Aria is Cadence's maternal grandmother. She once used the Golden Lute to cure the sick townsfolk. However, their greed turned them against her, leading her to seek for the help of the Necrodancer on how to destroy the lute. Tricked by him and stabbed in the heart, she was later rescued by her daughter, Melody, and now seeks the altar to destroy the lute and break its curse.
Aria is unlocked by beating Zone 4 as Melody.
Rules and Restrictions
She starts with a Dagger, and that is the only weapon she can use. Her level progression is reversed, meaning she starts in Zone 4 ( Zone 5) and progresses to Zone 1. Enemies from higher-numbered zones will continue to appear as she progresses to lower-numbered zones ( except that Zone 5 enemies will not appear outside of Zone 5).
Red Bats and Black Bats are replaced with Blue Bats, though Green Bats are left unchanged. Spiders will appear in Zone 1 instead of Zone 4. No type of Monkey will appear in Zone 4, but Green Monkeys and Magic Monkeys can appear in Zones 1 to 3, and regular Monkeys and White Monkeys can appear in Zone 1. Ooze Golems will not appear. Ooze Golems can appear now due to the nerf to the amount of ooze they can drop when attacked with a 1-damage weapon.
She also starts with a Potion, which will protect Aria from dying due to a missed beat. The multiplier will still be dropped though, so pay attention to that when using an Obsidian Shovel.
The Potion will also protect her from dying due to damage, but any glass items you were holding will still break, which can make continuing the run much more difficult if you had a lot of those.
Since Aria cannot prevent her one-hit death, no regular Armor of any strength is accessible to her. She also cannot exchange her Dagger for any other weapon, and using any means to give her another weapon will result in a death to "Cowardice".
Additionally, she does not have access to the Ring of Protection, the Ring of Regeneration, the Helmet, the Crown of Thorns, the Hargreaves, the Ballet Shoes, the Boots of Pain, the Risk Charm, the Gluttony Charm, the Protection Charm, Heart Containers, the War Drum, the Blood Drum, the Scroll of Enchantment, and Foods (though food can still be found from barrels and crates).
Has access to all shrines except Blood, Risk, Peace, and No Return.
Has access to all secret shops except Blood and Food.
As with any other weapon-locked character, all shops contain only two items instead of the usual three.
Aria's item pool is very limited. She does not have access to any weapons, not even upgraded daggers. She will not find items that are useless for her, such as items that increase HP, heal, or reduce damage.
Items that prevent damage are invaluable. They include Glass Armor, Frost Charm, Ring of Shielding, and Crown of Teleportation. The Freeze and Shield spells can be reused, but be careful not to cast them using blood magic!
Food is less useful for Aria than for most characters, but still appears. It can be eaten to skip a beat, and also makes you invincible for that beat.
All types of armor that can appear for Aria are excellent. She will only find the Karate Gi, Glass Armor, and Heavy Glass Armor. This makes random armor a good choice when you find the Conjurer shop. It also makes the Black Chest a good choice after beating your first zone boss. Black Chests can normally contain weapons and footwear, but Aria cannot find weapons and most footwear is too low-quality to be a boss reward.
Being only able to use the default dagger you are stuck with a single square attack. Skipping beats by digging is essential to draw enemies into your range, so staying close to dirt walls is your best option. Having a decent shovel will help out greatly, as you can dig up most walls and skip beats that way.
Training mode oddities
The Beastmaster and Bossmaster stay the same for all characters and so do not account for Aria's zone reversal mechanic. This creates several oddities:
- All Beastmaster practice enemies appear in their original zones, so Aria can never practice against the Spider, Green Monkey, and Magic Monkey despite being able to fight them in the actual crypt. This is because these enemies can only appear in Zones 1 to 3 for Aria, but their original zone is Zone 4. For Aria, any of these enemy types spawning in Zone 4 will immediately despawn leaving nothing to practice against.
- Practice bosses largely do not match Aria's actual crypt fights. For example, selecting "King Conga 2" always loads King Conga with 3 HP and minions from Zone 2, and selecting "King Conga 4" always loads King Conga with 5 HP and minions from Zone 4. This would match King Conga's actual Zone 2 and 4 crypt fights for all characters other than Aria. However, if Aria encounters King Conga in Zone 4 in the actual crypt, King Conga has 2 HP 3 HP and Zone 4 minions, and if she encounters King Conga in Zone 2 in the actual crypt, King Conga has 4 HP 5 HP and Zone 2 minions. Aria cannot replicate this at the Bossmaster.
Besides quaffing the valuable Potion, Aria may use trapdoors via Sub-beat Mechanics or by taking a hit on the same beat as touching the trapdoor (possible via either a Leprechaun or with hit protection). This can be useful for either speedrunning or in an urgent situation (such as if the player is surrounded, or if they are far from the exit with time about to run out).
- Aria has been stabbed in the heart by The NecroDancer. This is why she dies instantly, as any wound to her heart would be fatal.
- The reason Aria completes all the zones in reverse, is because she needs to backtrack to the shrine where the Golden Lute was originally obtained from; to destroy it.
- Significance of Name
- In music, an aria is a self-contained piece for a single voice, possibly a reference to either Aria's sheer independence and determination or the fact that she may only use a single weapon, her dagger.
- Furthermore, arias are specifically written to be difficult to perform, in order to provide expert concert singers with an opportunity to truly demonstrate their skill.
- In a more literal sense, aria is the Italian word for air, a possible reference to Aria being killed in one hit by anything, as if she could be killed by so much as a strong breeze.
- Upon release, Aria did not start with a Potion; this was changed in an update about one month later.
- Since no Monkey type can spawn on Zone 4, this includes standard Monkeys that may appear from Barrels, making it possible for a Barrel to appear to contain nothing. (This applies to Coda as well.)
- Her birthday is January 15th.