Journey (2012 video game)

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That identical figure to the left will probably be your new best friend by the end of the game.

Journey is a video game for the Play Station 3 created by thatgamecompany, best known as the creators of flOw and Flower. You play as a robed figure who is crossing the desert to reach a mountain in the distance. As the game progresses, you will pass through several unique environments and ruins, uncovering more of the game's story as you go. It's something of an Adventure Game with light Platform Game elements.

Your character has only two real abilities: singing, which radiates out a sound wave whose size is proportional to how long you hold down the button - this is used to activate various objects; and jumping, which allows you to go sailing through the air - this ability uses energy, which can be replenished by touching the floating bits of cloth you encounter throughout the game; the amount of energy, indicated by the length of your character's scarf, can be increased by collecting glowing symbols.

One of the game's main selling points is its unique form of multiplayer: during the game, you may encounter another player, whom you may travel with if you wish. However, unlike most multiplayer games, you can't see the other player's name or other information except for a unique icon that appears above their head when they sing, which is the only real way to communicate: there is no text or voice chat in the game, so you must rely entirely on your in-game abilities to work with your partner. However, when you beat the game, it reveals the user names of all the other players you encountered on your journey.

Decidedly not related to the rock band of the same name, an arcade game based on the band released in 1983, a video game Journey released in 1989 on various home computers, or several films named Journey.

Note that the game's story is very much meant to be experienced firsthand rather than read about, so check out the tropes below at your own risk.

Compare and contrast LostWinds, which is practically its Wii Ware equivalent.

Is, as of March 2012, the fastest selling PSN-game of all time.

Tropes used in Journey include:
  • Adventure Game
  • After the End: The robed beings' civilization was destroyed in a civil war.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Banners and cloth you'll come across largely resembles a marine life with fish, jellyfish, kelp and so on like air was an ocean.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The robed beings really don't have any identifiable sexual characteristics.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • The first few times you complete the game, a section is added to the pattern on your cape.
    • Collecting all the symbols unlocks a white cape, which starts with a longer scarf that recharges automatically when you're on the ground.
  • Armless Biped: Your character doesn't have any arms. Word of God is that this is because they didn't want people wondering why you can't climb or pick up things.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Your character in the ending, and apparently what happened to the robed beings who survived the civil war.
  • Beautiful Void: And how.
  • Benevolent Architecture: The levels were designed with this in mind: just head towards the most prominent object in the area and you're probably going in the right direction.
  • Book Ends: The last shot of the credits montage is actually the start-of-game screen, complete with "Press Start to begin a new Journey".
  • Darkest Hour: At the end of the penultimate chapter, the main character is left without a scarf, the mountain is more distant than it was at the start of the chapter and it slowly fades away from the view as the whiteout intensifies.
  • Determinator: You, in chapter 7, when you keep on walking toward the summit even though you're slowly freezing to death. Which then turns into a Tear Jerker when you do freeze to death just as you're reaching the summit. Even worse if you have a partner because you watch them die alongside you.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: If you play through the game without a companion and then one joins you later, the mural that you see at the end of chapter 6 will only show one red-cloaked person until it pans to the level where your friend joined, when two will show from there until the endgame.
  • Dramatic Thunder: This can be heard near the end of penultimate chapter.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Over and over and over again.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower: After the ascended robed beings revive you near the end of chapter 7, you'll have a maxed out scarf/energy meter.
  • Fade to White: Happens in every chapter.
  • Foreshadowing: You know those comets you can see periodically throughout the game? Those are other people who have reached the end of the game... and they can see you too. They will still make scripted appearances should you choose to play offline.
  • Glowing Eyes: Your character has these. Which fade as you freeze to death.
  • Gusty Glade: At one of the later chapters. Crosses with Death Mountain and Slippy-Slidey Ice World.
  • Here We Go Again: Implied in the ending, when the ascended player character returns to the desert where the game began. Also Book Ends.
  • Hero's Journey: Perfect evocation of this story structure. The song titles on the soundtrack coincide with steps in The Hero's Journey.
  • It's the Journey That Counts: Perhaps a main theme of the game, appropriate considering its title and implicit in the ending.
  • Lost Superweapon: The war machines which destroyed the civilization. Some are still active.
  • Minimalism
  • Moment of Silence: At the end of the penultimate chapter, it slowly turns very silent.
  • Mood Motif: Certain musical instruments heard in the game are associated with various events. For an example, bass flute is for the white figure seen at the end of most chapters. Certain instruments play only when being with a companion.
  • Mr. Exposition: When you activate the shrine at the end of each level, a white-robed figure will show you a visual representation of part of the game's story.
  • Not Quite Flight: The character's gliding ability.
  • One-Woman Wail: The credits music.
  • The Phoenix: A possible interpretation of the characters. Considering the cycle of re-birth they undergo everytime you beat the game, not to mention their clothes are red with yellow designs.
  • Ragnarok Proofing: Mostly averted. The vast majority of the buildings encountered in the game are in a visible state of disrepair. The still-active war machines are the exception to this rule.
  • Recurring Riff: A certain motif is played throughout the game.
  • Sand Is Water: Played around with.
    • Sometimes, the sand acts like sand. At other times, you can surf through it like water, and watch it glisten and ripple like water as well.
    • The use of marine animal styles for the "cloth creatures" makes the parallel even stronger.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: No violence so not asskicking, but it can grow to roughly four times the length of the character and it lets you fly.
  • Scenery Gorn: These are the ruins of your main character's civilization you're going through.
  • Scenery Porn: Massive desert with realistic cloth and sand effects? Yes, please. Not to mention some of the views that you're able to see throughout the game.
  • Shout-Out: There are hidden references to flOw and Flower at certain locations in the game.
  • Silence Is Golden: No spoken dialogue occurs in Journey.
  • Stop Helping Me!: An interesting example, in that it's not only perpetrated by other players, but is almost certainly done without malice: the second chapter features a bridge which, if crossed without repairing it completely, will reward a trophy. Unfortunately, some nice person will often see you 'struggling' and take pity on you by fixing the bridge section you obviously didn't see, undermining the whole endeavor.
    • Of course, you can go offline and get the achievement by yourself if other players continue to rebuild the bridge.
  • Terminally Dependent Society: The scarcity of red banners started the civilization-ending war.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Implied with the war machines.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Part of chapter 5 consists of a Stealth-Based Mission in which you have to sneak through a tunnel being patrolled by war machines. You'll repeat this exercise in chapter 7, this time hiding in the husks of dead war machines as live ones pass overhead. If one sees you, it'll grab and toss you a long ways and tear off part of your scarf, reducing your energy meter.
  • Variable Mix: A few musical instruments are added to some of the songs when playing with another player.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • You can fill your partner's energy gauge by singing or by walking very close to them. In chapter 7, when the extreme cold constantly drains your energy, you can still replenish it by the latter method, like you're huddling together for warmth. How sweet!
    • At the end of the game, when the usernames of your companions are listed, it's become common for players to send messages of thanks to their companions after playing the game.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: ...or you can just desert them in a ditch somewhere. Your choice.