Theo convinces Madeline to check out this temple. I think she could've skipped this and just climbed further up the mountain instead, and the level outside of the temple kinda suggests that.
Woah... This is starting out already way spookier than the haunted hotel level. And there are platforms that temporarily move whenever you dash... and red bubbles that rocket you forward like the launchers in Kirby games. Oh and these dash platforms can give you a ton of momentum... I can see where this is going.
And it gets really non-linear already... There's switches to open doors, and locked doors requiring a key... I have no idea if I'm going on the optional path or the progress path... also each room has like a blue crystal at the beginning of it that just lights up as you enter the room, almost like it's marking down the places you've been before, that's a really cool feature. This is like a sidescrolling Zelda dungeon. And there are switches that apparently activate something in another room, and you can't even know what it did unless you've been paying attention.
After finding the key and all the strawberries I could, Madeline sees Theo in a mirror... His voice is all echoey and weird.
Now that I'm in this dark area, I see that the blue crystals also serve as lights... This is so cool... when the lights are off, you can't tell which things are background are and which things are solid, and you gradually start lighting up the room as you explore it. Also I'm really loving the background details in this level. The yellow lights are the same as the blue lights except they are always on.
So far most of the platforming in this level is easy, it's just finding your way around that's hard... and I can usually figure out these strawberry puzzles within like 30 seconds. I have a feeling that the hidden upper path in the middle above this ominous statue is probably the progress path... yep.
Oh wow, wtf... I think I just found a shortcut that skips even needing to use this one key. hmm... I wouldn't be surprised if keeping this key is required for a strawberry or a blue heart or maybe even the B-Side tape... And then I was proven right sooner than I thought, there's the blue heart.
Woah, Madeline really has problems... She gets sucked into the mirror and then you take control of a monster (the same one that was depicted in a lot of statues in the temple) in this outer space area, and you can destroy dirt walls but I'm not sure what for... and when you run into the floating Madeline and kill her, then Madeline waks up in a completely different part of the temple. The long dialog sequence afterwards confirms that this is all coming from Madeline's own messed up mind.
Back to gameplay... now I know why that sequence made you control a monster and learn that it can destroy those rock walls... it's used in this part of the level where you have to lure them into the walls that you need to break... I can see this gimmick being nightmarish in the B-side level. Oh yeah and there's those sparkly places that the monsters can't go through.
Madeline talking to herself in the mirror some more... It's really cute when she gets scared and her tone of voice turns into like a mouse.
Then there's another big dark maze area, but this time with monsters that you need to open certain passages. Actually I think one of the doors that I used these keys on is completely pointless. It might be that I was supposed to avoid that door and use this key on something else. Oh wait no, that's actually required because it's blocking a path that you'll get a red bubble launch on.
Later they start mixing in dash monsters with dash platforms. Also this level does this thing where it locks you out of certain sidepaths after you're done in those areas, in addition to having tons of one-way bullshit paths that you can't come back from. I'm positive I'm missing some stuff in this level.
Another gimmick this level introduces... having to carry an object with you through the rooms while avoiding enemies. Theo's presence is required to open the door leading out of each room. You an also through Theo at switches to unlock doors, and it starts actually being required. Oh and I figured out that the monster gets pushed back if it runs into the crystallized Theo. These eyeballs on the wall only started appearing during this Theo section, so I guess they are coming from Theo's mind, probably something about how he feels about having so many eyes on his photography work.
If you bop an enemy a bunch of times in a row, Theo will comment on you showing off. Some of these rooms actually require you to bop an enemy to collect a door opening item, or baiting the enemy into collecting it for you. It gets really annoying at times, but only until you figure out what to do.
Wow, that part at the end was incredibly trippy... you're just walking down this hallway with Theo and some sort of gravity waves keep pushing you back as the doors behind you close...
Missing a whole 7 strawberries there, but even worse I just realized I never found the B-side tape... The exploration in this level is more difficult than the actual platforming. I'm looking forward to seeing what the B-side of this level is like... but for now I guess I'll just move onto Chapter 6.