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My journey with Journey

4:00 PM on 03.21.2012 // Chad Concelmo

By now, you have probably played thatgamecompany's fascinating, beautiful new PSN game, Journey. And you have probably formulated your own thoughts on how the game made you feel.

Knowing that playing Journey was sure to make me feel ... something, I decided to document every single minute of my experience with the game -- from beginning to end. Every thought. Every feeling. Every reaction.

If you have yet to play Journey, I would recommend not reading this, as the game is best played without any idea what to expect. But for everyone else, I hope this unfiltered stream of consciousness while playing through Journey will inspire you to share your own thoughts and feelings on the game.

Join me on my journey with Journey.

00:00 -- A new journey.

00:02 -- I move around for the first time.

00:03 -- Running through the sand, I experiment with my abilities. Huh. I just flashed some kind of light power. What does that do ...?

00:05 -- The mountain comes into view. I gasp. Gorgeous.

00:09 -- I learn to glide.

00:11 -- Ah, that's what that flash does. I activate a pack of flowing fabric and sail through the air. Beautiful.

00:12 -- I reach a circle of light and start to meditate.

00:13 -- Who is this shadowy character standing before me? And what will I find at that mountain?

00:14 -- I see a glimpse of someone running away from me in the distance. Did my eyes play tricks on me?

00:16 -- Whoa. Another player just joined me. I will follow him or her to see where they lead.

00:21 -- I run through the rolling sands with my new friend. We don't speak, but we guide each other on the correct path.

00:23 -- I made a new friend.

00:24 -- Our joint meditation begins.

00:25 -- I think about my real-life brother, and how much I care for him. I would love to experience this with him.

00:26 -- The sands part before us. We continue forward.

00:27 -- A shooting star? I can't take my eyes off it. The mountain is getting closer.

00:28 -- My partner disappeared. Did he not like me?

00:29 -- I sit down at the top of a dune to take in the beauty of the world around me.

00:30 -- I want to move forward, but this moment of reflection is quite beautiful. Maybe I will stay here for just a few more minutes ...

00:33 -- Oh! A flying ... carpet? Scarf? It is showing me the way! I have to follow.

00:34 -- The flying carpet has friends! And one of them is carrying me forward! Nice to interact with something -- anything! -- in this vast desert.

00:35 -- The friendly carpets dance and play around me as I head in the direction of the mountain. Their playful sounds of joy are comforting.

00:37 -- So this is where the carpets were leading me ...

00:40 -- My friend is back! But his scarf is much longer. Is it the same friend? Or is this someone new? He greets me with a friendly flash of his power. I didn't realize how much I missed having someone around.

00:43 -- We have reached a dark, scary place. And my friend is running so far ahead ...

00:44 -- Come back!

00:45 -- I am all alone again. But at least the carpets are here to guide me.

00:46 -- Maybe it's my fault my friend left. Maybe I was moving too slow. I miss him ...

00:47 -- Another friend appears!

00:48 -- I am abandoned right away. Please don't leave me! I need some help in this part!

00:50 -- Alone again, but entering a new area. I slide down sand, my scarf blowing behind me. The music picks up as I surge ahead. I feel better about being by myself. The experience is exhilarating.

00:51 -- I land softly at the base of some falling sand. An orange glow surrounds me and the nearby ruins.

00:55 -- Secrets are hidden everywhere in this massive area. A documented history? A series of clues? Clues to what?

00:58 -- Again, I slide down a sand drift. My heart races. A smile forms on my face. The mountain appears, silhouetted against the setting sun. A gorgeous sight.

00:59 -- I reach the bottom as day turns to night right before me. A new friend is waiting for me. Hopefully this one will stick by my side.

01:00 -- We enter the familiar glowing circle of light. A figure stands before me.

01:02 -- As I wake from meditation, my friend is gone. Again. Alone. My heart hurts.

01:03 -- Night. A beam of moonlight illuminates the sand below me.

01:04 -- As I walk into the dark horizon, my real-life dog Luna curls up at my feet and goes to sleep. Her warmth makes me feel better. Less alone. I pet her and tell her I love her.

01:07 -- A room full of flowing scarves! They move like seaweed at the bottom of a deep blue sea.

01:09 -- I fall to the bottom of a dark room. Trapped. It's dark. How do I get out?

01:10 -- A flash of light. What is it? No, wait, who is it? It's my friend! He is back! He flashes his light as if to guide me towards him. He is helping me!

01:11 -- I still don't know how to get out of here. But my friend won't leave me. He flashes his light to help me see.

01:14 -- I panic. I can't find a way out of the hole. I don't want my friend to leave!

01:15 -- He doesn't leave. He stays right there, flashing his light to show me the way. I flash back as if to say thank you.

01:16 -- Aha! I can use the "seaweed"! I glide up a scarf as if it were a ladder. I make it to the top of the deep pit. My friend is standing there. He waited this whole time. I flash once more. Thank you, friend. Thank you for not leaving me.

01:18 -- We move forward into a dark cave. Together. A stone monster emerges from the sand, but quickly flies off.

01:20 -- What is that in the distance? It is getting closer. It looks like ... THE MONSTER! It is back! It puts me in its sights and attacks. My friend tries to distract him, but it doesn't work. I am hit.

01:21 -- Recovering, I run behind a pillar for protection. My friend joins me.

01:22 -- We run forward from the monster. More monsters begin to give chase.

01:23 -- We slide down a hill, the monsters right behind us. They get closer. Closer.

01:24 -- At the last second, the monsters are knocked away by a field of light we activate using our powers. That was close. I catch my breath.

01:25 -- We meditate.

01:26 -- When I awake from my meditation, my friend is still there. He is still there! I smile. I am beginning to really like this new partner of mine.

01:27 -- We journey forward.

01:28 -- A massive tower stands before us.

01:35 -- By working together, my friend and I make it to the top of the complicated structure.

01:36 -- We enter another circle of light, side-by-side.

01:37 -- The music crescendoes just as the meditation begins. Breathtaking.

01:38 -- The mediation is over. A door opens.

01:39 -- As I run down a snow-filled hallway, I have glimpses of my family, friends, and loved ones. I think about how much I care for them. I smile.

01:40 -- The base of the mountain. I am almost there.

01:41 -- A snowstorm starts to build.

01:42 -- We find some shelter behind a few ornate stones to avoid being blown away.

01:43 -- One of the monsters is back, but far in the distance.

01:45 -- My friend falls behind on the snowy cliffs. I send out flashes of light to reassure him I am there.

01:48 -- We rest by a lantern, discovering a hidden secret.

01:50 -- We continue making our way up the side of the mountain. Snow blows all around us.

01:51 -- I see the monster again in the distance. I turn back to my friend, but he is gone. I lost him in the snow.

01:52 -- My search ends in heartbreak. He is nowhere to be found. The music seems to know this. It grows more menacing by the second.

01:53 -- My friend ... where did he go? Did he lose me as well? Did he abandon me?

01:55 -- I can't just wait around. I have to continue. But we have been through so much ...

01:56 -- The monster keeps circling the area. I have to move on. Sorry, friend. Sorry for losing you. Thank you for everything.

01:58 -- The monster attacks! I am thrown across the snow.

02:00 -- Another attack! I don't know how much more of this I can take!

02:02 -- I spot a path in the side of a cliff. I slowly make my way there. Scared. Sad. Alone.

02:03 -- Safety. From the snow. From the monster. Let me rest here for a bit ...

02:04 -- Was it my fault? Did I lose my friend? He helped me so much.

02:05 -- I have to move on.

02:06 -- The monster. Oh, please not now. Go away! You are scaring me!

02:07 -- Run! Run! It's coming! Just a little farther ...

02:08 -- Safe.

02:10 -- Wait. This lantern. This looks familiar.

02:11 -- It hits me. No. Oh no. I am going the wrong way. I am back at the start of the mountain trail. The snow must have turned me around. Now I know why I lost my friend. I have been going the wrong way! I am so sorry, friend. I failed you.

02:12 -- Back to my journey. I have to continue on ...

02:15 -- Back to the spot I lost my friend. Sorry again.

02:17 -- A quick glimpse of the mountain helps me focus. I must get there.

02:20 -- Approaching a temple. Leaving the snowy wasteland behind is making me feel a little better.

02:22 -- I am covered with snow as I make my way along the edge of the temple. The winds are brutal.

02:25 -- A flash. Of what?

02:27 -- It's hard to walk. The mountain is fading away. It is silent.

02:28 -- I collapse.

02:29 -- Surrounded by strangers. Or friends? I am revived. I shoot into the sky. My emotions are out of control. I am on the verge of tears.

02:30 -- The top of the mountain. I am reborn.

02:31 -- I fly freely. Unhindered. Unafraid.

02:32 -- The mountain peak is so close!

02:33 -- I glide ahead. Faster. Faster. Nothing can stop me!

02:34 -- I am free. I am happy. So, so happy!

02:35 -- This is glorious!

02:36 -- I am light itself! The mountain peak is right there!

02:38 -- I have arrived.

02:39 -- I walk forward into the light.

02:40 -- I think about all the friends on my journey. All the friends I have lost. I think about my family. My loved ones. My entire body fills with nothing but love.

02:41 -- A bell chimes.

02:42 -- Peace.

Chad Concelmo,
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more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

  Jul 25

Sony spills gamescom lineup, Journey for PS4, then deletes listing

Oops we didn't announce it at the right time, let's act like nobody noticed

  Feb 24

Journey was composed on a $50 crappy Casio keyboard

You'd think Austin Wintory would have better tools

  Nov 03

Journey, Unfinished Swan might be coming to PS4 (Update)

Sony Santa Monica creative director teases potential releases

  Jul 01

New thatgamecompany title will relate to a wider audience

'It's a natural evolution of everything we are doing'

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