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rllmuk

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  • 4 months later...

I'm enjoying a personal Spelunky renaissance at the moment (I segued into Binding of Isaac for a while), and last week I finally achieved my long-term goal of an average score of 100,000. I know that's a small figure (my top score is something like 450,000), but I assure you it involved copious amounts of blood, sweat and tears (though mainly the last two).

 

Anyway, great! I did it! But since then, the game has hammered me like never before. If I learned there was a switch that triggered when you hit an average of 100,000 and told the game to double down on shitty seeds, I wouldn't be at all surprised. I've had more dark bee levels in the last week than in the whole of my time playing, I've had two bee levels in a row, piranha levels, dark piranha levels, frogs triggering shokeepers, hideous plant / spike / bat layouts, arrows hitting me from off-screen, every conceivable dirty trick the game can pull, relentlessly. I've not made it to Olmec since hitting 100,000, and I've quickly dropped to something like 995,000. I had the 100,000 average for one single game. It's been hideous.

 

But still I go back, because it really is the best game.

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Ha ha. I'm still trying on and off to get the No Cash achievement, and similarly if someone told me that the game spotted you hadn't picked up any cash for a couple of levels and then became a bit more of an arse, I also wouldn't be surprised.


The main one in the last couple of days has also been lots of dark levels (especially on jungle levels). They're bad enough playing normally, but when you have to avoid treasure they're particularly nasty. Your relationship with fireflies goes from "Don't run away you precious beauty" to "get the hell out of my way you awkward little sod". But worst is the fact that the one thing you used to want to see most in a dark level - an unlit torch - is now an additional hazard due to the cash it drops when you light it. So now you end up flinging the torch past them, not knowing where it's going to end up - often losing it in a pool, but very occasionally hitting a shopkeeper with it, or - most hilariously of all - having it land right on top of a small piece of treasure hiding it - the chipy "kerching" sound as you go to pick up the torch being the only indication that you've just failed and now have to start all over again...


The most galling failure recently was a new one to me though. On a no cash run I will happily rob shopkeepers if they have decent loot (and go through the black market too), since it does make the run easier (even though you will have to kill shopkeepers from then on and dodge the cash they drop). So I was playing a game yesterday, had got down to the ice caves with lots of kit, everything going smoothly. I start the next level, take a second to gain my bearings, and just as I start to move I hear the "kerching" treasure collected sound effect, stop dead, and ask "what the..." Then one of the hired hands ambles cheerfully on to the screen, and wanders over to join me.


Because I'd already angered the shopkeepers, when a hired hand shop turned up on this level the little bastard inside immediately joined my team, escaped the shop and headed on over to join me. And collected any treasure he passed on the way as a special gift just for me. Son of a...


The thing is I've now put at least 20 hours into getting this achievement. And that's fine - it's the least fun way to play the game, but it's still one of the very greatest games ever, so I'm still learning, still getting better, each time I play. The problem is I killed Olmec without collecting any cash MONTHS ago - shortly after posting about it above in July. I did it after only about 2 or 3 hours of trying! I just got trapped underneath him when he smashed down into the lava, and died so it didn't count. I've spent about 20-odd hours since just trying to do it all over again without the last second death thing...

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Classic stuff. I've had a lot more dark levels than I'd expect of late, not far off one every game - and of course they inevitably show up just after you've murdered your first shopkeeper.

 

My last encounter with a hired hand was in the castle, where of course he picked up the knight's shield and ran right over to show me. Splat.

 

The trend continued last night - I only got in three or four games, and I didn't make the ice caves on any of them. I had a black market where I spotted a jet pack - in the market I always wait a little while at the start to make sure nothing's going to trigger the shopkeepers. This time something triggered them about thirty seconds into the level, just as I was in the middle of the two second-floor shops. I was dead before I had time to scream.

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Yeah I've been finding the time to pick this up again recently. Hundreds of hours played on Xbox and PC, yet to my shame I have still never actually completed it. Just last week I got up to Olmec and then had a brain fart about what I'm actually meant to do when I get there (didn't end well). 

 

I also feel I've had more than my fair share of dark levels recently. I started building a suspicion that they are more likely to appear if you're holding something

 

Spelunky is pretty close to gaming perfection. Easy to dip in and out of thanks to the relatively quick games, and never feels old. Eternal love for this game.

 

 

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The only way to avoid dark levels is to speed run, I think - something like getting to the exit in under 20 seconds, which is in there so that dark levels don't ruin speed run attempts. Once you're past that mark it's just a random chance, except you should never get two dark levels in the same zone. Dark levels in the temple are an amazing nerve-wracking experience, not unlike regular temple levels. I had a regular one the other day where a sliding block configuration was like a mini-game in itself, and there's the magic of Spelunky - conjured up from a seed, never to be seen again, but still better designed than the majority of my 2016 gaming experiences.

 

I'm sure I read something ages ago about the hedjet cancelling dark levels, or else preventing the ghost from appearing, but neither seem to be the case in my experience - and it's not on any wikis, so I imagine it was probably someone making a guess.

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17 hours ago, MarkN said:

Ha ha. I'm still trying on and off to get the No Cash achievement, and similarly if someone told me that the game spotted you hadn't picked up any cash for a couple of levels and then became a bit more of an arse, I also wouldn't be surprised.

 

I feel your pain dood. I think I first missed doing that achievement (on 360) by having one nugget of gold explode from a rock under Olmec's smash move and bound off the floor into me.

 

It then took me another 50 attempts or so.

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On 08/12/2016 at 11:10, Wizcat said:

Spelunky is pretty close to gaming perfection. Easy to dip in and out of thanks to the relatively quick games, and never feels old. Eternal love for this game.

 

I think it is perfect. Absolutely perfect. I want to marry it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

@Rowan Morrison : Oh man - that's a beauty! In the original free pc version of the game frogs were perhaps my most hated enemy in the jungle (perhaps the whole game). It's the monkeys in this version. Vindictive little sons of bitches...

 

And finally...

 

noCash01.jpg

 

FWIW - I did it by nicking a jetpack early on, then robbing the black market. I had about 30 bombs, and that proved essential. Even with lots of kit it was a tricky run, culminating in a dark temple for level 14. The eye and a load of bombs allowed me to just carve a path to the exit through it, avoiding disturbing embedded gold deposits as I went. And I had enough bombs left so that I could get rid of Olmec without having to play with him at all. Just got to do the speed run again to complete the set (I've already managed it on Vita, so hopefully mopping that up won't take quite as long as this did).

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's magnificent. Loved the crazy bit with Anubis, the ghost, a mummy and a scorpion fly.

 

Also, even after playing it for countless hours there was still stuff I'd never seen before - like how he entered the doors to hell (never knew you didn't have to deal with Olmec either...).

 

And then it was crowned off with the way he got rid of Yama. Brutal! Top stuff!

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Finally did it start to finish. I had so many runs getting to the last level before Olmec and dying in some idiotic way. 

 

So now I have two gems above the door at the start of the game, is there another one to get in the middle?

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  • 11 months later...

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