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Spelunky’s world record holder exposed as a cheater

In 2012, a gamer named BarryMode completed the original version of Spelunky in 2 minutes and 30 seconds, setting a speed running record for the game that lasted nearly a decade. Now, however, after efforts by the game’s community, it became known that the player’s frenzied time was only made possible by cheating.

As Waypoint reports, BarryMode’s record time had long aroused suspicion among members of the speed running community, with doubts expressed for several reasons.

Not only was BarryMode an unknown player to the speed running community – he asked questions about who he was – he also opted for a number of routes that seasoned speed runners found illogical. This led many to wonder if he knew in advance the best route through Spelunky’s vast network of caves.

Additionally, over the years, speedrunners have voiced their doubts about the time of the run itself. BarryMode’s speedrun wasn’t just fast, it was almost too fast. Since setting the time in 2012, no one has come within your reach to beat them. Despite the efforts of the community, the closest time to BarryMode is 2 minutes and 40 seconds – a noticeable distance in terms of speed running.

When contacted by Waypoint, BarryMode was quick to admit to cheating on the game. “I apologize for this deception,” he told the point of sale. “It was a bad character and I can admit that.” Since speaking with Waypoint, the content creator has removed the clip showing his attempt from YouTube.

BarryMode’s discovery of the deception was revealed in a video by YouTube creator XanarGear, which gives a detailed account of the community’s efforts to uncover the truth behind the scam’s fraudulent run. In short, it seems that BarryMode used a modified version of the game that allows him to repeat levels over and over to find optimal routes through Spelunky’s cavernous maze.

Other players discovered the cheat thanks to a missing tile in BarryMode’s run, which occurs in all but the first level of his speedrun attempt. According to XanarGear, the game starts at level two when using the mod. With this in mind, it is assumed that the player inserted footage from a vanilla version of the game for the first level to avoid detection.

As Spelunky finally closes the chapter on his long-running speedrunner scandal, players across a number of games continue to develop different tactics to cut their speedrun times by precious milliseconds. For more information from the speed running community, check out this article where a portal speed runner explains to Valve how to break their game.

Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him Twitter.

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