I usually don’t upload walkthrough videos, even if I record some of them. There are tons of them on internet and took to long to upload. But with Journey I made an exception, because I thought about it as a record of a journey I wanted to share. So, when I finally first played the game past march, I recorded and shared it. Nine months later, I’m writing this post to remember that journey, the same day Journey can win some big awards at this year VGAs. This is how I remember it.
Previous to playing the game, tried not to see too much of it. That was a good decision. Started playing, I saw the desert, vast desert. Didn’t know clearly where to go. I was mesmerized by the sand under my feet, the trails I left. I saw something similar to a tombstone, with something floating around it in the air. After reaching that point, a big mountain appeared in the horizon and more totems extended over down terrain. Then some pieces of floating cloth formed a little scar around me. What was happening? I started jumping and flying. Then, I discovered a little temple and a image came to life. Lots of abandoned buildings. I discovered something similar to an altar. I sat down, a big door opened and I had a vision with images in the same vein of the ones I saw previously, showing me part of the history behind my journey.
After crossing the door and a long corridor, I arrived to another place, still in the desert, but with sandfalls and a broken bridge. The big mountain still in the background. “I have to reach than mountain”. But hey, suddenly I saw I wasn’t alone, what a strange experience. But didn’t last long. Playing with the pieces of cloth in the air, a bridge is revealed, found a new partner and traveled across it (great moment). Another pray, another piece of history of that people. Or was it my own history? Another door, another corridor and a new desert appeared, but this time was different, also because I wasn’t alone. Peaceful, nice view, such a wonderful landscape with the mountain in the horizon. I slided in the sand, so calm, such a great experience.
A cloth flying creature appeared and we followed them. Why I felt happy? Didn’t know, but was great, like playing with an old friend at a familiar place. Lots of that creatures appeared. Everything was great, until we discovered a structure around wich a sandstorm was. Fortunately, that scary feeling dissappeared soon, after crossing another door and enjoying a long sliding across the sand accompanied of the creatures (and a wonderful music). That was pure magic and joy.
This little travel ended crossing a sandfall and enjoying a beautiful view of the mountain. But suddenly I noticed I was alone again, but not for a long. After investigating the place (where I discovered another glyph) I climbed and started a new sliding moment through the sand, including a magic moment with the sun illuminating the scene across a corridor of columns and the moutain in the back (you know the place, it’s unforgetteable… but you can also check in watching our favourite gaming moments xD). But suddenly, all the lights go out and I found myself in the darkness, fortunately with a partner. We started walking together, but, where were we?
Well, was dark, but I was with my partner and we were finding beauty also there. New type of cloth creatures appeared and we continued going forward, with the hope of finding the way to continue to the mountain. But suddenly a creature emerged from the sand, scary, different of the previously found during our journey. It was menacing. Again, what was happening? We tried to continue, everything was quiet, only the sounds of that creature could be heard. Right now I noticed that fortunately I had a partner with me. Another big creature appeared, but we could avoid them and reach another altar. A little moment of peace.
After the dark corridor with menacing flying creatures, we arrived to a tower like structure. My partner knew which were the steps to go up that tower. Activating glyphs, the fluid rised and we could reach higher stances. Big cloth creatures appear, friendly ones. We reached the upside part of the tower. Another corridor, another door, but was that snow?
Yes, it was snow. The mountain was closer, but now the way felt harder, colder, more dangerous. From that point everything was going more complicated. No more happy friendly cloth creatures, they couldn’t survive that cold winter. Still with a partner, but feeling de cold (is that possible? It’s just a game?) More menacing flying creatures made thing more complicated. The rest of the journey was going to be difficult. Wind was blowing us, we had to take cover to continue going forward. “Let’s stay together!” we thought. We reached another structure, but after a little rest, thing got worse. More wind, more creatures, more cold. I was hit and I lose my partner. Scared. I could reach my partner again.
We had to watch every step and took cover. We reached another castle like structure, after that the storm got worse. We could barelly see the light of the mountain to guide us, we could barely walk. But we had to continue walking, we had to reach the mountain. Wasn’t that the meaning of our journey? How long could that take? We still saw the mountain, we had to walk a little more. Suddenly, I couldn’t see the mountain anymore, I couldn’t hear the storm, the music… only my breath. My partner felt, I felt a little later. Was it the end? I was dying? No, still was hope.
Was that heaven? I could see the moutain and all the beauty. Happy again, flying across a beautiful place. Pure glory. So close. No words. Everyone should experience this. Not watch it, not read about it. Play and feel it. I reached the mountain (alone this time), went to the light and saw the ending credits, and got back to the start. Is this life? What’s the meaning?
Journey was such a great experience, like nothing played before. I made another two journeys and surely will make more. The landscapes (the games has amazing views, I’ll made a video about that soon), music (one of the best game soundtracks in history, perfectly reinforces what is happening in the game), feelings, moments… A little piece of art and the result of the work and love during a long time of a small team of talented people.
I will like to thank my partners during my first journey:
And thanks to the people of thatgamecompany (Jenova Chen, Kellee Santiago and all the team), Sony and Santa Monica Studios for supporting such a risky project and Austin Wintory for the music.