Spelunky News!


 The 2018 French Championship of Spelunky (UPDATED SCHEDULE)
Posted by ix on February 21st, 2018 @11:13PM
 
French Championship
 
 
The 2018 French Championship of Spelunky is coming soon!
 
 
Beginning Saturday, March 3rd, at 2 PM French time (8 AM Eastern), the reigning French Champion Vlad will attempt to defend his title against fellow countryman Polo in a match featuring individual races of the 14 main speedrunning categories of Spelunky.
 
 
The main event will be streamed on the MossRanking Twitch Channel.  For the first portion of the event, Vlad and Polo will occasionally share their thoughts on mic with each other and the viewers.  The finale will begin at 6 PM French time (Noon Eastern), with ix, Kinnijup, Brutwarst, and Shingraywords joining in with "expert commentary!"
 
The Rules:
 
Each category will be ran as a separate race. Both players have to complete the a chosen category during the alloted time.
The goal of the competition is to score more MossPoints than the other competitor after the 14 races.
Points are scored using the current MossRanking formula as if the two runners were starting from a fresh MossRanking account. This includes the feature that only the 10 best categories count for points, while additional categories only offer completion bonuses.
Runs will be timed using the in-game timer, not as a real time attack. During the alloted time, multiple attempts are allowed, and the fastest completed run will cout for MossPoints.
A time done during a race can count for several categories if the categories are compatible. For example, if a player completes a 4:00 run during the Any% segment, then finishes a 3:30 during the No Teleporter Any% segment, the 3:30 will count for both categories. However, if a player does a Low% run during the Any% segment, this time will not count for the Low% category.
Failing to complete a category during the alloted time will result in Z E R O M O S S P O I N T S scored by the player.
 
Watch the trailer below!
 
 

 
 
 The Grind: Low% Hell Redux
Posted by ix on February 10th, 2018 @07:32PM

HUGE announcement! MossRanking will host an encore edition of The Grind : Low Hell% on Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ Noon Eastern Time.

 

This time around, we'll feature four new runners: MikeIsMyIke, GreatStriker, Khold, and denis1080.  On the digital casting couch will be max-low-hell% completers, ix and Kinnijup, plus our very special friends, MeowMixMix, Vlad, and chocolatecake5000.

 

A quick reminder on the rules of the category...

 

Low% Hell means beating Yama without collecting any unnecessary items or extra resources. Allowed are the following:

 

 The Book of the Dead, to open the Hell door.

 The Scepter and Hedjet, to open the City of Gold door.

 The Ankh, to get the Hedjet.

 The Spelunker's starting resources: health, bombs, ropes.

 Environmental items, such as rocks, pots, landmines, and arrows.

 

Notably, the Udjat Eye is not allowed, which means the Spelunker needs a very sharp eye to locate a partially visible Black Market... which is not always possible. Picking up other aids, like extra bombs or ropes, obtaining passive items like the compass, wearing items like the jetpack, activating weapons like the shotgun, or gaining life in any way besides reviving from the Ankh is prohibited.

 

Quite the challenge, so how many of our runners will succeed?  To find out, tune in live on Twitch on the MossRanking channel, and set a reminder for yourself, so you don't miss it!

 
 
 Announcing The Grind: Low% Hell
Posted by ix on January 27th, 2018 @05:33PM

On Saturday, February 3 at Noon Eastern Time (5:00 PM UTC), the Spelunky community will gather for...

 

The Grind: Low% Hell

 

Four spelunkers from around the world will attempt to conquer Low% Hell.  We'll watch Vlad, JakeYoshimitsu, DaftLunk, and pojopoopoohead run the category simultaneously with expert commentary from ix and Kinnijup, and additional commentary from meowmixmix and Khold.

 

Tune in live on Twitch on the MossRanking channel or set a reminder for yourself here.  Hope to see you there!

 

 
 
 Spelunky Discord Community Awards 2017: Day Two Winners
Posted by hbix on December 20th, 2017 @06:01PM

The ballots are in and the votes have been counted and verified. A big thank you to everybody who nominated and cast their vote.

 

The wait is over. We can now reveal the winners of this year's Spelunky Discord Community Awards! Day One saw a total of six winners announced -- you can go here to find out what they were. The results for the remaining five awards categories are below in this Day Two article...

 

 

The 'Wait, This Isn't Spelunky' Award

Kerbal Space Program

Marble Madness

Momodora III

Rocket League

 

THIRD PLACE

Momodora III (16%)

 

SECOND PLACE

Rocket League (23%)

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

 

MARBLE MADNESS (52%)

 

Written by Kinnijup:

 

Marble Madness is a very different, old, and fun isometric marble-rolling game for the NES. Three Spelunky runners took the game very seriously for a handful of months this year: Spef, MikeIsMyIke, and me (Kinnijup). We all made rapid progress and had a big impact on the top of a leaderboard which is more than 20 years old. In particular, Spef hit the world record very quickly and improved it two more times afterwards, discovering and incorporating many insanely precise and difficult strategies along the way. Mike is currently in third place, and I am fourth (#forever lost the rivalry).

 

Another runner who spent some time on the game is Konato_K, who ended up hitting a solid sub-four-minute time. Many other members of the community got involved with watching the game on Twitch for a while (some even played it), so I was not surprised to see this one win here!

 

--

 

Best All Shortcuts + Olmec Tournament Race

GreatStriker vs. Spef (Quarterfinals)

Krille vs. d_tea (Finals)

Krille vs. ix (Group A)

Linkruler vs. Mazerak (Round of 16)

patchesfaces vs. ix (Group A)

Stuoid vs. Curticus (Group D)

 

SECOND PLACE (TIED)

Krille vs. d_tea (Finals) (23%)

Stuoid vs. Curticus (Group D) (23%)

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

GREATSTRIKER VS. SPEF (QUARTERFINALS) (26%)

 

Written by MikeIsMyIke:

 

An underdog story at its finest. Not only was Spef a tournament favorite going in, but GreatStriker was one of the lowest-ranked players left going into playoffs. Spef had breezed through his group undefeated, with two incredible times under 20 minutes. So it was a foregone conclusion, right?

 

Wrong. GreatStriker had already put on quite a performance to get this far, causing a huge upset against the highly-regarded falafel_raptor in the group stage and also beating hbix in the Round of 16. The 'Battle of Finland' absolutely delivered in entertainment, with a close back-and-forth race and a remarkable final result. GreatStriker was more than a minute behind Spef into the key split, but edged ahead of his compatriot after a forced reset from Spef -- the first key completely eluding the favourite.

 

GreatStriker was put under immense pressure into 2-3. In a twist, Spef stunned himself after throwing a bomb, and blew himself up. This gave GreatStriker a significant lead, one which he did not throw (despite a huge scare in 3-2, when his key nearly dropped into the abyss), sealing the win with a time of 22:03. "When he was ahead, I wasn't really nervous," he said in a post-match interview. "But near the end, I was actually nervous."

 

A Pot C racer, GreatStriker defied all the odds to make it to the final four. It was a shame that he had to withdraw from the semifinals in the end due to unavailability.

 

--

 

Favourite Spelunky Streamer

Abob71

falafel_raptor

ix

Kinnijup

Spef

Twiggle

Vlad

 

THIRD PLACE

Spef (14%)

 

SECOND PLACE

ix (22%)

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

KINNIJUP (33%)

 

Written by hbix:

 

Kinnijup draws the biggest Twitch audiences among the Spelunky Discord and MossRanking community, and it's not hard to see why. As the greatest ever Spelunky player, Kinnijup stuns his viewers with incredible plays at an alarming rate. Further to that, his streams have been home to numerous world records over the past year -- from his 3.52 million score and sub-1:39 Any% (in front of Derek Yu, too!) to less prominent categories such as Shield Run and Jumbo Money.

 

But while his legendary skill makes his streams consistently entertaining to watch, it's his personality, his character, and the environment he fosters in the Twitch chat that really seal the deal. Kinnijup is one of the nicest people in the community -- friendly and considerate, with a genuine desire to answer any questions from viewers and help budding speedrunners improve their game. It's this personality that rubs off on the chat. Regulars of his stream are warm and excited to be there. With his almost-daily streams, his Twitch channel has become its own mini-community in a way.

 

Kinnijup is representing Spelunky at All Games Done Quick (AGDQ) next year. And with his fervent, vocal fanbase, he is guaranteed to have plenty of support tuning in at the dead of night to catch his All Shortcuts + Olmec run. Good luck for January!

 

--

 

Newcomer of the Year

amourietta

chocolatecake5000

DaftLunk

DieDai

GreatStriker

Pojo

Spef

 

THIRD PLACE

chocolatecake5000 (14%)

 

SECOND PLACE

DieDai (20%)

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

SPEF (46%)

 

Written by Polo:

 

We were all suprised to see him eligible for nomination, and that's because it feels like he has been a member of this community forever. It's hard to believe that, yes, he joined in 2017. And yet... that says a lot about the man, and probably explains why Spef deserves this award the most!

 

Spef started to submit nice runs out of nowhere and joined the Discord server all the way back in January. Since then, Spef has made himself climb the MossRanking to end up as one of the best Spelunkers of all time. At the time of writing, he is in fourth place with more than 900,000 points (a Hell ranking) and only just behind the legend that is Krille71.

 

We could spend hours talking Spef's runs and how great they are, but that's not just what this award is about. Spef has also been involved every day in the Spelunky community to discuss strats, visiting and hanging out at everybody's stream, giving advice, and scouting daily challenge seeds. We all see him as friendly as the VoHiYo emote seems to be!

 

Spef winning the Newcomer award was probably the least surprising result out of all of them, but it's satisfying nonetheless to see one of the nicest guys out there being acknowledged.

 

--

 

Spelunky Community MVP

hbix

ix

Kazzy

Kinnijup

meowmixmix

saturnin55

Twiggle

 

THIRD PLACE (TIED)

meowmixmix (8%)

Twiggle (8%)

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

 

IT'S A TIE!

 

HBIX (36%)

SATURNIN55 (36%)

 

Written by saturnin55:

 

We are very fortunate to have such a talented person in our community. We all know hbix is a very good Spelunker, one of the best around, but hbix also does so much work in this community without seeking the spotlight. They're an amazing writer and wrote 17 'My Favourite Games' articles in Spelunky News this year, presenting members of the community and helping us to get to know a little bit of the non-Spelunker side of everyone featured.

 

I'm also pretty confident to say that without hbix, the Spelunky All Shortcuts + Olmec Tournament would be either still in planning or a bad memory of an attempt to make something too big for us to handle. All the organizers dedicated a lot of time into the planning of the tourney, but I'm just short of words for all of what was accomplished by hbix. hbix was silently working with the other organizers behind the scenes one month before the tourney really publicly kicked off, and has been a real trooper: handling any type of work that others didn't want to do, helping a ton in the planning, writing documentation, and communicating with all the organizers and other people involved in the tourney.

 

More than often, hbix just took it upon themself to do stuff nobody thought of and came to us with an amazing document, leaving us dumbstruck. Then, when the tourney really started, almost all of the results, standing updates, summary articles were done by our joint MVP winner. hbix was also back and forth communicating about issues we did not foresee, always on the lookout so everything could go as smoothly as possible for everyone, and it is just a joy to have someone dedicated and selfless like hbix on your team providing such quantity and quality of work.

 

 

Another side of hbix that most people are not aware is all of their work behind the scenes as a Discord moderator. Always pushing the moderation team to do things better, for the benefit of all the community (old-timers and newcomers), raising important issues, and providing very thoughtful opinions, always in the most polite and respectful manner towards everyone. Even though sometimes issues can get pretty heated and emotional, hbix stays calm or takes some time away to think and cool down before voicing their opinion.

 

Furthermore, hbix has been an important contributor to all MossRanking discussions and debates we had since joining the team. There is often something going on behind the scenes, and I'm very thankful for all hbix's contributions: talking about categories, rules, or the website. hbix is someone you can always rely on to provide insightful opinions.

 

The MVP award just embodies very well what hbix is to this community: a real MVP. I won't lie, I was a bit worried before the voting because I was under the impression that a lot of hbix's doings were too much behind the scenes to get the deserved votes. But I realize now that it was just me that was too much in the bubble, and I'm so glad you're all giving hbix the deserved wave of love for everything they did for this community.

 

hbix, thank you for everything! We hope you can be part of what's coming ahead, because without you, things would be much more chaotic and this community would have not grown as much as it did in 2017! Congratulations MVP!

 

 

Written by hbix:

 

The first ever Spelunky Discord Community Awards have been a lot of fun, but there is nothing more fitting to close this out than to talk about the incredible saturnin55. When I started planning this event, I thought to myself that it would be an utter traversty if saturnin55 did not win something. You cannot have a celebration of 2017 in Spelunky without mentioning him. Thankfully, it turns out that we as a community collectively agree.

 

In the many winners' texts across the Day One and Day Two articles, the word "legend" has been used a few times. Kinnijup, d_tea, Krille71, and more are legends in their own right. But saturnin55 is a very different kind of legend -- the irreplaceable kind. He may not want to admit it, humble as he is, but saturnin55 is the greatest influence of the Spelunky community right now.

 

When MossTier was dying a slow death, saturnin55 created MossRanking.com, this very site you are reading right now. With the help of others, saturnin55 revolutionised the Spelunky rankings, bringing a fresh, addictive competitive edge to the table and rejuvenating speedrunners and score runners alike. That was in 2016. This year, saturnin55 continued to build on this fine platform -- adding new categories, coding a bevy of new features, and more -- in turn providing newcomers a powerful incentive to stick around the community. 2017 has seen many new faces in the form of Spef, GreatStriker, DieDai, Pojo, DaftLunk, ContraMuffin, chocolatecake5000, and so many more people on the MossRanking leaderboards, as well as the re-introduction of Stuoid, all of whom having had a positive impact on the wider community, particularly on Discord and Twitch.

 

saturnin55 has had an indirect but crucial hand at keeping the community buzzing and active, moreso than anybody else.

 

 

2017 also saw two huge events: the Scoreathlon and the All Shortcuts + Olmec Tournament, both of which were huge successes and could never have happened without saturnin55. Both the Scoreathlon and especially the All Shortcuts + Olmec Tournament were incredible to be a part of -- whether as a participant, viewer, or organiser -- because it brought the whole community together. Seeing everybody congregating in one place, buzzing with excitement on the MossRanking Twitch chat, is unlike anything else in the Spelunky community.

 

saturnin55 worked tirelessly on the administrative sides of both events -- coding on the back-end, coming up with solutions to problems, taking responsibility in managing the potentially overwhelming projects -- and ensured that they were smash hits. Personally speaking, I have learnt so much during my time working alongside him on the All Shortcuts + Olmec Tournament. It has been a genuine and enriching pleasure to have had the opportunity to do so.

 

The last thing I would like to mention about saturnin55 is the number of times I've messaged him for help and how he responds and sorts out my request quickly every single time. How he manages to find the time given that he is an incredibly busy parent as well is beyond me. saturnin55 is currently working on evolving MossRanking in preparation for Spelunky 2. It is with good fortune that we have somebody like saturnin55 in our community, and I'm excited at the prospect that, when the first wave of Spelunky 2 players comes across our passionate and tightknit group, even more people will be able to appreciate his work.

 

Congratulations, saturnin55! There is nobody more deserving than this title than you.

 

 
 
 Spelunky Discord Community Awards 2017: Day One Winners
Posted by hbix on December 19th, 2017 @10:38PM

The ballots are in and the votes have been counted and verified. A big thank you to everybody who nominated and cast their vote.

 

The wait is over. We can now reveal the winners of this year's Spelunky Discord Community Awards! The winners will be announced across two days: six awards categories today, and then five tomorrow. Find out what won on Day One below...

 

 

Best Moss Points Category

All Shortcuts + Olmec

Hell%

Low%

Low Hell%

No Teleporter Any%

Score

 

THIRD PLACE

Low Hell% (17%)

 

SECOND PLACE

Low% (22%)

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

 

ALL SHORTCUTS + OLMEC (25%)

 

Written by hbix:

 

If there's one category which truly left its mark on the community in 2017, it's All Shortcuts + Olmec.

 

On September 8, the All Shortcuts + Olmec Tournament kicked off with a 40-strong lineup. This included top-ranking players such as Buddy7heElf, Curticus, and Spef, while legends Krille71 and d_tea were lured out of retirement. Over the next month, the community was collectively gripped as they gathered to watch and buzz about races broadcasted on Twitch. Even Spelunky creator Derek Yu was taken in by the excitement, checking out some of the matches.

 

Krille71 would go on to beat d_tea in the finals, which were held on SpeedGaming and drew more than 600 concurrent viewers. The tournament was an incredible success, and everybody involved -- organisers, hosts, commentators, participants, viewers -- should be proud.

 

In All Shortcuts + Olmec, the player must -- from a blank save -- unlock all three shortcuts (Jungle, Ice, and Temple) before beating the game by defeating Olmec. The shortcuts themselves neatly double up as checkpoints, meaning that -- unlike every run which uses the in-game timer -- dying during a delivery does not end the run. But the nature of this feature, combined with the meaty length of an All Shortcuts + Olmec run, actually presents a very different challenge. While most standard, shorter categories when speedrun encourage the player to go gung-ho (after all, what's a simple reset?), All Shortcuts + Olmec demands a greater degree of caution.

 

Death may not end the run, but it does hit you with a costly time penalty. Risk versus reward takes on a different meaning, and it makes for an entertaining category to play and spectate alike.

 

 

Written by MikeIsMyIke:

 

The infamous shotgun split. Do I rob the 2-1 hired hand shop for his shotgun, or do I pray for a late jungle shop or Dead Are Restless level? If you're lucky, you might even come across the black market with resources to complete a triple delivery -- handing in the shotgun (2-4 exit), three bombs (mothership entrance), and three ropes (3-4.2 exit) all with the same life.

 

Scenarios like these are a part of what makes All Shortcuts + Olmec unique and popular among the community. Every decision you make is critical, no matter if you're in the jungle, attempting the brutal key delivery, or making your way through the temple.

 

It is stressful for the whole duration of the run, and you'll be hard-pressed to find another category this varied and well-rounded, putting so many skills to the test. With the auto-splitter, it's super easy to set up and get going, so if you haven't tried it yet: what are you waiting for?

 

--

 

Best Meme Category

Action Hero Any%

All Achievements

Draining Olmec

Key to Yama

Temple Shortcut%

Tutorial High Score

 

THIRD PLACE

Draining Olmec (17%)

 

SECOND PLACE

Action Hero Any% (22%)

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

 

ALL ACHIEVEMENTS (28%)

 

Written by ix:

 

All Achievements in a single segment was a feat discussed in the Spelunky community for years: rarely attempted, occasionally brought up as a joke, but never completed.

 

Time passed, and MossRankers moved on to tackle other challenges. BumCommando popularized the All Journal Entries run and pushed his own world record down to a competitive time. Critically, Konato_K pioneered the All Characters run, which initially involved several hours of grinding the RNG (seemingly) necessary to find the four random area coffins.

 

As more runners began to compete for the All Characters WR, rumors began to circulate that the death counter was correlated with the likelihood of these four coffins appearing. Ultimately, Sashavol peeked into the source code and confirmed these suspicions, revealing the precise death counts necessary to maximize the odds of a quick coffin find. Thus, the era of death grinding began, which saw an hour and a half shaved off the WR in a little over a week.

 

With the new strats, the category became popular enough to warrant a LiveSplit tracker alongside All Shortcuts + Olmec and All Journal Entries.

 

 

With the 'The Whole Gang' achievement sorted out, a single-segment All Achievements run started to appear feasible. All it would really take is someone with the skills to reliably complete an All Journal Entries run (lots of people), the patience for a No Gold run (many people), the desire to complete an All Characters run (a couple of people), and the mental toughness to grind the last 700 or so deaths of the 'Addicted' achievement (so far, one person).

 

The run now has three completions: a nearly six-hour run in August, a sub-four-hour run as part of the Spelunky All Games Done Quick (AGDQ) fundraiser stream, and one more as part of the Really Really Long A Thon, all by ix.

 

Thank you to everyone who voted for this meme category. What we need now is a tracker and for more runners to compete. Also, Death% should have won!

 

--

 

Best Miscellaneous Category

All Characters

All Journal Entries

Jumbo Money

Max Low No Gold Hell%

Shield Run

Tutorial%

 

THIRD PLACE

Shield Run (18%)

 

SECOND PLACE

All Journal Entries (21%)

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

MAX LOW NO GOLD HELL% (26%)

 

Written by Kinnijup:

 

Max Low No Gold Hell% is thought of by many as the pinnacle of a Spelunky challenge run. It combines precise Low% platforming with the critical thinking necessary for a difficult challenge run. Reaction-based gameplay is a big factor in the run frequently as well.

 

After the first Max Low Hell% run was done at the end of 2014, it would be half a year before d_tea became the first person to complete the run without gold on a blind seed. In the three years the category has been attempted, it has only had five total completed runs from three runners. Pibonacci (who had the second completion) has one of them. d_tea and I each have two, and we both have a speed run of it done.

 

The last time somebody completed the challenge run for the first time was in February 2016 (by me). Several notable runners have been very close to joining this list and others are actively trying. Spef5 and Buddy7heElf each have a Max Low Hell% finish with two pieces of gold, and both Buddy and Krille71 have an MLNGH Yama death. MLNGH went from being almost impossible, to being frighteningly difficult to finish but doable, to being speedran.

 

The category also went through a bit of a name transformation, and some Lunkers will still call it LMNGH (the original name it was given) as it rolls off the tongue pretty well!

 

--

 

Indie Game of the Year

Cuphead

Dead Cells (Early Access)

The End Is Nigh

Hollow Knight

Japanese Breakquest

Night in the Woods

 

THIRD PLACE

Dead Cells (Early Access) (8%)

 

SECOND PLACE

Hollow Knight (27%)

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

CUPHEAD (54%)

 

Written by Twiggle:

 

Cuphead is a run-and-gun platformer, seven years in the making. The game is mainly a boss rush, most of which on the ground where you are jumping and dashing, but some bosses also take place in the air where Cuphead and Mugman get to fly planes that shoot. The game has six platforming levels as well, two in each of the three main worlds, which have been handcrafted with unique environments and enemies.

 

From the moment I saw a preview of the game at one of the PAXs, I had a feeling that it would be amazing. However, before it launched, I did have concerns about the game, and I'm sure I wasn't alone. Obviously the art and visuals are top-notch, but that doesn't mean a thing if the game doesn't play well. Does the platforming feel good? Are the bosses too RNG-heavy? Is the game too hard or too easy for most players? Is the price going to be as high as a triple-A game?

 

I'm happy to say that all of these doubts were thrown out the window within my first few hours of playing the game. The art and music are great, that's a given, but the bosses are also super fun to fight, and each of them are so unique.

 

 

The difficulty has been somewhat of a controversy, but I think it has been blown way out of proportion. It's harder than most casual games such as the recent Marios, but not as hard as the eight-bit Marios of the 1980s and early 1990s which were downright frustrating in places. The price was also a pleasent surprise, being USD $19.99, right around the cost of most pixel-art indie games.

 

Cuphead's main campaign only took eight hours for me to beat the first time, but I enjoyed every second of it! (It took around 22 hours to get all of the achievements and unlocks.) The game is really enjoyable playing co-op as well, even if you're partner isn't the best at platformers. Overall, this game is one of the most high-quality 2D platformers ever made. I would recommend this game to pretty much anyone who enjoys video games, not just hardcore platformer lovers.

 

If you don't have it already, it's probably going to go on sale during Steam's winter sale, starting on December 21. Have fun!

 

--

 

Most Anticipated Game That Isn't Spelunky 2

Dunk Lords

Industries of Titan

La-Mulana 2

Monster Hunter: World

Red Dead Redemption 2

UFO 50

 

THIRD PLACE

Red Dead Redemption 2 (18%)

 

SECOND PLACE

La-Mulana 2 (21%)

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

UFO 50 (46%)

 

Written by ix:

 

Retro was big in 2017. A live-action adaptation of 1991's Beauty in the Beast is currently the the highest-grossing film this year, and the only serious challenger to this title is... the latest installment of 1977's Star Wars franchise. In music, the 50th anniversary reissue of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band peaked at #3 in the USA and #1 in the UK.  In gaming, Nintendo made a killing with the NES and SNES Classic Editions, cashing in on their seemingly bottomless vault of vintage games.

 

With UFO 50, Derek Yu and friends pose the question: are our desires for nostalgia simply a byproduct of memory and time, or can they be cultivated by developers and incepted into gamers' brains? UFO 50 is a collection of fifty games for a fictional console from the late '80s that were lost in time for a couple of decades and set to resurface on PC sometime in 2018. If voters of the 2017 Spelunky Discord Community Awards are to believed, Yu et al. might just be onto something. We're all eager to relive these games for the first time!

 

--

 

Overall Game of the Year

Cuphead

Divinity: Original Sin 2

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (Early Access)

Sonic Mania

Super Mario Odyssey

 

THIRD PLACE

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (11%)

 

SECOND PLACE

Cuphead (33%)

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY (37%)

 

Written by meowmixmix:

 

One thing that really stuck out this year was the quality of games that came out. With hits like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Cuphead, and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, how could we possibly choose? In the end, a winner had to stand tall among the others. As a community based around a platforming game, it’s no surprise that Mario Odyssey takes the win for Overall Game of the Year.

 

Mario is the king of video games. Time and time again, he has proven to be an everlasting character with unlimited possibilities. For the past seven years, Nintendo seemingly has struggled to live up to this impossible level of expectation. But with Mario Odyssey, Mario is back to reclaim his throne.

 

Mario Odyssey is another brilliant redefinition of the very platforming genre that he helped popularize 30 years ago. In Mario Odyssey, we are introduced to Mario’s new companion Cappy who brings along with him the ability to possess other characters (or objects) within the worlds. Each character has their own unique abilities and movement mechanics. There are so many options for traversal when you put the movement of Mario and his possessed allies together, and it feels like Odyssey has just barely scratched the surface of what its mechanics are even capable of. Throughout the campaign, you are using new creatures in different game-changing ways on a regular basis.

 

 

Odyssey is filled with vibrant locations which pairs perfectly with its sweeping orchestra. Each kingdom has its own atmosphere, its own music, and its own enemies to capture, and then after you beat the game, every single level gets repopulated with even more challenges. In fact, you only need 120 Moons to beat the game and 500 Moons to get a different ending out of more than 830 of them. Even after completing the game, Mario Odyssey has so much more to explore.

 

Mario Odyssey takes its rightful place as the Overall Best Game of the Year for its unique style that it so easily integrates with the platforming genre that we all have come to know and love. It breathes new life into this genre, and other studios have much to learn from Nintendo’s success on this one.

 

--

 

Come back tomorrow (December 21) for Day Two of this year's Spelunky Discord Community Awards, where the winners for Favourite Spelunky Streamer, Newcomer of the Year, Spelunky Community MVP, Best All Shortcuts + Olmec Tournament Race, and the 'Wait, This Isn't Spelunky' Award will be revealed.

 

 
 
 My Favourite Games #17: Krille71
Posted by hbix on December 7th, 2017 @05:41AM

‘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.

 

The 17th entry goes to Krille71, one of the all-time best Spelunky players. Among his many, many achievements is a 3.46 million score run (a former world record). Here are his three picks...

 

 

Ratchet & Clank (PlayStation 2, 2002)

Classic PlayStation 2 platformer Ratchet & Clank is meaningful to Krille in more ways than one. For starters, it is a title which he fell in love with and beat when he was a little kid -- and inspired him to explore more games in the same genre. “Ratchet & Clank started my love for platform games,” he says. “I was only 5 years old when I played the first game, and it was a big challenge to beat it for the first time back then.”

 

According to Krille, Ratchet & Clank got so many things right including the sense of exploration it delivered. “All levels felt alive and inspired,” he shares. “You get the feeling of exploring an exotic universe thanks to a lot of optional content and always having several different paths at the start of each planet. After finishing the game, I had a really fun time going through each level again, searching for all the hidden collectible golden bolts.”

 

Indeed, the game has numerous instances of smart and satisfying level design. Krille recalls one example on the planet Gaspar. “You can see a volcano after completing the main objective there,” he comments. “You stand on a platform high above lava, and if you do a long jump, you can gain enough distance to jump into the volcano. You can explore the inside of it, following a cave that leads to a golden bolt, and it conveniently wraps around to the start of the level. It took me a long time to figure that out as a kid, but it just made it even more rewarding.”

 

Krille became a Ratchet & Clank speedrunner, and has a personal best time of 38:58. You can check out his run below:

 

 

“The most interesting part in the video is, for sure, planet Umbris (12:36),” Krille comments. “The planet is covered in mud that kills you if you fall into it. But it has another weird property that gives you a small window to continuously input long jumps and side-flips in the air called ‘ILJ’, giving you the ability to quickly fly through the stage. The trick is tight, but it feels so rewarding to pull off.”

 

That’s not the only interesting trick in Umbris to check out in Krille’s video. There’s a really neat glitch used in Ratchet & Clank speedruns called ‘Ghost Ratchet’. When combined with ILJ, it allows the player to skip the boss here altogether. “It’s initiated by jumping in the mud but escaping death by pulling yourself up with the swingshot,” Krille explains. “The game now thinks you are dead and unloads all collisions with walls, but weirdly enough not the ground.”

 

 

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne (PC, 2003)

If Ratchet & Clank was one of the first games Krille played, Warcraft III and the expansion pack The Frozen Throne was the first package which got him into gaming on a more serious level. Blizzard’s acclaimed real-time strategy game successfully got Krille hooked. “The core game was really fun, but what really stood out was the Battle.net multiplayer network,” he shares. “With custom games like Vampirism, Defense of the Ancients (DotA), tower defense games, and a lot more, you seemingly never grew tired of it.”

 

Krille found particular enjoyment from Vampirism Fire, an asymmetric multiplayer game mode where one person starts off as the vampire and must target the other players, who are humans. “The goal of the humans is to build a base and defend it from the vampire, whose goal is to kill them all,” Krille explains. “It builds a lot around strategy. For example, you as a human need to decide if you want a large base with lots of resources and room for buildings -- but is harder to defend -- or a small, easy-to-defend base that is cramped and makes the lategame tougher.”

 

 

The core Warcraft III experience stood out compared to other titles in the genre in the form of the role of the hero unit. Implementing elements often found in role-playing games, heroes are special units which can gain experience points and level up, becoming stronger and learning new skills. “The goal in early game is to quickly expand your base while you’re leveling up your hero on computer-controlled creeps or maybe even attacking your opponent,” Krille adds. “Thus, aggressive play is rewarded, which is the most fun way to play the game.”

 

Warcraft III also had a plethora of custom maps for players to enjoy, thanks to an advanced world editor which was “greatly expanded” in the Frozen Throne expansion pack -- to the extent where “much more complicated custom game modes and maps” were created. Krille continues: “The DLC also added new units, buildings, and heroes to each race, as well as a brand new race, thus fleshing out the experience.” When combined with The Frozen Throne, Warcraft III is an exceptional game and it is extremely easy to see why Krille became enamoured with the title.

 

 

Minecraft (PC, 2011)

“If there is one game in which I have put as many hours into as Spelunky, possibly even more, it is Minecraft.”

 

Krille has spent countless hours on the sandbox phenomenon, and a major factor in that was the exploration that the game offered. “I found it fascinating to be able to look out in the distance, knowing that not only could I walk there and explore the unknown land, but also walk even further to explore what’s over the horizon,” he reflects. “Wherever I looked, I saw new terrain that neither I nor anyone else had seen before. You weren’t limited with exploring the surface, either. You could easily spot a cave and start exploring the underground, filled with enemies and valuable materials.”

 

Because Krille spent so much of his time exploring the world, he found himself with an abundance of resources which he put to creative use. Krille tried his hand at putting together a new home for himself -- a castle -- and he did so building it from the ground up without using any mods. “I put my heart into that castle, and to this date it still stands as one of my proudest gaming experiences,” Krille says. You can check out his castle below:

 

There were further layers of depth which Krille appreciated, one of which is an in-game material known as redstone. Redstone represented electrical circuits and provided the player a way to implement complex logic systems.

 

“Redstone was originally intended to be used in very simple contractions like opening a door,” Krille explains. “But the developers realised its potential after seeing all the crazy devices people built with it, and have since put a large focus on adding new mechanics for it. What I enjoyed most about redstone was the complete freedom it gave you. With enough trial and error, you could get nearly anything working.” In fact, in the video below you can check out one such highly impressive redstone build which Krille created, a “working copy of the villager trading mechanic”.

 

This build allows a person to put forward a specific amount of currency in exchange for an item. "For example, you could pay three emeralds for a diamond sword," Krille explains. "With the help of ice blocks, water streams, dispensers, and pressure plates, I could detect if a certain item was tossed into the water by checking if it stopped in the middle of the stream. Then I used a simple piston memory to count the number of the item, which would output a signal to drop an item for the player if the payment was accepted."

 

 

Previous 'My Favourite Games' entries

 

Season 2:

chocolatecake5000 (#16), JakeYoshimitsu (#15), Stuoid (#14), GreatStriker (#13), ix (#12), TNF (#11)

 

Season 1:

saturnin55 (#10), SAIBOT (#9), MrEikono (#8), Kazzy (#7), Konato_K (#6), ShinGraywords (#5), Meowmixmix (#4), MikeIsMyIke (#3), Twiggle (#2), Kinnijup (#1)

 

 
 
 My Favourite Games #16: chocolatecake5000
Posted by hbix on December 7th, 2017 @01:59AM

‘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.

 

The 16th entry goes to chocolatecake5000, a relatively new member of the Spelunky community who deservedly snagged a Newcomer of the Year nomination at this year's Spelunky Discord Community Awards. Here are his three games...

 

 

Tales of Symphonia (GameCube, 2004)

chocolatecake5000’s first pick is Namco’s popular GameCube role-playing game Tales of Symphonia. With a vibrant world and a hugely entertaining battle system, Tales of Symphonia delivered a truly memorable experience. “I like how it rewards exploration so well, with items and cutscenes on the overworld,” chocolatecake5000 says. “It has so many areas to find.”

 

Tales of Symphonia incorporates a fast-paced real-time battle system. The player selects a party of four, but can only control one character at a time; any character not under your direct control is taken over by the AI, which follows instructions you can set beforehand. Each character has their own unique skills and quirks, contributing to give the battle system a brilliant mix of action and strategy. Combat remains fresh throughout the lengthy story.

 

“The real-time-combat is a big part of why the game is so interesting,” chocolatecake5000 explains. “You can use a lot of different strategies especially in choosing party members. One boss I remember pretty well is this guy in a prison area that I tried to fight for an hour and couldn’t do it. So I grinded for a couple of hours on soldier enemies. When I finally beat him, it was very satisfying.”

 

 

League of Legends (PC, 2009)

For chocolatecake5000, the global phenomenon from Riot Games that is League of Legends stands as one of the best video game experiences with friends. He has spent a staggering 2,000 hours on the game in total -- which is more than 83 days.

 

League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) title which sees two teams of players do battle in a bid to destroy each other’s Nexus. “Playing with friends is really fun, because you can try out different team compositions,” chocolatecake5000 comments. “My favourite character used to be Shaco, but now it’s either Bard or Blitzcrank.” There are a great range of champions at the player's disposal; for example, Bard is appealing to chocolatecake5000 because of the character's flexibility. "You can build him however you want," he shares. "Attack damage, magic, support, or full crit."

 

He admits the fact that Shaco was 'nerfed' via balance tweaks, reducing the character's effectiveness, has slightly dampened his interest in League of Legends nowadays (as well as having a slower internet connection) -- but matches are always varied, particularly when new techniques and strategies are discovered. "There is always something new to try," chocolatecake5000 says.

 

 

The Binding of Isaac (PC, 2011)

chocolatecake5000 chooses The Binding of Isaac as his final pick, which is probably not surprising given how he has achieved 100% in the game. chocolatecake5000 explains that -- despite The Binding of Isaac’s well-documented roguelike aspects -- it was the sense of progression that drove him to continue playing and to master the title.

 

“I wanted to 100% the game because I wanted to see if I could do it, to push myself,” he explains. “Seeing the item sheet build up is a great feeling. I really enjoyed how you have to beat Mom ten times to even unlock the next level. It’s great to see what you unlock for beating each end boss with each character, and seeing a newly-unlocked item on your next run is always a great feeling of progression.”

 

chocolatecake5000 credits YouTuber and streamer Nothernlion as a major influence for his love for The Binding of Isaac. “Northernlion is a big part of what made Isaac so much fun for me,” chocolatecake5000 says. “It was like watching someone learn the game at the same pace that I learned the game. I watched, like, 100 episodes [on his channel].”

 

 

Honourable mentions: Luigi's Mansion (2001); Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001); Super Smash Bros. 4 (2014); Risk of Rain (2013); Chibi-Robo! (2006); Super Mario Sunshine (2002); Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (2004); Hot Wheels Velocity X (2002); Phantom Brave (2004); Kingdom Hearts (2002); Kingdom Hearts II (2006).

 

Previous 'My Favourite Games' entries

 

Season 2:

JakeYoshimitsu (#15), Stuoid (#14), GreatStriker (#13), ix (#12), TNF (#11)

 

Season 1:

saturnin55 (#10), SAIBOT (#9), MrEikono (#8), Kazzy (#7), Konato_K (#6), ShinGraywords (#5), Meowmixmix (#4), MikeIsMyIke (#3), Twiggle (#2), Kinnijup (#1)

 

 
 
 My Favourite Games #15: JakeYoshimitsu
Posted by hbix on December 4th, 2017 @06:56PM

‘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.

 

The 15th entry goes to JakeYoshimitsu, a long-time member of the Spelunky community with a range of impressive runs including a 2:15 Any%. Here are his three games...

 

 

Super Smash Bros. Melee (GameCube, 2001)

Given that he plays competitively, it is no surprise that Jake lists this popular Nintendo brawler among his top picks. “Smash is like any other eSport but smaller -- there is a real community feeling,” Jake shares. “I have met several friends through Smash, and watching the pros is like a drama. I also play Melee with other Spelunky community members including Fusuy321 and Curticus.”

 

Jake, who describes Melee as his favourite game of all time, primarily plays as Peach. He says the fact that she isn’t often used as a main by the wider community can give him a slight and enjoyable edge. “It is fun to play with people who do not know how to fight against my character,” he says. “I also have a pretty mix-up heavy style. I will be defensive and put out walls for a long time, then go in mercilessly at the drop of a hat.”

 

The way that Melee took off competitively must have surprised Nintendo. What usually draws new players in at first is the concept of pitting beloved Nintendo characters against each other in an arena. But mechanically, Melee delivers. There are layers upon layers to the gameplay that makes the title a good fit for competitive play.

 

“The game is extremely complicated,” Jake says. “There are always new techniques to learn and new ways to adapt your playstyle to beat unique opponents. The concept of having so much technical skill that you can rely on it to play jazz while competing against another person is appealing. There is constant improvisation. The mechanics and engine feel really good, and it lets you move around quickly with precision.”

 

 

Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Duel Stories (Game Boy Color, 2002)

Jake’s nostalgic pick is Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Duel Stories. A fan of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series when he was younger, Jake soon found himself immersed in the card battle game to the point where he dabbled in playing competitively. “I started off watching the anime and eventually I played competitively in local tournaments,” he says. “I was never amazing at the game, but I would always have a unique deck type and run a unique deck list within that deck type.”

 

In particular, Jake loved the novelty of facing off against the various anime characters in the game: “The reason why I love Dark Duel Stories is because you get to play your deck against the anime characters. I loved the anime growing up. I watched nearly all of the TwitchPresents Yu-Gi-Oh! marathons. I just liked taking my deck and my cards and playing against the strategies I saw on TV. It made the game nostalgic and epic at the same time.”

 

Dark Duel Stories had a neat feature that allowed you to bring your real, physical cards into the game, a system which “was always fun and made it feel more interactive”. Not only that, but Dark Duel Stories included a Type mechanic which expanded the game’s depth in cool ways.

 

“Every card has a type, with a weakness and a strength,” Jake explains. “For example, any Aqua type monster will immediately defeat any Pyro type monster regardless of attack strength. A 300 attack point Aqua monster will destroy a 2000 attack point Pyro monster without affecting either player's life points. This mechanic brought unexpected turnarounds to every duel. At some points, this can become annoying when clear wins are taken away, but most of the time it was fun to clutch victory from the jaws of defeat.”

 

 

Mario Tennis (Nintendo 64, 2000)

For Jake, Mario Tennis is responsible for countless hours of fun with his best friends. “This is the only game that I play with them,” he says. “Nobody in my friend group enjoys video games nearly as much as I do, but this game is one that we always play.”

 

One of the most appealing aspects of this sports title is its simplicity. As Jake explains: “There are no items, no special power-ups, no mega-special slam attacks. It is pure tennis with serving and volleying. This game might as well not be Mario Tennis, since there are no Mushroom Kingdom flourishes outside of the characters. The pureness of this game is what makes it so fun. People can play competitively without feeling that they lost because of a dumb mechanic.”

 

The simplicity of Mario Tennis makes mind games a major part of matches. Jake calls this “mentally exhausting” -- in a good way. “The stress of retrieving a ball on the other end of the court is exhilarating,” he says. “If I had not randomly bought Mario Tennis at a yard sale in high school, I would not have my current friend group.”

 

Previous 'My Favourite Games' entries

 

Season 2:

Stuoid (#14)

GreatStriker (#13)

ix (#12)

TNF (#11)

 

Season 1:

saturnin55 (#10)

SAIBOT (#9)

MrEikono (#8)

Kazzy (#7)

Konato_K (#6)

ShinGraywords (#5)

Meowmixmix (#4)

MikeIsMyIke (#3)

Twiggle (#2)

Kinnijup (#1)

 

 
 
 Spelunky Discord Community Awards 2017: Nominations Announcement
Posted by hbix on December 2nd, 2017 @02:48AM

The nominations have been counted. Now, we can reveal the final nominees for all ten categories of the 2017 Spelunky Discord Community Awards.

 

The three members-focused categories (Streamer, Newcomer, MVP) have seven nominees. The rest have six nominees. For the All Shortcuts + Olmec Tournament Race category, we have provided links to full YouTube videos of each nominee in case you wish you refresh your memory.

 

All nominees are listed in alphabetical order in this article.

 

The final round of voting has now opened -- you can vote here.

 

Favourite Spelunky Streamer

Abob71

falafel_raptor

ix

Kinnijup

Spef

Twiggle

Vlad

 

Newcomer of the Year

amourietta

chocolatecake5000

DaftLunk

DieDai

GreatStriker

Pojo

Spef

 

Spelunky Community MVP

hbix

ix

Kazzy

Kinnijup

meowmixmix

saturnin55

Twiggle

 

Best Moss Points Category

All Shortcuts + Olmec

Hell%

Low%

Low Hell%

No Teleporter Any%

Score

 

Best Meme Category

Action Hero Any%

All Achievements

Draining Olmec

Key to Yama

Temple Shortcut%

Tutorial High Score

 

Best Miscellaneous Category

All Characters

All Journal Entries

Jumbo Money

Max Low No Gold Hell%

Shield Run

Tutorial%

 

Best All Shortcuts + Olmec Tournament Race

GreatStriker vs. Spef (Quarterfinals)

Krille vs. d_tea (Finals)

Krille vs. ix (Group A)

Linkruler vs. Mazerak (Round of 16)

patchesfaces vs. ix (Group A)

Stuoid vs. Curticus (Group D)

 

Indie Game of the Year

Cuphead

Dead Cells (Early Access)

The End Is Nigh

Hollow Knight

Japanese Breakquest

Night in the Woods

 

Overall Game of the Year

Cuphead

Divinity: Original Sin 2

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (Early Access)

Sonic Mania

Super Mario Odyssey

 

Most Anticipated Game That Isn't Spelunky 2

Dunk Lords

Industries of Titan

La-Mulana 2

Monster Hunter: World

Red Dead Redemption 2

UFO 50

 

There is one bonus awards category: The 'Wait, This Isn't Spelunky' Award celebrates the games aside from Spelunky which have had a noticeable impact on the community over the past year. The below nominees were agreed upon by a panel.

 

The 'Wait, This Isn't Spelunky' Award

Kerbal Space Program

Marble Madness

Momodora III

Rocket League

 

To vote, click here and fill out this form.

 

 
 
 My Favourite Games #14: Stuoid
Posted by hbix on December 2nd, 2017 @01:36AM

‘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.

 

The 14th entry goes to Stuoid, a friendly name in the Spelunky community and a top 40 player on MossRanking. Stuoid has a 3:08 Low% to his name, but his heart belongs to a game starring a very different Indiana Jones-inspired whip-wielding explorer. Here are his three games...

 

 

Lethal League (PC, 2014)

Stuoid’s first game is Lethal League, a 2D arena game, where players hit a ball back and forth. This ball increases in speed with every wallop, and players are eliminated if the ball hits them. “It's very fast-paced,” explains Stuoid, who has put in around 70 hours into the title. “There's never a moment where you're not doing something, and it's very skill-based.”

 

The mechanics are fairly simple, so a large part of Lethal League comes with mind games against the opponent. “You constantly have to outsmart and outplay your opponent, and usually you're trying to change how you play during the match so you don't become too predictable,” Stuoid adds.

 

“For example, if you use your special ability as soon as you get it every time for a little while, and suddenly you just don't use it, chances are your opponent isn't going to expect it and lose as a result. There are a lot of ways to do this kind of stuff, and that adds a lot of replay value in my opinion. The gameplay is insanely fun."

 

 

Terraria (PC, 2011)

Stuoid’s 70 hours spent on Lethal League is completely dwarfed by the 1,500-plus hours spent on the popular sandbox release Terraria.

 

One of the most appealing things about Terraria, at least where Stuoid is concerned, is the sheer breadth and variety of tasks you can do in the game. “The reason I keep coming back to it is because there are so many ways to play through the game and so many challenges you can make to spice up the gameplay,” he shares. “Feeling bored of the regular kiting playstyle? Try out melee no yo-yos. Want to try something different that's a bit more focused on dodging? Do a summoner playthrough. Want to try a low% style run? Fight only the required bosses (which are the Wall of Flesh, three Mechanical Bosses, Plantera, Golem, and Moon Lord).”

 

Stuoid adds: “There are a lot of ways to play through aside from these, and that just gives a lot of variety on top of a game that's changing quite frequently.”

 

Indeed, Terraria regularly receives updates and play a large part in keeping the title fresh. As Stuoid explains: “They add a lot of content and replay value because they allow for entirely new ways to play through the game, or provide some kind of new endgame content. That sort of stuff is really cool.

 

“That's not even mentioning the big updates such as 1.2 or 1.3, which added a ton of content and completely new ways to play the game or side content. The game is probably four or even five times the size of the first version, and that's only counting an average playthrough. The amount of items is 3,968, which is absolutely insane, even if a lot are reskins. The smaller updates updates also usually add some decently big event or a new boss or something similar that gives new loot and, again, more replayability.”

 

 

La-Mulana (PC, 2012)

Anyone who knows Stuoid will know that his favourite game of all time is none other than La-Mulana (specifically, the remake version). “First of all, I need to make it very clear that this game IS NOT PRIMARILY A METROIDVANIA,” he stresses. “It's a puzzle game with the exploration and combat of a Metroidvania. This game is focused on the puzzles first and foremost. Do not expect a regular Metroidvania experience from it.”

 

La-Mulana follows an adventurer named Lemeza Kosugi. Although the player picks up new items which allows them to reach new areas of the titular ruins, a large portion of the experience involves cracking puzzles and taking in the lore.

 

La-Mulana knocks everything out of the park -- from the combat to the non-linear exploration. The game is difficult, to the point where people often use guides during their first playthrough to get past some puzzles, but rewards those who stick with it by providing a unique and memorable experience.

 

“I have so much fun with it,” Stuoid comments. “It does everything it wants to do almost flawlessly. The puzzles are designed with small clues and hints in mind, rather than a generic puzzle where you have to figure out where to put a block or something with no real hint… There's direction for the puzzles, but they're still very hard due to being so cryptic. Solving the puzzles even with prior knowledge is still fun because they're so creative.

 

“The Metroidvania gameplay is absolutely fantastic as well, because you're always getting new items and upgrades. There's a ton of variety in the areas too, and the soundtrack really helps the atmosphere for these areas. That and the soundtrack’s amazing.”

 

 

Breathing even more life into La-Mulana is the randomiser, which takes advantage of the non-linear gameplay and mixes up item locations, shops, and more -- deliciously placing players out of their comfort zone. “While speedrunning is a great way to keep it fresh, the randomiser really trips you up and forces you to do some weird things you might never think of,” Stuoid says.

 

“It really makes you think about what's available and when. I would have never realised, for example, that I could beat almost every boss before the fourth, but that's what I had to do in my most recent completed playthrough. That's why I love the game so much; just playing it at all is enjoyable, even without the puzzles or anything.”

 

Previous 'My Favourite Games' entries

 

Season 2:

GreatStriker (#13)

ix (#12)

TNF (#11)

 

Season 1:

saturnin55 (#10)

SAIBOT (#9)

MrEikono (#8)

Kazzy (#7)

Konato_K (#6)

ShinGraywords (#5)

Meowmixmix (#4)

MikeIsMyIke (#3)

Twiggle (#2)

Kinnijup (#1)