With Honkai: Star Rail version 1.1's second half right around the corner, Honkai Impact 3rd fans haven't been silent about the clear parallels between the new 5-star character Luocha to the main antagonist of Honkai Impact 3rd (HI3): Otto Apocalypse.
But why is that?
Well, besides the clear similarity in appearance, what we know about Luocha so far is having us break into a cold sweat.
Get ready to strap in, and be warned, there will be spoilers for HI3!
Thus Spoke Apocalypse
Otto Apocalypse is arguably the best-written villain in HoYoverse's entire catalogue of games. His nuanced character, paired with his tragic backstory and fatal obsessions, made Otto a powerful antagonist for our beloved Valkyries. HI3 veterans hate to love him and love to hate him.
A short paragraph skimming over his war crimes won't be enough to convey how absolutely diabolical Otto is, but let me tell you, if Welt Yang became the shining beacon of humanity's hope as the Herrscherr of Reason, Otto Apocalypse was his literal antithesis.
HI3 fans will never forget his vile human experimentation that yielded best girl Teriri (Theresa), his mass genocidal tendencies, and how he shot Fu Hua in the head, among many other war crimes.
But Otto wasn't like this before. Truth be told, he was a sweet, sickly crybaby who couldn't find a place in the world.
At least until Kallen Kaslana came into his life and changed him.
Kallen was Otto's childhood friend and only love, and in her, Otto found that maybe with his scientific leanings, he could be of use to humanity, leading to him joining Schikshal as a scientist.
Because of Kallen, Otto single-handedly cured the Honkai Plague that threatened to wipe out humanity. Otto said so himself, in Kallen, he found his salvation.
However, this friendship would soon be broken when Otto dabbled into human experimentation in pursuit of understanding the Honkai. This chain of events would lead to Kallen defecting from their organisation and, eventually, her untimely demise.
After Kallen's death, which was unwittingly caused by him even though his intention was for him to save her, Otto became more twisted as he realised he could control the Honkai in a way that could bring his lost love back to life.
So yes, Otto's unrequited love for HoYoverse's confirmed lesbian (it's canon that Kallen and Yae Sakura were in love with each other), led him to become HI3's ultimate big bad.
Thus, Otto's 500-year journey to bring Kallen back began. Here's where his similarities to Honkai: Star Rail's Luocha is made more evident.
The man with the coffin on his back
In the HI3 visual novel "Saga of the Shattered Swords" (which you can read here in a fan translation, as the visual novel was never officially translated), Otto travelled to a city called Shenzhou — which we can neither confirm or deny that it is the same Xianzhou Luofu of Star Rail, except that they are phonetically similar — with Kallen's coffin strapped to his back, seeking help from "The Sage" (Fu Hua) to bring her back to life.
In this visual novel, Otto takes on the name "Raksha", as Li Sushang had difficulty saying "Apocalypse". It is notable to point out that "Raksha" comes from "Rakshasa", a Buddhist term for an evil spirit that devours human flesh that when translated to Chinese reads as "Luocha".
Honkai: Star Rail's Luocha also has the same reasoning as to why he chose to be called "Luocha", that being his real name (which has yet to be revealed in Star Rail) is hard to pronounce.
Luocha is also a doctor, which is not far off from Otto's previous profession before being the Overseer of Schickshal.
Luocha's ideologies, as espoused by lines from his character trailer — "Eternal sleep is not the end. The dead... will return!" — are a stark similarity to Otto's motivations in HI3.
It seems that Luocha has, to an extent, a similar goal to Otto in regards to this: bringing the dead back to life.
The coffin itself, is a direct call back to how Otto carried Kallen in one throughout his pilgrimage to Shenzhou.
However, we can't say for certain what Luocha's true thoughts about the coffin are as opposed to Otto's canon tender obsession with it, as the description of Luocha's signature 5-star lightcone "Echoes of the Coffin" has him bashing the coffin with his hands before saying "Sometimes, I feel like I underestimated you by proposing this deal."
It seems like Luocha has more of a love-hate relationship to his coffin, entirely different to how Otto was blindly in love with Kallen for his entire life.
In the end, Otto changed the whole makeup of the universe to change Kallen's fate, saving her from her death in the past at the price of his own life.
Another similarity between Otto and Luocha which can be observed is the "Abyss Flower" in the latter's kit.
In HI3, the Abyss Flower was a lance-type weapon that Otto seemed to favour using, although he didn't really use the original weapon, and only generated copies of it. Luocha's sword also has a similar hilt design to the Abyss Flower.
Similarities aside, HoYoverse has yet to confirm whether Luocha truly is Otto Apocalypse, or simply an expy of the beloved villain.
That being said, it's totally okay for us HI3 fans to be a little nervous about Luocha's shady background. This tweet by void archivist totally sums up my conflicted feelings about Luocha.
otto stating that the people of the past should stay in the past because he doesnt want others to follow the same path he did and make the same mistakes in the process vs Luocha believing the dead should come back is making me want to grab him by the hair and twirl him violently pic.twitter.com/LNW7eFK212
— void archivist ⚢ (@voidarchivess) June 23, 2023
So, what do you think?
Will we undergo another tumultuous journey with HoYoverse's greatest villain lookalike?
Will Welt Yang be once again battling (suffering) his biggest opponent from the universe he left behind? We'll only know once Luocha becomes available in Honkai: Star Rail version 1.1's second half!
Honkai: Star Rail version 1.1's second half features the debuts of 5-star Luocha and 4-star Yukong. If you're still debating whether or not you should pull for these new characters, then we can help you decide.
Honkai: Star Rail officially launched on 26 April on PC, Android, and iOS. The game will also be made available on PlayStation some time after release. You can download the game here.
If you're still just starting with Honkai: Star Rail or want to try the game out for yourself, we've got you covered! You can check our beginner's guide, guide to building the starter characters, and guide to its gacha system.
Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.