Screenshot: HoYoverse / Kotaku
I’m not only a clown, I’m your complete circus. Per week after I known as him Genshin’s most annoying character, Scaramouche’s storyline crushed my coronary heart into itty-bitty items and brought on me to spend gacha foreign money on him. Ever since Genshin launched two years in the past, gamers have been grumbling nonstop that the dialogue selections within the story “didn’t imply something.” Now it lastly does, and I agonized over it final evening for a number of hours. This was most likely probably the most troublesome alternative that I’ve made in any online game this 12 months.
Scaramouche is a recurring villain who’s been a ache within the ass since his debut again in November 2020. He all the time had a impolite character, however he first earned my ire for serving to to create weapons that killed their unknowing wielders. A number of months later, I discovered that he was utilizing a stolen divine object to remake himself as a god. Once more, I perceive that is all from a textbook villain arc, however what actually irritated me was his superior perspective. He’s a synthetic puppet who feels deserted by his creator, however that doesn’t actually excuse his horrible character. Or his want to change into a god-tyrant.
The newest most important story quest makes an attempt to redeem him. After we defeated his god kind within the final patch, he turned an assistant to the God of Knowledge. She confirmed him a traumatic reminiscence from his previous that proved his family members hadn’t betrayed him. The revelation was so surprising that Scaramouche tried to erase himself from actuality utilizing a fantasy supercomputer. It labored, type of. The world created one other model of him to exchange the one which disappeared on this new timeline. That’s the one that you just pull within the character gacha. Extra importantly, you get to present him a brand new identify. This identify will seem in all cutscenes and interface textual content. Whereas that is regular for a sport like Pokémon, with the ability to rename playable characters is a primary for any gacha character that I do know of.
Right here’s the catch, although: The brand new man received’t simply settle for any identify. Gamers report that you just can’t give him his previous identify. You can also’t identify him after the mom who “deserted” him. He rejects any names based mostly on his former coworkers, since they’d abused and exploited him. He has a customized response to every rejected identify, which some have identified is just like the naming mechanic in Undertale. Should you resolve to present him your individual identify, he expresses approval. The sport will mean you can rename him sooner or later, however warns that it might solely be carried out a restricted variety of instances. The builders really need you to be considerate about naming the character and deal with it as critically as names deserve.
I used to be pleasantly stunned by the method, as a result of naming online game characters can usually be a manner of stripping company from them. It’s change into a meme to present the rival a humiliating identify in Pokémon Pink and Blue. However by demonstrating clear preferences in opposition to particular names, the Scaramouche clone feels extra like a “actual” particular person to me. Giving him a reputation didn’t simply really feel like a matter of non-public aesthetics. It felt like I used to be fulfilling a selected emotional want that he had been denied for therefore lengthy. Regardless of all of this, you possibly can nonetheless identify him Bootyshaker69 or biggestchungus. One well-liked identify that has swept via the fandom is “babygirl.”
Fortunately, lots of people are extra considerate about it. Some persons are making lists of potential names like they’re a primary time mum or dad. One fan even created an entire Google Survey to ask different gamers about which identify they’d picked. Others are wanting up the meanings of sure Japanese names, since his homeland is predicated on Japan. Actually, that is simply such an unbelievable gameplay expertise. I can’t consider every other inventive medium that might compel gamers to place a lot effort into simulating the expertise of selecting somebody’s identify. In choice-centric video games, I’m used to creating choices about which NPCs stay and which of them die. This one took me on an emotional determination making course of that felt completely private.
I used to be met with a conundrum. Names are new beginnings. It’s not possible to make use of names to explain the previous or current. So I gave him a reputation that represented my hopes for his future. Shohei (soar, even/flat) appeared to suit his new wind-based Anemo aspect. And identical to his mom, I additionally needed to present Shohei some freedom and company—however with out the tragedy that Scaramouche skilled. His earlier incarnation felt deserted whereas he wandered the world. Wherever Shohei goes in his new life, I hope he goes with function.