|Oerba Dia Vanille|
|Final Fantasy character|
Oerba Dia Vanille, as she appears in Final Fantasy XIII.
|First appearance||Final Fantasy XIII (2009)|
|Voiced by||Georgia van Cuylenburg (English)|
Yukari Fukui (Japanese)
Oerba Dia Vanille (ヲルバ＝ダイア・ヴァニラ, Woruba-Daia Vanira, Vanille of the Dia clan from the village of Oerba) is a fictional character in the Final Fantasy series. She appears in the video game Final Fantasy XIII.
Concept and creation
Oerba Dia Vanille was originally going to be the main character, but after the game was shown off with Lightning in the central role, this idea was scrapped. In an interview with Siliconera, Vanille's English voice actor stated that she found it relatively easy connecting with the character because of the similarities in their basic personalities. Vanille is voiced by Georgia van Cuylenburg in English, and by Yukari Fukui in Japanese. Vanille is a 190-year-old l'Cie from Gran Pulse, the childhood friend of Oerba Yun Fang, and the narrator of Final Fantasy XIII.
13 days before the start of Final Fantasy XIII, she and Fang wake from crystal stasis in the Pulse Vestige holding the fal'Cie Anima, initiating the chain of events that would lead to the Sanctum's Purge. When she is with the Purgees of Cocoon along with Nora and Hope Estheim during their exile, she is rescued by Snow Villiers' group, NORA. However, after Nora dies, she encourages Hope to follow Snow to confront him, and she sees them become l'Cie. After the party splits up, Vanille, along with Sazh, resolve to run away from their fate. However, both she and Sazh are captured by Jihl Nabaat. After Lightning and the party rescue the two, Vanille reunites with Fang. On Gran Pulse, Fang regains her memory and remembers it was she who became Ragnarok, a monster designed to bring down Cocoon during a conflict between the two worlds called the War of Transgression. When Vanille enters a state of emotional distress, she summons and defeats the Eidolon Hecatoncheir. After the defeat of Orphan, she and Fang transform into Ragnarok and form a crystal pillar to prevent Cocoon colliding with Pulse.
After this event, Vanille remains with Fang in crystal stasis within the pillar: from there, the two end up seeing everything that is going on, remaining unaffected by the changes in the timeline. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, though still held in the pillar, Vanille and Fang appear to help Serah escape from the endless dream in the Void Beyond that Caius placed her in. At the end of the game, they are rescued from the collapsing pillar. In Lightning Returns, Vanille has awoken from crystal stasis with Fang, gaining the ability to hear the voices of the dead. She is dubbed a saint and lives in the city of Luxerion in the protective care of the Order, a religious organization devoted to the deity Bhunivelze. Because of her ability, Vanille is key to a ritual to destroy the dead that will kill her in the process: not knowing the truth about the ritual, she decides to go through with it to atone for her past actions. On the final day, Lightning and Fang persuade Vanille to use her power to free the dead and enable them to be reborn.
RPGFan writer Kyle E. Miller found her an "altogether awful creature" due to her defense mechanism of covering up "sinister secrets" with "yippees, smiles, and stupid hand gestures", though James Quentin Clark also from RPGFan felt that Vanille's character grew deeper as the story went along. Game Informer was critical of her "over-emphatic moans and sighs" which made them turn down the volume of their television. Karla Clark from TheGamer compared her to a skunk, " intriguing from afar but get too close and you will wind up spending your Friday night bathing in tomato sauce to wash away the stench."
The Gameological Society felt that Vanille was annoying on her own, yet found the relationship between her and Fang the most "human" and "affecting." Chad Concelmo, writing for Destructoid, liked her role as narrator and felt that the character is "misunderstood" by fans. He could relate to the character on a personal level, noting that "she laughs at everything. She is annoyingly positive. She gets excited about the littlest things".
On the character's voice, writer Mattie Brice felt that the Australian accent that Vanille and Fang have helps to make the characters feel more exotic and emphasize the difference between them and the American-accented protagonists.
- Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega (in Japanese). Tokyo: Studio Bentstuff. 4 October 2010. pp. 508–511. ISBN 978-4-7575-2958-8.
- Ishaan (21 March 2010). "Siliconera Sounds Off: Wrapping Up With The Voice Behind Vanille". Siliconera. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- "Behind the Voice Actors - Final Fantasy XIII". Behind the Voice Actors. Archived from the original on 9 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- "Behind the Voice Actors - Final Fantasy XIII-2". Behind the Voice Actors. Archived from the original on 16 September 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- "Behind the Voice Actors - Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII". Behind the Voice Actors. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- Eishima, Jun (21 June 2012). "1: imaginary and real". Final Fantasy XIII-2: Fragments Before (in Japanese). Tokyo: Square Enix. pp. 5–35. ISBN 978-4-7575-3466-7.
- Rusty (27 June 2013). "ライトニングの胸は"Dカップで揺れる"ことも確定！ 『ライトニングリターンズ ファイ���ルファンタジーXIII』プレコミュ体験会の模様をお届け". Dengeki Online. Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Miller, Kyle E. (March 29, 2010). "Final Fantasy XIII". RPGFan. Archived from the original on May 30, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Clark, James Quentin (October 10, 2010). "Final Fantasy XIII". RPGFan. Archived from the original on July 14, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Turi, Tim (April 12, 2010). "Why Final Fantasy XIII Is My Least Favorite In The Series". Archived from the original on May 30, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Clark, Karla (June 20, 2017). "15 Most Annoying Video Game Heroes EVER". Archived from the original on October 20, 2018. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Agnello, Anthony John; Keiser, Joe; Nelson, Samantha; Sanskrit, Derrick; Teti, John (July 18, 2012). "Something other than a man: 15 games that pass the Bechdel Test". The Gameological Society. Archived from the original on May 19, 2019. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
- Concelmo, Chad (June 20, 2017). "In defense of Vanille". Archived from the original on April 4, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
- Brice, Mattie. "Speaking in Accents and the American Ethnocentrism in Video Games". Archived from the original on May 31, 2019. Retrieved September 1, 2019.