Spelunky 2 - Bring Your Daughter to Work day

They’re actually easier to use than in S1, but he did pick up on the split in behavior: ledges work one way, walls work another. There’s a good reason for that though. He just didn’t take enough time to get used to the new way.

No they really weren’t. Spelunky HD is built around a player-created mental myth. You imagine that the shopkeeper is dangerous, but his AI is really incompetent. Particularly if you start stealing in the black market, there was very little danger, and the fact that you get every single item and a gazillion bombs for free every run makes HD extremely monotonous. There’s still a chance to make a catastrophic mistake, but the game is way too easy due to this issue, and it doesn’t even take much skill.

HD plays really well if you don’t know how incompetent the shopkeeper is, and especially if you don’t know about the black market: it’s then a careful game of trying to make the best with whatever items you happen to come across or find in the shops. The more you know though, the easier and more monotonous the game gets.

Which is?

The gloves in HD are too sticky, making it hard to move around smoothly. This is consistent with HD’s auto-grabbing of ledges. On the other hand, the gloves in Spelunky Classic (the original freeware title) only activated when you pushed against a wall, making it much easier to move around. This was consistent with Classic’s approach to ledge grabbing: no automatic grabbing: move into a ledge in time or fall to your doom. Spelunky 2 attempts to combine the best of both worlds, giving you the benefit of auto-grabbing for ledges, and cleaner movement for the gloves. The price is that you have to get used to two grabbing schemes.

This is where we differ. You’re clearly on a different level of Spelunky skill to me. Sure, I beat the game several times, but never managed a Hell run, and never found it easy. Pretty sure the only way I ever beat the game was with a successful Black Market run, but they ended in disaster more often than not. The end result was Spelunky’s difficulty was pitched almost perfectly for me; each win felt like an achievement, and finding additional secrets was a real challenge but always felt possible. Spelunky 2 is not for people like me. Sure, it lets me play around in the first few levels, but really it has no time for my general averageness at the game.

I think that’s true. For the record, I’m not an amazing Spelunky player myself: I never beat the game under 8 minutes (one of the achievements) or unlocked the whole gang of characters (another achievement). I think the level where you played the game is probably the sweet spot. If you learn more about the mechanics of the game - especially about the deficiencies of the AI - the game becomes easier to beat. I don’t think I’m actually better than you at the game so much as I know more about its workings. It’s the knowledge that ruins the challenge, not the skill. This is where the design breaks down. Spelunky 2 had to be made harder not because people were amazingly skilled at HD, but because they had knowledge they could leverage to make the game easier for themselves.

Regardless, the design is odd. The first two worlds are extremely hard – so hard that even the best players in the world will repeatedly die to the complex enemies and their various instakills. But if you make it past those 2 worlds, and particularly if you have a massive number of lives, bombs and items (which you likely will if you go via the Jungle path and make it through), you’re very likely to beat the game. It’s a lopsided difficulty curve.

When is the last time anyone tried Spelunky HD? Good grief. That game looks really … not good now, to me. It plays so bad, too - I’ve gotten so used to 144fps 1440p Spelunky that going back the frames are so rough. The music is still awesome though! But it feels off to play - the movement, the physics, it’s wild how fast I acclimated to S2 I guess.

I play HD once in a while still. Looks great to me, with some exceptions, though the support for higher res is limited. The cavemen completely lack the personality that they have in S2, but the other enemies look just as good. Movement of the HD Spelunker is definitely less smooth though. Even though the game is supposed to be running at 60fps, it feels like it’s not quite there for some reason.

Every time I play this game now, I want to break something! Why do I keep playing it? I have no idea.

Today’s “fuck you” was not one, but two scorpions in pots in the Daily. I don’t often see a scorpion, but when I do I get two! Naturally the second one poisoned me a split second before I shotgunned it, and in my desperate bid to grab the pet and get it to the exit, I whipped it instead of picking it up, so it bounced onto some spikes in Tide Pools and died. The only reason I didn’t ALT+F4 right then (I had 2 lives, so no chance of reaching the next pet in time) was getting on the high score table. :)

Had an excellent run after a oopsie Daily run - made it very far, even unlocked the next to last character, Dirk! I nearly made it to the optional/hard boss, despite several crazy setbacks (including having a bomb land on me and explode during the Olmec fight - that destroyed my jetpack. I had 28 life and after I landed I assumed I was dead, but I had 2 life left and kept pushing onwards - see the clip below!)

Woo, first victory on my 480th run.

Dwelling, Forest, Killed Olmec, Tide Pools, Neo Babylon, Defeated Tiamat with bombs only.
Got a jetpack on 1-2, never used the ankh. First damage (rather unusually) to an alien on 1-4. Remained law-abiding.

In case it helps anyone calibrate, I’m very experienced with Spelunky 1 (many hell victories) but generally awful at platformers. Spelunky is about the only one I can cope with because planning ahead is more important than execution in the moment or precision of control.


Very nice!

To me it’s more about the fact that I don’t have to repeat the exact same layout over and over again. I hate that part of platformers.

Anyone else finding themselves overshooting stomps? Something about the way the Spelunker accelerates super-fast makes it so I still make this mistake quite often, despite having hours and hours under my belt + a secret victory or two. Spelunky HD doesn’t seem to have this issue, but in 2 I keep overshooting my descent in certain conditions.

I’ve done it a few times, but each time I review the footage with Game Bar and sure enough, I’m out of position and just fucked it up. Frustrating, but it’s on me every time.

It’s definitely me messing it up. It just seems like there’s something about the character movement that encourages it. The movement in HD feels more sluggish, but as a result, you also nail the stomps far more easily.

Nearly 400 runs in, I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere based on my last few runs. Finally reached Tiamet, although wasn’t entirely sure what to do! I was trying to attack her head or staff with my boomerang, which I lost in the water, went down to get it and got killed by tentacles. Boo.

To get there, I was employing my Spelunky HD tried and tested method of “if in doubt, use a bomb”. Never fails, unless I run out of bombs. One run today was almost totally bomb free, not even the Black Market had a single bomb for sale. Jeez.

On the Daily, I found the Black Market squirreled away, but managed to anger a shopkeeper dude who was freakin’ miles away. So the entire BM was full of angry shopkeepers. Great. Amazingly I managed to kill nearly all of them with my boomerang / jetpack combo. Except my jetpack was then hit by a stray bullet, and we all know what happens then.

I keep finding things I’ve not seen before, but I’m too scared to check them out because I know they will end my run. Like, there’s a sword in a stone I keep seeing, and in Neo Babylon there’s a club that you obviously need an invite for. Or so it says. I didn’t dare look!

The sword in the stone is nothing to fear.

I’m still not sure of a good way to defeat Tiamat but I have found one effective way.

I nearly got back there again but this time I had no weapon at all. I didn’t fancy taking Tiamet on with my whip, so I decided to steal the shotgun from the shopkeeper dude who’s bouncing around his tiny box in 6-1. Bomb… Bomb… bomb bomb bombombombombomb KABOOM! (dead)

Oh well. This game is super stingy about handing out shotguns though, compared with the first. I wonder if there’s an Anubis in this game with a scepter? Now that was a potent weapon, just as likely to kill you as anything else if you weren’t careful.