Featuring Vergil from Devil May Cry
One of my favorite things in Genshin Impact are the references that really get me to latch onto the world and its characters. I’m reminded that Mihoyo’s tagline — tech otaku save the world — probably isn’t just for show. There are plenty of references that are just passing verbal or visual references, but my favorite thing about Genshin Impact is several characters can be viewed as homages, right down to their visual design and even move set.
One reference that you may have seen floating around is the achievement that is a direct reference to JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure called Gold Experience Requiem. The achievement itself is the word-for-word name for Giorno Giovanna’s Stand from part 5, Golden Wind. On a smaller note, the Japanese voice actors for Diluc and Kaeya are the same as Giorno and Mista Guido respectively. Funnily enough, I recognized Diluc’s voice immediately due to how similar in temperament he is to Giorno, but I didn’t realize Kaeya’s voice actor until much later. Kaeya is very calm and composed, which contrasts Mista’s excited and usually panicked composure. I would’ve put two and two together sooner if Kaeya accidentally hurt himself the same way Mista ends up shooting himself more than his enemies.
Speaking of JoJo references, it’s pretty easy to point at Razor and call his inner wolf spirit a Stand. Personally, I consider Razor a reference to Nero, specifically from Devil May Cry 4. When Nero unlocks his devil trigger in DMC4, it differentiates itself from Dante’s full transformation by being a ghostly spirit that manifests itself exactly how Razor’s wolf spirit does directly behind him. But I concede that JoJo has been around for so long that people probably called Nero’s Devil Trigger a reference back when DMC4 was new. Still, Razor’s elemental burst with his wolf spirit functions mechanically similar to Nero’s devil trigger, being an empowered state that adds extra hits to your DPS rather than a raw damage increase.
Fischl is a fan favorite due to her outlandish chuunibyo mannerisms and flashy design. It doesn’t hurt that she’s a very strong and effective character who can fit in a variety of team compositions, from point character DPS to elemental support. But Fischl was actually the first character I realized was an homage thanks a podcast covering the game. And while you might not agree with me on this, I think the facts of Fischl’s design point pretty solidly to where I think they go. Fischl is a brooding emo character who uses a flowery, verbose vocabulary to dramatically talk to people and describe mundane things, all while accompanied by a crow familiar who oftentimes contrasts their theatrical personality with straightforward language.
Fischl is a wholesale homage to V from Devil May Cry V, with her crow Oz being an analog to V’s Griffon, of course, and I’ll never think otherwise.
Xingcui is another one of my favorite references due to how closely it mirrors the source material, Vergil’s summon swords from Devil May Cry. Xingcui’s elemental skill, Guhua Sword – Fatal Rainscreen, is a quick double slash with water blades before being surrounded and protected by orbiting blue, ethereal swords. Orbiting blue swords by themselves might be a simple reference, but his elemental burst, Guhua Sword – Raincutter, causes the swords to straight up fly at his targets the same way Vergil fires off summon sword projectiles in every Devil May Cry game he’s appeared in. This power makes Xingcui very valued in team comps that focus on elemental mastery and elemental reactions since both Fatal Rainscreen and Raincutter persist while switching characters.
Tartaglia, aka Childe, was the five-star character from November and most of his design seems wholly unique. He’s a bow character who admits upfront that the bow is his worst weapon, so he uses it as a form of training since he’s a battle maniac. His elemental skill transitions him into melee combat with dual blades of water. He’s the only character in the game with such a unique playstyle and his playstyle has been somewhat polarizing. But one stray comment reminded me that even Childe’s unique playstyle has a callback: Archer from Fate/Stay Night. Archer is also a character that uses a bow for special circumstances but is at his strongest in melee combat with dual blades that he conjures himself.
Diluc was one of the first five-star characters available, and he’s a prized catch for his power as a hyper carry. There is a multitude of flaming swordsmen Diluc can be compared to, but he actually has a much more straightforward reference that gets shown to you very prominently during his character quest.
He is the rich owner of a prominent business that acts as a pillar of his home’s economy. His father died from a tragedy when he was young, and he grew disillusioned from his path in life due to injustices surrounding his father’s demise. After going on a journey to train himself, he returned home to take control of his family business, where he secretly uses his immense wealth to help establish his late-night vigilante patrols, which operate outside the law.
The locals refer to this mysterious vigilante as the Darknight Hero. It couldn’t be any more obvious if you tried.
The last reference has made several rounds on social media and even got a direct comparison video to demonstrate the similarities. Ayaka Kamisato was a character from the beta, who is currently unreleased in the current game. She’s a cyro character from the country of Inazuma, which has been promised in future expansions, which is based on Japan. So as a sword user, she wields her sword a lot like a samurai would wield a katana. And her moves are an almost one for one recreation of Vergil’s Judgement Cut and Rapid Slash.
While Mihoyo draws many more inspirations to give Genshin Impact its flavor, the people from Mihoyo certainly have good taste when they put four separate references to Devil May Cry in their game. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Mihoyo’s tag line is very apt: tech otaku will save the world.