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Honkai: Star Rail 2.0 explained – Firefly, Acheron, and more

Let’s untangle all the beefy lore drops we just witnessed
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Obviously, this article will contain massive spoilers for the Honkai: Star Rail story, so please do turn around now and come back later, if you don’t want the plot revealed to you at this point. For some Honkai: Star Rail 2.0 impressions without heavy spoilers, check the link. Okay, are we ready?

The Honkai: Star Rail update 2.0 Trailblazer and Companion Missions are quite the ride – we won’t blame you for getting a little dizzy from all the betrayals and twists they hold. Though we came to Penacony to seek some answers, it looks like we’re left with more questions than anything else at this point. Though we won’t be able to answer all of them without seeing the continuation of the story in the upcoming versions, there is a lot to break down before that, which will help us better understand what’s to come.

Since the Honkai: Star Rail 2.0 story is heavily character-driven, we’ll comb through events person by person, going in-depth with what we know about them and their motivations. As we do so, please remember that a central point in Penacony’s story is that we’re dealing with a world of dreams – what is illusion and what is dream, what is lie and what is truth is often hard to discern, as we cannot fully trust what we see and hear.

Honkai: Star Rail 2.0 – Acheron explained

Acheron is the first person from the Penacony cast we meet – and the circumstances couldn’t be more mysterious, given that the Trailblazer falls unconscious and wakes up in a dream that features her. She professes to be a member of the Galaxy Rangers, a group that travels around the cosmos to dish out justice, but doesn’t seem to be all that concerned about her identity – “Galaxy Ranger, Acheron… This is what they call me. You can call me whatever you want.”

During that initial illusion, Acheron asks all sorts of questions, foretells many hardships and tragedies for Trailblazer, and ends up shedding tears as she kills them to send them back to reality. There is also the curious use of red text for some of Acheron’s sentences in the subtitles – perhaps connected to the “glimpse of fleeting red” she says would appear before Trailblazer when they have to make a choice. She says she’s got some memory issues, too.

Honkai: Star Rail Acheron screenshot showing the use of red subtitles.

Red subtitles? This is new.

Acheron generally seems to help Trailblazer out whenever she can, but keeps her own motivations for even being on Penacony in the first place closer to her chest than anyone else. When Firefly gets killed, Acheron blames herself for not reacting quickly enough, apologizing to Trailblazer for not drawing her blade: “Sorry, I… had no choice.” A curious wording – what would have happened had she drawn her blade, and why didn’t she have a choice in the matter? Was that choice between drawing her blade or letting Firefly die?

She was fighting Sam well enough without taking her sword from its sheath. Perhaps there is something to what Aventurine drops on us after that sequence – Acheron being an Emanator of The Hunt, The Destruction, or The Finality. That might explain her secrecy and perhaps her unwillingness to unleash her sword’s power. Aventurine also tells us that Acheron killed Ifrit alias Duke Inferno, leader of the Ever-Flame Mansion, énroute to Penacony. Black Swan corroborates this piece of intel, saying Acheron is “hiding everything from us” and calling her the dance’s centerpiece. Then again, they both have an interest in trying to keep us firmly in their own camp and keeping us away from Acheron (presumably having some idea about her true reason for being on Penacony).

Acheron killing Duke Inferno seems to have been alluded to in the latest Myriad Celestia Trailer as well: We see the card representing him burn to crisps with Black Swan commenting how his “menacing, infernal flame” was “absorbed by the vast, profound sea” – a sea that now dwells on Penacony. Penacony has an oceanic feel to it, representing its dreamlike nature, but there is a water connection to Acheron as well: Acheron is the name the ancient Greeks gave to one of the five rivers flowing through their mythological underworld. Otherwise known as the “river of woe,” many ancient writers depict the Acheron as the first stream the dead have to cross to reach their final resting place, so the famous ferryman Charon is associated with it (the popular depiction of Styx as that river has been heavily influenced by Roman writers). One late source gives the river a little twist, depicting it not as a punishing place, but one for the cleansing of sins.


  • Known motivation: Unknown.
  • Known allies: Unknown.

Honkai: Star Rail 2.0 – Aventurine explained

Aventurine comes across as being super intense, a massive gambler, and incredibly shady – I’d only trust this guy as far as I can throw him – and that’s not very far at all. It seems like his current goal is to retake Penacony for the IPC, which means kicking The Family out or making it submit, and he’ll take any necessary measures to reach this goal. Apparently, The Family has already confiscated some valuables from Aventurine to keep him from bribing people – among which are the legendary Cornerstones, a set of gems imbuing their owners with privilege and status.

Dr. Ratio hints at Aventurine’s past, calling him “nothing more than a doomed Sigonian thrall sentenced to die by the IPC” without his own Cornerstone. The gambler seems to be in trouble. Ratio, himself a shady character who’s been up to no good during version 1.6’s short story on Herta Space Station, seems to be Aventurine’s collaborator thanks to the IPC’s sponsorship of the Intelligentsia Guild. A loading screen and Aventurine’s dialog with Sparkle reveal that he’s an Avgin, which apparently means “honey” and symbolizes the Sigonians’ aptitude for sweet-talking, seduction, and deception.

Honkai: Star Rail Aventurine and Dr. Ratio screenshot.

This unlikely duo seems to have it all planned out.

Aventurine manages to get Black Swan on his side off-screen and counts the Astral Express as an ally from the beginning, while failing to persuade Sparkle of the same in a scene we actually witness – she essentially tells him to go screw himself and calls everyone in his camp stupid.

Black Swan’s estimation of him is that of a fantastic businessman one should be wary about, but who is generally trustworthy when it comes to deals – since he always makes sure to only offer a deal favorable to himself. There is at least one thing we can be sure of: He does earnestly want the Astral Express crew on his side in whatever is to come; however, he’s probably ready to also betray and sacrifice the crew if it’s to his own advantage.


  • Known motivation: Taking control of Penacony for the IPC.
  • Known allies: Dr. Ratio, Black Swan, Astral Express.

Honkai: Star Rail 2.0 – Black Swan explained

Black Swan, though outwardly mysterious, seems to be one of the most straightforward people we meet. She’s a Memokeeper from the Garden of Recollection and the acquisition of important memories to archive seems to be her prime motivation – hence the alliance with Aventurine and the assistance she provides to the Astral Express crew. Allegedly, that is. Himeko warns the crew that Black Swan uses lots of misdirections when speaking and the woman herself admits to lying, so down goes the trust factor. Still, outside of betraying Trailblazer to Aventurine, she’s proven to be a valuable ally so far.

She is featured in update 2.0’s Companion Mission as well, where she is involved in a prank by Sparkle, having to play a rigged detective game for the Masked Fool’s amusement. Black Swan takes all that with lots of humor – though she demonstrates her massive power at the end, when she temporarily wipes the memories of both Sparkle and Sampo.

Honkai: Star Rail Black Swan and Sampo screenshot.

Black Swan seems to be well informed about Sparkle's dealings.

Her mere presence presents us with a lot of difficulty due to her ability to manipulate memories – is what we see and hear from Trailblazer’s perspective actually what happened? How much of that Companion Mission is true or has been manipulated? Does she have something to do with Acheron’s memory troubles? In a game played inside a world of dreams and memories, Black Swan seems like one of the most powerful figures on the board.

Black Swan appears to be convinced that Acheron is the centerpiece of the dance that’s about to unfold and rejects Sparkle’s offer of working together, saying that she’d already found a dancing partner – not to mention her describing all of the events on Penacony as “above my pay grade.” She may be playing coy to throw us off, of course – after all, she included herself when she told Trailblazer that everyone on Penacony was lying.


  • Known motivation: Observing the crisis on Penacony, acquiring memories.
  • Known allies: Aventurine, Astral Express.

Honkai: Star Rail 2.0 – Firefly explained

Firefly is another enigma. She is an adorable young woman who clearly moves something within the Trailblazer – be it romantic or platonic, I’ll leave that for everyone to decide for themselves. In any case, her entire story is fishy and by her own admission she’s lied to Trailblazer several times. She pretends to be a native of Penacony, then says she’s a refugee and stowaway, but that also seems like it’s not the truth.

When watching the sunrise with Trailblazer on the rooftops of Dream’s Edge, she speaks of the invitation to Penacony and all the different factions, admitting that she’s after the Watchmaker’s legacy as well – which clearly makes her someone from outside, too. Which group, though?

Honkai: Star Rail Trailblazer screenshot.

Hold up, Firefly: How do you know about all of these people?

Black Swan tells us that she believes Firefly to be connected to Sam and the Stellaron Hunters, but with Firefly dead (though I still have trouble believing that anyone dying inside the dream is actually dead for real) and Sam fighting Acheron, there is little we can do to investigate this. In the sequence where we retrace Firefly’s last steps, we do get hints about her cooperating with someone. There is also mention of a mecha, implicating Sam. I’d also like to point out that Sam and Firefly are somewhat color-coordinated: In the White Night trailer, Sam’s flying animation features turquoise and golden “wings” and the close-up of the armor towards the end features both of those colors prominently. Firefly’s outfit contains both of these colors as well, with her sleeves and the bands somewhat mimicking the “wings” we see on Sam.

Interestingly, Sparkle (disguised as Sampo) was the one to warn Trailblazer the most about trusting Firefly, perhaps indicating that they’re on opposing sides of the brewing conflict.

And why did Firefly apologize to Trailblazer in her dying moments? I told you: We got more questions than answers.


  • Known motivation: Gaining the Watchmaker’s legacy.
  • Known allies: Trailblazer.

Honkai: Star Rail 2.0 – Misha explained

Misha’s role has been minor so far, but there are several clues indicating that he may be the key to what’s going on. A bellboy at The Reverie, we only see him at work a couple of times and then help him out on the streets of Golden Hour, where we learn that Misha can see Clockie and his friends, just like Trailblazer – that alone makes Misha special.

Clockie says that only people with the “innocence, kindness, and honesty of a child” can see him – that seems to check out, since Firefly and Acheron, who we know lack some of these qualities, are unable to spot the cartoon character. Clockie is intimately connected to Penacony, being the planet’s mascot, which might mirror Misha’s importance to the story. What's more, it seems like Firefly and Acheron fail not only to spot Clockie, but even Misha himself.

Honkai: Star Rail screenshot of Acheron, Clockie, Misha, Trailblazer, and Firefly.

We aren't the only ones who can see Clockie, as it turns out.

As always with events around the Trailblazer we must consider one other thing making them special: Stellaron. It may not be the “innocence, kindness, and honesty of a child” that’s required to visualize Clockie. I only bring the possibility of Misha and Stellaron being connected up because the Stellaron Hunters have shown interest in Penacony – why else would they be here?

There is more, though. When the Trailblazer first enters the Dreamscape, there are very short snippets of Misha’s face cut into the sequence. Finally, there is the entire A Child’s Dream area, where the name Mikhail is often mentioned – Misha is the diminutive of Mikhail, so I’d say it’s safe to assume that A Child’s Dream, which itself seems to connect to the Watchmaker’s legacy, is Misha’s dream.


  • Known motivation: Unknown.
  • Known allies: Clockie.

Honkai: Star Rail 2.0 – Robin explained

Just like Misha, Robin’s part in update 2.0 was fairly minor – up until the end, when Aventurine reveals her dead body to the Trailblazer, that is. Just like Firefly’s death, this a shocking twist in the story that I’d put an asterisk behind for now since it happened in the Dreamscape, and her brother, Sunday, doesn’t seem to be too upset about it when speaking to Sparkle. Though he didn’t deny that Robin was dead, for what it’s worth. Robin is also a member of The Family, so she may have ways of interacting with the Dreamscape we don’t know about yet.

Do you remember that giant theater visible from Golden Hour and Dream’s Edge, which spews out “Odes of Harmony” 24/7 and plays Robin’s song aloud during our time with Firefly on the rooftop? Since Robin is a singer and The Harmony seems to manifest its power through song, I’d bet she’s actually a fairly powerful follower of this Path. Again, this may provide her with an array of abilities connected to the Dreamscape we can’t even guess at.

Honkai: Star Rail screenshot of Trailblazer and Aventurine standing in front of Robin's lifeless body.

Robin is dead. But how permanently?

Or, you know, she’s just dead and her seeming importance as a galactic idol was a red herring – a concept that is heavily used in 2.0’s Companion Mission.


  • Known motivation: Unknown.
  • Known allies: Sunday (probably).

Honkai: Star Rail 2.0 – Sam explained

It might be good to clarify what Sam is first: Sam is a Stellaron Hunter, who wears a combat suit, which may be one of the mechanical armors described in the Firmament Frontline: Glamoth set. We don’t know if Sam is the name of the armor or the person wearing it – in any case, they are part of the Stellaron Hunters, which to me indicates that Stellaron should be involved at the core of Penacony’s issues.

Sam seems like the aggressive and hot-headed type and the appearance of the armor they are wearing doesn’t help mitigate that impression. However, in the initial illusion we see ahead of our arrival on Penacony, we can hear a dialog between Silver Wolf and Sam, which paints a slightly different picture. Silver Wolf asks Sam: “How do you intend to pull them off the stage?”

They reply: “All we have to do is present the truth, and they will naturally reciprocate.” That doesn’t sound like the answer of a mindless killer.

Honkai: Star Rail screenshot of Sam.

Sam's an excellent fighter, but there seems to be more to them.

In addition, Silver Wolf’s message to the Astral Express crew is of note. In it, she says that the Stellaron Hunters were “pleased” with the Nameless investigating the issues on Penacony, “because the deeper you delve, the closer you’ll get to uncovering the truth about this so-called ‘beautiful’ dream.” She goes on to share information with the crew that allows them to enter The Reverie in the Dreamscape, where the Trailblazer sees Firefly and Robin die and meets Sam.

Sam’s part of the message – “The curtain has just risen over the dream that can’t be reached” – seems to me just like another indication of the game beginning in earnest, but there might be a bit more to it. Though Sam doesn’t hesitate to fight the trio of Trailblazer, Acheron, and Black Swan, they’re giving them a chance to stand down and go the other way.

During the fight, there is a moment when Sam seems to target the Trailblazer, but we know that the Stellaron Hunters don’t want them dead – they’re their plant in the Astral Express crew, after all. Did Sam want to separate Trailblazer from the other two to talk it out and share information – or perhaps even rescue them from Black Swan and Acheron?


  • Known motivation: Exposing the secrets of Penacony.
  • Known allies: Silver Wolf.

Honkai: Star Rail 2.0 – Sampo explained

I wanted to touch on Sampo a little bit as well, since he appears in the update 2.0 Companion Mission – for real, this time, though the mission actually plays with the fact that Sparkle takes on his form during the main story. Sampo is on Penacony to deliver a letter to Sparkle, a fellow Masked Fool on the Path of Elation, though it’s unknown from whom this message is and what it might contain.

Sampo then asks Sparkle for his mask as a reward. It’s unclear whether she stole it in the past or he gave it to her for safekeeping, but she’s a bit bewildered by his request. “After all this time, what made you suddenly want to take back your mask?” She then guesses that some catastrophic event is coming to Jarilo-VI, which Sampo leaves without comment.

Honkai: Star Rail Sampo screenshot.

Sampo is used as a red herring in the Companion Mission, but he's got his own game going as well.

He instead says: “I loved that line you said: ‘If you’re too late to take the stage, you can work behind the scenes.’ That really makes sense. Sometimes even an old-timer like me feels like taking the stage and making a fool out of myself.”

He then declines an offer by Sparkle to join him in Belobog, saying that the Elation she’s after is not something he “can stand by.” First thought on that: Sampo is getting ever more interesting. Second thought on that: Sparkle is getting scarier the more I learn about her, if she even gives Sampo the shivers.

No summary for Sampo, since he’s probably not going to be present for the rest of the story.

Honkai: Star Rail 2.0 – Sparkle explained

Speak of the devil. Sparkle is a Masked Fool, a follower of The Elation, and an absolute wildcard throughout the story so far. Let’s recapitulate: She disguises herself as Sampo to lure Trailblazer into a trashcan-filled fever dream and warn them about Firefly, before sending them both into A Child’s Dream – to get them killed, help them on their investigation, or merely to amuse herself?

She declines an alliance with Aventurine, telling him she doesn’t work with IPC lapdogs and that not playing the game at all is the smartest move. Instead, she asks Black Swan for an alliance after playing an elaborate prank on her, saying they should both work behind the scenes of this “show of unprecedented splendor” and observe it from the best seats in the house. Black Swan refuses, revealing that she knows that Sparkle is by no means working alone and has been hired by someone to come to Penacony (someone who may not appreciate Sparkle looking for other alliances). Sparkle also tries to get an alliance with Sunday going, offering to stand in for the deceased Robin at events, but is once again rebuffed.

Honkai: Star Rail Sparkle screenshot.

Sparkle seems to have no qualms about using violence to get what she desires.

Sparkle comes across as a Joker-like character, including the “Why so serious?” catchphrase she repeats over and over. So far, she really doesn’t seem to take a side and may be a lot more interested in stoking conflict with the end goal perhaps being Penacony’s complete destruction. Sampo seems to be wary of Sparkle and the Elation she prefers (and she almost sounded a little wounded after he said that to her), so she may actually do all this for the simple goal of amusing herself and her Aeon with the collapse of an entire planet.

Honkai: Star Rail Sparkle screenshot.

Sparkle seemed quite lonely at the end of the Companion Mission.

But then there is the mysterious person that hired her – she didn’t deny this when Black Swan said it. Do that person’s motivations align with Sparkle’s? It’s impossible to know. She’s enigmatic, very dangerous, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.


  • Known motivation: Unknown.
  • Known allies: Mysterious paymaster.

Honkai: Star Rail 2.0 – Sunday explained

Sunday, like Robin and Misha, has mostly been a presence in the background so far, though he obviously holds a very important position as a representative of The Family. He seems to stand opposite Aventurine, who wants Penacony back under IPC control, as well as the mysterious Watchmaker, going by his monologue at the end of the Trailblazer Mission and the remark that The Family were “the actual administrators of Penacony,” not someone else.

Sparkle tells him that he’s got a heart of ice due to his lacking reaction to Robin’s death, though I personally put this down to him knowing more than we do about this particular case. That said, I do get cult leader vibes from him – his faith in The Harmony seems to be unshakeable and his monologue at the end sounded close to the unhinged ravings of a fanatic.

Honkai: Star Rail Sunday screenshot from the back.

This framing sure gives the place a very different feel, doesn't it?

His way of speaking and his looks both reinforce this creepy religious aura he has – and Sparkle, funnily enough, puts this into words by calling him Chicken Wing Boy, indicating that Sunday may in fact sport angelic wings. She further references this by saying he had spikes on his wings, painting a more demonic picture of the man. Fanatics are always a problem and Sunday seems like a control freak to boot – he obviously knows what’s happening to Penacony and aims at solving all of his current problems in one fell swoop. That can’t mean anything good for the Astral Express crew and the other guests.


  • Known motivation: Keeping control of Penacony.
  • Known allies: Robin (probably).

Here’s for something more straightforward: Check out all Dream Ticker solutions and find all Dreampeek Call locations in Honkai: Star Rail 2.0.