Honkai: Star Rail players “shocked” by dark Penacony quest’s take on depression

Honkai: Star Rail Cocona

While playing through the quests in Penacony, Honkai: Star Rail players were “shocked” as they encountered one that takes on depression. A trigger warning for depression, and this article will contain spoilers!

Honkai: Star Rail is a turn-based strategy role-playing game (RPG) released on April 2023 by HoYoverse. The game had the version 2.0 update on February 6, which introduced Penacony, new characters and light cones, events, and story quests.

The majority of the players would always play through the main storyline first. Thus, many discussions focused on Acheron, Firefly, Sam, and Black Swan. Apart from the Trailblaze Missions, there are the Adventure Missions, the side quests available permanently or by events.

A Reddit user shared that they believe one Adventure Mission was the best quest in the version 2.0 update. The side quest they referred to was “Envision a Rose Forthcoming.” They expressed that this quest hits hard for those who currently have depression or have dealt with it before. They shared that Cocona’s story was heartbreaking, touching, and amazing.

Another Trailblazer shared the same sentiments, stating, “I couldn’t agree more. Whoever wrote this quest has been there. Everything from refusing the “medication,” to not wanting outside help, to believing this act of self-harm will help you. This triggered me way more than anything else in 2.0.”

A player shared that every part of the quest was relatable, whether or not a person struggles with depression. They were surprised by how many people were connecting it with the mental disorder. Another expressed that Cocona was indeed depressed, but they could see how the quest could be relatable to those who weren’t depressed.

Some were shocked by the side quest’s story as they found dark things happening in Penacony. Another Reddit user pointed out how other players give Honkai: Star Rail a run for its money but loved how the game was able to portray a horrifying and intense quest such as Cocona’s.

byu/ImAGudBoi from discussion

There were players who grew more attached to Firefly compared to Cocona, but there were ones who connected more with Chadwick from the “The Trees At Peace” mission. All of these storylines contain dark material, which made a player commend the writing team’s ability to write about heavy themes.

With the final decisions in Cocona’s quest, fans of Honkai: Star Rail were divided on whether to grab Cocona’s hand to stop her or let her go. These choices show the players how their choices matter in the game. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide on the fate of these characters from Honkai: Star Rail.

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