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Seed Run in Spelunky 2 makes you feel like a completely different game

DEF 48750. A magical code that completely changed the way Spellunky 2 was played after over 100 hours.

If the platformer roguelike Spellunky2 can unlock 12 characters (in addition to the first 4 characters), it also unlocks the seeded run. Seed execution allows you to enter an 8-character code from a limited selection of letters and numbers, followed by a series of procedurally generated levels.

More importantly, you can play the procedurally generated set of levels over and over again. Spelunky 2 and its predecessor is a perm death game. Under normal circumstances, you die and never see the exact set of levels again. Seed Run changes that and, as a result, the overall sense of playing the game.

DEF48750, then. Entering this seed, opening the crate and finding a shotgun in it will reveal its benefits within the first 10 seconds of the first level. Finding a free shotgun on Spelunky is like winning the lottery. Finding a free shotgun on Seed Run is like finding yourself winning the lottery every time you buy a ticket. The rest of the seeds are also great: simple pets and ghost jars, lots of money, 1-4 free hover packs, shops including spike shoes and mountaineering gloves, decent access to Vlad’s hideout, and more. Simplifying the game isn’t enough – Spelunky 2 is never easy – but it modifies the odds in your favor a bit more.

This is what I expected from a seeded run. What I didn’t expect was how different it would be to play the game this way.

As I played Spelunky 2 further, I found a stable groove in how to play. I make the same choices in every run about which route to take, which item to buy, and when to start ignoring the jar. Doing other things is too risky, so I make these seemingly optimal choices every time. This is a game where you can get jewels by breaking the bottle, or a poisonous scorpion will fall under your feet and you will finish running. It is wise to be conservative.

This is not the case when you know that you can redo the level even if you die. Here’s an example: I usually never care about saving turkeys roaming at some world 1 level, as the treasure you can get to do so is rarely worth it .. I always do it with a new seed run, because learning what the treasure is is the information that shapes all subsequent attempts with the same seed. Exploring is much more valuable than usual.

Then, a thorough investigation of good seeds reveals another anomaly. I start optimizing to be efficient in what I do, rather than being conservative about what I don’t know. The best Spellunky 2 play often feels like avoiding risk, but the best seed play is speed. I know where all the enemies are, where they are in 43 seconds after they start running, the order in which they collect pets and ghost jars, and where to rescue Van Helsing. I’m not miles and it’s not enough to be a true speed runner, but it feels good to play such a hard game with the supernatural foresight of any obstacle or enemy.

All that remains is to use these seeded runs to solve the deeper mysteries of Spellunky 2. This is a secret game and the real end of the game can only be reached by completing a particular set of challenges for a particular option in a particular order. It’s incredibly difficult and probably won’t be achieved, but Seed Run at least makes you feel like you have a chance.

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Spelunky 2’s seeded runs make it feel like an entirely different game

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