In 2012, a player going by the name of BarryMode completed the original version of Spelunky in 2 minutes and 30 seconds — setting a speedrunning record for the game that lasted almost a decade. Now, however, following efforts from the game’s community it has been revealed that the player’s blistering time was only made possible through cheating.
As reported by Waypoint, BarryMode’s record-setting time had long since raised suspicions from members of the speedrunning community with doubts being raised for several reasons.
Not only was BarryMode an unknown player to the speedrunning community — raising questions over who he was in the first place — he also opted to take a number of routes in the run that seasoned speedrunners felt were illogical. This lead many to question whether he knew in advance the best path to take through Spelunky’s sprawling network of caves.
In addition, speedrunners across the years have raised their doubts over the time of the run itself. BarryMode’s speedrun wasn’t just quick, it was almost too quick. Since setting the time in 2012, nobody has come within reaching distance of besting it. Despite efforts from the community, the closest time to BarryMode’s sits at 2 minutes and 40 seconds — a noticeable margin of distance in speedrunning terms.
When contacted by Waypoint, BarryMode was quick to admit to cheating in the game. “I do apologize for that deception,” he told the outlet. “It was bad character and I can admit that.” Since speaking to Waypoint, the content creator has since removed the clip showing his attempt from YouTube.
The discovery of BarryMode’s deception was published in a video by YouTube creator XanarGear, which gives a detailed account of the community’s efforts to uncover the truth behind the cheater’s fraudulent run. In short, it appears that BarryMode used a modded version of the game that would allow him to replay levels over and over to find optimal paths through Spelunky’s cave-like maze.
Other players discovered the cheat thanks to a missing tile in BarryMode’s run that features in all but the first level of his speedrun attempt. According to XanarGear, when using the mod, the game starts you at level two. With this in mind, it’s believed that the player spliced in footage from a vanilla version of the game for the first level to avoid detection.
As Spelunky finally closes the chapter on its longstanding speedrunner scandal, players across a range of games continue to develop different tactics to shave valuable milliseconds off their speedrunning times. For more from the speedrunning community make sure to check out this article where a Portal speedrunner explains to Valve how he breaks their game.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.
Source: IGN Video Games All