This is a guide to speedrunning Celeste in the 100% category. Celeste is a game made by Matt Thorson and Noel Berry. This game and category appeared in the Summer Games Done Quick 2016 Marathon.
By making this guide I hope to make it easier for more people to learn to play the game, and discover what a fun game it is. The current leaderboard for Celeste 100% is available at speedrun.com.
To my knowledge, all the strats in this guide were found by me, SecksWrecks, baldjared, Meep, aspinach, and heeheex2. Jared also helped make a bunch of these gifs for strats I didn't realize I was outdated on. Feel free to tweet at me with any questions, requests, corrections or ideas.
Each level has a gif showing the strat, with an explanation or important points, if necessary. There's a couple places where the execution or reason for a strat isn't completely clear, so I've expanded on those and occasionally provided alternative strats.
Getting the Game
The simplest way to play the game is via the PICO-8 web player, available here.
However, the web player can be laggy and frequently drops inputs, so the recommended way to play the game is via PICO-8 directly.
PICO-8 is available for purchase here. Typing
and pressing enter at the PICO-8 prompt will install Celeste to your system.
You will then be able to type
SPLORE, enter, and then navigate to the game.
It's been said that by November it will be possible to export PICO-8 games to a standalone version.
Once this happens it won't be necessary to purchase PICO-8 in order to play Celeste without lag.
Practicing the Game
Practicing and timing individual levels on a vanilla install of Celeste can be annoying, so we have a mod that makes this much easier.
Save this image to your PICO-8 cartridge folder:
Windows: C:/Users/Yourname/AppData/Roaming/pico-8/carts OSX: /Users/Yourname/Library/Application Support/pico-8/carts Linux: ~/.lexaloffle/pico-8/cartsand then at the PICO-8 prompt type
LOAD PRACTICE_MOD, press enter, then Ctrl-R to run it.
In the practice mod, you can press S to jump back a level, F to jump forward a level, and E to toggle a level timer.
As of version v200m of the practice mod, it is possible to customize the HUD.
To do so, press
ESC when at the PICO-8 terminal to get to the code screen.
There is a variable
HUD which can be modified to customize the HUD to your liking.
100% is defined as collecting all 18 strawberries and completing all 30 levels in the game, to reach the summit.
The first level of the game, and the first berry. There are a couple things to note in this level.
If you hold dash and a direction as the girl is entering a level, she'll execute that dash on the first frame of control. So as this level is beginning, you want to be holding up-right-dash.
There's a small subtlety with the way the berry-blocks work.
If you're not touching the block when you dash into it, when you bounce off you'll become red again, so you can immediately dash in and grab the berry.
If you're up against it, you'll become blue when you bounce off, and have to land before you can grab it.
In order to make jumping easier, when the girl leaves the ground, there are 6 frames where if you input jump, she'll still jump. This is useful in a lot of situations, and in particular, we can dash off of a ledge and then input a jump to get much further.
Finally, there's a tiny time save in the exit to this level.
If you hit the corner at just the right speed and position while dashing, you can walljump off of it as you come up and avoid a walljump off the right wall. This is called a cornerjump, and while I wouldn't reset for it, it doesn't really hurt to go for it every time.
Not much to say on this one. Make sure you do the first walljump low enough that you can hit the fourth one.
As you come off the spring for the second time, try to scrape the ceiling so you land on the platform immediately.
Take note of the underbite monster.
One of the tighter levels. This level is tricky because you need to jump at a specific time in the berry's float cycle. The key is to find a visual cue in the berry's animation.
The berry starts at the same position every time, so it's also possible to do this completely off timing.
What I do is time it so I hit the jump button right around the end of the frame marked in pink, but you should experiment and see what works for you.
It's possible to get a little extra height by doing a single extra walljump, and this makes this level much easier for some people (you don't have to rely on the visual cue as much if you do it this way). Personally I don't find it helps that much, but try it for yourself.
- Buffer the right dash at the beginning by holding it as the level is starting
- Don't slide along the wall before grabbing the key
- It's not necessary to do the jump before grabbing the berry, but it's a lot safer since the berry pops up out of the chest.
Weird level. You have to pause a bit before jumping off the second cloud.
The above strat only works on certain balloon heights (which are random). There's another, safer, slower strat that always works:
There are a couple options:
- Always go for the fast strat and reset if you miss it
- Always go for the safe strat
- Estimate if you can make it once going off the spring and go for the backup if you don't think you can
The important thing here is to make sure you dash at the very peak of your jump on the far right side, so that you only have to do one walljump to get up.
Walljumping off the closer part of the left wall is also good. It's also possible to land on the surface on the left and just dash up to the exit, if you prefer.
This one is a little weird. If you pop up through the left side of the cloud you're considered to have landed on it, meaning two things:
- You get your dash back
- You get the 6-frame grace period to jump again
Getting the dash back is a little finicky, so it's also ok to just land on the cloud and jump out from there. This can be a recovery if something goes wrong as well, so going for the fast strat isn't a huge commitment.
This one can feel a little tricky at first, but when you get used to the visual cue to dash it's pretty consistent.
You want to dash when the girl is lined up with the square like this, her center more or less lined up with the left side of the square.
You can also walljump at the top left, which might make this a little easier.
It's also possible (though hard) to get a cornerjump at the very end of this one. It saves a couple frames, if you can get it, but I'm not aware of a consistent way to land it (let me know if you find one!). Another option is to go for a walljump off the left side of the well at the very end, which is mostly just preference.
Getting the second left dash at the top here is extremely tight. This is made worse by the fact that if you are too late, you'll exit the level, missing the berry, with no way to recover. Because of this, unless you like to live on the edge, it can be a lot safer to go for the alternate strat:
I find a walljump on the right side of this level to get to the spring is a little easier than the diagonal-up dash, but it's a couple frames slower. Walljumping off the wall at the top can also be a little quicker, since you'll get a little extra upwards momentum.
You want to buffer the left-down dash as the level is beginning here by holding dash-left-down.
Alternate super fast strat which I HIGHLY recommend against trying
Alternate (easier) strat:
This level is interesting in that it has two more or less independent sections, and each has a safe strat and a fast strat. Feel free to pick whichever strats you feel comfortable with (the top image is the fast strats, bottom image is the safe strats).
For the first section, for the fast strat, the important thing is that you dash at the very apex of your jump to hit the spike-clip. It's a pretty consistent setup in that you'll never go too high, so as long as you go as high as possible you'll be fine.
This, like a lot of levels in Celeste, is one you really just need to feel the timing for. I remember finding this one really tricky at first, but after some practice it becomes one of the easier levels.
Another one you need to feel out, but unlike 2000m it's a lot harder to be consistent at.
There's an alternate strat that's 1 frame slower, and in my opinion a little harder, but some people find it a bit easier to be consistent at:
You have to scrape up against the left wall in order to get the spikejump to work (see appendix) and the window to dash is very tight.
Holding jump while the cutscene is playing allows you to jump immediately once it ends, so do that.
What makes this work is only grabbing the berry after using your second dash, so it's not strictly necessary to go so far to the right, but it makes timing the dash back left much easier.
There's also another strat that is slightly faster, but a bit tighter:
This can be a little faster if you go for a horizontal dash right after grabbing the key, but this is much safer.
There's a lot of options for grabbing the key here. This one is fastest, and among the easiest. Easier still is going to the platform first and then dropping down, but that loses quite a bit of time.
What's happening at the end is a cornerjump on the two walls with spikes on them. Getting this is all about walljumping at the correct height and then mashing jump.
Alternate ending strat:
If you want to be slightly safer you can also dash up instead of diagonally for the second last dash.
This one is so easy I don't even remember how you're supposed to do it. If you want to make things difficult for yourself there's an alternate strat that's actually difficult:
The one upwards dash at the end stalls you just long enough to grab the balloon as it respawns. Make sure you do the dash at the very beginning, I find it makes getting through the hole much easier.
This info isn't necessary for speedrunning the game, but is presented for interest's sake.
The girl's horizontal position is measured in pixels from the left side of the screen. An interesting quirk of the movement in Celeste is that by moving left and right, her horizontal position will never change from an odd number to an even number, or vice versa. The distinction between these two is called parity, and the state of being on an odd pixel is odd parity and the state of being on an even pixel is even parity.
There's an important difference between these two states:
In both pictures, the girl is as close to the wall as possible on her current parity. In the left picture, she's close enough to the wall to walljump. In the right picture, she's not. This means that when on odd parity, it's possible to walljump off of spiked walls on the right. On either parity, it's not possible to jump off of spiked walls on the left.
This means that since the girl always starts on an even pixel, if we want to spikejump we need a way to get from even parity to odd parity. There's a couple of ways to do this.
Scraping up against the level boundary will immediately put the girl into odd parity. This is the method used in 2100m.
You can also scrape up against any block.
It should be noted that walljumping can put you in either parity, depending on a variety of factors.
Dashes can also have a variety of effects on parity, depending on their direction and your movement during them.
It's possible to complete 2200m without grabbing the gem.
It's done by dashing up on the frame you activate the chest. This causes you to get the upward motion of the dash while keeping your red hair. After dashing, you have to use the 6-frame grace period to jump to get a little bit of extra height (I need to play with the music on to get the timing for this). From there, you can dash up to the exit easily.
Unfortunately, I don't believe the next level is possible to complete without the gem. As far as I know, it's possible to complete every level except 2300m and 2800m without getting the gem.