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Tear Jerker / Genshin Impact

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"I'm fearful because of what I witnessed five hundred years ago — her demise and that thing. But, if... If it were you, everyone would be safe. You would've saved the world."
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Despite the game being touted as a Breath of the Wild clone at first glance, just like its sister game, Genshin Impact is no stranger with moments that pulls on your heartstrings. If you are veteran miHoYo fans since both Guns GirlZ and Honkai Impact 3rd, expect something like this happens. If this is your first miHoYo game, you better prepare some tissues and get used with their writing style.

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     General gameplay moments 
  • From the release of the Inazuma region onwards, you can find some rare instances of Hilichurls lying on the ground, such as in a Hilichurl camp with a lone Rōnin located on a small tidal flat at the outskirts of Narukami Island, certain parts of the Sumeru desert, and the Valley of Dahri (within the line of sight of a shooting giant Ruin Guard). An unsuspecting player might think they are just sleeping, but when you consider the context on the locations where they are supposedly "resting", it doesn't take long to put together on what may have happened to them. Despite how you've probably already wiped out hundreds of Hilichurls without batting an eye at this point, it can still feel weirdly upsetting to see a half dozen of the little guys laying motionless on the ground.
    • Made even worse when you learn later on that Hilichurls were once the citizens of Khaenriah...
  • Sometimes things can be conveyed in something as simple as attack animations - Aether and Lumine have separate animation sets, and many players have noticed that their fighting styles very much complement each other - Aether has more force while Lumine is more elegant, Aether uses his upper body for elemental skills while Lumine uses her lower body for the same skills, when one goes high, the other goes low, and so on. One has to wonder if the Traveler sometimes ignore a warning signal in their head because they're so used to having their sibling there to cover for them.
  • The three possible themes used for Stormterror's Lair is notable for sounding very somber and melancholic compared to most other music within the game, as a reminder that you are currently standing in the ruins of Old Mondstadt, formerly ruled by an oppressive God whose people were suffering under his tyranny; meanwhile in the present day, it serves as the place where Dvalin is resting and suffering old wounds from his battle with Durin for 500 years. To hammer home how emotionally powerful the theme for Stormterror's Lair is, battle music does not play in the area.
    • This also plays in Zhongli's first story quest, when he reveals the truth about Havria, the God of Salt, and her tragic fate to one of her followers.
  • The theme for Kujou Encampment stands out from the rest of Genshin's music with just how miserable it sounds; between the Vision Hunt Decree, Sakoku Decree, political infighting, stagnating economy, Tatarigami plague epidemic, and ongoing civil war, Inazuma is slowly dying from the inside out while its Archon effectively does nothing.
  • In Co-Op, whenever a player chooses the Raiden Shogun in the Shouki no Kami Trounce Domain, Scaramouche will always target that player. It really shows just how badly he views her abandonment of him, even though her voicelines show that she wanted him to be free, because she didn’t want to assert control over him after watching him shed tears after she gave him the Electro Gnosis. Worse, should the Shogun fall in battle, Scaramouche will have special dialogue where he addresses her as "Beelzebul", further showing how much he hates her.
    • As the Wanderer, his voice line toward her is still quite bitter, indicating that while his feelings towards the other two that "betrayed" him are mostly resolved, he still holds her in contempt and doesn't find her reasoning to be acceptable. Worse yet, because of his RetGoning himself, she no longer remembers him at all, meaning the chances of any proper closure is unlikely.
     Character Trailers 
  • Raiden Shogun's character teaser is just depressing, showing her at first with her friends on a sunny day together in a picnic. As the trailer goes on, she lost her friends one by one, until eventually Raiden is left all alone as rain starts to pour in. The trailer ends with Raiden taking Thoma's vision and Aether trying to stop her, and yet with the added context and swelling music the scene suddenly becomes so different in tone.
    • Also notable is the difference in how Raiden is portrayed in the teaser compared to the game. She'd been pretty emotionless in her appearances thus far, barely showing anger or surprise, and even other characters like Ayaka talked about how cold and emotionless the Shogun is. In the teaser, though, she emotes perfectly well, going from happy, to surprised, to sad... and then we see the exact moment she buried her heart and became the ruthlessly authoritarian ruler of Inazuma.
  • Nahida’s character teaser has her repeat the dream she told the Traveler several times: that of her birthday. The first two times she tells the dream, it shows her happy and playing with her people, the Traveler and the Sumeru cast as they celebrated her birthday. The third time she tells the dream, however, shows the reality of what happened on her first birthday: the visual became monochrome with a blood-red sky, showing Nahida being found by the Sages in the middle of a wasteland before she was dragged away while looking absolutely confused and hurt; Instead of smiling and rejoicing, the people of Sumeru were shown to be sad, devastated by the loss of their beloved Rukkhadevata, before the Sages then locked her away in the Sanctuary of Surasthana and abandoned her despite Nahida reaching out her hand. The trailer ends with Nahida waking up in her prison, retelling her dream one last time before wishing herself a happy birthday all alone, which is absolutely heartbreaking. It should come as no surprise that the Genshin fandom's reaction was to work itself into a furious fervor, putting aside their differences to agree on one thing: the sages responsible must pay for what they have done to her.
    • To make this even sadder, the teaser was posted on October 27th, the day of her birthday, and the teaser itself is titled "Nahida: Happy Birthday". Way to drive the knife deeper, Hoyoverse...
    • Throughout the third retelling of the dream, there is a subtitle in Sumeru script. Translating it gives us the following, showing just how unwanted Nahida is as an Archon:
      The Flower Carriage rocked. Nahida opened her eyes.
      Said she just dreamed a dream. Dreamed of the day that she was born. Dreamed of the day that the sages found her.
      Alas, but where had Lord Rukkhadevata gone to? We're all eager to meet her once again.
      Realizing the Lord had perished, around her they were gathered, to tears they were dashed.
      In the end, Nahida was locked in by the devout. In the end, no one could Nahida reach out.
  • Wanderer's character teaser, "Ashes", centers around the tragedies of his past and his desire to cease to exist. Long ago, his young friend told him the story of a toy soldier that fell in love, even without a heart. After the toy was discarded into the fireplace, a beautiful heart was discovered in the ashes. Scaramouche compares himself to the toy, having been thrown aside and denied a heart so many times. He wonders whether a heart could be born from ashes, and remembers burning down the home he shared with his young friend. He'd stayed inside hoping the flames would consume him, wishing that he'd never been born. For all his arrogance and rage, at his core, Scaramouche doesn't simply want to commit suicide — he wants to erase himself completely. His despair is countered by the appearance of the Wanderer, who somberly asks if that is what he really wants.
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     Lore descriptions from Artifacts, Character Stories and Weapons 
  • Fischl's backstory. She was obsessed with fantasy novels to the point where she was unable to fit in with her peers and spent much of her childhood in the library instead, since her parents were usually too busy with adventuring to spend time with their daughter. Her entire persona hangs off of the one time her dad actually paid attention to her interests after he complimented her favourite book series, comparing her to its main protagonist, Princess Fischl.
    "I am Fischl, my daddy's wonderful princess. It's true, because mommy and daddy said so..."
  • Zhongli's osthmanthus wine quote, parodied as it may be, still illustrates how lonely and burnt out he's become after losing countless friendships to time's erosion.
    "Osthmanthus wine tastes the same as I remember, but where are those who share the memory?"
  • Qiqi's backstory explaining the whys and hows of her Undead Child origins: she was an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire of a fierce Adepti battle, and the Adepti, out of guilt for accidentally killing her, imbued Qiqi with a bit of their power to resurrect her. However, since she was just a little girl, she ended up going berserk to the point where they had to seal her away in amber for a hundred years. If Qiqi’s HP reaches zero, you might hear her cry out, "Don't want to be sealed back up...!"
  • According to Flavor Text found on a few weapons and items, the black dragon Durin was remembered as the monster who terrorized Mondstadt and brought one of the city's darkest times before he was stopped by Dvalin and Barbatos. Despite this, it seems like he had some gentler qualities, as the item description for Festering Desire describes a memory of a young Durin thanking his mother for giving birth to him. He also wanted to visit a "land of lovely songs" in order to tell them stories about his mother and his birthplace, and he never resented Dvalin for fatally wounding him; if anything it almost sounds like Durin was in love with Dvalin and considered him a friend.
  • Bennett seems like a stock Shounen protagonist with a bad luck gimmick until you dig a little deeper. His chronic misfortune chased out all the other members of his adventure team and scared most people away from befriending him, leaving him with little company outside of his adoptive family in the Adventurers' Guild. As a result, he became a Stepford Smiler that does his best to push aside the implications of his life, including his future deathnote . And he still has moments where he slips up and says what he really thinks about himself, such as the voiceline "More About Bennett - I":
    "Oh... you wanna know about me? Haha, I'm just your average adventurer. 'Cept I'm more unlucky than average. Anyway, I'm nothing compared to you – you're the star of all those legendary tales. What do I got to show for myself?"
    • His Hangout Event shows how miserable Bennett's life actually is. For contrast, while Barbara, Noelle, and Chongyun's Hangouts go smoothly with one or two Downer Endings, only one of Bennett's routes has a happy ending.
    • Putting Bennett in your Serenitea Pot lets you share an exchange where you can tell him how you're glad he's on your team, and it's enough to almost make him break down in tears. It's heartwarming considering how he's beloved by the fandom in the real world, but at the same time, one can also interpret it as Bennett doubting your sincerity because he isn't used to positive attention:
      "Is Traveler lying to me too?"
  • Xiao is easily one of the most tragic characters in Genshin. During the Archon War he was enslaved by an evil god who forced him to kill countless people and devour their dreams. After he was freed, he became one of the Yakshas tasked to protect Liyue from the remnants of slain gods, where he, along with the other Yakshas, accumulated huge karmic debts as the soul fragments of these gods tainted their own spirits. This caused most of them to go mad, turn on each other, or disappear altogether until only Xiao was left as the sole remaining Yaksha.
  • The story of Kaeya and Diluc obtaining their Visions are two halves of a sad tale. Left to be adopted by citizens of Mondstadt as a sleeper agent, Kaeya found himself in the care of Master Crepus as Diluc's brother, living in his shadow as Diluc even obtained a Vision after his dedication to becoming as great as their father was rewarded. Kaeya fought with the knowledge of his origins and his inadequacy issues for years, keeping it to himself and agonizing over the idea of having to choose between his two homelands, and knew that if he made that choice, one would likely have to die by his sword. One night, however, he had that choice taken off the table. In an effort to repel Ursa the Drake, Master Crepus used a Delusion to drive her back, but the backlash from using it put him in extreme pain, and Diluc was forced to kill him. That same evening, Diluc was told by his superiors that they would take all credit for his father's sacrifice, and that he was not allowed to tell anyone the truth of what happened. Infuriated, he renounced the knights and discarded his vision. Already distraught from the issue, Diluc was a slight push from snapping, and it was at this point Kaeya gave that final push by telling Diluc the truth about his origins. Diluc lashed out. There's no clear record of what exactly what was said, or how their clash went that night, but what is certain is that as they fought Kaeya was given his own Vision, disrupting the fight. Since that night, they've gone their separate ways, and neither has been keen to explain why, though Diluc has kept Kaeya's origins and purpose in Mondstadt a secret for many years.
    • Reading the letters between Diluc and Kaeya during the Hidden Strife event reveals that Diluc injured the eye that Kaeya wears the eyepatch over during their fight, which left a lasting scar. It was apparently bad enough that Diluc seemed to temporarily believe that he had blinded Kaeya, though fortunately Kaeya still retains vision in both eyes. Despite everything, Kaeya doesn't blame Diluc and derides himself for expecting Diluc to accept the truth about his upbringing without backlash, and both brothers still care for each other's well-being.
  • Ayato's story implies that he gained his Vision the night his father died.
  • Childe/Tartaglia, despite his scary Blood Knight tendencies, has a soft spot for protecting the dreams of children, especially his kid brother, Teucer. In fact, he nearly kills himself by using his Foul Legacy form way too soon after he already employed it during his fight with the Traveler just so that he wouldn't disappoint Teucer. In the Stone Harbor Treasure Journal web event, he also mentions that children's dreams and innocence eventually fade away on their own, but he still wants to protect them for as long as he is able to. It's implied that Childe does this because he had his own childhood ripped away from him during his time spent in the Abyss.
  • Beneath Shikanoin Heizou's carefree demeanor is a young man deeply hurt by crime. When he was young, he befriended who he thought to be a rich merchant's son, but eventually his friend confessed that he had lied about his identity and stole the items that he had gifted Heizou, even revealing that he had planned to steal his valuables when they first met. Angered, Heizou broke off the friendship and attempted but failed to throw away a pebble, which was the only gift that wasn't stolen. A year later, he carried the pebble to a festival where he found his friend had been fatally stabbed in a failed robbery attempt. Heizou tried to save him and dropped the pebble, and in response, his dying friend opened his purse to reveal that he had also kept his pebble even after their friendship ended and he was trying to find him that day too. Realizing that "sin" was the cause of his suffering, Heizou began his crusade against crime, and obtained his Vision due to that resolve.
  • Dori may look like a happy-go-lucky merchant with a massive obsession for Mora, but the story of how she established her empire, made her goal of obtaining as much Mora as possible, and obtained her Vision paints her motives in a very tragic light. During her childhood, she had an elder sister who was always by her side, never leaving each other's company as they had fun times together. For a while, it seemed that her life was relatively normal, but one day the elder sister suddenly began to cough up blood. Because of her sudden illness, Dori's home was invaded by doctors, who explained her sister's condition to her parents. While the young Dori didn't understand the situation, she did come to her sister's side every day, who always reassured her that everything would be okay. Sadly, this never worked out like what Dori believed, as her elder sister's condition started worsening until she became extremely frail, to the point that Dori was able to easily hold her body. One day, Dori found a crumpled doctor's prescription detailing a list of special herbs that were extremely rare and expensive, something that her struggling family can never hope to purchase. Despite the elder sister's pleas of dismissing the prescription, she yearned to live on and play with Dori again. Reasoning that a lot of Mora was the solution to curing her family's plight, Dori vowed to never lose anything without the use of Mora, obtaining her Vision as a prize for her newfound ambition.
    • What's worse? The wording used for the elder sister's weight is compared to that of a feather, one that "might drift away to some place far, far away". This heavily implies that her sister was already dead by the time she obtained her Vision, which may mean that Dori's true goal of saving her sister from her illness was All for Nothing.
     Archon Quests 
  • Watching Zhongli examine the kites for the Rite of Parting is somewhat sobering after a few key pieces of lore are revealed, such as how he himself is Rex Lapis and that five of the original seven Archons have since departed. He isn't just remarking on the quality of the kites, he's wistfully remembering his old companions.
  • Imagine being in Traveler's shoes during the "We Will Be Reunited" Archon quest finale. You finally found your missing sibling again, only to find out that they've ascended as leader of one of the organizations plaguing Teyvat behind the scenes, and when you ask them to come home with you anyways, they coldly reject the offer on their own accord before disappearing yet again.
    • All the dialogue choices simply have the Traveler begging the twin to come home with them. They didn't give a rip about Teyvat or the Archons or Celestia at that point, they just wanted to be together with their last remaining family after they spent so much time turning Mondstadt and Liyue inside out searching for them.
  • Dainsleif's backstory as revealed in Chapter 1 Act IV is all sorts of tragic. He was once the Twilight Sword, a well-respected member of the Royal Guard, until the gods destroyed Khaenri'ah. He was then cursed with immortality, forced to watch as his people mutated into the Abyss Order monsters the player fights today. He was also very close to the Traveler's sibling, rescuing them from Khaenri'ah and becoming their guide, only for them to betray him to join and lead the Abyss Order. Now he spends his time hunting down the now-Abyssal people of Khaenri'ah in an effort to prevent the same tragedy from repeating itself.
  • If a living Vision holder lost their Vision, what will become of them? The Inazuma Archon Quest lays it out in detail. And it's not a pretty sight since Visions are the physical manifestation of dreams, wishes, and aspirations, which means confiscating them also rips out one's will to live. Two of the people Ayaka tasked the Traveler to find are shown to have become completely shiftless, and all they know is that they're missing something precious without ever figuring out what it is. The third person is a man who once set his mind on being the best swordsman in Inazuma but became Driven to Madness from the guilt of trampling on the ambitions of so many others during his rise to the top. It might as well be a Fate Worse than Death, and really establishes that no matter what intentions the Raiden Shogun may have had, she is a terrible person. Even the Traveler, who initially stayed out of the conflict because they just wanted to ask the Shogun about their sibling, can't bring themselves to remain neutral and agree to help Ayaka end the Vision Hunt Decree for good.
  • Teppei’s death at the end of “Sword, Fish, Resistance”. He’s one of the many victims of Delusion-induced Rapid Aging within the Sangonomiya Resistance, and it hurts to see him slowly deteriorate and desperately pretend that nothing’s wrong all the way to his final breath; he even sounds like he on the verge of breaking into tears upon realizing the grave mistake he made when accepting the Delusion from the Fatui without knowing of the severe cost, and he had just been promoted when the effects began to kick in. This provoked the Traveler to storm the Fatui factory in response to the Fatui's disregard of the lives harmed by their distribution of Delusions.
    Teppei: When our uniforms are ready, grab mine for me... bring it back here, and we can change together...
  • La Signora of all people has a very heartbreaking backstory. She was once just a normal human woman from Mondstadt by the name of Rosalyne-Kruzchka Lohefalter, but because of Barbatos's slumber and unwillingness to act as Mondstadt's deity, her lover would die in battle fighting off monsters, forcing Rosalyne to give up her humanity to become a perpetually flaming demigod known as the Crimson Witch of Flames. Said flames however, were a case of Power Incontinence, causing constant pain and suffering to the poor woman for 500 years until the Tsaritsa intervened and granted her a Cryo Delusion to keep her flames in check and become La Signora. This paints her brutal beatdown of Venti/Barbatos in the story in a much more poignant light, as she has very good reasons to hate him.
  • While the conclusion of Inazuma's story is fairly heartwarming, we still get rather somber scenes with Kokomi and Kazuha. Kokomi stands in Bourou Village praying for Teppei, who died because of the life-draining effects of a Fatui Delusion. Kazuha, meanwhile, returns to his friend's grave to pay his respects and return his Vision, which he had spent so much time trying to reawaken. It brings a hint of bittersweetness as even with the resistance emerging victorious, the war had still taken a massive toll on Inazuma and its people.
    • You can actually find Kazuha's friend's grave in Inazuma. After the archon quest, his masterless Vision can be found there. Paimon, who usually has a comment for just about everything, is uncharacteristically silent when you go there.
  • Interlude Act II gives us the story of Bosacius and Boyang, the yaksha and human who sacrificed themselves to lure Khaenri'ah's monsters to the bottom of the Chasm.
    • In the final cutscene, Boyang brings up seeing illusions of his family, which prompts Bosacius (who lost his memories and even his own name due to karma's effects) to wonder if he had one as well. Boyang reassures him that he probably does, but it isn't until his death bed that he remembers the other Yaksha he fought with. Bosacius at first recalls the last time he saw them: Indarias being consumed by karma, Bonanus becoming corrupted and killing Menogias, and Alatus (Xiao) screaming in agony over their deaths. But immediately after that, he's also able to recall the good memories he had with them and is finally able to remember his name as each individual member calls out to him.
  • Chapter III Act II
    • Nilou being forced to stop her dance and shut down the Sabzeruz Festival by the Grand Sage and his henchwoman. Its heartbreaking to see Dunyarzad try to console Nilou that see can see it next year when she knows she won't make it that long.
      • Since Nilou turns out to be the host of the dream the Traveler and Paimon are stuck in, this essentially means that Nilou had to go through this nightmare of seeing all her work come crashing down countless times before it ended.
    • Dunyarzad's apparent death in the dream serves as a major blow, illustrating just how bad things have gotten. The Traveler even loses it and takes their frustrations out on the kidnappers. Thank Kusanali for saving her.
    • Paimon's tearful reunion with the Traveler the day after they vanished leaving the city. Paimon cries that she spent hours near the edge of the city, waiting for them to come back, fighting off the overwhelming desire to leave the city as well. It hits hard to see the usually cheerful Paimon breaking down like that.
    • Kusanali's/Nahida’s whole situation. She's basically been under house arrest for most of her life and has been belittled and dismissed by the Sages across Sumeru because she's Rukkhadevata's replacement. Making it more heartbreaking is how Nahida wishes to be loved and adored by her people, as evidenced by the dream she tells the Traveler she had, but the Akademiya do everything in their power to suppress worship of Kusanali and are more than willing to abandon her in favor of creating a God of Wisdom more befitting of their desired image.
  • Chapter III Act V
    • Scaramouche's defeat in the climax of the Sumeru arc is quite tragic, where he starts to suffer an emotional breakdown when he's helpless to prevent Nahida from taking the Electro Gnosis in his possession away, even going as far as to beg for her to stop, only for him to go comatose afterwards. One could interpret that aside from it being essential for his ascension to Godhood, he also kept the Gnosis both as a sentimental reminder of his creator/mother figure (who he felt abandoned him) and his failed purpose of becoming her vessel, and having that ripped away from him makes him relive another failed effort in becoming a God's vessel and (because the Fatui would not welcome him back with open arms for going rogue) would be back where he started, as a lonely puppet without a purpose.
      Scaramouche: No! Wait! Please, anything but the Gnosis...! That's mine! Don't even try...! I'll never...I'll never go back!
    • Nahida finally got to face Rukkhadevata near the end of the quest to purify Irminsul and after a heartfelt talk, Rukkhadevata spoke of what it is needed to be done to eradicate the forbidden knowledge, with Nahida realizing quickly that Rukkhadevata needs to be erased and in extension, erasing any trace of Rukkhadevata's presence in Teyvat. Nahida was unable to go through it at first because of how she just met her predecessor and how much she meant to the people of Sumeru but Rukkhadevata assures her and pulls her into a hug. So Nahida tearfully does the deed of erasing her predecessor with a heavy heart. After they return to the real world, Nahida still felt the pain of having to erase her predecessor even if she doesn't remember her anymore and was still in tears over it.
      • What's worse, it doesn’t just affect the story, but in-game too. Nearly everything has removed any evidence of Greater Lord Rukkhadevata ever existing. This includes NPCs’ dialogue referring to her changing to the Dendro Archon or Lesser Lord Kusanali. Even items mentioning her aren’t spared. The fact is made clear: Greater Lord Rukkhadevata has been wiped out from Teyvat's history, and the Traveler is the only one to remember her sacrifice.
  • Interlude Act III
    • Scaramouche learns the truth behind the second "betrayal": He'd rejected the heart offered to him by his friend, Niwa, while under the impression that Niwa had killed someone to give it to him. In reality, the heart was Niwa's, and the person who'd killed Niwa and offered the heart to him was actually the Doctor, acting under orders from the Jester. It's later revealed that his time with the Fatui was far from pleasant, having endured time in the Abyss and experiments by the Doctor, which we can figure to be unpleasant even before La Signora confirms it in a flashback. Is it any wonder that learning this drives Scaramouche to erase himself from history in a thinly-veiled suicide attempt? And to make it worse, said attempt of his doesn't even work the way he intends it to: he believed that since Niwa died because of him, removing himself from the past would prevent Niwa's death; but Irminsul merely rewrites memories, not the past itself, which resulted in changing the circumstances of Niwa's death, but not his fate.
     Story Quests 
  • Despite normally being portrayed as a mischievous trickster, Venti has proven to be a very tragic character underneath it all.
    • Venti's character stories narrate how, in his formless state, he was intrigued by a young lad who knew how to play the lyre but wished to see birds in flight, for he had never seen the sky, eagles, or grass. But when Venti returned with the feather of an eagle, he found out Mondstadt was embroiled in a war that had taken his new friend's life, and so the first thing he did was to take a human form in the likeness of his friend before turning Mondstadt into a city of freedom.
      "Surely, he too would have wanted to live in such a place."
    • Venti's story quest, accessible at AR 36. You accompany the rookie adventurer Jack who's smitten with the great adventurer Stanley's stories, but it quickly becomes clear that his hero is a fraud who seems to tell tall tales for attention. Later on, however, you follow Stanley to Angel's Share and overhear his rant as he's Drowning His Sorrows, revealing that all those adventures did happen... but the real Stanley died while saving his friend, who took on his name to keep his legacy alive even though it wracked him with guilt. In the end, Venti shows his true self to 'Stanley', calls him Hans Archibald, and asks to give his late friend's spirit to him. The two men finally get their closure as they speak one last time before Stanley departs for good.
      "Stanley, for so many years I've lived in fear... fear that Mondstadt will forget all about you... So I tell your adventure stories at every opportunity. Mondstadt must remember: Stanley reached the center of Mare Jivari... He's the greatest adventurer there ever was, and he lives on! Stanley will never die, because I'm Stanley! ...I'm Stanley... I'm sorry Stanley... I'm getting too old now..."
    • Both of the above points paint Venti's drinking habits in a bleaker light. One has to wonder if, like Stanley, he uses wine to cope with old trauma.
  • The fate of Havria, the Goddess of Salt. Zhongli recounts how her weakness and pacifism meant that she gave up anything and everything to avoid conflict, until she was eventually reduced to Sal Terrae with "not a single blade to defend her people with." In the end her own people performed a Mercy Kill on her, believing it to be a kinder option than allowing her to be defeated by yet another god, but her death unleashed the divine energy contained in her body and transformed most of her people into salt statues, with the survivors being forced to flee into Liyue.
    • By the end of the story quest, Zhongli laments Havria's fate, saying that he wished she could have lived at a gentler time.
  • Azhdaha's fate. Despite being Morax's friend and a loyal, powerful supporter of the Geo Archon, neither of them could stop time from taking its toll on Azhdaha's memory, stripping him of the perspective that'd otherwise stop him from flying into a rage at the pain caused by humans overexploiting leylines. And unlike Dvalin, there's no way to snap Azhdaha out of it, leaving him a dangerous, aggressive beast trapped behind Zhongli's seal.
    • At the end of the second act of Zhongli’s Character Story, the Traveler and Paimon ask him if he knows anything about Khaenri'ah, but he tells them he can’t say. His tone implies that he wants to tell the Traveler about Khaenri'ah because of how it’s connected to their sibling, but can’t do so since he's under an NDA contract.
  • Ganyu's story quests reveal that Ganyu underwent an identity crisis post-chapter one. Since she's half adeptus, she felt she no longer belonged in the new, divinity-free Liyue and went to Jueyun Karst to return to her duties as an adepti, only for her to have trouble fitting in there as well. She gets better, but still.
    "When I step into the sea of people in Liyue, I feel the loneliness of an inhuman that doesn't belong in the human world."
    • What prompted this? Ganyu returned from Jueyun Karst to see three people handling her workload and assumed she had been replaced without warning (in truth, they had only been put in that position temporarily until she returned).
  • Ei's backstory is already pretty sad, and her second story quest goes into it with much more detail. Namely that Makoto went to the Cataclysm in Khaenri'ah without informing Ei what was happening at all, and that by the time she realized what was up she showed up only to find that the fighting was over and Makoto was already dead. And the entire time Ei's relaying this to the Traveler, she sounds like she's about one step away from just breaking down into sobbing. Just goes to show that even 500 years later, the death of her sister still weighs on her greatly.
  • While Yae's trickery and capricious antics give her story quest a generally lighthearted tone, there are nonetheless a few sad moments.
    • When Paimon expresses her fears over letting the Traveler get possessed by the spirit responsible for writing the novel, Yae casually comments that she envies the Traveler for having such a caring friend and that she wishes hers were as caring as her. While it might sound like her typical teasing, it still betrays a hint of Yae's sadness over her loneliness due to her friends passing away during the Cataclysm, or in Ei's case, locking herself away in the Plane of Euthymia for centuries.
    • During the Hyakkiyakou, Yae sadly remarks that while she is indeed happy in the present, seeing the spirits of all her fellow youkai depart for good still makes her feel lonely. She can't even keep a brave face for long when a concerned Traveler and Paimon ask if she's alright.
  • In Tighnari's story quest, he and the Traveler discover Karkata, a crab-like mechanical robot that had been stealing mechanical parts from passing merchants. As it turns out, Karkata was built by a junior of Tighnari's named Abattouy. When the man died of exhaustion, the robot went out to steal the parts in a futile mission to repair him at the expense of its own well-being. Seeing the poor robot try to put parts on its creator, breaking down when it detected no response from his lifeless body and then shuddering as if it was crying after spending the entire quest connecting with it can certainly make players feel sorry for it.
    • To make things worse, Abattouy wanted to create a robot with emotions and considered Karkata a Flawed Prototype. While it isn't 'perfect' like he wanted, Karkata is actually far more intelligent and rational than he believed. The implication is that if he had noticed that despite not being able to speak, Karkata showed emotions and care for his creator, then everything would have been fine because it was pretty much exactly what he wanted.
  • Nahida's story quest. Even though Nahida is now acknowledged as the reigning Archon and no longer has to contest with Rukkhadevata's legacy, she and her people still don't fully understand each other, which creates a bit of a rift between them that takes some work to overcome:
    • When she hears about an event where people are sharing their experiences about their dreams, she excitedly runs over, only for everyone to be so intimidated by their god's presence that they lose the nerve to speak. Nahida visibly deflates when she realizes she's killing the mood, and the Traveler and Paimon have to convince the people that their Archon is much more approachable than they think.
    • One young woman met during the event is trying to get a plant she's taking care of to flower, as it was a parting gift from her mentor who went to investigate the Abyss promised to return if it ever bloomed. After Nahida studies the plant, she realizes that it was never meant to bloom, as the cultivation techniques used make that impossible, and the young woman's mentor probably knew she would never return. Worse, Nahida has no idea how to break this revelation, as people tend to lash out when they are faced with these kinds of hard truths. Let that sink in: Sumeru's god is afraid of her own people.
    • Many of the people encountered during the story quest are people who are dreaming vividly about their deceased loved ones. Most of them find the idea that they need to stop dreaming about their loved ones and move on hard to swallow, and Nahida is repeatedly accused of not understanding the concept of personal loss. Which, unbeknownst to anyone but the Traveler, is very much not true; Nahida has literally just lost Rukkhadevata, who meant so much to her that the empty space that she once occupied in Nahida's dreams is described as the most important part of the dream, and whose removal from history has left a hole in Nahida's heart that she can sometimes feel but has no idea why it exists. It's heartening that she's decided not to fixate on these "unknown" feelings in the name of leading her people by example, but one can only wonder how she would react if she did know. At least these people can still fondly recall their loved ones, Nahida will never get the chance to do even that much.

    Hangout Events 
  • One of Yun Jin's route endings is just brutal. After spending a night after one of her shows trying to relax with one of her friends, you have the option to say that her on-stage persona is more striking than her actual personality. This completely sucks the life out of Yun Jin, as she wants someone she can act more casually around, only for it to now seem like you aren't interested in the real her. To add insult to injury, the Traveler will then proceed to ask for an autographed picture to commemorate the evening, to which Yun responds by pulling out one of many that she's prepared in advance and handing it off to them. The final "commemorative" photo is the Traveler inspecting the photo with a remorseful expression as she sadly walks away. While other "bad" endings for routes can be downright comical, this one really hammers in how badly you've hurt Yun Jin's feelings.

  • One of Beidou's branches has you both visit the town where she grew up in. It's long since been abandoned, and Beidou discribes how she first visited the village, homeless and starving. She found a half-eaten rice bun, and a dog snatched it from her. She chased it until some fishermen stopped her, and gave her food. The dog also stopped, but immediately fell over and died, either due to exhaustion or starvation, yet it still didn't let the half-eaten bun in its mouth go. Beidou still expresses regret about it to this day, talking about how if she had known the dog was so weak, she would have just let it have the bun.
     World Quests 
  • The sidequest involving 'Childish Jiang' in Liyue - you play hide and seek with a Manchild for a few rounds until he has to go home to wait for mommy and daddy. If you follow him, it becomes obvious that Jiang has learning difficulties, his parents are dead, and a distant relative has been taking care of him. As the final cherry on top, you can guide two nearby Seelies (one of which is right by the parents' graves) to their Seelie Gardens. It can hit too close for comfort for those with a special needs family member.
  • One of the Dragonspine quests, Lost in the Snow, finishes on a Downer Ending. The quest starts with you talking to a boy named Joel at a nearby Adventurer's camp, who says he's been waiting for his dad to return from the mountain and that he should be back by now. You'll eventually find evidence that Joel's dad was trapped in a cave and likely died while trying to climb downnote . When you tell Joel this, he'll go full denial mode and claim that you're wrong, because there's no way his dad would ever get himself hurt like that. Then he gives you a pocket watch (an Adventurer's Pocket Watch artifact) originally gifted to him by his father. His father does eventually turn up alive after all in Version 2.3, but before that things really didn't look good.
    • One of the notes found early on has Joel's father mentioning that Joel slipped Boar Princess VI into his pack. While climbing Dragonspine near Albedo's workshop, you'll come across a backpack in the snow... and find Boar Princess VI inside it.
  • If you drop by the Mondstadt cathedral graveyard at night, you'll see an NPC named Alfred at one of the headstones with lyre in hand. Ask him what he's doing and he'll tell you that he's singing lullabies to his daughter. The rest of the conversation doesn't get any better from there.
    "She used beg me to sing them to her each day the moment I got home... But I was so focused on my work, I—I just ignored her... And then, I went to Liyue to give a performance... she suddenly fell ill and... she didn't make it. I didn't even get to see her before she died. All she wanted was for her daddy to sing to her... Such a simple thing. Such a small thing. And I failed to give her even that... Oh my darling, don't worry, daddy's here for you... Daddy will always be here for you..."
    • It doesn't stop there — the Mondstadt reputation request "Alfred's Bouquet" has Alfred asking for three Cecilias/Windwheel Asters so that he can make a bouquet for his daughter, and some players have mentioned feeling uncomfortable accepting the 25,000 Mora reward after completing it.
  • If you search around Liyue Harbor, you'll find two kids named Yi Zhu and Yi Xian, who are dealing with their mother's recent passing. Yi Xian can't accept the truth, while her brother tries anything he can to cheer her up. In the evening, you can talk to Yi Zhu at Changshun's stall. He states he won't cry so he won't upset her sister, but you can really see he can't hold back the grief.
  • At Qingce Village you can find a little girl named Little Liu who wants to get a Vision so she can be with her father, Jiayi. It's easy to pick up on how dreary her life is: she lives alone in a small village, her father is stuck with Millelith guard duty, and her mother died during childbirth. Things get worse when Liu tries to visit her father in Liyue on foot only to run into hordes of monsters, but thankfully, the Traveler saves her and convinces her to return home.
  • As the nation with the darkest story and bleakest atmosphere, several Inazuma World Quests end on a tragic note:
    • The "Sacred Sakura Cleansing Ritual" quest line ends with Hanachirusato, the kind and supportive (if mysterious) shrine maiden that had been guiding you throughout the quest fading away, since she was a product of the same corruption harming the island. All that's left is a mask she leaves the Traveler (which will disappear as well if the player wants to learn how to forge a new catalyst).
      • A dialogue choice while talking to Tsumi during the "Three Realms Offering" event makes it clear the Traveler hasn't gotten over this moment, as they can tell Tsumi that they don't want to see another masked shrine maiden disappear.
    • "Fate of a Fighter" has a samurai task you with taking out some pirates. If you do so, and then go back the next day and take out even more, you return to him to find his suicide note and grave, because fighting those pirates were the only final task keeping him from committing Seppuku over his shame for deserting the army.
    • A young boy named Chouji asks you to give him some Crystal Marrow as part of a scam in "Gazing Three Thousand Miles Away." As the quest progresses, you learn that his whole village died from a plague, his father is presumed dead too, his mother mysteriously vanished, and he needs money to look for her in Snezhnaya. Scattered near his house are letters and notes that reveal how his mother actually went to hospital in Sumeru but wants Chouji to stay put, and his father was saved by pirates and intends to go back home to his family once he's well, and yet Chouji has no idea about any of this.
    • Remember the pirates you fight in "Fate of a Fighter"? They were part of the pirate crew that saved Chouji's father and brought his wife to Sumeru. However, the crew sent to fetch for Chouji were all affected by the Tatarigami. You effectively Mercy Kill the affected crew.
    • After giving Yatsumoto enough Naku Weed in "Treatment on the Island," the doctor vanishes. His diary reveals that he decided to test his cure on himself. All you find of him is one last basket of weeds, implying that he either overdosed, succumbed to his illness, or was killed by the monsters Naku attract.
    • Even if you cleared the "Orobashi's Legacy" quest, several enemies are still shown to be affected with Tatarigami and are not cured of it after the wards were fixed. All you can do is Mercy Kill them.
  • The story of Ruu and the Thunderbird, as told both in the Thundering Fury artifact set and then in the "Through the Mists" World Quests in Tsurumi Island. Ruu was a young boy who was fond of singing, although he was somewhat embarrassed about it and often went off into the fog to sing alone. His singing captivated the local deity, the Thunderbird, who originally paid no mind to the island's people. However, Ruu was not intimidated by the god, and they talked briefly, with Ruu giving her the name Kanna Kapatcir. They promised to meet each other again in the future, but after Kapatcir left the situation on the island got worse and worse until Ruu's father, who was a priest, sacrificed Ruu to the Thunderbird, misunderstanding their Odd Friendship as the deity wanting the kid as her next Human Sacrifice. To say that Kapatcir did not liked this one bit is an understatement.
    Omen of Thunderstorm's description: A ritual goblet used by the shamans of an ancient tribe.
    It held the blood to be offered to the Thunderbird.

    In the seasons when the Thunderbird flew amidst the stormy mountains, a young lad sang without fear.
    Attracted to his voice, the prideful Thunderbird landed by his side.

    "Curious tunes, tiny human. Afraid not of thunder and storms?
    "They said I can bring peace to thunder and storms."

    The young lad paused and answered.
    The Thunderbird cried but kept its silence.
    For his was an enchanting song.

    It was the first and last meeting between the Thunderbird and the young boy.
    For the next she saw of the boy was when his blood filled the golden goblet on the sacrificial altar.
    • Making things even more tragic is that Ruu's death was a willing one, as he really thought that by being sacrificed the people's lives in the island would get better and his best friend would be pleased. Instead, his death would drive the Thunderbird mad with grief, ending with the deaths of everyone on Tsurumi Island and that of the Thunderbird herself as the Raiden Shogun then killed her to stop her murderous rampage. Dramatic Irony does not even begin to describe it.
    • In the "Through The Mists" World Quest, the Traveler travels to Tsurumi Island for a commission from a writer and is surprised to be greeted by a Cheerful Child on what's supposed to be an uninhabited island: Ruu. It is revealed as you go through the quests that the Thunderbird cursed the island on her rage, trapping the destroyed village's souls in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, including Ruu. The Traveler and Paimon befriend Ruu and promise him to take him to see the world, but after breaking the curse by singing to Kapatcir once more, Ruu declines, as he is now tired and wants to go rest, but he gives the player one parting gift to remember him by.
      Peculiar Pinion: A strange feather. It may be able to trigger some wondrous effects if used on Tsurumi Island. Take this feather with you into the world. You did promise him that you would, after all.
    • The melody that Ruu sang to the Thunderbird. An enchanting song, indeed.
    • After completing the world quest, a hidden quest pops up called "Boatman"'s Task. In order to complete it, the Traveler has to fulfill the requests of the other villagers who died that day. Once their souls are satisfied, the Boatman can lead them to their next existence, finally bringing Tsurumi Island to rest.
  • Inazuma's storyline makes sure to hammer in how war is good for absolutely nothing, but the most sobering moment doesn't come from any quests, commissions, or hidden lore. It isn't spelled out for you, and it's an achievement you get after interacting with a little overworld mechanic that you can easily miss unless you're thorough about exploring: simple tombstones dedicated to those who were killed in combat. Interact with them, and you have the option to lay a single Dendrobrium upon the graves. If you do this with all of the tombstones in Inazuma you'll get an achievement named "They Shall Not Grow Old".
  • Another quest chain in Inazuma focuses on helping a talking cat named Neko, who has been watching over an abandoned shrine and dozens of other cats while waiting for her friend Hibiki to return. The Traveler can help rebuild the shrine, feed the cats, and even get a big cat statue built on the island. Sounds heartwarming? Not so much when you learn that Hibiki has been missing for 500 years, and that Neko has been waiting for her to return all this time. And if you've been looking at small tidbits of lore, it becomes clear that Hibiki is never coming back. It's a painful parallel to so many pets who get abandoned by their owners in real life, or to those pets whose owners pass away and don't think to ask someone to take care of them when they're gone. And yet Neko is continuously expecting Hibiki to return, not realizing that she very likely passed away long ago.
  • In the Chasm, the Traveler gets flagged down by a Fatui Company starving to death and begging for food. After giving them the benefit of the doubt, the Traveler learns that the Ninth Company has been in the Chasm fighting off the dark forces of the Calamity as part of a series of agreements with the Liyue Qixing...agreements made before the events of Liyue's Archon Quest, before the Fatui became all but public enemies. It's been more than a year since that's happened, and nobody told them. So far as the survivors know, the Ninth Company was made up of nothing but well-intentioned and heroic individuals committed to protecting Liyue, or at least focused on combatting the evil that threatens it, and yet because of the actions of their comrades on the surface they've been left to rot in the depths, their supply lines cut off and their chain of command in shambles. It's completely unfair, and the men are hesitant to leave with the Calamity's forces still there to put Liyue at risk, but there's nothing that can be done.
  • Daily commissions about Nimrod's drinking problem aren't exactly dangerous or upsetting in Genshin's usual fantastical way, but Realism-Induced Horror can make up for it. In "Presumption of Innocence", one ending has Nimrod continuing to binge drink despite how he already confessed to Sister Victoria not that long ago, whereas the second ending has him sober up for the sake of his wife. Then in "A Little Booze Doesn't Hurt...", Nimrod casually asks the Traveler to lie to Eury so he can keep camping out at Angel's Share alone (which you agree to do because you don't have the option to say no). What makes it worse is that the two commissions can repeatedly appear one after the other, imitating an addict yoyo-ing back and forth between recovery and relapse.
  • The one-time Daily Commission, "Return to Days of Winter", is yet another sobering reminder that while the Fatui aren't the most pleasant people in Teyvat, not all of them are villainous. This commission involves Viktor, the Fatui you meet in Mondstadt's Cathedral, who tells the Traveler that he's finally been ordered to return to Snezhnaya. Unfortunately, this means he must say goodbye to Lily, a girl he's befriended during his time in Mondstadt (much to the chagrin of her father, Dolbert). So he asks the Traveler to help him buy a gift for Lily from Marjorie's Gift Shop as he'd never be able to walk outside without getting suspicious looks due to the Fauti's reputation. And sure enough, if you return to the Cathedral after completing the Commission, Viktor is nowhere in sight. However, as of Version 3.0, if the player completes the Sumeru Daily Commission, "Equivalent Exchange Once More" (only available after Viktor leaves Mondstadt), for the first time, he will reappear in Sumeru City, where he has taken up his old hobby of making wood carvings.
  • The Sumeru World Quest, "The Path of Papers" features the conclusion to the story of Alrani, a Sumeru researcher and scholar at the Akademiya who has been trying to write her thesis while getting into some trouble along the way. And to say her story ends on a sour note would be putting it mildly. It begins with the Traveler and Paimon meeting Alrani's mentor Niloofar, who tells them that Alrani had presented her paper... but because she was trapped on Inazuma during the Sakoku Decree, she turned it in too late and someone else had submitted a paper with the exact same topic and passed the review. Niloofar had planed to break the bad news to her gently, but someone already spilled the beans. And Alrani took the news... quite badly to say the least. She ran off and found a group of Treasure Hoarders led by a woman named Narazam. After burning her books in a rage, she paid the Hoarders to lock her up. By the time the Traveler finds her, Alrani is more or less an emotional wreck, refusing to return to the Akademiya or even leave her cage, with only Narazam to comfort her. While the quest is largely Played for Laughs, it's really depressing to learn that all of Alrani's hard work was All for Nothing.
  • The end of the Sumeru World Quest, "Golden Slumber" ends up quite tragic. Trapped in a temple and possibly being sucked into the "Golden Slumber"—an unending sleep—the Eremite mercenary Jebrael decides to confront his former leader (and the person who murdered his wife Ufairah) Samail—who'd already succumbed to the "golden slumber" and was the one trapping them in the temple. In the resulting battle of wills in the Golden Slumber, Jebrael almost falls to Samail until he hears the voice of his daughter Jeht as well as that of the Traveler and Paimon. He remembers that he made a promise to Jeht that he had to fulfill. However, he then realizes that to allow Jeht, the Traveler and the rest of the party to escape, he needs to stay behind in the golden slumber to be able to open the temple doors for one last time. Jebrael's Heroic Sacrifice leaves Jeht absolutely devastated, especially since, during the course of the questline, Jebrael had started to open up to Jeht about her mother and how they would try to fulfill the latter's dreams once the questline was over.
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     Events 
  • "Shadows Amidst Snowstorms":
    • Much of Bennett's dialogue from Shadows Among Snowstorms. Bennett, clearly used to blaming himself and his luck when anything goes wrong ever, slowly becomes deeply depressed over the course of the arc as disasters continue to strike the party down, since he assumes it's all his fault. It's actually the work of imposter Albedo sabotaging their efforts, but only the real Albedo and the Traveler suspect this being the case for most of the storyline, and soon the rest of the group tries their best to reassure Bennett that no, they don't hate him or his bad luck.
    • Albedo's monologue in the second part of Shadows Amidst Snowstorms as he thinks about the imposter Albedo trying to replace him.
      Albedo: I should have known. Master's failed specimen in the dragon's belly. This is where the story truly begins. If we switched places... If you were the survivor... Then, as the abandoned experiment, the failure of the Primordial Human Project... I'd wanna replace you too. I would replicate your appearance. Study your alchemy. And create miraculous lifeforms. To divert your attention. I would wait for the right moment then dispose of you and the Traveler. The sole person to have known your secret. And then... I could finally experience the joy of being brought into the world.
    • It is a heartwarming tearjerker to see Joel actually reuniting with his father, who was found by Pallad alive and mostly well except for getting a case of amnesia. But Joel shouting "dad" gets Joserf to remember him, and he even states that his wife and son are the two things that he can never forget.
  • Alice's message to Klee is a bittersweet reminder that, since the two of them age much more slowly than humans, it's important for her to cherish her loved ones while they're still around.
  • The Tavern Tales for the Of Drink A-Dreaming event are pretty lighthearted for the most part... but then we get Eula's tale, which features the Spindrift Knight sitting alone and drowning her sorrows in alcohol while lamenting how she was never welcome into taverns due to her being from the Lawrence Clan. While the Traveler and Paimon manage to cheer her up with some much needed words of encouragement, it's a bitter and painful reminder of how harsh life is for Eula in Mondstadt due to her family name.
  • "Summertime Odyssey":
    • During Act 1, you along with Kazuha find a discarded cap near a Fatui device, and after trailing the Hydro elemental energy and defeating the Cryogunner, you discover that he acts so childishly innocent, only caring about giving the 'cappy' back to his brother who is having a mild fever and lost the hat, and you only manage to convince him and the Fatui Director to go away and leave you alone on your vacation by threatening to take the cap back, causing him to panic. It sort of makes you remember that not all the Fatui are bloodthirsty warmongers and are actually nice and well-meaning, like Anthon and the 9th company, and they actually have families back home or with them in the field and they only want to be safe and sound. But, how come this one sounds so young?
    • Act 2 has Traveler and the others investigate a mirage based off of Kazuha's memories of his life up until the present moment — those being the decline of the Kaedehara clan, the demise of his friend at the Raiden Shogun's hands, and being on the run from the shogunate. While the beginning of the mirage shows Kazuha's family estate at its prime, several notes and letters found throughout the estate set the bleak mood — one mentions Kazuha's mother dying shortly after his birth, while another is a letter Kazuha wrote to his father after the latter's death. Snippets of conversations between Kazuha and his father can then be heard — Kazuha's father telling Kazuha to not be chained down by the past mistakes of the clan and to leave to see the world, and Kazuha pleading with his father to be allowed to stay and resolve the clan's problems, or at least share the burden. As the story progresses, the building becomes more dilapidated and surreal, until it falls apart completely, with the last part of the mirage consisting of navigating the debris floating in the void. In the background, snippets of younger Kazuha's thoughts and memories are heard: him letting go all the servants, insisting that he will be fine, selling off his family's belongings to pay off debts, and ultimately setting off on a wanderer's path all alone. Eventually he meets his friend, represented in the mirage by an Electro Seelie... and then the Vision Hunt Decree arrives. The players chase the Seelie throughout the mirage, fighting lots of Shogunate guards along the way, just as Kazuha fought his way to Tenshuukaku, only to be too late. The Seelie then guides the players through the mirage, unlocking the mechanisms and showing the way to the getaway boat in the port, and reaches its court at the docks, unable to follow anymore. Kazuha escapes Inazuma, and once again, he's all alone, until the Alcor crew takes him in.
      Kazuha: The sky's getting dark. It looks like it's going to rain. Will the rain ever stop?
    • Act 3’s mirage introduces Xinyan’s backstory. As a child, she had such a huge fascination with singing and music that she ran off to get springwater from a nearby mountain because her mother told her it can make your voice sound like an angel’s. But her parents, grownups she knew and even children didn’t like what she was doing, and kept telling her to stop as she didn’t look good or feminine enough. Although Xinyan keeps her head up and smiles as she dismisses those claims, you can’t help but feel sad for her. No child deserves to be told that their ambitions are just pipe dreams and they should give them up in exchange for something that “fits” them.
    • Act 4, oh boy. Although it starts with a bright beginning as you get introduced to Fischl’s kingdom and her citizens, when you reach the part with the dark corridor, it’s just a punch in the gut. Having to hear Fischl’s parents dismiss her roleplaying as something she should leave in the past to focus on something more productive instead of embracing it as a way to connect with her parents as they are always busy leaving her for adventuring. It makes you want to hug Fischl!
      • And then the last part of the domain… Fischl and co. Find themselves in a library maze, and Fischl confronts another Fischl (who shall be called Immernachtreicht Fischl or IMNR Fischl), accusing her to be a fake. IMNR Fischl responds that no, our Fischl is a mere fake, who left her kingdom to be caught in the hands of IMNR Fischl, who wants to to destroy it, as it is a tomb for people who reject reality, like Fischl. She calls Fischl by her real name, Amy, and mocks her for creating a fictional kingdom with citizens that praise and love her, only to end up abandoning it because she doesn’t want to confront her fears of not being taken seriously and being alone. She then manipulates Oz into leaving Fischl’s side and joining hers, as a means of revenge because Oz introduced the Hymn of the Holy Land to the Immernachtreicht. And as she accuses Fischl of being the reason the Immernachtreicht is so gloomy now, Fischl ends up crying and close to admitting defeat.
    • Act 5… it shows a younger Mona talking to herself, as she talks about how majestic the art of astrology is, until she reveals that people would hound her for answers about their fates, only to turn their back on her and accuse her of being a sham because they didn’t want to accept the bad parts. She tells a story of an adventurer she met and shared food with, and in exchange she did a divination for him. What she saw terrified her to the point that she begged the man to quit adventuring if he didn’t want to die in two years. The man, although he accepted her results instead of dismissing them (and Mona) as a sham, still pressed on, citing that adventures just can’t stop because you’re scared of danger. Xinyan asked Mona what happened to the man, and Mona says that this happened years ago, and the man most likely died. During this bit of dialogue, the walls become closer and tighter as the dialogue progresses, showcasing Younger!Mona’s distress.
      ???: ”Astrology is a scam!"
      ???: ”Thats’s insane!”
      Younger Mona: ”Can you please leave me alone now? I need some space…”
      • Mona’s voice sounds like she’s one second away from breaking down during the dialogue pieces describing her past.
    • As the end of the event nears, Paimon tells the Traveler that Miitoboru, their talking boat, wants to see them. Miitoboru says that he spends a lot of time sleeping lately and seems to be slowly losing his capacity for speech, presumably because the experimental Fatui machine which gave him that ability has been turned off and everything's returning to normal. Paimon is worried and hopes to stop it, but Miitoboru tells her that it's okay and he's just glad to have gotten to talk to them at all...plus, he knows where they can find some real treasure this time, and to trust him once more. During the trip through thick fog, raging storm, and hilichurls shooting at them from floating platforms, Miitoboru says that he has two things to tell them. The first is that he remembers his real name now: "Kosekimaru". He doesn't get around to telling them the second thing, and Paimon doesn't get around to asking him what the second thing is until they've reached the island where Miitoboru/Kosekimaru says there's treasure. As it happens, this is one of the islands he took them to earlier where they found part of his old body. He cheerfully says that he'll tell them when they get back with the treasure. This time, upon inspecting the wreckage more closely, the Traveler and Paimon find a model of a pirate ship. It's good enough to satisfy Paimon, and the two of you hurry back to Kosekimaru to tell him of your find. When Paimon does so and asks what else he wanted to say...there's nothing but silence. And the Traveler tells Paimon that he can't speak anymore. (And if you examine the model, there's an inscription that reads "Secondly: the people of the sea never say goodbye out loud.") Paimon is broken up about this, and tearfully protests that Kosekimaru said he'd tell them.
      Paimon: "Kosekimaru...you're a big fat liar!"
  • The Lantern Rite in version 3.4:
    • Cloud Retainer tells us the story of Guizhong, the goddess of dust who once ruled the Guili Plains alongside Morax. In those days the adepti came together often, and Guizhong was very much the heart of their group. Though she quarreled and competed with some of them at times, her energy and cheer was like the sun in their lives. Until the archon war swept across the Guili Plains. Guizhong was caught in the midst of a battle: we do not know precisely what happened, but by the time Cloud Retainer and Ping were able to reach her she was already dead, her body turned to crumbling stone. This tore the heart out of the group, Ping in particular retreating into solitary mourning at the loss of one who had been like a soulmate to her.


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