Dottore is looking like Genshin Impact's first truly evil, irredeemable villain

Dottore of the Fatui Harbingers, rank unknown. (Photo: HoYoverse)
Dottore of the Fatui Harbingers, rank unknown, will be the game's first truly evil villain. (Photo: HoYoverse)

With the upcoming release of Genshin Impact version 3.1 comes an all-new villain for the Traveler to face — the Fatui Harbinger Il Dottore.

The mysterious figure known as the Doctor can be seen in the version 3.1 trailer, laughing menacingly and proclaiming his “experiment” a success.

But who exactly is Dottore?

Warning! Spoilers ahead for the Archon Quest Chapter 3 Act I and Act II, Through Mists of Smoke and Forests Dark and The Morn a Thousand Roses Brings, as well as the Aranyaka World Quests.

Genshin Impact fans who’ve read the prequel manga know that he is a Fatui Harbinger who has devoted his life to trying to create the 'perfect human'.

Dottore dabbled with experimenting with Archon Residue on children like Collei in an attempt to get those results, but ultimately failed in doing so.

He also found ways to engineer humans into Ruin Guard-like beings, as seen with manga-only character Krupp.

In addition, the Harbinger was also the Fatui diplomat who was once stationed in Mondstadt, but pulled out at the beginning of the manga with reasons unknown.

Dottore's history, as we know it

Dottore's first appearance outside of the prequel manga was in the Teyvat Chapter Interlude Teaser: A Winter Night’s Lazzo, where he was revealed alongside the rest of the Fatui Harbingers.

In the teaser, it was revealed that Dottore had the ability to split himself into different 'segments' of himself in different stages of his life, which probably explains why the Dottore seen in the manga appears different from the one in A Winter Night's Lazzo.

With his ability to split into different Segments, we can surmise that Dottore's goal of creating the perfect human has been successful to some degree.

But before coming to Mondstadt and becoming a Fatui Harbinger, Dottore was a scholar in Sumeru.

Noted in the lore behind the Wise Doctor’s Pinion in the Pale Flame artifact set, Dottore dabbled in heretical studies on the human body and the pursuit of capturing dreams, which earned him the ire of the Akademiya and the hatred of his fellow Sumerians.

This culminated in him being driven out by an angry mob and being recruited by the Pierro, the First of the Harbingers.

Did you say Sumeru?

Deepwood Memories’ A Time of Insight artifact piece also explores a bit more into Dotorre’s intention, mentioning a Mad Scientist who wanted to capture the “Dream” (being unforgotten), along with the inhabitants of the forest who could do so (the Aranara).

In modern-day Sumeru, players were introduced to the concept of a Dream Samsara in the Sumeru Archon Quest, where the Traveler and the other citizens of Sumeru where made to relive a dream over and over again.

The Akademiya did so in an effort to harvest dreams through the Akasha Terminal, but to what ends remains unknown.

With Dottore's involvement in the next chapters of the Sumeru Archon Quest, it would seem a possibility that the Harbinger now has sway over the Akademiya that once spurned him.

We can gain further insight into Dottore's past through the notes of a certain scholar named Zandik, whose writings we find all over Sumeru as we explore. Fans have already theorised that Zandik and Dottore are the same person.

Coming off of what we know about Dottore from the lore behind Wise Doctor’s Pinion, reading the various notes left around Sumeru shows that Zandik was a researcher who had questionable morality at best, as he was interested in Ruin machines and immoral experimentation.

Zandik was embroiled in his research and had an interest in the macabre, wanting to reverse engineer Khaenri’ahn killing machinery, much to the chagrin of his fellows.

But what makes him truly evil is the account about the demise of his research partner, a woman named Sohreh.

Sohreh and Zandik were partnered to research and explore the jungle. For reasons unknown however, after a picnic at night with Zandik, Sohreh was found the next day near death and mauled by what looked like to be an attack from Rishboland Tigers.

Zandik, on the other hand, was removed from the research expedition that he and Sohreh were a part of when he attempted to bring back a killing machine which he wished to study. During that time, Sohreh succumbed to her injuries and died.

Later on, Sohreh was exhumed and autopsied by doctors, revealing that she did not die from being attacked by Rishboland Tigers. Instead, her actual cause of death was strangulation, as evidenced by her fractured hyoid bone.

A picnic at night with Zandik, found the next morning half-dead, later on discovered to have been strangled when later autopsied, readers can easily come to the hypothesis that Zandik had strangled Sohreh and mauled her body in an attempt to cover his crime.

The blatant immoral attitude, the interest for ruin machinery and dreams... it’s no wonder fans think Zandik and Dottore are the same person. Because they’re both the same kind of evil.

Interestingly enough, Zandik is a Zoroastrian term that refers to a heretic or any person with beliefs that ran contrary to Zoroastrian orthodoxy.

Is this the start of a darker tone for Genshin Impact?

The villains that Genshin Impact had introduced so far have all been sympathetic to some degree.

Dvalin was a guardian of Mondstadt, driven mad by evil miasma and Abyss Order shenanigans.

Tartaglia is morally ambiguous, a loyal servant of the Tsaritsa that remains on good terms with the Traveler, and is even lenient towards his subordinates.

La Signora and Scaramouche lean are closer to the stereotypical idea of evil than the enemies we previously mentioned, but still remain sympathetic — just ask their simps.

La Signora became an engine of fiery vengeance after perceiving negligence on the part of the Anemo Archon which caused the death of her lover.

Scaramouche was a prototype puppet of the Raiden Shogun that was discarded and later twisted by the Fatui.

But with what the lore has been telling us so far, it seems like Dottore’s motives are purely evil.

And this is evidenced by his capacity to do unspeakably evil things, from dealing in heretical knowledge, experimenting on children, to outright murder.

So, what plans does Dottore have in Sumeru?

Is he the one behind the Eremites stabbing Katheryne (who is likely being possessed by Nahida) in the version 3.1 trailer? How will the Traveler overcome Genshin Impact's first truly and irredeemably evil villain?

We can't wait for Genshin Impact version 3.1 to finally be released for our questions to be answered.

Genshin Impact is currently in version 3.0, which will run until 28 September and features the release of Sumeru, Dendro, new characters, and a ton of other content.

Genshin Impact versions 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2 will have shortened run times of five weeks instead of the usual six weeks, likely to catch up to the game's original release schedule after the release of version 2.7 was delayed back in April.

Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.

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