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History Lesson / Vision / Statue
PD shrine.png
Reaching the end of a Level, finding the Statue and the Gate.

Shrines are special areas in Journey, marked by a distinct statue and an arrangement of stones. Shrines are found on most levels.

History Lesson is the process of going through a cinematic sequence / having a vision upon activating a shrine and stepping into the light circle.

This article discusses the place where you receive a vision. Information (and maybe some interpretation) about the visions themselves will be added below (or in an extra article, in which case relevant redirects will be changed).

Alternative Names[]

This table shows the alternative names of the same thing in one line. History Lesson is also called Vision. Feel free to add additional terms!

History Lesson Vision Confluence[1]
Shrine Statue Sphinx[2] Owl[3]
Circle of Light Cake[4] going into the light
Tombstones Candles

General Information[]

Every level except Snow and Paradise ends with a place, consisting of a Statue and some Tombstones.

If you activate all tombstones either by chirping or going close to them the symbols will fly to the middle creating a light circle on the ground and the statue will turn white. This applies to all statues except for the broken one at the very start of the game where you pick up the first Symbol (also, there is no statue to activate at the end of the Snow level).

If you step into the circle, you will receive the HL / vision, which will be one of the following:

  • Chapter Select through Underground: an Ancestor shows you the history of the world.
  • Tower: HL shows your own Journey.
  • Snow: not really a History Lesson, there is no statue to activate, and rather than one Ancestor there are six that appear from the white mist, revive you, possibly judge (this is one interpretation), and sent to the Paradise level where you finally reach the Mountain.

After the vision, you are allowed to progress further, typically a gate opens the path to the next level, with the following exceptions:

  • Pink Desert: a carpet will take you across the wall to the Sunken City level
  • Snow: you will be ascending through some kind of vortex / tunnel to the Paradise level

History Lessons / Visions explained[]

This should give a description of each vision. If you are editing this section, please try to avoid personal interpretation or mark it as such.

For interpretations and theories you can use the Community section of this wiki, if there is content about the HL we will link to there on this article.

Here is a video that shows all vision together:

Video by PS4 1080p Gameplay on PS3. Length: 7:03 minutes.


Stones at the base of the statue[]

The stones at the statue tell you if you found all symbols in this level. Lit stones mean you found that symbol. Once a symbol is collected, a corresponding stone at the shrine/statue will be lit, even on future playthroughs where you have not collected that symbol (see Wardrobe for more).

Headstones around each Statue[]

To activate each statue, you have to activate the posts (possibly headstones?) that lead to the statue. The table below counts those for each level.

Level Stones
CS 6
BB 14 (+ 1 invisible)
PD 12
SC 8
UG 6
Tower 14 (6 at the stairs below)
Snow no Shrine
Paradise no Shrine

In Broken Bridge, there are seven stones on either side of the shrine; but there is also one invisible stone (right side, a bit further north from the last visible stone). You can bump into it but it has no effect otherwise. The invisible stone exists because of a mismatch between level collision geometry (invisible walls) and decorative elements (textures).

Wayfarer looking at the statue[]

When the statue is lit, getting close to it will result in the Wayfarer looking up at it. Be careful not to step into the glowing portal when you try this.
Tested on PS4. Works with Chapter Select, Broken Bridge and Pink Desert; doesn't work in Sunken City, Underground or Tower.

Design and interaction[]

  • In early development versions of Journey the statue was facing straight (similar to the Great Sphinx of Cairo) as opposed to sideways with head turned 90 degrees as it appears in the final version.
  • The statues (and visions) were added to the game to give players a sense of accomplishment upon reaching a milestone, and also to mask the need to fade out and load the next level.
  • In early versions of HL, an Ancestor would walk from the statue or appear in the circle of light; rather than sitting down for meditation, the Wayfarers would kneel in front of the Ancestor figure. This was changed to fade-out effect because the team concluded the Ancestors couldn't be present in the same physical world as the Wayfarers.

Another early version of the HL, 2011:

Video by IGN on PS3. Length: 2:10 minutes.


Please Companion, dont chirp. Let us activate the vision silently. You take one side, I activate the other.
~ ravingmadness

Funny community name:[]

triangular ancestor cutscene starter thing
~ Rebmakash

See also[]


  1. Soundtrack
  2. Game files
  3. Halin (a player): "Going to talk to the owl now."
  4. Cake and Candles are terms from Planet Bluey (twitch streamer).