Aranea Highwind is a minor character from Final Fantasy XV. In it, she played the role of a boss as well as a guest party member, which was nonetheless enough for her to make a strong impression on the players. As a result, Aranea has become something of a breakout character, as shown by her appearances in subsequent spinoffs. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Aranea Highwind:
1. Highwind Has Seen Use in More Than One Final Fantasy Game
The Final Fantasy franchise is fond of reusing certain names. For example, Cid is a name that has shown up in just about all of the Final Fantasy games, though different Cids can see incredible differences in their roles. Highwind isn’t quite as common as Cid, but it has shown up in more than one Final Fantasy game as well.
2. Lives Up to the Highwind Name
With that said, Aranea more than manages to live up to the Highwind name. In short, Highwind is a name that tends to be associated with dragoons, which in the Final Fantasy franchise, refers to spear-fighters with a penchant for high jumps that enable them to attack their enemies from above. Aranea is outright described as a dragoon, which makes sense because she fights like one as well.
3. Her Signature Ability Is Highwind
Speaking of which, Aranea’s signature ability is called Highwind. It is interesting to note that said name has seen use for techniques in more than one Final Fantasy game as well, with the most memorable example being perhaps Cid Highwind’s Limit Break in Final Fantasy VII.
4. Her Costume Draws Inspiration from Dragons
Aranea’s costume draws inspiration from dragons. For example, the leather is scaly, which is meant to invoke the scaly skin of said creatures. Likewise, the long white cape is supposed to resemble a dragon’s wings.
5. Has Some Spider Connotations As Well
Besides dragon imagery, Aranea has some spider imagery as well. After all, her name is a reference to the araneids, which most people should be more familiar with as the orb-weaver spiders that are the most common builders of the spiral-shaped webs that can look as though they are suspended in mid-air. Similar to how orb-weaver spiders can move over their own webs with incredible grace, Aranea can move through the air with terrifying speed for those about to meet the business end of her spear.
6. Has Clear Moral Standards
With that said, Aranea has a much better personality than a lot of characters who incorporate spider imagery. After all, Final Fantasy XV makes it very clear that she has moral standards, as shown by the fact that she chooses to end her contract with the Niflheim Empire because of the high civilian casualties from the failed imperial assault on Altissia.
7. Conducts Search and Rescue Operations
Aranea’s strong sense of morality can be further seen in the fact that she starts conducting search and rescue operations in the wake of her cutting ties with the Niflheim Empire. Furthermore, these operations are combined with efforts to hunt down daemons as well as the Niflheim Empire’s magitek troopers, thus making it very clear where she stands on the issues.
8. Can Show Up In Night Battles
It is interesting to note that while other guest characters are limited to showing up for story reasons, Aranea is the one example who can show up in random battles. For those who are curious, she can show up when the party is fighting daemons at night. However, since the chances are random, some people will see her a lot, whereas other people might not.
9. Seems to Be a Strong Leader
This isn’t stated outright in the game, but it seems clear that Aranea is a strong albeit casual leader. After all, her decision to cut ties with the Niflheim Empire seems to have met with no opposition with her own followers whatsoever, though to be fair, they were serving as her mercenaries before they were serving as soldiers for the Niflheim Empire. Combined with the fact that her soldiers call her “Lady A,” the implication is that there is a pretty close bond between the leader and her troops.
10. Commands Biggs and Wedge
Amusingly, Aranea is in charge of Final Fantasy XV’s Biggs and Wedge, which are also recurring names in the Final Fantasy franchise. Such characters always show up as a duo rather than on their own. Moreover, they are indeed references to Wedge Antilles and Biggs Darklighter from Episode IV of Star Wars.