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So Kane pretty much drives the Tiberian universe and is an enigmatic leader who keeps coming back no matter what. When Tiberian Twilight was announced, they said they would resolve Kane's story and finally explain who and what he really was. By the end of the game, you still have no answers and actually have a few more questions.

As far as I can tell, Kane seems to be an alien, but different from the Scrin. He has lived for hundreds of years and is alluded to having started the whole Cain and Abel story in the Bible, so potentially there was another alien with Kane when he ended up on earth.

What we know (Tiberian universe-related; Red Alert is probably not canon for Tiberian Kane):

  • Kane was helping humanity develop (and tries to develop them into cyborgs on occasion).
  • Kane knew about Tiberium before it landed, and knew how to chemically work with it before anyone else gave him a massive share of the world economy.
  • The Tacitus warns of the Scrin, meaning this is another alien race. Kane is likely an alien of this race, possibly exiled or stranded.
  • Kane is unnatrually resilient, much more than the Scrin. The Canon version of the first game is that Kane gets almost directly hit by the Ion Canon and somehow survives. He also gets stabbed through and shot.
  • Kane from after Tiberian Firestorm might actually be Cabal, who is seen changing its voice and appearance on screen to Kane's while a Kane in a vat (a clone or the surviving real one) is in the foreground. The alternative is that Kane uploaded himself prior to getting hit by the Ion canon and used Cabal's form. Or, as is assumed by the wiki, Cabal is just an AI who managed to save Kane.

More info: https://cnc.fandom.com/wiki/Kane

So what is he? Where does he come from? What's his real story?

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  • CABAL literally stands for "Computer Assisted Biologically Augmented Lifeform". It is not really an "AI"; it uses the brains of these tube people you see at the end of Firestorm as processing power. There are no clones there. The Kane that gets added is definitely the real one as can easily be seen from the mask and damage to his face, inflicted by the ion cannon at the end of C&C1.
    – Nyerguds
    Apr 28, 2021 at 8:08

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While there has never been a concrete answer given by Westwood devs, there is an extremely high likelihood that Kane is based on Isaac Asimov's story Does a Bee Care. The story TL;DR is that an alien egg is deposited and Earth, and to mature into its adult form it must leave Earth, and to do so it needs humanity to ascend to space-fairing.

This does not preclude Kane from being the biblical Cain. It could be that the story of Cain was an event that happened, but unbeknownst to Moses, the Cain that slew Abel was actually the alien, Kane.

This would mirror a plot idea of The Man From Earth — which had a very similar episode in Star Trek written by the same person in 1969. The trope of "all these stories from the bible were true, but it was an [immortal human | alien] and the events are misinterpreted" is very common in sci-fi, so it's likely the Westwood devs meant for Kane to be both an alien, and the biblical Cain.

While the Westwood and EA devs never confirmed — in-universe — that Kane was Cain, C&C 3: Tiberium Wars did basically confirm that Kane was inspired by Does a Bee Care?.

During the Scrin campaign, the Overlord says the following in a pre-mission cinematic

This Being already exists in the data core! Genetic derivations unknown. Overlord will want more investigation

This confirms Kane's non-human origin. It also confirms that Kane, or his species, is very, very old, because the Scrin Harvesting force has, according to the All Units Functional intel item, been in stasis for 9,210 cycles plus another 1,959 cycles for their travel. If we assume a cycle is even remotely close to a human year, and that they got their last data core update before leaving, then that means Kane is around 12,000 years old. The Scrin didn't appear to have prior intel on humans until waking from stasis, so Kane being in the datacore all but directly confirms his non-human origins.

Given that Kane is very old, an alien, wants humanity to ascend, and wants Scrin FTL technology in C&C 3, it is highly likely that Kane is the alien from Does a Bee Care?.

It is also highly likely that the writers meant for Kane to be Cain as well, given Joeseph Kucan's answer in an interview.

Q: How did you come to place the Brotherhood of Nod in the game and how did you become Brotherhood's charismatic leader instead of being a GDI officer?

A: "The Brotherhood of Nod" was an invention of original C&C; designer Eydie Laramore. She and I spent hours discussing biblical metaphor and imagined backstory. I was originally meant to play General Sheppard, but I couldn't say "Good job with the beach-head" with a straight face.

It is eternally depressing that we never got an answer in C&C 4.

TL;DR Summary: The evidence points to Kane being an alien, and also Cain.

Edit: More hints of Kane being Cain can be found in the final mission of C&C Renegade. The Nod temple has a painting that appears to be Cain slaying Abel, and a sarcophagus that many speculate is Abel's burial site

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