Forsaken City

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Forsaken City

Chapter 1
Strawberries 20  • 3  • 1
Sides 1A  •  1B  •  1C
Characters  • Madeline
 • Theo
 • Bird

Level navigation
Prologue ← Forsaken City → Old Site

Forsaken City is the first chapter of Celeste. Preceded by the Prologue and succeeded by Old Site, it introduces several core mechanics of the game, notably octadirectional dashes, red strawberries, red winged strawberries, and Dash Refills. Additionally, Theo first appears during this chapter.

Plot[edit | edit source]

For the list of dialogues, check Forsaken City/Dialogues.

Show/hide content

After crossing the collapsing bridge and narrowly escaping death, thanks to the Bird, Madeline arrives at the titular Forsaken City, an abandoned city apparently built by a mega-corporation, but where no one ended up settling.

As Madeline continues to climb Forsaken City, which is filled with traffic-light blocks and city decor, she finds Theo and meets him for the first time. Theo presents himself in a much more flamboyant way, being in awe because of the city; he rejoices because of Madeline's presence. Her silence scares him to some degree, to the point where he calls Madeline a "lone wolf type" before even knowing her name.

Madeline subsequently introduces herself and states that she has "a lot on her mind". Theo reacts positively, saying that she couldn't have "come to a better place". She then asks where he comes from: Theo apparently lives in Seattle. Madeline then talks about what she knows about the city itself.

After Madeline asks Theo why he is climbing Mount Celeste, he answers that he "has a thing for abandoned places", and also considers himself a budding photographer, often posting online via InstaPix (a parody of Instagram).

Madeline then states that she is heading for the summit, which directly ends up telling Theo about her determination. Theo, on the other hand, mainly wants to explore the ruins around the mountain. He knows that he is doing something irresponsible but then suppresses his "holding-back" instinct, saying "YOLOOOOOOOOO!!"

Madeline then continues up the mountain, without Theo (for the moment), until she reaches the Celeste Mountain Memorial dedicated to those who perished on the climb (towards the summit). Right beside, seeing an unlit campfire and realizing how tired she is, she lights it up, puts down her backpack, and goes to sleep. The Bird reappears, landing on her head. Madeline then contemplates whether her decision to climb the mountain was a mistake.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

A-Side[edit | edit source]

Forsaken City A-Side

Level 1A
Strawberries 20  • 1  • 1
Soundtrack Celeste OST:
02  •   First Steps
Madeline's Grab Bag:
09  •   First Steps (Piano Only)
Forsaken City
A-side  • B-side  • C-side

Forsaken City's A-Side serves as an introductory level to much of how the game works. Madeline, controlled by the player, is introduced to combining jumping, dashing, and climbing to make it through various rooms while avoiding spikes and bottomless pits. Strawberries, cassette tapes, crystal hearts, dash-refilling crystals, and many other entities are all introduced here.

Three sub-chapters are present: Start, Crossing, and Chasm.

Start[edit | edit source]

The beginning of the Start checkpoint introduces the player to several basic mechanics with dashes. The second room introduces springs wall jumping, which occurs when Madeline jumps from one wall to another; it's the simplest way to climb without using stamina.

Zip Movers, also known as traffic light blocks, first appear in the fourth room. Jumping too soon while the block is moving will result in Madeline being thrown into a wall of spikes; this is the player's first introduction to momentum. The next room features a winged strawberry; dashing will result in it flying away, and as such, Madeline must jump on the disappearing platforms (also introduced here) to the right of the berry to collect it. The following room features a light shining at the left. It is the first occurrence of a "berry room", a room outside the main path containing a strawberry.

Springs, which bounce Madeline in the direction the spring is pointing towards, and smashable walls, which may be dashed into to remove, are also introduced here. Six strawberries are hidden within this subchapter.

Crossing[edit | edit source]

At the beginning of this subchapter, you can take the path left and use the dash refill to dash left twice. The left path leads to Theo, and the top path leads to another berry room. In the second room of the main path, a background building (named brazilian_coffee_building) can be noticed.

Later during this subchapter, falling ice blocks reappear. 9 strawberries are hidden in this subchapter, and so is the Crystal Heart.

Chasm[edit | edit source]

The final subchapter contains several more intricate uses of zippers. A Cassette Tape, which unlocks the B-Side, can be found here.

Five strawberries are hidden within this subchapter.

B-Side[edit | edit source]

Forsaken City B-Side

Level 1B
Strawberries 1
Soundtrack Celeste B-Sides:
01  •   First Steps (Sever the Skyline Mix)
Remixed by Maxo

Forsaken City's B-Side builds upon the mechanics of the A-Side, presenting them in a more challenging way. No new entities are introduced in this chapter, but Binoculars, present in later chapters, also appear. Zipper blocks no longer generally follow an octadirectional system, and now appear much more frequently, often with spikes on them. Spikes are placed much more liberally and are often integrated with momentum-based rooms. Also, the game introduces resource management as a key factor, as many rooms in the B-Side force the player to conserve stamina, dashes, or both to get to the exit

The level follows approximately the same course as the A-Side, but is slightly shorter, heading both upwards and right. It continues slightly past the Celeste Mountain Memorial and unlit campfire into a Cassette Block room. The red crystal heart, situated at the end of the room, is named "Sever the Skyline".

Three sub-chapters are present: Start, Contraption, and Scrap Pit.

C-Side[edit | edit source]

Forsaken City C-Side

Level 1C
Strawberries 1
Soundtrack Celeste B-Sides:
01  •   First Steps (Sever the Skyline Mix)
Remixed by Maxo
Forsaken City
A-side  • B-side  • C-side

Forsaken City's C-Side further builds upon mechanics introduced in Forsaken City's A-Side and B-Side. The three-room gauntlet, unlocked after completing Core B-Side, adds Touch switches and touch switch gates. It further enhances the difficulty and adds the idea of dashing away from a traffic block to not gain momentum.

Strawberries & Collectibles[edit | edit source]

Forsaken City contains 20 unique red strawberries hidden throughout the chapter. This includes 2 winged strawberries. Additionally, a Cassette Tape and Blue Crystal Heart are hidden within.

Winged Golden Strawberry[edit | edit source]

A unique collectible, the Winged Golden Strawberry, only appears in Forsaken City's A-Side. Obtaining it requires not completing any rooms within the entire chapter using Madeline's dash move; this entails the use of several advanced tech, such as neutral jumping, and nearly pixel-perfect precision on several occasions.

The player can dash by accident so long as they die before moving to the next room, collecting a strawberry, or activating a change respawn trigger.

Speedrun strategies[edit | edit source]

Apart from general movement optimization, speedrunners use various tech such as wallbouncing in the first winged berry room (with the breaking blocks) and doing a reverse hyperdash off the girder to do a corner boost off a wall which leads to the room with Theo. Screen transitions are used to refill dashes, allowing to skip doing the main path. Doing neutral jumps in the final room as well as a corner kick-up enables players to literally skip the whole room. These tricks allow speedrunners to do this chapter extremely quickly.