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- "You don't seem to understand the gravity of your situation, Creed. This is the Realm of Darkness, and I am Darkness incarnate. I. AM. VANITAS!!!"
- —Vanitas, before battle with Creed Diskenth.
The Vanitas Sentiment (although still referred to as Vanitas), while still a major antagonist, has no qualms about working with Sigurd and his army, so long as the results are in line with his unrevealed goals. In terms of raw power, this incarnation of the Vanitas Sentiment is easily in the same league as the Terra Sentiment (better known as simply The Lingering Sentiment). However, this Vanitas is actually Darkness incarnate, making him more than just a Remnant, and arguably even more substantial than the original Vanitas, who perished roundabout ten years ago.
The original Vanitas was the manifestation of the Darkness within the heart of a Keybearer, Ventus, and had been created by Master Xehanort as a tool with which to potentially forge the X-Blade. In the end, however, Master Xehanort's plans fell apart, and Vanitas was thought to have been destroyed. Clearly, someone thought wrong.
Chapter 1: Traverse Town
While Vanitas isn't specifically seen, a shadowed silhouette of him appears during Seifer's explanation of the Final Emblem, and of why many people wish to claim it for their own. Curiously, Vanitas's silhouette appears for an instant when Seifer speaks the phrase "some desire it in order to reclaim what they've lost".
Chapter 5: Heartless Incursion at Hollow Bastion
Vanitas first appears in the Final Emblem during the fifth chapter, which takes place in Hollow Bastion. Sigurd and his allies are set upon by a large army of Heartless, led by Creed Diskenth. A few minutes into the battle, a corridor of Darkness opens in the center of the battlefield, from which Vanitas emerges, who then sees and begins moving toward Sigurd, destroying any Heartless that get in his path. Once Sigurd and Vanitas have a short conversation, Vanitas becomes a temporary playable character for the rest of the chapter, and starts at LV38, with extroardinarily high stats. After the Heartless incursion is repelled, Vanitas breifly engages Creed in combat, before disappearing, his parting words being these: "A fool like you, Creed, isn't worth true power. I leave you with a warning this time, for the sake of our mutual colleague, but if you stand in my way again, I will crush you like an insect beneath my feet."
Chapter 9: Darkness Incarnate
In this chapter, Vanitas reveals himself as (arguably) the main villain, counter to the Lopt Sect. Vanitas mentions that he desires the Final Emblem, but intentionally neglects to explain why, merely saying that he has a plan that "you'd prefer to what the Lopt Sect has in mind." Vanitas engages the three Lords in battle, defeating them all, though wounded and worn down to the point that Syaoran Li, who has not yet promoted into the fourth Lord, is able to fight Vanitas and force him into retreat. Before their battle, however, Syaoran reveals why he seeks the Final Emblem: in order to retrieve the scattered memories of his girlfriend Sakura, and so that he can protect her. Vanitas mysteriously remarks that Syaoran has "the right idea", before attacking him.
Chapter 18: War
Vanitas appears to be the main villain in this chapter, but when Creed Diskenth and a few members of the Lopt Sect arrive in order to finish off Sigurd's badly injured forces, Vanitas immediately switches sides, and vanquishes the newcomers fairly quickly, although it's Train Heartnet, using his Burst Railgun, who finally defeats Creed. Syaoran, with whom Vanitas appears to sympathize in some strange way, asks why Vanitas seeks the Emblem, to which Vanitas finally answers: "... You want to save your loved one, kid. I never had a chance to tell mine in the first place. I want to remedy that error."
Vanitas, desires the Final Emblem so he can use its power to bring Aqua back from the Realm of Darkness -- apparently, the original Vanitas had begun to develop feelings for her of a romantic nature, and because of that, Vanitas tries to preserve innocent life when possible. At the same time, however, the Vanitas Sentiment is also incredibly agressive, and has a near-uncontrollable impulse to unleash it on anything/everything in sight.
In conclusion, Vanitas's goals and intentions make him somewhat heroic, although more in a vigilante sense (think "Ghost Rider"), whereas his methods are merciless, murderous, and otherwise tend to categorize him as a villain.
Hour of Darkness
Vanitas's Limit Break, in which the Void Gear is transformed into the complete X-Blade, which nearly doubles the reach of his attacks, and also greatly increases the damage inflicted thereby.
In addition, he gains some new attacks and abilites, such as "Blitzkreig" - a dark and thunder dual-elemental rampage over the entire battlefied (not the warzone), and his ultimate attack is Absence of Justice, in which four random enemies are chosen on the field, and Vanitas slashes each one between five to seven times, followed by a dark blast, and then he leaps into the air and casts Shadow Meteor on the entire area, inflicting horrific damage on all enemies. If there are fewer than four enemies, then the remaining attacks are randomly distributed among those to choose from.
|The Final Emblem|
|Sigurd | Seifer Almasy | Lyn | Train Heartnet | Eve|
|The Lopt Sect | Creed Diskenth | Sephiroth | Vanitas Sentiment|
|Aira | Levin | Dr. Tearju Lunatique | Syaoran Li|