|5 • 3
|8A • 8B • 8C
• Badeline (8A • 8B) (cameo)
• Bird (8A • 8B • 8C)
Epilogue ← Core → Farewell
Core is the eighth chapter of Celeste. Preceded by Epilogue and succeeded by Farewell, the chapter is locked behind a Crystal Heart Gate, requiring four (4) Crystal hearts to enter for the A-side, 15 hearts for the B-side, and 23 hearts for the C-side.
Plot[edit | edit source]
The events of Core occur approximately one year after Madeline first reached Celeste Mountain's summit. Madeline seems to be on good terms with Badeline, as she still has her double dash, owing to the events of Reflection. Madeline and Granny have been in contact via phone for the past year, and Granny told her about a cave in the mountain. Eager to explore deeper, Madeline arrives at the cave to find that Granny and the Bird have already come to greet her.
“Doesn't get any deeper than this!”
After a simple room showing that Madeline can no longer refill her dash upon merely landing on the ground, Madeline arrives at a small storage room where Granny is waiting for her. She warns the mountain climber that Mount Celeste's powers will affect her differently this time because of how close she is getting to the heart of the mountain. Madeline confirms that she has already noticed that, as her dashes are now much more limited. Granny then wishes her friend good luck on her journey.
Continuing to converse with Granny will make her ask where Badeline is. Madeline says that she doesn't know, as she was expecting her to show up by now. She even theorizes that Badeline is no longer a part of her due to her transformation. Granny suggests the opposite, that they have grown together and are now fused into one, so the mountain can no longer separate them. Granny also asks her about Theo if you talk to her again: evidently, he spent the summer in Vancouver (this references both Theo's Instagram account and how Maddy Thorson lives in Vancouver, Canada). Madeline spent some time with him, but he has since returned to California. Granny thinks he is quite a good man. Madeline then asks Granny how she is doing; she replies that nothing changed, except that she is becoming older and older – but the mountain is keeping her in shape. Madeline advises her to take care of herself before venturing off.
To progress beyond this point, you need to collect at least four Crystal Hearts to unlock the Crystal Heart Gate. If you haven't collected enough hearts, Madeline can speak with Granny again. Granny will explain there's no other way in, and the Mountain believes she's unprepared. After Madeline's complaint that the Mountain can't think, Granny explains that it thinks "how a river thinks to flow to the sea". She advises Madeline to retrace her steps and pay closer attention.
The rest of the chapter does not contain any plot until the end. Badeline shows up as a Badeline Orb midway through the final checkpoint. The final room has lower gravity and loops vertically, making Madeline wonder if "this is it." A blue crystal heart, aptly named Heart of the Mountain, is located here.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
A-Side[edit | edit source]
After the first set of cutscenes, there is a simple and cleverly designed room teaching the player about the Core's main gimmick: the dashes don't refill upon touching the ground. They only reset with screen transitions, dash refills, and some entity interactions, of which the most notable are bubbles. Dream Blocks and springs no longer refill dashes. After a crystal heart gate requiring 4 crystal hearts, the main section of the Core begins. The gameplay is straightforward, as the game teaches the "fire" mechanics, such as magma blocks, fireballs, and conveyor walls. Madeline then arrives at a "hub" room where the exit with glowing light is blocked by fireballs, requiring the player to find a way to flip the switch that changes the core mode from hot to cold, the other main gimmick (this is skippable). The switch affects the music, ground friction, background, and color grading. In addition, it flips magma blocks, fireballs, and conveyor walls to shattering ice blocks, ice balls, and ice walls respectively. Lava, rather than "converting" into ice, simply disappears and ice pops up, usually in a different location.
In the last checkpoint, the game introduces rising lava/ice, creating an intense vertical "chase" sequence. In its second half, the player must constantly flip switches to change the direction of the vertically moving lava/ice that appears above and below the player: lava moves up and ice moves down. The cassette tape and crystal heart are not hidden and are both found at the very end of the level. The crystal heart room is completely different from everything else, with no stylegrounds, no background tiles, and a vast open space featuring a few floating blocks, low gravity, and infinite vertical wraparound (denoted "space").
B-Side[edit | edit source]
In the beginning, the player must unlock a 15-heart crystal heart gate, requiring all blue and red hearts collected thus far. 8B features some of the hardest rooms in the B-sides and pushes the mechanics taught in 8A to the limit, forcing the player to platform through a gauntlet of tight challenges. Once again, in the last checkpoint, rising and sandwich lava/ice are brought back, with a "throwback" room in the rising lava/ice section, using each mechanic in previous chapters in order. The cassette room also has infinite wraparound, but it also contains obstacles unlike the one in the A-Side.
C-Side[edit | edit source]
This C-side technically has four rooms, with the first being the 23-heart gate, again requiring all A, B, and C-side hearts so far. In the next room, a bird in a box teaches hyperdashing to the player, a new tech that allows the player to move fast and low. The following room is a difficult core room, and the final room is another "throwback" room, featuring one mechanic from each chapter (excluding Chapter 3), in addition to sandwich ice/lava. At the very end, you see the bird again and have to perform two more hyperdashes before the final crystal heart.
Strawberries & Collectibles[edit | edit source]
Core contains 5 unique red strawberries hidden throughout the chapter. No Winged Strawberries or Seeded Berries are present. The Cassette Tape and Blue Crystal Heart are found at the end of the chapter and not hidden. Note that the golden berry appears in the first room after the heart gate, being the second checkpoint "Into the Core" in both 8A and 8B.
Speedrun strategies[edit | edit source]
Ice Skip[edit | edit source]
A speedrun strategy known as "Ice Skip" can be used in 8A. It is performed in the room with 2 layers of moving fireballs above the player. To do the trick, go into the left room, come back to the room, and dash up using the dash crystal, then twice up-right, this should land the player on the side of the top wall and be able to climb up and into the next room, skipping the need to reach the ice switch (which is much farther away).
ARB ice skip[edit | edit source]
All Red Berries or 100% runs tend to skip the requirement of changing the core mode to ice by going to the first Core Block two rooms to the right of the first berry room. To do the skip, the player has to either:
- Stand on the top-left edge of it, and do a Reverse Hyper into Ultradash to the next room, as the block is about to break. If done fast enough, it's possible to do a massive Bunnyhop through the next room, allowing the player to reach the very left of the berry room and grab it without having to change the core mode.
- Hug the left side of the Core Block, grab it, and release it as it breaks to do a boosted Hyperdash. It's safer, but it might be more difficult to chain enough speed that way.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Celeste's dialogue files internally use the term "APPENDIX" instead of "CH8", suggesting that this chapter was truly an appendix to the events of Celeste and not a story chapter. However, this has changed since Farewell was released.
- The B-Side track for the Core uses "The Core" instead of simply "Core" as a title. This is the opposite of "The Summit", which uses "Summit" as its title.
- Accessing the B-side requires completion of 7B, however, wallbounces, which are taught there, are not required to complete 8B.
- It is possible to skip many lava and ice switches in 8A and 8B. In the vertical "rising lava" sections, even if some rooms appear impossible to complete when in a different core mode, neutral jumps can be used to make it to the top.
- The tool-assisted speedrun for Core C-Side is commonly known to be one of the fastest ones in Celeste.
- It is possible to get the 1-Up secret in The Core, requiring all 5 strawberries and the golden strawberry to be collected.