Malu and I get to Olmec and die again a couple of times, get cursed, find a leprechaun, a rainbow, and a pot of gold, before I finally manage to use 4 bombs to get through the floor in the Olmec arena, and exit.
I encountered the second form of Olmec, who promptly bombed me out of existence. I believe we have to destroy this form to open up another world. But the good news is that we ended up delivering a mount to Mama Tunnel, and we now have tunnel access to World 4.
We got the $50,000 for Mama Tunnel. Next one is the hired hand. Also we figured out to dig down to the Egypt level, which is an evolution of the temple levels from the first game, with new enemies, including cat mummies.
We're trying to get a helping hand for Mama Tunnel. This is very difficult, since the helping hands are very suicidal. We have tested with Atlas from 1-4, and have learned that the one who releases from his coffin is the only one who can pick him up, and he will stay with this person. In This allows the second player to stay safe with Atlas, and the party leader to run through the levels alone. But for this strategy to work, we have to run through worlds 2-4 with him. Maybe it's easier to start in world 3 and hope for a hired hand shop?
A helpful fact we discovered: Pets can cure poison by licking you.
Helpful facts from the Giant Bombcast: You can rope onto spikes without getting damaged. Also, apparently, there is a secret castle level hidden in the jungle, you can bomb down in a level that doesn't end vertically where the exit is.
We've been trying to get the hired hand (HH) to Mama Tunnel, but it's too difficult. Here's our strategies so far:
We've tried to kill the fish in 4-2 and get the HH inside. We try to get a shotgun from Madame Tusks's guard.
We've tried to steal the dice from Madame Tusk and sacrifice two 6's to Kali, which yields a HH.
A new option could be to go to the bottom of the sea in 4-2 and whip the fish
At this point, we have a pretty sound strategy for getting the HH in 4-2. We get there without any special items, Malu places herself on the exit, and I swim down to the right and slowly whip the big fish to death. When HH pops out, Malu exits the level immediately. After this, the problems start, as the HH tries to kill himself as quickly as possible.
We did it!! We got to 4-2, I whipped the big fish to death, and somehow got through 4-3 and 4-4 without the Hired Hand killing himself. We then went through level 5-1, which seems to be only a single level, before we reached the new area, world 6.
We have been struggling with consistently getting through the Yeti Cave in 5-1 for the last couple of days, and then usually getting destroyed in world 6. We have reached 6-3 a couple of times. I just learned about the trick to dropping down in 5-1, skipping the Yeti Cave. That's going to be a life changer.
Now we're consistently getting to world 6, we're starting to get better at this world, and we finally reached Tiamat, a large water lady. Bubbles spawn around her, and you can stand on them and get carried to the ceiling high above Tiamat. We spent some time figuring out that you can bomb in front of Tiamat to spawn bubbles in the middle, but the area above kills us with horrible death rays. We may need to use a rope when we're almost at the top.
I have a plan for killing Tiamat: We go to level 6-3, and use the door invincibility to get a shotgun, go to Tiamat, rope up to the side of the level, bomb away the block, and shoot her in the face.
Completed the game.
We did it! After our cabin trip, we came back and after a few tries, I was on a rope next to Tiamat and shot her in the face with a shotgun repeatedly. After that, a cutscene, and finally, I can play with the old Spelunky Guy.
I started this on my PS5 for the first time. It worked, but my savegame was gone. I downloaded it from cloud storage, and then the game wouldn't start. Same situation for 140 and Tetris Effect. A Reddit thread suggested that I reboot the console. I'm doing this now, but the reboot hangs. Great.
We got a visit from Bjørk and Erik, and we played a few rounds of Spelunky 2 together. It was utter mayhem, but we still managed get through a few worlds.