Spelunky is one of the few games I’ve never been able to get to grips with but always find fascinating, so when I heard about a “No Gold True Pacifist Hell Run” I was… well, to be honest, mostly confused.
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It sounds like a random assortment of words thrown together, but it turns out it’s a fairly incredible feat. To get into Hell requires you to kill several people and acquire an Ankh from the game’s store.
How do you kill several people and claim to be a pacifist? Well, that’s the trick. This speedrunner uses the game’s own definition for kills and a great deal of plausible deniability: the “Not my fault” argument. Lots of monsters get dropped into lava, whipped into spikes or eaten by plants but crucially, the speedrunner never gets his own hands bloody.
The most infuriating part is how easy he makes it all look. There’s a few brown-trouser moments in the Hell world but he seems to slide effortlessly through them. Watch it below, and marvel at how ridiculous this all is.
Skip to 3:11 to watch a ridiculous heist that requires the runner krille71to steal the Ankh and then avoid several angry shopkeepers and a giant ghost. Ocean’s Eleven it isn’t, but it’s close.
Krille71 explains how the kill system works in the video’s description and offers a grimpse into the planning that went into the run: “Keeping the game pacifist is the hardest part, because the game is very generous with what counts towards your kills. Example: if you bomb a piece of gold that flies over the screen and breaks a pot with an enemy in it, it is your kill.”
The bosses were hard work, too: “Both bosses are also interesting to do pacifist. When Olmec is dropped in the lava, the game counts it as your kill, so you need to bypass that, and the only way to do it is to go to hell. The hell door needs a platform so you can enter it, which can be done by stacking two or more push blocks on top of each other. Yama is special because he counts as your kill even if he is killed by a tiki. After some testing, the way to bypass that is to place him down and pick him up, then kill him using a tiki, or by crushing him between a tiki and a ground tile.”