Matthew Mercer Was Trolled Into Playing FF7 Rebirth’s Vincent Valentine

When Matthew Mercer stepped into the recording booth for Final Fantasy 7 (FF7) Rebirth, he had no idea he’d be portraying Vincent Valentine. In the rare case of a prank gone right, Mercer was surprised with the role thanks to some wholesome trolling from the team at Square Enix.

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The trickery involved in Mercer’s Vincent Valentine casting was recently unveiled in Inside Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, a series of behind-the-scenes interviews with the game’s creative team. Mercer detailed how he believed he was going into the studio to provide an array of NPC and background voices. While Mercer was running through NPC lines, his monitor glitched out, and a brief slideshow revealed that he had actually been brought on to voice Vincent Valentine. “It kind of broke me in a beautiful way,” Mercer reflected on his unconventional FF7 Rebirth origin story.

Though certainly his most significant role in the franchise to date, Vincent Valentine’s far from the first occasion in which Mercer has lent his voice acting talents to a Final Fantasy installment. Mercer had previously portrayed Trey in Final Fantasy Type-0 HD and Final Fantasy Awakening and Cor Leonis in Final Fantasy XV and its follow-ups. The actor and Critical Role Dungeon Master has also contributed to games such as Final Fantasy Explorers, World of Final Fantasy, and 2020’s FF7 Remake by providing additional background voices, the way he thought he would be for FF7 Rebirth.

His turn as Vincent Valentine comes off the heels of Mercer’s banner year of video game voice acting. In 2023, Mercer portrayed Minsc in Game of the Year Baldur’s Gate 3 and the iconic villain Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Persona 5 Tactica, Starfield, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Fire Emblem: Engage, and Asgard’s Wrath 2 rank among the other gaming titles Mercer provided voices for last year. Between FF7 Rebirth and the expansion of Critical Role’s tabletop gaming empire with the beta launch of the all-new TTRPG Daggerheart, Mercer’s 2024 appears to be continuing this momentum.

Thanks to the unique nature in which the role was revealed to him, FF7 Rebirth’s Vincent Valentine is sure to stand out among the prolific resume of Matthew Mercer. As the actor himself shared, being trolled into the part is a memory that will stick with him for a long time.


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Tara McCauley
Nerd at large, Tara McCauley's happiest playing or writing about tabletop role playing games. Tara joined The Escapist in October 2023 as a freelance contributor. She covers such TV shows as Fargo and games/fandoms like Dungeons & Dragons. In addition to The Escapist, Tara has gushed about her favorite pop culture topics at CBR, MXDWN, and Monstrous Femme. When she's not writing or rolling dice, Tara can be found catching up on her favorite sitcoms, curled up with a horror comic, or waxing poetic about the WNBA.