My Love and Hate Relationship with Spelunky

I’ve been avoiding this game. I knew from the articles that it’s a hard one. With permadeath and randomly-generated levels in each and every playthrough, I thought that I wouldn’t have the patience to try to finish it. But curiosity always wins, whenever it’s an interesting and challenging one. So after days of thinking, I ended up getting it.

The first hundred deaths were quite frustrating. It’s as if I feel that I can make it to the next level, most of the time I die due to ‘stupid deaths’ — dying by being careless, and yeah — stupid. I could’ve quit and stopped playing it. But I carried on.

As the number of playthroughs went on, I got varied results. But in the end, it’s always the same thing — dying and repeating the whole thing again from the first level. This went on to a couple of hundred playthroughs. I could’ve quit and stopped playing the game. But I carried on.

The first time I got to The Temple levels was for me a huge achievement at the time. I was happy and content that I managed to reach that level. But upon reaching Olmec for the first time (and obviously died in just a matter of seconds), I thought it’s possible. I can beat this game.

But even though that I have reached Olmec, I thought it would be easy then. But still, every playthrough after that is like a roller coaster ride, like that famous Forrest Gump line about life — you’ll never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes I get lucky with the levels, but sometimes it’s the opposite. Sometimes there are deaths that I accept easily, but there are those deaths that makes me want to do that Yosemite Sam tantrum. At that point it was an obsession to get to the end, defeat Olmec, and finish the game.

And after more than seven hundred deaths, I did it. I even took a photo of the screens as proof and as a remembrance (the cover photo and the photo below).

Yes, you read that right. 700+. Crazy, ain’t it? More than half of that I credit stupid deaths. But yeah, I’m terrible at it, having reached that death count.

I should’ve stopped after finishing it. But still, as of this story, I’m still playing 2–3 runs on the average. There’s a few more levels to conquer and explore. I haven’t cleared The Worm and Mothership areas (as I always die whenever I step foot there), and I haven’t seen the City of Gold and Hell. So, off to exploring (and dying) then.

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