FrozenFlygone is a Celeste speedrunner as well as a runner and Admin for Frame Fatales who earlier this month performed a Celeste Custom Map at SGDQ.
Like a lot of Celeste runners, the game’s tight mechanics and meaningful story are what keep FrozenFlygone invested in the game.
“It's very clear about talking about mental illness and struggling with yourself and perfection, and always wanting to be the best,” she said.
She also thinks the story is fitting for a speedgame.
“Celeste has over 2500 runners. And so it's a daunting task to get into running this game. But the story of the game itself is like ‘you can do this. Keep pushing,’” she said.
Additionally, she has found the Celeste community to be a welcoming and supportive environment where members are often quick to help one another with difficult tricks and questions.
As well as running the base game, FrozenFlygone runs and creates Custom Maps for Celeste. Currently, she is a map designer and level manager on the collaborative “Strawberry Jam” project and in the past she has worked on maps like Quickie Mountain 2.
“It keeps a game alive to have content like that,” she said. She is grateful that Celeste’s development team has maintained a positive relationship with the speedrunning and modding communities including promoting custom maps and actively seeking community feedback on future game patches.
In addition to Celeste, FrozenFlygone tries her hand at all kinds of speedgames to keep things fresh and interesting for her.
She frequently runs Super Mario World Kaizo Rom Hacks as well as other platformers like VVVVVV.
She prefers games that lend themselves to a gradual learning process where she can incorporate strats overtime as her skill improves. Although most of her passion lies with platformers, she still explores other game genres.
FrozenFlygone owns every Hamtaro game (as well as some Hamtaro plushies and miniatures) and early on she decided to speedrun all five of the Hamtaro video games.
“It's been really fun to run those just because it's totally different. It's not input intensive like Celeste, it's more routing and I really like that aspect of it,” she said.
She has also made a point of running every Powerpuff Girls game and while she doesn’t recommend the trilogy on the Gameboy Color, she still actively runs Him and Seek on GameBoy Advance.
As her username implies, FrozenFlygone is also a fan of Pokemon games however this year was the first time she speedran any titles from the franchise.
“I'm not an RPG runner by any means. But I wanted to challenge myself and so me and about seven people all ran HeartGold SoulSilver in a discord call together. So we were just hanging out for like six hours,” she said.
She also ran Pokemon Let’s Go: Eevee for the first time in June and is hoping to run it again this month.
Overall, she enjoys branching out and learning new games because there’s always a chance to find something she connects with and wants to continue running.
Getting involved with Frame Fatales has played a major role in FrozenFlygone’s speedrun journey.
“That was really the place I got to meet a ton of amazing people who are now some of my best friends,” she said.
She reflected that getting into speedrunning communities can be intimidating for newcomers and finding a group she could really click with has significantly impacted her experience.
Now she serves an Admin position with Frame Fatales, which she says has given her some exciting perspective.
“With this past event...I was runner and volunteer liaison, which was so much fun because I got to really be on the other side of the marathon besides just running in it,” she said. “I'm going to be on staff again for our next event, upcoming in August. So it's been a great both professional and personal experience and I absolutely love the group.”
Earlier this month at SGDQ, FrozenFlygone ran a Celeste Custom Map called “Glyph.” It was her first time performing in a mainstage GDQ event as well as the first time a Celeste Custom Map has appeared at GDQ.
According to FrozenFlygone, Glyph by Marshall H, is a great place to start for anyone who has finished all of Celeste and wants more of that tight, complex platforming (though there are also plenty of maps out there for other skill levels).
“Its theme-ing is so beautiful. Marshall’s eye for aesthetics and he wrote all the music himself as well,” she said. “It’s just an amazing experience to play.”
She hopes her run will open the floodgates of Celeste Custom Maps at future GDQ events.
Her SGDQ run was, like so many of the best GDQ runs, equal parts fun and informative.
During her run, several developers and artists who worked on Celeste dropped by to donate and wish FrozenFlygone good luck.
Her experience creating custom maps also allowed her to share unique insights. As she avoided an obstacle by going up and above the screen, she said, “As any Custom Map Maker knows, a lot of times you just forget that you need to put a ceiling and this is one of those times.”
All images provided by FrozenFlygone.