Inside the Sylph Cave (DS).
Final Fantasy IV Edit
- 2D versions
- 6,000 accumulated gil
- (Monster-in-a-box: Bog Witch, Bog Toad x6)
- (SNES) or Red Fang, Blue Fang, White Fang (non-SNES) (Monster-in-a-box: Evil Dreamer x6 three encounters)
- x10 (Monster-in-a-box: Tunneler x2)
- (Monster-in-a-box: Malboro x2)
- (Monster-in-a-box: Malboro x2, Elder Treant x2)
- 3D versions
- 6000 accumulated gil
- Arctic Wind
- Ether x2
- Golden Apple
- Hi-Potion x2
- Soma Drop
- (Monster-in-a-box: Bog Witch x1, Bog Toad x5)
- Maiden’s Kiss
- Bomb Core
- Emergency Exit
- Maiden’s Kiss x2
- (Monster-in-a-box: Malboro x2)
- Blue Fang (Monster-in-a-box: Evil Dreamer x4)
- (Monster-in-a-box: Tunneler x2)
- (Monster-in-a-box: Malboro x1, Elder Treant x2)
- Red Fang (Monster-in-a-box: Evil Dreamer x4)
- White Fang (Monster-in-a-box: Evil Dreamer x4)
- Map completion: Silver Apple x1, Silver Apple x1, Silver Apple x1
Final Fantasy IV Edit
- 2D versions
- Malboro x2
- Malboro x3
- Malboro x2, Elder Treant x2
- Malboro, Evil Dreamer, Elder Treant
- Malboro, Evil Dreamer, Elder Treant x2
- Evil Dreamer x4
- Evil Dreamer x3, Elder Treant x2
- Bog Witch, Bog Toad x3
- Bog Witch, Bog Toad x6
- Tunneler, Malboro x2
- 3D versions
- Tunneler x1
- Tunneler x2 (Monster-in-a-box)
- Tunneler x1, Malboro x2
- Bog Witch x1, Bog Toad x3
- Bog Witch x1, Bog Toad x5 (Monster-in-a-box)
- Evil Dreamer x2, Malboro x1
- Malboro x2 (Monster-in-a-box)
- Evil Dreamer x4 (Monster-in-a-box)
- Evil Dreamer x3
- Evil Dreamer x1, Malboro x1, Elder Treant x1
- Evil Dreamer x2, Elder Treant x2
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years Edit
- Basilisk, Goblin x3
- Gigantoad x2, Toadgre x2
- Leshy x2
- Skeleton x4
- Soul, Spirit x3
- Tiny Mage x4
- Yellow Jelly x4
- Toadgre x4
- Bloodbones, Skeleton x3
- Bloodbones x2, Skeleton x3
- Bloodbones x2, Soul
- Bomb x4, Gray Bomb x2
- Cockatrice x2, Gargoyle
- Domovoi x3, Goblin x3
- Gargoyle x2
- Ghoul x2, Soul x2
- Bloodbones x2, Ghoul, Skeleton x2
- Bloodbones x2, Skeleton x3
- Bloodbones x2, Soul x2
- Domovoi x3, Goblin x3
- Ghoul, Revenant, Soul x3
- Ghoul x3, Revenant
- Ghoul x2, Soul x2
- Soul x2, Spirit x3
Sylphs make their debut on the pages of the Liber de Nymphis, which was penned during the 16th century by Paracelsus, a renowned Swiss-German occultist. Not only was Paracelsus the first to refer to Sylphs in writing, he gave such a definitive study of them that his name became a fixture in Sylph mythology. For hundreds of years, no discussion of Sylphs failed to include Paracelsus’ name.
Paracelsus himself made no claims about seeing Sylphs. Instead, he credited his knowledge of these air spirits to folklore; his study of the Sylph attempted to fit accounts from folklore into his own worldview. By the end of his analysis, Paracelsus made it clear that his own understanding of Sylphs was much more advanced than the folklore he had based his ideas on, stating that, “The names have been given by people who did not understand them.”
The political turmoil of the early 17th century created a hotbed for cults who offered clarity and knowledge to their followers. The Sylph, who was believed to possess both, emerged as a figurehead of some prominent cult movements, including Rosicrucianism.
The Rosicrucians claimed to be capable of seeing Sylphs, as well as the other elementals, by treating their eyes with alchemical medicines or gazing into crystal balls. Many Rosicrucians took chastity vows, hoping to marry an elemental.
By the time the 19th century rolled around, bringing greater stability to European society, the occult beliefs that had raged during the 17th century had become the stuff of satire.
The Sylph found a safe-haven in the theaters of the romantic period. They appeared as charming, ethereal, and ultimately unattainable women in multiple operas and ballets. Perhaps the most famous ballet was La Sylphide, which immortalized the image of the graceful, fairy-like Sylph.
Thanks to Vladimir Nabokov’s society-shaking novel, Lolita, most people today would define a “sylph” as an enchanting, slightly devious young girl.
Role-playing games, like Dungeons and Dragons, have stayed truer to the original meaning of the word “sylph.” Players often incorporate Sylphs into their games as strong, magical creatures with power over the wind.
There are still some pockets of believers in the elemental Sylph. They frequently photograph Sylphs in the clouds and describe the Sylph as a valiant protector of the environment. One of their pet beliefs is that, in order to eliminate pollution, Sylphs eat the harmful “chemtrails” left behind by airplanes.
According to early Sylph mythology, the Sylph is one of four creatures, called elementals, who embody the cardinal elements. Sylphs, of course, embody air, while gnomes embody earth, salamanders embody fire, and undines embody water. The elementals guard great treasures of power and knowledge, which are hidden in the pure worlds of each element.
Occasionally, all of the elementals are capable of giving rise to monstrous offspring. The birth of one of these monsters is rare and apparently spontaneous, but disaster usually follows at their heels. When a Sylph delivers one of these monsters, it takes the form of a giant.
Over time and through cultural shifts, the Sylph became estranged from the other three elementals and were linked, instead, to air spirits like fairies and pixies. They also filled the void left by the sirens of classical mythology, becoming a slightly more innocent version of the seductive, magical creature who lures men to their doom.
By jumping down the hole located in B2, the player must head North and go through the secret passage, to the left to find the room. The teleporter is located on the other side of the room blocked by the trail of treasure chests, and it leads to the Sylphs’ Cache.
The cache is full of monsters-in-a-box.
One of the cave’s exits.
- Sylphs’ Cache
The cache is located on B3, accessible from the hole in B2, then the teleporter through a secret passage found in the dead-end. The room contains six monsters-in-a-box, and stairs that lead out of the cave.
Inside the Sylph Home.
- Sylph Home
The Sylph Home is located on the section of B3 accessible from B2. The entrance is still a battle field, and the player is not safe until he reaches inside. Yang and the Sylphs, who look after him and are healing him, are found here.
The second floor.
- Sylph Home — B2
B2 is accessible from the stairs back from the first floor. If the player has spoken to the Eidolon in the Feymarch and has agreed to play the minigame, an Eidolon will be found in this room, talking to a Sylph. The room also has a set of stairs leading out of the cave.
The Sylvan Cave on the World Map.
During the story, when Cecil and his friends investigate this cave, they discover that the Sylphs are caring for a wounded man. That man just happens to be Yang Fang Leiden, Cecil’s old friend who was presumed dead after the Super Cannon incident. The Sylphs will not let Cecil disturb Yang and when Cecil comes back with a frying pan, he wakes Yang up with it.
Yang insists on helping, but the Sylphs insist that he cannot due to his condition. In return, the Sylphs offer their power to Rydia as a summon. In the 3D remake, Yang will also give the player a certain number of his augments, depending on how many other augments the player gave him while he was still in the party.
Alchemy and literature
La Sylphide Bourbon, A.M. Bininger & Co. Bourbon advertising label in the shape of a glass showing a man pursuing three sylphs
The Swiss German physician and alchemist Paracelsus first coined the term sylph in the 16th century to describe an air spirit in his overarching scheme of elemental spirits associated with the four Classical elements. Paracelsus drew from earlier sources, but his systematic treatment of the idea was definitive, with the names of three of the four types having originated in his works. The other three elemental spirits named were Gnomes (earth), Salamanders (fire), and Undines (water). These ideas were adopted in Rosicrucianism and were widely encountered in subsequent hermetic literature.
In the Liber de Nymphis of the Philosophia Magna, Paracelsus discusses the characteristics of the elementals at length. Sylphs, he says, are rougher, coarser, taller, and stronger than humans. The elementals are said to be able to move through their own elements as human beings move through air. Because of this, sylphs are the closest to humans in his conception because they move through air like we do, while in fire they burn, in water they drown, and in earth, they get stuck.
The French pseudo-novel Comte de Gabalis (1670) was important in passing sylphs into the literary sphere. It appears to have originated the derivative term «sylphid» (French sylphide), which it uses as the feminine counterpart to «sylph». While modern scholars consider Comte de Gabalis to have been intended as a satire of occult philosophy, many of its contemporaries considered it to be an earnest exposition of occult lore. Its author, Abbé de Montfaucon de Villars, was assassinated on the road in 1673 and one rumor had it that he had been killed by a gang of sylphs for disclosing their secrets.
One of the best-known discussions of sylphs comes with Alexander Pope. In Rape of the Lock (final ed. 1717), Pope satirizes French Rosicrucian and alchemical writings when he invents a theory to explain the sylph. In a parody of heroic poetry and the «dark» and «mysterious» alchemical literature, and in particular the sometimes esoterically Classical heroic poetry of the 18th century in England and France, Pope pretends to have a new alchemy, in which the sylph is the mystically, chemically condensed humors of peevish women. In Pope’s poem, women who are full of spleen and vanity turn into sylphs when they die because their spirits are too full of dark vapors to ascend to the skies. Belinda, the heroine of Pope’s poem, is attended by a small army of sylphs, who foster her vanity and guard her beauty.
The poem is a parody of Paracelsian ideas, inasmuch as Pope imitates the pseudo-science of alchemy to explain the seriousness with which vain women approach the dressing room. In a slight parody of the divine battle in Pope’s Rape of the Lock, when the Baron of the poem attempts to cut a lock of Belinda’s hair, the sylphs interpose their airy bodies between the blades of the scissors (to no effect whatsoever).
Ariel, the chief sylph in the Rape of the Lock, has the same name as Prospero’s servant Ariel in Shakespeare’s The Tempest (ca. 1611), and Shakespeare’s character is described literally as an «airy spirit» in the dramatis personae. This name is generally thought to have been original with Shakespeare, though the exact inspiration for the character is unclear. Pope explicitly cited Comte de Gabalis as a source for elemental lore in the dedication.
In the 1778 British novel The Sylph, a sylph appears as a guardian spirit for the female protagonist.
By 1765, the French author Jean-François Marmontel had found the sylph legend notable enough that he included among his Moral Tales the story of «the Sylph-Husband,» in which a young woman obsessed with the idea of marrying a sylph is deluded into falling in love with her arranged-husband after he impersonates one.
Willow, a character in Terry Brooks’ Magic Kingdom of Landover series of novels (1986), is a sylph and the wife of protagonist Ben Holiday. She is the daughter of the River Master and a wood elemental, giving her pale green skin and emerald hair. Her dual nature is reflected in the fact that she must transform into a willow tree once every 21 days to maintain her life force. She has a tense and distant relationship with her father, as her existence serves as a permanent reminder to him of the brief relationship he desires to reclaim, but never can. And so it is to her mother that she turns for guidance.
Marie Taglioni in La Sylphide
From the dawn of Sylph mythology in the 16th century, and throughout the classical era, Sylphs have been described as being something between a spirit and a creature. While they are invisible to human beings, they do have physical bodies—usually coarse, humanoid shapes that are larger and stronger than those of regular humans.
As the curtain closed on the classical era, Sylphs materialized in the spotlight of the romantic era’s operas and ballets. Here, not surprisingly, Sylphs take on a more romantic shape; they are dainty, fairy-like creatures with graceful wings.
Today, the word Sylph is tagged onto slender, attractive young females, much like the ballerinas who portrayed Sylphs during the romantic period. However, a camp of believers in the original Sylph still puts out a large volume of photos every year, claiming that they have captured one of the elusive Sylphs leering down from the clouds.
Sylphs have more than just invisibility and brawn going for them. They also have a type of intelligence that men lack. They are born understanding the universe and the connections between all its parts, and they may know of ways of manipulating those parts to cause specific effects, knowledge which caused many alchemists to pursue them throughout the classical era. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Sylph intelligence is their supernatural foresight. The future holds few mysteries for a Sylph.
According to early mythology, Sylphs are only capable of moving freely through the air. They drown in water, burn in fire, and become trapped in earth, so they are basically powerless outside of their own element.
Early mythology also states that Sylphs are mortal in both body and soul. They can die from hunger, illness, or physical injury. Because they lack a soul, when they die, they simply cease to exist. Luckily, there is a loophole for Sylphs who marry humans; the Sylph might gain an immortal soul through the marriage. At the very least, the couple’s children will have immortal souls.
Sylphs originate from Swilvane, a city located in the south west and situated near the «Ancient Forest». It is bordered by the Salamander territory on the east and the Cait Sith territory on the north.
Due to their adjacent territories and the competition to gather scarce resources, the Sylphs and the Salamanders have a fierce rivalry to the point that the two races are currently at war. This rivalry further intensified when the first Sylph Lord was killed by the Salamanders, causing the Sylphs to lose a large amount of money.
On the other hand, the Sylph are on good terms with the Cait Siths who always provided tamed monsters to the Sylph capital. At one point, they made a treaty and joined forces to attack the World Tree. Though only one race could attain the promised unlimited flight of the Alfs, the two races promised to assist the other race in the next Grand Quest.
The Sylphs are typically associated with the color green and, similar to the other races, are capable of flight. The Sylphs, along with the Cait Siths, Imps, Spriggans, and Undines, are also one of the five lightweight races that are capable of using the «Wall Run» skill.