It’s the middle of the week, it’s time to unwind a little, so let’s take a stroll back up the spike-lined paths of Celeste mountain, but this time as Kirby. Ingeste, by EX.ULT VIDEOTAINMENT is a free, browser-friendly mod of the original Celeste for Pico-8 starring HAL Laborotory’s famously friend-shaped pink puffball. It’s a cute little subversion of a Matt Thorson’s tough platformer, letting you float and flutter your way to the top. Give it a try for yourself in your browser here on Itch. If floating up the mountain seems like cheating, there’s a fresh challenge below.
There’s a long history of hacking Kirby into other games, making them into immediately more chill experiences. See the orb-friend floating his way through the original Sonic The Hedgehog here, for example. The Pico-8 version of Celeste feels like a great pick though. While the later, commercial version of the game offered famously excellent accessibility options, the 8-bit virtual console version remained a punishing little experience. It’s good for a smile, but won’t take you long. If your idea of fun is suffering, however, Nameguy’s D-Side Pack for Celeste may be just what you seek.
The D-sides survived by “horheristo” on YouTube.
A mod for the PC version of Celeste, Nameguy’s D-Sides Pack is probably the biggest and best mod for the game to date. A brutal collection of extra stages for the game, one for each of the game’s zones. Even with every death edited out, the playthrough video above is an hour and a half of exacting spike avoidance. It isn’t just pixel-perfect platforming though, and even features some clever and creative level design in there, in the vein of the game proper. Just don’t expect to survive you’ve thoroughly mastered the main game. You’ll need the Everest mod-loader to install it.