Honkai: Star Rail’s trash cans get some of Hoyoverse’s best writing


As the adage goes: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” It’s a saying that the developers at Hoyoverse seemingly took to heart when creating Honkai: Star Rail. If you want to do something fun, I would highly recommend rummaging through the various trashcans of Belobog. It won’t give you any fancy items, but you will be rewarded with some of the funniest writing in the game.

Honkai: Star Rail is a space-fantasy RPG from the creators of Genshin Impact. While the game varies from Genshin by introducing turn-based combat and more linear exploration, the writers have maintained a sense of whimsy with the game’s dialogue. This comes up in several ways throughout the game, from the goofy group texts to hidden Rick Rolls in the lore. However, my favorite example of just how much liberty the writers take when narrating is how players dig through the trash.

When in the Russia-inspired city of Belobog, the Trailblazer can interact with one of several trash cans in the area. The garbage glitters, which suggests that we can interact with it or that there’s an item hidden in it. However, if you interact with it, the game doesn’t reward you with an item (immediately) and instead responds with an odd narration sequence.

I click once, “A trash can, not remarkable in any way.”

The sparkle, however, does not go away so I click again.

“You’ve been staring at it for a while, but it’s just an ordinary trash can.”

March 7th responds this time, “Ugh… What do you want to do?”

I continue to click again and again, and eventually, the following narration unfolds:

“You try to hold back the urge to open it. As you continue staring at the trash cans, they seem to turn before your very eyes. The edges are no longer rusty and the dents are smoothed over. From under the lid comes a faint golden glow, sweet and alluring. For a moment, the trash cans turn into treasure chests. … And it’s happening again. You take a depth breath and open the lid: It’s empty… Wait! You reach deeper into the trash can. There’s a piece of iron scrap on the bottom. Your hard work paid off! You finally found the treasure! You look back at your companions and see their complicated expressions.”

In those moments, I’m solely transfixed on the trash can and its untold secrets. However, my moment of pride is interrupted by the responses of my peers in the game. March 7th says, “…You don’t need to explain. I get it. That urge is too great for you to resist.” Dan Heng says, “There is no turning back once you’ve walked down this path.” And with that, the sequence completes and the player is rewarded with a profile icon that’s just a trash can.

This is my favorite interaction with a garbage can, but there are several. So many in fact, that you can go digging through can to can and collect notes from a person who calls themself Garbage King, and piece together their activities throughout the city.

The garbage cans are my personal favorite example, but the Trailblazer is a bit ridiculous so you can do all sorts of weird stuff in the city. For example, when you go to your hotel room for the night, you can spend 10 minutes and leave a scathing review of this quaint family-owned hotel you stay in, or you can climb into the closet and roleplay a scenario where the hotel housekeepers are devils coming to hunt you. The Hoyoverse writers truly aren’t taking themselves too seriously — and we’re all having fun because of it.

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