Imperial airborne division commodore known for captaining a distinct red aircraft as well as a squad of mercenaries. Even in hand-to-hand combat, Aranea is most at home in the skies, wielding a magitek lance in dragoon-style aerial attacks.Official description
Aranea Highwind is a boss and a guest party member in Final Fantasy XV. She is a mercenary who serves as the the commodore of the Niflheim Empire's Third Army Corps 87th Airborne Unit. Her skill in aerial combat and wielding of a lance makes her akin to a Dragoon, a traditional job class from the Final Fantasy series.
Aranea is a hard-edged and free-spirited former mercenary whose loyalty and motivations are ambiguous. While she ranks high within the empire, she is unafraid to speak about her distrust of other high ranking officials. Despite her status, she addresses others in a casual manner, and is rather mischievous. She chooses her own path, and encourages others to do the same.
As a fighter, she is agile, and uses airborne jump attacks with her lance. When in the party, she can perform link-strikes with the player character and asked to perform Technique commands, including Highwind, her signature ability.
- Commodore of Niflheim's Third Army Corps' 87th Airborne Division. Born and raised in the western continent, she first proved her prowess in the field as a mercenary. She excelled in combat, putting her impressive athletic abilities and spatial awareness to good use. Yet Aranea was unsatisfied with her de facto superiority: she desired a greater challenge. She then turned her gaze to the skies—and the rest is history. With her trusty magitek lance in hand, she leaps into the air, soaring to and fro with the aid of an inertia-controlling deice built into her armor. This incredible midair mobility has earned her the moniker "the Dragoon," and she has become something of a legend across Eos.
- Aranea has long held doubts about the empire's devotion to its daemonic research. It is only when the imperial army's failed assault on Altissia leads to countless civilian casualties that she decides to officially cut her ties. Now, she has turned against her former employer, hunting down the daemons and magitek troopers they created while saving innocents from harm.
Aranea has fair skin, green eyes and shoulder-length, silver-blond hair. She wears a suit of armor dubbed the "Dragon Mail"; it is red and black leather armor that has a "scaly" appearance to allude to dragons. Her long white cape with a red symbol also somewhat mimics the appearance of a dragon's wings. She wears a black helmet and wields a magitek-enhanced lance, the Stoss Spear, that is considered "extremely difficult to wield". She wears red-brown boots with unique high heels. Aranea's bestiary entry records her weight as ???.
During Episode Prompto, she wears a "Women's Snowsuit" due to the cold area surrounding the First Magitek Production Facility. She wears leather trousers and a long fur-lined black coat and a muted red scarf with matching fingerless gloves. She has no headwear with her snowsuit and wears long heeled boots. The zipper of her jacket has a large round accessory with a red gem.
In Dawn of the Future, some artwork depict Aranea wearing black leather trousers and a white officer's coat with imperial emblems. She also sports a new magitek weapon that can open up to shoot electricity. She now wears a side ponytail and wears fingerless black gloves.
Darkness is coming. If I were you, I'd watch my princely ass. Uh—'kingly' ass.Aranea Highwind
Aranea has been described by her English voice actress, Kari Wahlgren, as "edgy" and "street smart", though her loyalty at first remains ambiguous. Though she holds the rank of commodore, she prefers people speak to her in a casual manner. She does not agree with immoral practices, such as the empire using daemons in their war efforts.
As a free-spirited woman, she encourages Prince Noctis to not let anyone tell him how to walk his path in life. She displays a mischievous side when she flirts with him in battle. She claims to not like working after hours when she withdraws from her fight with Noctis. She is implied to be a strong leader, as her subordinates Biggs and Wedge follow her loyally no matter which side of the war she wants to support.
Aranea is skeptical of the empire, and voices her distrust of the emperor, the new high commander and the chancellor, mentioning she "really can't stand that guy" on the latter. She eventually defects to save innocent people and hunt daemons rather than harvest them for the empire as she had been doing before. In Episode Prompto, she alone sets out to defeat the empire's newest magitek monster, and to look for Noctis's friend. Though she is hard on Prompto and threatens to abandon him if he doesn't keep up with her, it is implied she is doing it to snap him out of his indecisive state. She encourages him to decide his path in life and is pleased when he takes initiative to return to his friends.
Final Fantasy XV: Comrades describes her as never the one to obsess over birthright and rank, having a pragmatic and forward-thinking attitude, a no-nonsense approach, and a confident demeanor. According to her profile in The Alchemist Code, Aranea becomes embarrassed if "treated like a lady."
As told in Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-, when Aranea had been a child her village had been attacked by daemons and she and the other children had been sheltered in the local church while the adults went out to fight. Aranea had wanted to join the adults, feeling that if she got separated from her parents now she would never see them again, but had been told she is too young and that she should stay back and look after the other children.
Aranea worked a mercenary hired by Niflheim due to her unique fighting abilities. She was given rank and soldiers to see her missions through, including her two subordinates, Biggs and Wedge, whom she has known since their teenage days. She is the commodore of Niflheim's Third Army Corps 87th Airborne Division and reports to the high commander. Her service record in combating daemons and Astrals for the empire earned her the use of her own assault craft. Perhaps due to her distaste for the magitek infantry, her unit is composed only of humans.
Aranea stands before Emperor Aldercapt in the aftermath of Insomnia's invasion, who implores them to kill Prince Noctis and capture Lady Lunafreya. Aranea attacks Noctis when his party infiltrates an imperial base, but leaves since she does not get paid after a certain time.
When Noctis is looking for mythril in Vesperpool he gets help from the chancellor of Niflheim, Ardyn Izunia, who has Aranea join Noctis's party as they raid a temple to "train them". Aranea is suspicious of the empire's recent activities, and reveals the empire is harvesting "specimens" to make into daemons for warfare. Examples of this include the magitek troopers. She disagrees with this practice, and is considering leaving the army and hunting the daemons down as a mercenary again. She does not approve of the emperor and the new high commander, and especially detests Ardyn.
In the Steyliff Grove, they fight through legions of daemons and defeat Quetzalcoatl, the temple guardian, and retrieve the ore it protected. Afterward, she promises to train the party more if their paths cross again and gives them a ride to the industrial town of Lestallum on her personal aircraft. Aranea continues to patrol Lucis at night, and when she spots Noctis and his friends fighting daemons and hunt marks in the dark, she sometimes swoops down to aid them. Prompto becomes smitten with her and wonders if she has a boyfriend.
After the empire's attack on Altissia results in countless civilian casualties, Aranea cuts her ties and starts working against them. As depicted in Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-, she had helped with recovery and clean-up in Altissia, but the empire's poor treatment of its human troops frustrates her. Upon returning to Gralea Aranea finds it under attack by Diamond Weapon. While Biggs and Wedge evacuate the citizens, she continues alone and discovers that the emperor has died and that Ardyn had unleashed the Weapon upon the city and is now having it transported to Tenebrae. Aranea declares her resignation to Ardyn in person and decides to make it her mission to get the refugees to safety and commands her unit to protect Tenebrae. She unexpectedly runs into Brigadier General Loqi Tummelt under special orders from the late emperor to transport an eight-year-old girl and she takes her under her wing. What is left of Aranea's Airborne Unit 87 downs the transport ship carrying the Diamond Weapon and she destroys the monstrosity by taking out its magitek cores. They take the refugees to Tenebrae by train and Aranea learns the girl now in her care is the late emperor's secret granddaughter, Solara Aldercapt Antiquum, though he officially had no successor, having planned to transcend mortality and become an eternal sovereign.
While in Tenebrae helping the displaced citizens in a relief effort she meets Noctis, Gladiolus and now-blind Ignis. She explains she had nothing to do with the empire's attack on Fenestala Manor, and that she has left the empire with the soldiers under her command joining her. Aranea lends her aid to Noctis once more by arranging for Biggs and Wedge to take the party to the imperial capital of Gralea. She notes one of Noctis's friends, Prompto, is missing from his party.
During the events of Episode Prompto, Aranea infiltrates the First Magitek Production Facility to find the truth behind Verstael Besithia's magitek project. The facility is located in a remote arctic region. She fights the monsters in the facility, busting through the main room, and is surprised to find Prompto. She has read the notes and blueprints around the facility, realizing what Verstael is planning. She gets Prompto to his feet and gives him a snowmobile to escape the facility.
She finds Prompto camping out in the wilderness and joins him. Aranea urges him to return to his friends, but Prompto hesitates because he has learned that he is a clone born in an imperial magitek facility to be made a magitek trooper before being kidnapped by Lucis and raised in the Crown City. Aranea insists his origins don't matter, and that Prompto must decide what he wants out of life for himself.
The next day they infiltrate another magitek facility to destroy Verstael's newest magitek creations. They defeat Barbarus together, and Aranea rides the snowmobile as Immortalis chases after them, with Prompto downing it with a mounted machine gun from the back seat. At the end of their adventure Prompto declares he is heading to Gralea to meet up with Noctis and the others so he can tell them the truth about himself. Aranea watches him ride the snowmobile to the distance, smiling.
Aranea dedicates her life to helping the populace against the daemons that run rampant as daylight disappears from the world. She posts herself to areas ravaged by daemons and war and travels to Lestallum, mankind's last outpost. She stands besides the former Lucian marshal, Cor Leonis, and all who stand up for mankind's survival. She helps a member of the Kingsglaive take down two Niduses that spawn outside Lestallum. In the decade following, Aranea makes a name for herself by hunting daemons and saving people in danger.
When Noctis returns to bring light back to the world, Talcott tells him that Aranea was once feared far and wide as a warrior dragoon, but is now revered by the people of Lucis and along with Biggs and Wedge leads her own army.
As depicted in The Dawn of the Future, Aranea raised Solara alongside Biggs and Wedge to become an adept fighter. During an expedition to ancient ruins where the Sapphire Weapon was kept, Aranea became trapped and surrounded by daemons, realizing she will soon become a daemon as well. She ordered for the ruins to be sealed up without rescue attempts.
Solara and her new friend, the revived Lady Lunafreya, break into the ruins anyway to save her, and Lunafreya uses her new powers to absorb the Scourge to revert Aranea's transformation. This acts as a catalyst to turn Lunafreya into a daemon, though she retains her sentience as her Oracle powers allow her to withstand the infection. Aranea attacks the daemon-Lunafreya to protect Sol, but the latter protects her friend. Lunafreya is captured and brought to Lestallum, but Aranea helps Solara free her.
After Noctis awakens from his ten-year slumber inside the Crystal, Sol fills him in on everything that has happened during his absence. She blames herself for Lunafreya's transformation as she had asked her to save Aranea, but Noctis affirms Lunafreya had genuinely wanted to help due to her innate kindness. Aranea, Biggs, Wedge and Sol head to the Citadel on Aranea's airship and find Noctis and his reunited retinue fighting an army of smaller Bahamuts with the true Bahamut raising the Citadel building to the sky to take the Crystal and throne out of reach. Everyone comes on board the airship, but it is attacked by one of the Bahamuts and crashlands on the flying Citadel's plaza. As Noctis and his friends continue on to save Lunafreya and stop Bahamut, Aranea and the others stay behind to repair the airship so they'll have a way out of the Citadel.
In the end Noctis saves Lunafreya and teams up with the other Astrals, Lucii and Ardyn to fell Bahamut in both the physical and heavenly realms. As the Citadel begins to fall from the sky, everyone is saved by Titan. The Astrals fade from existence and the Crystal shatters after absorbing the Scourge from the planet, and Aranea is with the others to witness the break of dawn.
Aranea is a boss and a guest party member in Final Fantasy XV and Episode Prompto. She embodies the classic Final Fantasy class Dragoon, able to fight airborne, uses jump attacks, wears black armor and wields a lance. She is agile and powerful, and when in the party can perform link-strikes with the player character and use Techniques. Her signature attack is Highwind. When the player character-swaps to Prompto, and Aranea is a guest member, the Tech command for her is available. This is because the two partner up in Episode Prompto.
Unlike the other guest characters who only join as part of the story, Aranea has a chance of appearing randomly to help the party fight daemons or nighttime hunts in the overworld in Chapters 8 and 15.
Aranea was added as a training partner for campsites in version 1.21. She can be fought when she is a guest in the party, and in Chapter 15. She can be battled on various levels. When a guest party member, the player can't fish, but she will pose in photos (she doesn't have her helmet in the photos even if her field model wears it). The game has no car or chocobo-riding animations for her.
Aranea will pose in group photos, but the only photo spot one can use with her in a normal playthrough is by the Vesperpool. If the player had her in the party in other photo spots, she would be included in all of them. If the player has no pictures of Aranea saved, a selfie of Prompto with her appears in the ending credits. If the player has a saved picture with her, it appears instead.
Aranea has made appearances in the following Final Fantasy XV canon works:
- Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire as a challenger character.
She has also appeared in the following games throughout the Final Fantasy series:
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy All-Star Carnival as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a memoria.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a summonable Legend.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character and a boss.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a summonable vision.
- Mobius Final Fantasy as cards.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
Aranea has made key guest appearances in the following non-Final Fantasy games:
- Blue Reflection as a DLC outfit.
- The Alchemist Code as a player character.
- Lord of Vermilion IV.
- Minecraft as a skin.
Behind the scenes
Before Final Fantasy Versus XIII became Final Fantasy XV, Aranea was known only as the "female Dragoon." She was seen in early trailers facing off against Noctis in Insomnia. Aranea was designed by Roberto Ferrari around the end of June, 2010. Ferrari has commented on her design thusly:
She hasn't changed at all, I only had to change the spear because it lacked scenic impact [...] I drew a quick draft of Biggs and Wedge, but my prototypes weren't taken into consideration and ended up being two 'mannequins' in a suit. She initially was supposed to always be accompanied by those two. Her original was that of a member of a squadron that had specific attack patterns based on jumps.Roberto Ferrari
I just drew the characters. As for Aranea, I remember I had the chance to take a look at one of the original model's screenshots to make some adjustments (this happened for the first adaptation of Ardyn too). Aranea is supposed to have very abudant [sic] breasts, but the one created by the modeler had some space between one breast and the other, which created a 'fake boobs' kind of look. I asked them if I could make the breasts closer to each other, so they could look softer and more natural. I also made adjustments on her make-up. However, when Nomura-san supervised my work, he decided to apply further variations: for instance, he turned the orange lipstick I chose for her into a red one.Roberto Ferrari answering a comment on his Facebook
Aranea was supposed to have her own DLC episode in 2019 along with Lunafreya and Noctis. Its working title was "The Beginning of the End". However, the DLC was cancelled and the director of Final Fantasy XV, Hajime Tabata, left Square Enix.
In the Japanese version of Final Fantasy XV, Aranea is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro. She shares her voice actress with Raffaello from the Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon, Sice from Final Fantasy Type-0, Quistis Trepe from World of Final Fantasy, and Minfilia Warde from Final Fantasy XIV.
In the English version, she is voiced by Kari Wahlgren. She shares her voice actress with Shelke Rui from Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- and World of Final Fantasy, Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca from Final Fantasy XII, and Ovelia Atkascha from Final Fantasy Tactics.
In both languages, she shares this voice combination with unrelated character, Celty Sturluson, from the light novel series, Durarara!!.
A Play Arts Kai figure for Aranea comes with hands, helmet, spear, a "dragon's tail" and a display stand.
Aranea is a genus of orb-weaver spider.
Highwind is a recurring surname in the Final Fantasy series associated especially with dragoons. "High wind" is typical of wind speeds that place a seven on the Beaufort scale. When wind travels this fast (approximately 32 to 38 miles per hour), the sea heaps up. Streaks of foam from breaking waves are blown in the direction the wind is traveling, and there are moderate amounts of airborne spray. On land, high wind moves entire trees, and effort is required to walk against it.
- Character profile in Final Fantasy XV: Official Works
- Japanese bestiary
- English bestiary
- Interview: Kari Wahlgren on Final Fantasy XV, Anime, and Localization (Accessed: December 05, 2018) at Gameranx
- Dawn of the Future Page 140, Reflecting (Accessed: October 29, 2019) at higharollakockamamie @tumblr
- Appendix 6 - Armaments of the Niflheim Empire from ''Final Fantasy XV Official Works'' translations by higharollakockamamie (Accessed: August 17, 2018) at higharollakockamamie @tumblr
- Character artist Roberto Ferrari speaks on Final Fantasy XV story changes, cut characters (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at NovaCrystallis
- Artist Roberto Ferrari speaks about his designs in Final Fantasy XV (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at NovaCrystallis
- Final Fantasy XV – Four New DLC Announced Bringing New Ending; Mod Tools and Much More Revealed (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at Dualshockers