Genshin Impact‘s lore is deep in many aspects. Among the three regions accessible in the game so far, Liyue’s lore has the most well-rounded and well-written. MiHoYo’s writing chops are once again in full display in the game’s Moonlight Merriment event. From here, the stories of multiple Liyue residents were expanded on. It’s fun to reunite with Liyue’s characters for the first time again in a long while, and getting to know them even better added more value to the event. While it’s mainly an in-game version of the real-world Mooncake Festival, Moonlight Merriment still had a lot of fun and unique moments that lent us an opportunity to get many of the game’s characters better. Among these characters, surprisingly, is Guoba, Xiangling’s bear companion.
Who is Guoba?
Guoba is Xiangling’s friend and companion. He appears whenever Xiangling uses her Elemental Skill, with the bear spitting fire out of his mouth as he eats some hot chili pepper. He seems very good-natured, behaving peacefully among Xiangling’s friends, but also ferocious and reliable in battle. During Moonlight Merriment, we see Guoba accompanying Xiangling as she surveys her friends on their food preferences. Guoba can be seen running around, interacting innocently with people, and being harmless in general. Don’t leave your dish unattended, though, especially if it’s a Golden Shrimp Balls. He might just gulp them down in one sitting. Interestingly, even if he ate a full plate of Golden Shrimp Balls meant to be for Keqing, she still gave him treats under the table.
Guoba’s Real Identity – The God of Stove, Marchosius
During the Moonlight Merriment event, we find out more details about Guoba. Keqing sets out to find out more information about The God of Stove, as she suspects he has something to do with a giant rock that mysteriously appeared in the middle of the city square. Traveler and Xiangling accompany Keqing in her search for answers, with Guoba following them around. Later on, as the Traveler successfully complete challenges in Moonlight Merriment, they are finally able to see the stone crack – revealing underneath it The Stove God in his Glory Days – confirming once and for all that Guoba is actually the Stove God of yore.
Marchosius in The Archon War
While contemporary and historical texts have conflicting views on Marchosius’ story, Madame Ping is there to lay clear who Marchosius really is and what he did. The Stove God was one of the many gods of Liyue, helping establish the Guili Assembly alongside Morax and Guizhong. He’s known as the Stove God because he would divide himself into minions that will help people cook. When the Archon War happened, the Guili Assembly was destroyed in the ensuing battles. Marchosius accompanied Morax and the adepti to Mt. Tiansheng, leading the people to a new home. Around this time, he would invent the Chili-Mince Cornbread Buns, even sharing the recipe with his people.
He would then help Morax and the adepti establish Liyue Harbor. However, the anger and jealousy of the defeated gods of the Archon War would put Liyue Harbor in the middle of disasters and plagues. The Stove God would then use his power to keep the land fertile. However, using his powers this way would cause him to shrink down in size and lose intelligence. He would then retreat in a mountain shrine, leaving the secrets of fire and cooking to Morax and Madame Ping. As the years passed, folk legends about Marchosius would meld with folk tales of Morax, and some scholars would end up believing that The Stove God is just another name for Morax.
Xiangling’s Discovery and current state
Thousands of years later, Xiangling would awaken Marchosius because of the delicious scent of the cornbread bun she brought with her. Xiangling was in the mountains looking for Violetgrass, and sought refuge from the rain when she discovered Marchosius’ shrine. She went to sleep, leaving her cornbread unattended. Marchosius wakes up and eats up Xiangling’s cornbread bun as she sleeps. Xiangling wakes up to find her cornbread bun demolished, but she would then let Marchosius eat more. Since then, Marchosius has started following her around, which led to the bear becoming Xiangling’s friend and companion. In that regard, Xiangling would name Marchosius ‘Guoba’, or scorched rice, her favorite childhood snack. Xiangling is wholly unaware of Guoba’s trye identity until the events of Moonlight Merriment, and her winning the cooking competition is a great way to honor her friend – The Stove God – of which, the Moonlight Merriment cook-off is actually dedicated to.