Introducing Final Fantasy XV Villains: Aranea Highwind & The Niflheim Empire


Final Fantasy XV key art depicting the power and threat from the Niflheim Empire

Active Time Report

Last night, the seventh installment of Active Time Report aired through Square Enix Presents. Final Fantasy XV game director Hajime Tabata and marketing manager Akio Ofuji talked about the villains of the game – the Niflheim Empire, which Noctis, Prompto, Gladiolus and Ignis will face during their grand adventure.

Niflheim vs. Lucis

Hajima Tabata wanted to explain the state of the Niflheim Empire just after the beginning of Final Fantasy XV: the army is incredibly powerful – they got a staggering number of troops and weaponry at their disposal. After ruining the peace ceremony that was meant to end the war, Niflheim has conquered and occupied the vast majority of the world. The Kingdom of Lucis still remains independent by defying the forces of the enemy nation.

Niflheim and Lucis both rely on different sources to power-up their military forces: Lucis’ major power comes from magic they draw from the crystal as its custodians. It allows them to erect barriers and prevent enemy invasions. As we learned previously, Niflheim is a really advanced nation when it comes to technology. Even all the cars in Lucis are imported from there – working as a big symbol of Niflheim’s mechanized society. Their regular infantry are mechanical soldiers known as magitek troopers. Alongside airship armadas, they’re designed to conquerer other countries.

niflheim empire structure.png

Niflheim Leadership

Niflheim is an empire ruled by Emperor Iedolas who’s a ruthless supremacist with politics dedicated to territorial expansion. At the start he isn’t leading the empire personally as he has semi-retired himself from politics. The person who currently runs the political scene is Chancellor Ardyn Izunia. He’s a slightly humorous and shrewd character who plays an important role in the story as the person at the center of the empire – holding the reins of power and administering the nation.

Verstael is a scientist in charge of developing the technology for the Magitek Infantry for the Niflheim Empire. General Glauca is the head of them military and below him are various units and ranked officers. Current Combat Prototypes are build for war, well optimized for combat and dropped in the battlefield from assault landing craft – as seen in Episode Duscae. Former All-Purpose Models are used outside of battles and serve as general-purpose models at manning checkpoints, for example. All officers above the infantry units are humans, commanding and controlling them.


Meet Aranea Highwind – The Dragoon Lady

Aranea Highwind was first introduced in Final Fantasy Versus XIII marketing materials and she is now returning in Final Fantasy XV. She works as a commander for a mercenary unit in the Niflheim military – officially titled as the captain of the empire’s third army corps 87th airborne unit. She is strong and extremely skilled in aerial combat, thus, her colleagues refer her as “the dragoon”. We will be hearing more about her and other new characters in March!

Final Fantasy XV is scheduled for release in 2016. Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV event will be held on March 31, 2016 in Los Angeles, North America.

3 replies »

  1. This makes me really want to buy a PS4 TAT… and there’s the FFVII remake too tsk2 but I’m still saving for a 3DS lol…

  2. I like Glauca and Aranea’s design – both look badass!
    And the combat is looking so much fun – its cool how they’ve taken on so much of our feedback and improved on so many things :)

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