist Dmitri 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, Albedo Piazzolla, attached to him through the heart. Albedo's heart was attached to Rubedo's back until the 28th week. This problem that was remedied when they were separated, though Rubedo could still sense Albedo's heartbeat. Albedo defended Jr. from the bullying of the non-variant U.R.T.V.s, as they considered Rubedo a "monster" for being different. Albedo was horrified when he learned Jr. could die.
He is the strongest U.R.T.V., vessel to a power none of the others possess, including the other variants, and reputed to have the one perfect anti-U-DO wavelength, and was therefore made their leader. 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 he himself has become much stronger. A bit of both but more the former. Rubedo, while his formerly conjoined twin brother was called Albedo, U.R.T.V. #667. The last brother was Nigredo, who later became known as Gaignun Kukai.
Juli Mizrahi requested Rubedo to dive into her daughter Sakura's subconscious domain and clear the U.M.N. and U-DO pulses that seemed to resonate within her mind. The boys made a mistake with their coordinates and ended up materializing in her closet. After breaking down the closet door because Albedo became frightened of the dark, the three stumbled into her bedroom and woke Sakura, a projection of inner self that could respond to them and talk.
When Rubedo tried to push his brothers back into the closet so they could leave and reenter her consciousness correctly, she spoke, surprising the trio and herself as they could hear her voice, and began to cry of joy. She and the boys talked for a short while, and she told Rubedo to tell her mother, who could not dive into her daughter's consciousness, that she loved her, and the boys left. It was during these tests that Sakura met Rubedo and fell in love with him. Sakura is one of Rubedo's deepest personal connections. Rubedo promised Sakura that he would take care of MOMO for her. Rubedo also learned to play the harmonica so he could play music with Sakura's piano lessons.
Militan Conflict Edit
During the Miltian Conflict on Miltia, Rubedo and the other U.R.T.V.s fought against U-DO before the planet's disappearance into the void. As leader of the U.R.T.V.s, Rubedo 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 hellish vision of the Miltian planet being destroyed and obliterated 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
"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.
Jr. halted his body's growth as a result of the trauma, an ability he had due to being a U.R.T.V., becoming a "Peter Pan". By the time of Episode I, Jr. is a 26-year-old man in a 12-year-old boy's body. Unfortunately, it seems Jr. can't reverse this ability.
Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht Edit
Jr. is first seen investigating the disappearance of planet Ariadne but finds nothing. Later, Jr. investigates the abandoned Woglinde for any signs of the Zohar Emulator. There, Jr. is attacked by the U-TIC Organization. After finding no signs of the Emulator, Jr. returns to the Durandal where a battle commences with U-TIC. Jr. and Mary Godwin infilitrate the U-TIC battleship and escape with a significant amount of U-TIC information.
The Elsa and the party are rescued by Jr. and the Durandal, which was passing by in search for the Emulator. Jr. meets chaos, Allen Ridgeley, Shion Uzuki, MOMO Mizrahi, Ziggy and KOS-MOS. Jr. apprehends the Zohar Emulator from the destroyed Cathedral Ship and explains that he now has the twelve Emulators created by scientist Joachim Mizrahi (MOMO's creator). However, Emulators are only contain a fraction of the power that is housed by the Original Zohar, trapped on Old Miltia.
Jr. takes them back to the Kukai Foundation, where the party is introduced to Jr.'s fellow U.R.T.V. unit, Gaignun Kukai. Eventually, the Galaxy Federation places charges on the Kukai Foundation for the destruction of the Woglinde, due to some manipulation by U-TIC officials and insiders. In order to prove innocence, Shion Uzuki leads a dive into the Encephalon to find KOS-MOS' black box, which will prove that the Gnosis were responsible.
In the Encephalon, the party relives childhood memories, including Jr.'s memories of the Miltian Conflict. In one memory, Jr. witnesses Albedo's mental instability after contacting U-DO. Jr.'s trauma and guilt manifests as a monster known as Tiamat which is also shared with Shion's trauma, and is defeated. Shion is encountered by Febronia, who explains that a time will come where KOS-MOS will encounter the wave existence U-DO, and in the near future, Shion will free her "sisters". Febronia also states that all factions involved must travel to Old Miltia.
When Jr. encounters Albedo on the Song of Nephilim, Albedo obtains the Y-Data. Once Jr. and the group defeat Albedo, however, Albedo gets out of the E.S. Simeon and shoots a blue aura at Jr., who retaliates with a red one. Their fight is interrupted by Luis Virgil, the Blue Testament. Virgil insists that Albedo get his job done, and stop playing around with Jr.'s group. Albedo leaves the Song of Nephilim in his E.S. Simeon while Virgil fights Jr.'s group.
On the Proto Merkabah, Albedo gets Jr. to admit his guilt for abandoning the U.R.T.V.s during the Miltian Conflict. Albedo reminds Jr. of what he did to his comrades during the conflict when he 'broke the link', showing a brief scene of Jr. holding his head with an aura around him that sends the standard U.R.T.V. units flying. This differs from the events stated in Episode II but it was most likely due to the change in story writer. He fights Jr. and the others personally, but he is defeated after a battle. He reveals to the group his motive: To make Jr. pay for abandoning him and the other U.R.T.V.s fourteen years ago.
Albedo then reveals Sophie Peithos, a fusion of Proto Merkabah's core and the Gnosis absorbed by the space station. Albedo leaves Jr. to fight this massive beast, and returns to his E.S. Simeon in space. He watches from afar as the space colony plunges toward Second Miltia on a crash course, due to Sophie Peithos' defeat. He watches as the group escapes on the Elsa, and Proto Merkabah self-destructs.
Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse Edit
On Second Miltia, on the way to Juli Mizrahi to return MOMO Mizrahi, Jr., MOMO, Ziggy, and chaos are chased by U-TIC operatives wishing to capture MOMO once again. However, the attacks are thwarted.
Eventually, both Jr. and Shion's parties are reunited during MOMO's analysis of the Y-Data via the U.M.N. During the analysis, Albedo gains control and dives into MOMO's subconscious via the Encephalon. The party follows.
Jr. experiences the history behind the U.R.T.V. units at the Yuriev Institute, which include him, Albedo, Gaignun Kukai, and Citrine, as well as his relationship with Sakura Mizrahi. However, the party is too late; Albedo manages to unlock the safeguard on the Y-Data and open up Old Miltia.
Jr. pilots E.S. Asher with chaos as co-pilot.
On the Durandal, Jr. receives a video chat with his father. Yuriev reveals that Albedo is going to attempt to contact U-DO again, and orders Jr. to prevent this from occurring by "eliminating the target". Jr. claims that he will make Albedo pay, but not by killing him. Yuriev seems satisfied with this answer and awaits Jr.'s results.
Eventually, Shion and her allies enter the Omega System and confront the Patriarch Sergius XVII, who is also confronted by a dying Albedo. The Testaments defeat the Patriarch and revive Albedo so that he can morph Miltian space into a space-time anomaly.
Jr. enters this anomaly, hoping to put a stop to Albedo's madness. Albedo manipulates the anomaly to taunt Jr., showing him revised memories to make Jr. hate him. Albedo constantly dared Jr. to kill him because wanted to die. He claimed that Jr. was the only one who could kill him. Despite Sakura's sacrificing herself to save him, Albedo told Jr. that he killed Sakura, hoping he would become angry enough to kill him, but his false claim was dismissed. Just before Jr. almost unleashes Red Dragon mode, "Sakura" appears and comforts him, preventing his power from being unleashed.
Jr. finally reaches Albedo and enters Red Dragon Mode, a powerful ability that only Jr. possesses. Albedo tells Jr. of his plans, to shove the entire universe into a higher-order domain, where everyone will be fused into one perfect existence. Albedo provokes Jr. into a fight, during which Albedo taunts Jr. mercilessly in an effort to get Jr. to land a killing blow. Jr. happily obliges and defeats his brother.
As the space-time anomaly crumbles, Albedo warns Jr. to beware Gaignun's shadow. Although Albedo, fused with U-DO, could have simply annihilated himself, he specifically chose Jr. to use the Red Dragon Mode to destroy him. Jr. becomes confused and upset. However, an incarnation of Sakura appears and comforts him, but her image is quickly replaced by chaos. It is possible that this incarnation of Sakura was an illusion created by chaos to assist Jr.
Back on the Durandal, Jr. reunites with a relieved and happy MOMO. Jr. reveals to Mary that he adopted a new albino dog named Alby.
Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra Edit
Jr. continues to work with Jin Uzuki and some of the gang behind the scenes to investigate Ormus.
A huge mysterious asteroid/landmass appeared in space. Jr. together with MOMO and the Elsa departs to investigate it. Like in Episode II, Jr. also pilots E.S. Asher with chaos as co-pilot. When they arrived at the area, they were attacked by Margulis in his E.S. Levi. During the battle, the Elsa was damaged and crash-landed on the asteroid, which Margulis refers to as Rennes-le-Château. At this moment, a hypersphere of energy erupted from the landmass. Jr. and gang barely managed to escape to the Durandal. The hypersphere wraps around the landmass, trapping the Elsa in it.
Jr. supports Shion and the group during their time in "Old Miltia".
In the Merkabah, Jr. has a conversation with Sellers, and Sellers reveals that Gaignun/Nigredo is the vessel for Dmitri Yuriev, that Citrine's and Nigredo's roles were to destroy Rubedo, and that Yuriev's forces are infiltrating the Durandal for the Zohar Emulators.
Eventually, Dmitri Yuriev takes over Gaignun Kukai. Dmitri and the Federation forces attacked and boarded the Durandal. All the crew were killed except for Mary Godwin and Shelley Godwin, who both held the Arbiter code that seals off the Zohar emulators on board the Durandal. The team returned to the Durandal but was too late to stop Yuriev, who succeed in activating the Zohar emulators. The team were also forced to kill Citrine, much to Jr.'s despair. The team just about managed to escape from the Durandal before it was rammed into Abel's Ark, transforming the Ark.
Determined to stop his father, Jr. led the team into the Ark and defeated Yuriev. At the final moment, the White Testament appeared and revealed himself as Albedo. Albedo draws out the Zohar and Abel and sent them away. Together with Jr., they linked up to try to absorb Gaignun (Nigredo)'s will into Jr.'s mind to save him. However, sensing Albedo's wish (that is to kill Nigredo, who was created to kill the Red Dragon, Rubedo aka Jr.), Nigredo forced himself into Albedo's body and transferred Albedo's mind into Jr. Nigredo sacrificed himself and perished together with Dmitri Yuriev. Albedo finally fulfill his wish of psychically linking with Jr. and disappeared into Jr.'s consciousness. Just before Albedo disappeared, he informed Jr. that the Zohar and Abel was sent to the planet Michtam. The team left for Michtam in the Elsa, in which its space was currently engulfed in a fierce battle by the Ormus fleet and the Gnosis.
At the end of the game, Jr. is opposed to Kevin Winnicot's and Wilhelm's plan of Eternal Recurrence. After stopping Zarathustra, Jr., Shion and Allen, together with the Elsa, set off to look for Lost Jerusalem, the lost homeland of humanity.
Etymology and influencesEdit
In alchemy and the magnum opus, the four key processes are named Rubeus (red), Negreus (black), Albeus (white), and Citrineus (yellow) or heating, blackening, reducing to ash, and washing. Rubedo, Negredo, Albiedo, and Citrine are noun forms of those verbs.
The name "Rubedo" refers to the philosophic beliefs of Carl Jung (taken from alchemical texts), 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 who has achieved wholeness.
Jr.'s new name after the Miltian Conflict switched from Rubedo to Gaignun Kukai. Gaignun shares his name with the horse of 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 their aliases.
Kukai is also the name of a famous Japanese Buddhist monk; Buddhist undertones can also be seen in Xenosaga.
666 is the number of the Beast (also called the Anti-Christ), a seven-headed emissary of the Devil in the Book of Revelation and alongside his power of the Red Dragon Jr. is set up as a demonic character superficially but lacks any such personality traits, as Jr. is not evil or malevolent. However, the comparison to the anti-christ is fitting considering he was designed to produce the anti-wave of U-DO, which is "god" in the Xenosaga universe.
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. Rubedo is the red rider, "War".
Tech Attacks Edit
- Jr. learns Soul Rhapsody after defeating the hidden boss Great Joe.
- For every five Gnosis that Jr. defeats with Soul Rhapsody, Buster Joe and Magnum Joe increase in power.
- Buster Joe and Magnum Joe are Jr.'s Ether Attacks.
- "Well, guess I'm gonna get some exercise after all!"
- "I got no time for wusses like you!"
- "Heh, this is gonna be fun..."
- "There's no turning back! Let's do it!"
- "That was too easy!"
- "Alright! Let's call it a day!"
- "Sayonara, baby."
- "Dang... that was embarrassing...!"
- "Ugh... not good...!"
- "*Phew* Thought I was a goner..."
- "Take this!"
- "Ether Drive!"
- "Watch this! I'm gonna take 'em out, right now!"
- "It's not their fault they were born that way."
- "You idiot! Don't you ever pull anything like that again! If you die, you can't come back to life!" (punching Albedo after Albedo shoots his head)
- "Read some books, Mary. It's good for you!"
- "Look! It's got a good luck phrase on it! Sayonara Baby!" (giving MOMO a bullet bracelet charm)
- "You're really something, you know that? You think you're such a hardened soldier compared to me. Tell me then... how can I become cold and detached like you? The day numbers and battle strategies replace people... it'll be game over, cyborg." (to Ziggy)
- "Don't mock us, you bastard!" (to Albedo)
- "I'll take a clean shot. I'll make sure she doesn't suffer." (to MOMO about euthanizing Kirsch in the anime)
- "I already told you! I'm Gaignun Jr. now! Get that through your thick head!" (to Canaan)
- "Nah, nah, it's just... I don't have a lot of good memories of that name. Names tend to link themselves to memories, both good and bad." (after MOMO asks if she can call him Rubedo)
- "Huh? You're praying? Your chest? You're playing the drums? Man, I give up! What are you trying to say, Shion?" (Shion does charades)
- "I should have known. You know, pretending to be cold and emotionless is only going to end up hurting you in the end." (to Juli about MOMO)
- "Even our hearts might be nothing more than playthings created by God. I can't watch. I'm scared. I'm a... coward."
- "We didn't understand... there was no way we could have understood... We couldn't know what it was like to have a body that wouldn't die." (regarding Albedo's suffering)
- "You damn bitch!" (to Orgulla)
- "Stop it! This is not what you were born to do!" (to Albedo)
- "I'll atone for my past mistakes. But I will not do it by killing Albedo... Instead, I'll make him stop this insanity!"
- "I am... me... I won't... give in to it."
- "You're right! I am a weapon! Every cell in my body is aching for a fight!"
- "Yeah. It was fun. My blood danced in my veins. We really are nothing more than instruments of war."
- "Sakura, you're right! I promised I'd protect your sister... didn't I? I couldn't protect my younger brother. But there are still people I care about who I can protect."
- "Who the hell do you think you are?! You've got no right to come here and open up her wounds. And you're saying it's all for her benefit? It sure as hell is my concern!" (defending Shion from Kevin)
- "Citrine, stop this! I don't want to lose anyone else!"
- "To keep my promise. Yes. The reason I exist is to keep the promise I made."
- "You filthy bastard! Give back Gaignun's body and get the hell out of here!" (to Dmitri Yuriev)
- "Go to Hell! I'm gonna rescue Gaignun! You won't get away with this!"
- "Like hell, I will! Look, Shion, if that's what you're gonna do, I'm not holding back! I'm bringing you with us even if I have to beat you up!"
- Jr. and his gunplay was likely inspired by Billy Lee Black in Xenogears.
- As stated by Soraya Saga, Jr. was supposed to be physically mature in Episode II before the final version of the script was produced.
- The in-game database for Episode I states Jr. was born 4740, whereas the timeline that came with the Episode III guide states he was born 4741.
- Keeping in line with the 666 symbolism, in Episode III, Citrine has an attack called "Seal of 666" which will reduce everyone's HP to 666. She will then use a skill called "Red Dragon Killer" which hits everyone for 666.