Cloud is one of the main characters in the Final Fantasy VII sage, while Vincent is one of the two optional characters who can only join Cloud's party by following through a few key steps. Even though the sequel stories to FFVII do make Vincent look like that he is a main character in the series sage. Along with Dirge of Cerberus having their roles reversed, with Cloud as a minor character in the game while Vincent is its main protagonist.
Like Cloud, Vincent originally worked for Shinra until Professor Hojo decided to experiment on the two shortly after they were injured, as well as the people that Cloud and Vincent were close with also being victims of Hojo's Jenova experiments that are connected to Sephiroth. Nibelhiem was Cloud's home town before it was destroyed by Sephiroth and rebuilt by Shinra to cover up what happened there, while Vincent spent a lot of time in Nibelhiem when he was sent there to guard one of the Jenova Project scientists.
Final Fantasy VII
Before Cloud and his party find Vincent sleeping in the underground basement of the abandoned Shinra Manor in Nibelhiem, he finds a few notes about a Turk that allows him to unlock a sealed door to where Vincent had sealed himself in to atone for his sins. After Cloud addresses himself as a ex-SOLIDER of Shrine, Vincent explains that he was a Turk who was close with the woman who gave birth to Sephiroth, which surprise Cloud as he was told that Jenova is Sephiroth's mother, to which has Vincent explaining how Hojo injected Jenova cells into Sephiroth when he was still growing within Lucrecia's belly. Vincent originally wanted to be left alone as he continues his atone sleep, but after realizing that Cloud's mission to find Sephiroth would have him crossing paths with Professor Hojo, he decides to joins Cloud in his task.
During their journey when they come across Lucrecia Crescent in her cave, Vincent stops Cloud from answering her question about Sephiroth being alive in order to protect her from the harsh truth. Just as their encounter with Lucrecia gets Vincent to remember what Hojo did to him at the Shinra Manor's lavatory, their mission to find Sephiroth allows Cloud to realize that he too was a victim of Hojo's inhuman experiments, that were done in the very same building. The game's options can have Cloud asking Vincent to ride the Golden saucer with him, as well as having Cloud entrusting Vincent with the Black Materia. Before one of the Sephiroth clones tricks Vincent into handing it back to Cloud, who has been made to think that he was born a failed clone instead of being a human person who was turned into one by Hojo.
After Cloud recovers from his Meko poisoning and realizes that he has been living a false persona, he confuses to Vincent and the others that he never was a SOLIDER, but was still determined to continue what they set out to do, as his true self. Like everyone else, Vincent was shocked by Cloud's confuse but in away he understood why Cloud created such a persona as Vincent continues to view him as the leader that he'll follow all the way to the end of their journey. Cloud and Vincent eventually got the chance to fight the very man who experimented on both of them, as they couldn't give Hojo the chance to help his son, Sephiroth, and he needed to be punished for his sinful crimes towards the people he hurt.
The day before they all head off to face Sephiroth in their final battle, Cloud tells Vincent and the rest of their party to go be with the people they love, as well as to find what is worth fighting for. Because of Vincent's personality, Cloud was a little surprised to see that Vincent decided to take in their final battle to save the Planet, but was still glad to see him.
One year later, as Cloud goes to save Denzel and the other children from the Remnants of Sephiroth in the Forgotten City, Vincent sees Cloud losing to the trio and fires a shot at their leader, Kadaj, before he uses his abilities to spirit Cloud to safety. Once they were in a remote part of the forest, Vincent informs Cloud of what he knows about Geostigma—the new disease infecting people around the Planet—and Sephiroth's impending rebirth. Because Vincent is no stranger to the pain of guilt, that is from failing to save someone he cares about, and Cloud is still tormented over his own guilt for not preventing the deaths of both Aerith and Zack, Cloud asks Vincent if sins like theirs could ever be forgiven. To which has Vincent telling Cloud that he "never tried" to, but their conversation dose inspire Cloud to try before he parts ways with Vincent.
As Cloud faces the Remnants of Sephiroth, again, Vincent and the rest of AVALANCHE arrive to aid their friend, by battling Bahamut SIN so Cloud can be free to case after Kadaj. While everyone else wanted to join in Cloud's battle with the reborn Sephiroth at the ruins of Shinra Headquarters, and even though he too wishes to help Cloud in his fight, Vincent tells the others that Cloud is able to handle it alone without their help. In which Vincent was right and after Kadaj was defeated, Cloud wakes up to find Vincent among the rest of the people who came to great him at the Sector 5 Church.
Dirge of Cerberus
Another year later, as Vincent goes to face Deepground from the air with a few other World Regenesis Organization (WRO) troops, Cloud assists Vincent on the ground with Tifa and Barret, in order to help Vincent get into their headquarters. Shortly after Vincent got into the building remains of the former Shinra Headquarters, he gets a call brief from Cloud about how he and the others will continue to aid Vincent on their ends. In which they do, as Cloud's faith in Vincent has him helping his friend fight Omega by cutting off one of the Ultimate Weapon's connections to the lifestream reactors, while Vincent goes to face Omega itself with the power of chaos. After the battle was won and Vincent disappears, Cloud goes in search of him until a few weeks later when Vincent is finally able to forgive himself for his "sins". Just as the after math of Advent Children has Cloud forgiving himself for what happened to the friends he lost.
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Vincloud is one of the well liked slash ships involving Vincent in the Final Fantasy VII fandom. Because both of them had once worked for Shinra, as a Grunt and Turk, fans believe that their former connections to the company, as well as both of them being victims of Hojo's twisted human experiments and had lived in Nibelhiem, would allow them to form a strong bond between one another.
- Because the flashback prologue of Dirge of Cerberus shows Vincent in Midgard before Meteor gets close to the Planet, it indicates that Vincent and Yuffie had at some point parted with Cloud before he faces Sephiroth in their final battle.
- Cloud's original Kingdom Hearts design is based on Vincent.
- Cloud's based on Vincent appearance is also included in the Dissidia Final Fantasy series, as one of Cloud's DLC costumes.
|SHIPS||het||Clerith • CloLight • Cloti • Highspecs • HopuRai • Lightis • Noctluna • Raire • Squaerith • Squinoa • Snerah • SnowRai • Tiduna • Zerith|
|slash||Clack • Nocloud • Sefikura • Strifehart • Strifentine|
|femslash||Aerti • FLight • Lightifa • VanLight|
|CHARACTERS||m/f||Cloud Strife • Lightning Farron|