Vincent Valentine

Vincent Valentine
Final Fantasy character
Vincent Valentine.png
Vincent Valentine artwork by Tetsuya Nomura for Final Fantasy VII
First gameFinal Fantasy VII (1997)
Designed byTetsuya Nomura
Voiced by
Information
WeaponFirearms
HomeUnknown

Vincent Valentine (ヴィンセント・ヴァレンタイン, Vinsento Varentain) is a player character in Square's (now Square Enix) 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. Designed by Tetsuya Nomura, he also appears in various titles from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, a metaseries set in the Final Fantasy VII continuity. Specifically, he is the protagonist in the 2006 third-person shooter Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and its mobile phone tie-in Dirge of Cerberus: Lost Episode. Vincent is voiced in Japanese by Shōgo Suzuki and in English by Steven Blum.

In the backstory to Final Fantasy VII, Vincent is a Turk who is assigned to guard the scientist Lucrecia Crescent, with whom he falls in love. After a series of scientific experiments involving the cells of the extraterrestrial lifeform Jenova, Crescent gives birth to the game's antagonist, Sephiroth. Soon thereafter, Vincent himself became a test subject to experiments performed by Lucrecia follow research boss, Professor Hojo, resulting in genetic modification that means he will not age. If the player unlocks Vincent, he will join Cloud Strife's group to stop Sephiroth, as well as to seek revenge on Hojo.

Due to time constraints, Vincent was originally not intended to be playable in Final Fantasy VII; however, he was ultimately made an optional character. Despite his optional status and lack of concrete detail as to his background, he proved very popular with both fans and critics, and his history was developed greatly in other installments of the Compilation, primarily Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus.

Appearances

Final Fantasy VII

Players can unlock Vincent by the halfway point of Final Fantasy VII, when Cloud Strife and his allies find him sleeping in a coffin in the basement of Shinra Mansion in Nibelheim.[2] Cloud mentions his quest to stop the game's antagonist, Sephiroth, who Vincent recognizes as the son of Lucrecia Crescent.[3] Vincent joins the group when he learns that they may eventually meet up with Hojo, against whom Vincent has an unexplained vendetta.[4] Later, Vincent finds Lucrecia inside a cave, and his backstory is partly revealed. Vincent was a member of the Turks, an elite group of Shinra agents. While serving as Lucrecia's bodyguard, he then fell in love with her, but she ultimately decided to remain faithful to Hojo, who persuaded her to use her unborn baby in his experiments. When protesting about the nature of these experiments, Vincent was shot by Hojo, who subsequently began to experiment on him as well. This resulted in him not aging and having the ability to transform in various Monsters.[5] Not being able to protect Lucrecia, Vincent felt a strong guilt which led him to his separation.[6] Overcome by guilt, Lucrecia sealed herself away in a Mako crystal. Upon entering the cave in the game, Lucrecia revives and asks Vincent if Sephiroth is still alive, but Vincent lies and tells her that he is dead.[7]

Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.

In Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII, which is set six years prior to Final Fantasy VII, Vincent is seen in his Turk attire having a conversation with Veld, leader of the Turks. He subsequently helps Veld obtain some Materia needed for a mission.[5] In the film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, set two years after Final Fantasy VII, Vincent rescues Cloud from Kadaj and his gang. He reveals to Cloud Kadaj's intentions to merge with the remaining Jenova cells so as to bring about Sephiroth's rebirth. Vincent later helps Cloud and his Final Fantasy VII allies defeat the summon creature Bahamut SIN.[8] In the On the Way to a Smile novella "Case of Nanaki", set between the original game and Advent Children, Vincent encounters his former comrade, Red XIII (Nanaki), who is fearful that he will soon be alone due to his lifespan being much longer than humans. Vincent explains to Red that he is immortal and promises to meet with him every year to prevent his loneliness.[9]

In Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, which takes place one year after Advent Children, Vincent is seen working with Reeve Tuesti and the World Regenesis Organization to eliminate an organization called Deepground,[10] who have targeted Vincent because he carries "Protomateria" inside his body, implanted by Lucrecia after he was shot by Hojo. The purpose of the Protomateria was to enable Vincent to control the Chaos gene, with which he was injected by Lucrecia to save his life.[11] The Protomateria is eventually ripped from his body by Rosso the Crimson, leading to Vincent being unable to control Chaos. Eventually he confronts the Deepground leader, Weiss the Immaculate, who is possessed by the digitalized mind of Hojo. Hojo reveals that his plan is to awaken Omega WEAPON, who will absorb the Lifestream and leave the Planet, resulting in the death of all living things.[12] After Omega's awakening, the renegade Deepground member, Shelke, returns the Protomateria to Vincent, and he is once again able to control Chaos, ultimately destroying both Hojo and Omega. The mobile game Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode: Final Fantasy VII takes place during Dirge of Cerberus and also features Vincent as the protagonist.[13]

Other appearances

Outside the Final Fantasy VII series, Vincent appears in the fighting game Ehrgeiz as an unlockable character, with his Turk uniform as an alternate costume. Like the other Final Fantasy VII characters in the game, Vincent does not serve a role in the main storyline.[14] Although he was meant to appear in Kingdom Hearts, his design was instead used as the basis for Cloud's redesign.[15] Vincent's popularity has seen merchandise related to the character, including the release of action figures.[16][17]