At first i want to start off with saying that i bought Journey about 3 days ago and played the first chapter the same day. I left thinking that people really overrated the title, at the moment i felt nothing special for it. What i didn’t know was that one of my greatest experiences with a game EVER was to follow only a few days later.
Yesterday before bed I decided to hop on and play for about 30mins before i had to go.
I started at the second chapter and ran around trying to figure out how to proceed. Then it caught me, in the desert a distance away from me was another player. At first i didn’t think much about it, i thought we couldn’t really interact much with each other.
However we slowly started to follow each other and interact by using tunes, figuring out that we could boost each others powers this way. By the way he/she acted i think it was his/her first experience with the game as well.
We solved the puzzle together and both of us waited for the other so we could finish the level together. I didn’t expect us to be in the same game on the next level, I really thought it was a one-time thing. But lo and behold, there my newly found companion was.
We both had the exact same phasing while playing so we fit perfectly for each other. The more we played together the more terrified i was to loose my companion, I think he/she felt the same way. Whenever one of us got a little behind the other would stop and wait, we boosted each other through the air and communicated frequently using the notes you create in-game. I was amazed about how much you could say with only the notes, whether is was cheering or guiding the other it always seemed to work out.
During the play-through i was constantly scared to be left alone, with barely nothing we had built a strong bond to each other. The few times we lost one another we both stopped advancing the game and started searching for one another, making each other seen with a fully charged “tone-blast”. I played way beyond my initial decision to play only 30min, i didn’t want to leave my new friend alone.
At the end of each level i just wanted to game to be done, i didn’t like the constant “fear” of being left alone and i wanted me and my partner to succeed. This especially held true during the levels inside the mountain.
This coupled with the amazing scenery, music and art made for an intense “emotion roller-coaster” for me. I’m extremely happy to have found this player to game with, and I’ve since found myself with a new lust for an gaming experience i hadn’t experienced before.
For people who haven’t played this yet i absolutely recommend that you do. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experience before, truly a piece of art.
Last Saturday morning I played my first journey. During the final snow section I had a companion but I led the way for the better part, figuring out the way through the first area, using the totems to avoid the gale force winds. (At this point we had already spent the better part of fifteen minutes taking turns leaping from the huge rock at the far end of the starting area, trying to find a route up the cliffside to the bridge far above.) We eventually made it through the chasms, and stole through the open area with the sentinels looming hostile above. Shortly after that, we fell into a declining path and the winds picked up again - but it was ok, we were moving with the flow. Shortly after that, a huge rock appeared before us, after that a bridge far above, and in the distance a doorway! At this point my stomach dropped… someone (very likely me) had taken a wrong turn, and dropped us right down the mountainside, to the beginning of the level - although I hadn’t noticed until I’d seen that very familiar rock. Meanwhile, my partner sang and ran excitedly for the door, but I stopped in my tracks, waiting for it to click with them. After a moment’s silence, they meandered back in silence and joined me, sitting down in the snow, emitting a single note of consolation/profanity. Then we both just sat for a while. I like to think that my partner was joining me in going to switch the kettle on.
During my first playthrough I was really confused and made a lot of stupid mistakes and because of that a lot of partners kept leaving me behind. So when I fell off the bridge in the snow section I was sure you would move ahead and I would have to go through the whole level again by myself, but you immediately jumped down after me without a second thought, chirped reassuringly, and made sure to look out for me the rest of the way. It was one of the most heartwarming moments I’ve ever had in a game.
After a white cloak inspired me to find glitches, I began a hunt for them, starting with learning and mastering the few that my earlier mentioned companion showed me. While messing around in the Broken Bridge area trying to find that tiny seam to slip through, another white cloak came, and we both bonded immediately as my new companion realized what I was trying to do. We goofed around for a bit, fluttering helplessly in the sandfalls when I hit gold as my journeyers head poked through the rock. I managed to slip onto the other side, and chirping loudly, managed to bring my friend over for a look.
After a while of chirping back and forth on opposite sides of the wall, it seemed they were ready to give up when I slipped back through and showed them the small seam, and then together, we climbed the sand dunes (tumbling and rolling most of the time fighting the wind), we made it up the slope and I showed them the glyph in the sky, and then we glitched through to the next level. Speeding through the Pink Desert and Sand Slide, I showed them another glitch in the area you fall into at the end of the slide, and again, there was some complications. I somehow had gotten stuck with no scarf charge in an endless fall behind rocks in the glitched part of the map, and my companion was confused as to how I had even managed to get onto the other side. Fortunately, they somehow made it and came to my rescue, and moved on to the next level.
Once again we zoomed through the Tunnels and Tower and made it to the Mountain Pass. And, once again, there was a lot frustration on my end. I had forgotten what my white cloak muse had shown me on how to glitch through the wall of the mountain and eventually gave up on trying. Fortunately, my partner was patient and understanding when I sullenly walked away and chirped comfortingly. We started doing a quick run through the Mountain Pass but when we got to the field where Stone Guardians roamed, I remembered reading about a glitch near the hidden glyph, and skittered up the slope to find it with my partner trailing after. Locating it, we went through, a little lost because I had no idea where I was going.
We were making some progress when my partner suddenly chirped frantically. I turned around to find them when I too, fell into panic as I suddenly descended through the floor. Below the map the fog is so thick you could barely see, and it was dark and gloomy. We spent twenty minutes crying out to each other, trying to find our way out when I found a slope, leading up and called to my companion. Pushing hard, we made it back, finally poking our heads out of the snow and getting back to solid ground.
After a short breather of relief, we kept going. And going. And going. I started getting worried. It seemed that I had gotten even more lost as we were now in a vast field of snow with no sign of walls or any rocks or landmarks. I was about to turn around when a stroke of more misfortune hit, and there was a power flicker and my home went dark briefly. I was struck with a realization. I had unwittingly abandoned my partner in an area that neither of us had no knowledge of, and they were now alone with no hope of getting back to the map. Even though the power flicker wasn’t my fault, I still feel guilty.
My Halloween was fairly uninteresting, so I decided to log onto Journey, after not playing for quite some time. It played out as it usually does for me. Same general path. It’s usually the players I meet that instill a sense of enjoyment within me nowadays. When I got to the second level, the one where you can actually meet people, I quickly met another White Robe. He/She seemed eager to see me and started walking into a cliff-side. Pretty awkward, yeah? I figured he wanted to show me a glitch and he eventually floated through the wall. I followed. We scaled the cliff-side and although the camera angles gave me some difficulty, the other player was fairly patient with me. Not long ago that, we were traversing the various landscape that lay hidden to the usual play-through. Interesting as it was, I wasn’t very impressed at first because I never had an interest in seeing the glitched side of Journey. Plus I felt lost.
Lost, I didn’t know where I was going. I was actually exploring. I soon fell to it’s charms. The other player was guiding me through the glitched landscape, taking me from one beautiful sight to another. At the end of the slide level, we climbed back up the wall and traversed the overhead structures until we fell into the mountain. I was able to get a much closer look at some of the architecture that stood in the distance of the level and they stood against a wide array of ever-changing and lovely colours! During my new journey, I was able to pick up on details I never could before… I could see the sand move, the individual grains sliding against one another! It was almost as if we were walking through the sparkling stars that lie in the sky. It was, in all honest, one of the most beautiful things I have EVER seen. This was an experience I will probably never be able to recreate. Ever.
Eventually, we were separated. After we was journeying through the hidden parts of the underground level, he sat in the sand and faded away. I don’t know if he quit or lost connection (which happened to me only a minute afterwards) but he definitely did not appear on the end credits. So I wasn’t able to send a message thanking him/her. So I just want you to know, if you’re out there, Mysterious White Robe… Thank you for sharing that experience with me, a white robe who has a lot more to learn and discover. I wish I could do this story justice, but I could never express the beauty you showed me within the last few hours.
My most recent Journey involved myself as a full-embroidered red cloak, and my companion as a full-embroidered white cloak. Personally, I’ve found while playing Journey online, you tend to click better with some people vs others. This was one of those Journeys.
We met right from the beginning at the Broken Bridge. We generally stayed pretty close together throughout most of our Journey. I think they had already collected two of the glowing symbols, but stayed close as I went to collect them for myself, and we both collected the third one, as well as visited the glyph before heading off to connect the bridge. We reached the top of the bridge, and they stopped to fly up on top of the broken pillar, to sit there and meditate. As I tried to get up there, I stumbled off a few times before finally joining them in meditating. I was about to snap a picture when they got up and jumped off. I set my phone off the to side. Afterwards, we continued on to the Pink Desert.
They ended up taking me to the one glyph in the desert. I might’ve seen it before, but I honestly can’t remember. We started climbing the ruined tower when they shortcutted near the top. I didn’t think I had enough scarf to try, and they came back down and we took a slightly different path, and got up to the top.
We surfed through the city, being pretty good at staying together and collecting the glowing symbols. In the area where the music stops, they took me to see the glyph there before continuing through the rest of the sunken city. Before our history lesson, they showed me the final missing glyph that I needed for my History trophy. I was quite happy as I kept forgetting to look for it.
During the underground, we once again stayed close together. I trailed off a little so I could run under the sand, and they understood what I was doing after a few sandfalls and joined me as we continued forward. We stopped by the glyph before running through the guardian area. Before the history lesson here, they pulled me off to the side to show the little strips of red and white fabric. We circled around them, chirping our hearts out. I was smiling and laughing here, just because I love those two little pieces of fabric chilling out.
We made our way up the glowing tower, getting the glowing symbols and the glyph in the whale’s room. Once we filled the room up, they started descending into the water whilst chirping, and I already knew where they were taking me. We visited the mysterious creature, swimming around it and chirping constantly. They waited for me as I had my fun, and we made our way to the top of the tower once more.
In the mountain we both made sure to stay close together, keeping warm as our ascent got colder and colder. In the windy area where you need to hide behind the tall stones, they kept sitting down. I wasn’t sure why at first, but after a few times, joined them as well. I think it might’ve been to stay in place, but even now I’m not 100% certain.
We reached the little sheltered area with the lamp heater, chirping to activate it. My partner then sat down. I got a little closer to be as close beside them as I could, and sat down as well. A few times before my partner had sat down during this Journey, and I’m usually slightly worried that they’ll disappear, but this time was different. None of those times they disappeared. This time, we both sat there for a good minute or two. I don’t know whether they needed to do something quick, or if it was just to meditate and enjoy each other’s company, but they never disappeared. I quickly grabbed my phone to take a couple of shots, since I never see this happen. It was just something rare that’s nice to see. After they were done, we got up and quickly visited the glyph there and continued on.
In the guardian’s area, they showed me the glyph there as well. We continued up the mountain slowly getting colder and colder, but still by each other’s side. We made it through the blowing snow pretty successfully, not falling down and having to climb up. The hardest part came, and we slowly ascended the mountain, desperately trying to stay together. We eventually both gave out, with them passing out first, followed by me. (I passed out in their butt. That’s the third time I’ve had that happen!)
We both met up with each other, climbing towards the beacon of light. They mostly stayed quiet throughout the Journey, but if I would say something they would reply. Part way through, I decided to back off a bit and just enjoy the quiet between us. However, they started chirping their heart out, and i couldn’t help but join them. We hitched a ride on the whale before jumping off (me a bit too early and kind of fell off) and swimming up to the peak of the mountain.
We both landed at the top, continuously chirping. I stopped just before the snow, planning on drawing a heart for my companion. They had the exact same idea, stopping beside me. They started their heart a few beats before I started mine, but we managed to draw a heart for each other on the respective side we were standing on. At this point, touched by our companionship and adventure, and just their niceness overall, I started crying. I did quickly grab my phone and took a few shots of the hearts, as neither of us had moved much yet, and I traced back over both hearts once I was done. It was a good cry though. We circled around each other, leaving a heavy indent in the circle of our path, happily chirping to each other.
We moved a bit more forward when they stopped again. I stopped beside them, when they suddenly flew up into the air. I was slightly confused. They did it a few more times. Thinking that they wanted me to join in, I thought for a moment of how to do it. I managed to figure it out pretty quickly since Journey’s controls are pretty simple, but still did a really terrible job of it. We both did the little up and down for a while. I think they wanted to try to go high. We managed to get some height, but I kept screwing it up. I felt a little bad since I couldn’t do it well. I quickly grabbed my phone again for a quick, really bad pic.
It’s moments like these that make Journey a marvelous game.
They eventually stopped and continued a bit forward, waiting for me to stop and join them. We continued walking forward, close together, singing our way to the end.
I ended up crying through a good portion of the credits. It’s probably mostly just because I’ve been sleep deprived lately and as such have become overemotional, but just their kindness and companionship was absolutely something amazing, and something you don’t see often. I was quite touched by it.
Thank you so much Dtmmxx, for making a grown adult cry. But also thank you for a magnificent Journey. <3
“‘People will venture out to the height of the mountain to seek for wonder,’” Chen recited as he shared his love of third century philosopher Augustine over a burger with Simon Parkin. “‘They will stand and stare at the width of the ocean to be filled with wonder. But they will pass one another in the street and feel nothing. Yet every individual is a miracle. How strange that nobody sees the wonder in one another.’” The best way to discover the wonder in one another, Journey suggests, is to shut us all the hell up.
During my Journey on the 7th of September, I met a companion next to the broken bridge. He or she was very lively and fun and we immediately tried fun things like “climbing” the cliffs together to try to see what’s behind. One of the best companions I ever had.
Then he or she disappeared right after the part with the jellyfishes in the sunken city. I felt really alone during the rest of the game.
Companion name: Opt_O
Drawn in the bus & colored with Photoshop.
Journey (c) Thatgamecompany
We were at the end of the city level. My partner and I had been together since the beginning. It was not his first playthrough, nor mine but,as I was eager to sit and get to the next level, he uttered a sound.
I don’t know why he did it, maybe because his thumb slipped, but I responded. And then something happened: he kept on uttering changing sounds, and so did I. We weren’t trying to say something to each other, we were simply making music. Of course it sounded awful, dissonant but we were trying to get a rhythm: me with loud notes and him with frenetic sounds.
We played for several minutes, and then we stopped at the same time.
I don’t remember what happened after, yet, this moment is buried among my memories. Journey can make you experience communication with only several sounds, but here it was not about that: it was about trying to create harmony in the layout of the sounds. The important thing to me was that it was spontaneous, it was a spontaneous try to create beauty for our ears to enjoy.
When I heard about this game, I was mesmerized. The music, the setting, the idea. It was hauntingly beautiful. But I don’t have internet, I played this game alone. Wandering through its halls alone, a lonely wanderer.
One day I got the chance to play the game online, I felt so happy, elated to finally have a companion in that empty world. Some came and went, most had played it as much as I had. Then someone played it with me, someone new…A first timer. They had no knowledge on the beauty of the game, on its wonder and marvels. They were probably confused by my white robe.
I wanted to show the player a wonderful world to explore, but I didn’t want to just show them all the secrets. I felt like a parent, I wanted the player to experience things on their own. The wonders of playing this game for the first time is something I didn’t want to ruin for someone else by pulling back the curtain and showing them everything right away. So I hung back, I stayed near them, softly nudging them in the right direction, but never leading them down the path. The secrets would come later, today, in this moment, there was a magical moment that could not be missed. Discovering the cloths beneath the sand, sliding down the dunes, everytime I dance down that city in the sunset, I get goosebumps.
Then we descended, and the creatures appeared. The stone hunters. I urged the player to stay near me, there was danger. But I messed up, one tiny misstep, one little movement at the wrong time, that was all it took and I had led my friend into ruin. My friend stepped right into the path of the stone hunter. Red light bathing the dark hall. It was zeroing in. Without thinking I leap in front of my friend, and the stone hunter goes after me instead, but it spared my companion. They were safe.
We rushed to try and get out of the tunnels, but my friend couldn’t keep up, they fell behind and the stone hunters caught up. I had to do something, this person was only here because of me, they were only in trouble because I was stupid. I leaped right into the Hunter, jumped right onto its face, and it slammed me into a wall. We managed to escape, and I limped on, but my friend was safe.
Up the mountain we climbed, the cold sapping our strength. My character moved slowly. We were alive though, we were together, I felt that little tingle of comfort knowing that my friend continues to stay with me. I showed them the runes hidden in the stormy blizzard, the secret respites from the biting cold. We found ourselves hiding in the ruins in the snow, hiding from the stone hunters and the very wind itself. When we were almost to the end of the area infested with stone hunters, the very last one caught sight of my friend as we tried to make a run for it. I stayed behind and distracted it while they made a break for the end. I hide in a nearby ruin but as anyone in a similar situation knows, it did nothing to protect me. I was almost destroyed.
I picked myself out of the ruin and limped on. Right by my side, holding me, shielding me against the wind, was my little companion. Together we made the final trek up the mountain, I was too weak too keep up though, I kept falling behind, but every time I stumbled, there my companion was, right by my side, chirping me on.
I was so proud when we reached the end that I let my friend go. They finished on their own…They didn’t need me to protect them anymore.
Playing that game reminded me I was a good person, that I could be good without thinking about it.
Playing that game reminded me that deep down we can all be good.