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Spelunky XBLA (1080i HD) Mini-Guide #8: Tunnel Man Requests

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Published on Jul 14, 2012

This video shows everything the Tunnel Man requests in order to unlock the three main area shortcuts. It also shows one method for completing his final, most difficult request. (If that's all you're interested in, that starts around 1:22. The beginning of the run for that request truly gets underway around 4:57.)

In the original PC version of Spelunky, the Tunnel Man only requested ever increasing sums of money, but here in the XBLA version he requests three different things per shortcut (and only one instance involves money). The first request for each shortcut is a number of bombs equal to the current area you're in. (e.g. In Area 1, The Mines, he only asks for one bomb. In Area 2, The Jungle, he asks for two bombs. In Area 3, The Ice Caves, he asks for three bombs.) The second request for each shortcut is very similar to the first, but replace bombs with ropes and you have the requirement. The third request for each shortcut is special and varies from area to area. In The Mines, he requests $10,000. In The Jungle, he requests a Shotgun (which can be easily acquired in a Restless Dead level if you manage to find and bomb an ASH tombstone). In The Ice Caves, he asks for the Big Key way back in The Mines. Yes, that means that you'll eventually have to drag that key through nine or more levels if you want to fulfill the last requirement for the Temple shortcut. It can be tough, but fortunately I've provided some tips here.

Since your hands will (literally) be full with the Big Key for the vast majority of this run, I recommend that you try to minimize the amount of time you spend hunting for treasure, crates, Damsels, etc. Once you've managed to acquire certain tools, you really don't need anything else. Additionally, if a certain feature from the PC version was kept, then quickly completing the levels is also advantageous for its potential to avoid generating a dreaded Dark level, something that's difficult enough to survive even when you're not dragging the key with you.

The absolute best item to get first is the Compass. If you didn't already know, this item gives you a directional pointer that helps you find where the exit to each level is. Since you'll be vulnerable while carrying the Big Key, it's a good idea to shorten the distance you have to travel to get to the exit, and this tool will help immensely (especially in The Ice Caves). The best part is that the Compass is a somewhat common reward from crates and Kali, as well as very inexpensive if found in a shop.

The next best item is more subjective, but I recommend loading up on bombs. If you get caught in a nasty scenario, just bomb your way through or head down deeper and closer to the exit instead. Bombs are common rewards from crates (which means it's advantageous to explore a little if you're hurting for supplies) and are also fairly common in shops (and there are even shops dedicated to bombs and bomb-related supplies).

The third best item is also subjective, but I recommend some kind of vertical navigation aid. A Cape is okay but nothing really special until the Ice Caves, and you're unlikely to find a Jetpack until later. Accordingly, I think getting some Climbing Gloves is a sound investment.

If you've managed to get the items recommended above, then you probably have enough for a good chance at success. From here, it's largely up to you. I'd recommend also trying to get some Spring Shoes and Spike Shoes if you can, but they're only optional and won't do much to help unless you know how to use them extensively. The jumping boost of the Spring Shoes complement the Climbing Gloves, and the attack and traction benefits of the Spike Shoes are handy in the Ice Caves.

1:06 - As this shows, you can get the Tunnel Man to appear in a secret level's entrance or exit if it happens to be considered the fourth level of a given area. Here, the entrance to the Mothership level is acting as the "end" of the Ice Caves. Interestingly, if you survive the Mothership after entering from 3-4, you get two chances to pay the Tunnel Man (once at the Mothership entrance and a second time after completing another 3-4 Ice Caves level).

8:13 - That's what you get for being a thief, you damn dirty ape!

10:54 - Whoops, sorry m'am!

12:31 - Sorry about that. I usually try to avoid notifications in my recordings, but that one came during a good run, so there wasn't much I could do. Fortunately it was just the one in the entire video.

13:05 - Two of these in an Caves run, let alone in a row, is VERY rare for me, but I don't think I'd really stand to benefit much from a second one, so that's why I hurried past.

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