The Wonderful World of Spelunky by the abusive spelunker called Ric
Ric goes on an adventure, with a whip in one hand and a lady in red in the other!
You know what we needed back in the 8-bit days? Freedom, and I mean balls-to-the-wall level freedom; the ability to ignore the princess’ cries for help or, even, the ability to play as the asshole instead of being the reluctant hero that most games wanted you to be. I remember playing Grand Theft Auto III while thinking, “Holy crap, hookers to bang? Now we’ve reached a new level of absurdity and freedom.” If only Spelunky came out during the 80s … One word to describe this monster: Genius.
Every time I boot this game up, I actually have to remind myself that I’m not dreaming, and you will rarely hear me say that about a game. The first part that amazes me, aside from the level of freedom, is the ingenuity of its roguelike-randomization. You’ll never see a stage that looks the same, thus making every play-through unique. The second? It’s free! Derek Yu, I want to find where you live and shake your hand—repeatedly (Derek Yu being the creator). This man could have easily sold this title for 10 bucks and made a fortune, but he chose to give his creature to the masses, instead. You have to understand, folks—I’m a very picky fellow, I like my games served to near-perfection, so when that level of expectation can rise out of an 8-bit title, I applaud. Now that I’m done being an excitable child, I can start telling stories; it’s probably the best way to review it—plus I’m planning on posting an official retrospective of it here. So without further adieu:
Misadventures with Huckleberry Ric in
I. The Tragedy of the Idiot Lady In Red
So I were spelunkin’ fer gold in the moss-filled cavern depths, where the monkeys ain’t rollin’ in balls n’ the piranhas like their meat served Italian with M’s and L’s on their hats. These depths always made me nervous on muh’travels, just ‘cause of those damnable frogs—even more damnable if they’re the ones that swallowed gunpowder. I were already in a sour mood, ‘cause I just watched a monkey knock a lady off a cliff into spikes. In muh’desperation fer hearts n’ gold, I stumbled on a purdy lady in red, callin’ fer help, with an evil monkey hangin’ on the vines above. Unlucky fer’em that I kept muh’flintlock with me today. Like a daft lil’ git, he leapt in front of the lady, only to fly like a bloody, brown clump into her after I put a bullet in his gawrd-damned head. Great, now she’s covered in monkey crud, I thought. Ah well, she’s still purdy. So without wastin’ time introducing muh’self to this lady, I did whut all them great heroes do: Carry’er off.
M’thinks she were tryin’ to ask fer muh’name, but I were too busy puttin’ her to good use—by tossin’ her into monkeys and frogs. S’more efficient than muh’flintlock; though I did always go back n’ pick up the pistol. If only I could teach‘er to shoot fer me, but she’s a damsel in distress, cordin’ to her profession. Whut a bunch of malarkey. After the fifth time smashin’er face against a frog, the lady in red got up n’ started to run away from me t’ward a man-eatin’ plant! As I caught up to’er, a thought hit me like one of Donkey Kong’s gawrd-fersaken barrels. Kill that plant! I grabbed the lady by the legs, spun’er around, n’ heaved her—n’ the plant opened its maw and clamped her into pixilated gore—shiiiiiit.
I turned muh’back in defeat and walked through the exitin’ steps leadin’ down. Muh’heart was broken—I didn’t even say nothin’ to her. I sighed, enterin’ the new lair, until new hope glimmered before muh’very eyes. A new lady in red stood right in front of the door. Well hot-damned—here we go again fer the tenth time this evenin’!
II. Kali is a Big Bitch
Y’know whut I hate more than creepin’ spiders n’ stupid wimmin while I’m spelunkin’? Angry, blood-hungry gods. That’s right—I’m lookin’ at’chu, Kali, y’big bitch. Look, here’s somethin’ y’hafta understand, folks. I’m a connoisseur when it comes to morals. Sometimes I feel like bein’ a good feller when I’m diggin’ fer treasures, savin’ wimmin n’ payin’ fer all muh’goods like a civilized gent. Other times, especially when Lady Luck’s bein’ a bitch, I’ll violently murder folk n’ sacrifice wimmin’ to Kali. I’ll tell ya whut I don’t care fer, though—when Kali takes a dump on me after I served ‘em.
So I got fed up with this dumb broad I rescued. She wouldn’t stop runnin’ away from me every time I gently set ‘er down to blow up a wall or kill somethin’—that’s right folks, I weren’t usin’er as a weapon; I were a proper man, y’hear? So after nearly gettin’ me killed five times in a row, I saw an opportunity: A shrine to Kali n’ a golden idol right near it. Fantastic, I thought. I’d not only get this noisy broad off m’chest, but I’d also snag me some treasure as a tip fer servicin’ the wurld.
I forced’er onto the alter, n’ Kali deposited the girl’s sorry bee-hind straight to the fires of ya-know-where. As a reward, the almighty Kali offered me some spring boots—kinda’ stupid fer a gawrd-damned god to hand over such a gift, but I’m an opportunist! I snagged the golden idol next, n’ as I walked back, a horrifyin’ realization hit me like a BFG blast—cordin’ to the laws of Indiana Jones, there’s always a consequence fer stealin’ golden idols. N’ like that, a boulder appeared n’ started rollin’ t’ward me. I leapt onto the alter of Kali and dove over the barrel—and it destroyed the alter of Kali.
Jus’ like that, I were god-food, as Kali sent a million spiders after muh’sorry, fleein’ arse. Note to self: Fawk Kali.
III. The Duel with the Pissed-Off Shopkeeper
Did I ever tell ya ‘bout the time I tried to beat down a shopkeeper? Wh—y’think I’m an arsehole fer that? Shucks—let’s start from the beginnin’ so y’understand where I’m comin’ from, awright? So I walked into the store, carryin’ a hefty coin-purse of two-thousand four-hundred gold. This buck-teethed sunuvabitch’s sellin’ climbin’ gloves, a jetpack, a web-gun, n’ a shiny pair of glasses. Now y’hafta understand, man—I were willin’ to pay this feller fer the jetpack n’ leave peacefully, but he were chargin’ over nine-thousand gold, fer fawk sakes! I knew I were gonna need that jetpack to survive ‘em icy depths, so y’know whut I did? I tossed a gawrd-damned bomb into his shop and dove fer cover.
Th’ sunuvabitch whipped out his shotgun and ran out, shootin’ like a looney sod! Takin’ the plumber’s strategy, I jumped outta cover n’ landed right on'em, knockin’em over. I snagged the shotgun, but he were already back up on his feet n’ chargin’ me! The bastard punched me into his shop—fortunately I landed next to the web-gun he were sellin’! I pilfered the jetpack, glasses, n’ climbing gloves n’ ran after’em. Hey—don’cha look at me like that, man! T’were his fault fer over-chargin’ me on the stuff!
So once I reached the hole, I saw that he were jumpin’ frantically up, shootin’ his gun like a nut-bar. I got this far with muh’plan, so I weren’t about to fawk this up—I jumped in, landed in front of him, aimed—…
…-and he shot me, full forced, and I watched muh’self lifelessly plunge t’ward muh’imminent grave. In retrospect, I realized that muh’gun wouldn’ta done no good ‘cause webs ain’t bullets …
How am I tellin’ y’this, ya ask? ‘Cause I’m the flippin’ hero of this game, so y’shut yer trap! Y’ever heard of “Continues”!?
Perhaps we’ll see more adventures from Huckleberry Ric. To end things, I leave a special treat that I’ve prepared.
IV. The Lady In Red Death Montage Featuring Tom Lehrer:
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