Vincent Valentine is a playable character in Final Fantasy VII. He, along with Yuffie Kisaragi, are the only two optional player characters in the game. Vincent is also the main protagonist of the 2006 PlayStation 2 title Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-.
Formally a member of the Turks, Vincent has ties to many of the game’s primary antagonists, though his past remains shrouded in mystery for a large chunk of the game.
Table Of Contents
57 (chronologically, FFVII)
60 (chronologically, DoC)
Steve Blum (English / Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus, Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia)
Kazuhiro Nakata (Japanese, Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring)
Appearance and Personality
Slender, pale, and standing around six feet tall, Vincent has long black hair and bright crimson eyes. Physically in his late twenties, he sports a ragged red cloak covering his shoulders and the lower half of his face fastened in place by a number of black and silver buckles over his chest. He wears a thick red bandana around his forehead with his bangs falling over the fabric. Under his cape, Vincent’s black leather outfit covers every inch of his skin and is held tight to his body with additional buckles. He wears a metallic golden gauntlet on his left arm and his gun holster is wrapped around his right thigh. He sports pointy gold sabatons.
Often speaking in vague and cryptic terms when referring to his past, Vincent is extremely quiet and has very little in-game dialogue, only speaking when he has something vital to add. Though he appears cold, this is likely a result of his traumatic past. A natural loner, Vincent is said to be very similar to Cloud but much more mature.
Vincent agrees to join Cloud in Final Fantasy VII due to his personal hatred for Professor Hojo. After shooting Vincent in the chest two decades prior, Hojo used him in his experiments, aiming to strengthen the human body and enable monstrous transformations.
Vincent wields a gun in Final Fantasy VII. His weapons are capable of hitting “out-of-reach” targets, doing the same damage to both enemies in the front and back rows. While the attack power for most of these weapons is subpar, two have the maximum chance to hit.
Death Penalty is Vincent’s ultimate weapon. It becomes more powerful depending on the number of enemies Vincent has killed.
|1 Linked, 2 Unlinked||Starter Weapon|
|2 Linked||Rocket Town: 3,100g|
|2 Linked, 1 Unlinked||Wutai Shop: 6,400g|
|2 Linked, 2 Unlinked||Icicle Inn Shop: 12,000g|
|3 Linked||Mideel Shop: 18,000g|
|1 Linked, 1 Unlinked||Kalm (Discoverable)
Upper Junon Shop: 3,500g
|2 Linked||Bone Village (Discoverable)
Upper Junon Shop: 3,500g
|Long Barrel R||66 Atk|
|4 Linked||Costa del Sol Shop: 13,000g|
|Silver Rifle||62 Atk|
|None||Temple of the Ancients (Discoverable)
Lower Junon Shop: 3,000g
|Sniper CR||42 Atk|
|2 Linked||Mt. Nibel (Discoverable)
Lower Junon Shop: 3,300g
|Supershot ST||97 Atk|
|3 Linked||Ancient Forest (Discoverable)|
|2 Linked, 4 Unlinked||Gelnika (Discoverable)|
|Death Penalty||99 Atk|
|4 Linked||Waterfall Cave (Discoverable)|
In both Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus, Vincent wields a handgun called Cerberus. Capable of shooting three bullets at once, the weapon does not appear in the original game yet has been accepted by the greater fandom as Vincent’s default weapon, replacing VII’s Quicksilver.
In place of traditional sights, Cerberus features a dog’s head. A triple-barreled, triple-cylindered revolver, the gun can hold 18 shots at one time with six chambers per cylinder. It’s decorated with intricate patterns across its iron body with a silver chain hanging from the end of the grip. At the end of this chain, players can see a three-headed dog inspired by Cerberus of Ancient Greek mythology. The three-headed hellhound guarded the gates to the underworld in traditional lore.
Cerberus first appeared in the 2005 film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, being fully visible during the battle with Bahamut SIN in Edge. It remains Vincent’s primary weapon in the 2006 title Dirge of Cerberus. During gameplay, players can opt to fit the weapon with short, normal, and long barrels, and can make Cerberus lighter or able to hold more ammo (84 rounds max). Different Materia can be equipped on an optional chain, while more advanced scopes or automatic reloading mechanisms can be added later in the game.
Towards the beginning of Dirge of Cerberus, Vincent acquires two other guns–a bolt-action rifle dubbed the Hydra and a machine gun called the Griffon. In the final chapter of the game, Vincent can use the Death Penalty which will cause an explosion with each shot fired. All guns in the game, with the exception of the Death Penalty, can be equipped with Materia, accessories, and scopes.
Prior to settling on a final design, Vincent’s character was altered a number of times. Before being dubbed a former member of the Turks, he was first imagined to be a horror researcher, a detective, or a chemist. Prior to assigning guns as his weapon of choice, Tetsuya Nomura had imagined Vincent wielding a scythe, with early character art highlighting this.
Scenario writer Kazushige Nojima was in charge of writing Vincent’s tragic backstory. Nojima also served as a scenario writer on Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy X-2, Crisis Core, and a number of other entries in the franchise. The early script for the game saw Vincent with a more witty, flirty, and sarcastic personality, but this was later changed. Nojima has explained that he had trouble writing Vincent’s dialogue in the end, as the character was made much quieter and more serious.
Vincent was played by Shogo Suzuki in Japanese and Steve Blum in English. Suzuki was cast as Nomura aimed to have Cloud and Vincent’s voices be as contrasting as possible given the many similarities between the characters. With his deep voice, Suzuki has explained that he tried to “hold back as much emotion as possible” while playing the character, citing Vincent’s perceived coldness.
Around three decades prior to the events of Final Fantasy VII, Vincent was a member of the Shinra Electric Power Company’s Department of Administrative Research, also known as the Turks. Assigned to oversee the Jenova Project in Nibelheim, he soon fell in love with Lucrecia Crescent, a scientist and assistant to Gast Faremis.
Lucrecia had worked on the discovery of Chaos and Omega with Vincent’s late father Grimoire Valentine. After discovering the grotto where Chaos was destined to awaken from its slumber, Grimoire was killed when his experiment went wrong. He shielded Lucrecia from the blast, causing her to feel a heavy amount of guilt. Once she discovered Vincent’s connection to Grimoire, she quickly distanced herself from him, instead starting a relationship with fellow scientist Professor Hojo.
Soon after starting this relationship, Lucrecia became pregnant. Hojo immediately planned on using the fetus as the main test subject for the Jenova Project, much to Vincent’s horror. However, Lucrecia agreed, soon falling ill as a result of the treatment.
Confronting Hojo in the Shinra Manor’s underground laboratory, Vincent is shot in the chest by the scientist. Hojo then used Vincent’s barely-alive body as a test subject, pushing him to the limit and enabling him to transform into multiple monstrous forms. Through the course of this experimentation, Vincent’s body became much stronger, but the man remained in a death-like state, rendering the experiments null.
In an effort to revive Vincent, Lucrecia implants the Chaos-infused Mako into the man’s body. Incredibly, this worked–Vincent’s hyper-strengthened body was powerful enough to contain the mysterious entity. The only way to control Chaos, however, was through the use of the one-of-a-kind Protomateria, discovered by Grimoire and kept in Lucrecia’s lab. Out of her willingness to help Vincent as much as possible, Lucrecia places the Protomateria inside Vincent’s chest as a way to give the man some control over Chaos.
After waking up on the operating table, Vincent is horrified to see what he has become. Through a combination of his fusion with Chaos and Hojo’s experiments, Vincent is given superhuman speed, strength, agility, endurance, and regeneration. He can also shape-shift into multiple forms. While much of this would prove useful in the future, Vincent only sees his mutations as a source of anguish.
Slumber Below Shinra Mansion
Feeling an incredible sense of guilt following Hojo’s experimentation on Lucrecia’s child, Vincent locks himself inside a coffin in the basement of Shinra Mansion to atone for his supposed ‘sins.’ He remains there, largely undisturbed, for over two decades.
The only time Vincent awakens from his slumber during this period of time is seen during Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. During Episode 19, Verdot and the Player Turk are seen at the Shinra Mansion searching for the Support Materia to summon Zirconiade. Verdot finds Vincent in the basement and wakes him up, and while the two look very different, the two Turks recognize each other. Vincent agrees to help his former colleague fight against AVALANCHE, also handing over the Support Materia which is kept in the mansion. Following this, the jaded man returns to his slumber.
Zack Fair hears a strange groaning sound coming from the basement in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-. Approaching a coffin, he opens it to find someone sleeping. Unwilling to disturb the mysterious stranger, he closes the lid and goes on his way.
In Final Fantasy VII
Cloud discovers Vincent in a coffin in the basement of Shinra Manor in Nibelheim. Successfully persuading the quiet man to join the party proves to be a challenge–after hearing about Sephiroth, Vincent knows this to be Lucrecia’s child and hopes to distance himself from his past sins. Attempting to return to his slumber, he only stops when Cloud confirms that Hojo is sure to appear on their path. Vincent then agrees to come along to seek his revenge on the mad scientist.
Memories of Vincent’s past are revealed when the group stumbles upon Lucrecia’s Cave, including the argument which led to Vincent being shot and the experiments which followed. Lucrecia asks Vincent about Sephiroth, and Vincent replies that he is dead to save her from the horrible truth of what her son has become.
Cloud and the gang confront Hojo as he sits in control of the Sister Ray, also known as the Mako Cannon. Unsurprisingly, the scientist admits that he only saw Lucrecia as a tool to further his own goals. Hojo is then defeated by the party.
As Yuffie and Vincent were optional characters in Final Fantasy VII, they don’t appear in the ending movie. In Dirge of Cerberus, it’s shown that the two had returned to Midgar during the final battle with Sephiroth to evacuate the city’s residence before Meteor hit. However, in Advent Children, Yuffie and Vincent are seen alongside the others as they fight Sephiroth.
When Vincent initiates his Limit Break, he transforms into an uncontrollable monster until the battle ends or he is defeated. Upon transforming, his stats increase and his HP replenishes. Though these forms can be undeniably powerful, Vincent remains Berserk during their runtime, meaning that his attacks cannot be controlled. Defensive Materia works during his Limit Break, but any Elemental or Added Effect offensive properties won’t carry over as he is not using his assigned weapon.
Both Vincent’s final Limit Break (Chaos) and his ultimate weapon (Death Penalty) can be found in Lucrecia’s Cave.
|Limit Break||How to Unlock||Effect|
|Galian Beast (Level 1)||Starter Limit Break||Berserk Dance (attack on single enemy) and Beast Flare (Fire attack on all enemies)|
|Death Gigas (Level 2)||Defeat 40 enemies||Gigadunk (attack on single enemy) and Livewire (Lightning attack on all enemies)|
|Hellmasker (Level 3)||Defeat 56 enemies after obtaining Landscraper (96 enemies total)||Splattercombo (attack on five random enemies) and Nightmare (inflicts multiple status effects on one enemy)|
|Chaos (Level 4)||Find Lucrecia||Chaosaber (attack on single enemy) and Satan Slam (instant death OR 5.6x damage to one enemy)|
Post-Final Fantasy VII
In 2009, Square Enix released a series of short stories to fill in the story gap between the events of Final Fantasy VII and the film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Titled Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile, the collection includes chapters centering around many of the central characters. The book was released in English in October 2018.
Vincent appears in both Episode: Yuffie and Episode: Nanaki and is featured more prominently in the latter chapter. In Episode: Yuffie, he parts ways with the party in the City of the Ancients, only muttering a brief goodbye. Cid notes that Vincent is likely returning to Lucrecia.
In Episode: Nanaki, Vincent embarks on a journey to track a Turk Helicopter. Arriving at a camp near Nibelheim, he shoots down Red XIII when he is caught attacking one of the huts. Explaining Red’s mistake, Vincent leaves immediately after, with the two seen meeting again in the Forgotten City at a later time. Red XIII expresses his fear of losing his loved ones given his long lifespan. Vincent comforts him, noting that he is immortal. The two then agree to meet in Midgar each year.
In Final Fantasy: Advent Children
Following the events of Final Fantasy VII, Vincent traveled the world helping people in need, only keeping in touch with other party members sporadically. He begins following a series of rumors about the Remnants of Sephiroth–three young men named Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo–who serve as the film’s primary antagonists. Said to be in stationed in the Forgotten City, Vincent manages to arrive in time to rescue the former Turks Tseng and Elena from the trio. Vincent then helps them recover, garnering as much information as possible about the strange remnants as possible. Rushing in to fight against Kadaj in the Forgotten City, Vincent saves Cloud and carries him to safety in a remote part of a nearby forest.
Vincent tells Cloud about Geostigma, a new disease beginning to infect people around the world. He also mentions Sephiroth’s possible rebirth. Cloud responds with self-loathing for the death of Aerith and Zack, asking Vincent if it’s possible for sins to be forgiven. Vincent states that he’s never tried, and Cloud decides that he’ll give it a shot.
Towards the end of the film, Vincent appears alongside the other members of AVALANCHE to fight against Bahamut SIN. It’s mentioned that Vincent is the only member of the team without a cell phone.
Aboard the airship Shera, Vincent explains that Kadaj is something akin to Sephiroth’s “larva form” and that eventually, he would grow to become the Final Fantasy VII villain reborn.
In the bonus feature, Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII, Vincent calls Cloud, implying that he had finally bought a cell phone. He notes that Yuffie is not meant to call him.
In Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-
Released in 2006, Dirge of Cerberus is an action role-playing third-person shooter featuring Vincent as the main protagonist. Set three years after Final Fantasy VII and one year after the events of Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus is the first shooter in the Final Fantasy series, with battles occurring in real-time.
Players can switch between a first and third-person perspective, with the latter featuring an over-the-shoulder perspective. Defeating enemies to gain experience, players can use this EXP to either level up, earn Gil, or increase Vincent’s individual stats. Two of Vincent’s Limit Breaks are available in Dirge of Cerberus: the Galian Beast and Chaos. The latter is only available toward the end of the game and is not optional.
Before Crisis, Dirge of Cerberus, and Crisis Core were all announced following the initial development of Advent Children as ways to flesh out the entirety of Final Fantasy VII’s world. Yoshinori Kitase, the producer of Dirge of Cerberus, planned the game to be a shooter due to his love of the genre. He also intended it to be a challenge for the developers, who were used to creating more story-heavy titles as opposed to action-heavy games. Additional RPG elements were added later in the development period. As Vincent was not initially meant to be a playable character in Final Fantasy VII, large aspects of his backstory had been left unexplained, making the creation of a Vincent-focused game very attractive to developers and fans alike.
First announced in September 2004, Dirge of Cerberus was released in Japan in January 2006 following a troubled development period. Although a demo was planned to be released during E3, this did not happen as the staff was rushing to fix control issues. The beta test program was also canceled.
Released in North America and Europe in August and November 2006 respectively, the title saw a major overhaul in these regions. Online Multiplayer support was removed and PS2 HDD support was removed in the U.S. While the Japanese release featured an Easy Mode, this was also removed.
Tetsuya Nomura served as the main character designer on the game. Popular Japanese singer Gackt provided the two theme songs for the game (Longing / Redemption) and was the inspiration for the in-game character G.
The Story of Dirge of Cerberus
As the Worldwide Network is restored, Vincent finds himself in Kalm as a celebration is underway. The festivities are interrupted by an unknown group of soldiers, with some citizens being killed and others being taken. Vincent is the one being hunted, though he is unaware at the beginning of the game. Soon confronted by a man named Azul and a little girl, he is told to give up the location of the Protomateria. Before Vincent can respond, the girl faints and both characters retreat alongside the WRO, or World Regenesis Organization. After Kalm is secured, Vincent meets with former Shinra executive Reeve Tuesti.
Peace isn’t so easily guaranteed, Reeve explains, as Edge, a new town on Midgar’s outskirts, is under attack. The mysterious soldiers are part of Deepground, a supersoldier group created by confidential experimentation taking place beneath the Shinra Building. These soldiers would have no morals and would follow orders to the letter, making them incredibly dangerous. Azul belongs to the elite Tsviets unit, and the events in Kalm aren’t the first–people have been vanishing around the world.
As Vincent arrives in Edge, he finds it largely deserted, though he soon encounters Rosso the Crimson, another Tsviet. As Azul did previously, Rosso demands the Protomateria, explaining that Deepground requires it to control Omega, monstrous weapons created by the Planet and the so-called ‘final weapon.’ As the two begin their battle, Vincent transforms into Chaos against his will, defeating Rosso with ease but also causing himself to collapse. Shalua Rui, a WRO scientist, finds Vincent and brings him to WRO Headquarters, where he learns of Lucrecia’s connection to both Chaos and Omega.
Atul, leading a Deepground squadron, storms the headquarters, bringing with him the young girl seen at Kalm. Shocked, Shalua identifies her as Shelke, Shalua’s long-lost sister dealing with the aftermath of ten years of torture at the hands of Deepground. Unable to be reasoned with, Vincent defeats Shelke in battle and sedates her before subduing Azul.
In a search for much-needed answers, Vincent travels to Shinra Manor in Nibelheim, finding a hologram of Lucrecia. The scientist’s data on Omega had been left behind in the mansion and is taken by Rosso, who then ambushes Vincent, tearing the Protomateria out of his chest. Yuffie then appears to save Vincent before he loses his life to the sadist.
Days later, Vincent returns to the WRO Headquarters to find it swarming with Deepground agents for a second time. Azul, under orders from Weiss, seeks to kill Shelke to keep the WRO from extracting Lucrecia’s data from her. In the resulting skirmish, Shalua loses her arm as she bids farewell to Shelke, asking Vincent to care for her sister. Shalua is then pummeled by Azul, causing her to fall into a coma. Baffled as to why Shalua would risk her life to save someone she hardly knew, Shelke asks Vincent to explain. His response causes the girl to experience one of Lucrecia’s memories kept within her.
The Omega Report Vincent gave to Reeve is found to be incomplete. Without the full report, the WRO is unable to launch a full assault on Deepground’s base. Shelke speaks up, explaining that she had previously absorbed a portion of Lucrecia’s data into her mind as a way to find the Protomateria. In an act of goodwill, she offers to give up the data to both help the WRO and free her mind.
Through the use of a Synaptic Net Dive, Shelke provides the group with a deeper understanding of Omega. Aboard the Shera, the WRO finally manages to understand Deepground’s true goal–to sacrifice a large number of people unaffected by Geostigma. Doing so will create a more pure Lifestream which will trick Omega into awakening, therefore destroying the world.
Shelke alters Vincent’s cell phone, allowing the man to contact her directly for guidance during the upcoming Battle of Midgar. Aided by the former members of AVALANCHE, the WRO launches an air and land assault on Deepground as Vincent descends into the remains of Sector 7 ready to infiltrate the enemy’s stronghold. Once again, Rosso appears. Defeated, she chooses to kill herself rather than be killed by the enemy. Before she leaps to her death, she tells Vincent that Azul is waiting for him.
As Vincent approaches the Shinra Building, Chaos begins to take control of the man yet again. In Lucrecia’s voice, Shelke explains the nature of Chaos and the importance of Protomateria in maintaining control of the monstrous creature within. As Chaos, Vincent manages to easily overtake Azul before finding a dead Weiss. He then meets Nero the Sable, Weiss’s brother, who explains that Shelke is within him, trapped in neverending darkness. Though Vincent also becomes overtaken by this darkness, he is completely unaffected thanks to the influence of Chaos.
As Weiss begins to stir, it is revealed that the man is possessed by the spirit of Hojo, who was killed in the Mako Cannon three years prior. Before this, the scientist uploaded his consciousness into the Worldwide Network–previously, he had hoped of someday perfecting his body by injecting himself with Jenova cells and merging with Omega. Uploading his mind was a backup plan, and a very successful one–Hojo was able to use Deepground to continue his haunting agenda.
Nearly transforming into Chaos completely, Vincent is halted by a hologram of Lucrecia begging him to utilize Chaos’s power while also retaining his human form. Hojo is destroyed once and for all after Vincent manages to defeat Weiss. The main mako reactor is reactivated and, as planned, Omega is summoned. Vincent also transforms into Chaos, but Shelke manages to retrieve the Protomateria, returning it to the man and enabling him to regain complete control of his faculties. Lucrecia apologizes for the pain she has caused Vincent before the man flies off to defeat Omega.
A week after these events, Vincent is seen in Lucrecia’s cave. Having finally forgiven himself for his perceived ‘sin,’ he tells her that both Omega and Chaos have returned to the planet, also thanking her for saving his life. Outside of the cave, Shelke waits for him, and seeing a glimpse of Lucrecia inside of the girl, Vincent smiles as the game concludes.
Appearances in Other Media
Vincent Valentine appears as a playable character in the following Final Fantasy titles:
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper
Vincent also appears as a summonable Legend in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade and as a summonable vision in Final Fantasy Brave Exodus.
He appears in Mobius Final Fantasy and World of Final Fantasy, though is not playable in either.
In Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, Vincent appears as a boss during the Training Mode.
Vincent appears in the following games in card form:
- Final Fantasy Artniks
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game
- Triple Triad
A costume based on Vincent’s was released in Gunslinger Stratos 2 in November 2014.
Vincent appears in the 1998 arcade fighting title Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring as a secret character unlocked by completing the game with Tifa. The title was ported to the PlayStation in 1999.
- Vincent is a Latin name translating to “conquering one” or “victorious.” Valentine is derived from the Roman name Valentinus, the root of which is the word valens meaning “strong and healthy.”
- Vincent’s costume appeared as a DLC in LittleBigPlanet 2.
- At 60 years old, Vincent is the oldest playable Final Fantasy character.
- Due to time constraints, Vincent was not intended to be a playable character in Final Fantasy VII. In the end, he was added as an optional character quite far into the game.
- Both Vincent and Yuffie’s portraits show the characters facing right. All other portraits show the characters facing left.
- Vincent was initially planned to be added to the first Kingdom Hearts title–however, Cloud was chosen in the end.