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Ok, I'm new to roguelikes in general, so bear with me.

I played several games of "Spelunky", and of course noticed that the newly discovered enemies/traps/items stay written in your adventure book, and thus are "saved" and don't have to be "rediscovered" every time.

However, I was wondering how the rest of the progress works. I understand that Spelunky being a "roguelike", every game you have to start from the beginning. I got a few levels in, then died. What I really didn't like was that you have to replay the "tutorial" levels all over again. Is that mandatory? Or did I do something wrong?
When you select a character, is it a purely cosmetic choice, or has each of them (for instance, the guy with the spelunking helmet, the guy with the turban, etc) have their own "storyline" and you have to play with each at least one to complete the whole game?

Basically, is anything saved apart from what is in your adventure book? Because when I saw that after death, I was back at the tutorial, that annoyed me. Did I forget to save, do something wrong, or do you have to do the tutorial everytime you die?

Thanks a lot. The game has no manual, and I don't want to search the internet for answers just yet, I thought I better ask fellow gog'ers for info, there might be less spoilers that way :)

Have a nice day.
The saving system indeed seem to not work properly. I had no problem after the Tutorial to start the game at Level 1-1 each time I restart the game. But after completing Level 1-4, you can help a guy to build a tunnel, so you can start the game with the next Level 2-1. This wasn't saved several times. Now it is saved and I can start the game with Level 2-1. I wonder how many times I have to complete this level before I can save my progrss again.
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HanselPete: The saving system indeed seem to not work properly. I had no problem after the Tutorial to start the game at Level 1-1 each time I restart the game. But after completing Level 1-4, you can help a guy to build a tunnel, so you can start the game with the next Level 2-1. This wasn't saved several times. Now it is saved and I can start the game with Level 2-1. I wonder how many times I have to complete this level before I can save my progrss again.
Thanks for your response. Actually, I've found that I re-did the tutorial simply because on the "menu selection" (for a lack of a better term) screen, I went to the far left, thinking I could resume the levels there, and got into the tutorial again. I just had to enter the big entrance in the middle. Silly me.

For now, I only got to the end of 1-4 once, and since it was the first time I got there, I had no more bombs left :) So frustrating! I guess I really suck at this game, because I'm able to carefully defeat many enemies, use bombs parcimoniously, navigate the maze with dexterity ... and get impatient and instantly impaled on spikes in 1-3 because I didn't time my jump correctly :D This game is balls hard! I wonder if I'll ever see the jungle a second time ...

On another note, are the ghosts that appear after a while killable? Basically, are you screwed when they appear, and just have to drop everything and run to the entrance as quick as possible, or is there anything else you can do to get rid of them?

Anyway, even if I suck at it, I'm having a blast with this game! Telling myself "just a few games before eating", and then I play it for like half an hour :)
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HanselPete: The saving system indeed seem to not work properly. I had no problem after the Tutorial to start the game at Level 1-1 each time I restart the game. But after completing Level 1-4, you can help a guy to build a tunnel, so you can start the game with the next Level 2-1. This wasn't saved several times. Now it is saved and I can start the game with Level 2-1. I wonder how many times I have to complete this level before I can save my progrss again.
Actually you have to help the tunnel guy three times before the tunnel is ready. He asks for bombs at the first encounter, then rope, then money.
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HanselPete: The saving system indeed seem to not work properly. I had no problem after the Tutorial to start the game at Level 1-1 each time I restart the game. But after completing Level 1-4, you can help a guy to build a tunnel, so you can start the game with the next Level 2-1. This wasn't saved several times. Now it is saved and I can start the game with Level 2-1. I wonder how many times I have to complete this level before I can save my progrss again.
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gerwin79: Actually you have to help the tunnel guy three times before the tunnel is ready. He asks for bombs at the first encounter, then rope, then money.
Thanks! Now I'll now what to save till the end of the mines for each time ;)
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gerwin79: Actually you have to help the tunnel guy three times before the tunnel is ready. He asks for bombs at the first encounter, then rope, then money.
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Feamelwen: Thanks! Now I'll now what to save till the end of the mines for each time ;)
Yes good to know how to unlock the Shortcuts. I was able to reach Level 4-4. There is some kind of Bossfight.
After giving the Tunnel Guy Bombs and Ropes at the end of each Area, he ask for money in the Mines, and for a Shotgun in Jungle.For the third Tunnel you need to give the him the golden key from the Mine (Levelel 1-3). You have to carry it trough all the Levels till the End of 3-4. Pretty hard ;)