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Celeste’s Madeline Is Canonically Transgender, Developer Confirms


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Maddy Thorson has revealed that Madeline, the protagonist in Celeste, is transgender, which became clear to the developer later in development.

Maddy Thorson, the creator of Celeste, has confirmed that the game’s protagonist Madeline is transgender in an open and honest blog post. The difficult platformer tells an emotional story as the main character attempts to climb a mountain, dealing with issues such as mental health. It is widely considered to be one of the best games of 2018 and won a series of awards for its art style, gameplay, and narrative.

Although Celeste won widespread critical acclaim, it has still not been played by many gamers. That hasn’t stopped the game from being influential within the industry, with particular praise given to the title’s Assist Mode. This allows players to choose between a variety of difficulty options to make Celeste even more accessible, such as giving the player invincibility, unlimited stamina, and decreasing the speed of the action. Thorson previously suggested that a similar system could be used in the likes of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

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Celeste‘s creator and developer Maddy Thorson has confirmed to fans that the hero from the game is transgender. Speaking on her personal Medium blog, Thorson revealed that Madeline is trans, saying, “Yeah, of course she is.” The designer conceded that this had been “painfully obvious to a lot of trans people” but that she did not “know that Madeline or [herself] were trans” during the development of the game. It was only after the game was completed and Thorson began to work on the Farewell DLC that she began to fully understand her and the character’s gender identities, sayin that she unwittingly wrote the story from a trans perspective:

“Celeste is a game written and designed by a closeted trans person who was struggling with their gender identity, scored by a trans woman, with art and code and sound and other labor from their inspiring and irreplaceable friends. These are the perspectives that we approached this from, and I think that the game reflects that beautifully.”

Those wanting to try out Celeste for the first time are in luck. The game was recently added to the Xbox Game Pass alongside a collection of classic LucasArts titles. This included Grim FandangoDay of the Tentacle, and Full Throttle. Microsoft has also expanded the service’s library with high-profile games such as Rainbow Six Siege and Doom Eternal, with more games set to come when the Xbox Series X launches next week.

Hearing Maddy Thorson confirm that Madeline is a transgender character will no doubt be well received by the community. There are very few LGBTQ+ individuals in the world of gaming, and although some developers such as CD Projekt Red have revealed plans to include more options in the future when it comes to creating characters, knowing that trans people have more representation in video games is a step in the right direction.

Next: Cyberpunk 2077 is Aiming to Offer Transgender Options in its Character Creator

Source: Maddy Thorson

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Updated: November 8, 2020 — 10:55 pm

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