The protagonist of the first game, Caim is a soldier of the Union and was originally the next in line for becoming King of Caerleon before his parents were murdered by a dragon, now motivated primarily by his love for his sister Furiae and a need for revenge. After suffering a grievous wound in battle, he stumbled across a similarly wounded Angelus, and forged a pact in order to preserve both their lives. The superhuman abilities and new flying mount were a pleasant bonus. Together with Angelus and his other frien...er, travelling companions, they set out to the defeat The Empire.In Drakengard 2, he becomes one of the main antagonists and is devoted to freeing Angelus from being the seal she became in the first game. Despite the eighteen year difference between games, he's still as strong, if not stronger, and just as murderous.
Badass: More or less single-handedly felled The Empire, destroyed entire armies, and depending on the ending killed at least two different Eldritch Abominations, the king of all dragons, and his own dragon.
The sequel makes him out as the most feared man on the planet, and for good reason. He outclasses the new protagonist, and manages to kill the The Grim Reaper.
Look at it this way: In the second game, Caim's pact with Angelus is still active, meaning if one dies, the other will too. It was easier to kill the dragon than it would be to kill Caim.
BFS: He can acquire several, but Hymir's Finger in particular stands out.
Blood Knight: He only smiles when he's about to, is in the process of, and the aftermath of killing.
Brother-Sister Incest: A big part of the planned prequel manga would have been that Caim did indeed want to tap that, and was likely a reason for its cancellation. You can still see hints of it in artwork where he's blushing over Furiae. In the actual game, however, Caim seems disgusted by Furiae's affections for him, and in the Drakengard 3/Drakengard 1 interm manga, he seems completely oblivious to how Furiae actually felt.
This trope actually happens to Caim himself. As a child, he witnessed an Imperial black dragon, AKA Legna, killing his parents. This may go some way towards explaining hisbehavior.
Hates Everyone Equally: Caim doesn't really discriminate. If you stand in his way, he will gleefully kill you.
Heroic Mime: He gave up his voice as part of the pact with Angelus. Though calling him "heroic" is kinda stretching it...
Hidden Depths: It's possible that him not crying for his sister is justified, as her being the Goddess Seal is a huge source of the problems that have plagued them both. His tears for Angelus could be because he realizes she's taking up that same burden, even though Angelus says that she's "stronger than a human."
The Juggernaut: Caim slaughters his way through entire armies, and that's without Angelus. The only things that can stop him are the Eldritch Abominations in the different endings.
In the second game, you're on the receiving end of his sword. Let's just say that getting in his way isn't a very good idea...
Kick the Dog: He kicks Verdelet in the face once for practically no reason (although it isVerdelet). Oh, and that dying elf who tried to appeal to him for help. He kicked her in the face too. And then he kicked Leonard... And Seere... And then there were those child soldiers he mercilessly crushed... And all those other people he mercilessly crushed...
Two instances in Drakengard 2: a) It is mentioned early that Caim killed General Oror, Nowe's surrogate human father and Gismor's balance on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism; b) Later on, Caim kills Ensemble Darkhorse Urick in order to break the seal, although the latter case also means that Nowe doesn't have to do it, since both of them technically wanted the latter to happen but Nowe can't make himself do it.
Kick Them While They Are Down: At the end of the third map, Caim catches up to an imperial trooper trying to kill his sister Furiae. After killing the man, he spends the remaining cutscene (while Furiae and Inuart angst — er, talk) stabbing the man's dead body over and over and over until the cutscene ends.
His name is based on that of a demon from the Ars Goetia.
In Welsh, Caim means "protector".
Mercy Kill: Asks Legna to kill Angelus in Drakengard 2 because she's gone insane.
One-Man Army: The first game has him cutting through dozens of soldiers, and that's before he gets the pact; afterwards, he pretty much slaughters entire armies.
The second game pushes this Up to Eleven, he by himself made the entire world his enemy, and he's doing it very smoothly! Not even the next protagonist, Nowe, can stop him. How bad is it? Killing his fire-breathing, flying dragon partner was seen as the easier alternative than engaging Caim himself.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: This is the key aspect of his character. His parents (including his mom, who was most likely the previous goddess seal) were killed by Legna when he was just a kid. Both he and his sister were denied their lives, and so he has a burning hatred of anybody who sides with the empire.
And then in the sequel, he goes right back to rampagin', this time against the Union for torturing Angelus.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: As revealed during the backstory of NieR, Caim's father was a king and he's technically a landless prince. This is the big part of why he hates the Empire so much, and it makes his sister a princess on top of everything else.
Sociopathic Hero: In any 'standard' RPG, Caim would be that 'needlessly sadistic' Blood Knight or bandit mid-boss who, even though he's technically fighting your enemy too, the noble protagonist kills because he's a bloodthirsty maniac. Here, he is the protagonist. The above, incidentally, is exactly the role he fills in the sequel.
Shoot the Dog: He's forced to do this in Ending 2 as Furiae becomes a horrible world-ending monster and Ending 3 when his pact is broken and he has to fight Angelus.
A red dragon who holds a rather disdainful opinion of humanity. Seeing the situation she was in at the beginning of the game and not to mention the sequel... perhaps she can be forgiven her views. After agreeing to a pact with Caim, she becomes his mount, his (rather ineffectual) voice of reason, and over time, the closest of his companions, to the extent where Caim sheds tears when they part in the first game's canonical ending.
Shoo the Dog: Does this to herself to protect Caim in ending 1.
Tsundere: Starts out as being cold and hateful to humans, and often insults them. By the end of the game, she has warmed up significantly to Caim, and truly cares for him.
What the Hell, Hero?: Despite disliking humans, Angelus asks Caim if he really has to kill that many.
A bard who was initially Furiae's betrothed until her ascension to becoming the Goddess robbed them of their chances at wedding each other. Nevertheless, he remained close to Furiae and Caim... although a strong undercurrent of jealousy remained towards Caim's exploits, as well as Furiae's deep (perhaps too deep) affection for her brother — one that the villains wasted no time in exploiting.
Note that the 'evil' part is pretty much just because he joins the villains. Given he does not regularly engage in child murder, genocide, or gleefully slaughtering people for the heck of it and has a noble (if misguided) goal, 'evil' is sort of a relative term here...
A young maiden chosen to be the 'Goddess', a title for a person bearing a Seal that supposedly prevents The End of the World as We Know It from occurring. A rather colourless individual, the strongest facet of her personality is also a rather unpleasant one... She's in love with her brother.
Barrier Maiden: She's the Goddess — if she dies, disaster ensues! Artwork of Barrier Maiden Eris from the second game features an unknown woman, who some suspect is Furiae and Caim's mother.
One of the few survivors of the Empire's attack on the Forest Seal and elven purge. After enduring such horrific circumstances, her mind... broke. In exchange for her womb, she entered into a pact with the spirits of ice and fire, Undine and Salamander.
As the Union Hierarch, Verdelet is responsible for maintaining the goddess seal, down to replacing her if necessary.
Cursed with Awesome/Blessed with Suck: The only thing Verdelet sacrificed is his hair, which is rather light compared to others. However, his dragon pact partner has since become petrified, leaving him with just his not-quite-telepathy.
Killed Off for Real: Caim killed him sometime before Drakengard 2 for strengthening the seal on Angelus and thus intensifying her suffering.
The Load: Aside from his constant whining, he really doesn't do much in the overall story and the one time he tries doing something, it only made things worse.
Mr. Exposition: His only purpose in the game is to remind Caim how doomed the world is.
Leonard's pact partner, introduced after his failed suicide attempt. She tried to have him take another go at it, before deciding that forging a pact with him would be more amusing. This sets the tone for their relationship.
Moral Myopia: Accuses Leonard of being a coward who can't even kill himself right (and may very well be correct... at least at that point in the story). Then, when Leonard does his Heroic Sacrifice against the Grotesqueries, the faerie turns out to be an even greater coward who would be cool with the world ending if only she was allowed to survive.
Disproportionate Retribution: He remains convinced that his sister is not too far gone and that he can still redeem her... up until she slaps him in the face. Once. At which point he orders Golem to squash her like a grape.
High Priestess of the Cult of Watchers and apparent leader of the Empire via mind control, Manah started her life as a simple, unassuming child. Unfortunately, her mother hated her for some reason, to the extent that Manah viewed death as a preferable alternative. When the Watchers approached the unhappy and insecure six-year old with promises of eternal love and happiness if she accepted them, they found a willing vessel.In the first ending, she asks to be killed, but is refused — her punishment as decreed by Angelus and enforced by Caim is to wander the world and to witness the consequences of her rash decision with her own eyes. Likely a very large reason that she becomes The Atoner in Drakengard 2.
The Power of Love: Granted, it's the love of warped and twisted horrors from beyond who seek to devour all life, but Manah seems happy with it — or maybe she just enjoys controlling the minds of her thousands of minions. In one of the first game's memorably creepy scenes, she shares this little tidbit:
Silence! You cannot kill me. I am loved! Loved by them. More than anyone else. See? Humans still don't know what they really need. Stupid! They're all stupid! Salvation lies before them, but stupid people won't be loved. Lalalalala, lalalalala... Those who aren't loved, die!
Now is the time to feel the love of the gods! A deep love. A great love. A love powerful and formidable. A love that crushes like a mace. Lalala-la-la!
A black dragon that appears throughout the series. He is both the dragon responsible for Caim and Furiae's parents' deaths, as well as the dragon Inuart rode in the first game. By the second game, he becomes a mentor and caretaker to Nowe.Fatal Crimson reveals that he also has some past with Male One.
All There in the Manual: It's directly stated in the Memory of Blood supplement that Legna is both the dragon that killed Caim and Furiae's parents, and the dragon Inuart rode in the first game.
Our Angels Are Different: In the original Japanese, they were called Angels instead of Watchers. In actual appearance, they appear as twisted versions of cherubs; namely, gigantic babies made of marble and wings made of lightning.
The main protagonist in the second game, Nowe is unique in that he is able to use a Dragon, Legna, without a pact with him. Having been raised by Legna, he was taken in by the Knights of the Seal by General Oror so that he could learn how to be human. Nowe fights using a large sword and a smaller sword.
All of the Other Reindeer: Isn't liked by any of his fellow knights except Eris due to presumed nepotism from Hierarch Seere and the late General Oror.
Idiot Hero: Played with. He's not actually stupid, but he was raised by a dragon, so he's not truly aware of the world he lives in. General Oror took him in to fix that issue, but since he was killed by Caim, it's likely he didn't get far.
Locked Out of the Loop: Virtaually EVERYONE in this world locks him out of it, since he is only able to believe certain people. This bites him hard when he follows Manah and Ulrick's decisions to destroy the seals, despite now knowing it was better off leaving them be.
Naïve Newcomer: Is recently knighted as a Knight of the Seal in the opening, and seems to be woefully unaware of just what being a Knight of the Seal actually entailed.
Offscreen Break Up: In the short story about the Drakengard 2 characters written for the collector's edition of Drakengard 3, Nowe and Manah ended up parting ways out of guilt due to their actions nearly destroying the world. However, this only seems to apply to Ending A.
Heroic Sacrifice: Becomes the new seal in the first ending, albeit without the agony that Angelus went through.
However, in the short story written for Drakengard 3 that takes place after Ending A, Eris is not only still suffering the pain that comes from carrying the seal, but has roughly three years left to live by the time of the story.
Holy Hand Grenade: Her magic and weapon are aligned with the Holy element, and as such she is the only character who can effectively kill undead enemies.