Franchise Guide: Dirge of Cerberus

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII is a third-person shooter featuring VII character Vincent Valentine. The events of Dirge of Cerberus occur three years after Final Fantasy VII, and one year after Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

The game was developed for and released on the Playstation 2 in 2006. The developers have stated that the decision to use Vincent was based on his rich back-story, which was left largely unexplored in the original game. A mobile phone game taking place during the events of Dirge of Cerberus titled “Lost Episode” was released in Japan and North America.


The narrative follows protagonist Vincent Valentine on his mission to stop the mysterious Shinra created organisation “Deepground” who attack the town of Kalm at the beginning of the game. It transpires that Deepground are in search of an object known as “protomateria”, which was placed inside Vincent himself by scientist Lucrecia Crescent as part of Professor Hojo’s experiments.

As the story continues, Vincent visits various locations associated with Deepground and his past, discovering more about the disturbing history of the organisation and the experiments conducted by Shinra in the process.


A third-person shooter with RPG elements, Vincent can move through areas and interact with objects, collecting items and equipping materia in the menu to change the skills available while in combat. Vincent is able to double-jump, though this feature was missing in the original Japanese release, resulting in noticeable “invisible walls” in the EU and US releases.

The combat system involves targeting enemies and shooting to deplete their HP. Vincent’s HP degenerates each time an enemy successfully lands a hit. The MP depletes when a magic attack is used, through equipping materia. At the end of each episode, Vincent is awarded EXP which can be used to level up, or exchanged for Gil to be spent on weapon upgrades or other useful items.


Release Date
Playstation 2
Square Enix
Playstation 2
North America
Square Enix
Playstation 2
Square Enix
Playstation 2
Square Enix
Playstation 2*
Square Enix

*Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII International” was released in Japan in 2008, as new mission content was added to the US and EU releases, and the online multiplayer removed.

Japanese DoC Site

NA DoC Site

In the original Japanese release, Square-Enix utilised the PlayOnline service to support online multiplayer for the game. This feature was removed from releases outside Japan due to the lack of popularity of PS2 HDD’s in the US, which were required for the multiplayer. The missions available were reworked into secret unlockable missions for the US and EU releases, though the additional storyline content was cut.

Currently the only way to play the game is to own a copy for the PS2, though it is possible that Square could release the title as part of the “PS2 Classics” lineup on the Playstation store.


Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII “Lost Episode” is a mobile phone game released in Japan on 18th August 2006 and in North America on 22nd August 2006. For unknown reasons the game was not released in EU or AUS territories. The game takes place in the middle of the Dirge of Cerberus story, while Vincent is en route to the Shinra Mansion. Gameplay is largely the same as the Playstation 2 counterpart, with both first and third person views. The official Square-Enix website for Lost Episode can be found here. The North American version is no longer online.