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Dr Unne
01-02-2014, 07:37 AM
The first time I played Spelunky, I died in less than a minute. Game over. Same for the next 40 or 50 tries.

Well over 100 hours later, I finally beat the game "the hard way". Totally worth it. This is a screenshot I took. I was so happy, I text messaged it to my wife. (Minor spoiler if you never played the game before.) 49767

Spelunky is great fun. It's one of those "hard, but fair" games. And it is hard. If your attention slips for even a couple seconds, you're likely to die. When you die, you have to start over at the beginning with nothing. You lose all your items and money. Since the game only takes 30 minutes to beat start-to-finish, it's not a huge deal.

Even after 150 hours I often die within minutes. Even if you have a good run going, there's never a guarantee of safety. There are insta-death traps up to and including on the final boss's level.

You start the game with 4 life. There are things that do way more than 4 damage to you. Gaining life is not easy; there's potential to gain 1 life per level if you rescue the damsel/mansel/pugsel, and there are a few other super secret ways to gain life, but mostly you just need to not get hit.

Your weapon is a whip. It's awkward, it has short range, it's a bit slow, and enemies move fast and at weird angles so that at first, you won't manage to hit anything. But over time you'll find it easier and easier until that whip is your best friend. You can also randomly find other weapons, but nothing in this game is without a drawback. The awesome shotgun weapon has a huge recoil that can throw you off a ledge or slam you into a trap, and a big reload delay between shots.

It's a hard game and it's furstrating. You not only have to learn to play Spelunky, you have to learn to defeat yourself. Because this game WILL make you rage. You need to find some Zen place where you get through that. OK, you had the perfect set of items and you landed on a spike and died. Let go. Start over.

Here are some of the stupid ways you'll die in this game.

* Blown up by your own bombs.
* Hit on the head by a rock you just threw into the air.
* Cheerfully walking in front of an arrow trap YOU KNEW WAS THERE and had been skillfully avoiding for the past 2 minutes.
* Accidentally shot in the back by a hired help character or co-op partner.
* Taking fall damage while wearing an item that could've slowed your fall if you'd simply pushed the button.
* Accidentally angering a shopkeeper, who shoots you in the head.

But the game is fair too. The controls are precise. The levels are randomly generated, but you can learn the behavior of all of the enemies and traps, and then you can avoid them. There's an art and a science to playing Spelunky that you will pick up over time. You can learn little tricks that help you conserve resources (bombs and ropes and life) so that you have them when you need them later. You can plan your route so you don't get stranded. You can avoid that enemy instead of engaging him. You can take a calculated risk to reach an item crate, and have it pay off.

99% of the time, when you die, it was your fault. A little more caution, a little more planning, and you could've avoided it.

The detail put into this game is outstanding. You can easily enjoy the game as some random platformer, but eventually you start noticing interesting, unexpected interactions between items and the environment. Spike shoes let you hurt enemies by jumping on them, but they also let you not slide when you walk on ice. The shotgun can be used to jump slightly higher if you hit it just right. Ropes can kill bats that are directly above you. There are secret entrances to hidden levels everywhere. The more you learn, the more you start peeling back these layers, the more you can't help but be amazed.

Rarely do I find a game that becomes more fun the longer you play it. Spelunky is that for me. I play the game almost every day. Randomly generated levels means infinite replay value. Mostly I just like to kick back and see how far I get. Will I make it to the end boss today? If not, no big deal. I improved a little. I learned a little trick. I got a little better at timing my jumps.

My current record (on this computer) is 2,130 deaths, 31 wins (10 "special" wins). Worth it!

You can get the "HD" version of this game for Steam or xbox360 arcade. It's often on sale. In fact it's half price on Steam right now. :whoa: You can also get the original freeware version from Spelunky World (http://spelunkyworld.com/) .

I Took the Red Pill
01-02-2014, 04:23 PM
It's kind of lonely in here. I'll come bro out with you.

I love Spelunky, but I haven't beaten it. It seems like whenever I boot it up I'm fated to play it non-stop for like 3 or 4 days then not touch it for a month or two. The furthest I've gotten was to level 3 or 4 of the Ice Caves. I don't think I did it "the hard way" either. Does that mean not paying the guy to build the shortcut for you?

I totally agree with you about the awesome little things that make the game so great. It's so funny stealing trout from the shopkeeper, watching him go berserk, and then watching him die from some random trap or something. 9/10 times it doesn't work out, but if you can come out of the shop with something awesome stealing is a viable option in some situations (though perhaps I'd have made it further through the game if I stopped stealing stuff :smash:)

I might have to fire it up again; this thread is making me crave adventure and that sexy Spelunky music.

Dr Unne
01-04-2014, 08:41 AM
I totally agree with you about the awesome little things that make the game so great. It's so funny stealing trout from the shopkeeper, watching him go berserk, and then watching him die from some random trap or something. 9/10 times it doesn't work out, but if you can come out of the shop with something awesome stealing is a viable option in some situations (though perhaps I'd have made it further through the game if I stopped stealing stuff :smash:)

Killing shopkeeper is the way to go. It makes the game harder in the short run but way easier in the long run once you get good at it. There are some "safe" ways to kill the shopkeeper consistently. Spelunky Shopkeeper Tutorial - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX_i7HNerOY) is one way.

Psychotic
01-04-2014, 10:07 AM
Don't mention the S-word to me. I'm a recovering addict of almost five years: http://home.eyesonff.com/general-gaming-discussion/123161-spelunky-free-pc-game.html

One time I was determined, determined to beat it and I think I spent about 10 hours straight on the fucker, and by the end of it I was, for some reason, convinced that playing Boney M songs - usually Ra Ra Rasputin - would help me. And, you know what? I did it. I fucking beat Spelunky.

Ayen
01-04-2014, 10:23 AM
It was good ol' Botchmun who made me aware of this game existence and requested I do a review of it. It was one of the best games I've played in a long time and made me keep independent games in mind for the future. Still can't decide which is harder between that and Dark Souls. I remember killing myself accidentally when I threw the rock at the wall and it bounced back and crushed my skull. Good times.

Dr Unne
01-04-2014, 01:13 PM
Don't mention the S-word to me. I'm a recovering addict of almost five years: http://home.eyesonff.com/general-gaming-discussion/123161-spelunky-free-pc-game.html

One time I was determined, determined to beat it and I think I spent about 10 hours straight on the smurfer, and by the end of it I was, for some reason, convinced that playing Boney M songs - usually Ra Ra Rasputin - would help me. And, you know what? I did it. I smurfing beat Spelunky.

Spelunky HD added lots of new content, including levels 5-1 through 5-4 and a new final boss. There are no shortcuts to get to 5-1, and opening the way to it is pretty hard. Now you can relive those memories!