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“Celeste” Climbing Over the Mountain of Depression

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“Celeste” Climbing Over the Mountain of Depression

Alex Hilliard, Writer

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Game rated E 10+                    9.9/10.0                Available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems

In a journey to overcome her depression, Madeline has taking up the goal of climbing Mount Celeste, but the challenge was different than she ever imagined. Her quest starts at the bottom of the mountain as she crosses a bridge that leads to the base of the mountain when the bridge begins to collapse. In response, she has to run across it before she falls, accompanied by sudden stressful music to accompany the run. She was stuck on the other side, there was no turning back now.

The Journey

As Madeline, or whatever you rename her to, your goal is to get to the top of the mountain. There are seven Chapters, all with a different gimmick, that lead to the summit. Clouds for example, are in Chapter four but aren’t in any other Chapters.

This game has a storyline to it, though it only happens through interactions with the few characters in the game.

There are only five characters on this dual peak mountain: Madeline, Theo, Mr. Oshiro, Part of Madeline, and an unnamed old woman.

Madeline is the main character in the game, and being the main character, we get to see that she is depressive and is trying to conquer that by climbing the mountain. She has never been climbing before, however she is determined and does reach the summit.

Theo is a fellow mountain climber, from “The far off land” of Seattle, who is on social media as a photographer trying to find his place in life. He is using the mountain as an escape. (@theounderstars look him up online)

Mr. Oshiro is a spirit that is tied to the Celeste Hotel to which he was once the owner of. Because of the hotel’s failure, he is trying to get anyone to stay in his hotel. His mind is so stuck and worried about the hotel, that his mind form the enemies making them accidental manifestations from his mind.

Part of Madeline is Madeline’s depression brought out into a psychical body, trying to stop Madeline every step of the way. She looks like a discolored Madeline talking down on her and slowing her progress every step of the way.

You find out she is just misunderstood, scared of what could happen she just wants Madeline to return alive.

The older woman is a random woman that Madeline sees many times on her journey. She is always laughing and has a sense of mystery about her as well. Players will see her many times during the trek up.  She taunts Madeline due to her hard time with the climb.

Gameplay

The game features four controls; basic omni-directional movement (8 ways), climbing, a jump, and the ability to dash. It seems simple at first yet it’s not, you have to keep everything in a certain way that makes the game harder.

Mechanics in the game include a unique gimmick with each Chapter. Chapter one’s unique platform are platforms that move when you land on them. Chapter two has Dream Blocks, An object that looks like a galaxy is in it that you can dash through keeping your momentum as you fly through it. Chapter three has the shades which are black and red moving enemies that you have to watch out for. Chapter four features clouds which are platforms that disappear after you jump onto them, and bubbles that gives you a boost in the direction you choose. Chapter five includes a red orb that launches you in the direction you say, and a enemy that launches itself at you. Chapter six has blocks that fly in whatever direction to touch it, Chapter seven has all of them.

The game was difficult but amazing, with music and graphics to boot. While the story was kind of vague the game is short enough to the point where it doesn’t matter. Celeste has a very realistic view of how depression feels though Madeline and manages to obtain inner peace with herself.

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