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The Four Fiends are a recurring set of characters in the Final Fantasy series. Inspired by the Four Heavenly Kings of Buddhist mythology, the Four Fiends are usually depicted as monsters with power over the elements of nature.
Final Fantasy series
In Final Fantasy, the Four Fiends are Tiamat of Wind, Kraken of Water, Lich of Earth, and Marilyn of Fire, all of whom were under the control of Garland. He sought control over the Crystals because each one's element would grant him the ability to rule the entire world during both the past and present. When the Warriors of Light defeated Garland, the Four Fiends sent him 2,000 years into the past. The Four Fiends would travel into the present and drain each crystal's power to send to Garland in the past. This way, an indefinite time loop would be created that would allow Garland to live forever.
Each of the Four Fiends were also meant to rule an era of their own, bringing about destruction along with them:
- Tiamat first appeared 400 years prior to the game's events. At the time, she destroyed the Lufenian civilization and drained the Wind Crystal's power, causing the winds to die out around the world.
- Kraken first appeared 200 years prior to the game's events. He sunk the ancient shrine in Onrac, earning it the name of Sunken Shrine. Kraken imprisoned the Mermaids and robbed the power of the Water Crystal, causing the seas to become stagnant.
- Lich appeared shortly before the Warriors of Light began their journey, and was starting to drain the Earth Crystal, bringing rot and decay to the land.
- Marilith (known as KARY in the original release) was supposed to awaken 200 years into the future, although the death of Lich caused her to awaken early. She proceeded to drain the Fire Crystal's power, which caused raging fires around the world.
The Warriors of Light managed to defeat the Four Fiends in the present, but not before they sent their power to Garland in the past. By harnessing the crystals' power, Garland became a powerful, evil being named Chaos. The Warriors of Light traveled into Chaos Shrine during the past, in which they would fight the Four Fiends once more. Once all four were defeated, the warriors proceeded to fight Chaos. After defeating him as well, the time loop broke, and peace was restored to the world.
Final Fantasy IV
In Final Fantasy IV, the group is known as the Archfiends, whose members consist of Scarmiglione of Earth, Cagnazzo of Water, Barbariccia of Wind (known as Valvalis in the original US localization), and Rubicante of Fire. Like in Final Fantasy, each of them represent a certain element (as shown from their respective title). The Archfiends serve as Golbez's minions, and all of them are fought a second time in the Giant of Babil.
Final Fantasy IX
In Final Fantasy IX, the Four Fiends return from the first Final Fantasy game. They are now known as the Guardians of Terra.
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
In Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, the group is named the Vile Four. Like in earlier games, they are a group of bosses who drain the power of their respective crystal. The members of the Vile Four include: Flamerus Rex (Crystal of Earth), Ice Golem (Crystal of Water), Dualhead Hydra (Crystal of Fire), and Pazuzu (Crystal of Wind). All of them serve under the Dark King's command. Benjamin goes on a journey to defeat the Vile Four and restore the crystals to free the World of Mystic Quest from natural disasters and restore peace to the land.
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