|“||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.
His Japanese voice actor is Shōgo Suzuki, and he is voiced by Steve Blum in English.
Vincent is a man physically in his late 20s, and stands roughly six feet tall. He has crimson eyes and long black hair that streams about wildly at times. He wears a red band over his head with his fringe emerging over it. Vincent's most distinctive feature is his tattered red cape, 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 metallic boots. He also 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.
Dark and brooding over his past "sins", Vincent carries many burdens and secrets. Despite his cold personality, he is not uncaring: at a point where Cloud admits he thought Vincent was cold and did not care about the Planet, Vincent casually brushes off the remark. He also has a soft spot for Lucrecia, referring to her as a beautiful lady.
Likewise, Vincent fiercely despises Hojo for his various immoral actions, and it is the determination of meeting him that stirs him to accompany the party in Final Fantasy VII. Vincent is reluctant to speak, although when he does, he typically has something important to say.
Vincent Valentine was originally a covert operative working for Shinra officially the Investigation Sector of the General Affairs Department, but also known informally as The Turks. Vincent was a bodyguard for Shinra scientists who worked on various projects in Nibelheim. Vincent would specifically work closely with Lucrecia Crescent, who he would develop feelings for. However another scientist, Professor Hojo would end up using Vincent in experiments, giving him bizarre powers and abilities, including functional immortality. Vincent would then enter a sort of hibernation, before being discovered decades later by a group of fighters attempting to save the world: Cloud, Tifa, Barret, Red XIII, Aeris, Cid and Yuffie. Vincent would join the group, believing he would met Hojo again.
Final Fantasy VII
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. Cloud tells him about Sephiroth, and Vincent, knowing he was the child Lucrecia had conceived, considers it another "sin" and attempts to return 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 plans of claiming revenge.
When the party discovers Lucrecia in Lucrecia's Cave, Vincent relives memories from his past, remembering the argument between himself and Hojo over her, and Hojo shooting Vincent and experimenting on him. When Lucrecia asks him about Sephiroth, Vincent lies that he is dead, presumably to spare Lucrecia from the truth of what her son has become. When the party confronts Hojo at the controls of the Sister Ray, Vincent learns that Hojo "thought of Lucrecia as a tool" and claims it was Hojo, not him, who was meant to sleep and atone for his crimes. The party then defeats him.
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. Vincent's stats average-out with his quickest growing stats Magic and Spirit. Vincent's physical durability is considered below average but his accuracy combined with his quick and potent grasp of magic, makes him a marksman/mage character with decent physical attack. 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 - allowing him to intuit Shinra attack plans as a second-nature.
- 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.
- Since his introduction, Vincent has become one of the most popular characters in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.