Game Theory

Genshin Impact might be hiding a mind-blowing twist in plain sight

Strange things are afoot at the Adventurers' Guild.

There's plenty of fast-paced combat in Geshin Impact, the barnstorming new role-playing game on mobile, PC, and PS4. But the game's intricate crafting and character leveling systems also lend themselves to moments of calm and quiet. If you keep your ears open next time you're chilling in front of the Adventurers' Guild, you might hear something awfully strange. We're guessing these ostensibly throwaway lines are actually a pretty big clue about the adventures that lie in store for our wayward Traveler. Let's dive in!

Once you have access to the Adventurers' Guild in Mondstat and Liyue, you'll find plenty of occasions to chat with Katheryne, the receptionist behind the desk at the kiosk in both cities. When you first reach Liyue, Paimon will comment that it's rather odd that the women in both locations seem to be exactly alike.

Expressing confusion about the two Katherynes remains a persistent dialogue option whenever you visit the Liyue branch of the guild. If you prompt her, she'll say, "All guild members should be well aware that Katheryne is the receptionist of the Adventurers' Guild. The Liyue branch can't go without a receptionist, can it? Therefore, Katheryne is here."

Chatting with Katheryne in Liyue.miHoYo

Most gaming fans probably wouldn't raise an eyebrow at any of this. It's perfectly commonplace for games to recycle NPCs across towns. It's a way to save on creating a huge number of individual assets, and an easy way for players to recognize a merchant or innkeeper if they're on the lookout for a particular service.

But if you leave the game to idle while your character is standing near the Adventurer's Guild kiosk, Katheryne will say a couple curious words, like "error" or "rebooting." A dialogue bubble with the same word will also appear above her head. It's easy to tune out, since your roster of warriors have the same habit of repeating the same waiting dialogue again and again — my personal least-favorite being Barbara's "I wonder when I'll be as tall as my big sisterrrrrr." You can confirm this for yourself by just kicking it outside the guild for a few moments next time you complete your daily Commission Quests.

Barbara stops by the Adventurers' Guild in Mondstat.miHoYo

While it might just be a fun Easter egg referencing recycled NPCs (like Nurse Joy in Pokémon), we think there's a bit more to this. These two lines clearly suggest Katheryne is some kind of robot, and that there's more than one copy of her. There are a couple possible in-world explanations for this. Either Katheryne was created within the world of Teyvat, or somewhere outside it.

If Katheryne is a product of one of the seven nations that make up Teyvat, that means the guild likely has some sort of deeper connection to one of the places beyond Mondstat and Liyue that we haven't been to yet. If we had to guess, shadowy Snezhnaya would be the likeliest bet. We find out pretty early on with Venti that this country is up to a nefarious scheme using the soldiers known as Fatui, but we don't have a full picture of it all yet. The alternate possibility is that Katheryne hails from another world, possibly one tasked with overseeing the events of Teyvat. From the introductory cinematics and the Traveler's story bio in the character menu, we already know the Genshin universe contains "countless worlds."

Think we're totally off-base on this? Well, several people on the Genshin subreddit seem to have noticed this too, noting that it may be a connection to miHoYo's previous mobile RPG, Honkai Impact 3rd. It's not exactly a groundswell, but it means we're definitely not imagining things.

Even though Katheryne herself seems unlikely to be a major story player in Genshin Impact going forward, we're pretty confident that there are many more shoes to drop about the real intentions of the Adventurers' Guild in the months ahead. Perhaps we'll get get a couple more clues in version 1.1 next month.

Genshin Impact version 1.1 rolls out November 11.

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