It’s foolish to deny the sheer impact Final Fantasy VII has had not only on the RPG genre, but the video game medium. Alongside The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy VII helped give the medium a layer of legitimacy that’s followed it all the way to the present day. While much of the title’s success is owed to both its gameplay and narrative, the cast helped FF7 shine.
Cloud Strife remains one of the most beloved video game protagonists of all time, but there’s one character who arguably stole the show: Vincent Valentine. A secret party member with vampiric qualities and a compellingly mysterious past, Vincent may very well be Final Fantasy VII’s breakout character.
10 The Single Oldest Final Fantasy Protagonist
Vincent Valentine may not be the protagonist of Final Fantasy VII, but he is the unquestionable lead of Dirge of Cerberus, one of the many FF7 based spin-off games. Interestingly, despite looking like a young man in his mid to late 20s, Vincent is actually 60 years old by the time Dirge of Cerberus kicks off.
At the ripe old age of 60, this makes Vincent the single oldest Final Fantasy protagonist by a mile. To put things into perspective, the second oldest FF protagonist would be Lightning at 21 years old (tied with Cloud, interestingly enough.) Cecil might count in The After Years at 35, but he arguably isn’t the main character.
9 He’s Canonically Recruited As Late As Possible
As an unlockable character, Square Enix had to take very careful steps with depicting Vincent in non-Final Fantasy VII material. After all, while he is canonically a member of the party, it’s entirely possible for players to complete the game without him. With this in mind, Square Enix has time and time again hinted that Vincent was recruited quite late.
More specifically, given how unfamiliar supporting characters are with him in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII Project, the only logical explanation is that Vincent was recruited as late into the game as humanly possible, only being present for the most mandatory of moments.
8 Vincent Canonically Doesn’t Fight Sephiroth
With that in mind, it’s worth noting that Square Enix went out of their way to canonize the fact that Vincent and Yuffie do not participate in Final Fantasy 7’s final battle. Both characters are dealing with different finale-related problems according to the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII Project.
This was done primarily to ensure that any players who missed out on either character wouldn’t feel like they were missing out on actual story. Canonically, Cloud, Barrett, Tifa, Red XIII, Cid, and Cait Sith all fight Sephiroth while Vincent and Yuffie serve as pseudo-backup in case things turn especially sour.
7 Vincent Doesn’t Appear In Any FF7 Cutscenes (For Good Reason)
There’s also another, better reason why Vincent canonically doesn’t fight Sephiroth at the end of the game: he doesn’t appear in any cutscenes. Final Fantasy VII’s FMV cutscenes were far and away some of the most impactful scenes in the game, always pushing the story forward in a meaningful way.
That said, being a secret character, Square Enix deemed it too time consuming to create alternate FMVs where Vincent and Yuffie both appeared (or one over the other.) After all, neither character is necessary for completion, but those FMV cutscenes needed to play and in high quality. It only makes sense to exclude Vincent.
6 Vincent’s Always Facing The “Right” Way
Vincent and Yuffie share a very interesting characteristic unique to themselves: they’re facing right in the party menu. Now, this doesn’t sound too special and, to be completely honest, it really isn’t, but it’s worth making note of. All the other party members face left. Vincent and Yuffie stand alone in this regard.
Of course, it does make some deal of sense. After all, Vincent and Yuffie aren’t organic members of the party. Players need to go out of their way to properly recruit them and utilize them. As a result, it’s only natural Square Enix “other” them in some capacity, if nothing else than to show that they’re “different” from the rest of the main cast.
5 He’s Immortal (To An Extent)
Immortality is always a tricky subject to discuss as it can refer to two different types of immortality: the prospect of never dying and the prospect of never aging. In some cases, immortal character inhibit both traits. In Vincent’s case, however, he’s immortal only in the sense that he doesn’t seem to age.
Curiously, Vincent actually reflects on the fact that he’s immortal, albeit briefly and really only to mention said fact. Other than that, Vincent’s immortality doesn’t play much of a role in his character other than keeping him fresh faced for Square Enix’s liking. At the cast gets older, Vincent stays the same.
4 Vincent Is Playable In The Most Compilation Games
As far as the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII goes, it serves as a means of not only fleshing out the world of FF7, but the cast. This typically means that each Compilation game ends up focusing on a different character and another part of the original game’s lore. Most of the time, this means previously playable characters don’t return as playable characters.
Except in the case of Vincent who goes on to be the main character of Dirge of Cerberus. Given the Compilation’s reserved approach to playable characters, this means that Vincent is the party member playable in the most Compilation games, tied only with Cait Sith.
3 He Was Going To Appear In Kingdom Hearts Over Cloud
There’s a very good reason why Cloud looks virtually identical to Vincent in the original Kingdom Hearts: he was supposed to be Vincent. Originally, Vincent would be dealing with his own inner Darkness, serving as Sephiroth’s foil. It shouldn’t be too difficult to see why this approach ultimately wouldn’t have worked in the game’s favor.
More importantly, it’s important to remember that Vincent was an optional party member in Final Fantasy VII. While he was insanely popular and just about everyone knew of him, there were quite a few casual fans who didn’t really understand his character. Square ultimately deemed it better to just shift Cloud into the role.
2 Vincent Is One Of The Worst Party Members In FF7
Final Fantasy VII isn’t a particularly difficult game outside of its optional content so it doesn’t really matter who players are rocking in their party. Just about any character can get the job done reliably. Unfortunately, for those looking to tackle the super bosses, there’s no real reason to bring Vincent along.
With lackluster stats and special abilities, Vincent ends up perhaps the most underwhelming party member in the game. He’s only better than Cait Sith and really only in regards to their Limit Breaks. Vincent, as a party member, might be cool, but he isn’t worth the effort of grinding up.
1 Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Unlockable Vincent
Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring is one of the strangest fighting games of all time. A Square based wrestling fighter with action RPG elements, the games features multiple characters from Final Fantasy VII as playable characters. It’s one of the strangest crossovers in video game history while also being one of the coolest.By beating the main game as Tifa, it’s possible to unlock Vincent as a playable character. It seems that, for a time, Square was more than willing to embrace Vincent’s role as a specifically secret character. He’s not as demanding to unlock in Ehrgeiz, but it is something to make note of.