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I've always been there, Cole. Every step of your life.
~ Kessler, during his final battle with Cole.
Trish, I love you....Please forgive me....
~ Kessler's last words upon his defeat.

Cole MacGrath, also known as Kessler is the main antagonist of the inFamous video game franchise, serving as the main antagonist of inFamous, the posthumous overarching antagonist of inFamous 2, and one of the two posthumous overarching antagonists (alongside the Beast) of inFamous: Second Son and inFamous: First Light.

An alternate timeline version of the series' main protagonist Cole MacGrath, Kessler is a conduit, a subspecies of human capable of exhibiting powers after their gene is activated. But this requires innocent humans to die so their neuroelectric energy can fuel the conduit and activate their powers, whether the conduit is willing to or not.

After failing to save the world from and conduit called, "The Beast", Kessler traveled back in time to create a new timeline by preparing his younger self, Cole MacGrath, for the threat he'd failed to stop. Kessler's ruthless methods involved the mass murder of innocents, including Cole's girlfriend Trish Dailey, whom Kessler married in his timeline, to traumatize Cole and remold him into a hero willing to sacrifice everything for the greater good.

He was voiced by Sam A. Mowry, who also voiced Arpeggio in Sly 2: Band of Thieves.



Kessler is a future version of Cole MacGrath from an alternate timeline. While his own backstory is largely unknown it's presumed to be identical to Cole as Kessler had minimal interference with his life until the blast. This means Kessler/Cole was a bike messenger who lived in Empire City with his girlfriend Trish Dailey and best friend Zeke Dunbar. His mother was ashamed of him and told her friends Cole was a teacher rather than a bike messanger. His father highly approved of his relationship with Trish, considering her the daughter he didn't have. He also had a younger brother. Eventually Cole married Trish with Zeke as his best man and later had two daughters with her.

At some point, Cole awakened his conduit gene and gained the power of electrokinesis. It's unknown how he gained these powers without the Empire City Blast but its speculated that Cole had an encounter with Alden Tate the First Sons which brought him into contact with the Ray Sphere.

One day, an unimaginably powerful conduit, known as the Beast, emerged and began causing global destruction in a quest to awaken other conduits, though costing the lives of every non-human conduits in the process. While Cole could've used his powers to stop it, he instead chose to flee with his family and they watched as the Beast destroyed most of the world. Somehow Cole learned the Beast's identity, John White. However, the creation of the Beast also caused an outbreak that threatened the lives of everyone on Earth, with only awakened conduits being immune. This outbreak eventually resulted in the deaths of Trish and Cole's daughters and most of humanity leaving only the conduits activated by the Beast to roam a now barren Earth. Saddened and vengeful, Cole used his newest power to embark on a one-way trip back in time in an attempt to rewrite history and prepare his younger self to face the Beast and rid humanity of the conduits. Renaming himself "Kessler", he usurped Richard Tate of the First Sons, accelerated the development of the Ray Sphere, and began looking for his younger self and his friends.

As he successfully usurped the First Sons, Kessler was able to obtain complete control of the faction and its assets. With this, he later expanded the faction's reach to the city of New Marais, where he made friends with researcher Sebastian Wolfe and a part of the faction, and also Joseph Bertrand III as a business partner, giving him part of the shares. He then commissioned Dr. Wolfe to begin work on the Ray Sphere but also gave him the means to build a Ray Field Inhibitor, a device to cure the plague but at the cost of killing every conduit within it's radius which only Cole or Kessler could activate. Kessler eventually employed John White, the future Beast, into the First Sons to keep an eye on him and told him he was destined for greatness.

In later years, Kessler also formed a somewhat romantic relationship with Sasha, who was researching a sort of mind-control agent. Though their relationship would not last for long, as Sasha was later removed from the organization after having a public argument with Kessler. She swore revenge upon Kessler after she was removed. After running several tests, Dr. Wolfe was able to make the Ray Sphere partly functional. With this, Kessler had it delivered to Empire City, where he himself ran some tests with the device. He would also mention the prophecy of the Beast to several of his associates, namely, John (which he would later relay to his contacts), Bertrand and Wolfe. While Kessler was aware of John's destiny, he also started plotting the acceleration of his own creation to give Cole proper incentive to sacrifice himself and rid humanity of the conduits.

Kessler continually ran tests with the Ray Sphere, using animals and humans (one of them being David Warner) as subjects for the experiments, exposing them to the device which would either prove a minor success or a fatal failure. 4 months prior to John's recruitment, Kessler collaborated with DARPA and their agent Moya Jones, where he showcased David Warner and how his abilities have progressed. Kessler would then later keep David imprisoned below their facility. After making sure that the Ray Sphere was ready for use, Kessler had his men set up the plans for the Quarantine, as he himself made the delivery for the Ray Sphere, specifically choosing Cole MacGrath as the courier for the job. Setting the location to 19th and Sloat at the Historic District, Kessler prepares for its activation. After Cole arrives at the designated area, Kessler contacts Cole, and tells him to open the package. Though reluctant, Cole opens it, and triggers the device, which results in a catastrophic explosion. Moments after Kessler travels to the site of the blast to check on Cole and was relieved to see he'd survived and awakened his conduit gene, but expressed extreme regret for all the lives lost. Subsequently, Moya and several soldiers attempted to arrest Kessler. Kessler killed the soldiers and told Moya of John White and his possession of the Ray Sphere. While she left to look for John she vowed Kessler wouldn't leave the city alive though Kessler admitted he hadn't planned to.

In the following weeks the city was placed under quarantine and the First Sons seized control of Historic District while Sasha and Alden Tate, who'd also awakened their conduit genes, took control of the other districts with their gangs the Reapers and Dust Men. Kessler monitored Cole's progress and made the necessary arrangements to ensure that he was ready to confront the Beast as he looked for John and the Ray Sphere while battling the Reapers, Dust Men and trying to escape Moya.

Both Cole and Kessler then met each other for the first time when Cole destroys the tar machines created by Sasha. Just then, the latter grabs his head, showing him visions of his future leading Cole to believe Kessler is responsible for all of it. Throughout the game, Kessler contacts Cole via his mobile, throwing taunts and explaining his philosphy to the Conduit, inentionally adding fuel to Cole's rage.

Later, Kessler gets into a fight with Alden and convinces Zeke into joining him so that he could fix the Ray Sphere. Afterwards, both later retreated to the Historic District, where he rallied all of his men. Kessler then kept Zeke within a cell, occasionally visiting him whenever he was intoxicated (so when they talked to each other, Zeke won't aware that he is his best friend's future self). After Cole dealt with Alden and made his way to the Historic District, he immediately alarmed Cole regarding Trish, whom he kidnapped. Kessler threatens to kill her if he fails to rescue the civilians. After rescuing a series of civilians held hostage, Kessler presented Cole with a difficult choice; he has placed bombs all over the Historic District and kidnaps Cole's girlfriend Trish, thus forcing him to decide whether to save her or six doctors that could save many other live. Either way, Trish is killed, being among the doctors if Cole chooses to save her.

After Cole destroys the Ray Sphere or activates it, Kessler calls him to meet him in the wreckage where he activated the device. He then challenge Cole to meet him in the Ground Zero, challenge which Cole accepts. Right before he faced his past self, Kessler also visited the cell of Zeke for the last time, saying goodbye and thanking him for being a good friend. Afterwards, Kessler meet Cole at the center of the Ray Sphere blast. It is revealed he is there when it went off. While fighting, Zeke, whom unexpectedly escape, attempts to fight him, but Kessler throws him away. Nevertheless, Cole triumphs and mortally wounds Kessler with a powerful Lightning Storm.

Just then, Cole hears him whispering "Trish, I love you. Please forgive me". Kessler grabs into Cole's head, revealing more of his secrets. It is revealed that he is actually Cole, from a future where he married Trish and Zeke was his best man. But a gigantic monster, "The Beast", began slaughtering countless people, and although Kessler would have been capable of stopping it he choose to flee with family instead, only for them to die. In an effort to ensure the doomed future wouldn't exist, Cole obtained the power to travel back in time. All that Kessler did was to turn Cole into the savior he failed to be, even if he had to kill Trish, the woman they both loved, to ensure that Cole wouldn't make the same mistake as him and so that when Cole faced The Beast he would capable of making impossible decisions. Kessler falls dead afterwards and Cole declares his hatred for him. Nevertheless, Cole even states that when the Beast comes, he will be ready.


Yes, I'd like to schedule a package for delivery. No, just one. Would it be possible to request a specific courier? I see. Well, I'm sure they're all reliable, but there's only one I trust. His name is Cole MacGrath. Yes, I'll hold.
~ Kessler scheduling the delivery to his past self.
Activation plus six minutes. Pulse is 45, respiration 10. Looking good, Cole.
~ Kessler to an unconscious Cole after the blast - also the first lines in the video game.
She's going to be pretty pissed about this.
~ Kessler to Cole on destroying Sasha's tar.
Just a concerned citizen. Now hold still!
~ Kessler to Cole, preparing to show the latter the alternate future.
On the contrary, I'm weak, quite weak in fact - which is why you need to learn this lesson and learn it well. Everyone has their breaking point: you, me, even dear sweet Sasha. What separates the strong from the weak is the ability to take the beating. Hell, to love the beating - no matter how great the pain, never wavering from what needs to be done. Think you can remember that?
~ Kessler to Cole.
You still don't get it. do you? You don't get any second chances. Everytime you fail. someone's world ends. Ends in the worst way imaginable... I learned that the hard way And by god your going to learn it too. One way or Another.
~ Kessler taunting Cole explaining his intentions.
I saw what you did for Trish, Believe it or not I know how hard it is to bury someone you love. Especially someone as special as Trish.
~ Kessler mentioning Trish's death to Cole.
And here we are, back where it all started. I was so worried that you weren't going to live through the blast. But you were fine. more than fine, actually (Cole: I remember your voice now. You were there after the bomb went off.)
~ Kessler's confrontation with Cole before their final battle.





  • There is a downloadable DLC costume of Kessler that Cole can wear in inFamous 2 and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
  • While Kessler's plan was to prepare Cole to fight the Beast, the events of inFamous 2 heavily indicate Kessler's true plan was in fact to force Cole into committing genocide and destroy all conduits not just the Beast.
    • The Beast's motives were believed to be human extinction in Kessler's timeine, yet in Cole's timeline the Beast's motives were to save the conduits from the plague though killing non-conduits in the process. The Beast hunted down Kessler in the original timeline seemingly to eliminate him as a threat, yet the Beast hunted Cole in the newer timeline to recruit him into his plan. John's dead drops recalling his interactions with Kessler heavily imply he knew John was going to become the Beast, yet made no effort to simply kill him and avert the threat altogether. Kessler accelerated the development of the Ray Sphere to activate Cole's conduit gene sooner, yet this led to John awakening his conduit gene sooner too.
      • This indicates that Kessler hailed from a future where the plague broke out and the Beast emerged without his intervention and his actions resulted in a conduit populated world, and he came back to ensure conduits were wiped out so humanity would survive instead.
  • Placed 17 in the list of 100 Greatest Video Game Villains of All Time by What Culture.
  • Throughout in the first Game, he acts as somewhat of an Archenemy to Cole MagGrath, even doing so much to break him and turning him into much of a more powerful version of himself and to turn him into the path of villainy.

External Links


           Infamous logo.pngVillains

Cole's Saga
inFAMOUS: Alden Tate | Cole MacGrath | Dust Men | First Sons | John White | Kessler | Moya Jones | Reapers | Sasha
Comics: Dave Warner | Moya Jones
inFAMOUS 2: Joseph Bertrand III | Militia | Nix | The Corrupted | John White |Vermaark 88
inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood: Bloody Mary | Vampires

Second Son
inFAMOUS: Second Son: Abigail Walker | Akurans | Brooke Augustine | Delsin Rowe | Eugene Sims | Hank Daughtry | Department of Unified Protection | Thugs
inFAMOUS: First Light: Shane

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Cole MacGrath | Heihachi Mishima | Kratos | Mael Radec | Sweet Tooth | Zeus

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Andrew Ryan | Ares | Boy of Silence | Chimera Soldier | Cronos | Hunter | Jin Kazama (Devil Jin) | Jinpachi Mishima | Joseph Bertrand III | Katherine Marlowe | Kessler | King Bohan | Lord Palethorn | Motorized Patriot | Nina Williams | Roach | Sasha | Scabs | Talbot | The Beast | The Corrupted | Trish | Vergil | Zombies | Zoran Lazarević

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See Also
Ratchet & Clank Villains | Uncharted Villains | God of War Villains | Twisted Metal Villains | Jak & Daxter Villains | Template:LittleBigPlanet Villains | InFamous Villains | The Last of Us Villains | Play Station All-Stars Villains