I inch my way through Spelunky [official site], trying to get a read on the layout of each randomised cavern. Caution doesn’t always breed success and I rarely reach the ice levels, let alone the hellscape beneath. It’s both chastening and invigorating to begin a weary Friday morning by watching a speedrun that sets a new world record – from start to finish in 3:44. The runner is D Tea and he shatters the previous 3:52 record for a true ending. As well as being an impressive feat, like most things Spelunky, it exposes the workings of the various systems – from the fury of shopkeepers to the arrangement of tiles – in fascinating new ways.
Snagging a teleporter so early is a stroke of luck and I shudder to think how many attempts to break the record failed because one of the later levels threw up some dastardly combination. I’ll happily admit that having a teleporter wouldn’t help me at all – I’m more likely to ‘port into harm’s way than out of it. I’m also incapable of dealing with shopkeepers with quite as much confidence and style as D Tea. I am Weak Tea. Cold Tea. The Builder’s Tea right after fragments of plaster and asbestos drop into it.
I was confused by the lack of angry shopkeepers on the later levels but it seems they de-aggro (“chill their beans”) if there’s no violence toward them across three floors. The fact that I didn’t know that shows how weak my Spelunky knowledge actually is.