|“||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 of Aranea Highwind|
Aranea Highwind is a boss and a guest party member in Final Fantasy XV. She is captain 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.
Aranea has shoulder-length, silver-blond hair. She wears red and black armor and a long black cape. She wields a lance.
Aranea has been described by her English voice actress, Kari Wahlgren, as "edgy" and "street smart", though her loyalty 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 Noctis 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.
Despite being a mercenary, she is perfectly capable of thinking for herself. This was shown when she started doubting the Empire and eventually defected to save innocent people.
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. 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.
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. In the decade following the beginning of the Starscourge when light disappears from the world, Aranea made a name for herself by hunting daemons and saving people in danger. The former Lucian marshal Cor Leonis reveals to Talcott that she was once feared far and wide as a warrior dragoon, but is now revered by the people of Lucis.