Exploring the Honkai Universe

Exploring the Honkai Universe



If you have played any of miHoYo’s games, chances are you’ve seen people talk about ‘the multiverse’ and ‘the Imaginary Tree’. It’s definitely an interesting subject: The idea that all these games are linked in some way. The problem is, there’s also a very large chance you’ve been told wrong things.


Note: Hoyoverse is a global brand for the company miHoYo


Today we’re going to take a deep dive into the concept of the ‘Honkai Universe’. A narrative framework miHoYo has been building up since 2014.


Milestone Celebration in 2023

Before we get started, we’re going to have to discuss some ‘ground rules’.


Behold, the Tenets of Lore


1) Translation cannot be trusted

There are many reasons a localisation might differ from the original. Some changes are intentional, some accidental. Regardless, it makes the translated texts very unreliable, and miHoYo’s work is full of discrepancies between versions. This is why it’s important to check the Chinese text as well when possible.


2) Be careful about hearsay.

There is a lot of untranslated content. Unless you see a proper translation, take anything people say about the Chinese texts with a grain of salt.


3) Anything said by a character can be wrong.

miHoYo loves to tell the story through characters that have a very limited perspective. Major parts of the story revolve around these characters verifying their theories and subverting their understanding of the universe they inhabit. As such, any descriptions given regarding the nature of the universe have good odds of being subverted or recontextualised in later stories.


4) Narrators will often use a character’s perspective.

miHoYo likes to cheat with its narration. While the narrator may give info the characters are not aware of, it is very common for miHoYo’s narration to bind itself to a character’s perspective. As such, lines like ‘he was dead’ may be bound to a character’s conviction that someone’s dead, whereas in reality said person may still be alive.


5) There’s always something missing.

This is perhaps the most annoying part. miHoYo’s lore is vast and spread across lots of different media. Bits of lore and many author’s notes get stuck behind language barriers or buried in obscure posts on social media platforms. We’re also missing transcripts for lots of content. This page will be delving into the stuff we managed to dig up and discover, but keep in mind that there is always something more, and often small details that could change the perspective on a piece of lore greatly.

Aside from this webpage, we also recommend looking into the Hoyodex wiki. It’s currently still small and under development, but it’s growing alright. We try to include sources and Chinese texts, and are also making terminology pages that can help us try and make sense of the cosmology.


This webpage alone cannot cover everything there is to say, so we’ll try and stick to the most important parts. This page is not the incontestible truth. We intend to update and improve it as more discoveries are made, and our understanding of these moments and concepts changes.

Extra note:

Sharing this page around is encouraged and appreciated. However, please remain polite and civil when discussing these topics. We’ve seen some people present this page in a hostile manner, and it doesn’t reflect well on us and our community. We’re here to have fun and figure things out. 

History of the Honkai Universe

Guns GirlZ


In 2014, miHoYo’s first live service game was coasting off the back of a strong release. Bēnghuài Xuéyuán 2, which would later be known worldwide by the titles Houkai Gakuen 2 and Guns GirlZ, GGZ for short, became their first big ongoing narrative experience, succeeding the short lived and storyless Bēnghuài Xuéyuán.

GGZ introduced us to some major members of the recurring cast, including Kiana Kaslana, Raiden Mei and Bronya Zaychik.

Kiana Kaslana
Raiden Mei
Bronya Zaychik

According to miHoYo CEO Cai Haoyu, it was in 2014 that miHoYo came up with the idea of building a shared lore for their stories. In broad strokes, Cai Haoyu and Liu Wei compared this to the Marvel Universe. This idea was ‘the Honkai Universe’, and would also serve them in their long term goal to build an immersive ‘metaverse’.

Sure enough, head writer Lingyi Niang produced a story that would lay the foundations for it. 


Announced late 2014 and published early 2015, ‘Otherworld’ was a story event that explored the protagonist Kiana Kaslana meeting with the mysterious K.K, an alternate world version of her called Kevin Kaslana. Kevin became a minor antagonist and was given a boss battle in the game. 


The event itself left it up to the players’ imagination whether this Kevin was real or not.

This story was also the first time a playable character died, as Kevin solidified himself as the antagonist by killing Bronya Zaychik. Since this was a parallel world, it essentially gave the writer free reign to do whatever she wanted.


This event would later be rewritten as a short light novel posted through the game’s social media. This time, the idea that it could be a dream was scrapped, confirming beyond a doubt that this Kevin is indeed real, and he is from a parallel world.

During the story, we are given a look at how miHoYo handles the concept of ‘parallel worlds’.


Using this info, the model for the universe would look like this:

Some of you may recognise this as a version of ‘Many Worlds Interpretation’, which forms the basis for lots of media’s versions of a Multiverse. It is however immediately noticeable that they did not choose to adopt the popular version of the terminology. The popular version is a ‘multiverse’ containing ‘universes’. Instead they chose the idea of the ‘universe’ containing many ‘worlds’, which is more in line with the MWI’s original description. This will be very relevant later.


One small extra note: The concept of ‘bubble worlds’ as we know them is not yet established here. When Kevin says ‘bubbles in a tiny universe’, he’s referring to the limitations of 3D spatial structures or ‘conventional’ space. This concept will be touched upon again later.



Later in 2015, GGZ ended the run of its EX manga series after only one story: Sakura Arc. Shortly thereafter, they started the Bēnghuài 3 manga, also known as Houkai3rd , which used the EX manga as a part of its story, but otherwise diverged strongly from the stories told in GGZ.


This release was a tumultuous time, and we saw two other building blocks for the Universe appear around this time: The aforementioned novel style rewrite of Kevin’s Otherworld story, and the arrival of Seele Vollerei, whose storyline introduced the concept of Quantum mechanics into the lore.

You can find confirmation that the Houkai3rd storyline was set in an alternate worldline to GGZ’s storyline in the old notes from Houkai3rd’s Sakura Remembrance arc, and the more recent Second Eruption series.


The fact that these were parallel stories was very palpable. Characters would appear in GGZ, and soon after they would pop up in Houkai3rd, and vice versa.

Bonus page from Sakura Remembrance
Author's notes from Second Eruption

Honkai Impact 3rd


In 2016, Bēnghuài 3 launched as a game using the global title Honkai Impact 3rd, continuing the story they set up in the manga.


Not long after, the manga arc Azure Waters came out with more backstory for Bronya Zaychik and Seele Vollerei in Houkai3rd’s worldline. Lingyi made a special post recontextualising the manga for GGZ too, so that it would count for both stories.


Lingyi would remain the head writer for GGZ and a new team would be formed to write the continuation of HI3. Lingyi did remain involved to write the first coloured series of the HI3 manga that came out after the game’s launch. Her current level of involvement with HI3 is unknown.

Stigma Spaces


The Gratitude Arc of the Houkai3rd manga introduced us to Yae Sakura’s Stigma Space. Stigma Spaces would become a recurring concept in the games, most famously explored in the Firemoth DLC storyline of GGZ.


Stigma Spaces would exist outside of the regular world as dreamlike metaphysical dataspaces, tied to a character’s ‘Stigma’, a genetic marker of sorts. Characters would be able to project their minds into these spaces and experience all sorts of strange scenarios.

Bronya, Kiana and Mei discuss entering a Stigma Space



In 2017, GGZ ended its first storyline with a bombastic finale. This finale is often mistakenly thought to be the actual ending of the game, but that is not true. The first storyline was labelled ‘Retro’, and then a second one started called ‘Reborn’.


It was also revealed that the world was locked in a Samsara. A repeating cycle of sorts. The ‘Samsara’ as a concept was introduced into these stories earlier during the Gratitude Arc of the Houkai3rd manga, but this was the first time it took on such a massive scale. That being said, hints of its existence had been laid out throughout the stories prior, so it’s not known how long this had been planned.


Samsaras would become a recurring theme in these games, and a defining factor for both GGZ and HI3’s Earths.

Anti-Entropy VN



Also in 2017, miHoYo began the release of a Visual Novel about Anti-Entropy, detailing some world history for Honkai Impact 3rd. This VN incorporated alternate versions of real life scientists, such as Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Schrödinger and Thomas Edison.

Menu featuring Tesla and Einstein

They also made heavy use of academic theories, referencing Feynman’s take on Quantum Physics as well as Stephen Hawking’s description of M Theory, which posits the Universe as an 11 dimensional structure. The latter is called out explicitly when a sentient Benjamin Franklin dollar bill talks to Edison (it’s a weird story).

During this exchange, Franklin lets us know several things:
1. The story still adheres to the preestablished concept of several timelines. ‘Possibilities’ can be sacrificed for power.
2. The Universe is 11D. Higher dimensional beings exist and can observe.

Genshin Impact


Also in 2017, miHoYo began work on a new property: Genshin Impact. Using the working title ‘Honkai 4’. It would allow them to expand upon the Honkai Universe as a concept. Using the same main cast and themes as GGZ and HI3 as building blocks, they built a new fantasy world for the game to explore. They also drew inspiration from an old project that never became a full game known to fans as Legend of Saha.


However, miHoYo did have a problem. At the time, they had applied for the stock market, but were denied on the basis of having only one major IP: Honkai. So they did a little trick. They didn’t put the word ‘Honkai’ in the title.


Funnily enough, this would end up not mattering much because they withdrew their application for the stock market.


Whether they had ever planned to include the word in the title is unknown. However, Cai Haoyu’s own words did confirm that the game was designed as a Honkai game from the outset.

Sanguine Nights


Aside from HI3’s main story, miHoYo had been running time limited events. However, since these events weren’t allowed to affect the main story too much, these were often fluff. The writers weren’t happy about that, so they decided to make use of their cosmology to craft a new continuous storyline independent from the main story, told in installments through these events.


This new storyline would follow the adventures of the faceless ‘Captain’, a mysterious character from whose perspective we play with a big helping of reverse dramatic irony, as the character is privy to a great deal of knowledge the player is not. He was loosely based on the player persona, also called Captain, and the players would experience these stories from his perspective, hiding his face behind the camera. 


This storyline, later dubbed ‘Captain’s Bizarre Adventure’, known as Captainverse for short, would follow the Captain in a non-chronological quest across many worlds.

Sanguine Nights introduced the concept of ‘Consciousness Mapping’, a practice wherein a character could control another person by mapping onto them in another world. The story showed us another world where vampires roamed, and familiar characters had different lives. It did not yet establish that the worlds the Captain visited were of a different kind to the established Earths of GGZ and HI3’s main story.

Vampire Theresa, known among fans as Tericula

Second Eruption


The Second Eruption manga arc for Honkai Impact 3rd gave us a little more insight into the Samsara cycle on HI3’s Earth. It also gave us a plethora of author’s notes. One such note is the one we mentioned earlier that reaffirms HI3’s story is in an alternate worldline to GGZ’s.


Another important note is the explanation of the concept of Imaginary Space.

In this translation, we used the word ‘world sphere’. It is worth noting that in English terminology for Many-Worlds Interpretation, this concept is often referred to as a ‘world bubble’, but since it’s a different term from ‘bubble world’ entirely, it seemed like a bad call to use it, as ‘bubble worlds’ will also be coming up soon.

Durandal VN


In 2018, the Durandal Visual Novel would give us the introduction of another major concept within the lore: The Sea of Quanta.


Otto Apocalypse explained the Sea of Quanta as an existence between dimensional manifolds. A chaotic space parallel to the ‘conventional’ world.


The VN follows Bianka Ataegina and Rita Rossweisse as they enter a specific world in this Sea. The world they visit turns out to have a rich and tumultuous history, and is shown to be a place where many lost things in the Sea may end up.

During the VN, we get another more detailed explanation of the Sea of Quanta from ‘Iron Mask’, who has been in the Sea for a while at this point.

From these explanations, we can discern several things:

  • The Sea of Quanta is like an Ether Bathtub, and it is an 11D structure.
  • You can think of the conventional universe as an 11D structure. Note that one of those dimensions is ‘time’, meaning the universe could still follow the same structure as previously described. (Kevin’s description) However, Iron Mask brushes over this.
  • The Ether Bathtub is filled with smaller, less complete ‘universes’ you could call ‘Bubble Worlds’.
  • Bubble worlds can inherit any number of dimensions (measurable extents) from the Ether Bathtub.
  • Bubble worlds find more stability near Ether Anchor Points.
  • There may be other universes of the 11D scale.
  • Iron Mask initially uses ‘universes’ as a layman’s understanding of what a Bubble World entails, but then clarifies that ‘The Universe as we know it’ is an 11D structure.
  • The text does not clarify whether the ‘real worlds’ in the explanation are analogous to universes.

It is worth noting that Captain Shakespeare aloofly refers to the theory as a Multiverse theory. 

We also witness several ways character alternate versions can exist. We see the Star Whisperers, reflections of data of ‘real’ people. One such Star Whisperer is Anna Charles Darwin, whose counterpart in the ‘real’ world died as a child, but we also see people who simply existed in other worlds as alternate versions and ended up falling into the Sea.

Project: Genshin


Also in 2018, miHoYo released the first chapter of the Genshin Impact manga. It opened with the character of Venti, who seemed strangely reminiscent of Honkai Impact 3rd’s Wendy. Venti would then also mention the name Murata, which was very familiar to GGZ and HI3 players as it’s a name shared with Murata Himeko.

The manga does not specify what kind of world the story takes place in cosmologically.

The year after that, GGZ would introduce its own version of Wendy, solidifying the connection between the games.

The MWI problem


Starting from chapter 9 EX2 and heading into the arc of chapter 10-12, we saw what is often called the ‘Sea of Quanta arc’. During this arc in 2019, we were formally introduced to the concept of the Sea of Quanta in the game of Honkai Impact 3rd itself.

This is also where we’ll have to address the elephant in the room: The translations.


From this point onwards, miHoYo will be fairly consistent with its usage of terminology. But not before one last confusing notion.


宇宙 (yǔzhòu)(uchū) means ‘universe’, ‘cosmos’ or ‘(outer) space’.

世界 (shìjiè)(sekai) means ‘world’.

世界泡 (shìjiè pào) means ‘bubble world’.


Einstein however says 平行宇宙, meaning parallel universe, whereas later on this would always be 平行世界, meaning parallel world.

This is where it gets really complicated from a linguistic point of view.


First things first, let’s discuss MWI.


Many-Worlds Interpretation is a theory for the structure of existence that likens the universe to a sort of ‘tree’, with each branch representing a branch in time.


It essentially states that the universe consists of ‘many worlds’ as the name implies.


MWI was proposed to ‘fix’ a problem with modern Quantum Physics. Scientific Theory is built on a simple principle: Cause and effect. We identify causes through observing effects, and we predict effects by observing causes. This means that modern science functions on the presumption of a ‘deterministic’ universe, where everything has a discernible relationship and everything can be ‘solved’.


Quantum physicists ran into a problem when they found special circumstances (let’s refer to these as ‘Quantum Events’) wherein no singular mathematical conclusion could be drawn. In other words: It contradicted the basis upon which modern science is built. If the effect of a ‘Quantum Event’ is not a singularly determinable outcome, then cause-and-effect is void.


MWI fixes this problem by stating that the effects of such a Quantum Event are simply all simultaneously true. If you liken a Quantum Event to a coin flip, then rather than the coin landing heads or tails, it lands both. The world simply splits off into two different versions: One where the coin lands heads, and one where it lands tails.


The theory has many different versions and variants, with each interpretation differing in the details. Nevertheless, the ‘core’ version of the theory is often considered DeWitt’s interpretation of the Everett- proposal.


Popularly, human choices are often regarded as Quantum Events in media interpretations, despite this having no significant scientific basis.

Due to the existence of many versions of this theory, there also exist several approaches to its terminology. Most popular media, including informative media, will ‘simplify’ the theory by regarding the ‘worlds’ in the theory as the ‘conventional universe’, i.e. a 3 dimensional structure. Then the ‘universe’ in the theory becomes a ‘multiverse’.


So in comes the question: Does miHoYo do this? Well, up to this point, yes and no.

Kevin’s explanation of the Universe stuck closer to the terminology of the core version of the theory.


Iron Mask likened Bubble Worlds to universes in layman’s terms, hence the word ‘imagine’, but she did stick to the idea that the Universe itself is an 11D structure.


Einstein uses the popular version instead, but only in this chapter.


Starting from the next chapter onwards, they always stick closer to the classic MWI terminology rather than the popular version, leaving Einstein’s explanation an anomaly.

So what gives? How can we explain Einstein’s inconsistent use of terminology? Well, there are several possible explanations.

1) The people working on the story were not all on the same page about what version of the terminology to use.


This theory does have some basis, as when Einstein is explaining the ‘glass of water’ comparison, the  background shows ‘world’ in the place of each glass rather than universe. miHoYo also is known to often leave writing errors be without addressing them.


By the next chapter, Bronya is already quoting Einstein’s conversation using the word ‘worlds’ instead of ‘universes’, as if Einstein never used the term ‘universes’ to begin with.

 (The translation does not reflect this, instead keeping ‘universes’)

2) It doesn’t matter.


The terms 平行宇宙 (parallel universe) and 平行世界 (parallel world) are functionally interchangeable in most media. This is because when most media that brings up the concept of a parallel universe it remains rather limited in the scope of what is explored, ensuring there is functionally no difference between the two terms. The translation for HI3 would choose this approach, taking the popular ‘many universes’ version of the Many-World Interpretation as its basis.


This however has massive issues down the line both in the Chinese text and in the translations.


Within the translations, we find that the English version would translate 世界(world) as universe and as world interchangeably, but the word 宇宙(universe) as universe as well. This essentially gives you  ‘a universe of universes’, which makes little sense. That being said, there is precedent for this kind of conflicting homonym version of universe to be used for both structures within a single text in write-ups about MWI.


In the Chinese texts, this one of very few instances 平行宇宙 (parallel universe) is used (that we have found thus far). Another time is when we later meet a character in GGZ who outright rejects the idea of parallel universes, as separate universes by nature cannot be parallel.


Meanwhile, the concept of a ‘multiverse’ does appear in later lore, meaning that the 11D universe cannot properly be described as a multiverse of many universes without messing with terminology higher up the ladder.


Nevertheless, it is possible that at this point in time, miHoYo had either not chosen a consistent definition for these terms, or they chose character perspective over rigid lore.

3) Einstein’s uninformed.


Einstein admits herself that she knows very little about the concept in comparison. Anti-Entropy has not been able to explore the concept in great depth, and the Sea of Quanta is beyond her understanding.


From this context, it is believable that Einstein would use simplified ‘layman’s terms’ when trying to explain the concept to Bronya.


Worth noting is that after this point, Einstein too would adhere to the classic MWI terminology that posits the universe as an 11D structure of many worlds.

Regardless of which of the above reasons is correct, the Chinese text moved on to consistently use classic MWI terminology, whereas the English localisation would continue to flip flop between translations, creating a confusing and muddy mess.


Going forward, the exact scope of ‘worlds’ would largely depend on the context of whoever’s speaking.

However, MWI does not provide proper terminology for anything between the scope of a world and ‘everything’. Wanting to delve into concepts like the Sea of Quanta and other structures outside or encompassing the 11D megastructure of the Many-Worlds tree, miHoYo chose to break the rule that the Universe is ‘everything’, instead making it a description of a connected space-time over 11 dimensions.

From the Deep Ocean


After the interaction with Einstein, we get some exploration of the Sea of Quanta, and we learn several more things:

  • Characters with sufficient control can manipulate spaces and ‘create’ bubble worlds to some extent.
  • Bubble worlds can have reflections of ‘real’ worlds, including alternate versions of people.
Roughly around this time, Captainverse events also confirmed that the worlds Captain was visiting were, for the most part, Bubble Worlds.

Seed of Sumeru


The concept of the ‘Imaginary Tree’ is only briefly addressed by Otto in the manga. He recalls records from the Previous Era describe a ‘Tree of Imaginary Numbers (the Imaginary Tree) upon which parallel worlds exist. The 2nd Key can observe these worlds, so when a portal opens he is surprised to only see a singular bubble world, which turns out to be the Seed of Sumeru. Other observers call it ‘a star’ when they see it.

The ‘Seed of Sumeru’ is a bubble world tied to the 2nd Divine Key that contains a tree. This tree is crowned by leaves, each representing ‘a possibility’. Using this tree, Su would observe alternate worlds to look for methods to defeat the Honkai. He specifically observed worlds that had close proximity to his own, as all that mattered was finding an answer to how his world could survive.


After the plot in the Seed of Sumeru is resolved, the 2nd Key returns to normal behaviour and a plethora of stars become visible through the portal.


Su notes that the worlds that fail to defeat the Honkai eventually lose stability and deconstruct into bubble worlds before eventually dissolving.


Notably, the official translations swap world for universe in most cases and even makes the terrible mistake of stating worlds on the Imaginary Tree are bubble worlds, which they are not.

The Imaginary Tree


During Chapter 17 of Honkai Impact 3rd, Otto Apocalypse, after studying notes left from the Previous Era and working at it for 500 years, explains a metaphor of a Tree of Imaginary Numbers, called the Imaginary Tree in translation.

In the official English translation ‘between Heaven and Earth’ is translated as ‘in the universe’. Machine Translation will say ‘in the world’. In actuality, it’s a fancy way to say ‘in existence’.


Gangā-Nadī-Vālukā, asaṃkhyeya and nayuta are all numerical units drawn from ancient language, and that carry significance in religions like Buddhism and Hinduism. They are ‘very large numbers’ which can often be used as a poetic representation of ‘countlesness’, but within this context may carry heavier religious implications, suggesting Otto may perceive the universe as cyclical in nature.


Whether the Sea of Quanta may be considered part of the same universe as the Imaginary Tree is up for debate, and this consideration might not be consistent from character perspective to character perspective.


Otto here describes the Imaginary Tree and the Sea of Quanta as a system of duality, where only these two structures exist and they are in constant battle. We know his assertion is not entirely correct, as there are other things around than one Tree and one Sea, but here he does lay the groundwork for what would become the semi-definitive model for the cosmology going forward.


His interpretation of the Honkai was going in the right direction, but would still prove to be flawed in later chapters.


At this point, lots of the terminology becomes way more solid. It is also worth noting that in many Chinese dialogues, the characters will not mention ‘The Universe’ , instead simply saying ‘The Imaginary Tree’ or  ‘The Sea of Quanta’, which does relieve pressure from the terminology problem.

Rosemary and the Dragon


During this same arc, the 2nd Divine Key is used again and we catch a glimpse of other things happening throughout the universe.


Here we see Fallen Rosemary, a version of Rita that appeared in the Captainverse storyline, reestablishing that the Captainverse stories were happening out there somewhere in the Sea of Quanta.


We also get to see Dvalin, the wind dragon from Teyvat. It was then confirmed by the developers that this is indeed the case.

Tears of Themis


The next game to come out was Tears of Themis, a gacha where you play out a courtroom drama in a visual novel style, mixed with dating simulator mechanics for the 4 pretty men that help you on the case.


The game does not delve much into metaphysics. Although it contains many references and easter eggs towards the other games, there is neither confirmation nor denial that it is a part of the Honkai Universe.

Genshin Impact


Not so long thereafter, Genshin Impact released. Following one of two twins that had been traversing the Sea of Stars, but ended up stranded in the mysterious microcosm of Teyvat. The game stays true to the core identity of Honkai, sharing themes as well as alternate versions of the main cast, most of which fulfill key roles in the plot.


A Post Honkai Odyssey and Alien Space


HI3 released a special gamemode called ‘A Post Honkai Odyssey’, exploring the story of an alien invasion upon HI3’s Earth. As a companion piece, a manga called Alien Space was made, detailing some of Welt Yang’s history with these aliens, and forming a bridge to the new exciting adventures that would later turn out to be Honkai: Star Rail.


During the story, Welt discovers a secret plot of an alien civilisation called ‘the Sky People’ who scavenge worlds for Honkai energy. At one point, he sees a screen on a spaceship and recognises his student, Murata Himeko. This would turn out to be a different Himeko from another world. In Honkai: Star Rail, the Sky People would instead be translated as the Ones Above.



Here as well, the term ‘world’ is translated as ‘universe’ in the official translation, leading to lots of confusion among players regarding the scope of the story.

Honkai x Genshin


As a special event, miHoYo wanted to do a crossover between Honkai Impact 3rd and Genshin Impact. This came however with a problem: Being part of the same lore, having them cross over would have major implications.


To remedy this, they set the crossover event in three special ‘game proposals’, stories created by Otto in a parallel world storyline sometimes referred to by fans as Idolverse, known for its silly antics. This avoided compromising the storylines of both games.


In the English translation of info videos, the world of Honkai Impact 3rd is often referred to as ‘the Honkaiverse’. In Chinese however, the devs refer to it as ‘the world of Honkai’ instead.


This is not to be confused with The Honkai Universe , which is the English term CEO Cai Haoyu used to describe the shared Universe of these games.



The Kolosten arc in HI3 also gave us a couple more explanations of the Imaginary Tree. These were more designed to reinform lost players and to bring characters up to speed, as well as to set up its time travel shenanigans.


Nagamitsu gives us the database comparison:

  • The Universe can be compared to a great game server. Different choices unlock different paths, but as the player you cannot see the other path, so your version of the game is your ‘reality’.
  • If one were to theoretically go back to an earlier save point, one could replay that part and make a different choice.

Otto gives us the beach comparison:

  • If you imagine lines of footsteps in the sand, then each different path someone chooses would create a different line.
  • He quicky abandons the comparison because he can’t quite make it fit, returning to his trusty Tree analogy instead.


We also learn a couple more things:

  • Beings do not have to be constrained by the flow of time.
  • Time travel could be possible by destroying a worldline and reusing its energy to create a new one.
  • It’s possible to use the ability of renormalisation to swap the properties of finity and infinity. This can be abused to make someone with infinite energy vulnerable, or to create new worlds from a point with no future.

The Moon’s Origin and Finality


HI3 would reach the end of Part 1 of its storyline in 2023, and during the final two arcs, several ideas were explored.

  • It was shown that great cataclysm upon a regular world can cause new bubble worlds to get ‘shaved off’, creating a small unstable reflection of the regular world at the time of calamity.
  • Miniature bubble worlds reflect other worlds.
  • Symmetry breaking can cause strange phenomena, such as the creation of an anomalous person.
  • Pseudo-time crystals can exist, wherein a segment of a world’s timelines can be perceived in a loop.
  • While exploring spaces in the Sea of Quanta, characters happened upon a shadow of a character from Captainverse, once again connecting the storylines. 
  • The Honkai is controlled by a merged existence evolved from an alien civilisation that propagates by assimilating worlds through the Samsara process, using higher dimensional powers as tools in this process. (Nevertheless, the Honkai was still not fully understood. This is Dr MEI’s theory)
We also get a new explanation derived from Iron Mask’s earlier explanation. However, this time the Imaginary Tree is used for comparison, and the term ‘universes’ is dropped altogether, reducing possible confusion. If you play in Chinese, that is. English mixes in ‘universes’ like it’s a party drink called ‘cosmic confusion’.

Lambda and Metanarrative


Throughout the entirety of HI3’s run, the writers have often played with presenting pieces of fiction in the story that reflect other stories within the same Universe. The creation of video games based on ‘real’ events or coincidentally reflecting them would become a recurring trope.


Lambda took this to a whole new level. AI-chan Lambda got a special event where it was shown that she had made a video game based on the events of HI3’s story, inspired by witnessing those events on repeat in the pseudo-time crystal.


She managed this game from a special space of her own making, and distributed it to many worlds for players to experience the story. Notably, the game differs slightly from the game we play, as it has special VR capabilities.


Lambda made use of this to channel energy from the many ‘Captains’ of the game (not to be confused with the Captain from Captainverse). As observers, the Captains collectively counted as a higher dimensional being, giving them some control over the narrative.


miHoYo used this to break the fourth wall, allowing players to project on these fictional Captains.

What had GGZ been up to?


With a smaller playerbase and no proper translations, GGZ doesn’t have great documentation. To make matters worse, the Global servers shut down in 2021 after years of running on fumes. After all, the lack of proper translations and marketing didn’t really draw in new players.

Nevertheless, the Chinese and Japanese servers continued to thrive, and its stories continued to expand.

Since we don’t have a lot of good sources or release dates at this time, we’ll hold a brief summary of some of the major points:

  • GGZ has held an annual crossover with HI3. In the early ones, they would introduce a GGZ version of a HI3 character as a permanent addition to the story. In later ones, characters would meet mysterious ‘phantoms’, which left in the middle whether the character was the same person as in HI3, or some sort of shadow or reflection of them.
  • During the Legacy Arc, Fu Hua confronted a being which taunted her by describing how she didn’t live by her oath in other worlds. In the list, we also get a description of Fu Hua in HI3. This reaffirmed HI3 as an alternate worldline.
  • The Sea of Quanta and Imaginary Tree have not yet been mentioned by name as far as we could find.
  • According to the writings of YUI, a being that eats worlds, other universes cannot be parallel, and the universe is deterministic despite its range of possibility, which adds up with the philosophy of the Many-Worlds Interpretation.
  • Outer Gods, beings from outside the Universe, and other Gods from before the Universe as it’s known were introduced through ‘Kizuna’ lore, short texts tied to weapons, and events. Lots of this is tied to the Babylon Academy storyline, but we lack the context to truly verify the reliability of these stories.

File:Yog Sothoth Face.png

  • One major story of this type is that of Thanatos. The Lord of Myriad Realms creates Thanatos to end the eternal war of the gods by enforcing ‘death’. Zeus defeats all the gods and absorbs their concepts, becoming the Universe. Thantos then kills him, leading to the Big Bang from which time springs forth, branching into infinite possibilities.

Thanatos (B2-Unknown).png


  • The Reborn arc’s finale ran in parallel with HI3 Part 1’s finale, reaffirming many of the same concepts in the cosmology.
  • There exists something described as ‘the Soul World’, but it’s nature is not as simple or as kindly as a haven for the dead. It’s still fairly mysterious.
  • It is suggested that time is retroactive in nature, with the future defining the present rather than the opposite.
  • The Honkai was also revealed to be controlled by a merged existence evolved from an alien civilisation that propagates by assimilating worlds through the Samsara process, using higher dimensional powers as tools in this process. It is specified this civilisation consisted of ‘energy beings’.
  • This alien civilisation was revealed to have come from ‘a different universe’, and traversing universes required the energy of destroying many star systems. Here, the word ‘universe’ is used explicitly, and not ‘world’. While there is no way to confirm with absolute certainty that this isn’t another ‘Einstein’s vocabulary’ moment where it’s meant to describe the same thing as world, the context suggests it’s a structure independent from the Many-Worlds structure. The requirements to travel from one universe to another are far beyond those we’ve seen of travelling between worlds. 

Honkai: Star Rail


Honkai: Star Rail gave us a story of magnificent scale, as finally we start exploring the Universe as a whole.


Nevertheless, translations would once again prove to be an issue, as many of the dialogues in Star Rail would make a complete mess of things. Worlds, star systems, galaxies, universes…


Everything got mixed and matched in some way at some point, which makes the English text often useless in trying to discern the scope and nature of any particular term when it comes up.

From its texts, we learn several more things:

  • Aeons exist and embody concepts. As higher dimensional beings, they function over more than 3 dimensions, but not more than the 11 that comprise the Universe.
  • Aeons have limited reach, needing to travel to go places.
  • Not everybody knows about Aeons.
  • IX’s entry specifically mentions a multiverse or many universes. It gives us no context, so we don’t know for certain what it refers to. This may be referencing the actual metaphysical multiverse they set up, or it may be another ‘Einstein’s vocabulary’ moment.
  • Zandar’s theory of the Imaginary Tree is similar to Otto’s, albeit less focused on the existence of the Sea of Quanta and less focused on Civilisations as a core aspect.
  •  The Astral Express was created to traverse the Tree, effectively jumping from world to world and crossing the Universe.
  • ….

The Terminology Problem


As we touched upon earlier, miHoYo’s work has a lot of problems with the localisation of recurring terminology. We will expand on this more in the Hoyodex, but I’d like to cover some key points here still.


宇宙 (yǔzhòu) means ‘universe’ or ‘space’. It is often used in the context of ‘space’, which may confuse some (fan) translators. It is important to recognise that within the context of this lore, ‘universe’ surpasses the 3-dimensional, and is an 11D structure as consistent with M Theory.


多宇宙 (duō yǔzhòu) means ‘many universes’ or ‘multiverse’. We have only found one instance of this being used, namely IX’s Data Bank entry. It is very unlikely that it refers to the Tree.

多重宇宙 (duōchóng yǔzhòu) is another word that translates to ‘multiverse’ or ‘multiple universes’. We only found it used in Shakespeare’s comment about Iron Mask’s explanation, prior to the establishing of the Imaginary Tree theory.


银河 (yínhé) means ‘Galaxy’ or ‘Milky Way’. It is used often throughout GGZ and HSR, and is typically used synonymously with Universe. This can be confusing. It is however important to keep in mind that it strictly reads as ‘Silver River’, so it’s a visual description.


星海 (xīnghǎi) means Sea of Stars. This is used in all of the games despite not being a preestablished term, meaning it’s a term specific to miHoYo’s work. It is translated in many ways, sometimes nonsensical ways.


We know the term refers to a traversible space, but the scope of it is unclear. Usually it’s used in the context of people travelling the Universe, but it was also used in the description for an Outer God when describing things beyond the Universe.


世界 (shìjiè) means world and is flexible in its use. In HSR and Zandar’s more rigid version of the Imaginary Tree theory, it often appears synonymous with 星系 (xīngxì), ‘star system’. Both these terms are often mistranslated.


The terms ‘galaxy’ and ‘star system’ have the extra problem in English that they are homonyms with several different meanings, making the whole thing more complicated. In some texts, the localisation chose to swap star system for star cluster. This reduces the ability to confuse it with the Silver River, but does technically have a difference in cosmic scale.


Due to the nuances of miHoYo’s terminology and the difficulties of translation, it’s reasonable to conclude that trying to deliteralise translations can be needlessly complicated. As such, the idea of shifting the terminology down one step to describe ‘worlds’ as ‘universes’ and ‘universe’ as ‘multiverse’ comes with many challenges and issues. In this sense, Honkai Impact 3rd failed entirely to create a consistent lexicon in the English language.


Attempts from fans to make things ‘simpler’ by shifting terminology this way can only serve to make things more complicated, as the consensus shift further and further away from what the text actually states. When spreading information about the lore, adhering to the Chinese version of the text and explaining mistranslations is by far the most sensible, as it is the most consistent.


Meanwhile, sticking to the English terminology will result in a multitude of misconceptions as the meanings of words and explanations change erratically, sometimes even within the span of a single dialogue.

Branches and Leaves


As you might have noticed by now, the Tree metaphor is not always presented in the exact same way. This is because it’s a visualisation, and thus depends on how the person constructing the visual thinks they can best get the point across.


Sometimes it’s about worlds, sometimes it’s about civilisations. Sometimes leaves are the world, sometimes leaves are the stages of a world.

Character Versions


Throughout the Universe, we meet various ‘versions’ of the same characters. Through the info we’ve summarised prior, many of these are due to the cosmology.

Versions can exist because of any of these things:

  • Alternate timelines
  • Parallel development
  • Cloning
  • Data shadows
  • Star Whisperers
  • AI consciousness copies
  • Cyclic rebirth
  • Reconstruction
  • etc.

The Welt Dialogue


Being the first character to completely cross over from one game into another, Welt Yang gives a bunch of extra insights. Nevertheless, miHoYo smartly plays it vague, keeping the required knowledge for new players to a minimum.

Still, Welt gives us some great dialogues to work with.

The Canonising of Fearsome Fanfare


There is one more term I’d like to address: 多元宇宙 (duō yuán yǔzhòu)

This term means ‘multiverse’, ‘many metaverses’. It’s a term used in the ‘Multiverse Vistas’ video.

Multiverse Vistas was an event outside the game regarding fanworks. In the video, it is stated that there are ‘many metaverses’ existing ‘beyond the starry sky’. This suggests that to some extent, fanworks can be considered as truly existing in the lore, albeit outside of the Universe these games inhabit. This is just one possible interpretation.

Although this is likely mostly just a nod to the fans, it does make one wonder if maybe IX came to the conclusion that the multiverse is pointless after it witnessed some bad fanfiction.