Characters / Spelunky

The Spelunker

A heroic (supposedly) Indiana Jones lookalike who ventures into the caves in search of treasure and fame.
  • Captain Ersatz: Of Indiana Jones.
  • Fan Nickname: invoked"Indie," "Spelunky," "Iowa Jack"... although Derek Yu seems to favor "Spelunky Man."
  • Gag Nose: Sports a large, red clown nose.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: It's up to the player, but there are some serious rewards to be gained by committing wanton murder and human sacrifice.
  • Official Couple: Spelunky 2 reveals that he marries 'Yellow.'

Other Spelunkers

In the remakes, various other people can challenge the labyrinth seeking their own fortunes. All of them are functionally exactly the same as the original Spelunky Guy.

  • Color-Coded Characters: Each Spelunker's outfit is a signature shade.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Aside from the Spelunky Guy (who wears orange), the three starting Spelunkers are 'Blue', 'Red' and 'Green'.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Yang, whom you control during the Tutorial levels, as well as 'Yellow', The Eskimo, The Round Boy, and The Golden Monk.
  • Hair Decs: 'Green' wears a bow in her curly hair. The Round Girl has a hairband.
  • Nice Hat: 'Van Helsing' wears a top hat. Also 'Lime''s sombrero.

The Damsel

A blonde woman in a red dress who needs rescuing. In the original version she can be unlocked as a playable character.
  • Intimate Healing: If rescued, she gives the Spelunker a health-restoring kiss.
  • Too Dumb to Live: She sits and waits for rescue, even if she's standing two feet from the exit door. When panicked, she runs in one direction until she collides with a wall or dies. (Of course, when you're playing as the Damsel, the Spelunker is the stupid one...)

The Tunnel Man

The Spelunker meets him in the tunnels between areas. If given enough money, he'll build a shortcut to each area. In the original version, he can be unlocked as a playable character; he starts with little health and no ropes or bombs, but has an unbreakable mattock that can dig through walls.
  • Magikarp Power: As a playable, he starts with only two health (as compared to the Spelunker's four) and no bombs or ropes, plus he can't perform jumping attacks. If he survives long enough to get his hands on some equipment and extra hearts, though, he becomes unstoppable.
  • Secret Character: And you'll need to be EXTREMELY skillful (and exceptionally lucky) in order to unlock him as a playable character in the original.
  • Tunnel King: What he does for a living, according to his description in the HD version's journal.

The Shopkeeper

A harmless old peddler of honest wares for a reasonable price.
  • Dirty Old Man: In the original, whipping a damsel in a kissing parlor would prompt him to say "Hey! Only I can do that!" before attacking.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Accidentally whip him? Shotgun blast to the face. Accidentally reroll a die in his gambling parlor? Shotgun blast to the face. Happen to be standing nearby when he or his store gets damaged? Shotgun blast to the face. Hell, you get blamed when they kill themselves. Or when they kill each other.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He has 20 HP to your 4, has greater speed, a higher jump, and comes armed with a shotgun, one of the most powerful weapons in the game.
  • Mugging the Monster: Getting Swallowed Whole by a man-eating plant is instantly deadly for the Spelunker. Shoppy just gets pissed off. Well, depending on how much health he has left.
  • Shoplift and Die: In a game filled with so many deadly things, it's telling that shoplifting is probably the most dangerous decision you can make.


Hindu goddess of death and change. Likes: blood sacrifice. Dislikes: defiled altars.


A giant, golden, Mesoamerican idol worshiped by the cultists and cavemen. He serves as the game's final boss.
  • All There in the Manual: In the original, his name can only be found in the source code of the game. Averted in the remake, where the tutorial character Yang referred it by name (as well as the area where he's fought now being called "Olmec's Lair", in addition for his journal entry calling him by that name).
  • Bad Boss: He starts the battle by killing one of his worshipers and injuring another.
  • Mook Maker: He occasionally launches three balls of energy that transform into enemies when they hit the ground.
  • Ring-Out Boss: You dodge his crushing attacks until he smashes his way through the bottom of the level. Bombs can help speed the process along.

The Walrus Lady

We don't... there can't... look at it.

The Ghost

A ghost that appears if you stick around on one level too long.
  • Collision Damage: His only attack, but it's a One-Hit Kill.
  • Easter Egg: Using the camera on the ghost freezes him in place for a second, and [[spoiler:turns him into a fat lady ghost during this small amount of time.
  • Mighty Glacier: He's not very fast, but his only attack is a One-Hit Kill.
  • One-Hit Kill: Did we mention that this is his only attack?
  • Stalked by the Bell: In the original, if you spend two minutes on a single level, the music becomes oddly distorted. After another half-minute, the Ghost appears from off-screen and slowly homes in on your location. In the remake, the music only becomes distorted right before the Ghost appeared, but he otherwise appears within the same amount of time as in Classic.

King Yama

Appears exclusively in the HD remake. The ruler of the quite literal Bonus Level Of Hell.