Cardinal Genovese is the ultimate antagonist of the Ben Jordan: Paranormal Investigator series of adventure games, and the main villain in both Case 7: The Cardinal Sins and Case 8: Relics of the Past.


Nicholas Genovese originated from a small village in Italy. Though he became involved with the church at an early age, his village was destroyed in a bombing during World War II, killing his sister Antonia, which caused him to lose faith and loosened his grip on sanity.

Some time after this event, Genovese had a dream in which he believed God spoke to him, instructing him to seek out various relics from around the world and harvest their power to bring about unity in mankind. For this purpose, Genovese brought together a group which he called the Knights of St. Anthony, conformed of various other clergymen as well as a number of enforcers, including Percival Quentin Jones. When the group's practices became too corrupt and unlawful, Percival protested, for which Genovese had him killed.

Over the course of many years, Genovese's knights gathered all but one of the relics Genovese required, causing paranormal phenomena to manifest in the places from which they had been removed, which Ben Jordan had to deal with. They decided to leave the one nearest them, an amulet which Jesus Christ used to exorcise demons, for last. However, when Genovese's chief underling Vincenzo Bianchi accidentally released a demon from the amulet, Ben ended up being called to investigate. Genovese and the Knights decided to manipulate Ben to bring them the amulet instead.

When Ben destroyed the amulet instead and the demons destroyed Bianchi, the Knights decided that Ben and his friends had become too much of a problem. Although Alice managed to escape, the Knights kidnapped Ben and Simon, killing the latter and imprisoning the former, before departing to Paris to claim a different relic. However, Ben was freed by Percival, who had been restored to life as a protective spirit, and taken to London.

In Paris, the Knights sought to recover the relic known as the sacred heart from the crypt of the Sacre Couer cathedral, but could not locate it. Ben solved the mechanism that kept the heart hidden and entrusted it to a priest, unaware that the priest in question was a Knight. With all the relics, Genovese headed to the Notre Dame cathedral to complete his ritual on the eve of the new year.

Although Ben arrived in the nick of time, Genovese kept talking until the new year, then prepared to accept the power of the relics. However, when nothing happened, Genovese realised he had been chasing something that didn't exist and fell into an ultimate despair, shouting at Ben to kill him. At this point, Ben can choose to push him off the tower, though if he walks away, Genovese jumps off himself, asking his sister to forgive his failure.