A young girl of blessed circumstance who places her trust in those not of this world.

Description

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.

Profile[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Artwork by Yoshitaka Amano.

Introduced as a seven-year-old girl, Ryda wears a yellow skirt and white cloak over a gray bodysuit. Her clothes are blue in her sprites, 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. This outfit was a straight leotard in the original version but was changed in the 3D remake, closer resembling the original Amano design. 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.

During Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Rydia's attire is a single-piece green bodysuit that rises from her thighs to her collar, baring her hips and upper torso. The overseas releases censored her artwork, which included a green skirt, and covered the exposed areas of her body; the same 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, often complemented by a hair ornament that has varied in design.

Personality[edit | edit source]

The young Rydia encourages Edward to move on.

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.

Story[edit | edit source]

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

Final Fantasy IV[edit | edit source]

Mist's destruction as depicted in the novelization.

Leave me alone! I hate you!

Rydia to Cecil and Kain during the destruction of Mist

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, so does its Summoner, 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 wouldn't accept help. She summons Titan to cause an earthquake that 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.

Artwork by Yoshitaka Amano.

The two discover Cecil's childhood friend, Rosa, rests in Kaipo with Desert Fever, which only a Sand Pearl can cure. 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 leaves, 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 don't act fast, Rydia overcomes her fear. At the summit, they help a monk from Fabul named Yang fight off incoming monsters. The party reaches Fabul Castle to warn the King that Golbez and the Red Wings will come for the Wind Crystal.

Rydia summoning the courage to melt the ice at Mt. Hobbs, from the official novelization.

Rydia and Rosa assist the healers during the Battle of Fabul, but rush to the crystal room when Kain corners Cecil, Edward, and Yang. 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, Leviathan attacks their ship, and Rydia falls into the ocean. Cecil is separated from his allies until he finds Yang in Baron. Yang says Leviathan swallowed Rydia, and the group assumes she perished.

Rydia gets thrown off the ship.

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 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, heals Cecil, and rejoins the party. After Golbez is seemingly defeated, Rydia explains what happened to her, much to her friends' relief. 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 feigned his defeat and stole the dwarves' Dark Crystal. The party sets to infiltrate the Tower of Babil and reclaim the seven Crystals in Golbez's possession. Constant enemy attacks interrupt the plan, and Cecil, Kain, Rosa, and Rydia escape the Underworld through Yang and Cid's sacrifices.

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 fallen, and doesn't 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.

Rydia's tears for the fallen.

They find their way back into the Tower of Babil beyond the Cave of Eblan. 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.

They obtain the eighth Crystal, but Kain slips back under Golbez's mind control, 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 gain the assistance of a Lunarian named Fusoya when realizing 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.

Rydia on the Lunar Whale.

Following the Giant of Babil's attack and destruction, Fusoya reveals Cecil and Golbez's history and that this conflict's real mastermind 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 safety. Edge tells Rydia, "This is work for grown-ups", offending her. When the Lunar Whale arrives at the Moon, the women reveal they stayed on board, 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 defeats Zeromus, the embodiment of Zemus's hatred.

Rydia during the ending (3D).

After helping bring peace 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 learned from Cecil: it's one's inner character that matters the most.

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

After roughly a year since Zeromus's defeat, Cecil dreams of Rydia 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 to celebrate Damcyan Castle's reconstruction. Meanwhile, at Feymarch, Asura permits Rydia to visit the event, but she isn't 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. She comes around unable to remember where she was, telling Cecil's party "they" were calling her.

The party wonders whom she refers to and investigates 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 stops Cecil from reaching Rydia. After they defeat it, Rydia is nowhere to be found, leaving the party to continue climbing the tower. They find Rydia on the top floor and learn she is an impostor as she attacks them with her Eidolons. The real Rydia arrives and talks sense into Bahamut before helping the party defeat the impostor who disappears without her true identity revealed.

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

Rydia, from the opening FMV for The After Years in Final Fantasy IV Complete Collection.

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.

Description

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 Mist, assisted by Cecil, Edward, Yang, and Edge on their kingdoms' behalf. 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 was stolen during the Second Battle of the Underworld. She 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 beaten by a man cloaked in black who rescues Rydia and Luca, taking them to the Tower of Babil and telling them the events are repeating. Onboard 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 break the seal surrounding Baron Castle.

Rydia.

After saving the other party members and freeing the Eidolons from their mind control, Rydia visits Mist. She discovers her mother's Mist Dragon never succumbed to the Mysterious Girl because the townspeople and children hold 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.

The party discovers numerous Mysterious Girls, all identical, collectively known as the Maenads, mass-produced by the Creator in Rydia's image. While traveling through the True Moon, the party encounters a young, harmless Maenad who responds to Rydia, waiting for her command. After defeating the Creator, the party escapes the True Moon with the Creator in pursuit, but the Maenads sacrifice themselves to destroy him. Back on Earth, Rydia cares for the young Maenad, naming her Cuore, and trains her as a Summoner.

Spoilers end here.


Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Final Fantasy IV[edit | edit source]

IV-rydiaC sd.png
IV-rydiaA sd.png

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.

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

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.

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

Rydia in battle.

Rydia retains her ability to cast Black Magic and summon Eidolons. She has high magical stats, but her HP is one of the lowest of the party. She has many Bands with other characters. She has access to the same equipment types as her Summoner form in the original Final Fantasy IV. Rydia has powerful abilities in her summons, and decent physical attack power, though she is weaker than Golbez. Though Rydia is a powerful Black Mage, she falls short of Palom's stats. She also lacks Leonora's White Magic.

Musical themes[edit | edit source]

"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".

Other appearances[edit | edit source]

Rydia has made appearances in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:

Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances[edit | edit source]

Rydia has had key guest appearances in the following non-Final Fantasy games:

Other media[edit | edit source]

Rydia's Virtual World avatar.

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.

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.

Rydia as seen in the menu icon used (DS).

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. HoriRydiaDSSet

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Rydia as adult and child.

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 posit that she appears to be 20 years old, 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.

When Cecil and Kain inadvertently destroy Mist, Rydia summons Titan even though, when she becomes a playable character, she can only summon Chocobo, in addition to Whyt in the DS remake. In The After Years, Rydia states she and Titan have been together since she was a child.

Despite not interacting much in Final Fantasy IV, the Final Fantasy IV Settei Shiryou Hen guide's character relationship chart identifies Tellah and Rydia's relationship akin to that of teacher and pupil; her relationship with Rosa is the same. Her relationship with Cecil is described as "bound by fate" and her relationship with Edge as receiving his unrequited affection.[2]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

"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.

References[edit | edit source]

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