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Chapter 8
Strawberries Strawberry ingame.png 5  • Goldberry ingame.png 3
Sides 8A  •  8B  •  8C
Characters  • Madeline
 • Badeline (8A  •  8B) (cameo)
 • Granny
 • Bird (8A  •  8B  •  8C)

Level navigation
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]

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The events of Core occur approximately one year after Madeline first made it to Celeste Mountain's summit. Madeline seems to be on good terms with Badeline, since 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 the latter had told her about a cave in the mountain; Madeline wanted to explore deeper into it. When she arrives to explore the cave, Granny and the Bird have arrived to greet her. The old woman then tells her to follow her.

“Doesn't get any deeper than this!”
~ Granny, laughing

After a simple room which makes Madeline realize that she can no longer refill her dash upon simply landing on the ground, Madeline arrives at a small storage room where Granny was waiting for her. She proceeds to warn the mountain climber that the mountain's powers will affect her differently this time, because of how close she is getting to the heart of the mountain. Madeline then comments on how she has already noticed that (her dashes are now much more limited). Granny then subsequently wishes her friend good luck.

Continuing to converse with Granny will make her comment on Badeline, asking where she is. Madeline then says that she doesn't know and was expecting her to show up by now; she even theorizes that because she has changed, her "goth" self is no longer a part of her. Granny suggests the opposite, that they have grown together and are now essentially fused into one; the mountain could no longer separate them from each other. Talking to Granny again will make her ask about Theo; apparently, he spent the summer in Vancouver, referencing both Theo's Instagram account and how Maddy Thorson lives in Vancouver, Canada. Madeline did spend some time with him, but he has returned to California for the moment being; Granny states that he seems like a good man. Madeline then asks how Granny herself is doing; she says that nothing changed, except she is continuing to become older and older - the mountain, however, is keeping her in shape. Madeline then tells her to take care of herself before venturing off. Going past this point onward requires obtaining at least four Crystal Hearts to unlock the Crystal Heart Gate.

If not enough hearts were collected, Madeline can interact with Granny once again, asking about that. Granny then tells Madeline that there is no other way in and that the Mountain thinks she's not ready. Madeline complains that the Mountain can't think, Granny explains that it thinks "how a river thinks to flow to the sea" and she should retrace her steps and really pay attention.

The rest of the chapter does not contain any plot whatsoever, at least until the end. Badeline makes a cameo appearance in the form of a Badeline Orb midway through the final checkpoint. The final room has much less gravity, and loops vertically; Madeline then wonders 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]

In the very beginning, right after the first set of cutscenes, there is a simple and cleverly designed room teaching the player about the Core's main gimmick: the dash doesn't reset upon touching the ground. It only resets with screen transitions, dash refills, and a limited set of entity interactions, of which the most notable are bubbles. Dream Blocks and springs do not refill dashes now. 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 venture out another way and flip the switch that changes the core 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, where the rising death imposes a timer on the player, creating an intense vertical "chase" sequence. In the second half of this checkpoint, the game further expands on this idea with sandwich lava/ice, where 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"). This is also the only place the game displays actual text in-game not in dialogue.

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 CP4, rising and sandwich lava/ice are bought 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, albeit it contains obstacles unlike one in the A-Side.

C-Side[edit | edit source]

This C-side technically has four rooms, with the first one being the 23-heart gate, again requiring all A, B, and C-side hearts so far. In the first room, a bird in a box teaches hyperdashing to the player, a new tech that allows the player to move fast and low. The second 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 Berry or 100% runs tend to skip the requirement of changing the core mode to ice by going to the first Core Block that's two rooms to the right of the first berry room. In order 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 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.
  • An alternate way is to 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" as a title, instead of simply "Core". This is the opposite of "The Summit", which simply uses "Summit" as its title.
  • Accessing the B-side requires completion of 7B, where wallbounces are taught, but they 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.

See also[edit | edit source]