The Four Fiends (四つのカオス, Yottsu no Kaosu?, lit. Four Chaoses) are the primary bosses in the original Final Fantasy, consisting of Lich of Earth, Marilith of Fire (Kary in the NES version), Kraken of Water, and Tiamat of Wind. The theme of four elemental demonic guardians carried over to some future installments in the series, hearkening back to the original four.
Versions of the fiends also appear in Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin, which acts as a re-imagined origin story for them. Whether the two are in the same continuity is ambiguous.
The ending narrative states that the Four Fiends were created 2000 years ago when Garland's hatred merged with the four elements of the world. The purpose of the Fiends would be to send Garland 2000 years into the past whenever he would be killed by the Warriors of Light. According to one of the Lufenians turned into a bat in the Chaos Shrine, once Garland is sent to the past, his Fiends would send the power they drew from the four elements back to their master. Once he has absorbed enough power, Garland would send the fiends, whom he has created in the past, to the future where they drain from the four elements in the first place, thus creating a time loop in which he can live forever.
Four hundred years before the Warriors of Light appear in Cornelia, Tiamat destroyed the Lufenian civilization and made their Flying Fortress, home of the Wind Crystal, her roost. Two hundred years later, Kraken invaded the Sunken Shrine, home of the Mermaids and the Water Crystal.
Lich had begun to rot the land near Melmond from the Cavern of Earth where the Earth Crystal awaits restoration, and after Lich's defeat, Marilith awakes two hundred years early and takes up residence in Mount Gulg alongside the Fire Crystal.
The Four Fiends were originally Jack Garland's comrades—Ash (Lich), Neon (Marilith), Jed (Kraken), and Sophia (Tiamat)—as they enacted Garland's plan to have him become an embodiment of Chaos named Garland in a previous timeline overseen by the Lufenians. They become one of the Fiends and brought Garland back 2000 years into the past to orchestrate the Strangers' hidden scheme to create their own Warriors of Light to end the cycle and free the world from the Lufenians' influence. They are secretly helped by Astos and Sarah.
Kraken is the Fiend of Water who appears in the Sunken Shrine in a squid-like form, though his cape and stance give him a somewhat regal appearance. Kraken relies on heavy physical attacks as he can hit up to eight times. He supports with Ink (25% chance to use) to blind the party.
Lich appears at the bottom of the Cavern of Earth. He is undead with the appearance of a skeleton, and often considered the hardest boss faced yet at that point in the game. Due to a bug in the Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary version, if the game crashes while in the Lich fight, more Liches may spawn. This may also happen if the game is closed during the Lich fight. This can cause problems with leaving the cave.
Marilith, the Fiend of Fire, appears in Mount Gulg as a woman with the lower body of a snake and has six arms, each wielding a sword. She relies on powerful physical strikes, as she ordinarily hits six times per attack. She also uses fire magic and other debilitating spells.
The four fiends make an appearance as the four elemental shrine guardians, who protect seals blocking passage from Gaia to its twin world, Terra. They are again under the orders of Garland who is the sole custodian of a dead planet.
Kuja later summons the guardians' memories to hinder the the party in Memoria, where they are called by the names they were known in the original Final Fantasy. Upon reaching the space surrounding the source Crystal, the party begins encountering crystallized versions of these fiends.
Dissidia Final Fantasy (2008)
The Four Fiends appear as summons.
Though it is never explained in Final Fantasy how Garland and the Fiends are able to travel through time, the reports in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy imply that Chaos created rips in the time-space continuum in the past, which allowed the Fiends to appear in the same locations where these rips occurred in the future.
Some of the fiends appear as enemies.
Some of the fiends appear as enemies.
Their original names in the Japanese version are the "Four Chaoses", keeping in line with their connection to Chaos and, by extension, Garland. Chaos refers to the void state preceding the creation of the universe in Greek creation myths, or to the initial "gap" created by the original separation of heaven and earth. Chaos also refers to a state of disorder, disharmony, dissonance, lawlessness, and unpredictability.
demon in mythology.A fiend is an evil spirit or a
Kraken were giant sea monsters, found in Norse and Icelandic mythology. Often depicted as gigantic octopuses or squids, they were thought to rise up from the deeps, grappling and then sinking small ships. Other myths held that the greatest dangers from the Kraken were the whirlpools left behind from their descent back into the deeps.The
marilith is fictional creature in many official Dungeons & Dragons campaign settings. A marilith is depicted as a powerful, six-armed female demon with the lower body of a snake. Mariliths in Dungeons & Dragons are based on Hindu mythology, where gods and demons frequently have multiple heads and arms.A
Marilith was called "Kary" in the NES version, a mistranslation of the Hindu Goddess of Destruction Kali; the name change was probably an effort to avoid potential copyright issues with Dungeons & Dragons source material, similar to the changes made to the Beholder (Evil Eye).
lich is a type of undead creature. Often such a creature is the result of a transformation, as a powerful magician or king striving for eternal life uses spells or rituals to bind his intellect to his animated corpse and thereby achieve a form of immortality.In fantasy fiction, a
Tiamat is a primordial goddess of the ocean in Mesopotamian religion. The game Dungeons & Dragons has Tiamat as a chromatic dragon, the Queen of the Evil Dragons, and as such the opposing deity to Bahamut, who is a platinum dragon and the King of Benevolent Dragons. Tiamat is a reference to the deity of the same name from Dungeons & Dragons, who is depicted as a villainous, five-headed dragon. Both are named after the ancient monster from Ancient Mesopotamian religion, often said to be the mother of dragons.