Genshin Impact released last week with a staggering amount of attention for a free-to-play gacha game. It’s new take on Breath of the Wild style elemental systems and world design caught the eyes of many people, enough that it overtook the eternal twitch views-monolith Fortnite on the day of it’s release. For all the praise it has received, there’s one character that rubs people the wrong way: Paimon, your constant companion, a sprite with a high pitched voice and dubious intentions. We discuss Genshin Impact’s use of stock characters, becoming a fighter pilot in Star Wars: Squadrons, and more on this episode of Waypoint Radio. You can listen to the full episode and read an excerpt below.
Patrick: There's a character nobody likes. Can you do the voice?
Austin: Okay, listen, this is a Paimon defense force.
Patrick: Ooh, this is a pro Paimon podcast?
Austin: I'm sick of gamer dudes not liking Paimon. That character is a stock character. All right, this game is filled with stock characters–
Patrick: Cado can you do the, Cado can you do the voice? I, you actually, you can do voices.
Austin: But her voice is just,
Ricardo: Yeah. It's just like high pitched?
Patrick: Just give it to me, come on.
Austin: She's just like [falsetto] “Hi! I'm Paimon!”
Ricardo: [falsetto] “Painmon refers to Paimon in the third person all the time!”
Austin: Yeah, that's it. That's close. The thing is that is a stock character that I, that I historically don't have a ton of fondness for, the kind of like player character–
Ricardo: The Fairy.
Austin: The fairy, the Navi, but who speaks to characters on your behalf because you're a character who doesn't have a voice. And so even though you're selecting dialogue options, you're rarely actually speaking so the other character speaks for you. I think that the deployment of this stock character and many of this game's kind of adventure anime tropes, is actually fairly clever and good. The banter you have with Paimon is actually very fun. You're constantly threatening to eat her as a snack. I wanted–
Patrick: How big is Paimon? I guess I should look this up.
Ricardo: Like two feet?
Austin: Just under toddler, right?
Ricardo: One and a half?
Austin: Around toddler size. She flies around and on more than one occasion I referred to her as “emergency food.” So that's pretty good.
Patrick: I just searched Paimon which, uh, if you've seen Hereditary, the Google image search just brought back–
Austin: I'm certain she is evil because Paimon is one of the demons in the “Lesser Key of Solomon” and many other demonic manuscripts. Also she just shows up! So the pitch of this game is you–
Ricardo: Are they doing a fucking Bravely Default?
Austin: They have to be.
Ricardo: They have to be right?
Austin: I believe in my heart that she's evil and that she's manipulative. At some point someone was like “when do I get to kill Paimon?” And my response was like “yeah, five expansions from now when it's revealed that she's the final boss.”
This transcript was edited for length and clarity.
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