Vincent Valentine is an optional playable character in Final Fantasy VII, and the main protagonist of Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-. A former Turk with a mysterious past, Vincent's secrets tie him directly to several of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII's main antagonists.
Vincent wields handguns in battle and his Limit Breaks cause him to shapeshift as a result of the experiments Professor Hojo performed on him. His Japanese voice actor is Shōgo Suzuki, and he is voiced by Steven Jay Blum in English. Since his introduction, Vincent has become one of the most popular characters in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
Vincent is a man physically in his late twenties, and stands roughly six feet tall. He has crimson eyes and long black hair. He wears a red bandanna with his fringe emerging over it. Vincent's most distinctive feature is his red cloak, held in place over his shoulders and lower face by several buckles. Underneath his cape Vincent's attire is black with several straps and buckles. Vincent wears a holster for his gun against his right leg, and pointed sabatons on his feet. He wears a golden gauntlet on his left arm. His weapon of choice is the Cerberus, a three-barreled revolver. Vincent has kept this look in all his appearances, with subtle variations. Vincent was originally intended to appear in Kingdom Hearts alongside Cloud Strife, but was removed (see below), and aspects of his costume were incorporated into Cloud's design, including the tattered red cloak and gauntlet.
In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Vincent's cloak was meant to have an organic feel and was difficult to animate. The developers decided changing his costume would be conflicting with his character, so Vincent was the only character in the film to appear the same as he had in Final Fantasy VII, although there are minor changes, such as a full bodysuit, a tattered cloak and a glove completely covering his previously partially bare right arm.
In Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, Vincent's Galian Beast and Chaos forms incorporate his design into them; Galian Beast is wearing a shorter version of Vincent's cloak as a kilt, while Chaos's feet resemble Vincent's boots.
Dark and brooding over his past experiences, Vincent conceals many secrets. He speaks in a cryptic manner, when he talks about his past, calling his traumas 'sins'. Despite his cold hearted personality, he is not uncaring; at a point where Cloud admits he thought Vincent does not care about the Planet, Vincent brushes off the remark. He has a soft spot for Lucrecia, referring to her as a beautiful lady. He fiercely despises Professor Hojo for his immoral actions, and it is the promise of meeting him that stirs Vincent to accompany the party in Final Fantasy VII. Vincent is reluctant to speak, although when he does, he typically has something important to say.
Kazushige Nojima has noted Vincent is naturally a loner, and had he not been a former ally of Cloud and his friends, it is unlikely he would have joined them in the battle with Bahamut SIN in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. His voice actor, Shōgo Suzuki, noted Vincent's few appearances have a profound impact and that Tifa's remark "they're our friends", after Vincent's arrival, shows his underlying warmth. He is noted to be similar to Cloud, only more mature, which influenced his character and voice work. Vincent was originally intended to appear in Kingdom Hearts with Cloud, but it was decided to remove him due their similar brooding personalities and aspects of his design were worked into Cloud's new design for the series, which has been used for all of Cloud's appearances in the Kingdom Hearts series thus far, with the exception of Kingdom Hearts II.
Story in Final FantasyEdit
Power Company "Department of Administrative Research". When he was assigned to supervise the Jenova Project in Nibelheim, he fell in love with a scientist named Lucrecia Crescent, an assistant to Gast Faremis. When he discovered her link to his deceased father, Grimoire Valentine, Lucrecia distanced herself from Vincent and entered a relationship with her associate, Professor Hojo. Lucrecia became pregnant and Hojo planned to use the fetus as a test subject for the Jenova Project.
Vincent objected to the use of humans — especially Lucrecia — as test subjects. In the interest of science Lucrecia proceeded with the treatment and became sick as a result. Vincent confronted Hojo in the Shinra Mansion's underground laboratory and a heated argument ensued. Hojo ended it with treachery, pulling a gun from his lab coat and shooting Vincent in the chest. He proceeded to use Vincent's half-dead body as the subject for experiments involving strengthening the endurance of the human body, and metamorphosis, enabling the body to transform into various monstrous forms. While Hojo did succeed in making Vincent's body stronger, the experiments were a failure because Vincent, though still living, remained in a death-like state.
As a last resort to rehabilitate him, Lucrecia infused the Chaos-tainted Mako into his broken-down body. The procedure worked, as Vincent's body, due to Hojo's previous experiments, was strong enough to become a vessel for Chaos; however, Chaos was uncontrollable and was only stopped when the Protomateria had a reaction to Chaos. The Protomateria, discovered by Grimoire alongside Chaos, was theorized by Lucrecia to have been created by the Planet "out of necessity as a means to control Chaos and prolong its own inevitable fate", and was placed in Lucrecia's laboratory.
Lucrecia put the Protomateria inside Vincent's chest, enabling Vincent to control Chaos to a degree. As a result of the combination with Chaos and the experiments made by Hojo, Vincent acquired superhuman abilities such as increased physical strength, speed, endurance, agility, regeneration, shape-shifting, and other powers. Vincent later awakened on the operating table and responded to his modified body with anguish and rage.
Believing himself responsible for Lucrecia's illness after Sephiroth's birth, Vincent locked himself within a coffin in the Shinra Mansion basement, where he slept mostly undisturbed for thirty years to atone for his "sins". He constantly relived his "nightmare" as a punishment for his inability to stop Lucrecia from submitting to Hojo's experiment on her unborn baby.
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VIIEdit
When Zack Fair hears groaning coming from a coffin in the Shinra Mansion basement, he opens it and is startled to find a sleeping person. Deciding against disturbing the slumbering man, Zack replaces the cover, which locks back into place.
Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VIIEdit
On December 19th, 0006, in Episode 19, the player's Turk and Veld search for the Support Materia for the summon Zirconiade at the Shinra Mansion. Veld awakens Vincent inside his coffin and despite the differences in their physical appearances, recognize each other as Vincent and Veld were with the Turks at the same time.
When he wakes up, Vincent helps the Turks fight AVALANCHE, and displays sharp shooting skills, though he is jaded after his long sleep. The materia was hidden in the mansion and Vincent knew of its existence; he gives it to Veld before he returns to his rest, refusing to leave with the Turks.
Final Fantasy VIIEdit
Cloud and the party discover Vincent in a locked room in the basement of Shinra Manor in Nibelheim where he is talked out of his sleep and speaks to Cloud. Cloud tells him about Sephiroth, and Vincent, knowing he was the child Lucrecia had conceived, considers it another "sin" and returns to sleep. When Cloud tries to leave, Vincent follows and asks if they will meet Hojo. Cloud confirms, and Vincent agrees to accompany the party with thoughts of claiming revenge.
When the party finds Lucrecia in Lucrecia's Cave, Vincent relives memories from his past, remembering the argument between himself and Hojo over Lucrecia, and Hojo shooting Vincent and experimenting on him. When the party confronts Hojo at the controls of the Sister Ray, Vincent has a small scene where he claims it was Hojo, not him, who was meant to sleep and atone for his crimes.
Vincent, along with Yuffie, is not present in the ending FMV due to being optional characters. Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- retcons that the two returned to Midgar early to help evacuate the city before Meteor hit, saving many lives, including a heavily-injured Rufus Shinra. This occurs following Sephiroth's defeat, while the other characters watch the events from above in the Highwind. However, in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, both are seen with the rest of the group fighting Sephiroth during the last battle.
Vincent appears in the On the Way to a Smile novella "Case of Red XIII". He leaves Cloud and the others in the Forgotten Capital with a cold "bye". During his journeys he follows a Turk helicopter and arrives at a hunter camp near Nibelheim. He shoots down Red XIII when he attacks one of the huts. He explains to Red XIII his actions were wrong and leaves.
Vincent meets Red XIII later again at the Forgotten Capital. Red XIII is scared that, due to his long lifespan, he will lose everyone he loves and live a life of loneliness. Vincent comforts him and reveals he will always be with him because he is immortal. They agree he and Red XIII will always meet once a year in Midgar.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children CompleteEdit
During the year following Final Fantasy VII Vincent traveled the world, mysteriously popping in and out, retrieving information and helping those in need, keeping looser connection with his friends than the rest of the party. In 0009 he follows rumors to the Forgotten Capital, where the Remnants of Sephiroth were stationed. After Tseng and Elena were struck down and tortured by the trio at the North Crater, Vincent rescued them and helped them recover, while getting as much information about the remnants as he could.
When Kadaj fights Cloud in the Forgotten City, Vincent rushes in and opens fire at Kadaj while picking up Cloud and carrying him to safety. Resting in a remote part of the forest, Vincent tells Cloud about Geostigma and Sephiroth's impending rebirth. Cloud, still tormented over his guilt at being unable to prevent Aerith's and Zack's deaths, asks Vincent if sins are ever forgiven. Vincent replies with "I've never tried". Cloud decides he will try, and tells Vincent he would "phone in the verdict".
Vincent shows up with the rest of AVALANCHE for the battle against Bahamut SIN, asking Tifa where he could buy a cellphone (he apparently is the only member of AVALANCHE without one). Aboard the Shera, Vincent tells the party Kadaj is Sephiroth's "larva form" and would become him, while Cloud duels him atop the Shinra Headquarters' remains. Although the party are eager to help, Vincent says Cloud can handle him alone.
During the bonus feature, "Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII", Vincent makes a call to Cloud. At some point after Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Vincent purchased a cellphone, and made a point to relay a message to Yuffie that she has no right to call it.
Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VIIEdit
A year following the events of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, in 0010, Vincent is called into duty when the mysterious group Deepground begins attacking people around the world. Vincent and the World Regenesis Organization investigate and find Deepground is a group born from secret experiments underground the Shinra Building trying to awaken the final Weapon, Omega.
To do this, they hunt Vincent because he houses the Protomateria needed to control it. Vincent fights off the constant attacks while trying to solve the mystery of his past and he gets his answers with the help of a young Tsviet named Shelke.
Deepground steals the Protomateria from Vincent's body, and Chaos becomes increasingly unstable within him. A digitized version of Hojo was the plot's mastermind, but Chaos is unleashed and defeats Hojo, Deepground, and Omega. When Vincent concludes his mission, he disappears within the Crystal Cave where Lucrecia lay for quite some time. Cloud's party sends a befriended Shelke to retrieve Vincent, who has made his amends and forgiven himself for his "sin".
Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- reveals that when Vincent confronted Hojo he was shot, and turned into a sample for Hojo's metamorphosis experiment. The experiment left Vincent effectively immortal and with the ability to assume various demonic transformations. Hojo considered the experiment a failure because Vincent remained in an unconscious state and Hojo left him for dead. Upon discovering this, Lucrecia took Vincent's body and attempted to save him by implanting the Chaos gene within him. While Vincent was revived by this process, he became Chaos itself and had no control over the form.
The Protomateria appeared and Lucrecia used the materia to suppress Chaos to allow Vincent to have some control over the transformation. In a flashback, Vincent wakes up on a table in a lab, and looks down to find himself in his Galian Beast form. Hojo reveals he inadvertently saved Vincent's life, because his experiments had made Vincent's body durable enough to house Chaos. It seems the longer Vincent lives the more transformations he can evolve and the stronger they become.
It is ambiguous precisely what happened between Vincent's awakening in the laboratory and the beginning of his extended slumber. In a note written by Hojo in Final Fantasy VII - the first clue provided for uncovering Vincent - he claims to have put Vincent to sleep in the basement himself. While there was originally much conjecture as to whether Vincent's sleep was voluntary versus induced, because of his attitude toward it, and the mystery of his in-game attire and long hair, a flashback scene in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- clearly illustrates Vincent was experimented on and then immediately put to sleep in his current appearance as a Turk. His change of appearance to his current design is unexplained.
Story of Joining Sora's TeamEdit
Whem Vincent was by himself, he recieved a gem from Tifa, and gave him an opportunity to either join the team or stay in his world, and so he chose to join.