Granny is a witch
And Mt. Celeste's mysterious phenomena of physically manifesting people's insecurities, is because she put a spell on it to make it do that. It's not clear if she had a benevolent purpose in doing so, knowing it would lead visitors to self-improvement, or if she just set it up to screw with people. Maybe a little of both. In any case, this would also explain her Offscreen Teleportation
There will be a sequel, possibly P.O.V. Sequel
, in which you play as Theo.
Madeline and the climber in the PICO8 version are not one and the same.
Rather, the PICO8 climber is just your typical video game adventuring protagonist
. I believe this justifies the several stylistic differences between Newleste and the PICO8 version that can be attributed to PICO8 limitations
. For example, in 2200m, the climber obtains his/her second dash by just opening a treasure chest, with a typical Zelda flair accompanying it. Also, it would not make sense for Madeline to experience what happened in Newleste on her second climb, provided she is indeed the PICO8 climber.
Badeline is Madeline's Shadow
She's the manifestation of Madeline's flaws that she tries to deny, gets angry and hostile when rejected, and the only way she can be dealt with is for Madeline to accept that she's a part of her whereupon she grants her special abilities.
The climber in the PICO8 version is Granny.
One of the above WMGs suggests the climber in the PICO8 version isn't Madeline, citing the differences in the emotional tone of various major events in their journey. We know from Chapter 9 that Granny climbed the mountain when she was young, and looked a lot like Madeline at the time, and also that either she doesn't have a "Part of Her" that she had to overcome, or if she does, it's a bird, not a person
, which would line up with her finding her special ability in a treasure chest instead of by confronting a Part of Her. It would also explain, aside from just the limitations of the PICO8 console, why in PICO8eline's journey, there's no Granny character: because she *was* the one who was going to *become* the Granny character. Since Granny had an easier time up the mountain psychologically, it's plausible to think most of her ancient wisdom about the nature of the mountain is experience she learned the hard way *after* having already climbed the mountain — i.e., during her time living there, not her climb.