Awesome Boss: The climactic fight with Badeline in Chapter 6 is frequently referred to as one of the best moments in the game because of its tricky attacks, multiple phases, and beautifully intense atmosphere. The theme for the sequence (the aforementioned "Confronting Myself") definitely helps.
"Resurrections" is an eerie and mysterious track that perfectly suits Old Site's mysterious and dreamy vibe.
"Scattered and Lost" is an eerie and haunting track that gets even better when the drums go wild as the level progresses.
Madeline and Theo is a beautiful and serene duet between a guitar representing Theo and piano representing Madeline. Undercut with a wobbling synth backdrop, it really gives off the impression that these two travelers have formed an unbreakable bond, even despite both parties' underlying emotional trauma. It's easily one of the most heartwarming songs on the soundtrack.
"Reach for the Summit" is an immensely hopeful and determined track with a Call-Back to the theme from the tutorial, a perfect fit for Madeline's race to the summit, having finally made peace with Badeline. Something of note is how the song switches instrumentation as you progress from area to area, each segment picking up on the respective chapter's Leitmotifs to boot, growing more and more triumphant before reaching a climax in the final area.
Joy of Remembrance is a gorgeous violin-and-cello duet that really highlights the wonder of the dreamlike space the level takes place in.
Beyond the Heart, much like Reach for the Summit, is an energetic and exciting theme that just screams determination, albeit in a slightly more melancholic way than Reach for the Summit's hopeful tone.
The eponymous Farewell takes the aforementioned determination and awe, before blending it into something truly evocative of how Madeline has accepted the truth of Granny's death and resolved to set things right as her final act before waking up. It's an immensely suspenseful and hopeful theme that seamlessly blends together the Leitmotifs of both Farewell and the game itself, adding in an enchanting choir and gorgeous strings working in tandem with the synths to stunning effect.
Broken Base: Chapter 9/Farewell is more divisive amongst the fandom compared to the 8 main chapters, with fans either loving it for its highly emotional story, the new gimmicks, use of more advanced techniques and degree of challenge or disliking it for how ludicrously difficult, long and seemingly inaccessible it is compared to the main chapters. Some of its story beats have also been controversial.
Demonic Spiders: The floating, multi-eyed enemies in the Mirror Temple. The moment they see you, theyll immediately make a beeline for you, and theyre much faster than you. While they can be temporarily stunned by jumping on them, it doesnt last long, and theyll create a shockwave once they resume that can send you flying into a pit if you dont move away quickly enough. To make matters worse, youll often have to contend with them while holding Theo, which limits your movement options to just jumping, making them harder to dodge. On top of that, exploiting their movement and luring them around is a required mechanic to get through much of the Mirror Temple, especially once you get to 5B.
Ending Fatigue: Given that Chapter 8 has very little plot and Chapter 9 having a lot of controversial twists, such as Granny's off-screen death, Madeline and Badeline seperating again after many chapters of build-up and the chapter ending in a Fetch Quest for any remaining Crystal Hearts, some players are content with finishing the game after the epilogue, leaving them with an ending good enough.
Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: Not the case for the main game (Chapter 1-7 and by extension Chapter 8) since that is considered to be reasonably challenging, but the game starts getting more and more difficult, to the point where many players vent about being forced to use Assist Mode in order to get the rest of the story.
Fanon Discontinuity: According to some people, Chapter 9/Farewell doesn't exist. Since the game is getting so hard, it's ridiculous, and the Chapter itself having rather controversial story beats.
Friendly Fandoms: For 'very' clear reasons, many fans are also Persona 4 fans, or at least get along. There are a lot of memes and fan work surrounding this. Hilarious in Hindsight, as they both have similar named Awesome Music tracks about coming to terms with your inner demons. (Confronting Myself and I'll face Myself, respectfully)
Hype Backlash: Unsurprisingly, given how criticially acclaimed and popular Celeste is, it's not uncommon to find some who find the game to be overrated and/or not as worthy of the wide acclaim it gets from critics and general audiences.
Iron Woobie: Madeline. She's suffering from depression and anxiety, she had an estranged relationship to her mother and generally feels like she hasn't accomplished anything before deciding to climb Celeste Mountain. But even when her mental illness comes to life and actively tries to hinder her process, she isn't even thinkingabout giving up. Player reaction is generally a mix between feeling sorry for her and admiring her.
Jerkass Woobie: Mr. Oshiro is a rare character that manages to peg both aspects in about equal measure. He legitimately just wants people to enjoy their stay at his hotel, seeks to be a good host, and is heartbroken when his "guests" aren't interested in staying, even more so when he starts to realize how run-down the hotel really is - and that's before getting into his own mental problems. He's also pushy, domineering, acts smug and ungrateful when Madeline helps him get the hotel in shape, and outright attacks her when Badeline pushes her insults too far. This is even discussed by Madeline and Theo in the chapter; Madeline is moved by Oshiro's sympathetic side, while Theo insists that he's dangerous and that they don't need to risk their personal safety to try and make a stranger happy.
LGBT Fanbase: Gained one after the release of chapter 9, Farewell, suggested that Madeline may be transgender,note Madeline has a tiny trans flag by her desk, a photo shows her having short hair when she was little (implying that she was AMAB), and a pill bottle is shown that may be for HRT later confirmed by Maddy Thorson. The game's story leading up to this final chapter is also easy to read as a trans metaphor, which is especially amusing considering that Maddy Thorson themselves was unaware at the time that they wrote it. Madeline's mountain climbing hobby is referred to in such a way that it can very easily be replaced with "being a girl" and the game's theme remains unchanged.
"Play Celeste, it's a hidden gem".Explanation A popular stock response in various Nintendo Switch-related forums and subreddits, most commonly used to poke fun at repetitive "What game do I buy?" threads in particular and community's tendency to recommend the same small pool of indie games (Celeste, Hollow Knight, Stardew Valley) in general.
No doorskip, unverified run. Explanation A room in Chapter 7s Mirror Temple segment has a few floating doors that can be skipped by a well-timed dash. In the first few months of Celeste, speedrunners avoided using doorskip as the 3 second delay if performed wrong is a bigger risk than the second it saves. This has been commented when a run doesnt contain the doorskip. Over time, speedrunners have learned to use the doorskip and save that second.
Doorskip locator here, doorskip is at 27:19. Explanation People in the comments section have been pointing out the location of the doorskip in runs.
i n t r o c a r Explanation Madeline's car at the Prologue that can be found by going backwards from your starting point. Despite practically just being a decoration that some people don't even see, the car has been hyped up by fans and occasionally added to modded levels.
The immensely satisfying chord that plays when you get a Crystal Heart. It's been compared to the THX sound test blast.
The melodious jingle that plays when you find a B-Side Cassette is very soothing too.
While the "Chapter Complete" jingles are already satisfying, the B-Sides electronic variation can be counted as the true reward of these levels.
The gong when you successfully obtain a Golden Strawberry, as well as the harmonious jingle that plays when you get the Moon Berry.
The single, echoing piano chord that sounds when you finally clear Farewell.
Play the Game, Skip the Story: Conversely, the game's twitch reflex platformer with a scaling difficulty sometimes comes into sharp relief with the story of a Broken Bird slowly dealing with depression and anxiety. It often sidetracks into discussions on how to subjectively grapple with these issues. Often it can feel like it's slowing down the gameplay.
Scrappy Mechanic: Wooden platforms, which mark points of no return within a chapter. In many cases it's completely arbitrary whether a room transition has a no-return barrier or not, and exploring can be very frustrating when you run into one with no warning.
Signature Song: "First Steps", the theme of the first area which introduces the Leitmotif used throughout the entire game.
That One Achievement: Certain golden strawberries get into this territory due to requiring a No-Damage Run of levels where one mistake can undo up entire minutes of work - but the cake goes to the one for Chapter 9. Besides applying the usual rules to a Brutal BonusMarathon Level taken Up to Eleven, there's also the fact that at the end of the level is an additional, tough-as-nails room that only appears when carrying the Golden Strawberry.
That One Boss: As mentioned in Awesome Boss, the fight with Badeline in Chapter 6 has some great atmosphere, but it goes on for ages, with no indication of how far you still have yet to go, and the (often lengthy) levels you run through would be hard enough without getting blasted by lasers. Eventually, it just wears out its welcome and becomes a chore.
The end of Chapter 2/Old Site has sections where Badeline clones chase you through water walls as you try to collect objects to power platforms and open escape routes. Touching the clones instantly kills you, and they copy your movements, making backtracking extremely difficult since spikes are also around.
Chapter 3/Celestial Resort is almost universally reviled for the moving dust bunnies which act as fast-moving obstacles in a game where most of the obstacles are static, forcing players to internalize their timed cycles in order to make their way through them. It's also rife with deceptively large static dust bunnies and red fuzz which turns surfaces dangerous after touching them once, making mistakes often unforgiving since you won't be able to reuse any surface you've already touched.
Chapter 8/The Core is a tough level on its own, but its B-Side is utterly insane with its difficulty, requiring incredibly precise jumps and maneuvers that require complete knowledge of all the stage gimmicks, including the various bumpers and launching blocks that are extremely sensitive to what angle you hit them at. And like Core A, you don't recover your dash when touching ground, making management of your two dashes key.
Almost all of the C-Side levels are brutally difficult despite being very short, but especially 7C, where not only do you have to pull off multiple wall bounce moves in succession (which are not only difficult to execute, but taught very late in the game) but you also have to navigate a very tight spike maze using springs, pink clouds and dash crystals without a break for half a minute. There is barely any room for error here.
Farewell, the 9th chapter added in the free DLC, is not only incredibly long but incredibly hard, requiring just about every trick in the book executed consecutively with flawless precision, along with introducing a variety of tricky new mechanics that often demand unorthodox usage right after being introduced. In particular, almost every screen after the halfway point requires multiple wavedashes (a technique taught in the exact same level) strung together with countless other movement techs, including the aforementioned wall bounces. There aren't even double-dashes without items, as Badeline leaves after the chapter starts and takes the extra dash with her. The level culminates in a brutal gauntlet that forces you to exploit the Jellyfish mechanic to its fullest, and lasts for about two minutes without checkpoints. And woe betide you if you're trying to get the Moon Berry, which requires you to take an even harder alternate path loaded with unconventional platforming.