Madeline is a trans girl with anxiety, who the game centers around as she attempts to climb Celeste Mountain. Her journey has story beats that can be very relatable to trans players, such as the main villain being an evil version of Madeline, who literally comes out of a mirror for the sole purpose of ruining Madeline’s life. Her journey up the mountain represents her struggle with mental health, and her reflection literally throwing her back to the bottom at one point in the story very bluntly represents her dysphoria damaging her mental health. Madeline was confirmed to be trans by the games creator, an enbie named Maddy Thorson, after the release of the games “Farewell” expansion pack, which showed Madeline in her room with a little trans flag a rainbow flag on her wall, right behind her computer. Maddy also stated that some of her experiences with her identity and mental health are reflected in the game and it’s central character.
- Pronouns/Gender: she/her, transfem
- Main/Playable Character in videogame “Celeste”, playable character in the Nintendo Switch version of “TowerFall”
We meet our hero at the base of Celeste Mountain, where her journey begins. Madeline, plagued with self-doubt, has spontaneously decided to make the difficult climb up the mountain in an attempt to recover her self-esteem. At the base of the mountain, she meets an old lady named Granny, who mockingly discourages Madeline and warns her of the supernatural nature of the mountain. Madeline ignores her taunting, and immediately has to cross a bridge that collapses as she dashes across, eliminating her way back. Madeline is now set on her journey up Celeste Mountain.
In the ruins of an abandoned city, Madeline meets a social media guru named Theo, who is mostly just trekking up the mountain for online fame. Shortly after meeting Theo, Madeline meets the antagonist of Celeste in a nightmare, who she names “Badeline”. A personification of Madeline’s darkest thoughts, Badeline tells her that she’s simply too weak to climb the mountain, describing herself as Madeline’s more “pragmatic” half.
Madeline next reaches the Celestial Resort, a rundown resort run by the ghost of a man named Oshiro, who is in a state of denial about the state of his resort. After Madeline ignores his offers to let her stay and instead just helps him clean the place up, Badeline persuades Oshiro that she only did it to fuel her own ego, and he chases her out of the resort in a fit of rage.
After pushing through a windy area, Madeline meets Theo at a gondola lift. Despite the anxiety of being so high up, Madeline enjoys the calm ride, until Badeline comes and stops the lift mid-ride. Madeline begins to have an extreme panic attack that leaves her gasping for air on the floor of the lift. While she breaks down, Theo teaches her a grounding technique that his grandmother taught him. Breathing in and out, visualizing that her breath is keeping a feather floating in the air, Madeline gets back on her feet.
Once the gondola continues moving, it takes the two to an ancient temple, where Theo gets sealed in a magic crystal. After carrying her crystal-encrusted friend through the temple, Madeline was once again runs into Badeline. Now with the confidence to confront her, Madeline lashes out and tells her that she wishes Badeline would just leave her alone, permanently. Hurt, Badeline throws her all the way back down the mountain.
Once again, Madeline finds herself at Granny’s hut. After talking to Granny, Madeline realizes that she should seek resolution with Badeline rather than abandoning her entirely, and sets off to find her counterpart. With Madeline finally understanding Badeline, the two share a hug and fuse together, using their combined power to reach the peak of Mount Celeste.
As the sun sets, Madeline and Badeline watch the sun set from the stunning view at the peak of the mountain. Though Badeline won’t have a physical form when they leave the magical mountain, Badeline will still be a part of her, and now they’ll live life working together, as one.
About a year later, Madeline returns to Celeste Mountain to explore the core of the mountain with Granny. Over time, the two grow close.
When Granny died shortly after, Madeline refused to go to her funeral. She shut down, and stopped communicating with her friends, including Theo. Wracked with guilt, she then travels to Granny’s grave. There, she sees a bluebird, which she recognizes as the bird that watched over her during her original journey up the mountain, and gives chase, believing that it’s a Part of Granny, just like Badeline is a Part of her. When Madeline chases the bird all the way up into space, Badeline abandons her, telling her that she’s in denial.
Badeline later returns to tell Madeline that she’s actually in a dream. Faced with the chance to see Granny one last time, Madeline forges on anyways, and Badeline eventually helps her. She catches the bird, and though she at first refuses to let this little part of Granny go, she decides to set it free as a tribute to her friend. After continuing to follow the bird higher and higher up, Madeline reaches a vast, cloudy expanse, where she finally meets with Granny once again. After getting some closure and a last goodbye with Granny, Madeline wakes up in her bedroom. Upon waking up, Madeline decides to finally let Theo back into her life, by starting a video call with him on her computer. They catch up, and Madeline finally talks about her grief over Granny’s death. Theo also tells Madeline that, as he learned from a picture he found laying around, his grandfather and Granny were actually friends who climbed Celeste Mountain together way back in the day.