Celeste (video game)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Celeste box art final.png
Developer(s)Matt Makes Games
Publisher(s)Matt Makes Games
Director(s)Maddy Thorson
Designer(s)Maddy Thorson
  • Maddy Thorson
  • Noel Berry
Writer(s)Maddy Thorson
Composer(s)Lena Raine
ReleaseJanuary 25, 2018

Celeste is a platforming video game by Canadian video game developers Maddy Thorson and Noel Berry, with art by the Brazilian studio MiniBoss.[1] The game was originally created as a prototype in four days during a game jam, and later expanded into a full release. Celeste was released in January 2018 on Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, and Linux, with a 2020 release on Google Stadia. A DLC chapter entitled "Farewell" was released on September 9, 2019.[2]


In this screenshot, the player-character, Madeline, is seen dashing mid-air towards an item that replenishes the dash ability in Forsaken City.

Celeste is a platform game in which players control a girl named Madeline as she makes her way up a mountain while avoiding various deadly obstacles. Along with jumping and climbing up walls for a limited amount of time, Madeline has the ability to perform a mid-air dash in the eight cardinal and intercardinal directions. This move can only be performed once and must be replenished by either landing on the ground, hitting certain objects such as replenishing crystals, or moving to a new screen (although the player is granted a second dash later on in the game). Throughout each level, the player will encounter additional mechanics, such as springs that launch the player or feathers that allow brief flight, and deadly objects such as spikes which kill Madeline (returning her to the start of the room).

Players can also access an Assist Mode, where they can change some attributes about the game's physics. Some of these include: infinite air-dashes, invincibility, or slowing the game's speed. Hidden throughout most "A-Side" chapters of the game are optional strawberries, obtained through challenging platforming or puzzle solving sections, which slightly affect the game's ending depending on how many are collected, as well as a cassette tape that unlocks a "B-Side", which provides harder platforming puzzles using the mechanics introduced in the A-Side. Optional "crystal hearts" used to access post-game content are also found in each A-side. Beating all the B-Sides then unlocks the "C-Side" versions, which are very hard but short stages which expand further upon the mechanics in the A- and B-Sides. B-Sides, C Sides, and the Farewell, DLC chapter. All teach the player more complicated movement techniques that are needed to clear otherwise impossible obstacles. Upon clearing all C-Sides, the player can access the Variants menu, which allows players to change the game's physics in a way similar to the game's Assist Mode. Some of these "variants" include: speeding the game up, 360 degree dashing, and low friction. These serve to make the game both more challenging and fun. The original Celeste Classic Pico-8 prototype can also be found as a hidden minigame.[3][4]


A young woman named Madeline begins climbing Celeste Mountain, ignoring a warning from an old woman, named Granny (or Celia in the final chapter), who lives at the base. Madeline makes her way through a deserted city, where she can meet with a fellow traveler named Theo. Madeline camps out for the night and has a dream in which a dark reflection of herself, named Badeline, breaks out of a mirror, and attempts to stop Madeline's climb, but Madeline escapes from her and wakes up from her nightmare.

Madeline continues into an old hotel on the mountain, where the hotel's ghostly concierge, Mr. Oshiro, tries to persuade Madeline to stay despite the dingy condition of the hotel. She reluctantly entertains him by cleaning part of the resort, but he is keen on having her stay for a night. This leads to Badeline reappearing and creating an escape for Madeline, but insulting Oshiro in the process, enraging him. He chases Madeline out, and Madeline continues the climb.

After traveling through the Golden Ridge, Madeline meets up with Theo at a gondola. Badeline appears again and stalls the lift, giving Madeline a panic attack. Theo calms her down, and the gondola moves again, arriving at an ancient temple. Theo ends up separated and trapped inside a mirror. Later, Theo gets encased in a magic crystal and monsters given form from Madeline and Theo’s insecurities attack them. She finds Theo and frees him from the crystal. Madeline then carries Theo out of the temple.

After breaking Theo's crystal and escaping from the temple, Madeline and Theo set up camp. Madeline tells Theo about the reflection and confides in him about her mental health issues before resting. During the night, she seeks out Badeline and expresses her wishes to leave it behind. This angers Badeline, and forces Madeline to plummet down to the base of the mountain. Stuck in a cave at the bottom of the mountain, Madeline meets the old woman again, who suggests that Badeline might be scared and says that Madeline should try talking instead of abandoning it.

Madeline searches for Badeline again, apologizes for pushing it away and vows to climb the mountain together. Badeline initially lashes out at Madeline, but relents and forgives her. Badeline and Madeline merge together, and they work their way back up the mountain, before finally reaching the summit.

An epilogue shows Madeline celebrating her success with her friends by eating strawberry pie. The pie will contain more or less strawberries depending on how many the player collected throughout the game.

In two post-ending chapters, Madeline explores the core of Celeste Mountain a year after the main story in the chapter "Core", and copes with missing the funeral of Granny, now known as Celia, in the chapter "Farewell".

Development and release[edit]

Noel Berry (Skytorn) and Maddy Thorson (TowerFall) created a prototype of Celeste in four days during a game jam, now named Celeste Classic. The result was a difficult platformer with 30 levels for the Pico-8 fantasy video game console designed for speedrunning and precision reflexes. Kill Screen noted that the game was a departure from Thorson's TowerFall, and had more in common with the game mechanics of their older games and Super Mario Maker work.[5] The developers also took inspiration from difficult NES and Super Nintendo-era platformers, such as Super Mario Bros. 3.[6][7] Berry and Thorson developed the game into a standalone release with over 200 rooms spread between eight chapters.[8] They livestreamed parts of their development process on Twitch. The game was also demoed at the 2016 PAX West Indie Megabooth.[9] Celeste released on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Linux and macOS on January 25, 2018. [10][11] The game was later released on Google Stadia on July 28, 2020.[12] The original Pico-8 prototype is included in the game as an unlockable minigame.[13] The game received a limited collector's edition on January 1, 2019.[14] On September 9, 2019, Chapter 9: Farewell was released, adding 100 new levels and 40 minutes of new music to the game.[15][16] It was the last addition to the game, and no sequel to the game is planned, as the team members behind it plan to move to different game projects.[17]

The game is recognized as appearing to have several difficult platform game elements, often involving combinations of multiple jumps, dashes, wall jumps and other abilities, but yet has been considered approachable. Thorson revealed in a series of tweets that in developing the platforming logic, they created wide "windows" for a player to make an action as to give the player a better chance to succeed, such as allowing the player to be able to jump a few moments after moving off a ledge instead of falling immediately. Thorson called all these elements part of the "game-feel" of Celeste and made the game more forgiving to players.[18]


Aggregate score
Metacritic(XONE) 94/100[19]
(NS) 92/100[20]
(PS4) 91/100[21]
(PC) 88/100[22]
Review scores
Game Informer9/10[24]
Nintendo Life10/10 stars[27]
Nintendo World Report10/10[28]
PC Gamer (US)80/100[29]
Celeste team at the 2018 GDC Independent Games Festival, where they won the audience award

Celeste received "universal acclaim" from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[19][20][21][22] Video game journalists named Celeste among the year's best games.[32] Polygon named the game among the decade's best.[33] Destructoid's Kevin Mersereau called Celeste "An essential gaming experience," saying "For the first time in ages, I have absolutely nothing to complain about."[23] Tom Marks from IGN praised the game's story, and the way it was blended with the gameplay, saying "I cared deeply about Madeline's struggle and empathized with her in a way I wasn't expecting."[26] By the end of 2018, over 500,000 copies of the game had been sold.[34]

The soundtrack of Celeste composed by Lena Raine and released by Materia Collective was highly praised by critics.[23][26] An official piano sheet music book and accompanying piano album was announced[35] and released on January 25, 2019[36] and a licensed album of lullaby music based on the soundtrack, Prescription for Sleep: Celeste, was released in November 2018.[37]


Year Award Category Result
2018 National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards 2018[38] Original Light Mix Score, New IP Nominated
Independent Games Festival Awards[39][40] Excellence in Audio Nominated
Audience Award Won
Golden Joystick Awards[41][42][43] Best Indie Game Nominated
Ultimate Game of the Year Nominated
The Game Awards 2018[44][45] Best Score/Music Nominated
Game of the Year Nominated
Games for Impact Won
Best Independent Game Won
Gamers' Choice Awards[46] Fan Favorite Game Nominated
Fan Favorite Single Player Gaming Experience Nominated
Fan Favorite Indie Game Nominated
Titanium Awards[47] Best Indie Game Nominated
Australian Games Awards[48] Independent Game of the Year Nominated
Game Informer April 2018 Game of the Month Won
2019 New York Game Awards[49] Big Apple Award for Best Game of the Year Nominated
Off Broadway Award for Best Indie Game Nominated
22nd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards[50][51] Action Game of the Year Won
Outstanding Achievement for an Independent Game Won
National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards 2019[52][53] Game of the Year Nominated
Control Design, 2D or Limited 3D Nominated
Control Precision Won
SXSW Gaming Awards[54][55] Excellence in Narrative Nominated
Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award Won
Excellence in Musical Score Nominated
Trending Game of the Year Nominated
Video Game of the Year Nominated
Game Developers Choice Awards[56][57] Best Audio Won
Best Design Nominated
Game of the Year Nominated
2019 G.A.N.G. Awards[58][59] Best Music for an Indie Game Nominated
G.A.N.G. / MAGFEST People's Choice Award Won
15th British Academy Games Awards[60] Best Game Nominated
Game Beyond Entertainment Nominated
Game Design Nominated
Game Innovation Nominated
Music Nominated
Italian Video Game Awards[61] Game of the Year Nominated
Best Indie Game Nominated
Game Beyond Entertainment Nominated
ASCAP Composers' Choice Awards[62][63] 2018 Video Game Score of the Year Won

In other media[edit]

The main character Madeline, as well as "Part of Her", are playable characters in the Nintendo Switch edition of TowerFall.[64]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Destaque dos Game Awards 2018, "Celeste" tem sangue brasileiro". Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  2. ^ Good, Owen S. (September 6, 2019). "Celeste's 'Farewell' DLC launches next week". Polygon. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  3. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (July 20, 2016). "Towerfall dev's next game Celeste recalls Super Meat Boy". Eurogamer. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  4. ^ "Celeste Review". Expert Game Reviews. July 2, 2019. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  5. ^ Hudgins, Amanda (July 26, 2016). "Next up for the creator of Towerfall, A game about climbing a Mountain". Kill Screen. Archived from the original on January 5, 2018. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  6. ^ Alexander, Julia (February 22, 2017). "Towerfall developer's next game, Celeste, heading to the Nintendo Switch". Polygon. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  7. ^ Slate, Chris (February 28, 2018). "Celeste Developer Interview / Our Most-Played Nintendo Switch Games | Nintendo Power Podcast Ep. 3". YouTube. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  8. ^ "Celeste is the insanely difficult and insanely cute platformer we Deserve". Kill Screen. August 11, 2016. Archived from the original on January 5, 2018. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  9. ^ Robinson, Nick (August 26, 2016). "Watch 10 minutes of gameplay from Celeste, the next game from TowerFall's creators". Polygon. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  10. ^ @NoelFB (January 11, 2018). "Celeste is launching January 25" (Tweet). Retrieved January 28, 2018 – via Twitter.
  11. ^ "Celeste on Steam". Valve Corporation. January 25, 2018. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  12. ^ "All the games on Google Stadia (Update: Celeste)". Android Police. July 24, 2020. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  13. ^ "Chapter 3- Celestial Resort - Celeste Wiki Guide - IGN". Retrieved January 26, 2019 – via www.ign.com.
  14. ^ McWhertor, Michael (December 28, 2018). "Celeste is getting a great collectors edition". Polygon. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  15. ^ Clayton, Natalie (September 9, 2019). "Celeste has set off on its final Farewell update". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  16. ^ @exok_games (September 6, 2019). "Chapter 9 is releasing on 9/9/19!" (Tweet). Retrieved September 6, 2019 – via Twitter.
  17. ^ Watts, Rachel (September 7, 2019). "Celeste developer says that a sequel is not in the works". PC Gamer.
  18. ^ Oxford, Nadia (March 13, 2020). "Celeste's Designer Reveals All the Secret Ways the Brutal Platformer Is Surprisingly Forgiving". USGamer. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  19. ^ a b "Celeste for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  20. ^ a b "Celeste for Switch Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Celeste for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Celeste for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  23. ^ a b c Mersereau, Kevin (January 25, 2018). "Review: Celeste". Destructoid. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  24. ^ Reeves, Ben (February 6, 2018). "A Mountain Worth Climbing - Celeste - Switch". Game Informer. Archived from the original on March 4, 2018. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  25. ^ Dayus, Oscar (January 26, 2018). "Celeste Review: More Than Just A Great Platformer". GameSpot. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  26. ^ a b c Marks, Tom (January 25, 2018). "Celeste Review". IGN. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  27. ^ Cousins, Jon (January 26, 2018). "Celeste Review - Switch eShop". Nintendo Life. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  28. ^ Ronaghan, Neal (January 25, 2018). "Celeste (Switch) Review". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  29. ^ Prescott, Shaun (January 25, 2018). "Celeste review". PC Gamer. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  30. ^ Frushtick, Russ (January 25, 2018). "Celeste review". Polygon. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  31. ^ Ahern, Colm (January 31, 2018). "Celeste review". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  32. ^
  33. ^ "The 100 best games of the decade (2010–2019): 50–11". Polygon. November 4, 2019. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  34. ^ Kerr, Chris (December 27, 2018). "Celeste has sold over 500,000 copies since January". Gamasutra. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  35. ^ Lena, Raine. https://twitter.com/kuraine/status/967900071709761536. Retrieved September 20, 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ Makuch, Eddie (January 22, 2019). "A Celeste Piano Album Is Coming, And It Sounds (And Looks) Great".
  37. ^ Life, Nintendo (October 8, 2018). "Exclusive: Treat Your Ears To A Sneak Peek Of Prescription For Sleep: Celeste, A Lullaby Album". Nintendo Life. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  38. ^ "Horizon wins 7; Mario GOTY". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. March 13, 2018. Archived from the original on March 14, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  39. ^ Whitney, Kayla (March 22, 2018). "Complete list of 2018 Independent Games Festival Awards Winners". AXS. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  40. ^ Chan, Stephanie (March 21, 2018). "Night in the Woods wins the grand prize at the Independent Games Festival". Venture Beat. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  41. ^ Hoggins, Tom (September 24, 2018). "Golden Joysticks 2018 nominees announced, voting open now". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  42. ^ Andronico, Michael (October 26, 2018). "Golden Joystick Awards: Vote for Ultimate Game of the Year". Tom's Guide. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  43. ^ Sheridan, Connor (November 16, 2018). "Golden Joystick Awards 2018 winners: God of War wins big but Fortnite gets Victory Royale". GamesRadar+. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  44. ^ McWhertor, Michael (November 13, 2018). "The Game Awards 2018 nominees led by God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2". Polygon. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  45. ^ Grant, Christopher (December 6, 2018). "The Game Awards 2018: Here are all the winners". Polygon. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  46. ^ Glyer, Mike (November 19, 2018). "2018 Gamers' Choice Awards Nominees". File 770. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  47. ^ "Titanium Awards 2018". Fun & Serious Game Festival. December 10, 2018. Archived from the original on July 7, 2019. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  48. ^ "Your 2018 Winners". Australian Games Awards. December 19, 2018. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  49. ^ Keyes, Rob (January 3, 2019). "2018 New York Game Awards Nominees Revealed". Screen Rant. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  50. ^ Makuch, Eddie (January 10, 2019). "God Of War, Spider-Man Lead DICE Awards; Here's All The Nominees". GameSpot. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  51. ^ McWhertor, Michael (February 14, 2019). "God of War wins big at DICE Awards 2019". Polygon. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  52. ^ "Nominee List for 2018". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. February 11, 2019. Archived from the original on February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  53. ^ "Winner list for 2018: God of War breaks record". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. March 13, 2019. Archived from the original on March 14, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  54. ^ Trent, Logan (February 11, 2019). "Here Are Your 2019 SXSW Gaming Awards Finalists!". South by Southwest. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  55. ^ Khan, Zarmena (March 17, 2019). "God of War Takes Home 'Game of the Year' at SXSW 2019 Gaming Awards". PlayStation LifeStyle. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  56. ^ Good, Owen S. (January 4, 2019). "Red Dead Redemption 2 tops list of Game Developers Choice nominees". Polygon. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  57. ^ Williams, Mike (March 20, 2019). "God of War Wins Another GOTY at 2019 Game Developers Choice Awards". USGamer. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  58. ^ Lagumbay, Emmanuel (February 14, 2019). "2019 G.A.N.G. Awards Finalists". Game Audio Network Guild. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  59. ^ Fogel, Stefanie (March 21, 2019). "'God of War' Wins Six G.A.N.G. Awards, Including Audio of the Year". Variety. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  60. ^ Fogel, Stefanie (March 14, 2019). "'God of War,' 'Red Dead 2' Lead BAFTA Game Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  61. ^ "Italian Video Game Awards Nominees and Winners". Italian Video Game Awards. April 11, 2019. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  62. ^ "Vote in the 2019 ASCAP Composers' Choice Awards!". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  63. ^ ASCAP (May 16, 2019). "Michael Giacchino Honored With ASCAP Henry Mancini Award; Pinar Toprak Receives ASCAP Shirley Walker Award; Stage & Screen Songwriters Benj Pasek & Justin Paul Recognized With ASCAP Vanguard Award At 2019 ASCAP Screen Music Awards". PR Newswire. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  64. ^ Goslin, Austen (August 28, 2018). "TowerFall arrives on Nintendo Switch this September". Polygon. Retrieved January 26, 2019.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]