Make Me Proud, Son
Throughout Final Fantasy IV, there are many references made to Kain's father. It is clear that Kain wants to live up to his father's example. Kain became a dragoon for his sake, and the ghost of his father continually hangs over him, watching and judging his actions.
Kain's father died quite some time before the game started, as it is mentioned that Cecil and Kain grew up together as orphans under the hospitality of the King of Baron. It's unclear whether Kain ever even knew his father personally, but it is more than evident that Kain knew his reputation. Though most in Baron join the ranks of the Dark Knights, Kain chose to become a dragoon to follow in his father's footsteps.
Kain seems to believe his father would do no wrong- or at least would not like to find anything wrong with his son. As a result, his father's memory becomes something he must live up to, especially when Kain's personal shortcomings are paraded out for the world to see. At the end of the game, his attachment to his father is even further elaborated on. In his soliloquy, he makes it clear that he feels that he has shamed his father's memory and that he hasn't lived up to him. Kain can't live with himself until he becomes as good, if not better, than his father. But whether Kain has realistic expectations for himself is another question entirely. Kain has a great trouble forgiving himself, and he seems to seek the forgivness of his dead father in place of his own.
In Final Fantasy II, there is a character named Richard (Ricard) Highwind who is said to be the last of the dragoons, save for Elina, a widow, and her son- Kain. Richard adopts Kain as the last surviving dragoon. During his quest with the party, he sacrifices himself for the cause. This doesn't mean that Kain is the son of the unnamed Final Fantasy II character, but Square certainly knows how to self-reference.