A young girl of blessed circumstance who places her trust in those not of this world.
Rydia (pronounced [ˈɹɪ.di.ə.]), sometimes referred to as Rydia of Mist, is a playable character in Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. She is a Summoner from the village of Mist, and is one of the most prominent characters.
Rydia is introduced as a seven-year old girl wearing a yellow skirt and a white cloak. In her sprites her clothes are blue, while they are black in Yoshitaka Amano's artwork of her, and dark green in her 3D remake model. Following her return as a young woman, Rydia wears a green outfit with knee-high golden heeled boots and draperies adorned in stars. During Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Rydia's attire is a single-piece green outfit that rises from her thighs to her collar, baring her hips and upper torso.
The overseas releases of The After Years censored her artwork, which included a green skirt, and covered the exposed areas of her body, as was done with Porom and Ursula, but Rydia's artwork received the most censorship. The opening movie for Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection uses this design. Rydia's hair is green, shoulder-length in Final Fantasy IV and extending past her waist in The After Years. It is often complemented by a hair ornament which has varied in design.
At first, Rydia is devastated by her mother's death and unleashes her rage on Cecil Harvey and Kain Highwind, despite their attempts to help her, but after Cecil comes to her defense later Rydia bonds with him. Traveling with Cecil, Rydia sees the world and matures, telling Edward to stop crying as she has chosen not to cry. Rydia overcomes her fear of fire after melting a blockade of ice at Mt. Hobs with the Fire spell.
Rydia puts her past behind her in favor of stopping Golbez. Rydia comes to consider the Eidolons Asura and Leviathan her family, and even introduces them as her parents to Cuore. Rydia feels rejected and saddened when the two refuse to let her live in the Feymarch with them.
Leave me alone! I hate you!
Rydia was born to one of the few remaining pure-blood Summoner families in Mist. Her mother protected the village with the Eidolon Mist Dragon, but one day, the Dark Knight Cecil and his friend, Kain, are ordered to deliver a ring to the Mist Village and slay the Mist Dragon barring their way. Whenever an Eidolon dies, its Summoner dies as well and thus, Rydia's mother is killed.
The Carnelian Signet Cecil and Kain delivered releases Bombs at the village, setting it on fire. Cecil and Kain discover what happened to Rydia's mother and offer to take her to safety, but Rydia learns Cecil and Kain killed the Mist Dragon, and would not accept help. She summons Titan to cause an earthquake which starts a landslide in the eastern mountains, separating herself and Cecil from Kain.
Rydia is wounded and Cecil takes her to the desert oasis of Kaipo to let her rest, but Rydia refuses to speak to him. Soldiers from Baron search Kaipo for Cecil, and Cecil learns the King of Baron wants all Summoners eliminated, saying they are too dangerous to be left alive. Cecil fights off the soldiers and earns Rydia's trust, and she introduces herself to him.
The two discover Cecil's childhood friend, Rosa, rests in Kaipo with Desert Fever, which can only be cured with a Sand Pearl. Along the way, Cecil and Rydia meet the Sage Tellah, who leads them to Damcyan. The Red Wings attack Castle Damcyan and steal their Fire Crystal, the only survivor of the attack being Prince Edward. After Tellah departs, Rydia and Cecil convince Edward to help find a Sand Pearl, for only members of Damcyan's royalty can enter the Antlion's Cave. Rydia orders the cowardly prince to stop crying, for she has done the same. After Rosa recovers, she joins the party for their next destination, Fabul.
The party climbs Mt. Hobs, which is guarded by a wall of ice. Only Rydia can melt it with Fire, but due to the trauma of witnessing fire burn down Mist, she refuses. With Rosa and Edward's encouragement, and the realization that more lives would be lost if they do not act fast, Rydia overcomes her fear. At the summit, they help Yang, a monk from Fabul, fight off incoming monsters, and the party reaches Fabul Castle to warn the King that Golbez and the Red Wings will come for the Wind Crystal.
Rydia and Rosa assist the healers during the Battle of Fabul, but rush to the crystal room when Cecil, Edward, and Yang are cornered by Kain. Golbez arrives and incapacitates the party, abducting Rosa and ordering Kain to take the Wind Crystal in the process. Rydia comes out of hiding to heal her allies, and the party plans their next course of action.
The party boards a ship provided by the King of Fabul and set sail towards Baron. En route, the ship is attacked by Leviathan, and Rydia falls into the ocean. Cecil is separated from his allies until he finds Yang in Baron. Yang says Rydia was swallowed by Leviathan, and the group assumes she perished.
Leviathan took Rydia to the Feymarch, the home of all Eidolons, where the flow of time moves faster. While Cecil and his allies are separated from Rydia for only a short period of time, years go past in the Feymarch, and, under Leviathan's watchful eye, Rydia grows into a young woman. She hones her skills as a Summoner and develops her powers with Black Magic, although at the cost of no longer casting White Magic. The Queen of the Eidolons, Asura, tells Rydia about the danger Golbez is placing the world in, and Rydia leaves the Feymarch and returns to Cecil to help him.
Cecil's party has traveled down to the Underworld in search of the Dark Crystals. One is kept in the Dwarven Castle, and Golbez summons a Shadow Dragon to defeat Cecil and his friends to capture it. Rydia summons the Mist Dragon to defeat the Shadow Dragon and heals Cecil and rejoins the party in battle. After Golbez is seemingly defeated, Rydia explains what happened to her, much to the relief of her friends. When Cecil questions why Rydia would still want to help him after his actions at Mist, she is quick not to dwell on the past, for as Asura told her, the danger put on the world is rising, and everyone must stand against it together.
Golbez had feigned his defeat and steals the dwarves' Dark Crystal. The party sets to infiltrate the Tower of Babil and reclaim the seven Crystals in Golbez's possession, but the plan is interrupted by constant enemy attacks, and Cecil, Kain, Rosa, and Rydia escape the Underworld through the sacrifices of Yang and Cid.
Back on the Overworld, the party's airship, the Enterprise, is upgraded by Cid's assistants, which allows the party to explore Cave of Eblan, where the refugees of the land currently remain. The party encounters Edge, Eblan's prince, battling Rubicante. Edge fails and after the Archfiend departs, meets with the party. Cecil asks Edge to fight alongside them, but he refuses, insisting he can work alone. Rydia cries, frustrated that Tellah, Yang, and Cid have all fallen, and does not want to lose another ally. Due to not wanting to see such a pretty girl cry, and after Rosa heals him, Edge declares they are all fast friends and joins the party.
They find their way back into the Tower of Babil beyond the Cave of Eblan but though they reach the chamber holding the seven Crystals, they fall through a trapdoor and escape when a second airship, the Falcon, is discovered. Arriving back in the Underworld, the party reports to King Giott of the dwarves, who allows them to secure the last Dark Crystal in the Sealed Cave before Golbez can have a chance. While in the Underworld the party can choose to visit the Feymarch and challenge Asura and Leviathan to gain their help as Eidolons for Rydia.
The eighth Crystal is obtained, but Kain slips back under Golbez's mind control and steals the Crystal and runs off. After an upgrade to the Falcon, the party returns to the Overworld and to Mysidia, where the Elder prays for something to help the party. Help comes in the form of the Lunar Whale, a magical ship providing transport between Earth and the Red Moon. Cecil, Rosa, Rydia, and Edge travel to the Moon and obtain the assistance of Fusoya, a Lunarian, when it is realized the eight Crystals have summoned the Giant of Babil back on Earth. The Lair of the Father is also on the Moon, where the party may challenge Bahamut, the Hallowed Father of the Eidolons, and gain his power.
Following the attack and destruction of the Giant of Babil, Fusoya reveals Cecil and Golbez's history, and that the true mastermind of this conflict is Zemus, a wicked Lunarian desiring Earth's destruction. Fusoya and Golbez depart to the Moon, and Kain returns to the party. Regrouped onboard the Lunar Whale, Cecil, Kain, and Edge resolve to defeat Zemus, but Cecil orders Rosa and Rydia to stay behind for their own safety. Edge tells Rydia, "This is work for grown-ups", which offends her. When the Lunar Whale arrives at the Moon, the women reveal they stayed onboard, stating they are just as important in battle. Rydia believes they are all fighting for a common cause. The party travels through the Lunar Subterrane and defeat of Zeromus, the embodiment of Zemus's hatred.
After peace is brought to the world, Rydia returns to the Feymarch, and attends Cecil and Rosa's wedding and coronation. When an Eidolon asks her why they differ in appearance from humans, she states what she had learned from Cecil, that it is one's inner character that matters the most.
After roughly a year since Zeromus's defeat, Cecil has a dream foreshadowing the future, where Rydia is bathed in the Crystal's light at the Sealed Cave before falling unconscious. An unknown voice calls out, "Finally, it has a new form". Cecil awakens and leaves for the celebration of Damcyan Castle's reconstruction, while Rydia is granted Asura's permission at the Feymarch to visit the event, which she is not seen attending. After visiting Damcyan and taking a detour at Fabul, Cecil's party is sent to the Sealed Cave to inspect a swarm of monsters, where they find Rydia lying at the crystal altar. Rydia comes around and says she cannot remember where she was, and speaks cryptically, telling Cecil's party "they" were calling her.
The party wonders whom she refers to, and investigate the Tower of Babil where Rydia gradually recovers her Eidolons. She begins to act more strangely and enters the Cannon Control Room, where the Deus Ex Machina emerges to stop Cecil from reaching Rydia. After defeating it, Rydia is nowhere to be found leaving the party to climb the tower further in hopes of finding her. They find Rydia at the top floor and learn she is an impostor as she attacks them with her Eidolons. When Bahamut is summoned, the real Rydia arrives and talks sense into him before helping the party defeat the impostor. The impostor disappears without her true identity revealed.
Summoner from the village of Mist, able to conjure Eidolons to aid her. Her second home is the Eidolons' realm, the Feymarch, although Queen Asura decreed that she should live with her fellow humans. She now endeavors to rebuild Mist with the cooperation of Cecil and others.
Feeling that Rydia should be with her kind, Asura bars Rydia from returning to Feymarch so she would remain with her human friends. Sixteen years later, Rydia is busy helping rebuild the village of Mist, having been assisted by Cecil, Edward, Yang, and Edge on behalf of their kingdoms. A gravestone has been placed for her mother, which reads "Here lies the motherly summoner who protected our village." Rydia pays a visit to the Feymarch only to find that the Eidolons have been petrified.
Upon returning, she finds one of the Dark Crystals have been stolen during the Second Battle of the Underworld and sets out with Luca into a cave to protect the remaining Crystal from the Mysterious Girl, who defeats them using Titan. The Mysterious Girl is later defeated by a man cloaked in black who rescues Rydia and Luca, taking them to the Tower of Babil and telling them the events are being repeated. On board the Falcon, Edge and the Eblan Four land on the ship and tell Rydia of recent events and Edge recognizes the Man in Black as Golbez. Rydia and the party decide to reclaim her Eidolons to the break the seal surrounding Baron Castle.
After rescuing the other party members and freeing the Eidolons from their mind control, Rydia visits Mist where she discovers her mother's Mist Dragon never succumbed to the Mysterious Girl because the townspeople and children have a fraction of Rydia's power, and pooled it to protect the Mist Dragon from mind control. This relationship between her and the villagers reunites her with her mother's dragon, who says she will never abandon them.
It is later revealed there are more than one Mysterious Girl and that they are collectively known as the Maenads, who were mass produced by the Creator in the image of Rydia. While traveling through the True Moon, the party encounters a young, harmless Maenad who responds to Rydia, waiting for her command. After the Creator is defeated, the party escapes the True Moon with the Creator in pursuit, but the Maenads sacrifice themselves to destroy the Creator. Back on Earth, Rydia cares for the young Maenad, naming her Cuore, and training her as a Summoner.
Rydia is playable in two forms, firstly as a child and later on as a summoner. In both forms, Rydia can learn every Black Magic spell, both have high magical stats with low physical stats, and both can equip whips, rods, daggers, clothes, robes, hats and armlets (with the ability to equip bows in the 2D releases). As a child, Rydia is also capable of casting a few White Magic spells depending on her level and equipping staves. As a summoner, she is capable of summoning many Eidolons making her magic more geared towards offense.
Rydia also appears as a boss briefly in a scripted encounter with Cecil and Kain at Mist.
Rydia is briefly playable for the final battle against Rydia?. She knows all her Black Magic up to Blizzaga, has all her summons except for Goblin, Bomb, Cockatrice and Mindflayer, and is equipped with a Stardust Rod. She joins with 1100 HP and 330 MP.
Rydia retains her ability to cast Black Magic and Summon Eidolons, and has high magical stats (though her HP is one of the lowest). She has access to many Bands with other characters. She has access to the same types of equipment as her Summoner form in the 2D release of the original game. Rydia has powerful abilities in the form of her summons, is a decent physical attack power and is a strong Black Mage, but her stats make her Black Magic less powerful than Palom, she lacks the White Magic of Leonora and the physical strength of Golbez.
"Rydia" (少女リディア, Shōjo Ridia?, lit. Little Girl Rydia) is the eponymous theme of Rydia in Final Fantasy IV and The After Years. When unlocked in the fat chocobo's Music Box, Edward comments it captures "her kind and gentle nature".
Rydia has made appearances in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord as a downloadable outfit.
- Final Fantasy Dimensions II as a summon.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy as a cameo.
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a cameo.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy series as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a summonable Legend.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy All the Bravest as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a summonable vision.
- World of Final Fantasy as a non-player character.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad as a card.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearancesEdit
Rydia has had key guest appearances in the following non-Final Fantasy games:
Users in Square Enix Members Virtual World community can make their character appear as Rydia. Rydia's Final Fantasy IV clothes and hair costs 580 crystals combined, her The After Years hair costs 100 crystals and her The After Years clothes cost 480 crystals.
"Rydia" may be a mistransliteration of Lydia, a more common western name. Lydia refers to a region in western Anatolia, from which the common name is derived.
- Rydia is the first named Summoner in the series.
- Rydia is one of a few characters to undergo a permanent physical change with her sprite and menu portrait changing as well. Other characters to do this are Cecil, Kain, Dagger from Final Fantasy IX, and Basch from Final Fantasy XII.
- Rydia is the only named, playable Summoner to focus on Black Magic other than her Eidolons, as the Summoners after her (Dagger and Eiko of Final Fantasy IX and Yuna of Final Fantasy X) use White Magic.
- The first Super Nintendo entry in Square's Hanjuku Hero series (directed by Takashi Tokita) features parodies of Final Fantasy IV characters, where some of the playable generals are named after them. Other character names include Kain and Edge.
- Though Rydia's age since returning to the party as an adult is unknown, official game design documents featured in the first volume of Final Fantasy Ultimania Archive during the making of Final Fantasy IV confirms that she appears to be 20 years old, thus suggesting that she spent over a decade living in the Feymarch.
- Rydia's bio in World of Final Fantasy states that she is 16 years old, though this incarnation of Rydia is different as she is a resident of Grymoire.
- Young Rydia is depicted with a Bomb beside her in the icon for Final Fantasy IV DS when the player opens the game on their menu.
- Young Rydia is featured on an attachable screen wipe in a promotional DS bundle designed by Hori.
- When Cecil and Kain inadvertently destroy the village of Mist, Rydia summons Titan even though when the player gains her as a playable character, she can only summon Chocobo, in addition to Whyt in the DS remake. Rydia states in The After Years that she and Titan have been together since she was a child, though this could also be explained by her traveling to the World of Summons while still young.
- Despite not having much interaction with each other in Final Fantasy IV, the Final Fantasy IV Settei Shiryou Hen guide's character relationship chart identifies Tellah and Rydia's relationship as that akin to teacher and pupil. Her relationship with Rosa is the same as with Tellah, her relationship with Cecil is described as "bound by fate" and her relationship with Edge as receiving his unrequited affection.