Some 350+ deaths later, I did it–I beat King Yama in Spelunky. For those down with the lingo, you’ll understand that this is no easy thing to accomplish and is generally only the result of day after day after day of playing and learning how the game–and most importantly Hell–works. It’s also a result of extreme patience and determination and sticking with things, as each quick and sadistic death of your chosen spelunker is both painful and a lesson to learn.
I’ve gotten to King Yama three times now, dying twice before from stupid mistakes as I was just freaking out about reaching him and not paying attention to the bats above and the lava below. But on the third meeting, patience and power were on my side, as well as the shotgun/jetpack combo, and down he went.
Oh, and did I mention this was done on a Daily Challenge? It was:
Just beat Yama! AND ON THE DAILY TOO. #spelunky #sopleased
— Paul Abbamondi (@pabba) April 13, 2014
For the PlayStation 3 Spelunky leaderboards on that day, at the very moment of beating King Yama, I was ranked in sixth place. I’ve not gone back to see how I’ve moved around since then based on others playing as I don’t want to destroy the magic of, well, being sixth. May the day live on untarnished forever in my mind, and if you ruin any bit of this, may you forever get trapped in Hell 5-3 with no bombs, the Ghost overhead, and a bunch of angry shopkeepers below.
Anyways, now that I’ve beaten Yama, I am feeling very much nearly done with Spelunky. According to the Trophies list, there’s only three more to unlock: beat the game in under 8 minutes with no shortcuts, fill the encyclopedia book thing 100%, and earn 500,000 gold in one run. Two of those seem impossible, though I did come close to that amount of gold after beating Yama; think my total was in the 400,000 range. I’m not sure what is left for the book though, as I’ve gone through the wormhole and secret castle levels, but have still not made it out alive in the alien mothership. Oh, and I just remembered, there’s an item in Hell that makes you invincible to the lava monsters that I’ve never grabbed, mostly due to trying to rush to the exits in Hell for fear of my spelunker’s life who, by the way, has always been the girl with the green bow. She’s just the best, even when I mess up and jump her into a pile of spikes.
I suspect I’ll continue to sporadically participate in Spelunky‘s Daily Challenges, as there’s always at least something to aim for in those runs–as much moolah as possible. But otherwise, with King Yama dead and done, I feel content enough to put Spelunky aside. The game’s been good to me–nay, great to me, providing more value for money than a hundred other downloadable titles could ever imagine. Sure, a lot of that has to do with its randomly generated content, but even learning how the mines, jungle, ice cave, and temple levels work is not enough to make it; you have to know how far you can fall without killing yourself, when to run and when to walk, how to use the shotgun and not get into trouble, when to make a beeline for the exit versus exploring more, and so on. Plus, the journey to King Yama is littered with so many chances for mistakes, such as dying in the Black Market or not getting the scepter from Anubis for the City of Gold. It’s a game of luck and skill, one constantly changing, but never not still relying on those two aspects.
If anyone has any great Spelunky speed-running tips, I’m all ears. Tentative ears, that is, though I’m willing to at least try a few times. I heard that the faster you complete a level, the higher chance you’ll get a “dark” level next, and those are the absolute worst. So, um, no thanks if that’s the case.