Lunaris: Celeste’s Most Interesting Mod

 Warning: mentions of Attempted Suicide, Self Harm and Drug Abuse

Celeste is a game about Madeline, a 21-year-old trans mountain climber. During the game’s story, Madeline embarks on a spiritual climb to Celeste Mountain’s peak; along the way, Madeline meets new people and a new part of herself. As her journey continues, she literally faces herself every step of the way, but eventually, Madeline reconciles with Badeline, her other part. Celeste’s final chapter sees Madeline and Badeline working together at last to blaze through all of the game’s previous challenges in a mad dash to the summit, but what comes after? What remains once the summit of Celeste Mountain has been conquered? Well, as far as the game’s official canon is concerned, not much*; however, through mods, we are able to tell our own stories, picking up where the main game leaves off.

The Solaris System is a Celeste mod created by Donker19. This mod features 3? chapters: Solaris, Lunaris, Stellaris and Ỉ̴̳͎̰̉͆̚n̸̢͉̞̙̑ǎ̴̧̋n̷͔͍̣̆̈̑a̵̝̋̄́̅r̴̥̙̺̙͗̌̒̓į̴͖͓͆̐͝s̵͈̮̹̀́, The mod uses these chapters to tell a story similar to how the base game told its story. The story that Lunaris (the Chapter This Article will focus on)  tells occurs after the main game concludes. Madeline has another spell of depression, this one worse than anything she had gone through on Celeste Mountain, her mind crowded by contradictory feelings and emotions. She doesn’t think to reach out for help; the mod’s gameplay reflects this by introducing new types of obstacles that increase the difficulty to match the struggle of dealing with one’s emotions. Staring up at the moon on yet another sleepless night, her mind wanders, taking her to dark places. Wondering, “Why Endure All The Pain,” she starts taking pills, doing anything to subdue the pain of her own mind. Thoughts tearing themselves apart as she explores the frigid comet that the mod is set on, she reaches the end, down at the darkest depths of her mind, she lashes out at her other half and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, she makes an attempt on her own life, rounding out the first part of the story for its conclusion in Solaris.

No matter the size, quality, gameplay, etc., we can all agree that making mods for anything takes time, and Celeste mods are no exception. It takes a lot of care to fully design something, write a story, and make art, and I feel that Lunaris really shows that off. The gameplay is smooth and feels good to play, remixing its custom mechanics in a way that keeps the map consistent for deathless challenges. The art featured in the map isn’t over the top complicated or pretty, but it adds to the emptiness and the feeling of being alone, adding to the experience like a curated dash of whipped cream on ice cream. Further complementing that is the music; various tracks are chosen from many different sources, but they all add to the atmosphere of the frigid arriseyum comet Luna drifting through space as Madeline aimlessly explores. The mod recognises this effort through the primary secret found beneath the surface. Hidden throughout the mod are eight torches placed in hard to reach places; upon activating the last torch, the player is transported to “Red Space -S”, a red void representing the journey of creation, and the perfectionism that comes with it. Exploring this strange new environment brings new challenges and new gameplay. As you compare your work with others, the emotions begin to fester, building up over time and merging into a blob of anger and desire to destroy, and if you let your perfectionism build up, you reach your tipping point, and you decide, “Actually. No. Sometimes, a concept is fundamentally flawed, and no amount of changes can fix it. That leaves only one option. It. Must. Be. D̷̬͇̼̈̾͝Ḙ̵͑̅Ļ̶̯̃̒E̸̢͚̓̎̇͌Ṯ̵̫̼̦̓̅Ĕ̵͓̣̇̓̇D̵̢̨̥̒.” In an instant, the unease, supplemented by the gameplay and the music, comes to its climax; this massive sludge of death starts coming and it’s time to get the hell out of there. After escaping from the wall, you find a lone berry, one of the few collectibles in the map and, by far, the most important. Collecting it simply takes you back to the final torch, as if the cutaway never happened. This section acts as a parallel between the work of art that is finished and the process and the tribulations under which it is made. 

“The story of Red Space is really about the dangers of comparing your creative world to others and only creating things for the approval of others. It’s learning to accept what you make as good in its own right if that makes sense,” Says Donker19, the mods’ creator. In the end, the only person you should have to impress is yourself. At least, in my opinion, personal triumph is a way greater reward than the support of others.

Deep within Lunaris lies a more significant, more incredible secret. Inside the temple section of the mod, a large computer rests. Turning it on using the code scribbled on a nearby wall, it begins to talk about arriseyum, a mystical element capable of powering the comets and the technology within. The computer talks to the player directly, addressing their control over Madeline, saying, “I see you have taken full control of the puppet.” In this conversation, the computer also brings light to a secondary system beneath the temple on the Solar comet. In the Solaris temple, the second computer sits; it reveals more about the Solar comet, about how the civilisation that built the temple quickly fled because of the rising heat and that Madeline would be dead on the spot if not for the player’s influence. The computer’s curiosity grows as it begins questioning the player’s ability to seemingly travel the cosmos in mere seconds; the computer eggs the player to find the next computer on the Stella comet. There, the computer gives info on the Stella comet and arriseyum’s ability to absorb its surroundings, explaining that the purple colouration of the Stella comet comes from the arriseyum absorbing the gas from a nearby supernova. Then the computer realises that there is one more, a fourth comet that must be visited to gain its trust entirely; however, it mentions that this comet will be rather hard to reach and tells the player, “You are to tap into something called “files.” The computer conveys a path in said files where the inanis comet lies, telling the player to copy the contents of the “folder” within to your “mods folder” the system, baffled by this information starts to question its existence, questioning if the world it resides simply exists in a larger computer system. The computer vows that if you find it on that final comet, it will trust that you are whom its ultimate task suggests it must give its power to. On Inanaris, the computer realises it is at your mercy; it realises that this final comet and the solar comet are the same, only eons apart. Inanis taking place after solar is engulfed by a black hole. The computer remarks that you managed to take Inanaris out from the void and that you are a Ḡ̶̞͕́O̴̭͌D̷̦̣͘ and are capable of changing the fabric of reality to suit your needs. The computer continues and tells the player the location of its power source, a heart hidden under the computer on the Luna comet. It begins to tell the code to unlock the heart when something takes over, forcing it to shut down, its last words being a plea to the player to save it from whatever comes next. After collecting the Lunaris heart, we can complete the heart poem using the other hearts from Solaris and Stellaris, creating the sentence “Fearful loss of sentence in a Magnum Opus.” Converting these letters into numbers and referring them to a note on the Inanis comet gives us a code to unlock the Inanaris heart. This heart, once converted to letters from numbers, leads us to another path in the files. There, the computer speaks again, telling us about an ancient civilisation who used the arriseyum to the fullest. However, “he” was displeased with them, so “he” manipulated and controlled them and drove them to their demise. The computer continues, telling the player of a place “he” can’t reach, how to reach it, and the existence of one more comet. Using the code provided, we can unlock a password-locked link that takes us to a Discord server. By solving some puzzles there, we are given the location of the final comet, Comet Terra. On that comet, we read the logs of the Larites, the aforementioned civilisation. The logs tell of their creations, countless machines capable of many impossibilities, but then, at one point, the god that supplied the Arriseyum had enough. He started using the hidden magic deep within the cosmic element to control the Larites, driving them out of their homes, the temples built on the arriseyum comets. Few larites escaped, those of which left their pseudo universe “The Nexus”, behind. The remaining Larites wrote their story on logs and left them on the Terra comet, hoping that the person with the power to drag the comet back into the Nexus and access said logs would have the power to take down the vengeful god.

Screenshot: Yelling At Children

Celeste mods are such an incredible process; in case you need any extra proof, here’s Donker19, Lunaris’ creator, with some final words;

 “Modding Celeste may seem pretty impractical or like a waste of time, but I can assure you it’s not. My mods, Solaris/Lunaris, have touched the lives of so many people, acting as a warning against the dangers of untreated suicidal tendencies. Take Yelling At Children for example- they have constantly been showing me how much my projects can mean to people. I love the community we have built up, and releasing a multi year spanning passion project for people to enjoy for free is such an amazing type of feeling I don’t know I’ll ever be able to reach again. However, to get back to the original point, the practicality can not be understated. I wrote an essay about this mod for my college applications, and with my average grades, I believe that essay was what allowed me to squeeze into my 10% acceptance rate dream college. Not only that, but I’ve gained so many unique skills through modding- mainly leadership. I’ve hosted a variety of collaborative projects. Although sometimes it may seem like a waste of time, I’m very glad that I did what I did- I don’t regret it! Thank you.” 

If you want to get into Celeste and its modding community, join the Discord server:

If you want to modding your game, follow the steps to install the Everest API here: Everest – Celeste Mod Loader (

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