Mirror Temple

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Mirror Temple

Chapter 5
Strawberries 31  • 3
Sides 5A  •  5B  •  5C
Characters  • Madeline
 • Badeline (5A)
 • Theo (5A  •  5B)

Level navigation
Golden Ridge ← Mirror Temple → Reflection

Mirror Temple is the fifth chapter of Celeste. Preceded by Golden Ridge and succeeded by Reflection, it introduces five new mechanics: Swap Blocks, Red Bubbles, Seeker, Seeker Barriers, and the Theo Crystal.

Plot[edit | edit source]

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Mirror Temple is a pivotal chapter in Celeste's story since it's where Madeline's personality starts truly unraveling (unlike before, where only hints were displayed). This chapter takes place in the titular Mirror Temple, an ancient temple that concentrates Celeste Mountain's power.

Madeline's ventures into the Mirror Temple weren't "voluntary", unlike prior chapters. She enters the temple to follow Theo, who ventures into the temple himself to snap a few photos. Madeline is clearly shown to doubt this idea, having a bad feeling about this. Shortly after entering, Madeline discovers Theo's phone in front of a mirror; this quickly increases her worries.

The initial section of the Mirror Temple, albeit brightly lit, does exhibit isolation. In contrast to Celestial Resort, the music does not change when doors are unlocked: Madeline is truly "lost" within the temple during this time. A soft yet slightly eerie piano piece, which forms a portion of 11  •   Quiet and Falling, plays throughout this section.

A few mazy corridors later, Madeline discovers Theo trapped behind a mirror; she quickly displays concern. Theo, on the other hand, sees Madeline as on the other side of the mirror: his reality is inverted. He attempts to unveil what happened but eventually faces a threat, having to abandon Madeline once again. She's truly on her own now. The music shifts and the piano mostly disappears, further amplifying this sense of "being lost". The second checkpoint, Depths, is very dark (compared to the rest of the temple): it is extremely difficult to see without lighting up the torches first. However, despite all this, Maddy's fears do not demonstrate themselves.

This all changes following the mirror cutscene, which plays between Depths and Unraveling. The music, 12  •   In the Mirror, becomes significantly eerier, and Madeline starts panicking again. Confronted by Badeline, Maddy instantly lays the guilt upon her, but unlike all previous chapters, she is mistaken: Badeline is not to blame. Badeline then explains how she's not the only "creepy thing" living in Madeline's head, and that the temple carries the same powers as the mountain itself. Madeline eventually starts panicking, then snaps and gets angry at her other self before reiterating that she could do this on her own.

“I'm a trespasser in my own world.”

The next few rooms feature plenty of Seeker, another product of Madeline's self. She eventually reaches another mirror, where she sees herself, albeit outside of the mirror; she quickly starts degrading herself but is stopped by this reflection, which tells her to "get up" and save Theo. Later on, she finds Theo behind a pair of spinners, trapped in a crystal; he displays glee at Madeline's sight, but also displays concern that she wouldn't be able to save him. Maddy, on the other hand, expresses her embarrassment at how she has unraveled so significantly.

Later on, Madeline finally manages to make it to the room Theo is in. She tries to break the crystal, but fails to do so; she chooses to carry it instead. As they escape, Theo makes a variety of comments, praising or encouraging Madeline, or commenting about Seekers and the level itself. Theo breaks free from the crystal after being thrown into a giant eyeball at the end of the temple.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

A-Side[edit | edit source]

Mirror Temple A-Side

Level 5A
Strawberries 31  • 1
Soundtrack Celeste OST:
11  •   Quiet and Falling
12  •   In the Mirror
Mirror Temple
A-side  • B-side  • C-side

Mirror Temple is about the same difficulty as Golden Ridge and builds upon many previously taught mechanics. The chapter is significantly more non-linear compared to the others, and the darkness of the level adds to its maze-like design. It also builds upon the story significantly as Madeline approaches the summit. Some new mechanics are introduced throughout: Dash Blocks, Dash Switches, Red Bubbles, Seekers, Seeker Barriers, Temple Gates, and the Theo Crystal.

Five subchapters are present: Start, Depths, Unravelling, Search, and Rescue.

Start and Depths[edit | edit source]

The start of Mirror Temple quickly introduces two new mechanics: Dash blocks and Red Bubbles. In addition, the game also adds dash switches and temple gates. Dash blocks move very quickly, synced to your dash, and red bubbles are similar to their green counterparts, but they take you forever until you die, hit a wall, or dash out. Dashing out of red bubbles does not give you your dash back. The game then throws the player into the first "hub" room and hides a key, which is required to progress. Madeline has to now search for it or hunt for strawberries before obtaining the key. A semi-hidden passage leads to a key door (the first since Celestial Resort) and the next checkpoint.

The hallway with the locked door turns dark. As Depths starts and Madeline finds Theo in the mirror, a spotlight effect illuminates the room, centered on Madeline. Torches also provide light. Yellow ones are pre-lit, often indicating danger, whilst blue torches require the player to turn them on first and are usually located at safe locations. There are two more hub rooms, one of which has another key that is not required to progress if you use a secret. However, using the secret while grabbing the key anyway allows for unlocking the Crystal Heart. Near the end of the subchapter, the player should take a red bubble up a long distance, then hit two symmetrically placed dash switches. A large curtain then falls, and Madeline is sucked into the mirror.

The seeker cutscene plays where you control the seeker and therefore learn its mechanics. Seekers move relatively slowly, but they can dash toward the player, even steering their dash slightly. Barriers block them from proceeding, but they (and only they) can break the red stone blocks by dashing into them. After navigating the seeker to Madeline and "killing" her, the cutscene ends, and the second half of the level begins.

Unravelling through Rescue[edit | edit source]

Madeline wakes up in the mirror side of the temple. In the Mirror, a highly unsettling track, starts playing. After a set of cutscenes with Badeline, seekers are introduced in gameplay for the first time; the first one pops out from a seeker statue, one of which could be seen as early as the beginning of Depths. Checkpoint 4, Search, is yet another hub with three keys, which can all be skipped using a reverse super (see Tech). Two are required for the intended path, and the third one is needed for a strawberry. Then you can take the red bubble across three rooms to the next section. This leads through a set of rooms with Seekers, harder than the ones previously featured. In the final checkpoint, after finding Theo stuck in a crystal, Madeline has to carry it to the exit. Holding Grab allows to carry Theo, and releasing it throws the crystal; releasing it while holding down sets him down instead (known as a neutral drop, untaught in the main game). Theo will also make witty remarks during this process. Escaping the Mirror Temple requires Madeline to throw the Theo crystal into a giant eyeball; this destroys the crystal, freeing Theo.

B-Side[edit | edit source]

Mirror Temple B-Side

Level 5B
Strawberries 1
Soundtrack Celeste B-Sides:
5  •   Mirror Temple (Mirror Magic Mix)
Remixed by 2 Mello

The first checkpoint is very short and serves as an introduction to the level's mechanics. The second is a mazelike puzzle area, where the player has to collect two keys to open doors blocking red bubble paths. One key can be skipped using an extended hyper and a cornerkick, and skipping both requires a difficult and very precise technique called a bubsdrop (see Techniques). A vertical upwards room later, CP3 opens with a challenging falling room, replacing the straight fall found in the A-Side. Seekers are reintroduced, and seeker bounces are required. The final checkpoint also includes Theo, with the center of platforming revolving around Theo more than avoiding seekers.

C-Side[edit | edit source]

The first room consists of three wallbounces and three wall jumps, all very tight and must be performed quickly and in succession. The second room is one simple momentum wallbounce. The long final room contains several setupless wallbounces out of a red bubble, making it very hard. It was nerfed (made easier) after release.

Strawberries & Collectibles[edit | edit source]

Mirror Temple contains 31 unique red strawberries Hidden throughout the chapter. This includes one winged strawberry and one seeded berry; most of these strawberries are found prior to the Unraveling chapter, but a few are found after as well. Additionally, a Cassette Tape and Blue Crystal Heart are hidden within.

Speedrun strategies[edit | edit source]

5B Routing[edit | edit source]

In any% and True Ending speedruns, the optimal strategy is to collect the Cassette Tape in 5A and subsequently complete 5B. This is because how Mirror Temple's B-Side is quite a bit shorter than its A-Side. The use of a trick named "bubsdrop" is additionally used in 5B and saves about 20-25 seconds, but is difficult to perform. Alternatively, the player can perform a very complex trick known as a "dreadcorner". It's faster but very hard and inconsistent to pull off, and thus most speedruns don't use it. It requires a "spiked corner boost" of the corner in the same room as bubsdrop.

Search Skip[edit | edit source]

In ARB, 100% or Golden Strawberry runs, the Search Skip is commonly used to reduce the number of required keys by 2 during the Search checkpoint. It can be done by getting to the platforms above the keys, standing on the left side of the left platform, then doing an Extended Super to the left, followed by an up-left dash shortly after. This trick allows players to bypass having to unlock a Red Bubble and, by extension, save a lot of time and reduce the risk of dying, as the areas leading to keys may be more tricky for some people. Still, one strawberry later in the level is locked behind an unskippable key door. Thus, speedrunners still need to get the key in the giant hub room to the right, which is convenient as there are a few berries on the way.

Depths Cornerboost[edit | edit source]

Also known as "yeet", it's a trick that can be done early in the Depths checkpoint. It's used to gain momentum to cross the entire room. To do it, the player has to stand on the block while it's retracting and quickly do a Hyperdash, which will launch Madeline with stacked momentum. This is followed by a quick Bunnyhops and a diagonal Cornerboost into the platform at the end. If done properly, Madeline will fly through the entire room, or even entirely skip the waiting for the Swap Block in the next room. It's a tricky strategy to get used to, but it can save several seconds.

Depths Archie[edit | edit source]

Since the game has an intentional skip right before the first key lock in Depths, it's possible to utilize it in speedruns by either using the bubble on the bottom, however, speedrunners usually do an Archie into the Red Bubble, causing Madeline to appear slightly higher than normal, making reaching the tunnel possible without using the intended way. It entirely skips the need for a key and it's faster than going back and forth to the bubble.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Mirror Temple, especially its A-Side, is the only truly non-linear chapter in Celeste: it is much more centered on exploration. However, Unraveling and Rescue are effectively linear.
  • Taking the first red bubble of 5B left will take you to a small area designed similarly to Golden Ridge, with birds and a return bubble. This was originally not a thing and was added later as players could go left, hitting an invisible wall and dying.
  • The C-Side went through multiple changes during the and updates. A couple of timings were made more manageable in the last room, and an alternate bottom route at the beginning was added, allowing the player to skip the tight Wallbounce.
  • Early in development, the Mirror Temple was supposed to be larger and even more maze-y. Some rooms eventually were scrapped as the devs thought the chapter might have ended up being too convoluted.[1]
  • The Seekers in this chapter were originally going to be turrets that shot at Madeline, however these were removed because they did not fit the game. The Seekers also originally tried to avoid getting jumped on.[2]
  • In the B-Side, Theo happens to break the fourth wall.

See also[edit | edit source]

  1. Maddy Thorson, Celeste Developer Commentary Livestream on YouTube
  2. Maddy Thorson, Celeste Developer Commentary Livestream on YouTube