Aranea Highwind is a guest party character and a boss from Final Fantasy XV. She dramatically resembles the fabled dragoon class from the classic Final Fantasy games, made known by Kain Highwind. Aranea wears the Dragon Mail’s armor, recognizable with its red and black leather accent. She wields the Stoss Spears, completing her badass mercenary look. Many fans seem to love Aranea due to her character’s flexibility from being an ally to an enemy in a split second.
In this Aranea Highwind guide, we’re going to dive deeper into her character, lore, and even how to beat the Aranea Boss Fight in Final Fantasy XV!
Aranea Boss Fight
Applicable Status Illness
Poison and Stop
|Death and Alterna
Aranea’s Physical Affinities
Aranea’s Elemental Affinities
Short Strategy Guide
Aranea is a story boss in the main game of Final Fantasy XV. She is a physically damaging boss that utilizes her spear to employ ground combos which can be dodged or phased through if you have good timing.
From time to time, she will use her signature attack called Jump. This attack is a signature skill of Dragoons/Highwinds. Always watch out for this attack, as being hit by this causes massive damage to you. Keep in mind that you can parry this attack, and if you do, you will stun her, allowing you and your party members to overwhelm her by ganking up on her.
Here’s a TLDR version of this guide:
- Ground combos can be dodged and phased through; just hold the dodge button.
- Watch out for the Jump attack.
- Either dodge through the attack or parry Aranea.
- Once stunned, surround Aranea and use link-strike to overwhelm her
Finally! You’ve defeated Aranea; after that one-time boss fight, she’ll accompany the party at specific points of the game. Sometimes, she will accompany you during nighttime against stronger daemons.
Aranea Intensive Training (Episode Prompto)
That’s one boss fight down for Aranea; the last “boss” fight against Aranea comes in the form of the Intensive Training mode in Episode Prompto. To unlock this mode, you need to finish the entire episode first, and now, you can begin sparring against the Imperial Dragoon.
The first phase isn’t too hard, but remember that you’re playing as Prompto; he doesn’t have the “safe dodge,” unlike Noctis. She has a dangerous attack wherein she will charge towards Prompto. This attack usually prompts when you stay away from her at a certain distance.
Her second attack is the jump attack from the main game. Look at the mini-map to identify where she’ll land, usually indicated by a red dot. Get away from that spot, and you’re good.
She starts her second phase when you whittle her health down to 30%. At this point, she becomes much more dangerous than her first phase. Although her moves are similar to the first phase, all her attacks hit like a truck and have a greater AOE (area of effect). Other than that, she’ll also gain another aerial strike to watch out for.
Here’s a TLDR of how to beat her in Intensive Training, plus a few more tips to help this fight be more manageable:
- The pistol is your best friend; the fast attack animation is much safer than using other weapons.
- Utilize the skill called crackshots when Aranea is vulnerable.
- Other than using crackshots, use Trigger-Happy when you have three strike bars filled. Prompto will be invulnerable during the animation of this skill. Make sure to time this properly while you’re near her.
- Limited HP restoring items will hinder your ability to go all out in this fight unless you’re a God in dodging and punishing her. As much as possible, save up your potions, elixirs and Phoenix Down for the second phase.
- CHEESE ALERT! You can find a small rock in the southern area of the training field. Stand behind it, and Aranea will go towards you, keep attacking her while she’s stuck in this animation. It seems as if this her AI was not made to get past this small rock.
Aranea Glitch (Keep Her In Your Party Forever)
Who doesn’t want a badass chick as part of their party, right? Well, now you can! Although there are previous versions of this glitched, which the developers already patched out. There are two working methods available right now, and we’ll discuss them one by one.
You need to have the normal Regalia (not the flying one) and hire a Chocobo for one day to prepare for this glitch. This glitch is confirmed to be working on version 18.104.22.168 of Final Fantasy XV on consoles.
- Fast travel to The Maidenwater parking spot.
- Camp at Lambath Haven. It doesn’t matter what you eat here.
- Drive towards the Tollhends Stronghold.
- After parking the Regalia on the Tollhends Stronghold, travel back to Hammerhead on Chocobo.
- Accept the Adamantoise hunt. When you accept the hunt, there will be a split-second where the HUD disappears, and the screen goes to black; at that point, you have to spam the menu button.
- At the menu button, choose map, and return to the rest point. You’ll be back at the Lambath Haven camp. Remember that you have to fight Daemons at night to spawn Aranea; this is important.
- Use the Chocobo to trek near the parked Regalia; however, go to the opposite side instead of going straight to the Regalia.
- Be very careful when approaching the Adamantoise combat area; you should not trigger this. Hug the left side of the path instead.
- Once you’re precisely at 650 feet away from the Regalia, you’ll trigger the Adamantoise combat area. We’re trying to get Aranea to join the party and instantly enter the Adamantoise location.
- Engage in combat with the daemons until Aranea appears. Keep your tech-bar maxed at all times so you can use her skill called Highwind. Using this move will allow her to stay at your party longer.
- Run towards the Regalia until you reach a distance of 650 feet.
- Once you’re around 650 feet near the Regalia, use the Highwind skill of Aranea.
- If done correctly, Prompto and the others will react to the Adamantoise while Aranea is still in your party.
- At this point, keep your camera towards your party members and Aranea while warping towards the Regalia.
- Upon reaching the Regalia, enter the car and step out to create an auto-save. Aranea should leave after doing this.
- Load the autosave.
- Once you’ve loaded the autosave, she should still be with you, and the screen will again go black because of the Adamantoise combat area.
- Use either manual or auto drive to go outside of combat.
- Once you’re outside of combat, the game will create another autosave. Load the new autosave.
- Now, you can fast travel to Hammerhead to cancel the Adamantoise hunt. She’s now forever a part of your party.
In April 2021, a Final Fantasy glitch enthusiast found a better and more efficient method than the Adamantoise glitch. The requirements are the same with using a non-offroad version of the Regalia; however, you now need to rent the Chocobo for two days. So once you’ve gotten the requirements, here’s how to do it:
- Park the Regalia at the Norduscaean Blockade.
- Use the camp near the parking spot. Eat a Crispy Cheese Pizza for unlimited stamina while running.
- Wait until nightfall.
- Return to the Regalia.
- Fast travel to the Nebulawood Parking Spot.
- Set the auto-drive to the glitch location, Killiam Haven Camp.
- Head to the camp spot.
- Use the “Summon Enemies” command.
- Go back to the camp once an enemy spawned into the map.
- Call a Chocobo.
- Remove all warp-striking weapons off of Noctis. You can still have the Ring of Lucii equipped.
- Go to options > camera > turn off Alley Cutaway.
- Warp-strike at the cliff above
- Switch to another character,
- As soon as Noctis drops to the ground, use your menu and use the “Dash de Chocobo” option.
- Let the Chocobo take a few steps.
- Use any buff items on Noctis. This action will let you switch automatically to another player.
- Upon switching to another character, run fast towards the camp and open the menu.
- Once you have the camp window open, run back towards the Regalia. DO NOT ATTACK OR JUMP.
- Now that you’re back at the Regalia, run up towards the area at the northwest side where daemons will spawn. What we’re trying to achieve here is we’re trying to spawn the daemons until Aranea swoops in to help us.
- Once Aranea has joined the party, select camp in the window that YOU SHOULD STILL HAVE OPENED up until now.
- For her to appear, you need to switch Noctis’ attire.
- Now that you have bugged the game, you can’t save, camp or any of the sort.
- To bypass this, load the autosave, and voila, you’re good to go!
While we don’t have any evidence so far that any of the above glitches would work on the PC, however, we do have a tool that can quickly add Aranea to the party. It’s called the cheat engine, and you can use that to hack the game and add Aranea into the party.
Although we personally don’t prefer hacking, you can find the main discussion right here if you are interested in using this tool.
Aranea Highwind Character Lore
During Aranea’s childhood, daemons attacked her village. A local church sheltered her and the other children who survived the attack while all adults fended off the daemons. Being the brave soul, Aranea initially wanted to fight with the adults, thinking she would never see them again if she split up with her parents. However, the adults did not welcome her offer to fight as she was too young and was told to stay back with the other children in the church.
A Mercenary For the Empire
After that incident, Aranea began to work as a mercenary. Niflheim hired her due to her remarkable talent and unique fighting skills. Aranea became the commodore of the Niflheim’s Third Army Corps 87th Airborne Division and directly reports to the commander. With Aranea’s long list of accomplishments defeating daemons and Astrals, the Empire awarded her with an assault craft.
First Encounter With Noctis
After the events of Insomnia’s invasion, where we saw the death of Prince Noctis’ father, King Regis, the Emperor assigned Aranea to kill Prince Noctis and capture Lady Lunafreya. Noctis attacks and infiltrates an imperial base, and here he first meets and battles Aranea.
After losing to Noctis, Aranea leaves, stating that she doesn’t get paid for overtime.
An Ally to Noctis?
While Noctis is looking for a Mythril in the large lake called Vesperpool, he gets help from Ardyn Izunia, who asks Aranea to join Noctis and company to raid a temple. Aranea grows suspicious of the activities of the Empire. She later reveals that the Empire is harvesting specimens to make them into daemons.
Aranea disapproves of these actions by the Emperor and shows detests against the new high commander and Ardyn as well. Continuing onto the Steyliff Grove, Aranea and company push forward to kill the temple guardian, Quetzalcoatl, retrieving its protected ore.
After teaming up, Aranea promises to train the party once more if ever they meet again in the future. Aranea proceeded to patrol Lucis at night, sometimes aiding Noctis and fighting marks. For some reason, Prompto became attracted to Aranea and wondered if she was still single.
Cutting Ties With the Empire
After the Empire attacks Altissia, which results in multiple civilian casualties, Aranea decided she should cut ties with the Empire and start clean. Aranea still persevered in cleaning up Altissia. Upon arriving at Gralea, the capital of the Empire of Niflheim, Aranea finds a Diamond weapon attacking the capital.
According to a book based on Final Fantasy XV (The Dawn of the Future), Aranea found out that Ardyn unleashed the Diamond Weapon rampaging through the city. Ardyn plans to send the Diamond Weapon to Tenebrae. Finally, Aranea has had enough of the Empire’s antics and declared her resignation in order to protect Tenebrae.
Her first action in defying the Empire came when she met Brigadier General Loqi Tummelt escorting an eight-year-old girl, which Aranea takes under her wings. After that, Aranea and her companions take down the Diamond Weapon’s transport ship, destroying the Diamond Weapon in the process. While in Tenebrae, she meets Noctis and the gang once again and explains that she has nothing to do with the Empire’s attack.
Aranea lends a hand to Noctis by asking her right-hand men, Biggs and Wedge, to take them to the imperial capital of Gralea.
Aranea made an appearance in Episode Prompto as she infiltrates the First Magitek Production Facility found in the arctic region. She helps Prompto escape the facility using a snowmobile.
Upon finding Prompto camping out, Aranea joins him. Prompto opens up that he doesn’t want to go back to Noctis after discovering that he is only a clone destined to be a magitek trooper. Prompto was only able to escape that destiny because the Royal Family of Lucis kidnapped him and raised him alongside Noctis in the Crown City. Aranea convinces him that it does not matter where he came from; what matters is his own decision and what he truly wants out of his life.
After that intimate interaction, both head off to another magitek facility. Prompto and Aranea then destroyed the magitek creations there and also defeated Barbarus. As Immortalis was chasing them, both rode a snowmobile, with Aranea at the helm and Prompto mounting the machine gun at the backseat.
Escaping Immortalis, Prompto announced that he would finally rejoin Noctis and the others, and he would be heading to Gralea. Aranea watches him ride the snowmobile towards Gralea with a smile on her face.
Following Aranea’s decision to turn a new leash, she dedicates her life to helping the people fight against daemons. She accompanies Cor Leonis, a former Lucian Marshal and also, she helped a member of the Kingsglaive defeat monsters that spawned outside of Lestallum.
Upon Noctis’ inevitable return, Talcott informs Noctis of Aranea’s turn. A formerly feared mercenary dragoon turned into a praised and revered hero by the people of Lucis.
Other Final Fantasy Appearances
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy All-Star Carnival
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper
- War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
- Mobius Final Fantasy
Non-Final Fantasy Appearances
- Blue Reflection
- The Alchemist Code
- Lord of Vermillion IV
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is Aranea Highwind a Dragoon?
Answer: Although the game did not officially state that Aranea is a dragoon, we can still conclude that she is one. Her last name is Highwind, which is a name provided to many characters, weapons, skills and even surnames that has ties to the Dragoons of Final Fantasy.
Some notable characters are Ricard Highwind, Kain Highwind, Alexander Highwind Tycoon, and Cid Highwind. All of these characters feature a Dragoon-like skill or a spear.
Question: Can You Play As Aranea in Final Fantasy XV?
Answer: The answer is a bit more complicated, it’s both yes and no. No, there is no official way for you to play as Aranea permanently. Yes, you can play as Aranea when you have her as a guest party member in Episode Prompto and when you have her as a guest party in the main game.
We have neatly explained the glitch to you above to have her as a permanent party member. Having her as a permanent party member grants you the ability to control her, at least temporarily during battle. This method is not official so your game might crash at some points.
Question: Is Aranaea originally on Final Fantasy Versus XIII?
Answer: Yes, at the trailer of Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Square Enix presented her as the female dragoon character. Although Square did not fully establish her name yet, we can assume that the female dragoon was Aranea due to her character designer, Roberto Ferrari, having already finished the character by June 2010.
Aranea is one of the most badass characters in Final Fantasy with a seemingly excellent character progression by means of a “Redemption Arc.” If you like some of the stuff that we featured here, then check out these other articles!