One of these days I'll fly an airship of my own. I'll be a sky pirate, free to go where I will.Vaan
Vaan is the main protagonist of Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. He is also a secret playable character in Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift and appears in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy representing Final Fantasy XII.
An orphan street thief hailing from Rabanastre in the Kingdom of Dalmasca, Vaan begrudges the Archadian Empire for the death of his brother, Reks, and the subjugation of his homeland. He dreams of owning an airship and being a sky pirate free to travel Ivalice. When his attempt to steal from the Royal Palace of Rabanastre goes awry, he becomes entangled in a conflict that could decide the fate of Dalmasca.
Vaan does not play a large role in the Final Fantasy XII story, instead being a view-point and foil, observing and contrasting the actions of others who influence the unfolding events more directly.
- 1 Profile
- 2 Story
- 3 Gameplay
- 4 Musical themes
- 5 Other appearances
- 6 Other media
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Merchandise
- 9 Gallery
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Vaan is a 17-year-old youth standing at around 5'7". He has tanned skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. He wears a loose cropped open metal vest fastened with a pendant. According to the manga, the pendant belonged to his brother. His dark pants are held up by a red ribboned sash belt, and are tucked into a pair of knee-high steel boots.
His appearance Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings remains identical, while his Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift appearance adds a large-collared white shirt beneath his cropped vest and several metal accessories on his side. The ornament on Vaan's waist at his Tactics A2 artwork resembles the Galbana airship from Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings.
Hating the Empire, getting revenge. It's all I ever thought about. But I never did anything about it. I mean, I realized there was nothing I could do. It made me feel hollow, alone. And then I'd miss my brother. I'd say stuff like 'I'm gonna be a sky pirate', or some other stupid thing. Just anything to keep my mind off it. I was just—I was running away.Vaan opens up to Ashe
Vaan is part of a lost generation, trying to find purpose in a life reduced to poverty. Vaan adopts a leadership role, being the eldest among the group of orphans he spends his time in, and is seen as a fraternal figure to the younger children, particularly Kytes and Filo. He is protective of his childhood friend Penelo, and though he hails from the Lowtown slums, Vaan dreams of becoming a sky pirate to escape the Empire's hold and roam the skies freely, but admits to Ashe that this desire stems from wanting to flee the memory of his brother, who was killed during the war.
Vaan trains in the Garamsythe Waterway slaying Dire Rats, gaining the nickname "Vaan Ratsbane" from Old Dalan. Despite having been forced to look after himself from an early age due to the loss of his family, Vaan remains naive. He holds an idealistic view of one day getting back at the Empire and owning an airship. His inexperience with the world comes across as being tactless during his interactions with his more worldly companions, e.g. fumbling over the viera race's longevity by asking Fran her age, and wondering aloud whether the Gran Kiltias is sleeping. Vaan being oblivious to how disrespectful he is being toward Ashe, considering she is royalty, gets somewhat lost in the translation, as Japanese has various levels of politeness. The original version has a running joke where Vaan keeps addressing Ashe in a casual and familiar way, and she keeps correcting him.
In Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Vaan has lost some of his naivete and leads his band of sky pirates onto a new adventure. He is courageous and loyal, but can be reckless and jump into dangerous situations without much forethought.
Final Fantasy XII
Dalmasca? What do you care about Dalmasca? Everything that happened is because of you! Everyone that's died, every single one! Even my brother; YOU KILLED MY BROTHER!Vaan to Basch fon Ronsenburg
Vaan was born in the year 689 Old Valendia, and grew up in Dalmasca's capital, the Royal City of Rabanastre. In 701, when Vaan was only twelve, his parents fell victim to the plague. Vaan and his elder brother Reks were taken in by his childhood friend Penelo and her family. Two years later, the war between Rozarria and Archadia bared upon its middle ground, Dalmasca, and a small scale raid of Rabanastre claimed the lives of Penelo's parents, leaving Vaan and Penelo with only one family figure left: Reks.
During the Imperial occupation, Reks signed up as a light infantry soldier. When King Raminas agreed to a peace treaty and left for Nalbina Fortress to sign it, word arrived that the treaty signing was but a conspiracy to murder him. Reks was sent to the fortress, his squadron being led by Captain Basch fon Ronsenburg of the Order of the Knights. Reks was fatally wounded by what appeared to be Basch, who had murdered the king. Reks's witness testimony led to Basch's conviction for high treason and he was announced executed, while Vaan looked after the increasingly unresponsive Reks in a hospital in his final moments. In the manga, Vaan later states that Reks was tortured to death by the Empire to force a confession for co-conspiring the King's death.
Believing his brother to have been murdered by not only Captain Basch, but also at the fault of the Archadian Empire, Vaan vows vengeance. He lives in Lowtown with Penelo and the other war orphans and spends his days slaying rats in the Garamsythe Waterway, carrying out menial tasks for the sundry shop owner, Migelo, and pick-pocketing the Archadian troops stationed in Rabanastre, rationalizing it as reclaiming the wealth Archadia is stealing.
When Vayne Solidor, the Emperor's son, becomes the consul of Dalmasca, Vaan sneaks into the royal palace during the fête to take back things that once belonged to Dalmasca. He chances upon the Goddess's Magicite and runs into the sky pirates Balthier and Fran who demand he hand over the object. Not knowing its true power but guessing it to be valuable, Vaan makes a run for it when the Resistance attacks the palace and the Imperial airship Ifrit repels the insurgence.
As told in the manga, during his escape, Vaan overhears Vayne speaking to Judge Gabranth and spies on them overseeing the battle. He is caught and brought before Vayne, who mocks his rage. Vaan tells the two his brother was killed at Nalbina Fortress, and Vayne invites Vaan to attack him. Vaan lunges but is blocked by Gabranth. Vaan is taken away by the guards, Vayne ordering him executed for attempted assault on an Archadian official. As Vaan is carried off, the guards are intercepted by Balthier, who continues to pursue Vaan and throws him over a bridge to Fran's hoverbike before following suit.
The vehicle's power is drained by the Goddess's Magicite and crashes in the Garamsythe Waterway, the city's sewer system that was exposed during an attack from Ifrit. Vaan teams up with Balthier and Fran to find a way out. Balthier surmises Vayne staged the dinner to lure the Resistance out of hiding and trap them using the Imperial fleet.
They encounter a Resistance fighter named Amalia cornered by Imperial Guards. Vaan runs to her aid, and following the ensuing battle, Amalia joins the party briefly, though she scorns at Vaan's thievery from the palace. Upon reaching the Waterway's exit, they battle a Firemane. In the manga, they are accosted by Judge Ghis and Vaan attacks him, but is knocked out. Ghis takes Amalia captive onboard Dreadnought Leviathan while the others are sent to Nalbina Dungeons. In the game, the party is confronted by Vayne himself. Nevertheless, Penelo spots Vaan, Balthier and Fran being led away in chains and approaches them in tears, but Balthier soothes her.
In the manga, Vaan awakens in the dungeons and intervenes on a seeq prisoner attacking a former Dalmascan soldier, but has the Goddess's Magicite stolen from him. Balthier tries to teach Vaan why he lost by challenging him to a game of coin toss, where Vaan must guess which of Balthier's hands he holds it. For a wrong guess, Balthier wants Vaan's chestpiece from Reks, but Vaan demands Balthier wager his airship. Balthier tosses the coin and Vaan fails at guessing its location, with Fran returning and revealing she has the coin and Balthier's hands are empty.
Gabranth authorizes the bounty hunter Ba'Gamnan to search the prisoners for Balthier, and Fran reveals she has found an exit. In the manga, Balthier decides to make their move in two hours after investigating the Resistance, and Vaan declares to have recovered the Goddess's Magicite by that time. He finds the seeq who stole it, but is ambushed by two more. Vaan is thrown into a cell until the seeq, Daguza, is ready to face him in arena. Ba'Gamnan offers to free him, but Daguza intervenes and the two fight, while Vaan escapes and charges at Daguza. Vaan ignores Balthier's lesson of using dirty tactics and, with a frontal attack, seizes the Goddess's Magicite and flees to reconvene with Balthier while another prisoner and Ba'Gamnan deal with Daguza and the other enraged seeq.
In the game, Vaan attempts to defend a wounded bangaa from Daguza and two other abusive seeq dungeon masters, and is thrown into a caged battle with them. Balthier joins the fray and the two emerge victorious and hide within the arena when Gabranth appears, shadowing him into an Oubliette.
Vaan, Balthier and Fran find an emaciated Basch fon Ronsenburg imprisoned and following Gabranth's leave, Basch pleads the party to set him free. Recognizing Basch as the King-Slayer, Vaan jumps on the cage and shouts at him. The ruckus attracts the guards and Fran tells everyone to hang onto the cage while she drops it to the pit below the dungeons. Freed, Basch joins the party while they trek through the Barheim Passage, though Vaan makes his distaste at the arrangement known. Basch explains the Empire framed him by having his twin brother, Noah, now going by the name of Gabranth, impersonate him to assassinate the King and leave Reks as a witness to "Basch's" treachery, but Vaan remains unconvinced.
In the manga, Basch and Vaan cooperate to kill the Mimic Queen and Basch fights the smaller mimics off to protect Vaan, the two discussing Reks's belief in Basch and the true events of Raminas's death during the battle. The group escapes into the Dalmasca Estersand, and Basch tells Vaan he will accept atonement at his hands after he is finished what he needs to do, and Balthier returns Vaan's chestpiece.
Back in Rabanastre, Vaan reports his adventure to Old Dalan, who gives Vaan a sword to deliver to a Resistance member, Vossler Azelas. At the Resistance base in Lowtown, Vaan finds Vossler disrespecting the people who were at the Nalbina Fortress during the treaty signing, including Reks. Vaan yells out that Reks was no liar, which Basch—who had been recuperating under the Resistance watch—agrees with, stating that Reks was the witness Archadia needed to make it convincing. Basch wants the Resistance's help in saving "Amalia" from Dreadnought Leviathan, and Vossler gives him the sword to deliver to Marquis Halim Ondore IV to get his aid.
Basch asks Vaan to help him and apologizes, but Vaan has let go of his hatred, realizing Basch's framing was another of Vayne's schemes. They find Balthier in the Sandsea tavern with a worried Migelo demanding he look for Penelo, who was kidnapped by Ba'Gamnan after he saw Balthier speaking to her before being taken to the Nalbina Dungeons. Vaan pleads with Balthier to fly them to the Skycity of Bhujerba to find her, and when he offers the Goddess's Magicite as payment, Balthier agrees. The four board Balthier's airship, the Strahl, with Vaan excited he gets to fly.
On their way to the Lhusu Mines in Bhujerba where Ba'Gamnan has his hideout, the party is joined by a well-spoken Archadian boy, Lamont. In the mines, the party learns Penelo has already been set free. After dealing with Ba'Gamnan, the party hides from Judge Ghis, who has come to inspect the mines, and it is revealed "Lamont" is Larsa Ferrinas Solidor, a member of Archadia's ruling family and Vayne's brother. Penelo stands with them, having been discovered by guards inside the mines. Larsa ensures Penelo's safety and asks her to accompany him to Marquis Ondore's mansion.
Vaan's wishes to rescue Penelo coincide with Basch's need to meet with Ondore. Knowing that Ondore has connections with the Resistance, Vaan spreads rumors of Basch being alive hoping to discredit the Marquis who declared him executed two years ago. With the stirring Vaan is approached by the Resistance who take him and the rest of the party to Ondore. Ondore appeases Basch's wish to be reunited with "Amalia", and hands the party over to Ghis to have them taken aboard the Dreadnought Leviathan where she is held captive.
They find Amalia, who is revealed to be Princess Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca, the rightful heir to the throne of Dalmasca, believed to have committed suicide after her father's murder two years prior. As she cannot prove her birthright, she cannot challenge the Empire, but Basch tells her that the Dusk Shard will be proof enough—the Goddess's Magicite Vaan stole from the palace. Vaan hands the stone over to Ghis on the condition their lives be spared, and the group is imprisoned. Vossler, who infiltrated the ship in an Imperial disguise, helps them escape, with Vaan being reunited with Penelo, who had come onboard with Larsa.
When the group returns to Bhujerba, Ashe expresses her wish to locate another stone belonging to the royal family, the Dawn Shard, to prove her royal blood now that the Dusk Shard has been lost, and Vaan accompanies the team to the Tomb of Raithwall to recover it. In the manga, Vaan and Penelo accompany Ashe to the treasure chamber while the others fight Belias, an Esper set to guard the Dynast King's treasures. When Vaan wants to lend a hand, Ashe claims the Dawn Shard takes priority. Vaan abandons Ashe to claim the nethicite herself, disagreeing with her attitude. He joins the battle against Belias and is saved from its strike by Ashe, who has returned to help them, and they defeat the Esper together. When Ashe claims the Dawn Shard, she glimpses an apparition that only she and Vaan can see.
The group is captured by the Empire after Vossler's unexpected betrayal. The party escapes when Ghis attempts to evaluate the Dawn Shard's power by placing it in the ship's engine and it overloads, exploding in Mist. Recovering the now lusterless Dawn Shard, the party returns to Rabanastre where Vaan points out that while Ashe may wish to wreak revenge on Archadia using the Dawn Shard, she doesn't know how to use it. Wishing to see the Empire fall and be restored to its rightful rulers, Vaan accompanies Ashe and the group to Jahara to learn more about the Dawn Shard.
The trip to Jahara seems unfruitful as the garif do not know how to use the stone either, and say it has lost its power as its Mist has been consumed. That night, Vaan reveals to Ashe that he saw the "ghost" when they claimed the Dawn Shard, but whereas Ashe saw her late husband Lord Rasler, Vaan thinks it was his brother. The two decide to keep the sighting secret. Vaan explains he had always fled from his problems, but has decided to try and make a difference instead. Vaan's confession helps Ashe decide what she should do.
Accompanied again by Larsa, who claims to be on their side as he also wants to see a peaceful resolution to the conflict, the party heads to Mt Bur-Omisace, where Larsa hopes the Gran Kiltias could help Ashe claim Dalmasca's throne and then propose peace to the Empire. The plan falls apart when it is learned the Emperor Gramis Gana Solidor has been murdered, and Vayne has succeeded him and disbanded the Imperial Senate, making him the sole ruler of the Empire. The Gran Kiltias Anastasis tells Ashe of another treasure of King Raithwall, the Sword of Kings, that can destroy nethicite. Vaan suggests Ashe try the sword on the Dawn Shard, but an apparition of Rasler strays her hand. This time, however, Vaan didn't see anything when Ashe later asks him about it.
With the Sword of Kings in hand, the party heads to the Draklor Laboratory to seek out the Midlight Shard and the Dusk Shard now in possession of Doctor Cid, the empire's premier nethicite researcher, who flees the confrontation. Cid lures Ashe to Giruvegan where she meets the Occuria, immortal beings who deem themselves the gods of Ivalice and manipulate history's course by granting deifacted nethicite to their chosen Dynast-King, such as Ashe's ancestor Raithwall. The Occuria want Ashe to wield nethicite to destroy the Empire and the rogue Occuria, Venat, who has told Cid the secrets to creating man-made nethicite.
The Occuria give Ashe the Treaty-Blade, a new nethicite-destroying sword, and direct her to the Pharos to find the Sun-Cryst, the origin of nethicite from which King Raithwall once cut the Dawn, Dusk, and Midlight Shards.
Accompanied by the mysterious sky pirate Reddas, the group climbs the Pharos to locate the Sun-Cryst, with Balthier entrusting his airship to Vaan should something happen to him. Vaan asks if Ashe plans to destroy the Cryst rather than take its power for herself, but Ashe is unsure. She holds up the Treaty-Blade and calls forth a Mist from the Sun-Cryst, and Rasler's spirit appears, whom everyone can now see. Ashe takes this to mean he wants her to use the stone to destroy the Empire.
Gabranth arrives and announces himself as the true murderer of Reks and King Raminas, and goads Ashe to strike him down with the Sun-Cryst's power. Gabranth attempts to attack Vaan but is stopped by Reddas, revealing himself to be Judge Zecht, who had unwittingly used the Midlight Shard to destroy Nabudis two years ago. Reddas urges Ashe to set aside her desire for revenge while Gabranth continues to taunt her. Ashe declares Rasler would not desire revenge and strikes the spirit, revealing it to be an illusion of the Occuria used to sway her decisions.
Ashe resolves to destroy the Sun-Cryst and when Gabranth questions her, Vaan tells him revenge is meaningless and cannot bring back the dead. The group battles Gabranth before Cid arrives and the rogue Occuria Venat reintegrates the three original shards of deifacted nethicite into the Sun-Cryst that begins spilling Mist over Ivalice. Cid is defeated and his body fades into Mist, while the Sun-Cryst grows increasingly volatile. Vaan wields the Treaty-Blade as Ashe wields the Sword of Kings and the two attempt to destroy the Sun-Cryst, but cannot get close enough with the erupting Mist. Reddas takes the Sword of Kings from Ashe and sacrifices himself to destroy the Sun-Cryst, the party escaping as it explodes.
The Mist awash over Ivalice powers up the Empire's ultimate weapon, the battleship Sky Fortress Bahamut. The Resistance and Archadian fleets meet in the battle above Rabanastre and Ondore, leading the Resistance fleet, attempts to stop the Strahl's passage, but Vaan imitates Larsa's voice across the intercom to trick the Marquis into letting them go. They infiltrate the Bahamut, where Vaan ensures Dalmasca's fate to a doubtful Ashe, stating that she can reign since she has good friends.
After battling Vayne and the transformed Vayne Novus, Vaan charges forward and wounds him with Gabranth's fallen sword, the Judge now aiding them, forcing Vayne out onto the Bahamut's deck. Venat and Vayne merge, the Bahamut's rubble gathering around Vayne to form The Undying, but it is still defeated. With Vayne and Venat gone, the Bahamut begins to fall on Rabanastre, and Balthier and Fran remain behind to reactivate its power, with Balthier entrusting the Strahl to Vaan, who pilots the others to safety.
One year after Vayne's defeat, Larsa has become the new Emperor and there is peace across the land. Vaan has looked after the Strahl, until one day he and Penelo enter the hangar to find it gone, in its place a message from Balthier: he is searching for the Cache of Glabados, and wishes Vaan to meet him in Bervenia to join in on the spoils using a new airship he's given. Penelo is going with him, saying that every good sky pirate needs a partner.
A young sky pirate whose journey throughout Ivalice have taught him so much. At last the captain of his own airship, Vaan travels the skies in search of adventureInstruction booklet
Vaan and Penelo meet up with Balthier and Fran in the Glabados Ruins where they find two shards of auracite, one of which Balthier entrusts to Vaan as an introduction to sky pirating. The ruins collapse and Vaan's new airship is destroyed, but back in Rabanastre Penelo is relieved the ship was wrecked hoping Vaan would settle down. The arrival of a derelict outside of Rabanastre prompts Vaan to sneak onboard with his friends Kytes and Filo. Inside they are attacked by Ba'Gamnan and his family, but the party uses the auracite to summon Yarhi to fight them off.
After tying up Ba'Gamnan, Penelo and Tomaj, the owner of the Sandsea tavern and Vaan's friend, come onboard. The ship reacts to Vaan's auracite and lifts off, taking them to the uncharted sky continent of Lemurés. Seeing a chance for a new adventure Vaan claims the ship, naming it Galbana, to be his until they can take it to its original owner. Kytes, Filo and Penelo join the crew and in the party's first mission in Lemurés they meet Llyud, an aegyl native to the sky continent, who requests their assistance in stopping the Ivalician sky pirates from defiling Lemurés.
At the Fane of Tehp Qul Vaan's party encounters the Judge of Wings who seeks to destroy the Auraliths to claim their power and lay waste to Ivalice. Though the Judge is temporarily defeated she shatters the great Skystone and absconds with its power. Tomaj locates the Judge at the Yapih Caverns, but when they confront her she summons Bahamut breaking up the Muruc Cahuac Skysea and sending the Galbana crash-landing at Tswarra, Isle of the Lost. They find a wounded man called Velis, who befriends Penelo and Vaan finds himself becoming jealous of their bond. Velis is revealed to be Mydia's dead lover, the Feol viera behind the Judge of Wings's faceless helm. The Judge herself appears, changes "Velis", really only a piece of his anima, into a terrible Yarhi, and orders him to attack Vaan's party, but the party defeats him.
The Galbana repaired, Vaan and company meet up with Fran at Arda, Heaven's Pillar, after rescuing her from the tireless Ba'Gamnan. She leads them to the Ymir Qul Underground where Balthier and the Judge of Wings await next to an Auralith. The Judge is defeated and leaves, but Balthier destroys the Auralith himself despite Vaan's efforts to stop him. The release of energy from the Skystone sends Vaan, Penelo, Llyud, Filo, and Kytes to Lesrekta, Isle of Illusions, that serves as a test for Vaan's true feelings toward his friends.
After being separated throughout the misty island, the five reunite after Penelo expresses her wish for Vaan to return. A voice calls them to Illusion's Home where Velis's spirit explains Mydia's existence as Feolthanos's puppet, the aegyl god, and pleads with Vaan to save her from Feolthanos's clutches. Velis turns himself into the godblade Anastasia and the party returns to the real world, upon the Galbana.
Thousands of years ago, a man called Feolthanos was the chief of the aegyl when they still lived in Ivalice. Feolthanos took a viera wife and started a family, their descendants eventually being called "Feol Viera". He revolted against the Occuria who deemed themselves Ivalice's rulers and took the aegyl to Lemurés, using the Auralith crystals to create a barrier around the sky continent to repel the Occuria while trapping the aegyl within. The barrier was maintained until about a year prior when the Mist from the Sun-Cryst was released upon Ivalice.
Balthier explains he destroyed the Auralith to protect the aegyl anima within, as Feolthanos had sapped his people from his anima for centuries to become a god-like being. With the Auraliths' destruction, the aegyl have regained some of their formerly lost emotions. Balthier and Fran join Vaan's party and they meet with Queen Ashe and Basch on the new Dreadnought Leviathan, now Dalmasca's flagship.
Descending to Ivalice, Vaan and company follow several leads on the Judge until they meet her at the Feol Warren, the secluded home of the Feol Viera. Mydia kills the penultimate members of her race to give them, in death, escape from Feolthanos's will. Vaan's party kills Mydia who, upon her death bed, tells them of her loss of Velis and the attempt to bring him back to life, which led only to the giving of herself to Feolthanos in the false hope he would resurrect her fallen love.
Mydia's spirit leads the Galbana to Feolthanos's fortress, the Keep of Forgotten Time. The crystallized aegyl god is the final Auralith, a leech that drains his people's anima. After Feolthanos's defeat the Auraliths' power dies with him. The Purvama of Lemurés, no longer supported by the anima of its aegyl inhabitants, falls from the sky, and Llyud bids farewell to Vaan and the others to lead his race to a new home. The Galbana departs to places unknown as its former commanders return to Ivalice aboard the Strahl.
Some time later, Vaan and Penelo meet outside Rabanastre and share a covert kiss. They plan to sneak out for another adventure together, but are caught by Filo and Kytes who insist on accompanying them.
Final Fantasy XII's leading man. Tempered by his many adventures, Vaan has matured in the intervening years, but he remains spirited and carefree—some might say careless. Now famous sky pirates, he and his partner, Penelo, even find themselves plagued by impostors.Description
First encountered at the Moorabella Aerodrome, Vaan runs into Luso Clemens, discovering an airship hijacker. Vaan aids Luso in attacking the hijackers, though Luso is disgruntled, assuming Vaan wants to take credit for his efforts. After the battle Penelo arrives, explaining that Vaan was supposed to meet her at a different airship dock. While leaving, Vaan alludes to a treasure in the Tramdine Fens and Penelo explains this "hint" is Vaan's way of apology for the mishap.
Luso and Clan Gully later discover that Vaan and Penelo have been framed for a failed assassination attempt against Jylland's Baron Beltorey. They track down the two who explain that Illua and Khamja were behind the botched attack. Vaan and Penelo had attempted to save the Baron, but were spotted while leaving the Baron's manse, and were assumed to be the attackers.
Luso accepts a quest posted against Vaan, itching at the chance to face his "rival". The perpetrators were no more than impostors and the real Vaan and Penelo arrive in time to apprehend the impersonators, leaving Luso somewhat disappointed. Vaan joins Clan Gully after Al-Cid Margrace, at the Fluorgis Aerodrome, gives Luso and Adelle a letter to give to the sky pirate, instructing Vaan to seek Clan Gully to learn more about Khamja. After Al-Cid's departure Penelo arrives at the Aerodrome, requesting the Clan's aid in locating Vaan. After the Clan saves Vaan from some thugs in the ruins north of Fluorgis town, he explains that he and Penelo have been working against Khamja all along, and joins the Clan.
In Final Fantasy XII, Vaan has the greatest overall stats. His Strength, Vitality and Speed are his greatest stats, and though his Magick Power is high, it is lower than other characters. Vaan's current level and LP determine those of Penelo, Fran and Balthier when they join. His initial Licenses are Steal, Light Armor 1 and either Daggers 1 in Zodiac releases or Smallswords in the original release. His Quickenings are Red Spiral, White Whorl and Pyroclasm.
In Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Vaan equips one-handed swords, chestplate armor and boots. He attacks like a traditional Warrior although his skills comprise mostly of abilities that steal attributes from enemies to enhance his own. His Quickening, Pyroclasm, does heavy damage to enemies within a range. It is obtained by defeating Belias. Only Vaan and Balthier retain their original Quickenings from Final Fantasy XII in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings: Pyroclasm for Vaan and Element of Treachery for Balthier.
In Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, Vaan is a secret character. Penelo is recruited in the "An Elegant Encounter" quest, and Vaan in the "Where could he be?" quest right after Penelo's. The player must be at the end of the game, right before the last quest: "The Ritual", and head for Fluorgis. An event bubble appears that lets the party meet Al-Cid, and Penelo will join. Another event bubble will appear on the same map. Winning the battle has Vaan join the party.
Vaan's unique job is Sky Pirate, enabling him to raise his speed and dodge-related statistics and allowing him to ignore enemy defenses and look for treasure during battle. He is one of the most agile characters, losing only to Adelle in terms of speed and agility.
In Final Fantasy XII, Vaan is associated with the theme "The Dream to be a Sky Pirate" (空賊への夢, Kūzoku e no Yume?), which plays when Vaan speaks of his dream to become a sky pirate. The theme is mixed with the Salikawood's theme. In Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings Vaan's theme is a remix of the Mosphoran Highwaste theme. The track "5th Anniversary Special Medley" from Final Fantasy Record Keeper also uses "The Mosphoran Highwaste" to represent Vaan, further cimenting that track as being Vaan's theme. In Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift Vaan and Penelo's appearance is accompanied by the song "The Sky Pirate From the East", a remix of Penelo's theme from Final Fantasy XII.
Vaan has appeared in the following games throughout the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy XIV as a Triple Triad card.
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy NT as a playable character.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as summonable Legend.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy All the Bravest as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Explorers as Trance.
- Final Fantasy World Wide Words.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a summonable vision.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad as a series of cards.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
Vaan has made key guest appearances in the following non-Final Fantasy games:
- Itadaki Street series as a playable character.
- Puzzle & Dragons as a playable character.
- Monster Strike as a playable character.
Users in Square Enix Members Virtual World community can make their character appear as Vaan. Vaan's hair costs 100 crystals and his clothes cost 480 crystals.
Vaan appeared in Puzzle & Dragons in a Final Fantasy collaboration event on March 21, 2016.
Behind the scenes
Vaan's early name was "Aqua" (アクア, as seen in Akihiko Yoshida's concept art) and intended to be an Iyashi kei character (癒し系, "therapeutic type", a kind of Japanese stock character). Vaan is known for going over several personality changes over the course of development, originally written as a rugged and world-worn character until the developers reconsidered the target demographic and Vaan was rewritten to be more effeminate. After Kouhei Takeda was cast as his voice, the developers rewrote Vaan to match the energetic personality his voice lent to the character. The executive producer of Final Fantasy XII, Akitoshi Kawazu, has said in an interview that character design is one of the areas the developers mull over extensively, and is one of the most difficult things to decide on.
When commenting on Vaan, Kawazu said Vaan in particular is a little bit younger than the series is used to, and there are many people on the development team who aren't necessarily feeling he is the right character to be the main, because it clashes with the other characters and game environments, but also commented it's traditional for Japanese RPGs to start out with a young, inexperienced character, who grows throughout the story, and that having the lead be a younger immature character is somewhat expected. He also said that doesn't necessarily mean the producers and designers always like that, but that certain concessions must be made to cater for what the market wants. Vaan's status as main character was a decision made to appeal to the game's intended demographic, causing focus to shift from a more masculine written role to a younger and more energetic one.
When developing the PlayStation 4 HD remaster, Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age, the developers talked about what Vaan would be like ten years after Final Fantasy XII. They thought that "[...] he is probably very cool now. In FFXII, he's kind of a little weak boy, and he's not very reliable. Half-jokingly, we said he has to have grown up to be a lot cooler than Balthier."
Vaan was originally considered to fill the Final Fantasy XII spot in Dissidia Final Fantasy, but was rejected in favor of Gabranth. When Penelo appears in the Battle Tips, she complains of Vaan's rejection.
During development of Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, battle director Takeo Kujiraoka consulted Hiroyuki Ito, the designer of the License Board in Final Fantasy XII and director of the International Zodiac Job System version, for his thoughts on Vaan's fighting style. Due to Ito working in a different department and being occupied with another project, they were unable to speak directly, so Kujiraoka sent him an email with a demo file of Vaan asking for Ito's opinion. Ito replied he thought Vaan was a great character and that Kujiraoka had chosen his favorite victory pose of Vaan's to use in the game. Ito received a "Special Thanks" credit for the game due to his feedback.
Vaan was used in the production of Final Fantasy XIII to stand in for unfinished characters.
In the English release of Final Fantasy XII, Vaan is voiced by Bobby Edner. Edner reprised his role for Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.
He is voiced by Kouhei Takeda in the Japanese release.
Both Vaan's Japanese and English voice actors had confirmed their return for a new Final Fantasy game, but did not reveal what game it was. It was later revealed the game they were speaking of was Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. However, due to problems from the agency of his original voice actor, Kouhei Takeda, Vaan's role was taken over by Kenshō Ono, known for his work with dubbing the Harry Potter film series in Japan. In Dissidia 012, Vaan, along with Gilgamesh and Firion, are the only characters not to have their original Japanese voice actors reprise their roles.
In Final Fantasy XII, Vaan and Penelo speak in a more casual style than Balthier, Basch, and Ashe, who speak in formalized English and an older, more formal form of Japanese. While the medieval tone comes from the original game, the localizers could decide on the specific accents the characters would use and voice models were used to guide the writing: Vaan was Leonardo DiCaprio from the Titanic.
Vaan's Japanese voice acting is the center of mondegreen parodied by fans. The most notorious one is the (オイヨイヨ, oiyoiyo?), which is misheard from the line (飛び降りろ, tobioriro?, lit. jump down) when Vaan first encounters Ashe in the sewer. Since this scene, together with the Takeda's bad pronunciation on Vaan's phrase, were seen in the first official trailer of Final Fantasy XII, various memes and ASCII arts related to Vaan and his misheard phrase began to spread rapidly on 2channel, and later on NicoNico Douga.
In May 2018, Square Enix released a silver Vaan pendant with a yellow gem as part of the Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary campaign. The reverse side of the pendant simply reads "Final Fantasy" with a carving of a crystal. Vaan is depicted in his Dissidia Final Fantasy appearance, and is released alongside pendants of the other Final Fantasy protagonists.
- Final Fantasy XII Scenario Ultimania, p.012
- Puzzle & Dragons X Final Fantasy’s Second Collaboration Adds Lightining, Cloud, And More (Accessed: June 12, 2020) at Siliconera
- Square Talks Firsts for Final Fantasy XII (dead) (Accessed: November 09, 2006) at [www.ign.com IGN UK]
- Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Developers Talk About Their Return To Familiar Grounds (Accessed: January 01, 2020) at Siliconera
- EDGE #278 Tale of Tales Meet Alexander O Smith the translator who's brought some of Japan's biggest RPGs to the West p. 94