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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 the commodore of the Niflheim Empire's Third Army Corps 86th Airborne Unit, and 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.

ProfileEdit

AppearanceEdit

Aranea Highwind

Aranea.

Aranea has fair skin, shoulder-length, silver-blond hair. She wears red and black armor. Her armor is leather and has a "scaly" appearance to allude to dragons, and her long cape also somewhat mimics the appearance of a dragon's wings. The cape is white with the red symbol. She wields a magitek-enhanced lance that is considered "extremely difficult to wield" and has green eyes. She wears red-brown boots with unique high heels.

During Episode Prompto, she wears a winter variation of her combat outfit. She wears leather trousers and a long fur-lined black coat and a muted red scarf with matching fingerless gloves. She has no helmet in her winter gear and wears long heeled boots. The zipper of her jacket has a large round accessory with a red gem.

PersonalityEdit

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",[1] though her loyalty at first remains ambiguous due to her status as a mercenary. 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. In Episode Prompto she encourages Prompto Argentum to decide his path and make the right choices despite Prompto learning the dark truth of his origins. 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.

Despite being a mercenary, she is perfectly capable of thinking for herself. She is skeptical of the empire, and voices her distrust of the emperor, new high commander and the chancellor to Noctis and his party, 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.

Final Fantasy XV: Comrades describes her as never the one to obsess over birthright and rank, as having forward-thinking attitude and pragmatism, a no-nonsense attitude and a confident demeanor.

StoryEdit

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

Aranea was a mercenary who was 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. Her service record in combating daemons and Astrals for the empire earned her the use of her own airship. Perhaps due to her distaste for the magitek infantry, her unit is composed only of humans.

She attacks Noctis when his party infiltrates a Niflheim 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, which are made from the parts of Iron Giants in specialized laboratories. 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 his new high commanders, and especially detests Ardyn.

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 an imperial airship.

Aranea-in-Tenebrae-FFXV

Aranea in Tenebrae.

When the party arrives in Tenebrae, they encounter Aranea. She had nothing to do with the attacks on Tenebrae, as she has left the empire with her soldiers under her command joining her. She is now helping the displaced citizens in a relief effort. 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.

Aranea-Episode-Prompto-FFXV-DLC

Aranea urges Prompto to meet with his friends.

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 help the populace against the daemons that run rampant as daylight disappears from the world. She posts herself to areas ravaged by daemons and war. She travels to Lestallum that becomes mankind's last outpost, and 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.

Spoilers end here.

GameplayEdit

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.

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 in Chapters 8 and 15. She will never appear during the "Cruel Giants of Duscae" quest, even though the hunt involves taking down three daemons. However, at the end of the battle, her red ship can be seen, but it will float away. The same can be seen whenever the player finishes a battle with daemons right before she has a chance to appear.

Creation and developmentEdit

FF XIII Versus Dragoon girl

The mysterious dragoon as she appeared in promotional material for Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

Before Final Fantasy Versus XIII became Final Fantasy XV, Aranea was known only as the "female Dragoon." She was seen in early trailers for the game facing off against Noctis Lucis Caelum in Insomnia. Aranea was designed by Roberto Ferrari around the end of June, 2010.[2] Ferrari has commented on her design thusly:[3]

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

VoiceEdit

In the Japanese version of Final Fantasy XV, Aranea is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro. She shares her Japanese 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 from Final Fantasy XIV.

In the English version of Final Fantasy XV, Aranea is voiced by Kari Wahlgren.[4] She shares her English 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: The War of the Lions.

Other appearancesEdit

Aranea has made appearances in the following Final Fantasy XV canon works:

She has also appeared in the following games throughout the Final Fantasy series:

Non-Final Fantasy guest appearancesEdit

Aranea has made key guest appearances in the following non-Final Fantasy games:

MerchandiseEdit

A Play Arts Kai figure for Aranea comes with hands, helmet, spear, a "dragon's tail" and a display stand.

GalleryEdit

EtymologyEdit

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.

TriviaEdit

  • Aranea's bestiary entry records her weight as ???.
  • Aranea's bestiary entry says she helped the empire battle Astrals.
  • She is the commodore of Niflheim's Third Army Corps 87th Airborne Division. This may be an allusion to number 15, as 8+7=15.

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit