Spelunky SD Mod Adds Co-Op To Free Original Version

By Graham Smith on July 7th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

How does it handle shopping, I wonder?

The original Spelunky – the free, low resolution Game Maker-made Classic version – is open source. That means it can be broadly modified, which is what Ukrainian programmer Vadim has done in Spelunky SD. The project merges features from the polished remake Spelunky HD with the lo-fi original, most notably adding two-player, online cooperative multiplayer.

Local co-op was one of Spelunky HD’s main features, letting players descend into the game’s procedural dungeons with a friend along to provide help an extra threat of death. Spelunky SD technically goes one better, by enabling online co-op so people can play over the internet.

As explained by a post on Vadim’s site, the addition was harder than the programmer originally realised:

As I have already mentioned, the original game is single-player. There’s only one instance of player, and game does it’s best at working with it. So, what happens when you add another player? Nothing considers it. Enemies will not chase the second player, traps will not trigger, and overall it will seem that second player is merely a ghost or a product of imagination.

Another thing that I did not consider was migration bugs. Migrating source over two major versions of program is already no easy task, and, while I wouldn’t say that game is poorly written (neither it is possible to foresee all possible changes to development tool), after being migrated over to GameMaker: Studio, in some cases code would behave slightly unexpectedly at best.

Aside from co-op, the mod adds other tweaks present in the Spelunky HD remake, such as sound effects fading when off-screen and enemies blinking on and off to indicate when they’re about to get back up. Even if you never intend to play online, quality-of-life additions like those make returning to Spelunky Classic more appealing.

Spelunky is, by the by, one of the best games ever made. It’s probably my favourite. I reviewed it in another castle.

The modded release can be downloaded as a single package for free, though its creator has a Patreon page and donations are welcome.

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15 Comments »

  1. Eery Petrol says:

    This is great news! I bought the HD version for its co-op, but part of the appeal got lost in translation. The cartoon polish and abundant menus distract from the original desolate feel that creeps up your skin while you descend into the gritty caverns. I’m looking forward to trying this mod out!

    • rexx.sabotage says:

      Exactly.

      Spelunky’s aesthetic is best when it’s hidden behind a pixelated mask. Seeing those sprites re-imagined into HD made me want to puke out my butt almost as much as this did. Buy a copy to show your support but, stick to the original, superior version when actually playing!

  2. phenom_x8 says:

    Arrgghhhh… I want this to be local multiplayer to play with my nephew …
    Tried to started it with two windows but the input only recognizes the active window each at a time, not in the same time…. Any suggestion ??

  3. CMaster says:

    Seeing as Spelunky HD is both worse looking and worse sounding than Spelunky (well, based off trailers), I may well check this out.

    • gnodab says:

      Having bought the game during the summer sale, I must regrettably concur. I don’t like the graphics, but they don’t bother me that much. What really kills it is the horrible new soundtrack.
      After playing the HD version for 3-4 hours I downloaded the original again. I dunno if it is just the graphic/music though. For me the game feels less “tight”, I’m not sure why. Maybe the controls are a bit botched as well, or something is off with the level generator, but it doesn’t feel right. All of a sudden the game feels cheap and mean and no where near as joyful the splendid free version.

  4. Frank says:

    Can you please join me in killing the “another castle” meme? It’s so tired after what google reports is over five years of lameness:
    http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=%22another%20castle%22

  5. BooleanBob says:

    0.99.5 Spelunkerz represent

    everything should cost more money

  6. vandinz says:

    His name is Vadim BTW. No L. :)

  7. Lion Heart says:

    why is this necesary? i have the original and ive never thought it needed anything more than what it allready is. spelunky has the beautyf of being able to just pick it up for 5 mins… then throw your computer out of the window because of a spider from no where….

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