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Spelunky World Record Holder Busted As A Cheater

BarryMode's record stood for eight years, until fans discovered he'd cheated

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The main character from Spelunky, upside down, with an arrow in his hat.
Image: Spelunky / Kotaku

A player by the name of BarryMode has, for the last eight years, held the world record for a speedrun through Spelunky. Not anymore, though, after fans discovered that he’d cheated, with the evidence clearly visible in the video he’d recorded of the run.

As Vice reports, while BarryMode has now removed his video from YouTube, previously fans and fellow speedrunners noticed earlier this year that something was off about it. In particular, the uploaded footage suspiciously had a single tile continually missing moments after it began, and his decisions on where to go next really should have resulted in a poorer time, the odds of his choosing the right path every time being very unlikely.

And it’s not like this suspicion was new; some members of the Spelunky speedrunning community have had serious doubts about BarryMode’s run for years now. His time of 2:30, posted eight years ago, has yet to be beaten, even by fans putting thousands of hours into the pursuit, and pooling all of their speedrunning knowledge.

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Then, in September of this year, community member saturnin55 found a mod from 2012 that that explained why that tile was missing: the mod allowed players to save and reload their runs, and placing the object that loaded this mod in the game would...remove that same single tile that was missing from BarryMode’s run.

The only thing left to explain now was why that tile was there at the very start of BarryMode’s run, but missing in subsequent levels. The community’s answer is simple enough: BarryMode spliced two different sets of footage together, the first few seconds from a vanilla version of the game, the rest from his modded run.

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This great video below from Xanagear gives a great breakdown of what the mod was, and what led to the discovery of BarryMode’s cheating. The full interview at Vice has comment from Spelunky designer Derek Yu, as well as the revelation that Barrymode—who quickly confessed to the cheating when confronted—is now busy making very bad conservative memes.