Infamous Wiki

I've always been there, Cole. Every step of your life.
― Kessler, during his confrontation with Cole.[1]

Kessler is the main antagonist of Infamous. His name was an alias used by Cole MacGrath when he returned to his past to save his former self from a desolate future. Usurping control of the mentalist faction known as the First Sons from Alden Tate's father, Kessler would later use its assets to accelerate the chain of events that lead to his conception.[1]

Possessing nearly double the power of his past self, Kessler was a very powerful Conduit, capable of manipulating electricity, as well as having several other abilities.[1]



Cole MacGrath lived in a timeline where there was peace in Empire City. Best friends with Zeke Dunbar, he would later ask him to be his best man during his wedding with Trish Dailey. Afterwards, Cole became the father of two daughters and settled down comfortably at home.


Kessler and his family watch The Beast.

As a Conduit, he possessed the ability to manipulate electricity at will, and utilize it for anything possible.[1] During that time, a Conduit of massive strength dubbed "The Beast" attacked and laid waste to Empire City, killing any known life forms. Though his powers would have been enough to deal with this foe, Cole fled with his family, leaving the others behind. As he and his family fled, the Beast continuously hunted him down, laying waste to anywhere he went through as he did. The calamity caused by the Beast left the world desolate of any life, with the environment barely fit for living.[1]


Kessler's family, destroyed.

After a long time of fleeing, Trish and her daughters died, which left Cole all alone in his timeline. The grief too much to bear, Cole utilized his power to teleport himself back in time as an attempt to correct the mistakes he's made. He then adopted a new alias: Kessler.[1]

The First Sons

Kessler seized control of the First Sons and accelerated the Ray Sphere development... Decades spent plotting the blast, organizing the quarantine, finding me.
― Cole explaining how Kessler spent his time planning the Blast.[1]

After going back in time, Kessler joined an organization known as the First Sons, a group who harbored several mentalists and researchers. Usurping Richard Tate and his son Alden, Kessler obtained 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. 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.[1][2]


Cole meets Kessler, leader of the First Sons

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. Kessler worked closely with John White, a new member of the faction, asking him to hold the Ray Sphere, and also telling him that he was destined for great things. He also mentioned the prophecy of the Beast to several of his associates, namely, John (which he would later relay to his contacts), Bertrand and Wolfe.[2]

Kessler continually ran tests with the Ray Sphere, using animal and human subjects (one of them being David Warner) for the experiments, exposing them to the device which either proved a minor success or a fatal failure. Four months prior to John's recruitment, Kessler collaborated with DARPA and their agent Moya Jones,


Kessler, overseeing Ray Sphere production

where he showcased David Warner and how his abilities have progressed. Kessler would then later keep David imprisoned below their facility.[3]

Cole MacGrath

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 that would change his past self's life forever.

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 opened it, and triggered the device, which results in a catastrophic explosion. Subsequently, Moya and several soldiers attempted to arrest Kessler, although Kessler killed the soldiers and told Moya of John White before he left the area.[1]


As Kessler predicted, Cole survived the blast, and obtained his new powers. Kessler then made the necessary arrangements to ensure that he was ready to confront the Beast. Kessler first made his presence known to his past self when he was at the rooftops at the Neon District, where he showed Cole the future, Kessler's timeline, through a telepathic vision. Showing his past self the grim future he lived in, Kessler then abruptly left. Cole, however, believed Kessler was the one responsible for the scenario that he saw.[1]


Kessler grabs Cole by the head, showing him his timeline.

Afterwards, he had his men extract Sasha from her fight with Cole, and caused the Reaper Compound to collapse. Afterwards, he himself contacted Cole directly, and in the midst of their conversation, Sasha was heard being tortured and pleading to Kessler to stop. Cole called him a coward, which he only affirmed, trying to fuel his rage. Later he appeared during Cole's fight with Alden Tate, the supposed leader of the First Sons whom he had expelled.

Cole's best friend, Zeke Dunbar, had the Ray Sphere in his hands when he was faced with Kessler and Alden. Acting upon his instincts, Zeke activated the device, but proved inefficient, as there were no change whatsoever. Kessler claimed that he knew what had happened, and told Zeke he can help fix it, and give him the power he desired. Zeke took the offer, and left with Kessler, leaving Cole to deal with Alden's rage.[1]

Deal With The Devil

Kessler offers Zeke a chance for power.

Kessler 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. After Cole dealt with Alden and made his way to the Historic District, he immediately alarmed Cole regarding Trish Dailey, whom he kidnapped. Kessler threatened 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 had Trish hung from a building on one side, and six doctors hung from another building on the other side. Exclaiming that he can only choose one side, Cole was forced to choose between one life or six. The dilemma ended with Trish dying, which left Cole emotionally scarred. After burying Trish, Cole swore that Kessler would suffer for his actions.[1]

He would continue to have his men wreak havoc upon Empire City, tasking them with scattering a gas created out of Sasha's tar through hot air balloons, with the gas causing civilians to panic. Kessler would also send his men and UAVs to defend the Ray Sphere's transportation, though in the end, Kessler had the Sphere left out in the open, leaving Cole to decide on what to do with it. After Cole deals with the Ray Sphere, Kessler instructs him to meet up at Ground Zero, where it all began.[1]


Kessler shares a moment with Zeke right before he confronts Cole.

Final Moments

Trish, I love you....Please forgive me....
― Kessler's words after being defeated by Cole.[1]

Right before he faced his past self, Kessler visited the cell where Zeke was held, saying goodbye and thanking him for being a good friend. Kessler then left to confront Cole.[1]

Confronting his past self at the crater where it all began, he retold how Cole had survived. Cole then remembered Kessler's distinctive voice as the one present before the Ray Sphere exploded. Kessler claimed that he has always been there, throughout the entirety of Cole's life so far. Cutting the conversation short, both prepared to fight each other. Kessler utilized every power he's known so far, from using doppelgangers, to a basic electric bolt. Kessler openly taunted Cole regarding his past affairs, such as his mother's disapproval, and his father's liking for Trish as a daughter he never had.[1]

Cole fight Kessler

Cole and Kessler face off at Ground Zero.

In the midst of the fight, Zeke interfered as an attempt at redemption, shooting Kessler several times. Though he seemed successful at first, Zeke was then easily knocked back by Kessler. Continuing the fight, Kessler kept Cole fixated on him during the fight, both utilizing their electrokinetic abilities. After deterring Kessler enough, Cole then sent a surge through Kessler's head, stunning him, and then knocking him back with his fists. As Kessler was in the air, Cole calls forth a bolt from the sky, and would hold it until he was sure Kessler was subdued. Cole then reveled in his victory, as he defeated the orchestrator of all the events that had transpired.[1]

As Cole looked down on him, he heard Kessler muttering his love for Trish Dailey, and then asked her for forgiveness. Kessler then pounced on a confused Cole, and sent another surge of visions through telepathy.


Kessler's death, in front of his past self.

Showing his past self his own timeline, how he came to power, who he really was, and why he did what he did, Kessler gave Cole his only memento from his timeline; his wedding day picture with Trish and Zeke. Kessler then fell back, dead. With Cole now fully aware of the truth, he left Ground Zero, admitting his hate for his future self, and assured himself that he would be ready for the Beast's coming.[1]


This section requires expansion.

He took away everything that made me what I am...and I don't think I can rebuild myself.
― Cole, on Kessler's actions.

After the death of Kessler, his former associate Joseph Bertrand III, usurped all of the organization's funds and assets, which he utilized to further his cause. Right after Cole's confrontation, the Prime Conduit would be haunted by the image of Kessler, unable to eat or sleep properly. He was able to overcome these feelings after confiding with Zeke. Kessler's actions would also result in the early advent of The Beast, and Cole's retreat to New Marais, due to his inability to deal with The Beast. There, Cole was also able to learn more about Kessler through Sebastian Wolfe, and his messages.[1][2][3]

The true identity of Kessler was only known to a certain few, with Cole and Zeke Dunbar the only definite ones. Right after Kessler's death, Cole told Zeke about Kessler's true nature by showing him the picture that Kessler gave Cole. Zeke would then tell stories to Cole about what happened when he was with Kessler, how he was kept, and their last moment together. These events were what made what Cole said believable, according to Zeke.[3]

After his death, he would haunt Cole's dreams at least once, showing his past self his daughters' graves, claiming they died because Cole chose to run instead of fighting the Beast. In New Marais, it was revealed Kessler met with Bertrand on several occasions, to either share "visions" of the future with Bertrand, or simply check on the First Sons branch under his control.

Powers and Abilities

Kessler original

Kessler showing his control over electricity

Kessler's abilities as a Conduit are much stronger than Cole's abilities, given that Kessler developed his throughout many years.

  • Electrokinesis: This was Kessler's most prominent ability, which was the ability to manipulate and channel electricity through his body. Under this, Kessler had a wide range of abilities and has demonstrated these, although as an older Cole it is very likely he had all the abilities Cole possessed.
    • Overload Burst: One of the abilities Kessler shares with Cole, though amplified due to his development through the years. He can fire these as fast bursts however.
    • Shockwave: One of the abilities Kessler shares with Cole. He seemed to be able to control its effects as shown when he uses it on Cole; he only trips but takes high damage, while Zeke is sent flying off but didn't seem to be that hurt
    • Shock Grenades: One of the abilities Kessler shares with Cole, can behave similar to mines and explode when the target approaches them, causing the opponent to stagger and receive moderate damage.
    • Thunder Drop: One of the abilities Kessler shares with Cole, though amplified due to his development through the years. It seemed more focused on creating tremors however.
    • Psychic Vision: One of the abilities Kessler shares with Cole, though amplified due to his development through the years. However it seems to work in the opposite direction too, sending out Kessler's visions to Cole.
    • Lightning Hook: He possessed an ability similar to Lightning Hook, pulling his target into a vulnerable position if he needed to.
    • Electric Drain: Kessler was also never seen absorbing electricity from another source in order to regenerate his powers, nor his health. His capacity for storing electricity, was either unlimited, or extremely large. It should be noted that after firing four Bolts, he would fall to his knees to regain his power before attacking again, implying that he didn't need to drain electricity to recharge and he simply regenerated his electricity over time. His storage capacity also reduced when he was weakened by others' attacks, as he could only fire three Bolts before recharging.[1] Part of Kessler's body had been reconstructed with cybernetic parts, which could have been one of the sources for his amplified powers and increased electrical storage.[1]
    • Matter Manipulation/Transmutation: One of the abilities Kessler shares with Cole. They are able to manipulate matter on an atomic level. Able to transmute matter such as bullets, and other energy, into electricity. They are able to manipulate ions, of which Kessler created a new type of with his powers. And has shown to be able to atomize people, such as when he killed Moya's soldiers in the comic series.

Kessler also possessed some extremely advanced and unusual abilities.

  • One-Way Time Travel: An ability Kessler used to manipulate Cole's timeline to help him defeat the Beast. Kessler, from what is said, seems to only be able to Travel back in time, not forward. This ability was only used once.
  • Phantasm: A power that Kessler uses to create doppelgangers of himself. Uses it in conjunction with Thunder Drop. These doppelgangers can conduct electricity through their surroundings, blind enemies by causing their vision to whiten, and inflict mental damage on contact.
  • Flash Step: Kessler is able to move at insanely fast speeds, being able to completely vanish from sight and instantly move from one rooftop to another through sheer speed, appearing as if he had teleported. He's quick enough to easily dodge bullets and bolts of lightning. This move seems similar to the dash ability used by newer generation Conduits.
  • Summoning: Kessler can summon three First Sons drones to aid him in battle.
  • Basic Conduit Abilities: Kessler had an improved physical resistance, seemingly more so than the average Conduit, being able to take bullets and almost all of Cole's most powerful attacks without even flinching. He was also shown to have his basic abilities, such as enhanced running speed and jumping ability. He also demonstrated enhanced strength as he could overpower Cole physically at one point in their fight, and also held him in locks at other points.

Kessler utilizes his most dangerous power; time travel.

It should be noted that when Cole explained how Kessler returned from the future at the end of the first InFamous he described his ability to time travel as his "newest" power, suggesting that he was still gaining even more powers than he shows during his final battle with his past self, leaving his ultimate potential unknown.[1]

However he didn't possess or simply didn't use his past self's more advanced abilities. He was never seen using abilities such as Megawatt Hammer, Lightning Storm, Polarity Wall, etc. It is possible he had these abilities and simply never used them, or never gained the abilities (possibly because he may not have had to restore power to Empire City or may not have had access to Blast Cores).[1]

Appearance and Personality

Because of the death of his family and seeing the world getting destroyed by the Beast, Kessler was extremely bitter. Overtime he began to become completely ruthless, doing anything to ensure he could reach his goal. Though Kessler all did it for the greater good, he has killed people and destroyed many lives, such as Alden Tate, the people affected by the Blast, and those he experimented on with the First Sons. Though Kessler never showed any remorse over most of his crimes, he had greatly regretted killing Trish Dailey. But, to ensure his past self wouldn't make the same mistakes he did by choosing his family over fighting and thus ending the world as well, he had to kill Trish, making sure his past self would not be tied down by attachments.[1]

Kessler would often antagonize his enemies in battle, people such as Alden or Cole. Kessler did care about some people from his past aside from Trish, such as Zeke Dunbar, who he would often visit and keep company during his imprisonment with the First Sons.[1]

Kessler wore a long white trench coat, white trousers, a gray hood over his head and a gray scarf around his neck. Kessler had cybernetic replacements on several areas of his body; most noticeable on his chest and right arm. Under his hood, Kessler was bald and had several wrinkles over his face. Another noticeable feature is that Kessler had bright blue eyes with no pupils that gave off a dim glow.[1]


  • He is the first identified character heard in the game, whispering Cole's state directly after the Blast.[1]
  • Kessler is the only boss in inFamous with a health meter. This is based on the fact that with the other bosses, you can tell how much damage you have done to them over the course of the battles. Kessler shows no signs of weakening at any point in the battle.[1]
    • Kessler is also the only boss in inFamous to actually be killed in the game. He is also one of the antagonists to be killed regardless of the protagonist's Karmic state.
  • Kessler's clothing, as with Alden Tate's and Sasha's, are available for the avatars in PlayStation Home.
  • Despite being well over a century old, Kessler actually appeared younger than Alden Tate, who was in his sixties. This may be attributed to Kessler's Conduit powers having been activated many years prior, slowing his aging process.
  • A skin based on Kessler's appearance was available for use in Infamous 2 as a bonus skin, and was a pre-order bonus for the Hero edition for inFAMOUS 2 but now is available for download in PSN.[4]
  • The device that is attached to his right arm(or his prosthetic as it's hypothesized) was later applied to the character model of the E3 2010 rendition of Cole. It's theorized Cole took the device to amplify his powers.
  • Kessler appears to have a scar on his face similar to Cole's.
  • Kessler's eyes noticeably have a bright blue glow, possibly due to his expansive Conduit powers.[1]
    • The glow is even more noticeable when his skin for inFamous 2 is applied.[2]
  • Kessler's recent appearances in inFAMOUS and other related games is as a skin for Cole.
  • Kessler states that in his timeline, the Beast was intent on destroying the world, not curing the conduits of the plague. It is possible that in his timeline, due to the fact that no one accelerated the development of the Ray Sphere, someone may have come up with a method of causing an explosion without causing the plague. Since the differences in the timelines are immense, this could imply that the Beast really was killing everyone, and his choices were purely evil, rather than curing conduits of the plague.
  • There are only a few characters who know Cole and Kessler are one in the same.
  1. Dr. Wolfe, at first he considered the two were related due to Kessler knowing Cole had the Conduit gene, but later discovered the truth when he realized they looked exactly the same.
  2. Sasha, she discovered the truth during her fight with Cole, connecting that they shared the same powers, and started confusing the two with each other as the fight went on.
  3. Alden Tate, in his final battle with Cole, he started to shout "You and Kessler are the same!", suggesting he figured it out.
  4. Joseph Bertrand, although it's unconfirmed, considering his closeness with Kessler, and his numerous meetings with Cole, he may have realized the truth.
  • Unlike Cole's electrical powers, which are colored blue, red, or black, depending on the player's choices, Kessler's electrical powers are a whitish-yellow color.