|“||This body is... the punishment that's been given to me... I was unable... to stop Professor Gast and Hojo... And Lucrecia... I was unable to stop them... All that I was able to do was watch... That is my punishment..."||„|
|~ Vincent Valentine|
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 was originally a Turk, a private bodyguard/assassin for the mega-corporation Shinra Electric Power Company. In his capacity as a Turk Vincent was eventually assigned to watch over Shinra's Science Division to ensure the team's safety during their Jenova Project. The Scientists of the Jenova project, lead by a man named Hojo, were experimenting with genetic manipulations of the extraterrestrial planetary parasite dubbed Jenova. Over time Vincent began to connect emotionally with one of his charges named Lucrecia Crescent, who was an expert on the planetary guardians called WEAPONs and a key consultant for the project. Vincent and Lucrecia became close and eventually Vincent fell in love with her but when he announced his interests Lucrecia withdrew and made him aware she was already involved with Professor Hojo. Upon seeing Lucrecia was spoken for Vincent ceased his advances, though Vincent's feeling had not changed he repressed his affections and focused on his work.
Once the Jenova project had reached it's final stages Lucrecia was isolated. Vincent raised inquires into the research and found that Lucrecia was pregnant, furthermore she was to be injected with Jenova DNA during her pregnancy to augment the baby. Vincent confronted Hojo with his concerns about Lucrecia, her baby's safety and asked him to stop the experiment, Hojo's response was a prompt point-blank gun-shot to Vincent's chest. Hojo intended to go on with his experiment once Vincent was dealt with but Lucrecia quickly put Vincent on a form of life support. Once Lucrecia died during labor and the experiment concluded Hojo turned is attention to Vincent. Hojo decided to use Vincent's body as a giant petri-dish for a few of his otherwise dead-end experiments and fused the creatures into Vincent's body. After complete documentation Hojo sealed Vincent in a secret room in Shinra Manor. The experiment had given Vincent a form of undeath that kept him from starving, aging or suffocating. Vincent considered what happened to him a fitting punishment for not standing up for Lucrecia sooner and went into a death-like slumber to keep from going mad with guilt and loneliness.
The rebel group A.V.A.L.A.N.C.H.E. lead by Cloud Strife eventually came upon Shinra Manor looking for links to Sephiroth, a Shinra super-solider who had gone mad a few years prior. Sephiroth had been waiting for Cloud in the basement with a message that Cloud was invited to something called the "Reunion" and after the cryptic message Sephiroth quickly fled. On his way out and thanks to undoing the locks of the upper-levels Cloud and his friends gained access to the secret door in the basement and found a coffin laying in it. As the team approached the coffin, the lid opened and Vincent awoke. Cloud asked Vincent what he was doing there and is he knew anything about Sephiroth. Vincent gave a few vague explanations of his origin but then tried to go back to sleep, continued quires from Cloud eventually lead to their past with Hojo, once Vincent heard Hojo's name his interest peaked, Vincent asked if Cloud and his friends intended to kill Hojo in their fight against Sephiroth, when Cloud said it was likely, Vincent insisted on joining.
Towards the end of the second disk of the game, Lucrecia may be found in a giant piece of Materia created from frozen Mako, a liquid that was the physical manifestation of the planet's energy. As Vincent approaches Lucrecia stirs and the party find out in detail about Vincent's past, Lucrecia reveals to them that her child was Sephiroth but that thanks to the Jenova DNA Sephiroth was not only made into a meta-human but that Lucrecia was being kept semi-alive by the Jenova cells in her body. Lucrecia said she would be unable to truly die unless Jenova was killed, and that Sephiroth would be equally unkillable unless Jenova died first. Vincent told her they intended to kill Sephiroth too, Lucrecia said that though she had given birth to Sephiroth she has never so much as been able to hold him and he was more Jenova's child than hers and so she was not opposed to Sephiroth's death either. Vincent promised he would kill Jenova and put Lucrecia out of her misery. Returning to the cave Vincent gains a new form when coming in contact with the Materia, Chaos, a smaller version of the WEAPONs that Lucrecia had engineered prior to Sephiroth's birth.
A.V.A.L.A.N.C.H.E. would eventually parachute into Shinra's city of Midgard to stop Hojo from burning out the city's power to shoot at Sephiroth. Though Shinra commissioned their Mako cannon to destroy the barrier protecting Sephiroth and then intended to use the blast to destroy Sephiroth, Cloud and the others knew the blast of Mako would in-fact empower Sephiroth and they hurried to stop Hojo before he inadvertently made Sephiroth a living god. Making their way through Midgard A.V.A.L.A.N.C.H.E. soon found Hojo finishing arming his Mako cannon just after the first blast that destroyed Sephiroth's barrier. Cloud Warned Hojo of what the second blast would do once it hit Sephiroth, Hojo laughed off the concerns and said he knew full well the second blast would empower not destroy Sephiroth. Hojo was far more concerned with seeing his experiments with Sephiroth reach their climax than helping Shinra and intended to fire anyway, Hojo also revealed that Sephiroth was in-fact his son, hearing this Vincent became outraged that the entire ordeal was not his and Lucrecia's fault but in truth entirely Hojo's and prepared to kill the mad scientist.
Skills & Abilities
Vincent is an adept marksmen and wields handguns in battle. Vincent's Limit Breaks cause him to transform into superhuman monsters, each one is the result of the genetic engineering experiments performed by Professor Hojo and fused into Vincent's body as a guinea-pig. While Vincent's physical stats all start off above average his quickest growing stats are actually Magic and Spirit. Vincents physical damage is considered below average but his durability combined with his quick and potent grasp of magic, makes him a rare blend of tanker/mage character. Vincent's past as a Turk not only makes him highly trained but also grants him intimate knowledge of Shinra's protocol and attack strategies.
Appearance and Personality
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.
- 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.