Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's Vincent didn't know he was voicing the JRPG's fan-favorite antihero until he was in the studio: "It kind of broke me in a beautiful way"

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's Vincent Valentine actor Matthew Mercer has revealed the role was sprung on him as a last-minute surprise because Square Enix knew how much he wanted the part.

During the fourth episode of Square Enix's 'Voicing Icons' YouTube video series, Mercer explained just how big a fan of Final Fantasy 7 he is and was going into the role, and how he learned the news that he'd be voicing Vincent. He was actually called in to voice random NPCs and was informed he had a much bigger part to play while he was in the studio recording voice lines, and the best part is the whole thing was caught on camera, so you can see his shock and amazement in real time.

"I'm thankfully very familiar with Final Fantasy 7," Mercer says. "I remember auditioning for it and wanting very, very badly to get this role. I had dreams back when I started out as a voice actor about one day having an opportunity to read for this game if it ever came to pass for the many years when everyone was waiting for the remake to possibly be a thing. I'd assumed it was gone, I assumed it was just one of those that got away."

Mercer is an accomplished voice actor in the video game and anime space, having voiced roles including Leon Kennedy in Resident Evil 6, Ganondorf in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Levi Ackerman in Attack on Titan, and many, many more. Even so, when he went in to record for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, he thought he was playing a bunch of much-smaller characters.

"I think my fondest memory working on this game was when I realized who I was playing," Mercer says as the camera cuts to a clip of him in the studio. A voice off-screen tells him he's there to voice "NPC characters and a variety of different stuff," but then the screen in the studio appears to malfunction.

As the off-screen voice grapples with the "weird" screen issue, an image of Mercer appears with a thought bubble reading "Hmm... What if I were one of the actual characters in the game?" Then, a closeup of Vincent appears, revealing Mercer's role in the game. Mercer is, naturally, overcome with joy. "It kind of broke me in a beautiful way. I think that is going to be a particular memory I carry with me for a very, very long time."

Vincent, of course, is the mysterious fan-favorite antihero that can be recruited as an optional playable character in the original Final Fantasy 7 after you get the Mansion key. In Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, he's not a playable character but is featured prominently.

Meanwhile, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's Yuffie actor was too good at fake vomiting during recording and was told "actually, you need to tone it down - they don't really like that".

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.