Collei was first introduced in the Genshin Impact prequel manga, where she was one of the main characters.
Fans who have read the manga know how much Collei has been through and are excited for this brave girl's comeback, and it will be interesting to see how HoYoverse will developer her storyline moving forward after the harrowing ordeal she endured in the events of the manga.
If you haven't read the manga yet but are interested in Collei and how she figures in the Sumeru story arc, we got you covered.
Warning! Spoilers for the Genshin Impact prequel manga ahead. If you haven’t read the manga yet, you’ve been warned, though it is recommended that you read it before version 3.0 and Sumeru arrive.
The prequel manga and Collei's past
The Genshin Impact prequel manga explores events that happened before the Traveler's arrival in Mondstadt at the beginning of the game.
In Chapter 2, a sickly young girl stumbles into the gates of Mondstadt as Shneznayan delegates are escorted out of the city by Kaeya, Jean, and Amber.
The young girl is wrapped in bandages, and upon seeing the Snezhnayan convoy, begins to leak a dark Serpent-like aura that burns their carriage.
In the midst of the chaos, she slips inside Mondstadt, leaving the knights in utter confusion. Jean tasks Amber and Kaeya to investigate the incident, with Kaeya taking matters into his own hands and suspecting that his adopted brother Diluc might be involved.
Amber, who was ordered by Kaeya to take the day off, then stumbles upon the same sickly girl from earlier staring at the statue of Barbatos at the city square.
The girl is Collei, a wanderer who’s been abused and ostracised by everyone she comes across for her sickness, which they suspect to be some kind of plague.
But her illness is something more than that, and although Amber tries to give her a kind, helping hand, Collei brushes her off immediately and attempts to leave.
Our favourite Outrider, however, stops her from taking another step, and offers her some help. Something that Collei begrudgingly accepts.
As we progress further into the manga, we find out that Collei is a girl born in Sumeru who was "touched by the Deev". The Deev is a demon from Persian lore (and traces its roots to even earlier in history).
As Collei was born sickly, her parents believed that she was cursed by a demon.
In desperation to save her life, her parents approach the Seer Barnabas to save her, and he takes her away on the pretense of cleansing her of the demon.
This Seer, however, had no intention of helping Collei and instead gave her to the Fatui and Dottore, who subjected her and other children to various inhumane experiments and injected her with “Archon Residue”.
The Archon Residue was meant to give Vision-less humans a power that could rival those who were gifted Visions by the gods.
The Fatui used this residue in to create superhuman soldiers that will aid them in their mission, but it more or less led to disastrous results (as seen in the Inazuma Archon quests). Collei proved to be the exception and was a successful experiment.
It is unknown how Collei escaped from the Fatui and Dottore. But we know that she travelled far and wide to seek revenge against the Seer Barnabas, who had taken her freedom from her, and the Fatui, who had subjected her to unimaginable pain and torture.
In the manga, Collei eventually warmed up to Amber and the two became close friends. Kaeya, who discovered that Collei was the culprit behind the dark fire and was set to kill her, spared her life and resolved to aid her as well.
With the help of the Knights of Favonius, Diluc, and the Sumerian scholar Cyno (who was also recently revealed to hold a 'General' title), Barnabas was defeated and the Archon Residue within Collei was sealed, healing her from her affliction.
By the end of the manga, Collei agrees to return with Cyno to Sumeru, where the Traveler will eventually encounter her.
Collei in the present
From the information about Sumeru released by HoYoverse so far, we know that Collei has grown considerably since the events of the manga and is now an apprentice to the Avidya Forest Rangers’ Tighnari.
She also possesses a Dendro Vision after being Vision-less throughout the manga's story.
It will be interesting to know how Collei earned her Vision and ended up in the care of Tighnari, when it was Cyno who had taken her to Sumeru.
A lot about Collei's appearance has changed as well. She’s no longer that short, scrawny, and battered girl who had nothing but anger and hatred for the world. Collei is significantly taller, with longer hair, and a certain spring in her step.
Amber has also made a significant mark on Collei. She still greatly admires the first person who helped and befriended her, and this is evidenced by Collei's accessories and skill names.
Attached to Collei's Dendro Vision is a ribbon that greatly resembles the ones Amber wears on her head.
Collei seems to treasure this reminder of her first and closest friend very much, given how she has attached it to her Vision and how its colour has faded from how long it has been in her possession.
Collei's skills are also inspired by Amber and further evidences Collei's admiration for her.
One of Collei's passives is called "Gliding Champion of Sumeru" and is clearly inspired by Amber's own passive called "Gliding Champion of Mondstadt".
Collei's Elemental Burst, Trump-Card Kitty, also summons a doll called Cuilein-Anbar. Now keep repeating that name. Collei and Amber, get it?
Collei's future role in the Sumeru story arc
While Collei is presently trying to heal from her painful past, there seems to be a lot of challenges waiting for her in the future Sumeru story arc.
Collei's significance in the Sumeru storyline is hinted at in the end of the Teyvat Chapter Interlude Teaser: A Winter Night's Lazzo.
When asked where the "Segment at the prime of his life" is, the Harbinger Dottore responds that he's "busy with a little experiment in blasphemy".
We then see the aforementioned Segment standing in front of a gigantic tree wrapped in flames, after which Collei wakes up from that apparent premonition.
It seems that Dottore's experiments on Collei may have created a sort of connection between the two, perhaps a result of the dormant Archon Residue within Collei beginning to act up again.
Dottore's "experiment in blasphemy" may be a reference to the Archon Residue experiments as well.
From that, we can expect Dottore to be the main villain of the Sumeru story arc, with Collei also playing a big part in one way or another.
All that aside, we're very excited to finally see Collei again in Genshin Impact version 3.0.
She was a very nuanced and sympathetic character in the manga, and we're glad that HoYoverse is bringing her into the game and apparently giving her a bigger role in the story.
Genshin Impact is currently in version 2.8, which will run until 23 August.
Genshin Impact version 3.0, which will feature the arrival of Sumeru, Dendro, Collei, and a ton of other new content, will be released on 24 August.
Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.
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