New Genshin Impact Characters Include Candace, Nilou, & Cyno from Sumeru

Three leaked but unrevealed characters have been officially announced to come with a future update.

With Genshin Impact 3.0 coming soon, bringing an entirely new region and new characters, quests, and even a new element along with it, you might think it a little silly to already be talking about updates past that. After all, we haven’t even really seen Sumeru yet, nor received any of the Dendro characters it introduces. Such is the life of a live service game, as Hoyoverse has already revealed characters coming in upcoming updates.

Though “revealed” might not actually be the correct wording here. The three new characters — Candace, Nilou, and Cyno — had been datamined out and leaked through betas weeks to months ago. Nilou herself was seen in the 3.0 Special Program livestream last week as part of a preview of future banners. Not a whole lot had been know about them, but with the official announcements, it’s safe to assume their designs have been locked…which may or may not be a good thing.

First up is Candace, a Hydro character with heterochromia (differently colored eyes) and a shield. It’s not clear yet if the shield is there for cosmetic reasons or might actually be used in her moveset and attack style. Hoyoverse has recently shown that they’re willing to experiment more with weapon styles, such as the melee catalyst-user Shikanoin Heizou, so maybe the shield will factor into Candace’s attacks or skills as well. Who knows, maybe it’s not a shield at all and she’s just a pro at Duel Monsters.

Next is Nilou, who is another Hydro user. She’s a dancer at the Zubayr Theater. I’ve seen a video of her elemental burst and it is very cool looking, but also technically from the beta branch so I can’t link it here. But, like I said, cool looking.

Cyno is an Electro unit with an Anubis-themed garb who wields a polearm. Judging from his description, he also seems like an overly-serious cop. I’m going to try not to hold that against him, especially as it seems that Electro is going to have a lot of reactions with Dendro coming up. But if he gets to be too much, he can get on a bus back to Sumeru.

With the official reveals of Cyno and Candace, fans of the game are once again expressing concern at Genshin’s aversion to dark-skinned characters. Much like the recently-revealed Dehya, the game’s darkest skin colors look like the kind of tan from being at an amusement park all day. People will fire back that Tevyat is a fictional world, but these three characters above are clearly based on existing areas on Earth. Candace and Cyno are obviously evoking Egyptian imagery, Nihou is obviously a Persian belly dancer, but the first two are the same shade as the inside of a Snicker’s bar and the third is the cover of the Beatles’ White Album made into a character.

Which is not, like, a pitchfork-raising problem or anything. But it’s decidedly more noticeable in Sumeru, a land clearly based on Northern Africa and the Middle East, than it has been in previous regions. Maybe Hoyoverse is aware of these complaints and don’t think it’s a big deal based on their data or their desires when designing a character. Who knows. Candace is a little darker than her original beta textures indicated, so they can and do change their minds on these things.

It’s not the end of the world if they truly don’t ever engage with character diversity, but it’s a thing I personally wish they’d pay more attention to in such a popular game.