The following is list of allusions in Final Fantasy IV.
- Final Fantasy IV uses the mythology of the four elemental crystals like its predecessors.
- The Rat Tail alludes to the Rat Tail sub-quest from the original Final Fantasy.
- Cecil's transformation may be a subtle allusion to the class upgrade from Final Fantasy.
- Golbez's Four Elemental Archfiends allude to Chaos's Four Fiends.
- Excalibur being obtained by handing Adamantite over to a famous blacksmith alludes to the same scenario from Final Fantasy.
- Edge having the Steal command is an allusion of the Thief class upgrading to the Ninja class in Final Fantasy.
- The Dark Elf's battle sprite resembles Astos's design from Final Fantasy.
- The long, bridge-like area the rare Clockwork Dragon appears in, and its low encounter rate, refer to Warmech from Final Fantasy.
- Kain Highwind shares the same job role and last name as Ricard Highwind. In the GBA and later ports, Kain's father's name was retroactively named Ricard as a reference to the character.
- Mysidia alludes to the town of the same name from Final Fantasy II.
- The party being attacked by Leviathan on their way to Baron alludes to Leviathan attacking Firion and his party on their way to the Mysidian Tower.
- Tellah's search for the forbidden black magic Meteor alludes to Minwu's search for the forbidden white magic Ultima. Both spells are located in a sacred place near the town of Mysidia, and both characters are ultimately killed by association with the magic.
- Though no longer considered canon, the Settei Shiryuu Hen guide book gives background details about the world in Final Fantasy IV that feature several allusions to Final Fantasy II, including the founder of Mysidia being named Sage Minwu, and the Dark Knight who left the Deathbringer in Fabul being named Leonhart.
- In the 3D remake, Cecil and Rosa's Twin Cast is Ultima. This is a reference to Final Fantasy II where Ultima was a white magic spell.
- Cecil's Dark Knight sprite alludes to the same class from Final Fantasy III.
- Cecil's Paladin class is based on the Knight class from Final Fantasy III as both have similar though different colored sprites, both use low level white magic and both can protect weakened party members from incoming attacks.
- The party being defeated by the final boss and then revived by their allies is taken from a similar scene in Final Fantasy III.
- Cid's new state-of-the-art airship Enterprise has the same name as the airship used by the Cid's from Final Fantasy III.
References to Square Enix games
- Several of the Lunar Trials, specifically Edge's in the GBA port, allude to to the game Live A Live. Both games were created by Takashi Tokita.
- Yang Fang Leiden and the other monks of Fabul are inspired by the Manchu people of the Manchuria, who established the Qing Dynasty that ruled over the Imperial China from 1644 to 1912.
Religion and mythology
- The Tower of Babil alludes to the Tower of Babel in the Book of Genesis.
- Kain's name and his story hold several parallels to the Biblical Cain from Genesis. Both are figures who seek to murder their "brother" due to jealousy.
- Rydia falling into the ocean and came back as an adult is similar to the story of Urashima Tarō in Japanese folklore. Urashima was a fisher who traveled to the underwater palace of Dragon God Ryūjin. He stays there for three days and, upon his return to the shore, finds himself 300 years in the future. Urashima himself has also gotten older.
- The Mythgraven Blade may be an allusion to the Sword in the Stone of Arthurian Legend. Both swords could only be obtained by a chosen man who happened to be a blood relative of the original owner. In Arthurian myth, the name of the sword is in debate as some literature points out that the sword in the stone is a different sword from Excalibur which most people know the sword as. In Final Fantasy IV the Mythgraven Blade can be upgraded into the Excalibur in a later quest.
- The Hummingways may allude to the popular children's story in Asia about Rabbits living on the moon.
- Golbez's name refers to Golubac Flies from Serbian folklore. This is confirmed in the expanded scenes from the 3D remake where Zemus references the Serbian legend of the flies being born from the decomposing body to weaken Golbez's mind and take over.
- "Troia" is the Ancient Greek name for the city of Troy.
- In western culture, white and black traditionally symbolize the dichotomy of good and evil. This is seen in the elements of Holy and Dark. Holy representing the force of good while Dark represent the force of evil. The Dark element is unavailable to the player, there's no Dark-elemental spells, summons, nor weaponry outside of the dark swords which are exclusive to the Dark Knight.
- The Archfiends are named after four of the twelve named Malebranche in the 8th Circle of Hell, the Malebolge, from Dante's Divine Comedy. Calcabrina is derived from Malebranches.
- Corio's observation about the second moon having life on it, may be a subtle allusion to H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds where the narrator opens the story with his observations of activity of life on the planet Mars. Similarly, Zemus's plan to use the Giant of Babil to wipe out all life on the Blue Planet also alludes to the giant attack robots the martians use in the same novel.
- The Giant of Babil could also be an allusion to the robot Gort from the film The Day the Earth Stood Still.
- There is a line in a 4-panel comic done by Yoshida Sensha back when Final Fantasy III for the Famicom was released where frogged party members discuss it not being so bad being a frog, and that they should forgo saving the world and opt living as frogs instead. Someone at Square decided to quote this comic in Final Fantasy IV where the player can interact with frogs in Troia Castle moat. All the frogs in the Japanese version make frog sounds except for one, which says "It's nice being a frog..." This was translated in various ways for English. In the original the frog says "What's up?" The PlayStation translation changes things further and just goes with, "..." The DS version says "This is life I tell you! I hope I never get turned back into a human."
- The airships Enterprise and Falcon allude to sci-fi space ships the U.S.S. Enterprise of Star Trek fame and the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.
- Golbez's design and portrayal in the story allude to Darth Vader from Star Wars. Owing to this, his voice work in the DS remake for Final Fantasy IV was patterned after that of Vader.
- Anna's design in the 3D versions resembles Belle in her ballroom gown from Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
- The origins of the Lunarians is based on the idea of the planet Phaeton. For a time in history it was thought the asteroid belt was the remnants of a fifth planet that was destroyed or didn't form properly, and this hypothetical planet was called Phaeton. Today the theory has mostly been discarded due to numerous factors that cast doubt on its validity, including chemical differences in the asteroids and that their combined mass is only a fraction of the mass of Earth's Moon, not nearly high enough to form a planetary body.
- Cydonia is a region on the planet Mars and contains the "Face on Mars" feature which is located about half-way between Arandas Crater and Bamberg Crater. Mars is often described as the "Red Planet" because the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance. A similar "Face" can be found on the Red Moon.
- The game has a Solar System similar to our own. Earth has been referred to as the Blue Planet due to the abundant water on its surface and/or the atmospheric hue. The Red Planet is a nickname for the planet Mars, due to its surface color. Jupiter, the Great Behemoth, is the largest planet in the Solar System.