- “Ivalice will know a new Dynast King, and Man will keep his own history! The tyranny of the Gods is ended! We shall be their puppets no more! The freedom for which we have longed is at hand!”
- —Vayne Carudas Solidor
Vayne Carudas Solidor (ヴェイン・カルダス・ソリドール, Vein Karudasu Soridōru?) is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy XII. At 27 years old, he is the third son of Archadia's Emperor, Lord Gramis, the elder brother of Larsa Ferrinas Solidor, and part of House Solidor. Vayne is voiced by Elijah Alexander in the English release and by Nobuo Tobita in the original Japanese version.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
- “I will endure your hatred, suffer your slings and arrows. I will defend Dalmasca! Here I will pay my debt! I swear it now! Though King Raminas and Lady Ashe be gone, they stand ever at the side of their people. In honoring peace... you do honor their memory, and to Dalmasca. What I ask, I ask plain. My hopes now rest with you.”
- —Part of Vayne's speech during his introduction as Rabanastre's consul
Vayne has blue eyes and shoulder-length black hair. He wears a dark-green pullover and pants, white gloves, a sleeveless armor with white-and-gold armlets with wings on those on shoulders and gold knee-pads. Vayne also wears a cloak covered in dark blue, crimson and white as well as a gold belt. As Vayne Novus, most of his clothing dissolves, leaving his armored gauntlets, boots and belt behind, while his body becomes much more muscular and his face distorted. As The Undying, Vayne looks identical to Vayne Novus at the core of the undying, but with metal grafted onto his legs and torso, primarily on the left side. His left arm is covered in a giant cannon, while his right arm is a large sword. He bears a large assembly of swings and a crest over his head in the shape of a dragon's head, alluding to the Undying as being formed from the metal of the Sky Fortress Bahamut.
Driven by the desire to become a new Dynast King, Vayne is lauded by friend and foe alike as a devious politician, skillful leader and administrator, and a military genius. Vayne is ruthless, manipulative, and obsessed with power. He allows no distractions or obstacles to his goals, removing them by whatever means needed. Vayne is not a brute however, and is intelligent and pragmatic in his pursuits, recognizing the value of political pawns he can hold over others by keeping enemies alive or manipulating their actions.
Vayne values the legacy and stability of Archadia and House Solidor and will use any means to safeguard them, killing his own father as a pretense to dissolve the Imperial Senate, thereby giving him absolute control over Archadia in preparation for war when previously political intrigue would have hindered Archadia's war efforts. Though he kills his father and is stated to have executed two of his brothers for treason, Vayne holds a soft spot for his younger brother, Larsa. Even in his final moments aboard the Bahamut, Vayne orders Gabranth to keep Larsa's unconscious body safe as he battles the party, and he is stunned and betrayed when Larsa defies him and aids the party in his defeat.
Early Life and FamilyEdit
Vayne had two older brothers who have never been named in the game, whom were branded traitors and killed by Vayne at the request of his father, most likely because he believed they were planning an uprising. Vayne also has a younger brother, the innocent Larsa, whom Vayne has sworn to protect, making sure that Larsa would never see the atrocities of war.
While it is not known precisely when Vayne first met Venat and Dr. Cid and began conspiring with them to "Put the reins of history back in the hands of Man", it is known that he masterminded the invasions of Nabradia and the Dalmasca in order to gain the Dusk Shard and the Midlight Shard, two pieces of deifacted nethicite critical for Cid's research at Draklor Laboratory, using the uprising of the Pro-Rozarrian faction in Nabradia as a pretext for invasion, with the excuse of restoring peace and order to the country.
During the Dalmascan counterattack at Nalbina Fortress, Vayne was responsible for masterminding the elaborate plot to fool the people of Dalmasca into thinking that Basch fon Ronsenburg was a traitor, and responsible for killing their King. Using Basch's twin brother, Noah fon Ronsenburg, they played out an entire scenario in front of a wounded Dalmascan soldier, Reks, who would serve as a witness.
Consul of RabanastreEdit
Two years later, Vayne is appointed Consul of the Rabanastre, making him the de facto ruler of Dalmasca. Despite much pomp and ceremony, his tenure is short-lived. The Imperial Senate, favoring Larsa as a puppet Emperor over his ambitious and ruthless older brother, recalls Vayne to the Archades.
When Vayne confronts Gramis on this decision, his father reveals his belief that Archadia is moving in the wrong direction, and that only Larsa can put them on the right path. Vayne reminds the Emperor that Archadia's power was built on military might over peaceful negotiation, a fact which Gramis acknowledges, but declines to comment on further. Vayne states that ruthlessness at this point would be necessary, both to ensure that House Solidor retains power and remains sovereign, and that his brother Larsa would be protected from the schemes of the Imperial Senate. Gramis appears to have little power over the Senate at this point.
Shortly afterwards, Gramis is found dead in the throne room, supposedly poisoned by Chairman Gregoroth, who has also committed suicide. Vayne has the senators arrested for supposed regicide, and "temporarily" dissolves the Imperial Senate. Knowing that Judge Bergan would support him out of loyalty and Judge Zargabaath out of a wish to avoid internal strife, Vayne begins acting as the new Emperor of Archadia.
Judge Drace, however, sees through the façade, and attempts to place Vayne under arrest. Despite pleas of mercy from Zargabaath, Vayne tries Drace for high treason, and Bergan, happy to serve his ruthless new Emperor, strikes her down. Knowing that Judge Gabranth personally reported to Gramis on Vayne's schemes, he decide he needs a test of the "hound's" loyalty, and so orders Gabranth, a dear friend of Drace, to administer the killing blow, which he delivers reluctantly.
A New Dynast KingEdit
- “Your lives are forfeit, and your insurgence along with them. Dalmasca will again know order. For good and all, I shall put your futile attempts at rebellion to an end.”
- —Vayne Solidor
Now holding absolute power, Vayne proceeds with his original plan of becoming Ivalice's new Dynast King, and putting history's reins back into the hands of man, and out of the Occuria's. He does so by sending Dr. Cid to the Pharos at Ridorana where he manages to use the Sun-Cryst to spill forth mist over Ivalice, absorbed by Vayne's new Sky Fortress Bahamut, thereby powering it. The Sky Fortress plays a central role in the Battle above Rabanastre during which Vayne plans to obliterate the Resistance forces led by Marquis Ondore, and have the entire city of Rabanastre follow on the battle.
Ashe's party manages to get aboard the fortress, and confronts Vayne in battle with Larsa's aid. He is defeated, but by using the power of manufacted nethicite that had knocked Larsa out, Vayne transforms into Vayne Novus. During the battle, Judge Gabranth turns on his former master, and when Vayne is weakened, he plunges his sword deep into the latter's chest. Vayne fatally wounds Gabranth in retaliation, and almost kills him, but is stopped by Larsa. While shocked by Larsa's actions, Vaan manages to wound Vayne severely.
Managing to get outside, Vayne can't help but laugh at his current state. Venat offers comfort,saying that they had succeeded in releasing the control of history from the hands of the Occuria, giving Vayne its power as a way of thanks. Vayne uses his newly-gained power to fuse parts of Bahamut unto his body, to become a giant mechanical dragon. This new form, called The Undying, proves troublesome for the party, but he is eventually defeated, and explodes into a cloud of mist.
Vayne's first battle is fought to "The Theme of the Empire", which can also be considered his personal character theme. The song "Upheaval" plays when fighting his Vayne Novus form, and as The Undying, he is accompanied by "The Battle for Freedom" for the final battle.
The party fights Vayne onboard the Sky Fortress Bahamut. Larsa assists the player's party during the first battle. Vayne bears no weapon in this first battle, instead opting to use his fists in the same style as a Monk would. In the second battle, Gabranth will assist the party.
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Vayne appears in the Japan-exclusive Final Fantasy trading card game published by Square Enix.
- Vayne's sprite is unlocked in the Sky Pirate's Den after using Technicks over 100 times, earning the player the title of Premier Prestidigitator.
- Some of Vayne's attacks resemble Basch's Quickenings. During the first battle, Vayne uses a cinematic attack that has him use a series of punches that "crack" the screen, similar to Ruin Impendent, and one of Vayne Novus's attacks is to command the five Sephira to glow and impale an opponent, similar to Flame Purge.
- There is more than a slight resemblance between Vayne Novus and Romeo Guildenstern's initial boss-form in Vagrant Story: the lack of shirt, altered skin tone, and gold image-color are present in both bosses, as is the tendency to use sacred objects as weaponry (Guildenstern's sword being shaped like the Rood of Iocus, and Vayne's Sephira by their name and appearance being associated with the sacred). While this can be attributed to the fact that they share a character designer, it is intriguing nonetheless. The two have similar goals in mind - to restructure a world they see as irreparably flawed - but their motivations are quite different.
- Vayne's middle name "Carudas" may be a mistranslation of Caldas
- Vayne is the twelfth Emperor of Archadian Empire. This is one of the numerous an allusions to the number twelve in Final Fantasy XII.