The Four Symbols (四神, Shishin?, lit. Four Gods) is a recurring theme in the Final Fantasy series. They refer to the four mythological creatures in the Chinese constellation. The symbols have permeated into pop culture, and have recurred in the series as follows.
- 1 Appearances
- 1.1 Final Fantasy XI
- 1.2 Final Fantasy XII
- 1.3 Final Fantasy XIV
- 1.4 Final Fantasy Tactics
- 1.5 Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
- 1.6 Final Fantasy Type-0
- 1.7 Final Fantasy Type-Next
- 1.8 The Final Fantasy Legend
- 1.9 Final Fantasy Dimensions
- 1.10 Final Fantasy Dimensions II
- 2 Etymology
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Four Notorious Monsters are named according to the Japanese Shijin, and each refer to themselves as the "Divine Guardian" of the four cardinal directions. These monsters can be found at the Ru'Aun Gardens in Tu'Lia, but only after summoning them using a particular stone and gem named after their respective Season and Direction.
On the map of Hydaelyn, all four symbolic creatures were used to decorate the map. They appear near the eastern island of Othard continent; Genbu in the north, Byakko in the west, Seiryu in the east, and Suzaku in the south.
An Artefact called the "Four-Deity Plate" is described as "a set of four small brooches, each crafted in the image of an Eastern Deity of direction. The intricate inlay of fine jewels suggests the collection once belonged to nobility".
The Shijin is referred to in the "Shijin Shield", a Mythril shield dedicated to the four shijin gods.
A mythril shield called "Shield of the Four" is described as "made in honor of the Four Gods" and "bears the symbols of the Four upon its surface".
The world of Orience is comprised of four nations known as the Crystal-States, as each nation controls one of four Crystals named after the Shijin. The Dominion of Rubrum holds the Vermilion Bird Crystal, which specializes in magic. The Militesi Empire holds the White Tiger Crystal, which specializes in technology. The Lorican Alliance holds the Black Tortoise Crystal, which specializes in weapons and armor. The Kingdom of Concordia holds the Azure Dragon Crystal, which specializes in the controlling of wild creatures. The four nations are geographically placed by their symbols' cardinal directions.
In the English localization, the names of the four symbols are literally translated, save for the Nox Suzaku (朱雀の闇, Suzaku no Yami?) and the l'Cie Soryu (ソウリュウ, Sōryū?), a manifestation of the Azure Dragon.
Pandæmonium, where the Rursus Crystal is assumed to be located, appears at the peninsula that stands near Akademeia. In the mythology of the four symbols, the original incarnation featured the Shenlong or Koryu, the Golden Dragon representative of the Wu Xing element of Earth, the direction of center, and the highest powers that govern over the rest of the Four symbols. Its Japanese analogue rather sees no beast represent the aspects of center, and instead represents the element of Sky, or The Void.
Ace is revived by the power of the Vermilion Bird and also has a new armor with Vermilion Bird's burning tails.
The Four Fiends are servants of Ashura, and through him, the Creator. They are based on the four symbols of Chinese astrology and are given the Japanese names for those symbols. In the English version, they go by the name of Gen-Bu, Sei-Ryu, Byak-Ko, and Su-Zaku.
The four Blades of Nil, Despair, Suffering, Misery and Anguish, are each based on the Shijin (Genbu, Suzaku, Byakko and Seiryu, respectively). The negative states of being they belong to are derived from negative emotions associated with their respective element; Despair being related to fear, Suffering related to grief, Misery related to hate, and Anguish related to anger.
Suzaku, Seiryu, Byakko, and Genbu are fought as bosses.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
Four Symbols (Chinese: 四象; pinyin: Sì Xiàng) are four mythological creatures in the Chinese constellations. They are the Azure Dragon, (Qing Long) of the East, the Vermilion Bird (Zhu Que) of the South, the White Tiger (Bai Hu) of the West, and the Black Turtle (Xuan Wu) of the North. While originating from China, the Four Symbols are also widely known in Korea, Japan and Vietnam. Each region have distinct names for the symbols. In Japan, the Shijin, as they are collectively known, are called Seiryū, Suzaku, Byakko and Genbu respectively.The
Information[edit | edit source]
|Name* English, Chinese/pinyin, and Japanese Romaji||Appearance||Direction||Season||Color||Element|
青龙 / Qīng Lóng*Pronunciation: Ching Long
|East Asian sky dragon.||East||Spring||Blue/Green||Wood|
朱雀 / Zhū Què*Pronunciation: Ju Chwei
|Immortal fire bird similar to the Phoenix.||South||Summer||Red||Fire|
白虎 / Bái Hǔ*Pronunciation: Pai Hoo
玄武 / Xuán Wū*Pronunciation: Swian Oo
|Tortoise encircled by a serpent.||North||Winter||Black||Water|