The holidays are a time for family gatherings, massive dinners, mildly disappointing presents, and visitations by ghosts who show you harrowing visions of what might have been. This year, the Ghost of Video Games Past showed me what the games of 2013 would have been like if graphics cards had never been invented! I have no idea why he did that. The Ghost of Video Games Past is a little weird.
Even with its improved graphics, the 2013 version of Spelunky retained both the charm and frustration of the original. Of course, improved graphics don t matter when you remove the graphics altogether. Let s unfurl a rope and descend into Spelunky: The Text Adventure!
Before running away for a few days of competitive eating and cooperative gaming, Evan, Cory, and Tyler gathered to reflect on the most memorable victories, losses, and stories they virtually experienced in 2013. Watch the whole five-video series on the PC Gamer YouTube channel, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more regular content, gameplay footage, and conversations.
Have you been playing a lot of Spelunky? Maybe even playing it every single day for the Daily Challenge? Do you feel that even though Spelunky is different every single time you play it, it s just not different enough? Do you promise not to hassle me about these not really being mods but just file replacements? Then read on!
Since this column will be covering a bunch of different unrelated "mods" I'm just going to talk about them first, and then below I'll give all the links and various installation instructions, which vary from "Piece of cake!" to "Why is this so f**king complicated? I JUST WANT TO PLAY SPELUNKY AS A PUG!"
Let s start with an aspect of Spelunky most would agree could use some changing: the soundtrack. I m not suggesting the new Spelunky s music is bad. It s fine. But the original music was better than fine, it was damn fine, and deserves to be heard by this new, young generation of Spelunky players who weren't around in the days of yore (2009). I mean, wouldn't you rather listen to something like this while playing? That's why you should install the Classic Music Pack: it replaces all the new music with all of the original music.
While we re getting all nostalgic for the original version of Spelunky, why not take the lovely, fancy new HD graphics and completely restore them to their old-timey pixelated glory? You can do that too, with the Pixel Mod. Not only does this turn back the clock on the visuals, but it does away with the new HUD which, while pleasantly attractive, is also frustratingly opaque and has been known to occasionally make a good hiding place for spiders.
It's like traveling back in time almost FOUR YEARS
Maybe going full-on pixel is a little too much of a commitment? You can plant a spiked boot in both worlds with the Classic Chaos mod. It gives you chunky graphics when it comes to most of the environment, gold, gems, and pots, but leaves your character, enemies, weapons, and certain surfaces in all their HD glory. It s a nice compromise for those who want to act retro but really aren't that retro, sort of like when I pretend I prefer the original Ocean's Eleven or Cape Fear to the remakes.
Something old, something new, something burrowed, something in a crate. Even if you re not interested in changing the music or visuals, it s hard to resist playing as a different Spelunker once in a while. For instance, why not play as the Damsel for a change?
From dispensing kisses, to dispensing the kiss of death. You've seen her standing around helplessly, handing out kisses to Spelunkers, the same Spelunkers who are just as likely to sacrifice her to Kali in exchange for some bomb paste, or throw her across a cave to set off a trap or open a crate, or simply leave her behind because they don t want to part with a rope. Now, finally, SHE can be the one treating Damsels horridly.
Hm. Rescue or sacrifice? Maybe things haven't changed for the Damsel at all.
You can also play as another helpless inhabitant of the game, the Pug!
Now PUG has the boomerang. Once you ve had your fill as playing as the most abused characters in Spelunky, why not play as one of the bad guys? Vlad, the adorable little vampire with the nifty cape and useful amulet, has apparently decided to become a dapper little undead adventurer.
Oh hell yes. Vlad in the HOUSE. What s more, rather than crouching like the other Spelunkers do, Vlad hides his face in his cape. It s super cute.
Daw. And what would running, jumping, shooting, and climbing be without Mega Man? And you know, for all the different worlds Mega Man has fought his way through, dropping him into in Spelunky for a few minutes makes you realize he s actually had it pretty easy. Spelunky is just brutal.
Mega Man, probably wondering where Interior Worm Belly Man is. Mods can do more than enhance games, they can also fix problems. I d say at least 311,784 of Skyrim s 948,672 mods fix issues and bugs with the game (the rest add naked boobs). Here s a Spelunky bug that s probably been bothering you since day one: there s a small, nearly invisible shadow that briefly appears above the spikes that you can see if you record the footage and zoom in and slow it down to a crawl and watch it repeatedly. Take a look here. Frankly, I never noticed and would never have noticed, but if you did notice, now there s a solution: the Lighting Normal Map Fix. Yay! Okay, let's get some of these installed. First things first: find your Spelunky data folder (for the Steam version, it s in Steam > steamapps > common > Spelunky > Data). Make a copy of your Music and Texture folders. Put them somewhere safe: you re going to be overwriting some files, and you'll need these if you want to revert the game back to normal. Classic Music Mod: Simply replace your Music folder with the one contained in the download, and enjoy the retro (and superior) tunes. Pixel Mod: Take the contents of the download and drop them into your Textures folder, overwriting the originals. Classic Chaos Mod: Same as with the Pixel mod, drop the two files into your Textures folder, replacing the originals. The Damsel, Pug, Vlad, and Mega Man characters are .png files. Download 'em! Next, download the Spelunky Mod Installer, and install it, and run it. You'll see a menu screen, and at the bottom you'll see a link to download Python 3. Download and install Python 3. Now, take the .png file for the character you want, create a folder called "repack" and drop the png file into it. Then, zip up the repack folder. On the Installer menu screen, browse to your Spelunky folder, then browse to the location of the repack.zip folder you made, then choose Texture Mod from the little drop-down bar. Then click "Install Mod." Start up the game, and you should see your new character in the selection screen (typically replacing one of the default characters.) There's also a tool for installing mods called Spelunktool that I didn't try because it involved launching things from command prompts and just thinking about that made me tired. Finally, you can find the Lighting Normal Map Mod here. The final link is the rar with the fixed texture files. I personally did not install this one. And, if you want to poke around for some more mods, this is a good repository.
PC Gamer editors are prohibited from celebrating Christmas. For the team, the end of the year is marked by an event known as GOTY Sleepover, a time where we somewhat-voluntarily sequester ourselves away from our families and loved ones in the interest of a greater good: selecting the best PC games of the year. We gather in a room with a very heavy door and very little ventilation and stay there until we ve reached a unanimous decision on every award category. It s a lot like the Papal conclave, but with more Cheetos.
So far, this is what we ve got. These are games nominated for awards in general, not just our single Game of the Year. Consider this a short-list of the games our team loved in 2013, one we ll whittle down into proper, named awards in the coming days.
Dota 2 Arma 3 Spelunky Battlefield 4 Gone Home Tomb Raider Rising Storm Saints Row IV Papers, Please BioShock Infinite Total War: Rome II The Stanley Parable XCOM: Enemy Within
Check in each day over the holiday break to see who's victorious. In the meantime, here's our 2012 winners and some lively year-end video conversations about our best PC gaming experiences in 2013.
Before running away for a few days of holiday revelry and hardcore gaming, Evan, Cory, and Tyler gathered to reflect on the games they put the most time into in 2013. Watch the whole five-video series on the PC Gamer YouTube channel, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more regular content, gameplay footage, and conversations.
If you’re not plugged into the wider world of non-PC gaming, you might have completely missed the release and positive reception for the Nintendo 3DS title SteamWorld Dig. It looks a bit like a steampunk, Wild West Spelunky, with randomly generated levels and blocky, destructible terrain. It's also got a new trailer that shows off the game’s locations and self-aware humor.
SteamWorld Dig certainly comes with the baggage of high expectations. The 3DS version landed a ton of high-scoring reviews, and according to developer Image & Form’s CEO, there’s some debate over whether it could be a contender for Game of the Year. Phrases like “the best 3DS game ever made” are being bandied about.
That’s all hearsay, though. What I see so far is a clever platformer with the potential to push that genre in unexpected ways, and the rest will be decided after the PC port is finished and we can get our hands on it. SteamWorld Dig hits Steam on December 5, so we won’t have to wait long to see how well it survives translation from the handheld universe.
One of Spelunky's most beloved features on PC has been the Daily Challenge, which generates a new set of levels everyday for high score hunters. Oh, and you only get one shot at it, so there's a real sense of satisfaction to topping a Daily Challenge leaderboard. This addictive aspect of Spelunky is now available on PS3 and Vita, so now those players can get in on the daily action, as well.
It is done. In a heart-stopping descent, Spelunky caster Bananasaurus Rex completed a world-first solo eggplant run. The eggplant's purpose was one of Spelunky’s best-kept secrets, discovered only once hackers started digging through the HD PC release. But knowing its power and using it are two different things. One slip, one rogue bat, one angry shopkeeper and your precious cargo is purple goo.
Hurling it at the face of King Yama, the final boss, transmogrifies him into a colossal eggplant with a single point of health. Compared to the effort required, it's barely worth the bother, but for some, the allure of the aubergine was too much to resist. The first co-op eggplant run fell to Avih20 in October, with Banasaurus achieving the unthinkable just one month later.
The video is an hour and 22 minutes long, but it’s an hour and 22 minutes of near misses, improbable saves, unbearable tension, and, of course, spoilers.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - email@example.com (Graham Smith)
Some of you are going to think this isn’t news, but I want to talk about it anyway. Caster Bananasaurus Rex has completed Spelunky in a Solo Eggplant Run. Don’t know what that means? Come inside. Sit down. Let me explain. (more…)
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Spelunky is a unique platformer with randomized levels that offer a challenging new experience each time you play. Journey deep underground and explore fantastic places filled with all manner of monsters, traps, and treasure. You'll have complete freedom while you navigate the fully-destructible environments and master their many secrets. To stay or flee, to kill or rescue, to shop or steal... in Spelunky, the choice is yours and so are the consequences!