Genshin Impact offers two ways to get to know characters better outside of the campaign Archon Quests and limited events. These are the story quest and hangout quest options folks can unlock. These tend to be focused on different characters’ interactions with the Traveler. They often involve opportunities to use said people, even if you didn’t get them from a banner. The quality of them varies. But in the case of Arataki Itto’s Taurus Iracundus story quest, it is one of the best side stories Genshin Impact has to tell.
Editor’s Note: There will only be minor spoilers for the Genshin Impact Itto story quest Taurus Iracundus Act 1: Rise Up, Golden Soul.
I loved how this side quest started. Things kick off with an Adventurer’s Guild request. The Tenryou Commission issued a warrant for Itto’s arrest. He’s accused of kidnapping and theft. When confronted, he claimed he did it. He’s since seemingly disappeared. This means players need to explore Inazuma City to find out more about him from the locals. It’s an incredibly beneficial storytelling device. We’re learning more about the character from people who see him on a daily basis. Each of them have a varied opinion about him.
It also provides an opportunity for a folktale. Once people hit a certain point in this early investigation, Bantan Sango Detective Agency’s Sango tells the Traveler—and the player—the story of the Crimson Oni and the Blue Oni. This sets up a foundation for the clan Itto is a part of, while also foreshadowing potential events. It also provides a hint at Itto’s general motivations in life. We get an idea of his values.
Once we actually find Itto during his Genshin Impact story quest, it does something these sorts of side stories don’t often do. Rather than this being about the Traveler and Itto, it’s more that Itto is the focal point and the Traveler is along for the ride. Rather than immediately taking him in, we help him perform a certain errand. This allows his personality to shine through as he engages in this activity. Once complete, we’re rewarded with more insight into what happened, why he fled Inazuma City, and the next steps. All the while, Itto is the focal point. Yes, we’re assisting, but in terms of the story, we aren’t doing “all” the work. Our avatar happens to be there. Which means the relationships that come up during it and connections feel more satisfying, because we’re still observing him and knowing him better based on those reactions.
Which ties into another important part. The Traveler isn’t the one to save the day. In many of the Genshin Impact story quest missions, it is up to our avatar to make things better. Someone is getting a day off because of us. We’re finding out how and why a rumor spread. A plot is foiled because we took part in a plan. With the Itto story quest, it feels like we didn’t need to be there. He could handle it. Again, this helps strengthens the relationships that develop between Itto and other characters. He put forth the effort. He got results. We see something encouraging and hopeful as a result. Maybe we even learn to appreciate him more as a character… even knowing that some of his greatest “accomplishments” are eventually beating children at rock-paper-scissors, occasionally winning a few of the around 800 onikabuto beetle fights he’s been in, and finally getting his Vision back… after the Vision Hunt Decree was over.
All of these elements come together for a Genshin Impact story quest that feels more effective and engaging than the others. We’re a part of things, but primarily as an assistant and observer. In the Itto story quest we don’t drive the action in the same way we do in some of the other ones. Because of that and the way it is framed and told, Itto stands out more as a character. We’re more aware of his abilities and relationships with other people. Players get to see it develop in a way where the characters, the lore, and this particular story are more important than showing us how capable and important the Traveler can be again.
Genshin Impact is available for the PS4, PS5, PC, and mobile devices. It will also eventually come to the Nintendo Switch. The Itto and Gorou banner will be available until January 4, 2022. Itto’s story quest can be unlocked with a key, but know that you must complete Kokomi’s story quest and the Chapter 2 Act 3 Archon Quest to be able to play it.