is a fictional character in Square Enix's console role-playing game Final Fantasy VII. Vincent is a genetically modified human who was a Turk assigned to guard the scientist Lucrecia Crescent who gave birth to the game's antagonist Sephiroth in one of Shinra's experiments involving Jenova's cells. Vincent would then become the subject of one of Hojo's experiments and by his introduction in Final Fantasy VII, he joins Cloud Strife's group to stop Sephiroth, as well as to confront Hojo. Designed by Tetsuya Nomura, he also appears in various titles from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, a series of prequels of and sequels of Final Fantasy VII, and is the protagonist in the third-person shooter Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and its mobile phone tie-in. The English voice actor of Vincent is Steven Blum, while the Japanese voice actor is Shōgo Suzuki.
Due to time constraints, Vincent was originally not meant to be playable in Final Fantasy VII, but in the end he appeared as an optional character. Still, in the titles from Compilation, Vincent would focus more in developing his character. Video games have had positive comments regarding Vincent, and his popularity as a character would be capitalized on through Square's decision to make him the protagonist of Dirge of Cerberus.
When Final Fantasy VII was still in development, character designer Tetsuya Nomura commented that the staff thought of removing him along with Yuffie Kisaragi (the other optional character from the game), as they did not have enough time to work them in. As a result, Vincent and Yuffie ended up appearing as optional characters. Director Yoshinori Kitase was in charge of the making of Vincent's cutscene in which he becomes a playable character, while scenario writer Kazushige Nojima wrote his backstory along with Lucrecia's. Game planner Hiroki Chiba crammed his scenes shortly before the game ended production. Nojima found troubles making Vincent's dialogues noting that despite his calm personality, he ends up having several lines. In the original script of the game, Vincent was introduced in a similar situation but with handsome, sarcastic personality. He joined Cloud's group after learning of Hojo, but having no knowledge of the results of the experiments in his body. Additionally, he was also meant to know more about Shinra's project regarding the creation of Sephiroth's clones, leading him to reveal it to Cloud after he explains that he was also experimented on by Hojo.
Vincent appears as a tall, lean young man with long black hair and a ragged red cloak and mantle over black clothes. He wears a metallic, golden gauntlet on his left forearm. Vincent's cloak covers the lower half of his face and is held closed by a series of buckles. His eyes are naturally red. For Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, Nomura redesigned Vincent's gun in the same way that Cloud's Buster Sword was redesigned in Advent Children to demonstrate he is the protagonist of the game. It was named Cerberus in references the multi-headed hound with the same name from Greek and Roman mythology as Nomura found it suitable for Vincent. It was made with three barrels as Cerberus has three heads, and three revolvers were added to reduce the number of limited bullets. Nomura has explained that Vincent Valentine's character shifted from that of horror researcher, to detective, to chemist, and finally arriving at the figure of a former member of the Shinra Company's Turks with a tragic past. It has been further explained that his crimson cloak was added to symbolize the idea of Vincent carrying a heavy weight—related to death—on his shoulders.
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