On Tuesday at the Awesome Games Done Quick bi-annual charity gaming marathon, Spelunky's creator, Derek Yu, jokingly asked on the Twitch stream if anyone had ever done a combined no-gold pacifist run of his platformer. A day later, Yu posted to his Twitter account that he had received an answer. YouTube user krille71 uploaded a video today showing a no-gold pacifist run: not only beating the game without collecting any gold or gems but also without directly killing any enemies, including bosses, including the bossiest boss of all. You can watch it above.
Combining these two feats into a single run seems impossible, but by now we know that Spelunky junkies are capable of just about anything. What's really neat, however, despite the extreme talent on display, is how krille71 deals with Olmec and King Yama. Olmec he hides from before bombing his way to Hell's entrance, then using a couple stone blocks to stand on so he can climb inside, leaving Olmec behind (and alive). I certainly wouldn't call his encounter with Yama pacifism, since he tears Yama's face off, carries it to some spikes, and lets it be jabbed to death. For the impatient, you can see it happen at 34:50.
I hadn't seen this particular technique used before. If you've fought Yama, you're aware his face comes off during the fight and flies around the room dumping fireballs on you. There are a few ways to deal with him, typically stickybombs, ranged weapons, or using an eggplant (if you happen to be talented enough to carry one the entire way through the game). But krille71 actually pulls Yama's face off and carries it away before it detaches on its own.
Derek Yu explained it on Twitter, remarking that monsters and items in Spelunky are both derived from the same generic entity class. Items can be picked up, and unless their "isHoldable" flag has been set to false, so can monsters. The boss Olmec, for instance, had his flag set to false, meaning he can't be picked up and carried, but Yama's face didn't get the same treatment. That's why you can pluck his face right off his skull and abscond with it.
@mossmouth As I mentioned to @ColinMcInerror, we set an "isHoldable" flag to false for Olmec but (probably) forgot to do it for Yama!January 6, 2016
Neat! No gold, no kills. Quite an accomplishment.