More info on Killer Instinct’s final Season 2 character, Aria

Iron Galaxy and Microsoft revealed some new information on the latest and final character to be announced for Killer Instinct, Aria. Seen at the end of Cinder’s release trailer, Aria seemed to be a mechanical creature of some sort. However now we have more info on her.

ARIA began life as a simulation of… life. Utilizing radically new processing technologies and other technological insight gleaned from a government incident in 1947, the Ultrafine Atomic Technologies Company (founded in 1948) performed research into the simulation of life and human frailty within a computational matrix. The core program ARIA was born of the desire to uplift the human race; to end disease, famine, poverty and push humanity out of what was seen as the primordial muck and mire it wallowed in.  This work took on greater and greater meaning for its founder, industrialist Ryat Adams, as his wife was dying of a degenerative disease and he desperately sought a cure for her condition.

Over time, Ryat and the UATC continued to refine and enhance its ARIA humanity simulation program, assigning it more and more complex simulations of the human condition as its capabilities continued to grow and more tech from the government source was understood and exploited. Years passed, and when Ryat finally died, his will included instructions to continually allow ARIA to run her programming as she searched for the solutions to human frailties.


Being an AI, ARIA isn’t corporeal, but she can take form in order to interact with the world around her. She does that through some of Ultratech’s most powerful tech, assembling herself from nanite cores. The three combat drones you see above have nanite cores (see the embedded hex lens in each?), meaning ARIA uploads her personality into a drone, and the drone physically assembles a body for ARIA from its core.

All three drones don’t assemble ARIA in exactly the same way. While she retains a similar (and excellent) normal attack set and two kick-based special attacks across all of them, her punch specials and many unique properties are directly tied into the drone she’s currently been assembled from.

Here’s a taste of the powers she gains when assembled from the different drones:

  • Booster Drone builds a body capable of incredible air maneuverability and has an air / ground rush attack move.  You can see Booster Body in the teaser, as this Drone looks like wings and uses prototype sonic technology to help ARIA hover.
  • Blade Drone builds a body with a sword arm that uses prototype sonic vibration tech.  It is capable of rushing slashes, an invulnerable uppercut, a grounded overhead, chip damage normals, and increased poke range.
  • Bass Drone builds a body with a prototype sonic cannon in the chest and can deliver high, low, and anti-air multi-hit projectiles that travel at sonic speeds.

The other two “free” drones float directly behind the one ARIA is uploaded into, one drone in a high position, one low.


ARIA can upload herself into a different drone with 3P (high position switch) and 3K (low position switch) when in idle on the ground or via special Upload Enders (her combo trait). She can even Upload to a different drone before the fight starts or between downs if you want.

The free drones can also be called in for assists – B+HP for the high position drone, B+HK for the low position drone – each with a unique behavior based on what that Drone’s Body-form can do. They can be called in almost simultaneously, too, allowing you to have two assists at the same time, but be careful to cover them as they can be hit and take permanent damage just like the Body form can!

  • Booster Drone assist does a long range rushing attack to knock opponents away.  You can punish Booster anytime, if you can catch it!
  • Blade Drone assist delivers a strike-invulnerable rising slash at close range, with a long, punishable recovery.
  • Bass Drone assist fires the sonic cannon.  Bass is easy to punish on startup or recovery, but because he fires a projectile, ARIA is less likely to call Bass from up close.

But wait, it’s not all gravy:

  • ARIA’s total health is divided equally amongst the three drones, meaning each drone has less health than a normal player’s health bar (actually about a third shorter than normal on-screen).
  • It takes a lot of energy for the Drone’s nanite core to form an ARIA body, and as such, the drone she is assembled from cannot recover any of its potential damage (PD).  The only way to heal PD on a drone is to upload to a different drone and let the old one recover.
  • As noted above, when a drone is called to assist, it’s vulnerable to attack, and can take permanent damage or even be destroyed by opponent attacks.  ARIA players will have to call these wisely and protect them.
  • When a drone is destroyed, it’s destroyed for the remainder of that match. This means your combat options diminish as you lose drones!
  • To be clear:  Beating any other character in the game requires you to “down” them twice, as KI doesn’t really have rounds.  To beat ARIA, you must down all three Drones, whether she is currently uploaded into them or not!
  • To be even more clear; No, you don’t have a “round 2” after destroying all three drones, and then have to do it again.  Destroy them all once and ARIA’s game is over.

That’s plenty to speculate on for her already, so we’ll end it here. Essentially, you have a tag-team of similar-but-different characters, all in one. Let the theorycrafting begin!

PS – She doesn’t have a recapture, and yes, she can be thrown. –Adam Isfreen

So there you have it, a moutful from Adam Isfreen and while we didn’t get any new video footage of Aria, there’s more than enough information here to tide everyone over until we actually do get some footage of Aria in action.


SourceUltra Combo

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Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grind. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Yes, I'm a black guy!