As devilishly hard and delightfully random as Spelunky is, Mossmouth's roguelike has been around long enough that players have logged countless amazing speedruns and set all manner of extra-hard unofficial rules for themselves. In the past month, one runner has pushed Spelunky to its limits, logging a stunning new world record in its most famous category and becoming the first to complete what many believe to be the game's most difficult challenge run ever.
Earlier this week, Jamie "Kinnijup" White became the first player to ever log a successful run in Spelunky's fan-made "Haunted Max Low No Gold Hell" category. White completed the run in just under 20 minutes—an eon in comparison to other Spelunky categories, but even world-first status aside, it's an impressive time considering the rules.
In 19 minutes and 45 seconds, White goes through Spelunky's four main stages, all three optional levels (the Haunted Castle, the Worm, and the Alien Mothership), and the hidden fifth Hell stage all while not picking up any non-essential inventory items, health, or gold. Beyond picking some bodies and breakables to toss around plus the items necessary to unlock Hell, White's just using the four bombs, four ropes, and four hearts every Spelunky run starts with, and that's it. White told Polygon that it took him about a year to find a randomly generated world that actually made the run feasible.
"I've had other runs that required more precise movements and more skill in general than this run," White says, which might apply to his other recent feat: on January 20, White posted a new world record time in Spelunky's Solo Eggplant category.
For those unfamiliar, the Solo Eggplant run was once thought to be impossible to achieve in Spelunky. Mossmouth designer Derek Yu and programmer Andy Hull put the super-fragile and seemingly useless eggplant item in Spelunky for the sake of a super difficult co-op only run. Over a year after Spelunky's retail launch on the Xbox 360, Bananasaurus Rex became the first to complete a Solo Eggplant run by way of a now-canonized glitch. Rex took over an hour and twenty minutes to complete it, a time that a few other runners have since whittled down to over 9 minutes.
Jamie White finished his reigning Solo Eggplant run in 6 minutes, 45 seconds.
Hopefully, Spelunky 2—which was originally scheduled for release for PC and PS4 in 2019—will have just as many ridiculously hard ways to complete it, if not more. As for 2012's Spelunky, it's hard to look at these accomplishments and not think the game's as good as done for. I hope White or some other talented Spelunky player makes me eat those words.