Honkai Star Rail 2.2 Surprised Players with a Fake Ending and It’s a Class of Touch

Honkai Star Rail is doing an outstanding job with the Penacony arc, so far. With HSR 2.1 missions being an absolute masterclass storytelling brilliance, the 2.2 trailblazing missions are not far away either. Honkai Star Rail 2.2 trailblazing mission fooled the entire player base into believing an unsatisfying ending, turning it into one-eighty and leaving many of us dumbfounded.

It’s worrying that HoYoverse is making a habit of turning in-game festivals into mind-numbing events. Nevertheless, Honkai Star Rail’s 2.2 missions executed the fake ending brilliantly. Let’s try to dissect the HSR 2.2 trailblazing missions and explore how HoYoverse succeeded in fooling everyone.

Spoiler Warning: This post contains spoilers for Honkai Star Rail 2.2.

The Build-up of Lies Mixed with Reality

Gallagher Honkai Star Rail 
Image Courtesy: In-game Screenshot (Captured by Sanmay Chakrabarti)

Honkai Star Rail’s trailblazing missions started right in the Dreamflux Reef, where the Trailblazer was speaking with Firefly during the last patch. The mission starts with heavy lore drops and character introduction while filling in all the blank spots in the story.

From the story of Firefly script, Gallagher’s fiction, Robin’s backstory, Misha’s big reveal, and the reveal of the resurrection of an Aeon, each part of the lore drop filled gaps in the story. During this section, we also find a few irregularities in the story, but they are so few that we put them aside by either considering it as a misunderstanding or a slight lapse in storytelling.

Image Courtesy: In-game Screenshot (Captured by Sanmay Chakrabarti)

Forcing players to focus on the story with the massive lore drops, and not pay attention to the few irregularities was highly important for the fake ending. It made the players invested in the storyline and stopped them from questioning or doubting the scenarios, even when things got truly bizarre.

A Philosophical Back and Forth

Image Courtesy: In-game Screenshot (Captured by Sanmay Chakrabarti)

After setting the stage, we finally confront Sunday who had captured Robin and Welt. Sunday goes over his elaborate plan of the importance of Dreamscape and Penacony, as it allows people from all segments of life to live the way they want.

The philosophical back and forth during the build-up to the fight was very interesting, with me questioning myself on various about the correct path. Especially, when Sunday was saying about seven Sundays in a week. I was all for it!

Image Courtesy: In-game Screenshot (Captured by Sanmay Chakrabarti)

Casting aside the jokes, the philosophical debate of the good and bad of Penacony is something we see throughout the Penacony arc. We learned that it was a great way to escape reality, giving space and time for people to fight through their real-life challenges, while also seeing the perverse nature of Golden Hour where people continue to party and spend days with no sense of purpose.

The fight between the harsh truth of reality vs the bliss mixed with pain and regret of ignorance is correctly put forth during the conversation with Sunday.

A Hoax of a Boss Fight with Served with Style to Prevent Doubts

Image Courtesy: In-game Screenshot (Captured by Sanmay Chakrabarti)

Before the fight with Sunday, players have to go through the three-stage acts, which basically reveal the backstory of the Penacony, while the player fight some useless battles.

After battling their way through the three acts players finally come across Sunday and the main fight ensues. However, instead of fighting the Harmonious Choir The Great Septimus, which we had seen in the HSR 2.2 Livestream, we started off fighting with normal enemies that we faced while going through the three stages.

After clearing the first two waves, the Harmonious Choir finally makes an appearance, to get easily defeated by just a few attacks. Then a cutscene ensues and we see Dan Heng alongside Jing Yuan, followed by the Xianzhou Alliance attacking Sunday and saving the day for us, the only problem being that we had absolutely no issue fighting the main boss for all that to happen.

Image Courtesy: In-game Screenshot (Captured by Sanmay Chakrabarti)

When we were expecting a bit more from the fight, we woke up in the Reverie Hotel and everyone told us that the battle had been won, leaving us clueless. The hoax continues with us meeting all the important Penacony characters and also meeting Jing Yuan to discuss the future of Penacony and the next destination of Astral Express.

As we are scratching our heads after going through one of the worst boss fights in Honkai Star Rail history, the game proceeds with more story developments, further confusing us.

Image Courtesy: In-game Screenshot (Captured by Sanmay Chakrabarti)

Boothill and Black Swan decide to join the crew, Screwllum decides to stop working on the Simulated Universe and instead assist Intelligentsia Guild to research Dreamscape and Memory Zone, and a ridiculous situation unfolds as the IPC completely backs off from Penacony and promises to support the Family with nothing in return.

The Masterclass Reveal with a Worthy Boss Fight

Among these ridiculous scenarios, one name was continuously missing and it was Acheron. No one could remember her, including the trailblazer and the only one who did was the player. This further enforced that something was definitely off and the story doesn’t end here.

Amid this, Black Swan tells us that she will help us remember the events, which made us doubt again about the ending. The final nail in the coffin was the ridiculous credit roll.

Image Courtesy: In-game Screenshot (Captured by Sanmay Chakrabarti)

Finally, we speak with Black Swan and go over the inconsistencies in the story, and we realize that the dream has merged with reality in Penacony. After waking up, we meet Acheron and Black Swan who had awakened from the dream. They tell us that the only reason we were able to break from the Dream was because of Firefly, as she died to exit the dream and make way for the rest of us. Robin was also revealed to have broken from the dream on her own and next, we see Boothill and Dan Heng breaking from the dream.

Image Courtesy: In-game Screenshot (Captured by Sanmay Chakrabarti)

A new plan is formed to fight Sunday, Acheron will cut through the Harmonious Choir’s power when Boothill calls the Galaxy Rangers from around the world to enforce strong wills and awaken all the people stuck in the dream. But before the ending fight, we get another major reveal.

We learn that Acheron was sent to Penacony by Tiernan (one of the Nameless and founding members of Penacony), who was also a Sin thirster and not the one guiding the shadows to the afterlife. We also learn Acheron’s true name and identity, Raiden Bosenmeri Mei.

Image Courtesy: In-game Screenshot (Captured by Sanmay Chakrabarti)

After learning her name, the cutscene ensues with Acheron cutting Harmonious Choir’s power and Boothill summoning the Galaxy Rangers. Then the final battle between the Astral Express began with Sunday. The actual boss fight with Sunday and the Harmonious Choir was exceptionally done, with one of Robin’s song playing in the background, the fight has multiple phases and mechanics to increase the difficulty. Finally, getting to fight a worthy end-game boss and have a satisfying ending.

What Makes Honkai Star Rail 2.2 Mission Special?

Honkai Star Rail 2.2 goes down as one of my favorite missions, even though it doesn’t reach the height of the 2.1 mission for me. The best part about the 2.2 mission was that players who genuinely paid attention to the story events so far were rewarded for their attention.

  • The moment we learned that Misha was Mikhail’s memory, the first thought that came into my mind was him appearing in the Reverie Hotel, which is impossible for a memory.
  • Similarly, it felt odd when we weren’t forced to play the Harmony Trailblazer while fighting Sunday for the first time. HoYoverse always showcases the Trailblazer during the main fights, and they would definitely continue doing that with a new path being introduced.
  • Also, anyone who has paid little attention to the story would realize that the IPC won’t ever give anything up for free, especially something like Penacony which they have a highly vested interest in, and nor will Herta stop the progress of the Simulated Universe.

The 2.2 Trailblazing missions rewarded genuine players with a sense of accomplishment for figuring out the hints before the others did. Furthermore, the lore drops in the 2.2 missions gave us a much better outlook of the Honkai Star Rail universe, making it worthwhile even without the fake ending.

Other than that, I feel the humor of Honkai Star Rail writers and developers is so underrated. The little bit of lines about Welt mentioning that he doesn’t feel like a child at heart, or when the fake credits start to roll is something I greatly appreciated.

Finally, the pure satisfaction of ending the missions on a high note instead of that disappointing fight made us appreciate the mechanics of the game a bit more. Overall, the Honkai Star Rail 2.2 mission sits high on the best missions in the game and we anticipate a lot more is coming in the next one.

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