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Binding of Isaac: 10 tips for making The Lost playthrough easier

Feb 28 // Corduroy Turtle
This character, known as 'The Lost', is a ghost. He can fly right off the bat and his stats are all pretty normal except for one tiny, little detail: he has absolutely no health. This means that not only does he die in one hit, but a bunch of the items in the game have no effect on him or will kill him if you try to use them. As you can imagine, the idea of beating the game multiple times with a character who can die from something as small as a fly was not only daunting; it was terrifying. Long story short, I did it. It wasn't easy, it wasn't fun and to be completely honest, I don't recommend it! But if you're like me and you just have to do it, I guess I have some tips for you. These by no means will guarantee your success but hopefully they'll shed a little light on the long, depressing road that lies ahead of you. 1) Do everything else first There's a ton of stuff to do in Rebirth, and almost none of it requires playing as The Lost, so focus on all of that first. Seriously. Enjoy the game. Beat the Cathedral and Sheol paths with every other character on Hard. Complete all of the challenges. Fully upgrade the shop by plopping 999 coins into the donation machine. Unlock every possible thing you can before doing this. Not only will it allow you to get comfortable with the game, but you're going to want every possible item in the mix if/when you decide to tackle this nightmare. 2) The Lost does have some advantages Wait, The Lost isn't a total piece of shit? Well, sort of. As I mentioned earlier, he can fly, which is a huge help. This allows you to grab any items you can see on-screen without worrying about spikes, pits or rocks that would normally block your path. You're going to want every bomb, key and chest you can get your hands on so this is huge. You also won't have to worry about the damaging effects of "creep," which is the poison trail that some enemies leave in their path. This also means that you can "hide" from certain enemies and attacks by hovering over rocks. This tactic is absolutely necessary for survival but just keep in mind that there are enemies that can also fly, and there are plenty of attacks that are unaffected by rocks, so you're by no means invinsible. A somewhat pleasant side effect of having no health is it grants The Lost free admittance to all Challenge Rooms. Though they can be a huge risk, Challenge Rooms can have free items inside which are always nice. Plus, if you're carring a card or pill that allows you to teleport, you can grab the free stuff and immediate get the fuck out of there without having to survive the impending battle. However, the biggest advantage The Lost has over the other characters is that he gets free Deals with the Devil. Devil Rooms will sometimes open up after boss fights and usually you have to sacrifice precious health to gain the items inside. But since The Lost literally has no health, everything is free! There are some really great Devil-exclusive items so grab what you can. Damage ups are a definite. Items that cause fear are also nice. Just be careful and remember that not all Devil items are helpful. The Razor Blade actually hurts you when activated, which will obviously kill you before you can enjoy the increased damage. The Dark Bum, who is normally a welcome addition to any run since he can spawn soul hearts, offers no help to The Lost. In fact, since there's a chance he could spawn a enemy spider instead, he's actually a huge liability. Trust me. 3) Play on Hard at all times Here's the thing: most of The Lost's items can be unlocked by beating the various end-game bosses on Normal. BUT, if you truly want to unlock every item in the game, you need to realize that one of those items is called Godhead and it requires that you beat all end-game bosses with all playable characters... on Hard. Since you definitely won't want to play as The Lost any more than you have to (trust me), you might as well knock out Hard mode right from the start. It's not as bad as you think. Playing as The Lost is already hard as fuck so you probably won't notice anyway. 4) Be wary of champion enemies Since you'll presumably be playing on Hard, champion enemies will be more common. More often than not, these guys will have more health, as well as added quirk that can really be a pain in certain situations. Dark teal enemies will explode upon death, but light blue ones release an 8-way tear shot when killed. These two version have killed me countless times so it's good to keep your eye out for them so you can act accordingly. 5) Abuse the donation machine If you followed my earlier tip of donating 999 coins to the Donation Machine, you can thank me now. Not only do fully upgraded shops offer more items to choose from, but certain extremely helpful items will only spawn in fully upgraded shops. Also, you can use the Donation Machine as an ATM when you're low on cash, as long as you have the bombs necesssary to make a withdrawl. I used this tactic so often that my savings went from 999 coins down to a measly 22 cents by the time I finally completed my Lost playthroughs. Not going to lie, I was scared. Anyway, here are a few shop-exclusive items that can help you out big time: Black Candle - A passive item that prevents/removes curses for the rest of that run. Some curses cast darkness over entire levels, hide the map, or even disguise items as question marks until you pick them up. Since these happen randomly and are always a pain in the butt, the opportunity to avoid them completely is lovely. The Candle, Red Candle - These are space bar items that can do massive damage if your aim is true. They also recharge every few seconds which means you can use them multiple times per room. They absolutely chew through bosses. Stop Watch - A passive item that slows down all enemies in every single room. Need I say more? This obviously gives you more time to react to certain attacks but also slows down and shortens the range of enemy projectiles. It's somewhat rare but one of the best items in the game. There's also a Broken Watch item that sometimes grants the same effect, but also has the chance of actually speeding up the enemies in a room. Yikes. Maybe think twice before picking that one up. Blank Card - A space bar item that mimics the effect of any card or rune you are currently holding. Though I wouldn't recommend this 100% of the time, it can be amazingly powerful under certain conditions. For example, if you're holding the Chaos Card, you now wield a throwable projectile that can kill any boss/enemy in the game immediately, and it recharges every four rooms! Insane. There's Options - This item will let you choose from two items after defeating a boss, instead of being stuck with one. This is sort of a big deal when you consider that a lot of items offered after defeating a boss are just simple health upgrades, which do nothing for The Lost. It's nice to have options. 6) Guppy items are your friend Collecting any combination of three Guppy items will cause you to transform into Guppy himself, which makes you super powerful. As Guppy, you spawn tons of blue flies as you do damage. Not only will blue flies follow you from room to room and kill enemies for you, but their damage scales to your current power level. As you get stronger, so do they. No matter who I'm playing as, I'm always fantasizing about transforming into Guppy. It's awesome. Here are the items: Dead Cat, Guppy's Collar - Extra lives! These are basically necessities when playing as The Lost. No matter how powerful or prepared you are, certain rooms or difficult bosses will take you by surprise and all it takes is one small mistake to ruin a promising run and send you back to the main menu with nothing. You'll want the insurance of a few extra lives to save your ass in a crisis. Guppy's Head - A space bar item that spawns two to four blue flies per room. It's far from being the best space bar item but if you have nothing else in that slot, it's certainly nice to have. An important sidenote is that it counts as one of the three Guppy items needed for the transformation regardless if you keep it on you or not. Just picking it up once is good enough. Nice. Guppy's Tail - Drastically increases the number of red chests you come across, thus greatly improving your chances of seeing other Guppy-related items. The Left Hand trinket does sort of the same thing. Red chests can be risky, since they can also have troll bombs or spiders inside but that's just a risk you have to take. Be prepare for anything to jump out! Guppy's Hairball - Arguable the least attractive of all the Guppy items. This lump of wet hair gets flung around your body and can damage enemies, growing in size with each kill. It's more of a distraction than anything, in my opinion but it's not totally useless. It can also sort of block projectiles sometimes. Guppy's Paw - Nope, I was wrong. This one is almost totally worthless. For a character with health, Guppy's Paw can turn one red heart into three soul hearts. Pretty cool. For the Lost, it just gets him one step closer to the Guppy transformation which I guess is just fine. Remember, just like Guppy's Head, you don't have to carry this around forever. Just pick it up and put it right back down if you want to. 7) These can make your life a lot easier Not all items in Rebirth are created equal. In fact, some are stupid good, especially when playing as The Lost. Besides the aforementioned Dead Cat which grants you with nine precious lives, here are a few items that can really take a run from "ok" to "OMG this could be the one." Brimstone - This item turns your tears into a full-screen beam that can clear entire rooms in less than a second. Sure, it needs to be charged fully before it can be shot, but you can negate that a bit by charging it before you enter a room. Plus, it passes through all obstructions which means you can just point and shoot without worrying if things like rocks are in your way. Combine this with Spoon Bender (homing tears) and, holy lord, you don't even know. Daddy Longlegs + Gnawed Leaf - Yeah, I know I said "single-handedly" earlier but if you're lucky enough to stumble upon this combo, you've won the lottery. Daddy Longlegs is really good on his own since he seeks out enemies for you and stomps the shit out of them. But combine that with the protection of Gnawed Leaf, an item that makes you invulnerable as long as you don't move, and you can basically clear rooms by doing nothing at all. I'm going to be honest with you, I've never actually gotten this combo myself, but I've read about it and I'm jealous. Holy Mantle - This passive item negates one hit per room. It doesn't seem like a lot but when that's all it takes to end a run as The Lost, it's a really big deal. I can't tell you how many times I've been hit by a boss mere seconds before I could deliver the final blow. It's heartbreaking. If you come across the Holy Mantle, thank your lucky stars. Mom's Knife - The ultimate killing machine. On its own, it's already a force to be reckoned with, but when you combine it with damage upgrades (like Polyphemus) it has no equal. It absolutely obliterates bosses and can make your life a whole lot easier. It also has the added advantage of doing damage to anything it touches without having to be shot. Obviously you don't want enemies to get that close to you, but if they do, all you gotta do is carefully poke them to death. Trinity Shield - This item protects you from enemy shots in whatever direction you aim it. It makes certain boss battles, like Mom's Heart, a lot less stressful. In all my hours of play, I've only seen it pop up twice, so don't hold your breath for this one. 8) Please don't pick these items up This feels like it should go without saying but, y'know, I'm gonna say it anyway. Certain items are what I call "run killers." Others, while not necessarily the worst thing in the world, will definitely hurt you more than help. To clarify, it's okay (recommended, actually) to pick up any and all space bar items you come across since it will remove them from the pool of items that can show up later. Plus, these can be dropped when you come along something better. What I'm referring to here are passive items which have a permanent effect on your character after being picked up. To do this properly, you're going to need to know what every item looks like, whether they are passive or not, and what their effects are. It's not easy. I've played these games for hundreds of hours and I still get Ipecac (explosive shots) and Chemical Peel (damage increase) confused from time to time. Here are some that I learned through painful trial and error to avoid completely when playing as The Lost. Ankh, Judas' Shadow, Lazarus' Rags - These items cause you to transform into another character upon death, which is bad. For example, if you die and respawn as Lazarus, then go on to complete the game, you obviously won't get credit for beating it as The Lost. Also, don't quote me on this, but I think they can even take priority over the 9-lives item, meaning you would transform into another character and be stuck as them before you start dipping into your extra lives. Bad news. Basically, they offer absolutely no advantage to The Lost so don't pick them up! Ipecac, Fire Mind, Dr. Fetus, Bob's Brain - These are items that change your tears into explosives, or in the case of Fire Mind, cause random explosions. Explosions are powerful but incredibly dangerous. Seeing as how the game is already hard enough when playing as The Lost, why add the constant threat of blowing yourself up? Take my advice and ignore these items. The ONLY situation in which it might be okay to pick one of these up is if you luck out and pick up Pyromaniac beforehand, which makes you immune to explosive damage. Even still, explosions push your character around and could possibly push you into something that could hurt you so,... just don't pick them up. Eve's Mascara, Ludovico Technique, Number One, Soy Milk, Strange Attractor, Tiny Planet - Maybe I shouldn't be lumping these tear modifiers all together but they've all single-handedly ruined decent runs for me in the past. The problem with these items is the disadvantages outweigh any advantages they might offer. Eve's Mascara, for example, increases damage, but slows down your tears so much that it's hard to hit anything. Same with Ludovico Technique, which gives you one massive tear that you can steer around on its own, but very slowly. Tiny Planet is just a total disaster of an item, and Strange Attractor actually makes your tears magnetic, which is terrifying. Maybe you don't hate these as much as I do but you have been warned. Pick these up at your own risk. Bucket of Lard, Tarus - These items reduce your movement speed. Not a great idea since you want to be able to dodge attacks as quickly as possible. Even though Tarus can grant you a few seconds of invincibility after a certain amount of time, it's just not worth the overall decrease in speed. Leo, Thunder Thighs - These items grant you the ability to crush rocks, pots and mushrooms that you come in contact with. Usually, this is a really handy, but as The Lost, this actually removes the ability to hide within those items to avoid damage. On top of that, bomb rocks and some mushrooms can actually cause immediate damage, which will end your run. Not smart. Guillotine, Isaac's Heart - To be completely honest, I avoid these items no matter who I'm playing as. The Guillotine causes your characters head to float around their body, which can make it hard to aim your tears accurately, and also makes it sort of difficult to keep track of where your body is exactly. It's weird. Isaac's Heart makes your character immune to damage (cool...?) but forces you to protect a heart familiar that follows you around. Anything that touches the heart will do damage to you, which will kill The Lost immediately. Definitely not cool. 9) Take your time This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give you, besides #10 I suppose. There is no reason to rush so make sure you're taking your time when you play as The Lost. Be patient. Wait for openings. Don't just bum rush everything and hope for the best. I had plenty of promising runs get cut short because I stopped paying attention to the little things and got careless. If you're going to do this thing, you need to be focused the whole time. 10) Don't die Hahaha, yeah, that's not going to happen. You're going to die A LOT. Over and over. It'll feel like there's no hope. Just keep in mind that all it takes is one good run. Well, two if you want to get technical about it. No matter how badly you just did or how close you got, victory could be just around the corner. I had no idea when I picked up Sagittarius (piercing tears) in the first floor of the basement, after hundreds of attempts, that I would be claiming victory in the Dark Room less than an hour later. You really never know. Maybe this collection of tips will help you capture the elusive Godhead item and you too can feel the immense sense of relief wash over you as you realize you'll never have to play as The Lost ever again... ...until Afterbirth comes out, that is. Fuck.
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It's still really f*cking hard, though
[Dtoid community blogger Corduroy Turtle offers some strategies for achieving 100% completion in The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. What a guy! --Mr Andy Dixon] The concept of difficulty is likely different for everyone. Personal...

Spelunky Mega Guide: Everything you need to know (part 2)

Aug 14 // Corduroy Turtle
PART 2: LEVELS, ENEMIES & TRAPS In Spelunky, each new environment introduces a new look, new hazards, and a whole slew of deadly new things to ruin your day. I feel like the enemies and traps on each level really define it, so I've lumped them together here. However, this doesn't mean these things are necessarily exclusive to this particular level. For example, Mammoths are only found in the Ice Caves, but snakes are almost everywhere. Don't be surprised when some of your old "friends" show up later on. It should be noted that you can unlock Shortcuts to each environment by giving the Tunnel Man a series of specific items when you complete an area. I won't list them here, but just know that he could ask for just about anything, and some of his requests can be quite tough! Opening shortcuts is nice for practicing some of the later levels, but any "real" Spelunky run starts at the beginning. Speaking of which... LEVEL ONE - THE MINES Here's where you'll get your feet wet, and subsequently where you'll return after you've been bitten, stabbed, crushed, slapped, thrown, poisoned and impaled. Get comfortable. The layouts actually vary quite a bit -- from big, open rooms, to clusters of tight hallways -- but it's only a small sample of things to come. You'll get a good feel for how far your character can jump, and cut your teeth on some fairly tame enemies. Also, if you find a locked chest, keep an eye out for the key. There's something cool inside. Besides the wildlife, one of the earliest dangers you'll be introduced to is fall damage. Falling too far will subtract one heart from your health, and the resulting bounce could possibly lead to even more trouble. Look before you leap and make sure you're taking advantage of the ledge grab. It may not seem like a lot, but safely lowering yourself by one block can make a huge difference. I still die in the Mines all the time. That's okay. The lack of supplies combined with the pressure of knowing how long the road ahead is can be a real mindfuck sometimes. The best thing to do is focus on what's immediately in front of you, and take it one step at a time. Think of the Mines as a confidence builder. Staying calm and playing smart will set the tone for the rest of your run. That being said, here's some of the traps and enemies that will kill you right off the bat. TRAPS - THE MINES SPIKES -- One of the few traps you'll find everywhere. Luckily, they're extremely deadly! You'll find this out pretty quickly, but falling on spikes will kill you instantly. No exceptions. Okay, having the Ankh is the one exception, but that's it! Treat every set of spikes with the utmost caution and respect. Don't get cocky. It isn't immediately obvious, but you can safely walk and run through spikes. Fun trick: lead hopping enemies to a row of spikes and let their blood wash over you as you strut confidently. Sometimes spikes are right at the top of a ledge and there's no way to jump over them. If you grab the ledge and hop just enough to get your feet up to the surface, you won't get impaled. It takes a little finesse but it's not terribly difficult. I mentioned this already, but it's worth repeating because it's neat: if you're wearing the Cape, you can slowly lower yourself onto Spikes without getting impaled. Badass. SPIDERWEB -- Though not harmful, spiderwebs can be somewhat of a nuisance. They'll slow you down when you try to run through them, and they'll catch you in mid air if you jump into them. Since one of the main tactics in Spelunky is running away from shit, getting caught in a web at the wrong time can be bad news. Thrown items will get caught as well, which can be good or bad, depending on the situation. Passing through them twice will clear them away, as will Machetes and Torches. Thankfully, webs can stop arrows, so if there's one between you and an active arrow trap, you can safely trigger it without worrying about getting hit. Just about every enemy in the Mines can also get stuck in webs. Just don't expect a Giant Spider or Ghost to be affected. STONE BLOCK -- This grey block can be found on almost every level. If it's resting on the ground, it's harmless, and can be pushed around. Anything caught between it and a wall or floor will get flattened. Though it doesn't exactly move on its own, you can easily be crushed by it if you're not careful. If the ground below a stone block is blown up, or hacked away with the Mattock, gravity will do its thang. Don't get caught underneath unless you want a quick and painless(?) death. ARROW TRAP -- This is tricky because it's tough to spot unless you're really looking for it. It closely resembles the plain, stone block that you see all over the place, but it has the profile of a fanged creature carved on the side. If anything moves within its range (for example: you), it will fire an arrow out lightning fast. Not only will it do two hearts worth of damage if it hits you, but it will also knock you back insanely far, usually into more traps. Luckily, there's only one arrow in each arrow trap, so once it's gone off, it's no longer a threat. Safely set them off with a thrown object (like a rock, or pot) while you're out of the firing zone. If there's a spiderweb between you and the arrow trap, you're safe. The web will stop the arrow automatically. Arrows that miss can be picked up and used as a powerful throwing weapon. As always, be careful though. These can bounce off walls and come right back at you, doing two hearts of damage. Unnecessarily hurting yourself is the worst feeling. Arrows that have sunk their tip into something alive (I could probably have worded that better...) will break, and only the harmless shaft (oh dear...) will remain. This can be thrown around, but will do no damage. Like I mentioned above, anything that moves will set this thing off. That includes things like falling Spiders and ropes. Keep this in mind when you see one way above your head. Just because your body doesn't set it off doesn't mean it isn't dangerous! If you're carrying a Damsel when you get hit by an arrow, the Damsel with take the damage for you. She's like body armor! Hmm, well, sort of. Her life will effectively be cut in half, and another arrow shot will finish her off. Still, don't feel bad about doing it once. She'll still give you a smooch if you can save her. PRO TIP: If you can fall past an arrow trap at the very edge of it's range, the triggered arrow will safely zip right over your head. Just be aware of the bounce back when it eventually hits a wall. A falling arrow is just as dangerous as one travelling toward you at high speeds. PRO TIP: You can stop speeding arrows with a well-timed whip. Sound impossible? With a little practice, it's totally doable. Not to brag, but I do it all the time. The thing to keep in mind is, once the whip is unfurled, the edge is "active" for almost a half second. As long as the whip is fully extended when the arrow makes contact, it'll bounce right off without hurting you. Then you can walk around with your chest puffed out for the rest of the day like a total badass. POWDER BOX -- This explosive box can be found nestled within the walls, floors and ceilings, or just sitting out in the open. If triggered, the explosion is similar to that of one of your bombs. Obviously, any explosions within range will set it off, as will thrown items or unfortunate whip attacks. Actually, why would you do that? Don't whip the powder box. They can be safely pushed off ledges, and will only explode if they fall further than one space. What makes them slightly more frightening, however, is even the tiniest drop of blood or piece of shattered pot can set them off. You can use this to your advantage, though, and safely trigger explosions by hopping on nearby enemies or tossing a pot without really putting yourself in too much danger. BOULDER -- The boulder will only Kool-Aid Man through the wall and fuck all your shit up if you touch the Golden Idol in the Mines. Therefore, do not touch the Golden Idol in the Mines. Once activated, the boulder will bust out and head toward whatever direction you went in, flattening anything and everything in its path. It will eventually come to a stop, but only after it's ricocheted off the walls and destroyed the better half of the level. If you're willing to risk the damage involved, plan ahead. Either attach a rope to the ceiling so you can climb to safety, or make sure there's a platform near that's at least 3 spaces high so the angry boulder will pass underneath you. For the record, I still think it's a bad idea. ENEMIES - THE MINES SNAKE -- The regular green snake is a pushover. He'll pay you no mind and will simply patrol back and forth on whatever platform he's on. This is one of the easiest enemies to practice what I refer to as the "super jump" on. If you press jump right as you land on top of an enemy, you'll fly up into the air much higher than your standard jump. This technique is great for grabbing gold or gems that are out of reach but not worth wasting a rope to get. COBRA -- The blue cobra is a little trickier. His movement is similar to his green brother, except he'll stop and spit poison every couple seconds. They'll start showing up more frequently as you get closer to the end of the Mines. They're weakest when you have the high ground, so get the drop on them if you can. BAT -- Sneaky, purple, and even more dangerous in groups. You'll see them sleeping on ceilings, but if you pass underneath them, they'll wake up and begin slowly flapping towards you. Try leading them into a web or a hallway so they're easier to deal with. If out in the open, a little hop attack or a thrown item are the best ways to dispatch them. SPIDER -- This guy hangs out on the ceiling too, but he'll only drop when you're right below him. They're very easy to handle as long as you notice them first. Once they land on the ground, all they can do is hop periodically in your general direction. Best practice is to run under one, then turn around and quickly whip it before it has the chance to jump. SPINNER SPIDER -- These are the purple ones that hang from webs on the ceiling. They descend and ascend at a steady pace, but at random lengths. Let them make the first move so you know whether or not it's safe to pass by. GIANT SPIDER -- These are hard to miss. They hang out on the ceiling, and will drop as soon as you pass underneath them. The best way to deal with them is to toss a bomb into the webs that are always right below them. If you accidentally trigger them to fall, they're MUCH harder to deal with. They'll jump towards you and sporadically fire webs to slow you down. They can crawl through small horizontal spaces, but can only drop through a gap that's two spaces or larger. They do two hearts of damage, so get the heck away from them! FREE ITEM: Killing a Giant Spider will always net you a free Paste. Very useful. SKELETON -- Pay close attention to piles of bones as they may come to life when you get close! Jumping on (or over) bone piles is the safest way to avoid their sneak attack, but whipping them works as well. If on the move, they will fall off ledges to get to you, so watch your head. Not exactly a free item, but the fragile skull they leave behind can be picked up and thrown. SCORPION -- Yellow and tenacious. Their leaping attacks come fast and furious, so stay out of their line of sight at all costs. They have two hit points, so your first attack will only knock them out for a few seconds. Either wait for them to wake up to finish them off, or pick them up and toss them on some spikes for a quick kill. CAVEMAN -- These muscle heads will charge if you fall within their line of sight, but will run right past you if you jump over them. This makes it very easy to bait them into traps. If you want to kill them dead, it'll take a few normal attacks since they're beefier than your standard foe. SHOPKEEPER -- Technically, this guy is your friend, but that can change very quickly -- stealing, deploying a bomb too close to his shop, or hitting him with anything will make the beast come out. An angry Shopkeeper is, without a doubt, the most unpredictable and deadly enemy in the game. Even the deadly mantrap can't stop him! Angering him by accident is the worst, but random happenings can set him off too, so it's best to be prepared for anything. His speed and jumping ability greatly exceed yours and he's a crack shot with the Shotgun. The best you can hope for is that he falls on some spikes, or is killed by some other environmental trap before he gets to you. FREE ITEM: His Shotgun can be knocked out of his hands and stolen, but it's not easy. The best strategy is to kill him (or hope he dies) and then loot his corpse. PRO TIP: Spelunky pros know that there are two "easy" ways to earn big money -- stealing everything, and robbing the vaults -- both of which will put you on the Shopkeepers' shit list. Sticky bombs and the Shotgun are your best tools for taking down a pissed off 'Keeper, just keep in mind that they have a lot of health, so it takes multiple Shotgun blasts to put them down for good. Once you head down this road, there's no turning back, so get ready for the fight of your life. GHOST - This giant creep will come out at the 2.5 minute mark to encourage you to find the exit as quickly as possible. He moves slowly, but he's relentless. Stop me if you've heard this before, but if he touches you, you will die instantly. Even Ray Parker, Jr. admits that he's totally afraid of this particular ghost. [Oh my god that was terrible. -ed] PRO TIP: There's a special technique called "ghost mining" that can earn you huge amounts of money. Here's how it works: If the ghost passes over a gem (excluding those buried within the walls) he will turn it into a friggin' diamond! These are worth waaaay more than your standard gem, so collecting them can have a huge impact on your score. However, the ghost is hard to avoid so don't bother trying this unless you have adequate supplies or increased mobility. The Jetpack works best. PRO TIP: An even riskier version of ghost mining involves the vaults you sometimes see deep within the walls. The two chests inside are filled with gems but guarded by an anxious Shopkeeper. If you're feeling confident, blow open the side of the vault and either kill him or get out of his way. Once the vault is safe, break open the chests, but do your best not to collect the gems just yet. Let the ghost work his magical ways, then run in and reap the benefits of all your hard work. It's a huge risk for a huge payoff. LEVEL TWO - JUNGLE Congratulations! You made it out of the Mines! Okay, stop celebrating and pay attention. Don't let the pretty colors fool you -- the Jungle is not a fun party. The difficulty curve ramps up significantly here, and can be a roadblock for a lot of players. With over ten new enemy types and some really sneaky traps, it's easy to get overwhelmed by it all. Hopefully you rationed your supplies because you're going to need... oh hey, what's that oozing orange thing?! The lush environmental elements will immediately catch your eye. Vines (otherwise known as Nature's ropes) hang from the ceiling. Trees dot the landscape, their sticky bark practically begging to be climbed. And water! Heck yeah, time for a much-deserved swim. Did you know it's impossible to drown in Spelunky? Unfortunately, you won't always be swimming alone so maybe take a closer look before you dive in. By the way, if you happened to find the Udjat Eye in the Mines, you may notice it start to flash periodically. The faster it flashes, the closer you are to the hidden entrance of the Black Market. I hope you saved some bombs! Another thing to be on the lookout for is a special variant of the Jungle known as the Graveyard. It's more of a theme than a whole new type of level, but you will go up against a couple unique enemy types and you may even find the Crystal Idol. There are also gravestones and skeletons all over the place, because, y'know, it's a graveyard. Rumor has it that one special grave may hide the entrance to an even spookier location. Are you scared yet? You can hold my hand. NEW TRAPS - JUNGLE TIKI TRAP -- Fuck. This. Thing. This brown pillar can practically sense when things get near it and will send out one of two sets of spikes to fend off the threat. The spikes can kill almost anything in one shot, so even though getting hit might not mean a guaranteed instant death for you, it may as well be a death sentence. What makes the tiki trap so darn tricky is how it almost fades into the background. Surrounded by such a vibrant color pallet, the unassuming tiki trap stands there, completely still, waiting for wide-eyed spelunkers to wander too close because they're distracted by a monkey or something. PRO TIP: The spikes that shoot out of the tiki trap are only dangerous the moment they fully extend. This means that after they pop all the way out, even if they're still completely visible, you can touch them without taking damage. Knowing this, you can bait the tiki trap into triggering, then quickly climb over it before the spikes reset. It's one of those things that doesn't look like it should work, but it does. SPIKE PIT -- Spike pits feature a huge row of spikes with a series of vines growing over the top, usually populated by a bunch of stinking monkeys. Traversing across without the assistance of the Cape or Jetpack will require some quick fingers as you'll have to hop from vine to vine until you reach the other side. Miss a grab and you'll fall to your death. If you can spare a bomb, you may just want to bypass this thing altogether and save yourself the headache. NEW ENEMIES - JUNGLE TIKI MAN -- These masked men patrol the Jungle levels with big-ass Boomerangs. They have scary range and a hair trigger, so stay out of their horizontal line of sight. Either hop on them or toss a rock from a safe distance to knock them out. If unarmed, they act like Cavemen and will charge you, but be careful -- they can pick the Boomerang back up! FREE ITEM: As mentioned above, knock them out and steal their Boomerang. FROG -- The standard frog is blue and can jump surprisingly far. He also doesn't waste too much time between jumps, so try to attack him right after he lands, or you may miss your chance. They can jump even further if they're in water, so watch out. FIRE FROG -- The orange version of the frog hides an explosive surprise. His mannerisms are the same as a standard frog, but once hit, he'll begin to shake on the ground before exploding like a bomb! Obviously, you'll want to stay away from the explosion, but there are other scenarios in which you'll want to be extra careful, too. The explosion will send any items near it flying, so duck and cover. Fun fact: if a Fire Frog lands in water, he'll transform into a regular Frog! BAD IDEA: Don't kill these things near Altars or they may end up exploding and angering Kali. This will not only greatly lower your favor with the goddess, but she'll send about twenty spiders after you too. Quite a terrifying sight! GIANT FROG -- These huge bastards can't jump very far, but they make up for it by barfing up a never-ending parade of frogs to do their dirty work. They are impervious to normal jumps, but Spike Shoes will make quick work of them. A bomb will also do the trick. FREE ITEM: You've got about a fifty percent shot at getting a free pair of Spring Shoes if you kill this guy. MANTRAP -- Utterly terrifying. This walking plant will gobble up any creature in its path, (including you), take a short nap, then spring back to life, hungrier than ever. Getting too close to this guy will result in an instant death no matter how much health you have. He's also completely immune to ALL jump attacks (even Spike Shoes don't help) and any attempt to do so will get you eaten. Avoidance is the best policy here, but if you have to engage him, a careful whip will take him out of commission long enough for you to run past. You can also toss a dead body at him, which will provide him with a snack and put him so sleep for a short while. Just don't linger too long, because he wakes up much quicker than you'd expect! BAD IDEA: Don't pick up a sleeping mantrap for any reason. You may get away with it a few times, but sooner or later he's going to wake up in your arms and swallow you whole. Yet another way to insta-die. PIRANHA -- You'll see piranhas swimming back and forth in pools of water all over the Jungle. The second your foot touches the water, they'll come after you, each bite doing one heart of damage. What's strange is they won't attack any other creature that falls in (Damsels included), so you won't be able to distract them with other selections of jungle meat. You can use rocks to take them out, or just drain their pool by tossing a bomb in. OLD BITEY -- This massive piranha lurks at the bottom of the Rushing Water stage -- a variation of the Jungle which always features a huge, piranha-packed lake at its base. It's best not to tangle with Old Bitey if you can avoid it. Though you'll find some treasure at the bottom of the lake, the danger involved with trying to deal with him and his army of piranhas is just not worth the trouble, in my opinion. Just get the exit and move on. KILLER BEE -- These protectors of the Queen can almost always be found in large groups inside beehives. Imagine that. Their flight pattern is sort of erratic and they're difficult to predict. Try to engage them one at a time, if possible. Any thrown item or attack will do the trick as they have low health. QUEEN BEE -- For every beehive you find, know that there is always one gigantic Queen Bee somewhere inside. She's impervious to regular jumps, but a couple hops with the Spike Shoes or a sticky bomb will do the trick. If that's not an option, another tactic (albeit slightly riskier) is to go inside the beehive, quickly find a small, one-space nook, put your back to the wall, and just keep whipping until she's dead. She's too big to fit into a small space like that, so you'll be safe inside. Well, safe from her. The killer bees can still get in... FREE ITEM: The Queen Bee will drop a lump of Royal Jelly when killed, which will net you four extra hearts when picked up! SNAIL -- The snail is a pretty chill dude. He just likes to hang out in the Jungle all day and blow bubbles. Unfortunately for you, those bubbles are poisonous and will take off one heart if you touch 'em. He's one of the few enemies that's more of a threat when he's below you, so check the lower levels before you drop down. He doesn't have much health, so any regular attack will take him out. MONKEY -- Watch out for these guys on vines all over the Jungle. They like to hop on your back, reach into your pockets, and steal stuff. If they happen to steal a sticky bomb, they basically become a mobile explosive, so look out. Sometimes they'll knock you out instead of stealing from you, which can be very problematic. It's best to try and hit them with rocks while they're still on the vines to avoid their tricky jumps. JIANG SHI -- The Graveyard variation will be full of these hopping, undead things. Though they'll do one heart of damage if they touch you, they are pretty easy to deal with. Smack them with just about anything to send them back to the grave. VAMPIRE -- The other Graveyard inhabitant is a lot more tenacious. Vampires will hang out on ceilings, like bats, and spring to life when you get within a certain range. Once they land on the ground, they'll leap around and try to attack you, which makes them a real pain to handle. Try to whip them out of the air, if possible, then quickly run over and place a bomb near their unconscious body to claim their prize. Or, you know, just avoid them if you can. FREE ITEM: All vampires are in possession of the Cape, a highly sought after item that will allow you to glide around majestically. You'll have to kill them in order to claim it for yourself. LEVEL THREE - ICE CAVES After surviving the clusterfuck of the Jungle, the wide open spaces of the Ice Caves are a welcome change. There are fewer traps here than any other level, so you'll feel like you can relax a bit and actually breathe again. However, the sparse level layouts mean getting from platform to platform will require some well-aimed jumps and nerves of steel. Fall damage is more deadly here than anywhere else so hopefully you procured yourself a Cape or Jetpack or you're going to be burning through your rope supply pretty quickly. The varied selection of enemies here have a lot of unique traits which won't make survival any easier. Danger can come from above, below, and everywhere in between, so stay on your toes and consider the consequences before attacking. Avoidance is sometimes the best policy. One good thing, however, is dark levels never show up in the Ice Caves. I can't even imagine what that would be like. You'll notice UFOs all over the Ice Caves. Their presence is not a coincidence. Somewhere on the fourth level, you notice a huge tower on either the left or right side of the map. The door at the top leads to the Mothership, a spaceship themed level full of aliens, automated defense turrets and more. This stage is also unique in that you have to travel up to get to the exit, rather than down. It's completely optional, but there may be some powerful alien technology inside... NEW TRAPS - ICE CAVES MINE -- These proximity explosives are your biggest threat in the Ice Caves. Running past one will trigger an explosion roughly one second later, so you'll want to be very careful around them. What's worse, triggering one may cause an unexpected chain reaction that could have huge consequences. Beware, enemies can set them off too. PRO TIP: If you can pick it up before it goes off, you'll disarm the mine and can place it wherever you like. Feel free to dispose of it or simply place it on a space you want to blow up and manually trigger the explosion. Just don't hang out too closely, obviously. BAD IDEA: Throwing mines at enemies or unexplored platforms is not a great idea. The mine could go off, sending other mines flying in your direction. You don't always have a lot of options in the Ice Caves, so play it safe. JUMP PAD -- These are tough to spot in the snow, but will send you soaring into the air if you step on them. This can spell bad news if you accidentally run over one while you're trying to escape something and end up getting tossed into the abyss. They don't do any damage, but sometimes yetis will get stuck bouncing on them. Hey, maybe they're having fun? PRO TIP: They can be useful, however. The height you get from them is pretty significant, so they may save you a rope from time to time. ICE -- Maybe I shouldn't have to say this, but there is ice in the Ice Caves. Lots of it. Icy platforms are super slippery, which makes quick stops and directional changes almost an impossibility. Too much momentum can quickly get the best of you. PRO TIP: The Spike Shoes cancel the negative effects of walking on ice, so try to make a habit of buying a pair before you get here. It'll make traversing the platforms a lot less hairy. BOTTOMLESS PIT -- Every level of the Ice Caves is suspended above a stage-wide bottomless pit. Slip off a ledge or miss a grab and you may end up plummeting to your death. This danger is increased by the sparse platform layout consistent throughout the Ice Caves. By now you should have a good feeling for how far your character can jump, and what his limitations are, so don't get too crazy. NEW ENEMIES - ICE CAVES YETI -- The yeti is the most common enemy you'll find in the Caves. These docile creatures won't go out of their way to attack you, but they will send you flying if you get too close to them. Whip attacks have absolutely no effect on them, so jumping is your best option. I always feel bad for killing these guys. YETI KING -- This rare enemy will only appear on stages when you see the "smells like wet fur" warning at the beginning. Unlike his smaller brothers, this guy is violent. He'll actively come after you and his roar attack can knock you back if you're in front of him. He can also stomp the ground and cause multiple icicles to fall from the ceiling which can kill you instantly! Best to keep your distance. FREE ITEMS: Taking out the Yeti King will get you not one, but three free items for your trouble: the Compass, a pair of Spike Shoes, and some ropes. He has a ton of health, so bombs are the ideal method for killing him. UFO -- Flying saucers can be a real pain. They fly around fairly slowly but will send down a beam attack when you walk underneath them. This beam will chip away platforms so you may not be as safe as you think. If attacked, their the ship will come crashing to the ground and explode on impact. Very, very dangerous. BAD IDEA: You may still be carrying a boomerang from your adventures in the Jungle -- DON'T throw it at UFOs. The body of the ship may get caught up with the boomerang and come back in your face. I'm speaking from experience here; this is one of the most embarrassing ways to die. ALIEN -- When a UFO is going down, the alien pilot will eject and deploy a parachute. Once he lands, he'll scuttle back and forth on platforms, occasionally hopping. He's not very aggressive, but he is very small. ALIEN LORD -- If the game warns you of a "psychic presence", that means the Alien Lord is in the house. He'll be located at the end of a trap-laden hallway and will send out purple orbs with his crazy mind powers. He also sits behind a protective barrier that can reflect anything, which means killing him will take some skill. FREE ITEM: Hidden in the wall right behind this boss is a beautiful, sparkling Jetpack. This item alone makes the Ice Caves a cake walk, but you'll have to get past the Alien Lord to get it. MAMMOTH -- How did these guys even get in here? The mammoth will pace back and forth on platforms and shoot out ice blasts at regular intervals. If frozen, any attack can kill you instantly, much like the Freeze Ray. The shame of it is, the time it takes to thaw is longer than the amount of time between his shots, so you can get caught in a freeze loop that will ultimately lead to getting crushed. Normal jumps won't hurt him, but Spike Shoes, bombs, and proximity mines will. LEVEL FOUR - TEMPLE You're almost there. Just a few more AAAAHHHHHH!!! The Temple is scary. The enemies that live here require some serious planning and considerations to deal with safely, and the traps are no different. More so than ever, almost any mistake here will most likely be your end. Hopefully you've acquired a bunch of sweet items along your journey to assist you in surviving this Egyptian hell house. A surplus of bombs will serve you well here. The Temple can be quite claustrophobic, and the things that lie in the negative space can make walking even 10 feet an issue. Avoiding danger should be your top priority (when isn't it?), so sometimes using a bomb to blow out the floor is the best answer to "How the fuck am I supposed to deal with this shit?" If you follow the necessary steps and have the necessary items, you can open the golden door on 4-2. This leads to the City of Gold, one of your last stops on the way to Hell. Obviously, it's totally optional and is not required to "beat" the game, so maybe save this challenge for later. Since level 4-4 is always dedicated to the Olmec battle, you'll only have to survive three actual levels of the Temple to get to him. I guess that's "good" news, but the fight itself is no picnic. Good luck, adventurer! NEW TRAPS - TEMPLE CRUSH TRAP -- Sneaky pricks. These blocks can crush you (and any items it picks up along the way) against walls, floors and ceilings, hence the name. They're extremely dangerous. Keep a watchful eye out for their eye (they have an eye carved on them) and do your best to stay away from them. If you get stuck in a situation where you absolutely have to deal with them, either quickly dodge their slide attack or blow them up with a sticky bomb before they notice you. PRO TIP: Once you get used to dodging them, you can actually use crush blocks to help you clear out long hallways of enemies. Since mummies and other jerks tend to gang up in these tight spaces, anything that helps thin out their numbers is a win in my book. CEILING TRAP -- This trap only appears when you attempt to steal the golden Idol from the Temple. Plan ahead before you disturb the Idol and bomb out an escape route. If you get locked in with these things, there's nothing you can do but welcome their warm embrace. (That means they'll kill you.) LAVA -- I bet you had a feeling this was going to show up sooner or later. I shouldn't have to tell you how lava is and how it works, but I will. It's hot, molten rock that will burn you alive. It can be found in pools all over the Temple, and will periodically spew out fireballs that will transform into magma men and fuck your shit up. It can also burn your ropes if they get too close. All around, nasty, nasty stuff. Bomb out the walls or bottom of the pool to drain the lava. NEW ENEMIES - TEMPLE HAWK MAN -- This shirtless fellow sports a bright red bird mask and matching underpants. If he sees you, he'll start hopping around and try to throw you. Sneak up behind him and knock him out, or jump on his head before he spots you. CROC MAN -- This portly guy wears a vibrant, green crocodile mask and rocks some blue undies. Upon seeing you, he'll act exactly like a hawk man and furiously hop around. When hit with an attack, he'll teleport to a nearby location and continue to go nuts. It'll take quite a few hits to put him down for good. He's one of the more unpredictable enemies, so avoidance is recommended. MAGMA MAN -- Man, this guy is on fire! (Wow, that's just bad.) Anyway, yeah, this guy is literally made of fire. If you pay close attention to the surface of the lava, you'll see him poke his head up just before he leaps out. Once he lands on solid ground he'll start walking around, just acting casual, like he's not engulfed in flames. Occasionally he'll bust out a somersault just to show off. But there's a reason he's so carefree -- he knows that none of your attacks will hurt him. The only thing that will stop him is a crush trap, but you can't count on one being around when you need it. Seeing as there are no water guns in Spelunky, just stay away from him until he eventually evaporates. PRO TIP: If you can, drain the lava pit to prevent them from spawning. SCORPION FLY -- In the air, the scorpion fly doesn't pose too much of a threat. After you hit him once to knock his wings off, though, he will revert to the attack patterns of a regular scorpion -- which means he'll be a mean sonofabitch. Best to whip him again just as he wakes up to finish him off. Just make sure you're standing behind him when he wakes up. MUMMY -- I always assumed mummies would be frail but these guys are pretty buff. Tall, too. If you get anywhere near them, they'll turn towards you and continue to vomit out clouds of insects until you back off. The bugs don't look like much but don't let them touch you! They do crazy amounts of damage and can quickly take you out. The mummy is also prone to walking off ledges, so watch your head if there's one above you. As with most big enemies, regular jumps won't affect the mummy. Spike shoes and bombs are the way to go. PRO TIP: When the mummy does the vomit attack, green liquid spews out of his mouth onto the floor. If he happens to be near a ledge, you can actually catch this liquid with the Kapala and turn it into health! Depending on how much time you spend getting puked on (he'll keep going forever as long as you're near him), you could accumulate massive amounts of health -- I'm talking over 50 hearts, easy. Absolutely amazing. ANUBIS -- This floating mini-boss can always be found on 4-1. The slow-moving, purple orbs he attacks you with can travel through walls, but will eventually disappear. Sticky bombs (as always) are great for an easy kill, but it will take two of them. If you want to preserve bombs, you can try to lead him near tiki traps. Letting the environment work for you is a beautiful thing. FREE ITEM: The Scepter that Anubis carries can be grabbed after you kill him, as long as it doesn't fall into lava. This is a crazy (crazy dangerous) weapon and one of the required Hell items. It'd be even cooler if he dropped his jackal mask. I want to wear that thing. OLMEC -- Olmec is huge, made of gold and the only thing standing between you and absolute happiness. Don't let him keep that from you. Avoid his stomps and bait him into destroying the floor, layer by layer. Your ultimate goal is to get him to fall into the lava pit at the bottom, which will open the door to the exit. It's not easy and everyone seems to have a different strategy. Just remember that there's no time limit so you can take as long as you want. Just don't get stomped! PRO TIP: The simplest way to bring this giant down involves using a lot of bombs. Lead him to one side of the map, then run to the other side so he won't follow you. Then (carefully) use your bombs to blast an Olmec-sized column all the way down to the lava. Hopefully you have a rope or two left over so you can climb out! Then go over and get Olmec's attention and lead him to the opening. With a little luck, he'll fall right in and you can prance your happy ass over to the door and get the hell out. LEVEL 5 - HELL Hell is the optional "final" level of Spelunky which introduces a whole bunch of new horrors. Just getting to its entrance is an enormous feat of skill that will require every ounce of patience and courage you have in your body. If my 2,500 deaths didn't tip you off, getting to Hell can become an obsession. Most of the information you need to get there is located in the Special Items section. Just know that the large majority of Spelunky players will never see Hell, nor try to get there, so even trying basically makes you an extreme hardass. You can do it... maybe! THANK YOU FOR READING Seriously, thanks. Whether you read this entire monstrosity or just skimmed a few sections, I appreciate it. It took longer than I expected but I enjoyed the heck out of it. I hope it helps you in your future Spelunky exploits, or at the very least gave you a chuckle. I'll reiterate what I said in the intro -- this game is absolutely incredible. Easily one of my all-time favorites. The controls are spot on, the style is fantastic and the replayability is off the charts. More importantly, it respects you as a player. Spelunky won't hold your hand, but it won't stab you in the back either. It's difficult and fair -- the perfect combination. Good luck!
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[Here's Part 2 of Dtoid community blogger Corduroy Turtle's Spelunky Mega Guide. Click here for Part 1! --Mr Andy Dixon] Spelunky is an absolutely fantastic game, but it's not particularly friendly to newcomers. I won't name...

Spelunky Mega Guide: Everything you need to know

Aug 13 // Corduroy Turtle
PART 1: THE BASICS Spelunky is a platformer with roguelike elements. This means it features randomized levels, items and enemies, and of course the dreaded threat of permadeath. Each time you die, you'll have to start your adventure over from the very beginning with nothing but the standard equipment and a scowl. But that's okay! Treat every life in Spelunky as a learning experience because the knowledge you gain from each death is far more valuable than the progress and gems that are lost in the process. Like any platformer, you'll find yourself running and jumping a lot -- running into arrow traps and jumping onto spikes, mostly. Things can go wrong very quickly in Spelunky, and it's almost always due to carelessness. Therefore, walking is sometimes the best idea, especially when heading towards an area you haven't seen yet. Shit, crawl if you have to. That being said, you can't just lollygag along forever -- you have roughly 2.5 minutes to find the exit to each level before a giant ghost shows up to hurry you along. This guy will kill you instantly if you so much as touch him, so stay out of his way! Run!! Though the level layouts are different every time, the enemies and traps that populate these levels function on a strict set of rules. It may seem chaotic at first, but once you figure out exactly what those rules are, you can manipulate them to work for you. You know that thing Robert Downey Jr. does during the boxing scene in the first Sherlock movie, where he plans out a series of moves and knows all the reactions in his head before he even throws a punch? It's sort of like that, and it's awesome. STARTING EQUIPMENT This is the life and equipment you'll start each game with, along with some basic tips to get you started. Learning how to properly wield the whip and ration bombs and ropes early on will serve you well in later stages, so get some practice in. This stuff is your bread and butter. HEARTS -- You start each game with four hearts, which represent four hit points. It's not a lot, believe me. Almost everything in this game does one full heart of damage (there are no half hearts in Spelunky) and some do two or more. Even worse, some traps (like landing on spikes or being crushed by a stone block) can kill you instantly, regardless of how much health you have. Don't get too confident! There are a handful of ways to increase your health, but they aren't easy. Carry a Damsel to the exit of a level and she'll reward you with a kiss upon completing the stage, which will net you one extra heart. What a sweetheart. Can I have two? (No.) If you come across a huge beehive in the Jungle and can kill the Queen Bee, she'll drop a lump of Royal Jelly, which gives you an extra four hearts when you pick it up! There is an item you can purchase for $50,000 in the Black Market (a secret area located in the Jungle) which will resurrect you with four hearts if you happen to die. This item has a much greater purpose, however... You may also come across a Kissing Booth which lets you pay for kisses. It's not cheap, but can be a big help if you find yourself down to one or two hearts. PRO TIP: The real secret to getting tons of health is the Kapala, earned by sacrificing two Damsels (or enough bodies) to the goddess Kali. This skull cup allows you to collect the blood drops from your fallen enemies and turn them into health. One full cup will get you one heart, and there is no limit on how many times you can do this as long as you keep killing. WHIP -- The whip serves as your primary attack but takes some practice to get comfortable with due to a slightly delayed reaction after pressing the button. Thankfully you'll have plenty of time to practice with it, because it's the only item you'll always have with you no matter what. It's most effective as a forward attack but can also hit things directly above your head, as well as behind you, if they're close enough. The tip of the whip can inflict damage for longer than the sound effect implies. Keep this in mind when you're trying to whip something without getting too close. You can also slightly nudge yourself forward or back during the animation. The whip will break many objects in the game (pots, crates, skulls, etc.) but it can also set off traps. If you whip an explosive box, it will indeed blow up in your face. If you whip the shopkeeper, he will absolutely shoot you in the face without hesitation. Be careful! PRO TIP: A well-timed whip can slap an incoming arrow right out of the air! Yes, it feels fucking awesome. The timing is somewhat tricky but it's an invaluable technique once you master it. ROPES -- You start with four ropes in your inventory, but you can find more lying around in crates and in Shops. Like ladders, they are climbable, allowing you to reach areas that may be too high or too low. When you deploy a rope, it fires straight up and attaches to the wall after it reaches a certain distance, unless of course it hits the ceiling first. To maximize how far you can climb, try deploying the rope at the height of a jump instead of from a standing position. The added height can often mean the difference between reaching valuable supplies or getting out of a pit without wasting further resources. Ropes are great for descending as well. If you deploy the rope while crouching right in front of a pit, the rope will attach to the space directly in front of you and unfurl down into the hole, allowing you safely climb down without risking fall damage. Like anything else that moves, ropes can set off arrow traps. It's important to note that a falling arrow will do just as much damage as one that's fired directly at your face, so get the heck out of the way! Firing guns while hanging from a rope will negate their usual recoil, which is handy in certain situations. PRO TIP: Though I don't recommend it as a common tactic, ropes have the ability to damage enemies directly above you. When fired, the claw at the end of the rope will kill weaker enemies (like spiders, bats, etc.) until it attaches to the wall. If you have no other options, a quick rope toss can sometimes save your ass. BOMBS -- You'll start each life with four bombs, but can find plenty more in crates and Shops as well. Bombs are a precious commodity in Spelunky, and vital to your success. They're great for destroying walls, unearthing treasures and creating shortcuts. They're also an extremely powerful weapon, killing most enemies in one hit. Of course, they can also kill you in one hit, so be careful to stay out of their blast radius. When bombs explode, they will either destroy or propel anything within a two space radius. Knowing the exact range is crucial when figuring out how many bombs it will take to blast through a wall to an area you want to access. If you find the Paste, all your bombs will stick to any surface they land on, including enemies. This is very handy for when you need to destroy a ceiling or a specific part of a wall, but also great for getting the drop on a giant enemy before they notice you. If you're crouching when you deploy a bomb, you'll place it on the ground in front of you. Often times this is the best way to lay bombs because non-sticky bombs tend to bounce around when thrown and are tough to predict. If you come across any Shops selling bombs early on, it's not a bad idea to grab what you can afford. Not only do prices increase the further you go, but you're not guaranteed a Shop will even have bombs when you really need them down the line. Stock up! PRO TIP: If you're feeling brave, you can pick it up a bomb and toss it before it explodes. This technique is vital when using non-sticky bombs to blow up sections of the ceiling or wall that are out of reach. Of course, it's also easy to waste bombs or blow yourself up, so be extremely careful! PRO TIP: There's a way to blow up slightly more surface area by exploiting the grid that Spelunky platforms are built on. Placing a bomb on the "seam" between two blocks will get you the most bang for your bomb, blowing a hole two spaces wide, instead of one. PRO TIP: Similar to the above tip, after you place a bomb in a corner, quickly pick it up, push your character's face into the corner, and place the bomb as close to the wall as you can. This little nudge will get the bomb to explode on the seam, causing more spaces to be destroyed, which may save you bombs or unearth more treasure. FOUND ITEMS These are things that you'll find lying around all over the place. Most of them are more useful than they initially appear so keep your eye out for them! (This section does not include a number of rare items; those are located in the "Special Items" section below.) ROCKS -- The most common throwable item you'll find around. Drop them over ledges to safely set off arrow traps or throw them to kill some of the weaker enemies. They never break from overuse and they're lying everywhere, so always try to keep one with you if you aren't already carrying something more important. Thrown rocks can bounce off walls and come right back to hit you, which will take away one heart and possibly knock you into even more danger. POTS -- Pots are extremely fragile and will break if whipped or thrown. They may contain nothing, treasure, or an enemy inside, so treat them with caution. Throwing pots rather than whipping them is a good habit to get into. This way, if a Scorpion busts out you can approach it from a safe distance. CHESTS -- Chests contain a random amount of treasure (obviously). Once opened, the empty chest can be used to set off traps or thrown to kill close enemies. Every once in awhile there will be an active bomb inside the chest. Get out of range before it explodes! CRATES -- These wooden boxes are guaranteed to contain at least one random item. Most often you'll get ropes or bombs, but there's always a chance you could get something more valuable like clothing, gear or even weapons! They are an oasis in a desert of pain. BAD IDEA: Even though they are extremely tempting, don't exhaust your supplies just to reach one crate. It's very unwise to use your last bomb to get to a crate when there may only be a few ropes or a parachute inside. IDOLS -- These golden statues can be found in almost every area of the game, and can be taken to the exit or sold in the Shop for a decent chunk of change. The exact amount increases the further you go, making them much more enticing the further you get. Think twice before you decide to pick it up or move it, however, because doing so may activate a deadly trap! THE MINES - A massive boulder will bust out of the wall and barrel towards you (think Raiders of the Lost Ark), crushing everything in its path. Seeing as this Idol is only worth $5,000, I can't really recommend bothering with it. The destruction the boulder causes is immense and it will most likely destroy more than $5,000 in treasure that's lying around. Not to mention there's a good chance it will piss off the Shopkeeper. JUNGLE - This one is actually pretty fair game. The Idol will be located on a bridge over a pool of water, usually filled with Piranhas. Once grabbed, the bridge will begin to collapse, so just jump for one of the exits and you'll be home free. GRAVEYARD - This variation of the Jungle has its own unique version -- a Crystal Idol -- along with its own unique consequence. When you pick it up, a Ghost will immediately spawn and chase you down until you exit the level. Since the Ghost is fairly slow, this isn't a terribly bad idea, so long as you know where the exit is and you've cleared out any enemies that may be in your path. Grab it and go! ICE CAVES - Like the Jungle, this one is pretty easy, but you still have to move fast. The icy platform it sits on will melt away if you dilly-dally for too long, and the Spikes below will not give you a safe landing either. Make sure you have an escape plan before you get yourself into trouble. TEMPLE - Oof, this one's a doozy. If the Idol is disturbed, doors on either side of the room will slam shut, and the spiked ceiling (or ceiling trap) will begin to lower. If you have spare bombs, carefully blow up the floor (ideally before you've touched the Idol) to give yourself a quick escape route. TEMPLE - The Temple actually has a second Idol trap that may show up instead, but this one offers you a choice: do you save the Damsel or grab the Idol? Both things rest on a small bridge above a very deep pit. Grab one and immediately jump for the nearby ledge to avoid the collapsing bridge. If you screw that up and find yourself falling, hug the walls in hopes that you can grab a ledge before you reach the lava pit at the bottom. HELL - This one is protected by a bunch of spike balls. Good luck! You've got some serious balls (...) if you go after this one so late in the game. As RuPaul would say, "Don't fuck it up." SMALL CREATURES -- Wait, there are harmless creatures in Spelunky? Surprisingly, yes. Each of the four main stages has a unique animal or insect that you can find scurrying around. There are rats in the Mines, tiny frogs in the Jungle, little penguins in the Ice Caves, and grasshoppers in the Temple. If you can catch one, the only thing they're good for (other than being super cute) is setting off arrow traps. TORCHES -- If you are unfortunate enough to land yourself in a dark level, you will be given a torch to light your way. They must be carried, which means you can't use your whip or carry a weapon at the same time. You can toss it in an emergency, but you'll be stuck in the dark until you can track it down. You'll find unlit torches attached to the walls along the way, which can be lit for a little gold, but not removed. If you can't see the bottom of a hole you need to drop into (and you don't want to waste a rope) you can drop the torch down to shed some light on what horrors lie below. Obviously, if a torch is submerged in water, the flame with go out. You'll have to take the stick back to a previously lit wall torch to reignite it. SCARABS -- Another thing only found in dark levels is the harmless scarab. They're golden and give off a bit of light, but don't attack them! Simply touching these guys while they're alive will score you a few thousand gold! Definitely worth the trouble. DAMSELS -- Okay, look, I feel bad including damsels in the "Found Items" category but that's how you have to think of them if you are going to make it in Spelunky! If you see them as living creatures that need saving, you're more likely to waste precious resources in order to do so, and possibly put yourself in greater danger in the process. (I'm going to refer to the damsels as "she" but it should be noted that you can swap out the lady for a beefcake dude or a derpy pug. Not that you asked, but I'm a pug man myself.) A Damsel won't avoid danger or protect herself. If you set her down, she will continuously walk in a direction until she either falls in a hole, kills herself or hits a wall, in which she'll turn around and keep on going. Stick her in a shallow pit so she stays out of trouble. They can be thrown to kill small enemies (bats, snakes, spiders) or break pots without taking damage, assuming they don't bounce into a spike pit afterwards. Funnily enough, if you get shot by an arrow trap while holding a damsel, she'll take the damage instead of you! Smart thinking, Spelunky guy! It should be noted that a second arrow shot will indeed kill her, so use this tactic sparingly. PRO TIP: Placing a live Damsel on a bloody altar will sacrifice her body and reward you with a random item! If you manage to sacrifice a second Damsel (or enough random bodies), you'll get a special item called the Kapala which can be filled with the blood of your enemies to regain health! This item is immensely valuable and can grant you tons of health if used properly. Collect those blood droplets! SHOP TYPES Shops can show up in just about every level of the game, and will either have items for sale, or offer a variety of paid services. They're always run by a Shopkeeper, who's a very sensitive fellow. If you want to stay on his good side, don't steal, blow something up too close to his Shop, or try to attack him. He only has two modes: calm dude and crazy fucking shotgun demon. Even if you survive his wrath the first time, there are long term consequences... ITEM SHOP -- This shop will have four random items for sale. Depending on what type of shop it is, the items may have a similar theme. Some will feature a bunch of Bomb Bags, others will may only carry different types of clothing or gear. Choose wisely because money ain't cheap! Stealing. Don't lie, you were thinking about it. Like I mentioned above, there are some huge consequences for doing so, but there are easy ways to go about it. If he has a weapon for sale (the Shotgun or Freeze Ray work best) just pick it up and blast him. Just make sure he's dead before you start looting the Shop, because he has a surprising amount of health. The guy is a beast. My other stealing tip involves the Jetpack. This thing is expensive, and sometimes it will show up before you can afford it, but it's soooo good. If you're a dirty thief and you just can't wait, grab it and run out the door. As soon as you exit, you'll automatically equip the Jetpack and can make an aerial escape, hopefully without getting shot in the back. KISSING BOOTH -- This version of the Shop features a Damsel who's ready to plant as many life-giving smooches on you as you can afford, but they aren't cheap. You can technically grab the Damsel and run out the door, though I wouldn't recommend it. At the end of the day, is one extra heart or possible sacrifice really worth all the pain that an army of angry Shopkeepers will bring down on you? (That's a rhetorical question, by the way.) HIRED HANDS -- This shop features an AI partner that you can "hire" to "help" you. Don't ever, ever do that. They're complete morons, and there's a good chance you'll get stuck in the crossfire of one of their stupid attacks. But if you don't believe me, hey, go for it. PRO TIP: If there's an Altar on the same level, here's a better idea -- hire yourself a friend, carry him safely to the Altar, and offer his unconscious body to Kali. Since he gains you the same amount of favor as a Damsel, you'll be that much closer to earning the Kapala. WHEEL OF CHANCE -- The giant, colorful wheel inside this shop makes it sort of hard to miss. If you've got some money, you can take a few spins and try to win the item that sits behind the prize door. There's also a big money spot on the wheel, which is nice too. Just don't spend too much time gambling or the Ghost will show up to crash the party. BAD IDEA: If luck isn't on your side, you can use Bombs or the Maddock to "claim" your prize, but the Shopkeeper will consider this cheating. He's very particular about the rules. BLACK MARKET -- This isn't just a "shop", it's an entire level full of shops. There will always be an Ankh for sale on the far right of the stage, as well as a Wheel of Chance on the bottom level. The other five Shops are random and can carry just about anything. Walking in here while you are branded a terrorist is... intense. PRO TIP: Feel free to file this under "bad idea" instead. I hate to encourage stealing, but the Black Market is almost too tempting. If you have a Shotgun (or if there's one for sale on the top level), you can take a shot at robbing the place. Before you go nuts, it's good idea to bomb away some of the platforms along the left hand side. This will funnel all the angry Shopkeepers to the bottom level, which usually features a bunch of spikes and tiki traps. That'll help thin out their numbers while you loot the shops, and make getting to the exit that much "easier". CLOTHING & GEAR These items can be purchased from shops, found in crates, earned by killing certain enemies, or received as gifts for sacrificing Damsels. They grant your character various passive and enhanced abilities which stack on top of each other, vastly altering your character's skill set and giving you a better shot at survival. Prices fluctuate greatly depending on what stage you're on so I won't bother listing them here. COMPASS -- This will cause a red arrow to appear on the screen which will point you towards the exit. It's especially helpful for dark levels and speed runs. PASTE -- This jar of glue will permanently transform all of your bombs into sticky bombs. They'll stick to walls and enemies, which will makes most scenarios much easier. However, dropping bombs down small holes becomes nearly impossible. FREE ITEM: You can nab one by killing a Giant Spider in the Mines. SPRING SHOES -- Wearing these will double your maximum jump height, allowing you to reach higher ledges and leap over larger gaps. FREE ITEM: Killing the Giant Frog in the Jungle may cause a pair to drop about half of the time. SPIKE SHOES -- These increase your overall stomp damage, which allows you to kill some of the beefier enemies in one shot, as well as damage big enemies (Giant Frogs, Mammoths, Mummies, etc.) who are impervious to regular jump damage. They also keep you from slipping around on ice once you reach frosty depths of the Ice Caves. FREE ITEM: The Yeti King (a somewhat rare spawn in the Ice Caves) will drop a free pair if you kill him. CLIMBING GLOVE -- This green hand grants you the ability to stick to any vertical surface. You can shimmy up walls or just hang out and catch your breath. However, things get a little more complicated when you're trying to make a quick escape and you keep sticking to every surface you touch. It's definitely a great item, but it took me a long, long time to get comfortable with it. It works great in tandem with the Jetpack because it makes any vertical surface a quick refueling spot. PITCHER'S MITT -- This crazy item greatly increases your throwing strength to the point where any item thrown will ignore gravity and fly in a perfectly straight line until it comes in contact with something. Combined with the Paste, bomb throws become deadly accurate. The only downside is it can be a little too strong at times. Sorry, Damsels! SPECTACLES -- These glasses allow you to see gems and items hidden within the walls; great for treasure hunting with the Mattock. They also let you see slightly better in dark levels. PARACHUTE -- This one-time-use item will save you from taking fall damage by automatically deploying if you've dropped too far. It's nice to have just in case but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it. CAPE -- Love this thing. The Cape is like your own personal parachute that can be activated or deactivated at will by pressing the jump button. It makes descending a breeze and greatly increases your horizontal jumping distance. On top of that, you can lower yourself onto spikes without getting impaled! I just learned about this the other day and it blew my mind. This game is so freaking cool. FREE ITEM: If you can kill a Vampire (found in the Graveyard variation of the Jungle stage, as well as Hell), you can don his majestic yellow cape for zero dollars. JETPACK -- Simply put, this thing is the best. This amazing piece of technology lets you fly around even the trickiest levels with ease. The Jetpack has limited amount of fuel (using it in short bursts helps) so you can't stay airborne indefinitely. Luckily it refills itself whenever you land or grab a ledge, so make sure to make frequent pit stops. FREE ITEM: If you come across an Alien Lord in the Ice Caves, blow up the wall behind him, strap on one of this blue beauty and take to the skies! ANKH -- This magical artifact can only be found in the Black Market (a secret level hidden somewhere in the Jungle) for the low, low price of $50,000. Why is it so expensive? Upon death, you will be resurrected back at the beginning of the level with 4 hearts! However, since it destroys itself in the process, it can only be used once. The Ankh is also special because it's one of the items required to gain access to Hell. Not for the faint of heart! WEAPONS & TOOLS Like the gear above, these can be found for sale in shops or inside crates that are scattered around. Unlike the gear, however, these items must be carried. Since you can only carry one item at a time, things can get complicated pretty quick. Still, the added range and attack power some of them provide can make your life a lot easier. MACHETE -- This melee weapon is more powerful than the whip and cuts through pesky spiderwebs with ease. SHOTGUN -- Arguably the best weapon in the game. It's packs a punch and (like all guns in Spelunky) has unlimited ammo. Don't get too trigger happy, though! The pellets that travel off screen could possibly hit the Shopkeeper, kill a Damsel, or set off an arrow trap. Besides that, the recoil could possibly put you in danger, too. Each shot sends your character flying back one space, but you can counteract this a bit by holding forward when you shoot. FREE ITEM: You'll find this out sooner or later, but if you piss off the Shopkeeper, he'll pull one of these out and come after you like nobody's business. If you somehow manage to kill him, you can snag a Shotgun for "free". (You'll be branded a terrorist for the remainder of that playthrough and ALL of the Shopkeepers will try to kill you on sight, making the Black Market absolutely insane. Oh, and there'll be an extra Shopkeeper guarding the exit of each level, too. Have fun.) BOOMERANG -- This throwing weapon will (almost always) return to you when thrown. It tears through large groups of enemies and can be thrown diagonally, as well. Be sure not to whip as it's heading back or you'll miss the catch. FREE ITEM: Tiki men will patrol the Jungle with one of these in hand. Bop them on the head and claim it for yourself. WEB GUN -- This blue "gun" fires spiderwebs, but has pretty crappy range. The webs can be used for catching small enemies (making them easier to kill) or for stopping arrows in their tracks. It's also possible to shimmy up a wall by leaping from web to web, though this is sort of an awkward and inconsistent way to travel. The webs are not permanent and will disappear fairly quickly. FREEZE RAY -- This yellow gun will freeze enemies in a block of ice for a short period of time. Whipping or hopping on the ice blocks will cause them to shatter, killing whatever was inside instantly. If you freeze an enemy in mid air (like a bat or a spinner spider) they will fall and shatter on their own. TELEPORTER -- While holding it, you can teleport a short distance up, down, left, or right. But beware, it is very dangerous to use, and if you accidentally teleport into a solid object (like a wall, for instance), you will die instantly. CAMERA -- This glorified flash bulb will knock most enemies out for a short while, but it has some interesting uses. It can kill Bats, Skeletons, Jiang Shi, and Vampires in one shot (making it especially useful in Hell). Heads up -- the Shopkeeper does NOT like having his picture taken! Big surprise. MADDOCK -- Ah, the pickaxe, a treasure hunter's best friend. This will let you to hack your way through just about any surface, gaining you access to walled-off rooms, opening up shortcuts, or uncovering hidden gems. It will break eventually, so make every swing count. It cannot be swung in mid air, however, if you press jump right after you swing it, you should be able to carve out a spot one block higher than usual. Very handy in certain situations. FREE ITEM: If you find yourself in the Snake Pit variant of the Mines, head to the bottom of the deepest pit (which is always guarded by four snakes) and bomb the land directly below the two red gems. SPECIAL ITEMS These items have super special abilities and require extra effort to obtain; you'll never find them in shops. If you want to preserve some of the mystery of Spelunky, I recommend that you skip this section entirely. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!! CRYSKNIFE -- A unique item replaces your standard Whip and can kill any creature (save for the two main bosses) in one hit! Pretty goddamn metal. It can be found at the bottom of an Acid Pool deep inside the belly of The Worm (a secret area located in the Jungle and the Ice Caves). PLASMA CANNON -- This crazy weapon fires explosive rounds (each one as powerful as a bomb) and has the biggest recoil of any gun in the game - two full spaces. Very dangerous to wield, but oh so satisfying. You can get one by defeating the monstrous Alien Queen who resides on the top floor of the Mothership (an alternate exit in the Ice Caves). If that sounds too hard, it's been known to pop out of crates on extremely rare occasions. Cross your fingers. SHIELD -- This item is unlike anything else in the game. While held, it basically makes you impervious to forward attacks, and will crush almost anything that gets between you and a solid object - this includes small enemies, rocks, treasure, etc. The only way to get it is to go to the Haunted Castle (the entrance is hidden below the king's grave on the Graveyard variation of the Jungle) and kill the Black Knight. No easy feat! ROYAL JELLY -- This treat will net you four extra hearts! Look for the giant beehive (which sometimes spawns in the Jungle) and kill the Queen Bee to get a taste of this delectable red lump for yourself. KAPALA - This cup, made from an empty skull, slowly fills with any blood droplets you come in contact with. Once full, you will be awarded an extra heart! This can be done indefinitely, so the potential health that can be gained from the Kapala makes it one of the most sought after items in the game. There's also a super special trick in the Temple that can gain you massive amounts of health, but I'll describe that in the Temple section below instead of spoiling it here. The easiest way to obtain one (which I described above) is by sacrificing two living Damsels to Kali. You can also sacrifice dead Damsels and other creatures (living or dead) until you manage to please Kali enough. However, dealing with living creatures is risky as heck, and sacrificing dead ones can take a lot longer. UDJAT EYE - Yeah, okay, this one doesn't require too much effort, but its ultimate purpose isn't immediately obvious. On top of letting you see gems and items hidden in the walls (like the Spectacles) it serves as a sort of dowsing rod for the hidden entrance to the Black Market once you get to the Jungle. In the Mines, a KEY and a LOCKED CHEST will always spawn somewhere on either 1-2, 1-3 or 1-4. Put them together to gain the powers of the Udjat Eye. HEDJET - Another mega secret item. Wielding the Sceptre while wearing this will grant you access to the City of Gold, where another required Hell item awaits. Wait, you don't know what that means? Then you shouldn't be reading this! If you have the Ankh in your possession, look for a giant blue Moai statue on 3-2 or 3-3. Found it? Okay, kill yourself. Yes, do it. The Ankh will respawn you inside the Moai statue in front of a secret door and drop the Hedjet on top of you! Don't leave too quickly! It's possible to rush through the exit before the Hedjet has completely fallen, so don't do that! You'll never forgive yourself, and everyone will laugh at you, myself included. SCEPTRE -- Man, you're in deep now. This crazy weapon fires purple orbs that seek out life and end it. Although it is technically a weapon, the attack is so unpredictable and dangerous that there's a good chance it could backfire and kill you! Instead of shooting it off like an idiot, why not combine it with the Hedjet and open the golden door on 4-2 which leads to the City of Gold? As I mentioned above, this is part of the checklist of items that is required for making your way to Hell, so it's important. On level 4-1 of the Temple, you'll come across a not-so-nice fellow named Anubis who will float around and fire slow-moving, purple orbs at you. If you can kill him, he'll drop the Sceptre. Just make sure he's not floating above a Lava Pit or it may fall in and be destroyed! That's a major boner killer, let me tell you. BOOK OF THE DEAD -- Once activated, this creepy face book is used to literally open the door to Hell (located just above the lava somewhere in Olmec's lair). Obtaining it, let alone properly using it, will require all of your Spelunky skills and a fair amount of luck. Near the bottom of the super secret City of Gold, you see the Book of the Dead sitting in a walled-off room. You'll have to bomb your way in, so make sure you save at least one for this purpose. Picking it up will cause Anubis II and his army of Skeletons to appear. If you don't kill him here, he'll follow you into Olmec's lair and continue to pester you. Once he's dead, the Book will come to life... [REDACTED]'S CAPE -- This is a special Hell item. You'll have to earn this one for yourself to see what it does! ...or you can cheat and look it up, I guess. (Weak, dude.) [REDACTED]'S AMULET -- Another special Hell item. It's really fucking cool, too. You won't even believe it. STAY TUNED... And that's it for part 1! Come back tomorrow to see a level-by-level guide, including tips for defeating every enemy and avoiding every trap.
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