For a specimen of an inferior species, you seem to have some measure of good judgement... But you fail to realize the gap between your power and mine.

A Maenad to Palom

Maenad refers collectively to a group of villains from Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. Their identities are initially unknown, and they go by the name of Mysterious Girl (謎の少女, Nazo no Shojō?). They have come to Earth from the True Moon to seize the Crystals. The Maenads resemble Summoner Rydia and share her power to call forth Eidolons.

Profile[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

A Maenad's CG render from The Complete Collection.

The Maenads resemble Rydia. In Final Fantasy IV -Interlude-, a Maenad disguises herself as Rydia but fails to fool Edge, so the resemblance isn't exact. Unlike Rydia, the Maenads' hair is teal rather than green; however, their hair is green in their 3D model. They wear full-length featureless white dresses with a red necklace and walk barefoot. They wear purple in their map sprites.

Personality[edit | edit source]

The Maenads are detached and cold and commonly find things "incomprehensible". They are candid and rude, viewing Earthlings as an inferior species who do not deserve powers such as the Eidolons or the Crystals, claiming they have no need to answer their questions. Many of them show a robotic personality as they talk about their mission and how they don't allow obstacles. The Maenads don't consider the party a serious threat, incapacitating them only to seize a Crystal. They demand the party hand over the Crystal(s) they have or otherwise not obstruct them, only resorting to violence when disobeyed. In Edge's Tale, the Maenad Gekkou spies on is aware of his presence, but waits to see if he would confront her before acknowledging him, and leaves without harming him if he does not.

TAY PSP Maenad Field.png

While most Maenads are hostile toward any opposition, they are pragmatic when striving for their goals. They recognize Cecil's use for gathering the Crystals and agree to let Kain duel Cecil on the condition he retrieves the remaining Crystals for them. In the Depths, while some Maenads are fought as random encounters, others speak to the party without hostility, showing they only attack when ordered.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

The Maenads are powerful sorceresses able to teleport, use telekinesis, cast high-level Black Magic—including Meteor—and summon Eidolons by petrifying their material forms and corrupting the Eidolon's mind. Fusoya says this is not merely petrification, but casting the Eidolon's spirit into another dimension. This process can be disrupted by evoking an emotional response from the Eidolon. When this "awakening" occurs, the Maenads lose the ability to summon that Eidolon.

The Maenads are aware of each other's actions, implying that they possess a hivemind and share thoughts. The non-hostile Maenads in the Depths speak in the plural "we", and one says, "our will is as one".

The Maenads are implied to travel to the Moon and Earth via meteorites; Final Fantasy V features this same method of travel.

Story[edit | edit source]

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

Final Fantasy IV -Interlude-[edit | edit source]

Maenad created by the Crystal.

Before the celebration of Damcyan's reconstruction, the first Maenad came into existence in the Crystal Chamber in the Sealed Cave through data the Creator's Dark Crystal obtained on Rydia and her powers. This method is also how the Creator summons other bosses' shadows from the Final Fantasy series by using the Crystals.

When the party arrives in the Sealed Cave to rescue Rydia, they find the Maenad and believe her to be Rydia despite her strange behavior. The party takes her to their airship, where they notice a light radiate from the Tower of Babil. As they climb the tower, the Maenad absorbs the power to summon some of her Eidolons from monsters they encounter. When the Maenad enters the Cannon Control room, the Deus Ex Machina attacks the party.

After defeating it with Edge's help, the group finds "Rydia" with Edge, confirming her to be an imposter as she attacks them and summons Bahamut. The real Rydia enters and talks sense into Bahamut, with the impostor escaping before her true identity is revealed. Reappearing in the upper portion of the Tower of Babil, the impostor informs the Creator that "the Eidolon project is complete", and vanishes.

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years[edit | edit source]

A Maenad depicted in the opening FMV for The After Years in Final Fantasy IV Complete Collection.

Fifteen years later, the Maenads appear on the Red Moon, one asking Golbez and Fusoya about the Crystals' whereabouts. When the two refuse to answer, the Maenad attacks them, summoning Asura, but Golbez and Fusoya slay her. Worried about the Eidolon she wielded, the two return to the Crystal Palace to find the Crystals' light has dimmed. A second Maenad appears to fight them and take the Crystals, this time using Leviathan, but she's also defeated. The Maenads' true nature is revealed when a third appears behind the second's fallen body and declares they no longer need the Crystals. The lightless Crystals shatter one-by-one, and the Maenads turn their attention to Earth.

The Maenads arrive on Earth on a meteorite, then split up to take the Crystals. The first Maenad travels to Baron Castle with Bahamut and strikes Cecil down during the Battle of Baron. Recognizing his use, the Maenad corrupts his mind, and through him, takes control of the Kingdom of Baron and the Red Wings air force. Another Maenad goes to the Feymarch to take control of the Eidolons, and another Maenad, possibly the same one, goes to the Underworld and seizes the four Dark Crystals using the Red Wings in the Second Battle of the Underworld.

Kain makes a deal with a Maenad.

When a Maenad attacks Mysidia, Kain turns their Crystal over and accompanies her back to Baron. The two strike a deal—Kain will gather Fabul's and Damcyan's Crystals for her in exchange for a chance to duel Cecil. Palom and Leonora take the fourth Crystal from Troia to the Magnetic Cave, but another Maenad seizes it from them by freezing the pair with Shiva.

In Edge's Tale, Edge and the Eblan Four investigate the reactivated Tower of Babil. A Maenad is behind this, intending to use the tower's interdimensional elevator to return to the True Moon. She summons Ifrit to pursue Edge and the Eblan Four into the Underworld, where they escape by leaping onto the Falcon as it passes by. Gekkou also witnesses the Maenads arrive as one emerges from the Impact Crater and dispatches a group of monks from Fabul.

In the final tales, the only Maenads seen are in Agart and at Baron Castle with Cecil. When Odin breaks the Maenad's control over Cecil, she engages the party but is defeated. Four more Maenads appear, announcing they have all the Crystals and have no further need of the planet. The party flies the Lunar Whale to the True Moon to pursue them as the moon draws nearer, apparently to impact Earth.

Mysterious Girl summons Bahamut.

On the Subterrane's final floor, a Maenad opens the path to the Depths, telling the party she will let them choose how they die. At the end of the Depths, a Maenad engages the party with Bahamut, but she is defeated when he regains his senses with Asura and Leviathan's help and turns on her. The party finds where the Maenads are produced, their home where they wait until needed. A young Maenad asks Rydia for orders, but the party asks her to wait for them.

After the party finds the Creator, he explains the Maenads are his latest experiment sent to Earth to collect the Crystals for him. The Creator made the Maenads from the data the Crystals had gathered about the evolution of Earth's species. The Creator goes berserk when his life support system's chemical overwhelms him, and he pursues the party as they flee the True Moon. Along the way, they retrieve the young Maenad who waited for them as ordered. The other Maenads come to the party's aid, telling them to take care of the child, and destroy the Creator with a Meteor spell, sacrificing their lives.

Cuore as she appears in The After Years.

The young Maenad moves in Mist, where she lives with Rydia, who has named her Cuore. Despite her origins, she grows into a normal, happy child under Rydia's care.

Spoilers end here.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Final Fantasy IV -Interlude-[edit | edit source]

"Rydia"'s battle sprite in The Complete Collection.

During the Final Fantasy IV -Interlude- story in the Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection, a Maenad joins the party while disguised as Rydia.

Stats[edit | edit source]

Rydia? joins the party at Level 32. Rydia? copies the Rydia from the original Final Fantasy IV; therefore, she has the same stats table and the same level up possibilities.

Rydia?
Level HP MP Strength Speed Stamina Intellect Spirit
32 650 230 17 17 16 32 29

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Rydia?'s Magic Menu.

She uses Black Magic, but doesn't learn any new spells. During the chapter she acquires the ability to summon Ifrit, Ramuh, Shiva, and Titan. She can also learn Goblin, Bomb, and Cockatrice as well.

Spell Level Learned
Blizzard Known
Thunder Known
Sleep Known
Poison Known
Warp Known
Toad Known
Stop Known
Spell Level Learned
Pig Known
Bio Known
Osmose Known
Fire Known
Fira Known
Blizzara Known
Thundara Known
Spell Level Learned
Shiva Event (Tower of Babil B13)
Ramuh Event (Tower of Babil B12)
Ifrit Event (Tower of Babil B11)
Titan Event (Tower of Babil B10)
Goblin Enemy drop
Bomb Enemy drop
Cockatrice Enemy drop

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Rydia? can equip what Rydia can. She comes equipped with a Blitz Whip, a Gold Hairpin, a Minerva Bustier, and a Ruby Ring.

Weapons
Bows Arrows Daggers Whips Rods
Armor
Head Body Arms

Boss[edit | edit source]

Battle sprite.

In Final Fantasy IV -Interlude- a Maenad, in Rydia's guise, is fought as the final boss. She summons four Eidolons and then Bahamut against the party before the true Rydia returns and awakens Bahamut, allowing the Maenad herself to be fought.

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years[edit | edit source]

Maenads are fought throughout the game as bosses under the name "Mysterious Girl". In Palom's Tale, Edge's Tale, and Porom's Tale, the battles can't be won—in Edge's Tale, the player must flee, and in Palom's Tale and Porom's Tale, the fights are scripted to end with the Maenad calling an Eidolon to defeat the party. The Lunarian's Tale and The Crystals have four fights with a Maenad, and all must be won.

In the Depths of the True Moon, Maenads appear as random encounters.

Musical themes[edit | edit source]

The Eidolons Shackled
Music

The Maenads' theme is called "The Mysterious Girl" in Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection, or "Mysterious Girl ~minus~" on the Final Fantasy IV & The After Years Sounds Plus album. It is one of the few new musical pieces not from the original Final Fantasy IV. The theme plays whenever the Maenads are present and plays in the Depths of the True Moon in the Maenads' and the Creator's home.

The theme serves as the basis for "The Eidolons Shackled" or "The Dispossessed Eidolons ~Minudes~", the battle theme for fighting the Maenads or one of their corrupted Eidolons. The theme's tune is remixed into "Master of Creation", the music played on floors before the Bottommost Depths of the True Moon, and "Planetary Core", the theme played during the battle against the Creator's shell.

Other media[edit | edit source]

Maenads and "their Creator" are mentioned in a book in Final Fantasy Dimensions.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

In Greek mythology, the maenads were female nymphs who followed the god Dionysus, and were known to go into frenzies from losing self-control. The name maenad has come to be associated with women both supernatural and historical that followed him.

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