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Someone's Beaten Spelunky in Under Two Minutes

Speedrunners continue to find new ways to shave precious seconds off the race to Olmec. All hail the teleporter!

To anyone who's played Spelunky before, this is going to sound totally crazy: someone has beaten the game in 1:55.35. That honor goes to Pibonacci, who used a combination of the jetpack, compass, and teleporter to beat the previous world record of 2:01.396. Watch the first two minutes of this video to see the madness unfold:

It takes more than a dozen hours to start feeling comfortable playing Spelunky. It's a game full of constantly shifting variables that will surprise even the most veteran player. That's what makes Spelunky so exciting, especially when it comes to world record attempts. It could happen at any time. For Pibonacci, everything fell into place when it came to items, and it's his expert use of the teleporter that even makes the run possible.

A little confused? Let me help.

If you piss off a single shopkeeper in Spelunky, they're all angry at you for the rest of the run, and they carry shotguns. When you're first learning Spelunky, you'll desperately avoid making them upset, but eventually, it's critical to grab items from the shopkeepers without paying for them. Pibonacci doesn't have time to collect treasure, nor wait for a bomb to blow up, so he uses a jump 'n whip technique that allows him to quickly disable the shopkeeper, grab his items--jetpack, teleporter--and move on. There are several techniques for stealing.

When I started playing Spelunky, I'd pick up the teleporter to mix things up if I was frustrated. The teleporter seems random, but it's not. The item moves the player a specific number of spaces in a targeted direction but it's entirely possible (and likely) to teleport yourself into an enemy or chunk of wall that's offscreen. That's what gets most people. But if you spend hundreds of hours with Spelunky, you'll begin to recognize pieces of geometry, and you can start making accurate calculations on which sections can be safely teleported through. That's what Pibonacci is doing here, using a mixture of gut and memory. Just blindly using the teleporter will, inevitably, result in death, but it's clear Pibonacci generally knows where his character is going to end up.

What really sets this run apart from any other run with a teleporter, though, is stumbling upon the compass. The compass allows Pibonacci to know exactly where the level exit is. It doesn't take very long to explore a stage in Spelunky, but during a speed run, every second counts. Each moment applied to the right direction is critical. It's unlikely he would have have gotten the record without the compass.

While it might seem crazy, watching Pibonacci's run reveals room for improvement. It's definitely possible to beat Spelunky faster than 1:55.35. The problem (and genius) of Spelunky is that it's not reliable. If Pibonacci was to practice this exact map layout over and over again, he could shave tons of time off his run, but that's not possible. Every time you head into a new game of Spelunky, you have to be prepared to realize this is "the one." There are tools that allow players to lock the map in Spelunky, but those don't qualify for records.

Someday soon, someone will beat this run. It might even be Pibonacci himself.

As for me? I'll continue to remember my greatest moments in Spelunky in GIF form.

76 Comments
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Edited by Dasdude

He seemed so relaxed while playing... I can barely get through a level in Spelunky without cussing at least a dozen times.

Posted by skynidas

i can do it in 10 seconds

no, i can't

Edited by freakin9

This is my kind of speed run, the ones you only have to invest a few minutes of your time for.

Posted by Greenshoes

" What a day for Germany" indeed,

Posted by nightmaresabin

Speedlunky for real

Posted by JonKrag

@dasdude: He totally lost his shit for a couple seconds when he completed it though, but to be fair he deserves at least that.

Posted by Veovisjohn
@skynidas said:

i can do it in 10 seconds

no, i can't

lol

Posted by Thurbleton

What a day for... Germany... I guess : )

Posted by FoxMulder

That guy is master of teleporters...they always scared me.

Posted by Xeteh

@greenshoes: Except you have to keep doing runs until you get a Jetpack+Teleporter on the 2nd level. So you don't get to do these runs over and over.

Posted by bau

I can't stop laughing when i watch that, friggin awesome.

Thanks for posting articles like this, really fun reading about this kind of stuff!

Posted by SethPhotopoulos

Whatever music he's playing in the background is amazing.

Posted by Fistfulofmetal

I heard about this during the last Bananasaurus_Rex stream. Congrats to the awesome runner.

Posted by LikeaSsur

That's some nice copyrighted music he's playing in the background.

Posted by BeachThunder

If you just continued Spelunkin' With Scoops, this could have been you!

Posted by civid

Everything about this guy and this video is amazing. Fantastic game, also!

Posted by teekomeeko

The FFIX music in the background made me remember how much I loved that game. Also, don't let Square-Enix know about this video, probably.

Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam

The music makes this just about perfect.

Edited by RazielCuts

And he did it with keyboard controls, madness.

Posted by Icicle7x3

Nothing says let's speed run Spelunky like Melodies of Life.

Great job.

Online
Posted by peterdotorg

I'm still trying to get that Speedlunky trophy on PS3, something I fear will never happen. I got to 4-3 once in a little over 5 minutes and died at the door to Olmec. And that was with everything going right...sub-two-minutes is crazy talk. CRAZY TALK!

Edited by HerbieBug

URN

For those who are wondering what Pibo is rambling about for most the of the early part of the run, since Spelunky is randomly generated, he can't rely on optimal conditions for a specific type of speed or challenge run to pop up on any particular seeded layout. For this reason, Spelunky runners know several different kinds of speed/challenge runs that they will choose to attempt on the fly based on the looks of the level seed they have received. So sometimes, maybe teleporters happen to spawn in early caves a bunch of times -as happened in this case- and Pibo is grumping because he wasn't necessarily in the mood to go for any% runs at the time. Lately he's been doing a lot of low% and high score runs.

Pibo streams very often by the way. Check him out at twitch.tv/pibonacci

Posted by TheManWithNoPlan

Wow, Bravo.

Posted by Nightriff

Didn't need the yelling at the end of the video but that was interesting to see and its making me want to play Spelunky again....

Edited by greatscottmarty

I NOW HAVE A MAD HANKERING TO REPLAY FF9 AFTER HEARING MELODIES OF LIFE.

Posted by patrickklepek

And he did it with keyboard controls, madness.

UGOUISDJFPSOIJDFPOKSJDF

Posted by BenderUnit22

Just gonna put this out there: Fuck Spelunky.

Posted by jimmyfenix

I haven't reached the ice caves yet :(

Posted by IWAshcroft

@razielcuts said:

And he did it with keyboard controls, madness.

UGOUISDJFPSOIJDFPOKSJDF

Don't worry, Pib doesn't actually use the keyboard, it just shows those button prompts.

Now Latedog, the holder of the Hell world record, he uses a keyboard, but he hasn't played Spelunky much lately.

Edited by katsu044

saw this few hours ago, i knew patrick was gonna write about it at some point :P

Posted by PatchMaster

Dem teleporter skills. Damn.

Edited by SpiderJerusalem

You guys...this is fucking crazy.

Edited by AlwaysBeClothing

....It took me 30 minutes to beat the game last time I did it. Congrats to this guy!

Posted by SpiderJerusalem

Fuck the World Cup, THIS is Germany's finest moment.

Posted by MB

I can barely make it through 1-1 in under two minutes.

Moderator
Edited by peterdotorg

Thanks for the link about robbing shopkeepers, btw. I've only been able to do it reliably with the ice gun or in the black market, but I was just practicing the jump + bomb move and it works every time. Maybe that's an obvious move for advanced Spelunkers, but it's new to me. I only wish I knew it before getting the 500,000 gold trophy. It would have saved me a lot of grief and failed trips to the Mothership!

Posted by Mr_Creeper

@razielcuts said:

And he did it with keyboard controls, madness.

UGOUISDJFPSOIJDFPOKSJDF

My thoughts exactly.

Posted by TehPickle

Woah I had no idea you could even pull off that kind of craziness with the teleporter. I literally picked it up once, instantly teleported into a wall, and vowed never to touch it ever again, ever.

Edited by csl316

Guys, play more Spelunky on Vita so I have more people to play against for dailies (csl3l6 with two L's).

I CAN'T STOP

Edited by RazielCuts

Woah I had no idea you could even pull off that kind of craziness with the teleporter. I literally picked it up once, instantly teleported into a wall, and vowed never to touch it ever again, ever.

You're lucky it was a wall, I teleported above some spikes on a pretty good run :(

Posted by Leadcat

Impressive. I managed to defeat Olmec for the first time recently, but haven't even managed to make it to Hell yet.

Also I went and listened to Melodies of Life after reading this article.

Posted by razatron

Didn't need the yelling at the end of the video but that was interesting to see and its making me want to play Spelunky again....

Yeah that kinda hurt my ears, nice run though.

Posted by Generic_username

@razatron said:

@nightriff said:

Didn't need the yelling at the end of the video but that was interesting to see and its making me want to play Spelunky again....

Yeah that kinda hurt my ears, nice run though.

I feel that he totally earned the yelling.

Posted by BisonHero

"Don't bullshit me, 4-3."

Posted by spraynardtatum

What a day for... Germany... I guess : )

Posted by Fredchuckdave

Cool run, annoying voice.

Posted by BongChilla
Edited by HerbieBug
@iwashcroft said:
@patrickklepek said:

@razielcuts said:

And he did it with keyboard controls, madness.

UGOUISDJFPSOIJDFPOKSJDF

Don't worry, Pib doesn't actually use the keyboard, it just shows those button prompts.

Now Latedog, the holder of the Hell world record, he uses a keyboard, but he hasn't played Spelunky much lately.

Ouga, WR holder for the 106% Super Meat Boy speedrun, uses keyboard.

I know it sounds mad but it's really just a matter of whatever you learn on and whatever works for you. The guy who won SFIV tourney at Evo yesterday, Luffy (Rose player), plays on a regular PS1 pad.

Posted by Slag

That was pretty tight, and make me feel crazy bad about my spelunky play.

Posted by JesterArbo

Insane...

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