- “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 (マイナス, Mainasu?) refers collectively to a group of villains from Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. During most of the game their identities are 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, and move swiftly in gathering them. The Maenads resemble the Summoner Rydia, and share her power to summon Eidolons.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
The Maenads are said to physically resemble Rydia, and in Final Fantasy IV -Interlude- a Maenad disguises herself as Rydia, but Edge can see through her guise, so the resemblance is not exact. Unlike Rydia, their hair is teal rather than green and they wear full-length featureless white dresses with a red necklace, and walk barefoot.
The Maenads are detached and cold and have a habit of remarking how they find things "incomprehensible". They are candid and rude, referring to other party members as inferior species who do not deserve to have powers such as the Eidolons or the Crystals, and often 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 allow no obstacles. The Maenads do not recognize the party as a serious threat for much of the game, incapacitating them only to seize a Crystal and leaving them alive. They warn the party and instruct them to hand over the Crystal(s) they have or otherwise to not obstruct them, only resorting to violence when the party does not listen — in Edge's Tale, the Maenad Gekkou spies on is aware of his presence, but mentions waiting to see if he would confront her before acknowledging him, and leaves without harming him if he does not.
While most of them are hostile to the main characters, the Maenads are pragmatic when it comes to achieving their goals: they recognize Cecil's use as a specimen to aid in their gathering of the Crystals, and agree to allow Kain to duel with Cecil on the condition he retrieve 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.
The Maenads' resemblance to Rydia is explained in Final Fantasy IV -Interlude-. At some point before the celebration of Damcyan's reconstruction, the first Maenad came into existence in the Crystal Chamber in the Sealed Cave, using data that the Creator's Dark Crystal had obtained on Rydia and her powers. This is apparently how the Creator summoned shadows of other bosses from the Final Fantasy series by using the Crystals. The is briefly foreshadowed in a dream Cecil has.
When the party arrives in the Sealed Cave to rescue her, they find the Maenad and believed her to be Rydia despite her strange behavior. The party takes her back to the 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 in the tower. When they get to the Cannon Control room, the Maenad enters it and the party is attacked by the Deus Ex Machina.
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.
Fifteen years later, the Maenads appear on the Red Moon, questioning 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 turned dark, their light vanished. A second Maenad appears to fight them and take the Crystals, this time using Leviathan, but she is also defeated. The Maenads' true nature is revealed when a third appears behind the fallen body of the second and declares they no longer need the Crystals. The lightless Crystals are left to shatter one-by-one, and the Maenads turn their attention to Earth.
The Maenads arrive on Earth in a meteor, then split up to take the Crystals. The first Maenad travels to Baron Castle with Bahamut and strikes Cecil down. Recognizing his use the Maenad corrupts his mind, and through him takes control of Baron and the Red Wings. 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.
When a Maenad attacks Mysidia, Kain turns their Crystal over and accompanies her back to Baron, where the two strike a deal - Kain will gather the Crystals of Fabul and Damcyan, and will hand them to her in exchange for a chance to duel Cecil. The fourth Crystal, in Troia, is seized by another Maenad, who pursues the Crystal to the Magnetic Cave in the hands of Palom and Leonora and freezes them using 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. Also in Edge's Tale, Gekkou witnesses the arrival of the Maenads as one emerges from the Impact Crater and dispatches a group of monks from Fabul.
In the final tales, the only Maenad seen is at Baron Castle with Cecil. When her control over Cecil is broken by Odin, 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 uses the Lunar Whale to fly to the True Moon in pursuit of them as the True Moon draws nearer, apparently to impact the planet.
At the final floor of the Subterrane, a Maenad opens the path to the Depths telling the party she will leave it to them to choose how they wish to die. At the end of the Depths a Maenad engages the party with Bahamut, but is defeated when Bahamut regains his senses with the help of Asura and Leviathan and turns on her. Beyond this point the party finds the Maenads' home where they are produced and where they wait until needed. The party finds a young Maenad who asks them for orders, but is told to wait for them.
After the party finds the Creator, he explains the Maenads are his latest experiment, produced from the data the Crystals gathered about the evolution of Earth's species, and were sent to Earth to take the Crystals back for him. The Creator goes berserk when the chemical of his life support system overwhelm him, and pursues the party as they flee the True Moon. Along the way they retrieve the young Maenad. 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.
The Maenads are powerful sorceresses, and can teleport, use telekinesis to move objects, cast high-level Black Magic including Meteor, and can summon Eidolons. Their capacity to summon Eidolons consists of petrifying their material forms and corrupting the Eidolon's mind, but Fusoya says this is not simply petrification, but a casting of the Eidolon's spirit into another dimension. This process can be disrupted by evoking an emotional response from the Eidolon, such as when Rydia calls out to them, or when Odin comes to his senses upon refusing to harm the party members standing against Cecil, as they are citizens of Baron and he is the spirit of their king. When this "awakening" occurs the Maenads lose the ability to summon that Eidolon.
The Maenads indicate they are aware of each other's actions, implying that they possess a hive mind that allows them to share thoughts. The non-hostile Maenads in the Depths support this idea, as they speak in the plural "we", and one says "our will is as one".
During the Final Fantasy IV -Interlude- story in the Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection, a Maenad joins the party while disguised as Rydia. She is a carbon copy of Rydia, and can equip what Rydia can and learns spells at the same level Rydia did in Final Fantasy IV. During the chapter she acquires the ability to summon Ifrit, Ramuh, Shiva, and Titan. She can also learn Goblin, Bomb, and Cockatrice as well. She joins the party at Level 32, and comes equipped with a Blitz Whip, Gold Hairpin, Minerva Bustier, and Ruby Ring.
In Final Fantasy IV -Interlude- a Maenad, still in the guise of Rydia, 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.
In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, 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 fights cannot 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. In the Lunarian's Tale and The Crystals, there are four fights with a Maenad and all must be won.
In the Depths of the True Moon, Maenads appear as random encounters.
|The Eidolons Shackled|
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
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 pieces of music not from the original Final Fantasy IV. The theme plays whenever the Maenads are present, and plays in the Depths of the True Moon when the player reaches the home of the Maenads and the Creator.
The theme serves as the basis for "The Eidolons Shackled" or "The Dispossessed Eidolons ~Minudes~", the battle theme used whenever the player fights the Maenads or one of their corrupted Eidolons. The theme's tune is remixed into "Master of Creation", the theme played on floors prior to the Bottommost Depths of the True Moon, and "Planetary Core", the theme played when in battle against the Creator's shell.
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.