Scaramouche is one of those characters whose presence was often teased in Genshin Impact before his playable debut as the Wanderer. He showed up initially in Unreconciled Stars, offering another hint at what a Fatui member could be like in the game. After that, he disappeared until we reached the Chapter 2 Archon Quests, which hinted at his origins and motivations. Now that his storyline resolved in the Sumeru Archon Quests, we really get an idea of how well HoYoVerse developed his character arc and told his story in Genshin Impact in a satisfying way that goes from heartbreaking to hopeful.
Editor’s Note: There will be spoilers for the Scaramouche and Wanderer storyline in Genshin Impact below.
A good way to think of it is to consider how Scaramouche changed since his introduction, and how closely his development as a person progressed compared to traditional character arcs in games, movies, and shows. When we meet him in Unreconciled Stars’ “The Crisis Deepens” event, he initially seems pleasant and helpful. That facade drops in “What the Skies Conceal, the Water Reveals,” when Mona realizes at a glance the danger he poses. It’s only then that he reveals both times, he aimed to eliminate the Traveler in the name of getting rid of an obstacle. By the time this storyline ends with “Where Ancient Stars Align,” he’s discovered a truth about the world of Teyvat that we, as players, still don’t know as of the 3.3 update. That new knowledge helped intensify a goal and increased his awareness of the nature of the world. He now needs to know more, abandoning the idea of possibly facing the Traveler, for the sake of knowledge.
This falls in line with most progressions of character arcs in storytelling. You begin with an introduction. You set the stage for who someone is and provide an initial impetus. In this case, we know Scaramouche is a member of the Fatui. We know all Fatui see the Traveler as a potential blocker to their plans after the events in Mondstadt. We realize in his initial appearances, he’s set on aiding his organization’s cause. However, by the end of the event, we see the beginnings of his new adventure and tale. He has a goal, which is to find information, and a new sense of purpose after learning a truth about the world.
Once we get to the “Omnipresence Over Mortals” Archon Quests and Inazuma, we begin to learn much more about Scaramouche’s motivations and new goals. In each new region, we see a Fatui Harbinger going after the Gnosis of the Archon there. While we don’t always see Scaramouche here and in the Hues of the Violet Garden Irodori Festival, it’s in these sections that we start to see his goals solidify and understand his aims. Throughout the chapters and events, we come to learn that Scaramouche isn’t human. He’s a puppet made by the Archon Ei and predecessor to the original Raiden Shogun, one she uses in current events. She tossed him out. We learn multiple times before being recruited by the Fatui, he’d been betrayed. A friend who seemed to consider him human hurt him. A child he befriended and promised to remain with died.
This means throughout Scaramouche’s life, he’s known two things. He’s an artificial construct. Perhaps even one considered a “failure,” as Ei decided not to use him when he cried after being made and was abandoned. He’s also been repeatedly abandoned and betrayed when attempting to live alongside and be a human. Upon joining the Fatui, he became as much of a member as the Balladeer as he was both a tool to the organization and an experiment for Dottore. Upon finally getting a Gnosis, the thing he would have possessed if Ei had chosen him as her puppet rather than the Raiden Shogun, he’s poised for the big moment. Scaramouche got the thing that could give him his goal of power. And in Chapter 3’s Dreams, Emptiness, Deception, we see Dottore in Sumeru is helping Scaramouche hit that next step of actual godhood. Akasha Pulses, the Kalpa Flame Rises sees him get what he wants as the Shouki no Kami.
But as unsettling a prospect that is, not to mention terrifying, given we’ve seen the ease with which Scaramouche can be cruel and the disregard for other people, even this moment is heartbreaking in its own way. After years of being seen as and feeling like an “other,” then finally getting what he might have felt is his birthright due to his creation, the Traveler rips that away from Scaramouche. It’s a necessity to be certain, for the sake of Genshin Impact’s story and the safety of the other characters and world, but also because it again progresses his arc. He had his goal. He got what he wanted. But it wasn’t enough. Things need to shift. He needs to learn more and do more. He needed to grow.
Scaramouche gets the chance to do so in the Inversion of Genesis interlude in Genshin Impact, and it is then that the player is rewarded with both the satisfying payoff and “Wanderer.” Because it’s here that we get that gradual falling of action to a resolution that, while not a completely happy ending, offers a resolution to the climax that came throughout the Sumeru Archon Quest and the hope of a new beginning. Through Nahida’s fable, we get to better understand what Scaramouche went through throughout his life. When he gets to head to Irminsul, it’s as much to his benefit as the Traveler and Nahida’s. Not only do they get to try for more information about the Traveler’s sibling, but he gets to learn more about Dottore’s influence throughout his life. That one betrayal… wasn’t. Niwa Hisahide, the first person to treat Scaramouche as a human, was always true to him. That Niwa died because of Dottore. That even back then, Dottore was preparing to use Scaramouche as a toy and tool for his own experiments. We witness his pain and heartbreak during the revelation, as well as an extreme reaction to try and set things right by erasing his own existence.
It’s through those actions that we learn even more about Teyvat and see Scaramouche’s second chance as The Wanderer in Genshin Impact. He did what he hoped would be the “right” thing. He tried to save Niwa. But we learn it isn’t possible to so easily remove someone or something from the world. Also, that Dottore’s evil couldn’t be undone, even with such a dire choice. That Scaramouche would still exist as The Wanderer, and those memories would be reclaimed.
But with that finale, we reach the greatest part of Scaramouche and The Wanderer’s character arc in Genshin Impact. We see him accepted by two others. Throughout all events and Archon Quests, he’s given the Traveler no reason to trust or help him. He’s been antagonistic at best and dangerously malicious at worst. However, the Traveler sticks by him throughout Inversion of Genesis. They even help him regain his memories as The Wanderer, once he notes that is what he wants. When he’s recovering from the realizations and moments, they even block a murderous blow from Shouki no Kami to save him. By the end of those storylines we see The Wanderer moving forward with his life, accepting a new role as an ally to the Traveler and Nahida, and perhaps becoming a better person. Moreover, we get this hint that maybe he hasn’t forsaken connections after all, as he’s interacted peaceably and amicably with the Traveler. If you even pull for him on his banner, his voice lines read like those of a friend.
Genshin Impact is available for the PS4, PS5, PC, and mobile devices, and the Wanderer banner that adds Scaramouche as a playable character is available until December 27, 2022.
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