ARIA has shotguns built into her knees, can call assists, and goes full anime: Let's talk about Killer Instinct's final character

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • May 22, 2015 at 8:39 p.m. PDT

Earlier today, we got our first in-game look at ARIA, Killer Instinct season 2's final boss character. Much like every other character that was released this season, this fighter has some very interesting capabilities.

ARIA is refered to as a "team of characters." She is unique in that she is the only character to have 3 health bars, however, her health is the exact same amount as everyone else's in-game. Instead of having her health split into 2 bars, it is simply split into 3, and you most deplete all three to defeat her.

Click images for animated versions

She has 3 body types: Booster, Blade, and Base. You can switch between types by pressing all 3 punches or all 3 kicks. Each mode gives the Ultratech CEO access to different attacks and traits.

Shotgun knees

While her different body types bring about different attacks, ARIA's kick normals stay the same across all body types. Her light kicks are traditional kick attacks, but her medium kicks are single button projectiles, firing shotgun blasts at the push of the button.

Her heavy kicks also differ in that they toss out grenades from her calves. These projectile normals can stop opponent's projectiles in their tracks.

Across all body types, she also has a flying knee attack that is similar to Jago's Wind Kick, and is great for closing the gap between you and the opponent.

Like Jago's Wind Kick, the shadow version is projectile invulnerable, however, ARIA changes things up by sliding across the ground on her knees. The hit pattern for the shadow knee is very strange and one of the most difficult shadow moves to break in the game.

A grenade version of Jago's Laser Sword

Her QCB+K is another move that works similarly to one of Jago's special moves. ARIA swings her leg upward and tosses out three projectiles in front of her. The arc is similar to Jago's Laser Sword and her move can be utilized the same way for pressure.

Even though you can change body types during the pre-fight sequence, ARIA will start off in Booster mode. While her Booster body is equipped, ARIA gains he ability to hover by holding up after a jump.

During the hover, she can move forward and backward, allowing her to set up tricky mix ups and ambiguous cross ups.

Quick overhead command normal

Her Blade body is better known as her "footsies body." With this body type, ARIA gets a much faster walk speed and excellent range on some of her punch normals.

She also gains access to a fast overhead command normal that can lead into a full combo.


The Blade body also grants her a DP special move that hits on the 3rd frame like Jago's or Fulgore's uppercut. The medium and heavy versions differ, however, in that they perform a running multi-slash attack.

Her multi-slash attack can easily shadow countered, though, so be careful throwing this attack out when your opponent has meter.

Heavy zoning and a fullscreen low

The Base body is centered around zoning. ARIA gains the ability to shoot concentrated sound waves as a multi-hitting projectile.

She can shoot one straight across the screen, diagonally up for an anti-air, and even shoot one low that must be blocked crouching.

These projectiles work great in fireball wars due to their priority, but each has a considerable amount of recovery. Using these projectiles against characters like Aganos will work wonders (since it requires multiple hits to remove his armor.)

"Assist me!"

ARIA's drones aren't just used to equip her varying body types; she can actually call these drones into battle to aid her in the fight.

While having access to Marvel vs. Capcom like assists may seem overpowered, ARIA's drones are normalized by the fact that they can be struck by the opponent.

When a drone takes a hit, it'll receive damage that will lead to its destruction. For ARIA, losing a drone not only strips her of a valuable resource, but also takes one of her life bars away bringing her one step closer to losing a match.

Drones can be used to make certain attacks safe, set up tricky high/low mix ups, and more.

Full anime

When ARIA activates her Instinct Mode, she gets a quick cinematic sequence reminiscent of a scene you'd find in a fast-paced anime.

During her Instinct mode, ARIA combines all three of her body types into one super-powered being. At this time, she can utilize any of the attacks found in her various body types.

In Instinct, a small drone joins ARIA in battle, and when called upon, will fire a tracking shot at the opponent. It is important to note, however, that ARIA will only combine her body types depending upon how many of them are still alive during the time of activation.

If one of ARIA's drones is KOd in battle before activating Instinct, she will only combine the two remaining drones. If both of her drones have been destroyed, ARIA will fight solo, but will be joined by three of the small homing drones instead.

Overall, ARIA is looking to be another strong addition to the Killer Instinct roster. From what we've seen today, her play-style will cater more towards advanced players that can properly manage the health of her drones and use her assists for devastating mix ups.

What do you think of ARIA in Killer Instinct season 2? Let us know in the comments below!
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