Put on your hard hats, because it’s time to burrow deep into the Earth’s crust in search of treasure and giant living relic heads. If that last part made no sense to you, then you probably haven’t played Spelunky. In Spelunky, each room is procedurally generated, making for a different experience each time you play. Okay, so how do you manage a consistent speedrun with code-created maps? Do you utilize clever techniques to manipulate the RNG? Finish certain rooms in a certain number of frames? Nope. Get this: you improvise. Since you don’t know what you’ll get, figuring out when and where to use items is critical. Let’s see what that looks like in action, shall we?
Looking at the any% leaderboard, we can see plenty of runners have completed Spelunky in mere minutes despite the random layouts. That’s a bit too short, so this is an all-shortcuts run culminating in the demise of aforementioned giant living relic head, Olmec. You’ll see the runner suiciding from the pause menu after giving the tunnel man items in order to backtrack and pick up the additional necessary gear. This is one of the main reasons a shortcut run takes so much longer than an any% run. You can check out the full instructions for each step here.
Spelunky is a short game, but it’s certainly not an easy one. Shortcuts exist mainly to help the player get used to the different types of areas rather than finish the game quicker, as playing normally allows you to stock up on ropes and bombs for the later levels. Looking at you, ice caves. Just remember not to spend too long stockpiling – you wouldn’t want to meet the ghost, now would you? If you need to know how to go fast, maybe watching this run of Mark of the Ninja will inspire you.
Matt Eschbach is a PC, Mac and Android indie game developer and fiction writer. His works have won multiple monetary awards from various contests. Graduating college in 2012 with a major in Game Design, Matt spends his time making stuff up and then building it. His favorite hobby… is sleeping.