Self-sacrifice and tragic ends: Genshin Impact's top 8 most heart-breaking moments in 2022

Prepare your tissues. It wasn't always sunshine in the land of Teyvat in 2022

There were so many heartbreaking stories put out by Genshin Impact this year that had players bawling their eyes out. Here are our picks for the ones that dished out the most emotional damage. (Photos: HoYoverse)
There were so many heartbreaking stories put out by Genshin Impact this year that had players bawling their eyes out. Here are our picks for the ones that dished out the most emotional damage. (Photos: HoYoverse)

It's not always sunny in Teyvat. While Genshin Impact had its fair share of awe-inspiring badass moments this year, the game also featured plenty of sad backstories, loss, farewells, and even death.

It’s safe to say that we’ve shed a few tears here and there thanks to HoYoverse’s superb writing.

From a god erasing herself from existence, a robot's futile attempt to revive its dead creator, to a talking boat no longer talking, some stories we’ve witnessed are more heart-wrenching than others.

We’ve listed our top 7 most heart-breaking moments from Genshin Impact in 2022, so get your tissues ready, it’s going to be an emotional ride! Be warned, there be many spoilers.

Raiden Makoto's last meeting with Ei

In version 2.5, HoYoverse released the second part of the Raiden Shogun’s Imperatrix Umbrosa Character Story Quest, giving us a resolution of the Electro Archon’s journey into accepting the ways of change of the Human Realm as well as unshackling her from the grief of her past.

After showing her resolve to finally accept the futility of forcing an unmoving eternity upon her people, Raiden Ei faces off against her own puppet, the Raiden Shogun, who has become her final foe, symbolising her past ideals and grief over the loss of her former comrades and twin sister.

The battle spans for 500 years in the realm of Euthymia, but in the real world, it lasted only mere minutes. It is established that the flow of time in Euthymia occurs in the past, present, and future.

After Raiden Ei finally defeated the Shogun puppet in single combat (with the Traveler managing to break into the realm to bear witness to the duel), a seed appears out of nothing.

The voice of Raiden Makoto, Raiden Ei's late sister and the first Electro Archon, is heard, telling Ei to grant it life as she has let her heart and dreams decide.

The seed, which Raiden Ei plants in the realm of Euthymia, grows into the towering Thunder Sakura which can be found at the Grand Narukami Shrine.

What’s left of Makoto appears before Ei as a warm ball of violet light, thanking her for her years of protection and care, overjoyed that they could finally see eye to eye on what would be the better path for Inazuma going forward.

She regrets, however, that she would not be able to witness Inazuma’s future or walk the journey together, bidding her a final farewell as she disappears in a flurry of Sakura petals.

Ei feels the gentle breeze caressing her face, whispering a melancholic goodbye to her other half.

It’s a bittersweet moment that assured a new path for Inazuma. But it was heart-breaking nevertheless, knowing that Ei, who has for hundreds of years wallowed in the grief of losing her chosen family, has finally begun to heal and let go of the people she had loved the most.

Bosacius' sacrifice

With the release of the Chasm came a whole new mystery to solve: that of the Nameless Yaksha that aided the Milelith during the Cataclysm 500 years ago.

The Archon Interlude Quest “Perilous Trail”, which released during version 2.7, found the Traveler, along with Paimon, Yanfei, Yelan, Arataki Itto, Kuki Shinobu, and Xiao trapped beneath the depths of the Chasm, with no escape.

But it wasn’t just a coincidence that this unlikely ragtag team found each other in a desolate situation such as this (well, we for sure can say that Itto just dragged Kuki into the mess…).

Yanfei, Yelan, and Xiao all had reasons to go into the Chasm, and it was to find the truth about what happened during the last stand of the Milelith versus the Abyssal Monsters that came to invade Liyue hundreds of years ago, as well as the identity of the Nameless Yaksha that came to aid them in their fight.

After much hardship, the truth would be unveiled by the gang as they discovered that in a heroic and tragic sacrifice, Yelan’s Thaumaturge ancestor Boyang sealed himself within the chasm depths alongside the Nameless Yaksha, whose memories have been eroded away by his karmic debt, as well as a handful of soldiers, bringing with them the monsters of the abyss to save Liyue.

The soldiers who bravely fought the monsters died one by one, until only Boyang and the Nameless Yaksha remained.

Boyang, now losing his sanity and beginning to regret his sacrifice, is the only one to witness the Nameless Yaksha resurface from his insanity as he died, discovering his name to be Bosacius, the leader of the Yakshas.

The cutscene that came was like a punch in the gut. The dimly lit cavern where the two would meet their end carried a suffocating atmosphere, weighted down by despair.

And although Bosacius would remember who he was, and was brought to the afterlife with his fellow Yakshas, the mere fact that knowing Boyang would live out the rest of his days alone in the darkness could bring a grown person to tears.

Kosekimaru's silent farewell

Our return to the Golden Apple Archipelago in version 2.8's "Summertime Odyssey" event was supposed to be a happy and carefree adventure, but instead the Traveler and his friends had to face both a Fatui plot and their own inner battles. But all that paled in comparison to the Miitoboru questline.

We first encountered Miitoboru in the second part of the Summertime Odyssey event, where the gang is surprised to see a boat was talking to them. Well, who wouldn't be?

Paimon would give the then-nameless talking boat the name "Miitoboru" (meatball) and he, in turn, became the canonical waverider that the party used to journey through the archipelago.

Once the main Summertime Odyssey questline was completed, players were then able to play through Miitoboru's questline, which included the "Treasure Voyage" and "The Final Treasure" quests.

As we progressed through those quests, we discovered that Miitoboru was a vessel of the famed Inazuman pirate Ako Domeki. He ended up on the Golden Apple Archipelago after a battle against the Shogunate Navy at Seirai Island, successfully bringing the sailors with him to safety despite getting wrecked by their journey.

Miitoboru was resurrected and gained sentience as a result of the Fatui activating their dream-manipulating machine. He then had the Traveler retrieve pieces of his wreck in a bid to restore more of his memory.

In The Final Treasure quest, we finally helped Miitoboru regain all of his past memories just as the effects of the dream-manipulating machine — and the talking ship's sentience — started to fade away.

We also learned that Miitoboru's real name was "Kosekimaru", a name given by Asase Hibiki, the shrine maiden of Seirai Island.

As we prepared to retrieve Kosekimaru's 'Final Treasure' from the wreck of his past self, Paimon remembers that the ship had two things to tell them, with the first being that Kosekimaru remembered his true name.

The ship then assured the Traveler and Paimon he will tell them the second thing once they returned.

The treasure we ended up finding was the 'Storm Braver', a model of an Inazuman-style pirate ship that depicted Kosekimaru as he once was. The Traveler and Paimon then returned to the ship to show him what they found, but the talking ship was silent...

If you read the item description for the Storm Braver, you will find the second thing that Kosekimaru wanted to say. Carved into the model ship's haul were the following words:

"Secondly: the people of the sea never say goodbye out loud."

And with that, a talking boat made so many people cry.

Karkata’s mission

Tighnari’s Character Story Quest veiled itself as a mystery, with the ley lines going haywire and affecting Avidya Forest, as well as a weird crab-like mechanical creature raiding merchant caravans to steal mechanical parts.

Tighnari, along with the Traveler and Paimon, try to get to the bottom of this mystery by investigating the forest, and stumble across said crab-like creature, which turned out to be a robot.

Tighnari deduced that the robot had something to do with the disturbance in the leylines, and made up a plan that would bring them right to the root of the problem.

But this robot was not like anything they’ve ever seen before. It was intelligent, and knew how to barter its services to Tighnari for mechanical parts. Tighnari indulges the robot, as it guides them, helps them save a lone herb-collector, and even makes him coffee.

The robot then brings them to a secret laboratory, where an energy device was discovered to have caused the disturbance in the leylines. The gang, looking for hints to turn it off, explore the laboratory and discover the corpse of an Akademiya scholar named Abattouy, the creator of the robot, whose name they found out to be Karkata.

Abattouy had the ambition of creating robots that could be sentient enough to be called lifeforms, with Karkata as his only semi-successful creation. The Akademiya however, saw no point in his research and ceased to give him funding, forcing him to go underground to continue his experiments and research.

This would ultimately cause his demise, as the lack of funding meant that Abattouy would cut off his heart medication to lighten his expenses, and he died before he could turn off his experimental energy device.

Karkata, not understanding the concept of death and thinking he only needed to “repair” Abattouy as its master had once done for it, then set off to look for mechanical parts.

When Karkata began to place the parts on Abattouy’s dead body…well…let’s just say a lot of tears were shed…and the moment Karkata “collapsed” from its "grief", realising it could not fix its master probably broke hearts all over the world.

Who knew a robot could make people cry so much?

Greater Lord Rukkhadevata Bids Goodnight and Sweet Dreams

Version 3.2’s Archon Quest saw the resolution of Sumeru’s internal conflict brought upon by Dotorre and Scaramouche, and it also gave us the truth about Irminsul’s affliction and Greater Lord Rukkhadevata’s fate 500 years ago.

With forbidden knowledge cursing the people of Sumeru with Eleazar and creating Withering Zones, Nahida, Traveller, and Paimon travel to Irminsul to cleanse it of the evil that threatened to destroy it.

Little did Nahida know that it would mean she would erase Greater Lord Rukkhadevata from the world.

As it turned out, it was Greater Lord Rukkhadevata herself, with her memory of forbidden knowledge, who was unwittingly poisoning Irminsul.

And since her consciousness still existed within the great tree, it would mean that Greater Lord Rukkhadevata had to be completely removed by none other than Nahida herself.

Nahida, of course, was distraught upon learning what she had to do, but Greater Lord Rukkhadevata comforted her with a loving embrace, giving the Archon a little bit of bravery to do the unimaginable.

Seeing Greater Lord Rukkhadevata disappear as she bade the people of Sumeru sweet dreams, and Nahida falling onto the ground sobbing was enough to get the waterworks flowing.

But what was even more dispiriting was realising that only the Traveler can remember the kind, gentle Archon who sacrificed herself for her people.

"No! Please, wait! Anything but the Gnosis!"

We can't forget this heart-breaking moment right after the adrenaline-charged fight scene between the Traveler and Nahida versus Scaramouche.

With Scaramouche defeated, Nahida proceeds to retrieve the Electro Gnosis from the body of Scaramouche's giant mecha.

Realising this, Scaramouche lets out a desperate plea, something you wouldn't expect from this hardened Harbinger.

the moment he began reaching out for the Gnosis reminds you of his tragic past, and how he had only wished, from the depths of his existence, to live with his "heart".

His resigned and desolate face as he willingly allowed himself to fall from his defeated mech, and the ensuing silence afterwards as he crashes to the ground, is a painful experience that made us feel sad and pity for him, regardless of his antagonism towards us before.

The forest will always remember

Exploring Sumeru, we encounter plant-like creatures known as the Aranara, the "children" of Queen Aranyani (Rukkhadevata), who are the mystical creatures that guard the forests.

These faerie-like creatures have been a part of Sumeru's history since the beginning, and have lived life cycles that "renew" them at the price of their memories.

We first meet the Aranara during the "Aranyaka" questline, were we team up to save Avidya Forest Watcher Rana from the affliction caused by "Marana" or the Withering.

One of the many Aranara we meet is Arama, who helps us search for ways to cleanse the forests of Marana and to find a cure for Rana.

The conclusion to this long world questline is bittersweet and melancholic.

After helping us defeat the Avatar of Marana, Arama offered himself to become the Ashvattha Tree, which cleansed the Aranara's old homeland of Marana and create the cure for Rana.

Arama doesn't do it alone however, as Arana, the Aranara who befriended Rana in the past, also gives up his memories of her.

This questline ends up making you feel lonely and comforted — two vastly different emotions, yes, but it's akin to remembering old friends who have left, but the memories we have made with them will comfort us from missing them.

Arama may have become a tree and forgotten, but we will always remember his kindness and bravery.

In Eternal Golden Slumber

With the release of Sumeru's desert region came the "Golden Slumber" questline, where we meet and befriend an Eremite father-daughter duo named Jebrael and Jeht, who were commissioned by an Akademiya Scholar called Tirzad to protect him during his excursion in the Desert.

During the duration of the questline, we end up learning about Jebrael's past as a former mercenary and leader of the Eremite group known as Thuthmose. He decided to turn a new leaf upon meeting the exiled scholar Ufairah, marrying her and welcoming their daughter Jeht.

Jebrael's comrade and co-leader, Samail, however, did not approve of Jebrael's change of heart, murdering his wife as he escaped with Jeht.

Samail appears once again to challenge Jebrael, beckoning him to return to Thuthmose and to reach their goal — to reach King Deshret's throne in Khaj-Nisut.

After finding the throne, Jebrael tricks Samail into sitting on the throne and singing the Song of Golden Slumber, sending him into the realm of Golden Slumber and trapping him there.

That said, Samail proved to be too ambitious, and began to assimilate the realm of Golden Slumber, trapping Jebrael, Jeht, Tirzad, Traveler, and Paimon in Khaj-Nisut as it began to crumble and fill with sand.

Jebrael decides to enter the realm of Golden Slumber to defeat his Eremite brother and foe once and for all, dying along with him in the process as we escape Khaj-Nisut.

This tragic tale of a father's love and sacrifice tugs at the heartstrings, and now knowing that Jeht must face the world alone completely breaks our hearts.

With so many sad tales in 2022, what will 2023 bring for us in Genshin Impact? Only time will tell!

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

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