Spelunky News!


 My Favourite Games #6: Konato_K
Posted by hbix on August 7th, 2017 @01:27AM

‘My Favourite Games’ is a regular MossRanking feature which gives us a chance to get to know our fellow Spelunkers a little better. In each edition, we put the spotlight on one member of the community, as they pick three of their most treasured video games ever and give their reasons why. Featured members are allowed to pick whatever games they want... except for Spelunky.

 

In the sixth entry, we go to Konato_K -- Reddit moderator, boss of the Spelunky Wiki, and all-around expert on the mechanics of the game. He also has some hugely impressive runs to his name. Here are Konato's three games:

 

 

Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation 1, 1997)

Final Fantasy VII has drawn plaudits from around the world in large part due to its ambitious storytelling, but Konato had a rather different perspective. On his first playthrough, his English wasn’t strong enough to understand the dialogue. “Can you think of playing and completing a whole game that is very story-driven in a different language you can’t understand? Then years later go back to it and be able to get the story and the whole plot, and everything starts to make sense?”

 

Nevertheless, Konato had a blast with his first playthrough. “From what I could understand, you followed a group of people trying to save a world,” he says. “That’s good enough for a kid, isn’t it?” Konato was also complimentary about the turn-based combat, adding that his enjoyment from it lead him to try other games in the long-running role-playing game series.

 

When Konato revisited the game with a considerably stronger grasp of the English language much later, what he experienced was a narrative which grabbed him from start to finish.

 

“The story also has some ‘hidden’ things that you can only find by visiting certain places with specific characters or by doing specific actions,” he adds. “Those things made part of the story and explained other things that just aren’t explained otherwise. That kind of happens in a lot of games, but it somehow felt special in this one for me.”

 

 

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (Game Boy Color, 2001)

The Legend of Zelda is one of the most revered gaming franchises, and Konato actually lists the underrated Oracle of Seasons for the Game Boy Color as one of his favourites. “I never owned this game,” he says. “It was a cartridge that our cousin lent us for a while, and I played it so many times. It was the most polished 2D game that I played at the time.”

 

Oracle of Seasons was released alongside Oracle of Ages. Seasons was more combat-oriented, while Ages had a greater focus on puzzles -- and Konato says it was Seasons’ approach to the action that truly elevated his experience with the game. “The combat was very interesting in the boss fights,” he explains. “It wasn’t just mashing buttons. You had to make use of the tools you found in the dungeons to be able to hurt the bosses. You can obviously find this in other games, but I felt like the way it was done with the 2D restrictions was pretty good.”

 

Another aspect of Oracle of Seasons that stands out (shared with Ages) are the three animal companions Link can encounter during his adventure. Each one comes with unique abilities -- for example, Ricky the kangaroo can climb up cliffs while Dimitri, a reptilian, helps Link travel on water -- but they also cause the landscapes of certain areas to change.

 

“The section of the map basically changed a lot depending on which one you had,” Konato comments. “Ricky had mostly cliffs and small holes, while Dimitri had pretty much everything surrounded in water. But they were not only useful here. They were other parts of the map where you could make use of them, or even just use them as combat companions if you wanted to.”

 

 

Blockwick 2 (PC, 2015)

Konato’s final pick is a neat puzzler which many people may not have heard of. Blockwick 2 is a simple yet colourful block-pushing game which asks the player to connect the colours. “It starts simple,” Konato says. “You just got to slide blocks and put ones of the same colour together.”

 

Blockwick 2 has a huge 300 puzzles and took Konato 22 hours to 100%, but where it truly succeeds is keeping the gameplay fresh throughout the campaign with smart implementation of new types of blocks. “The difficulty increases with new types of blocks that make you see puzzles in different ways -- for example, blocks that make others ‘sleep’, sticky blocks that you can’t move directly, and caterpillar blocks that move like a train rather than a solid box,” Konato explains. “It never feels like you’re doing the same puzzle over and over again.”

 

Konato is complimentary about the different levels of difficulty as well. In Blockwick 2, there are multiple ways to approach each puzzle, depending on how much of a challenge you’re looking for.

 

“If you find a ‘hidden’ moon pearl, you can skip to the next level. It’s good for whenever you’re stuck with a puzzle,” Konato says. “You can complete puzzles the easy or the hard way. The easy way is to just put together the blocks of the same colour and that’s it. The hard way is to have the blocks placed in a way that they cover certain glyphs on the ground. I think the difficulty is just right, and it only gets to be a real challenge if you want to complete it the hard way.”

 

--

Want to be featured? Contact me on the Spelunky Discord.

 

Previous 'My Favourite Games' entries:

ShinGraywords (#5)

Meowmixmix (#4)

MikeIsMyIke (#3)

Twiggle (#2)

Kinnijup (#1)

 

 
 
 All Shortcuts + Olmec Interest Form
Posted by meowmixmix on July 31st, 2017 @07:51PM

We are excited to announce that the MossRanking team will be hosting an All Shortcuts + Olmec tournament!

 

For those who are unaware, All Shortcuts + Olmec (AS+O for short) is a category where the player starts with a clean save file, unlocks all the shortcuts, and finishes by slaying Olmec as fast as possible. You can read the exact rules of the category, and see tons of videos of runs from a variety of people: here

 

Just like the Scoreathlon the AS+O tournament will feature:

- A live re-stream

- The world's best Spelunky players as commentators

- Post-run interviews with willing participants

 

In addition, one of the big things we were able to get and are extremely excited for this tournament is to host the semi-finals and finals on SpeedGaming twitch channel! Make sure to follow them so you won't miss those final butt-clenching rounds!

 

Before we can begin setting up brackets, race times, etc. we need to know who is going to participate so we can organize this event to best fit the number of people interested

 

If you are interested in running...
Please read this document for rules and general information!

 

And then fill out this form to sign up!

 

By filling out this form, you are not committing to any times or dates yet, just simply voicing your interest in participating in the tournament so we can figure out what matchups/times works best for everyone.

 

If you just want to watch....that's cool too!
Make sure to follow the MossRanking twitch channel so you don't miss a thing when we start doing the tournament!

 

We don't have any dates confirmed for this event so expect updates in the future.

 

If you have any questions feel free to comment on this thread or message any of the names below. We also would like to encourage everyone to join our discord server as we have a super helpful community there that can help you learn the category, give you useful resources, and are just a blast to hang out with!

 

Hope to see you there,

-saturnin55  -meowmixmix  -twiggle -hbix

 
 
 My Favourite Games #5: ShinGraywords
Posted by hbix on July 30th, 2017 @10:04AM

‘My Favourite Games’ is a regular MossRanking feature which gives us a chance to get to know our fellow Spelunkers a little better. In each edition, we put the spotlight on one member of the community, as they pick three of their most treasured video games ever and give their reasons why. Featured members are allowed to pick whatever games they want... except for Spelunky.

 

In the fifth entry, we go to ShinGraywords, an ever-reliable runner and a popular name in the community. Graywords goes retro with his three games, revisiting some of the best the '90s had to offer. Here are his three games.

 

 

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PlayStation 1, 1997)

Graywords’ first pick is one which many people consider to be one of the greatest games of all time. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night -- alongside the Metroid series -- helped to shape the ‘Metroidvania’ subgenre. Such games feature an open and interconnected world map which the player explores, picking up new abilities or items along the way to gain access to new areas. Graywords suggests that Symphony of the Night holds up today as a near-perfect example of the subgenre. “It’s a blast to play,” he shares. “I try to replay it at least once a year.”

 

Graywords says he has beaten Symphony of the Night more than fifty times now. When asked what makes him continue to revisit the game, he comments that he always finds new ways to play it, thanks to Symphony of the Night's open nature. “Sometimes it’s fun to just blaze through everything with the overpowered Crissaegrim. Other times I’ll feel like a challenge and do a fists-only run,” Graywords reveals. “The map is another reason I keep playing. The stages connect to each other in more than one location, so you don’t have to take the same route every time.”

 

A huge twist involves the discovery of the ‘inverted castle’ -- a secret which when unlocked doubles the length of the game. The player can attain a 200.6% map completion as a result. “Discovering the inverted castle was a thrill,” Graywords says. “I first learned about it watching my friend play through the import version of the PSX game. Helping him figure out the pendant clues in Japanese, getting the secret item, learning to use it properly, then realising you have a whole extra half of the game to explore -- those are priceless moments.”

 

 

Secret of Mana (SNES, 1993)

In the early ‘90s, the majority of role-playing games leaned towards turn-based battle systems. Secret of Mana -- Graywords’ second pick -- favoured real-time battles, and was one of the reasons why Square's title received (and continues to receive) much love and appreciation.

 

“It was a bit of a underserved subgenre at the time,” Graywords reflects. “It felt good to have an RPG that made me feel immersed and reactive, as opposed to waiting for my ‘turn’ to come up. I really felt ‘in control’ of the characters. This kind of gameplay reminded me a bit of Crystalis on the NES, which I loved... 'Whacking' -- or, critically hitting -- the monsters felt nice, and racking up big numbers with chain spellcasts against elemental weaknesses on bosses always gave me a big grin."

 

Then there’s Secret of Mana’s three-player cooperative multiplayer. Innovative at the time, particularly as owners of the game had to buy a multi-controller adapter (the SNES only had two controller ports), this feature made the game stand out even more as far as Graywords is concerned. “It really felt like a cohesive multiplayer experience,” he says. “Not to mention, all you had to do to join the game was press start on the controller, so it was easy for your buddies to drop in or out.”

 

That said, Graywords is full of praise for the whole package, not just the game’s innovations. “The beautiful art combined with the pastel colour palette really gave it a different feel from a lot of games out there,” he states. “And the beautiful, ethereal soundtrack kept me entranced, complementing the playstyle and the artwork to really glue the whole experience together.”

 

 

Rocket Knight Adventures (Genesis, 1993)

Konami’s opossum knight Sparkster did not get as much attention as Mario or Sonic in the 16-bit era, but 2D platformer Rocket Knight Adventures on the Genesis is a much-loved title for Graywords. “This one is pure platforming,” he says. “All you have is your sword, your rocket pack, your wits, and your tail. It’s one of the few Genesis games I still pop into my system from time to time.”

 

One of the most impressive things about Rocket Knight Adventures is its sheer and maddening variety. Gameplay can differ dramatically from stage to stage, keeping the player always on their toes. “There were several ‘all you can do is dodge’ sections of stages, some ‘on-rails’ sections at high rates of speed, and some gimmicky portions where you follow your reflection or control elevator devices,” Graywords explains. “At other points, they completely change the genre of the game by mixing in a shoot-’em-up stage or two, or throwing you into a robot boxing match. I loved the innovation and variety crammed into this game.”

 

Despite the series’ comparative underappreciation, Graywords reveals that he’s actually glad Sparkster and his adventures never reached the heights of popularity achieved by his platforming rivals. “While that could have allowed for more games and content, not all of that content would be guaranteed to be good,” he outlines. “But I would love to see more Rocket Knight games if they can capture the essence properly. I’m not sure how an official modern game would play out -- the Konami of the 1990s is not the Konami of today.”

 

--

Want to be featured? Contact me on the Spelunky Discord.

 

Previous 'My Favourite Games' entries:

Meowmixmix (#4)

MikeIsMyIke (#3)

Twiggle (#2)

Kinnijup (#1)

 

 
 
 You can now sync your MossRanking account to your Speedrun.com Account
Posted by meowmixmix on July 27th, 2017 @08:47PM

Hey everyone,

 

We have some exciting news for you all here at MossRanking!  That is that you can now link your Speedrun.com account to your MossRanking profile and all your current, and future, runs will be submitted to Speedrun.com in their respective category.  Once you're linked, you're done! Everything is taken care of for you automatically!  

 

This is great news for not only MossRanking but the Spelunky speedrunning community in general because it allows us to show the larger speedrun community that we have a very active community base.

 

Because of this I strongly encourage everyone to setup a Speedrun.com account so that we can fill up the Spelunky page as much as we possibly can and show the speedrunning world what we are made of! 

 

Here are the list of steps you need to take in order to get your runs onto Speedrun.com and have all future submissions be posted there as well.

 

Step 1: Create a Speedrun.com account

You obviously can't link a speedrun.com account if you don't have one.  What are you waiting for?

 

Step 2: Link your Speedrun.com API Key in your settings

In order for us to actually post runs in your name, we need a little bit of authentication from you before we are allowed to do that.  Just go to your user profile settings on MossRanking and towards the bottom you will see a "Speedrun.com API Key" section.  Follow the link to the right of the textbox, log in, copy the API key, and paste it back into the textbox.  Then hit save.

 

Step 3: Bask in the glory of all your runs being on Speedrun.com

Your runs will take a max of 10 minutes to sync but after that you're good to go.  EZ as pie 

 

Something to keep in mind : Your runs will not be posted to Speedrun.com right away, it will take a max of 10 minutes.  Also to keep in mind, whenever you submit a new run, you will have to wait for 24 hours before it gets posted.  The reason for this is because we want to allow people a grace period to edit their runs so they are submitted without any issues.  And the reason we have chosen this 24 hour approach is because of limitations in the Speedrun.com API.  So if you submit a new run and its not on Speedrun.com right away...don't worry.

 

Link those accounts and Lunk your hearts out.

-meow

 
 
 Kinnijup finally claims the Low% world record and 1 million moss points
Posted by hbix on July 21st, 2017 @10:43PM

Hi all -- hbix here.

 

The past two weeks have been extremely busy, with six new world records and a heap of other impressive runs. Below are the major headlines...

 

Kinnijup will be remembered as a legend

Let’s start with the big one. It’s finally happened, folks. After months of grinding, Kinnijup has earned the Low% world record with a time of 2:34.380 -- a mere tenth faster than Curt’s run. This means that Kinni (a) has the world record for each of the 17 main categories plus All Journal Entries, and (b) has 1 million moss points, now possessing the volcano idol badge.

 

You can watch the whole run here:

 

 

The run was extremely well-executed, with very few losses of time. 2-1 was a bit of a jerk with an ambiguous path on rushing water, and likewise with 3-1. With 0:32 into jungle and 1:04 into ice caves, unfortunately the ice caves delivered some unkind levels (1:42 into temple). But an amazing temple -- the three levels before Olmec took only 21 seconds combined -- brought the run unexpectedly into world record pace.

 

Kinni sealed the record, with a touch of improvisation under immense pressure and a crucial spider whip while climbing the rope. Incredible.

 

 

Retired-not-retired Kinni had four more world records to feel chuffed about, and they were all absolutely killer runs. He took moss points from everybody with a 2:16.732 No Teleporter Any%, as well as improving Low% Hell to 5:19.413 and managing a 10:46.505 Haunted Max Low% Hell (with a heart-stopping ropeless 1HP Yama fight).

 

 

Finally, regular viewers of Kinni’s stream will know that he has been going for All Journal Entries pretty often. All of that time and hard work has paid off, smashing his previous record with 26:58.240 -- a time that surely nobody would have thought was possible months earlier.

 

The battle of the ixes

The other world record was set by me (hbix), with a RSVP Challenge score of $1,574,650. This was done on the July 18 daily challenge, taking advantage of a total of five mattocks. For those who are unfamiliar with the RSVP Challenge category, it is essentially a no-ghosting score run with bans on gold dupes, pot strats, and shotguns.

 

Meanwhile, ix set an extraordinary 12 personal bests, with the best of the bunch a 6:20.418 No Gold Hell%. Other great PBs include a 5:54.045 Max Hell%, a 19:50.340 All Shortcuts + Olmec, and a new Daily High Score of $2,424,750 on the July 8 seed.

 

 

I secured a No Teleporter Any% time of 2:56.482 and then survived with a teleporter to take a 2:49.052 Any%, which was enough to move above ix on the main ranking and into 15th spot. ix, however, will challenge again once he returns from his holiday, so this duel is far from over.

 

 

Also in the mix just below is Saibot, who is one score run away from leapfrogging both ixes. Saibot finished an impressive No Gold run of 2:49.117 with no teleporter. Nice job!

 

 

Falafel, Mazerak, and Spef continue to amaze

Nearer the top of the main ranking, the PBs have yet to dry up for Falafel and Spef, both of whom each posted a batch of fresh knockout times.

 

With Mazerak active as well, the battle for top 10 is exciting to see unfold.

 

 

Falafel stunned with a 2:41.129 Low%, a 4:21.476 Hell% run, a 2:12.313 Any%, and a 6:58.721 Big Money, and sits in 9th place, within reach of Twiggle. Falafel’s Big Money run is third overall, behind Kinni and Mazerak.

 

Spef, meanwhile, has his sights set on 10th place -- and he’s only 8,000 points away, thanks to a 2:35.502 No Teleporter Any%, a 2:48.023 Low%, and a 5:28.522 No Gold Hell%. Spef also had a 5:13.784 Max Hell%, a 6:07.747 No Teleporter Max Hell%, and a 7:34.809 Low% Hell, all of which were superb in their own right despite yielding no moss points.

 

 

And let’s not forget Mazerak. One spot ahead of Spef, he delivered an impressive 17:56.100 All Shortcuts + Olmec run, which puts him in a prime position to overtake Bum.

 

MossRanking is dead forever: Konato pushes Saturnin out of the top 25

If MossRanking is shut down, we can all blame it on Konato_K, who has pushed the indispensible Saturnin55 out of the top 25. Mexico's top Spelunky player completed a very nice Low% No Gold run with a time of 5:12.042.

 

 

Konato also became the eighth player to finish a Max Eggplant% run, posting a 26:43.981. The run had a few scary moments, including a 5-2 permaghost he had to deal with when a spike ball broke the altar. Good job he had Vlad's amulet...

 

 

Spelunky's saviour Saturnin isn’t taking the bop lying down. He submitted a range of personal bests, including a 4:29.561 Max Any%, a 3:12.587 Low%, a 20:18.937 Eggplant% (his sixth one overall), and a 26:19.270 Shield Run -- so we might have an epic duel in the making, as they fight for a spot on the MossRanking homepage.

 

A few spots above Konato and Saturnin, ShinGraywords is another runner who has enjoyed success lately, with a 20:34.220 All Shortcuts + Olmec and a 6:04.521 Haunted Max Low%.

 

 

GreatStriker lands a killer Any%, and more excellent runs

GreatStriker is the hot favourite to be the next person to reach 600k moss points, and crushed it with a 2:46.685 Any% run.

 

Striker also had a 6:48.264 Hell%, and will surely be looking to get a sub-6 in the category, especially since his PB was held back by the lack of jetpack in the black market and the need to grab one on a psychic presence 3-2.

 

 

Just behind Striker on the main ranking is MikeIsMyIke, who did get a sub-6 Hell% with a time of 5:51.105. This included a bold telefrag of the ankh shopkeeper in the black market.

 

 

Other notable runs include TNF’s 3:15.566 Low%, Yoshimitsu524’s 7:36.080 Max Hell% (with no teleporter), Pojo’s 3:59.393 Any%, and Abob71’s 11:10.304 Big Money. Timestoppa ($660,950) and Amourietta ($541,675) have both been making good progress with score runs, Suspense21 earned a 5:43.267 Any%, and Cloiss finished a Hell run for the first time (38:47.358).

 

Lastly, Soripwnz -- a familiar face to those who are regulars in Kinni’s streams -- has joined MossRanking and submitted a 1:05.000 Temple Shortcut% time.

 

 

GGs, everyone!

 

 
 
 My Favourite Games #4: Meowmixmix
Posted by hbix on July 12th, 2017 @07:40PM

‘My Favourite Games’ is a regular MossRanking feature which gives us a chance to get to know our fellow Spelunkers a little better. In each edition, we put the spotlight on one member of the community, as they pick three of their most treasured video games ever and give their reasons why. Featured members are allowed to pick whatever games they want... except for Spelunky.

 

In the fourth entry, we go to Meowmixmix, an exceptional speedrunner and one of the fine folks who brings you the MossRanking news. Aside from making up one third of the infamous -ix trio, Meowmixmix is 14th overall and played a huge part in producing the recent and very successful Scoreathlon event. Here are his three games.

 

 

 

Halo 3 (Xbox 360, 2007)

The first game Meow played competitively was Bungie’s acclaimed shooter Halo 3. Such was Halo 3's popularity back in 2007 that it was the best-selling game that year in the US. “I literally got Xbox Live for Halo 3 because the game was so hyped up at the time and everyone was buzzing about it,” Meow says. “I had never played any PvP games online up to this point, and it opened a whole new world to me.”

 

For Meow, stepping online proved to be a particularly eye-opening experience. He found himself up against people around the world who were much better than him -- but he used this to drive himself to improve. “I was used to being the best gamer in my neighbourhood, but once I got online I realised I wasn’t quite as good as I thought I was,” he shares. “I wanted to get better, so I dedicated a lot of my time to this game and kept moving up the ranks… I still get nostalgic about those days when I felt I had so much more time to play competitively online and actually keep up.”

 

What was it about Halo 3 that drew everybody in? Aside from the satisfying shooting, Meow praises how skill-based the game was. “Halo 3 had no perks you could unlock over time other than aesthetics,” he says. “Each game, everyone started with the same gear and advantages, so I didn’t feel bad if I couldn’t keep up with everyone else just because I couldn’t put in as much time. All that really mattered was your skill, which of course is typically better the more time you put in, but it still didn’t feel like an unfair advantage.”

 

Meow adds that he played Halo 3 "every day for around two years". If you want to look at his old stats, you can go right here.

 

 

Fable (Xbox, 2004)

Hear the name Peter Molyneux, and Fable is probably one of the first things to come to your mind. The game designer’s enthusiasm for Fable leading up to its release is well-documented, and for Meow, it delivered in spades. “I was in fifth grade when I started playing this game,” he says. “I think it was the first RPG I really played. It had weapons, armour, spells, and stats. But what really got me hooked was the morality choices in the game. I still think about the first time I played it.”

 

Yes, one of the more interesting aspects about Fable -- remember, this was back in 2004 and at the time a relative novelty for console role-playing games -- was the idea that the player’s choices and whether or not they were good or bad had influence over the character’s appearance. Evil characters would grow devil’s horns, for example. “I think the concept of choices that have effects on the world brought a new perspective to me that I didn’t think gaming could bring at that age,” Meow explains. “I had only really played linear games up to that point.”

 

Meow loves the sequels as well. Fable II came out in 2008 on Xbox 360, while Fable III followed two years later. “The Fable sequels turned out to be not as popular, even though I loved them all so much,” he comments. “I doubt they will make more, but this series -- and specifically the first Fable -- will always have a special place in my heart.”

 

 

Minecraft (PC, 2011)

Meow’s final game is the phenomenon that is Minecraft, a sandbox game which has truly captured the imagination of millions around the world since it first launched in 2011. “I thought the idea of gathering all my materials and building a base out of it, me and my friends working together, was such a great idea and it was an experience I didn’t realise I was craving until I tried the game out,” Meow says. “It seems so obvious of a concept now that it has blown up with the success of things like Terraria, Starbound, and all these other survival build-your-own-base games.”

 

Minecraft contributed towards shaping Meow's life. As a usually “very technical person”, he says that the game helped him explore his creative side. “I was never good at any creative activities in the real world,” Meow explains. “I could never draw a straight line even. So I guess the blocky format made it easy for someone like me to get into a creative space.” Not only that, but it played a significant part when he started work -- “Minecraft got me into programming in Java, which is now what I do for my job."

 

Minecraft is all the more memorable for Meow thanks to the number of friends he has made through the game. While on a custom server called RaidCraft ("the main purpose was to try and break into other people's bases and steal their stuff"), he made a friend from Sweden called Chips. The pair of them ended up creating a raiding server of their own. "That was when RumbleCraft was born and I started making custom plugins with Java," Meow says. "On running this server, I met a whole bunch of new friends, and we all still talk to this day. I have actually visited Chips in Sweden and one of my other friends in California."

 

Meow says that the new updates has made Minecraft a less appealing game nowadays, but he couldn't imagine his life without it. "This game has had a huge impact on my life in many great ways that I am very grateful for," he concludes.

 

--

 

Do you want to be featured? To be part of ‘My Favourite Games’, send a message to hbix (#3495) on the Spelunky Discord, listing your three picks along with a quick comment justifying their inclusions. You will hear back from me with follow-up questions.

 

Previous 'My Favourite Games' entries: MikeIsMyIke (#3)Twiggle (#2)Kinnijup (#1)

 

 
 
 Mimi gets a Solo Eggplant Run & Spef goes H.A.M.
Posted by ix on July 6th, 2017 @11:10PM

Hi all --

 

MossRanking has seen over a hundred PBs submitted since the last edition of Moss News, so I'm gonna' just phone this one in focus on some of the more active runners, or those with the most impressive times.

 

Spef, uh, got some runs.  He became the second runner ever to complete a No Gold True Pacifist Hell run, and the fastest to do so (26:43.074).  This category was originally proposed by Derek Yu during Spelunky's appearance at Awesome Games Done Quick 2016.   krille71 famously completed this challenge the very next day, capturing the collective imagination of the greater Spelunky community.  In the year and a half since then, several runners have attempted to match his accomplishment without luck until Spef ended this streak of futility.  Spef also impoved his times in just about every major category: a 2:02.323 Any% (he's remains one of only 34 runners to have a 2:xx), a 2:44 No-TP Any%, a 2:57.577 Low%, a 3:04 No Gold, a 4:05 Max Low%, a 9:09 Low% Hell, and a (comparatively sloth-like) 3:44 Max Any%.  He also became the 4th runner to ever complete Max Low% No Gold at 6:12. For all of these runs, he gained something like 40k moss points, moving Spef to 12th in the overall rankings.  

 

Kinnijup, uh, got some runs.  He set new a world record in the All Journal Entries category (29:58.750) thanks to a nice combination of fast reflexes, precise button inputs, and favorable RNG.  He also improved his own WRs in the No-TP Any% (2:17.845) and No Gold Low Hell% (8:05.533) categories thanks to a nice combination of fast reflexes, precise button inputs, and favorable RNG.  For all of these runs, he gained 0 moss points and passed nobody in the overall rankings.  

 

Next up, MikeIsMyIke continued to climb the leaderboards with a few nice runs.  Most notably, he completed his first Solo Eggplant Run in 35:35.448.  Mimi also claimed his first world record on Moss Ranking with a 78:21.15 All Characters Run.  For good measure, he also submitted a 4:20 Max Any% Run.  Blazing speed!

 

hbix was another big mover on MR.  He had a pair of Low% PBs since the last news, culminating with a new best time of 3:11.  Similarly, he turned in two new PBs for Big Money, completing the faster run in 7:54.  He also had a massive Hell% PB of 5:38 and a 3:51 Low% No Gold.  Even more impressive, he lowered his Eggplant PB to 23:31, and his Low% Hell to 13:37.  For those last two runs, he earned z e r o m o s s p o i n t s.  For the first couple... he catapulted himself all the way to 16th on the overall leaderboard.

 

Fellow member of team ix, ix (me) got a few runs as well.  For MossPoints, I got a a 3:07 Low% and a 3:58 Low% No Gold.  For funsies, I also improved my pbs in Low Hell% (10:51) and Max Any% (3:10).  I also jumped to #2 in the Haunted Subranking with a 7:27 Haunted Max Low% and a 6:49 Haunted Max Hell% (which is also a new No-TP Max Hell% PB)  Finally, I got an 18:15.333 Jumbo Money.  I thought a lot more people would take up this category since it no longer requires ghosting vaults.  Did Kinni scare away the rest of the field?

 

A couple of top runners had just one or two submissions: bootsthatshoot crushed a 7:30 No Gold Hell%; falafel_raptor took another big chunk of time out of his All Shortcuts + Olmec PB with a 17:05; Hectic came out of retirement to poop out a 2:56 Low%, which is also his Any%; usernamecantbe25 pulled off a $2,752,025 Score run; ShinGraywords got a 9:08 Big Money; and Vlad pulled off an insane 2:11 Any% to go with a totally rational Low% of 3:14.  I'll also mention saturnin55's 16:48 Olmec Failplant%, since he is still in the top 25 for a couple more days. ;)

 

Cloiss begged me to include his runs in the news, and you can see his recent runs by clicking here (okay, okay... the 4:08 Any% shows real signs of improvement.  Keep it up, Cloiss!).

 

Ilmorinen, who had until recently only participated in Daily Challenges (with 6 wins), submitted his first video... a new World Record in the RSVP Challenge!  His $1,440,525 run also likely qualifies as a Score run, and should be a penalty breaker in Any%, Hell%, and No-TP Any%, with a 63:48 completion.  Congrats, now go claim your Moss Points!

 

Finally, I'll mention new and frequent Twitch streamer, amourietta, who has just begun submitting runs to Moss Ranking.  She had a 6:05 Any% (no-TP), an 11:00 No Gold run, and a $353,725 Score run.  Wow!

 

Also how come nobody asks me what my favorite games are?

 

OK, bye!

 

-ix

 
 
 My Favourite Games #3: MikeIsMyIke
Posted by hbix on July 1st, 2017 @10:01PM

‘My Favourite Games’ is a regular MossRanking feature which gives us a chance to get to know our fellow Spelunkers a little better. In each edition, we put the spotlight on one member of the community, as they pick three of their most treasured video games ever and give their reasons why. Featured members are allowed to pick whatever games they want... except for Spelunky.

 

In the third entry, we go to MikeIsMyIke, a fast-rising player on the MossRanking leaderboard and the current world record holder for the All Characters category. Mike gives his three games below, and you may notice that they all follow a very similar theme. "I enjoy competition," he says. "It gives me that extra little drive to play on top of whatever enjoyment I already get from the game."

 

 

Divekick (PC, 2013)

The first video game Mike got into competitively was Divekick, a unique take on the 1v1 fighting genre. With a roster of 15 fighters, players use only two buttons as they brawl in a series of one-hit-KO rounds. One button jumps, the other kicks.

 

To jump backwards, kick while on the ground. To activate a special, hit both buttons at the same time. Lastly, each character has a Kick Factor meter, which when full and activated, provides the fighter with buffs or additional specials. That’s pretty much it, but don’t be fooled by its simplicity. “It’s super straightforward and easy to understand, but there’s also a lot of competitive depth to the game,” he explains to MossRanking. “You’ll have to learn fighting game fundamentals like footsies, baiting, hard reads, and matchups if you want to reach the next level.”

 

Mike became one of the best Kung Pao players. As he describes, Kung Pao’s low dive height coupled with a fast and horizontal kick “leads to a more defensive and reactionary playstyle”. Mike has participated in fairly local LAN tournaments and even managed to win back-to-back titles. Here he is in action as Kung Pao:

 

 

Divekick’s online matchmaking is unfortunately now “quite dead”, but the competitive scene lives on through weekly tournaments every Friday night -- which Mike actually started (although it is run by somebody else nowadays). Mike is always open to any challengers, so if you’re curious about the game and want somebody to play with, give him a shout.

 

 

Rocket League (PC, 2015)

Psyonix’s football (the soccer variant) game has gained a reputation for being one of the finest multiplayer experiences out there today. Mike can attest to that. He has put more than 1,500 hours into the game, and yet he is still not done. Far from it. “It’s just really satisfying to play,” Mike says. “Even when you lose, you see that you could have done this, this, and this better, so you play again next time and fix some of those mistakes. Playing with your friends and getting better together is definitely part of what brings me back.”

 

Mike’s love of Rocket League goes beyond multiplayer matches, though. He follows the competitive scene very closely. “I’m nowhere near skilled enough to compete at the top levels,” he says, “but there are plenty of weekly tournaments open to anyone to compete in. The game is developing a huge eSports scene, and it really feels like the most sports-like video game I’ve played.”

 

Although Mike admits that in a dream scenario, he would improve enough to be able to play at the very top, he says he’s content with his current skill level. "At 27, I’m definitely past the prime age for high-level eSports play," he shares. "That really isn't going to happen without a huge time commitment. I’m fine with just playing to see how far I can actually climb.” (Bonus: You can check out one of his more satisfying saves right here.)

 

 

Pokémon Trading Card Game (1996)

Mike’s final pick isn’t technically a video game -- although it was turned into one for the Game Boy Color (1998 in Japan, 2000 in North America and Europe). The Pokémon Trading Card Game has been a massive part of Mike’s life since he was just 9 years old. “I played the TCG competitively from 2004 to 2016, qualified for the World Championship twice, and have a second-placed finish at the Canadian Nationals,” Mike reveals. “It also led me to my first job at a hobby store when I was 13 years old, and that turned me into an avid boardgamer.”

 

Many of us who grew up during the height of the Pokémon craze (the first generation of titles on the Game Boy sold a combined 47 million worldwide) will have collected and traded Pokémon cards with their friends -- for the purpose of either maintaining a small collection or building decks for casual battles -- but Mike went considerably beyond that.

 

When MossRanking asked him how many cards he owns, Mike confessed to having no idea. He lost count years and years ago. “Oh god, I’d have a better chance of guessing how many jellybeans are in a jar,” he says. “Probably somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000? I’ve spent way too much money, easily in the thousands.”

 

And that wasn’t the only thing that took his money. “If you include money spent on travel to tournaments across North America, that’s easily a few thousand dollars more,” Mike comments. “Thankfully, I never became a ‘collector’, only getting enough cards for the decks I wanted to play -- so I don’t have anything particularly rare or significantly valuable in my collection.” Does he have a most prized card? “One of the cards that sticks out to me is this one. I won some smaller tournaments with it, but mostly it just looks so damn good.”

 

 

--

 

Do you want to be featured? To be part of ‘My Favourite Games’, send a message to hbix (#3495) on the Spelunky Discord, listing your three picks along with a quick comment justifying their inclusions. You will hear back from me with follow-up questions.

 

Previous 'My Favourite Games' entries: Twiggle (#2)Kinnijup (#1)

 

 
 
 My Favourite Games #2: Twiggle
Posted by hbix on June 24th, 2017 @08:34PM

‘My Favourite Games’ is a regular MossRanking feature which gives us a chance to get to know our fellow Spelunkers a little better. In each edition, we put the spotlight on one member of the community, as they pick three of their most treasured video games ever and give their reasons why. Featured members are allowed to pick whatever games they want... except for Spelunky.

 

In the second entry, we go to Twiggle, a brilliant all-around Spelunker and one of the best score runners in the community. He is currently eighth in the MossRanking leaderboard. Below, Twiggle reveals his favourite game ever and which surprising multiplayer title is home to his fondest gaming memories with his family.

 

 

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (SNES, 1995)

Twiggle’s favourite game of all time, “no contest” as he puts it, is this utterly charming 2D platformer from Nintendo. Although dubbed as a sequel to the acclaimed Super Mario World, Yoshi’s Island is an entirely different game which sees players control different-coloured Yoshis as they embark on a mission to rescue Baby Luigi. “Everything about the game is perfect, from the sprites to the controls to the level design and music,” Twiggle says. “I believe it’s the first ‘real’ game I ever beat.”

 

Twiggle credits Yoshi’s Island for getting him into platforming games. A standout part of the game is how no two levels feel the same. “I actually replayed it fairly recently, and was astonished with the physics of the boss fights,” he shares, bringing up the fight which happens literally inside a frog after Yoshi is downsized by Kamek. “I found it so amazing because of how bouncy and fluid the inside of the frog felt -- like when you threw an egg against the side, it would sort of roll.”

 

Of course, Yoshi’s Island also has the classic ‘Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy’ level. If Yoshi hits a Fuzzy, he will become dizzy and his movement is affected -- something which, through some great effects, is ingeniously reflected on the screen for the player. “I love how the game really makes you feel like you were sick or on drugs, with the colours changing, the swaying of the level, and the music becoming distorted,” Twiggle says.

 

Examples like these show the passion and attention given during development. As a result, the final game is a near-magical experience.

 

 

Insaniquarium Deluxe (PC, 2004)

Twiggle’s second pick is a lesser-known PopCap game. Insaniquarium Deluxe is a puzzle title which challenges players to protect tanks filled with colourful fish and other sea creatures by keeping them well-fed and happy. “I loved the fast-paced nature of this game as well as the freedom you have when beating a level,” Twiggle explains. “I love the way the game takes action to the next level and making the experience crazy and wacky, similar to Spelunky in a way with some of the crazy interactions that can happen.”

 

Twiggle compares Insaniquarium to Spelunky, commenting that, although they are very different games, they share similar qualities which reeled him in. “What makes both stand out from other games is the way the levels interact with themselves, even if you don’t do anything,” he explains. “It makes the game feel so much more alive, and it makes you feel like you’re in the game rather than just a spectator.”

 

Future games like Bejeweled, Peggle, and Plants vs. Zombies have eclipsed Insaniquarium for PopCap in terms of popularity, but Twiggle hopes that the developer will give the series another moment in the spotlight one day. “I think the reason Insaniquarium wasn’t as popular is because it was a PC game when there weren’t many mainstream places to distribute PC titles and before mobile touch devices were a thing,” he theorises. “If they released it today, it could be a huge hit. I sincerely hope there is some sort of remastered version or sequel in the future.”

 

By the way, Insaniquarium Deluxe is only a buck/quid or so in the Steam summer sale right now.

 

 

Mario Party DS (Nintendo DS, 2007)

Mario Party games are known for providing brilliant multiplayer experiences. But for Twiggle, it’s the handheld DS iteration of the series which stands out as his personal favourite. “I remember long car and plane rides playing with my siblings,” he explains. "My sister, who isn’t a huge gamer by any means, absolutely loved the game, which just shows how Nintendo [and Hudson Soft] truly knows how to make games for everybody.”

 

The smart thing about Mario Party DS is that it only requires one cartridge for four players through Download Play. “Growing up, my dad had a job where we moved every couple of years,” Twiggle says. “Also, every year, we would come back to the States to visit my mother’s family. As you can imagine, there was a lot of driving, flying, trains, and buses that we took when travelling, so naturally the DS is what we played. With Mario Party, you could pretty much play the entire thing on multiple DS consoles like you owned the game with just one cartridge.”

 

Funnily enough, the console versions of Mario Party didn’t take off in the Twiggle household in the same way. Their favourite minigame-action title at home was WarioWare Inc. for the GameCube.

 

Honourable Mentions: Worms Armageddon (1999), Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (1995), Paper Mario (2001), Super Smash Bros. series (1999-), Plants vs. Zombies (2009), Glover (1998).

 

--

 

Do you want to be featured? To be part of ‘My Favourite Games’, send a message to hbix (#3495) on the Spelunky Discord, listing your three picks along with a quick comment justifying their inclusions. You will hear back from me with follow-up questions.

 

Previous 'My Favourite Games' entries: Kinnijup (#1)

 

 
 
 My Favourite Games #1: Kinnijup
Posted by hbix on June 17th, 2017 @01:44AM

‘My Favourite Games’ is a new regular feature on MossRanking that gives us a chance to get to know our fellow Spelunkers better. In each edition, we put the spotlight on one member of the community, as they pick three of their most treasured video games ever and give their reasons why. Featured members are allowed to pick whatever games they want... except for Spelunky.

 

In the inaugural entry, who better to go to than the number one Spelunky player? Kinnijup has crushed the competition in nearly every single category, and has represented the community at AGDQ 2016. But what was the first game he got into competitively? And which long-forgotten game left a particularly strong impression on him growing up? Here are his three picks...

 

 

Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo 64, 1997)

Mario Kart 64 was the franchise’s first foray into 3D. Bringing in four-player support and 16 brand new tracks, it was a favourite among split-screen enthusiasts -- but for Kinnijup, Nintendo’s kart-racing classic was his second game in which he poured hours and hours into playing competitively. “I still follow it on Twitch,” he tells MossRanking. “I hold a couple of world records, still.”  

 

Kinnijup was the NTSC world champion for about a year (NTSC and PAL are split as they run on slightly different speeds), and to this day he remains fifth in NTSC and ninth overall. “Mario Kart 64 just relies on pure driving skill for non-shortcut runs,” Kinnijup says, on what makes the game so appealing for him. As he notes, the challenges with Mario Kart 64 are very different to that of Spelunky. “It is kind of weird I ended up on a game with ridiculous RNG like Spelunky,” he says. “There are cool shortcuts in Mario Kart 64 as well, but they are a different ranking.”

 

Kinnijup hasn’t ruled out a return to the Mario Kart 64 competitive scene. Even to this day, he thinks about diving back in -- but will he? “I have been telling some Mario Kart 64 friends for three years now that I would play again eventually,” he says. “Right now, I plan to give it another try if I ever get the Low% record in Spelunky -- so it might never happen!”

 

  

Super Mario Kart (SNES, 1992)

If Mario Kart 64 was Kinnijup’s second game he got into competitively, it is perhaps no surprise that his first was Super Mario Kart, the very first in the Mario Kart series and a revolutionary title in the kart-racing sub-genre of racing games. “I played Super Mario Kart with my brother as a kid, and it just always had a special place in my heart,” he comments.

 

Despite quitting years ago, Kinnijup has retained a few Super Mario Kart world records, and looks back at his time with the game very fondly. He is honest when talking about why he decided to move on to Mario Kart 64. “A technique that was no fun took over the game shortly after I left, and I really just completely lost interest,” he explains. “Mario Kart 64 is way better and less broken.”

 

Bizarrely, he was the one who discovered the technique, known as New Boosting Technique (NBT). “It was a bit ironic,” he shares. “It basically allowed you to drive off the road entirely without slowing down or with even speeding up. It made the old records feel meaningless and was just frustrating. I never really complained about it at the time, because some people enjoyed it and I didn’t want to stop their fun.”

 

  

Beyond the Beyond (PlayStation 1, 1996)

The final pick is the underappreciated role-playing game Beyond the Beyond. Developed by Camelot (who would go on to make the Golden Sun games), this PS1 title had a huge impact on Kinnijup when he played it years ago. “It was the first RPG I ever played,” he says. “Not many people play it, but I associate it with my upbringing and probably my first real gaming addiction.”

 

Kinnjup struggles to pinpoint exactly what makes Beyond the Beyond stand out, yet it seems the sum of its parts combined to deliver an experience that was immersive and unforgettable for him at the time. “I was heavily into RPGs for a decade,” he notes. “I think it could have just as easily been another RPG here, but it just happened to be the first one I played.”

 

Beyond the Beyond would go on to be overshadowed by a number of other role-playing games on the PlayStation 1, and Kinnijup admits that he wished Beyond the Beyond had more attention. “I used to dig around and never find many fans for it,” he says. “Apparently, it’s a pretty low-rated game by most people who review it. But I actually remember having dreams of a sequel.”

 

--

 

Do you want to be featured? To be part of ‘My Favourite Games’, send a message to hbix (#3495) on the Spelunky Discord, listing your three picks along with a quick comment justifying their inclusions. You will hear back from me with follow-up questions.