There is more to Genshin Impact than meets the eye. The lore of the action, role-playing game centered around the backstories of antagonists and characters alike add more mysticism to the world of Teyvat.
Whether it is by reading the official manga of Genshin Impact or hunting for Reddit threads, gamers love to learn more about this exquisite world. Making the lore of this gacha game the perfect escape for those who want to spiral down into the abyss of fantasies.
For passionate Genshin Impact players, Teyvat Historia is a gem of a YouTube channel that is dedicated to unraveling the world that the game is set in. In conversation with Sportskeeda Esports’ Debolina Banerjee, the creator of Teyvat Historia talks about the intricate world of Teyvat, his take on Genshin Impact drawing inspiration from the real-world, the warm reception of his channel by the gaming community, and much more.
Q. Teyvat's mysterious world has its own history and lore. What inspired you to delve deep into this world and create content around it?
I first came to appreciate Genshin Impact’s world and lore when I discovered the official manga on their website. Gradually, I found myself eagerly awaiting new releases, which came at a pretty slow pace. But with each release, it was becoming increasingly clear that there was more than meets the eye to the world, and I was going to learn everything I could.
After a while, I realized that no one was really talking about the lore of the world outside of occasional Reddit posts. Since I had spent many years watching lore channels for various fandoms and even dabbling in video editing, a thought occurred to me: If there are people out there doing this for other fandoms, why can’t I do this for Genshin Impact? Unable to think of any compelling reasons not to, I started on my first video.
Q. What video games did you play growing up? What gacha games were you into before you started playing Genshin Impact?
Like a lot of Genshin players, the game series I spent the most time playing has to be The Legend of Zelda. Hyrule, from a young age, always caught my eye, and Link as a hero character spoke to me. I spent a long time after that pretty obsessed with the Zelda franchise, and when Ocarina of Time came out, I don’t think I even considered playing another game for six months.
Around that time, a lot of very influential RPGs had started to come out as well. Final Fantasy VIII was the game that finally got me to put my trusty old N64 controller down and dive into another world. It still is my favorite title in the Final Fantasy franchise, with FF7 Remake providing stiff competition.
In 2002, I discovered MMOs and spent most of the next decade playing Lineage II. The story was a little on the lighter side, but I found it compelling as the focus was more on making your own story. In fact, I met my wife playing Lineage II! When people ask how we met, we get some pretty awesome reactions when they hear that we met in a tower killing monsters.
Q. Your YouTube channel, “Teyvat Historia”, is close to reaching 100K subscribers. Tell us more about your journey as a YouTuber. To celebrate the coveted 100K mark, is there a brand new YouTube Playlist on the cards?
It’s insane for me to think that the channel has grown this much since the outset a year and a half ago. This level of rapid growth is fairly unusual, and I’m grateful every day for the warm reception and passion the lore-loving community of Genshin Impact has shown me. To ensure that I continue to grow as a YouTuber, I’ve always got my sights on new types of content and am constantly trying to develop new editing techniques or recording methods to help make each theory or character origin video appear more polished than the last. This mindset is probably a gift and a curse, but I embrace it nonetheless because if we stop learning, we stop growing.
As for the new YouTube Playlists, I do have a new content idea I’m brewing up, and I will be bringing back an old one to fill out an under-used Playlist I created quite some time ago.
Q. Genshin Impact has its fair share of streamers. However, you are one of the very few streamers who go into in-depth analysis of the game's lore. Which video did you have the most fun creating? How long does it take to gather information and then wrap it up in one video?
I would say the video I had the most fun creating has to be my first theory video titled: “500 Years Apart.” I decided early on that I wanted to bring a certain mysticism to my videos by creating a character voice of my own. This became what I call my “theory voice.” That first video taught me a lot about how my voiceover should change based on the music I pair with each paragraph from a given script. The entire process was incredibly fulfilling, and I really have spent a lot of time chasing that feeling with each subsequent video.
The average time it takes me to research a video and then develop a script varies based on the topic, but it can range wildly from as little as ten hours to as much as sixty in my experience.
Q. When it comes to Genshin Impact lores, there are endless possibilities when it comes to fan fiction. Did you come across a fan theory that you really liked?
The fan theories really are endless indeed. There’s a very interesting theory that has been cycling around for quite some time now that Teyvat is a hollow planet, and everything we know takes place inside of it. I find this concept insanely intriguing and would love to tackle it myself at some point.
Q. Aside from fan theories, Genshin Impact has its own official manga. Have you read it? Which of them has the fiercest personality, according to you?
As I mentioned at the start, the Genshin Impact manga is what started me on the path to creating my channel, so I’ve certainly read it many times at this point. With that being said, the first chapter of the manga that is set approximately 1000 years before the current day is the most interesting to me.
Vennessa and Venti were instantly interesting characters to me. Additionally, the subtle hints that Celestia is a threat rather than something to worship are still very influential with regard to how I approach every theory.
Q. Since you are essentially a storyteller when you discuss the lore of Genshin Impact, do you believe that visual representation has a much better chance of attracting an audience compared to reading the same piece of information?
There are lots of ways to consume content these days, but on a personal level, I find audio and visual representations far more compelling. They generally help me visualize a world much better than text. For this reason, when I make a video covering the origins of a character, I do my best to write a narrative and then bring that narrative to life with the on-screen visuals I create.
I find the idea of “show, don’t tell” to be the best approach, and probably my proudest example of that would be the nightmare sequence I created for my recent origins video for the Raiden Shogun. I could have simply explained that she had this nightmare and saved myself an entire day’s worth of work, but instead, I wanted to tackle recreating it because I believe showing it as opposed to describing it allows for significantly greater emotional impact and a better understanding of the story.
Q. When you are not creating content or playing Genshin Impact, how do you like to spend your time? What are your hobbies?
Oh wow, I have WAY too many hobbies. It is my curse. I love music and have played the guitar for many years, although not a fraction as much as when I was younger. I’m also a crafter/creator and cosplayer. My wife and I have spent many years making costumes from some of our favorite fandoms, and I hope to bring more of this aspect of our lives to my channel with time.
I also really love cars. I grew up around all sorts of muscular and exotic cars because my parents ran a body shop when I was a kid. Unsurprisingly, I grew up as a car enthusiast and am no stranger to turning a wrench when desire or necessity demands it.
Q. You have a keen sense of observation, and that can be clearly reflected in your “Things You Might Have Missed” playlist. Which was the most surprising discovery you unearthed?
I want to say it was in my second or third episode of that series that I pointed out from the extended materials released with the announcement of the Raiden Shogun that her meditation realm was likely called the “Plane of Euthymia.” Exploring the word “euthymia,” I was able to start making all sorts of theories regarding why I thought she was there. Most of them ended up being wrong, but it was a fun exercise in the creative mind space. I did end up being right about the name of her realm. You win some, you lose some.
Q. Your viewers enjoy watching videos where you trace the origins of different characters in Genshin Impact. Which character is your favorite and why? Which character’s backstory do you like the most?
Easily my favorite origin video I’ve created to date is: “Raiden Shogun’s Complete Story Explained.” I feel that so much about her character is sadly misunderstood or misinterpreted by many, and I really felt a deep need to clarify those ideas for as many people as I could. I’ve gotten many comments from viewers explaining that I’ve transformed their perception of Ei. I couldn’t be more pleased with how that video came out.
My own favorite character, from a story perspective, I would have to say, is Eula. Her story is full of hardship. Dealing with being a pariah is rough. There have been several periods of my life where I felt like I was an outsider, and so her story is one that resonates with me deeply.
Q. What do you think of the influence of Gnosticism in the Archon and World design of Genshin Impact? What do you think is the truth behind Archon Gnosis?
Gnosticism has clearly had a huge inspirational impact on the game. Everything from the Gnosis of the archons and the concept of erosion is clearly based on this idea. However, I think miHoYo has taken a rather interesting approach to Gnosticism, adding their own flavor to the source material they’ve drawn from.
The entire concept that the Gnoses put the Archons into the pieces of a chess game played by two opponents we’ve not yet clearly identified is insanely compelling. Maybe it’s Celestia against the Abyss or something simpler like good vs evil. If that is the case, which side represents the light and which side the dark? Nothing is polarized, and much of the greater plot at work deals in shades of gray. It leaves the door open for all kinds of crazy twists and I find all of it very exciting.
Q. In order to craft the multi-dimensional world of Teyvat, miHoYo has taken quite a few inspirations from the real world, Commedia dell'arte-Fatui Harbingers being the latest. What other real-world inspirations have you noticed in the world of Genshin Impact? What is your personal take on Tsaritsa and her 11 Fatui Harbingers?
One of the interesting real-life sources I noticed that they were pulling from is one called the Black Pullet. It is an interesting tale of dark magic that shows clear inspiration for miHoYo’s direction for our Traveler and his/her Sibling. In this work it clearly describes two powerful beings who arrive in a world that is not their own, appearing as falling stars and choosing very different paths in a war against evil.
Tsaritsa’s Harbingers are an interesting aspect of the game’s story. They serve to make us question the morality of the Cryo archon, yet at the same time, we’ve found that each of them we’ve been introduced to so far have their own intricately crafted origin stories resulting in characters such as Signora, who, despite having been a clear antagonist, still felt a complex and confusing sense of pity or sadness upon her execution.
Tsaritsa herself may be the classic tale of a villain with good intentions but poor execution as a result of a lack of oversight. Something broke her 500 years ago. It’s proposed that her heavenly principle might be Love, but it’s said that she has no love for her people, and they have no love for her in return. Because of this, I think it’s very poetic that she was chosen as the Cryo archon. It may be that after the Cataclysm, she had to freeze her heart and do whatever it takes in an attempt to prevent such a horrible thing from ever happening again. It’s this that makes Tsaritsa and her Harbingers so interesting. They’ve been played from the start to be the villains, but we’ve seen several teases that whoever rules Celestia may be the true villain. The power of Snezhnaya might be working towards a worthwhile goal, just not in a particularly sympathetic way.
Q. Aside from creating content around Genshin Impact lores, you also stream the game from time to time. What was your hardest boss fight? What was the character combination that you used to succeed?
In the early days of the game, when the roster was a bit less filled out, I had to come up with more creative ways to defeat some of the early bosses. Oceanid was one of those bosses that often really caused trouble for me. Particularly since I was a Mona main and I needed the materials from beating Oceanid to build her. We didn’t have Ganyu yet to effectively invalidate the villain, and I didn’t have Keqing for quite some time to make eliminating the flying mimics easier.
I ended up drawing on Fischl and Chongyun quite a bit for this boss in those days, with hopes that Oz would solve the problem of the airborne troubles, and using Chongyun’s Cryo infusion field to make sure the ground-based enemies were easier to deal with. Ironically, Oceanid is still one of the more troublesome bosses for me today, but that’s only because her mechanics artificially lengthen the fight, and there’s no amount of Ganyu shots that can sidestep that problem.
Q. miHoYo recently announced the development of a new JRPG, Honkai Star Rail. What were your thoughts after watching the teaser trailer of the game? Do you have plans to explore the upcoming game?
Honkai Star Rail should be interesting. We don’t really know exactly where all of this is going to fit in with the larger story they’re telling yet. In my mind, I look at Honkai and Genshin as multiverse, not unlike what Marvel is doing.
At some point, I believe these titles are likely to experience some sort of cross over event, and I NEED to understand all of the moving pieces from each of these titles to ensure that I’m prepared to explain what’s going on to my viewers who have questions. So yes, I will diligently be applying to all future Honkai Star Rail betas to see if I can get that particular journey started all the sooner.
Q. Lastly, there has been quite a controversy about the 1st-anniversary rewards. What is your take on it? Could miHoYo have been more generous with what they gave?
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Now that it has been a while, it’s easier to talk about the entire situation in hindsight, particularly when considering what each side could have done better. Both sides (miHoYo and the community) made mistakes. I think it’s going to take a while before those bad optics are totally forgotten. Hopefully, by the next anniversary, it will all be water under the bridge.