Symbols are a visual representation of the in-game civilization's language as well as its written form used by the in-game species. They are one of the key elements of the game's art style and design.
- Shinies, Shiny Things
Some players refer to symbols as glyphs; such use is discouraged on this Wiki to avoid confusion with Ancient Glyphs (visual elements that reveal parts of the story line, also commonly called "glyphs").
Symbols appear everywhere in the game:
- On the chest of the Wayfarer, and in their chirp
- Collectible symbols and ancient glyphs to be found during the course of the game
- Particles in the air and in the magic goo/mist (Tower and Paradise levels)
- Small particles floating around the wayfarer when glowing with a companion or another cloth creature
- Glowing on certain tombstones when the wayfarer approaches them
- On your Scarf
- Written on various pieces of architecture, glowing and otherwise
In some cases, for example on certain gravestones, symbols look worn off and barely recognizable (they still follow the familiar square pattern, but individual symbols cannot be picked out).
Some stones have clean square placeholders but no symbols on them; this is most prominent in the Tower around various shrines. Further details can be found in the Tombstone article.
Little brightly glowing symbols are hidden in various parts of the game. Those can be picked up by touching them or flying by close enough.
- They will extend your scarf, therefore granting the ability to fly (first symbol) or extending the flying range.
- Symbols with a shiny circle around them mean that you didn't find that symbol in previous journeys.
- For every new Journey, you need to pick them up "again" to extend your scarf, if you want a long scarf.
- Find all Symbols during one or several Journeys for the Transcendence trophy, but also to be able to get your White Cloak at the Wardrobe.
- There are guides on how to find all of them for the Trophies.
- The locations of each symbol are also described here, and in each level-article (shown on each of the level maps).
- Symbols you have collected will light up on a small display beneath the statue at the end of each level, as well as on a larger display in the chapter select area.
- While the symbol is being collected, small glowing particles fly from it into the Wayfarer, recharging the scarf. This extends flying ability for a brief period of time (this feature is often exploited by speedrunners).
Primary and Secondary alphabets
A subset of the full alphabet, dubbed the "primary" alphabet, is used only for players, graves, and the wardrobe, implying these symbols are names or proper nouns. Whereas the rest of the alphabet is seemingly random, these 21 symbols are designed with a good amount of symmetry, making their nametags easier to identify after the credits.
This alphabet is completely different from the first two; its symbols are more random and complex and have no defined "quadrants". A similar alphabet appears in glowing runes on the level-end statues, though it is not known whether they are intended to be part of the same alphabet.
Your symbol, seen on your chest and when you chirp, will be one of the Primary symbols.
- The symbol you see yourself using will not be the same on other players' screens.
- During a Journey, a Companion's Symbol normally stays the same, even if you lose each other and meet later again. Though there are exceptions, see Chirp.
Most of the primary symbols have nicknames assigned to them by the community.
These names can be descriptions of their appearance, names of well-known players who used them, or simply inside jokes. Some of these names are listed below.
Some of these symbols, namely "Bucktoothed skull," "Fishing Hooks," and "Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde" are referred to by some as "red robe symbols" due to their simplicity, though any correlation between a player's symbol and robe is likely coincidence.
Glitches with symbols
Here is a video showing a glitch with the collectible symbol inside the Whale Room (Tower level):
About the symbol "alphabet"
- The main alphabet in Journey features symbols assembled from 15 basic characters, each 3x3 pixels in size.
- These characters are mirrored, rotated, and assembled into 7x7 squares of four characters each.
- That's a whopping 13,845,841 possible symbols, though in practice only about 200 of these are found in the game's files.
- If you would like to assemble your own symbols, a list of parts can be found here:
- The symbols were first named by Klowny. Including the Klowny symbol.
- The "Snowflake/Schneeflocke" symbol was originally named "Wehrmacht Logo".
- It was changed after a German player said it would be offensive in certain countries.
- Similarly, "Monster Eyes" was originally called "Four Eyes", which could be seen as offensive.
- Developers referred to the collectible symbols simply as "Secrets".
- While the collectibles displayed in the level select area use the 21 "Primary" symbols, the collectibles in-game simply cycle through random characters.
- When selecting "Chapter Select" from the pause menu, the game will automatically give you the first symbol and one length of scarf.
- Going back and picking up this symbol "for real" will appear to give you the symbol, but will not give you any more scarf.
- The symbol on the chest of the wayfarer also blinks briefly when hopping onto various rocks and steps (without using the jump button) even if the scarf is completely empty.
- As the wayfarer usually faces away from the camera, this brief moment is not visible to the player, but with a good camera angle it's hard to miss; the symbol is more prominent on a red robe but can observed on a white robe as well.
|“||hi I'd like 10 extra meters on my cloak please||„|
|“||I like big cloak and I cannot lie||„|
|~ also Mirika|
|“||I want an army of companions, it would be so much fun||„|
- rebi 2020-04-14 About the "The one that got away-Symbol": In the game files it is Symbol #20, you cant get it normally.