Unlike other games, none of these achievements are given to you without a fight.
You probably won't get most of them on your first attempt. You probably won't get most of them at all, but that's why they're called achievements. They will require serious patience, numerous playthroughs, a bit of luck and a lot of skill.
Note that while only one achievement explicitly requires a second, third, or fourth player, some are easier with extra players helping you out. All of the achievements are much easier with a friend.
So it Begins
Difficulty: Pretty easy, actually. The hardest part is realizing that paying fifteen bucks for an awesome game is a good decision. Well done for not being a miserly old cheapskate.
Details: All you have to do is complete the Tutorial cave. It's exactly the same every time, and there aren't too many hazards.
- Follow the prompts when you see them and don't go out of your way to collect the treasure - You only need to get to the exit, and there's nothing you particularly need from the shop.
Difficulty: Relatively simple.
Details: To unlock this, you need to complete the first four levels, getting to the tunnel where the Jungle starts. Once you're comfortable with the game, you should be able to get this far without too much trouble, but it may take you a few deaths.
- If all you want to do is unlock the achievement, you can be a bit more liberal with your bombs and ropes than you would usually be, as you don't need to worry about saving them for later.
- Most of the enemies in the Mines are fairly easy to avoid. Just look out for arrow traps and don't go running onto spikes.
- Don't bother with the Golden Idols. The boulders have a nasty tendency to go rolling into shops, and it's not worth risking angering the Shopkeepers for money you're probably not going to spend. Just focus on getting to the exit. And you can also do this co op
Details: This achievement requires you to complete the Jungle. Same deal as the mines, you just need to survive these 4 levels and get to the tunnel to the the Ice Caves.
The Jungle is trickier to navigate than the caves. The terrain is more difficult to overcome, as there tend to be more long falls and tall obstacles, not to mention all the fast enemies and instant-death traps.
- You can get this achievement if you take the shortcut to skip the mines, but you may wish to play through those levels anyway to earn items and Damsel kisses that will help you survive here.
- Just get to the exit. You don't need treasure. See that Crystal Skull? Keep walking.
- There are lots of enemies that you can sacrifice in the Jungle, but don't get greedy. You don't want to get cornered by the Ghost, and you're more likely to survive if you avoid enemies altogether, rather than attacking them for sacrifices.
- Read up on Tiki Traps. They're dangerous but can be easily avoided if you understand them.
- Don't enter the Worm. While it does replace two jungle levels, it's hard and you'll almost certainly die.
Difficulty: Tough, but you'll manage it.
Details: You need to complete the Ice Caves by getting to the tunnel to the Temple.
The Ice Caves are commonly considered to be easier than the Jungle, but they up the ante in that more of their dangers are instant kills.
The skills needed to beat the Ice Caves are a bit different than usual, as the terrain is so different. You actually need to learn to play a different game to be successful here.
- It helps a lot if you have the jetpack (or cape), the spike shoes, and the compass, so the ice caves become noticeably easier if you start the game from the beginning instead of using the shortcut. However, for getting this achievement, it's much, much easier and faster to start at the shortcut and just die a few times extra because you lack those items.
- Play conservatively. Take your time. Don't worry too much about the Ghost, these levels don't actually take much time to complete - the difficulty comes from all of the instant-death situations you can wind up in. There's actually very little standing in the way between you and the exit, so choose your route carefully, avoiding those Yeti and UFOs. Be aware that the Yetis are immune to your whip.
- Don't enter the Mothership. It always appears on level 3-4, but finishing through that exit means you'll have to survive the Bonus level, and then complete a new level 3-4 as well before you get the achievement. What's the point?
- Don't stick around trying to kill enemies, everything you'll find here is pretty tough and it's not worth the time wasted.
Difficulty: It will take many many tries, if you're even good enough at all.
If you really want it, you'll get there one day. You just have to BELIEVE.
Details: You get this achievement for completing the three levels of the Temple and defeating Olmec to win the game.
Difficulty: Extremely Difficult, Requires a lot of skill, patience, luck, and knowledge, But with practice, You will get it.
Details: You need to earn $500,000 in one life. Once you reach half a million, the achievement is given to you.
- You need to get good at the game before you try this. You'll earn more money when you are able to survive for longer, so if you can't make it past the first few levels you're not going to be able to grab this much treasure before you die.
- Rather than avoiding all shops and never spending any money, plan ahead and don't be afraid to make large investments.
- Bombs, when used effectively, earn you much more money than they cost.
- A mattock will almost always pay for itself several times over, especially when combined with the udjat eye.
- A pitcher's mitt will make King Yama much easier to defeat, if you intend to go through Hell .
- Bomb paste will save you a lot of grief when dealing with mini bosses like Anubis, making a City of Gold run much easier (though try and get it from a giant spider rather than a shop if you can).
- A jetpack will allow you to get treasure that would ordinarily be out of reach, and also helps you move faster, so you can grab more gold before the Ghost appears to shoo you out of a level.
- Even Spike shoes will help you; by allowing to kill recurring tough enemies like mummies quickly, in exchange for the loot they drop
- Conversely, don't spend money on items that won't pay off. Climbing gloves become a hinderance if you have the jetpack equipped. Also there's no point shelling out for a Shotgun when you can get one for free in a Restless dead level. Even a Tiki Man's Boomerang is an adequate weapon if used skillfully.
- If you have a jetpack in the ice caves it will be noticeably easier to ghost run gems into diamonds, without getting caught by her.
- Remember you'll be forced to drop/leave behind whatever weapons you carry in worlds 3-2 or 3-3 and world 4 when going into the city of gold, making purchasing them almost always a waste of money.
- If you manage to get to the City of Gold, with a very large number of bombs, you're doing well.
- It's possible to smuggle a Plasma Cannon from the mothership into the city of gold. Combined with a jetpack this will be more than enough to get the achievement entirely by itself. To do so you need a hired hand (stunned of screen to prevent them doing something stupid)/another player to hold it. Allowing you to bypass 4-1 with the gun and scepter. There are Lets plays on youtube to confirm that this is possible, however this is extremely risky and difficult to pull off, especially as,
- hired hands are known for team killing the player by accident/stupid suiciding, if left conscious for too long.
- You run a high risk of instant death scenarious by visiting the mothership.
- If you manage to defeat Yama in hell you gain an additional $100,000 + about $120,000 from the rubies in his throne (again if you have enough bombs).
City of Gold
Difficulty: Very Difficult, Takes a lot of practice and determination, Dont expect to get this on your first attempt.
Details: This achievement is given for reaching the City of Gold.
See the City of Gold for instructions on how to access this level.
- If you don't have the $50,000 needed to buy the Ankh and don't care about survival, you can simply steal it. You will be given the achievement even if you don't make it two steps out of the shop before you're gunned down.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
Details: You must complete all 16 levels of the game in one run, starting from the main entrance to the mines and defeating Olmec.
- It is not necessary to complete Hell to earn this achievement, so don't risk your life to get to the City of Gold and taking the Necronomicon. You may still wish to buy the Ankh from the Black Market, using it as an extra life in case you get killed.
Difficulty: Harder than hell...but worth it
Details: Even if you're highly skilled at the game, a lot of this achievement depends heavily on the luck of the resources you're able to get early on. Getting a compass and mattock is extremely helpful but non essential. If you find a teleporter you can reduce the risk in using it by travelling downwards with it. Try and finish each level under 30 seconds.
When fighting Olmec you can run back and forth over a 5 block area (after positioning him correctly, while using ropes to defend yourself). This achievement may be one of the most difficult, but it's also one of the most satisfying.
Difficulty: It's a grind, but doesn't take skill or luck to complete.
Details: This achievement requires that you play adventure mode 1000 times.
Walking through any door in the gateway cave (be it the entrance to the Mines or a shortcut) counts as one 'play'.
You can keep track of how many times you've played by viewing your Deaths/Wins in the Player Stats screen on the main menu.
- This Achievement isn't difficult per se, it just requires that you have a lot of time and enjoy Spelunky enough not to get bored half way through. You'll probably get this after a moderate amount of time playing the game. Maybe about a month or two if you play somewhat often.
- You can 'grind' for this achievement by simply starting a game and then killing yourself with the 'End Adventure' option in the pause menu, but since you can't technically 'fail' at this challenge you may as well do it in a way that isn't mind-numbingly boring, even if it takes a bit longer.
It also helps assuage the frustration of dying repeatedly if you know that your misfortune is at least contributing towards something.
To Hell and Back
Difficulty: Hard as...well, hell.
Try and bring:
- At least 2 bombs (to get the fire and lava proof amulet in the tower which always spawns on the far left/right side of 5-1).
- A shotgun/A pitcher's mitt or a camera.
General tips for when you reach hell:
- The camera will instant kill all undead enemies (excluding the blue devil and yama's 2 body guards).
- Kill Yama's henchmen in 5-4, and they will drop bomb boxes.
- If a Succubis reveals herself and attempts to stun you and suck your blood, Don't Panic. Just find a spot with 1 block above you, and use a rope, if she grabs onto you.
- Just take your time, using extra bombs to clear away situations that look hazy.
- A shotgun or pitcher's mitt+bombs can be used to take out Yama's head quickly and safely if you position yourself 2 blocks below the y coordinate of the exit (you'll need to use a bomb and a few ropes)
- If you destroy spike ball traps, make sure you time your bombs correctly, or risk being instant killed when it starts rolling, destroying terrain like a miniature boulder.
Seen a Lot
Difficulty: Doable, and you will usually get it if you play enough
Details: This achievement requires that you complete half of the entries in the journal (Places, Items, Traps, Monsters). The achievement is in fact relatively simple to obtain if you play Spelunky often and manage to progress well or unlock at least the shortcut to Ice Caves. Usually this achievement happens as a side effect while you are playing normally and progressing in game.
Seen It All
Difficulty: Hard, man. Hard. You've gotta be really good.
Details: This achievement requires that you complete the journal by collecting every entry in Places, Monsters, Items and Traps.
It's significantly harder than getting the halfway achievement, as you'll need to go through every level (even Hell), at least to the point where you get killed by the final boss. As a result, you'll get many of the other achievements before you get this one, including Ironman and City of Gold just to get this far.
Difficulty: Pretty Difficult
Details: This achievement requires you to rescue 10 damsels in one run.
You'll probably get this in the process of an iron man run if you can obtain the Jetpack early on.
Difficulty: Takes some practice, But with good knowledge you can ace this one quickly.
Details: This achievement requires you to kill 12 Shopkeepers in one run.
Shopkeepers are significantly more dangerous than most other enemies in the game, so practice fighting them whenever you can before making a serious run for this achievement. If you are not experienced in handling them, it is unlikely you will manage to kill twelve in a row.
- This achievement doesn't require that you be the direct cause of the shopkeeper's deaths, it only requires that twelve shopkeepers die in one run. Shopkeepers killed by environmental hazards such as Tiki Traps or the Abyss will be counted for the purposes of this achievement, but not on the scoreboard at the end of the level.
- It is recommended that you progress to the Black Market before attacking any shopkeepers. If you emerge victorious from the ensuing chaos, you will have seven dead shopkeepers tallied and a surplus of weaponry to use against the camping Shopkeepers in the following levels, with an extra life to boot. As long as you can make it through the remainder of the Jungle, the Shopkeepers waiting in the Ice Caves will probably fall to their deaths without much assistance from you. If you still haven't earned the achievement by the time you finish the Ice Caves (which can happen if the Black Market generates late in the Jungle levels), any Shopkeeper waiting in the Temple is likely to be killed simply by high concentration of traps in the area before you even make it to the exit anyway.
- Shopkeepers in Vaults are easy prey due to the limited room they have for maneuvering. Break a hole through the top of the vault and drop a bomb through the gap for an easy kill.
- Angry Shopkeepers detect you according to a 6 block radius rather than line of sight.
- In the Ice Caves, Shopkeepers will often run into the Abyss after being angered (You can often use this to your advantage by roping down from above.
Difficulty: Just... Don't even try. This achievement is torture. However, if you develop the skill to pass Ice Caves and Temple without items, you will do it (Shortcuts are the place to train yourself).
- This achievement becomes unavailable as soon as you collect any treasure in the run, even if you spend it before defeating the final boss.
- If you can't jump over it, you can use your whip to move treasure out of the way.
- Try and get the Udjat Eye or the Spectacles . This will help you to avoid hidden gems.
- A Mattock is very useful for this run. It's a much more controllable substitute for bombs and will allow you to make shortcuts around gold . Mine carefully if you have no way of seeing hidden gems .
- You can use the Shield to avoid accidentally running over treasure , crushing pieces against walls to avoid picking them up. Be careful not to drop down on top of it however.
- Tree top centers in The Jungle often spawn gold so be sure to whip them just in case.
- Avoid snow covered platforms, if you can, as they can completely conceal 1 piece of gold .
- If in doubt about foreground objects/tiles like Temple columns obscuring treasure ...whip at them (or use a Shield , if you can get one without collecting the Crown ).
- If you're unlucky enough to get a dark level, don't light any wall torches, as they drop gold . If you have no choice, throw the torch and jump over the gold that spawns.
- Do not drop any equipment/torches or Crates near gold . Such makes it very difficult to obtain without failing the task at hand.
- You shouldn't steal from/anger Shopkeepers on this run, even if you manage to kill them. Their corpse will fling gold pieces around where they died, making an insanely difficult run, even more ridiculous.
- Contrary to that, killing shopkeepers might be valuable. You can loot items you need, such as jetpack or shotgun. Definitely worth in black market, if you can grab the Ankh without picking any gold pieces. Jetpack will speed ice levels insanely and you can avoid almost all shopkeepers in the caves and in temple, if you have plenty of bombs (which you should if you stole everything in the market), you can drop from the top and either land on the shopkeeper or just exit the level with angry shopkeeper hopping around.
- When you reach Olmec (ideally you have the spectacles /Udjat Eyes by then), you can play it safe with 6-8 bombs , by blasting a 4 block wide hole. Then make Olmec pound into the grave by leaning over the edge on the other side (making it look like the Spelunker is about to lose his balance). When performing this make sure that Olmec will be at least one block above when he reaches your position.
- Train in Jungle, Ice Caves and Temple shortcuts until you can pass these areas without taking items and even without gold.
- Watch YouTube videos how people complete the Low Scorer achievement and adjust to their play style for these kind of runs.
Difficulty: A little easier than Ironman.
Details: You can do this solo, by having an inanimate 2nd player, which you can carry around. He/she will make a good throwing object/occasional distraction for enemies and sacrifice to Kali . If the inanimate player dies you can always respawn him/her in the next level if you find a Coffin . Be advised that co-op runs aren't recorded in your stats or all time high scores board.
If, instead, you want to work with another sentient being, make sure it's someone who you get along with so you won't be competing (or worse killing each other) for items that the other desperately needs. E.g. if a Shotgun , Spring Shoes , Climbing Gloves and a Jetpack are found, let the more agile player take the Jetpack and carry the other player around. The other player can have the Climbing Gloves /Spring Shoes and Shotgun. Ropes are needed by both players to combat enemies from above. If one player is low on health & has little/no gear, then they'll make a good sacrifice to Kali (this should of course be done by mutual agreement). Again, you can respawn your friends from Coffins in the next level.
Finally whoever has the flag controls the movement camera. This is usually Player 1, but will switch to the next player alive if he/she loses a life. Other players can only be outside the Camera radius for 10 seconds before dying.
Difficulty: Easy enough. Requires some skill.
- The fastest and simplest way of doing this is by sacrificing two living Damsels, which earn you eight favor points each. The first sacrifice will earn you a useful item, and the second will grant you the incredible powers of the Kapala as well as the achievement.
- In Haunted Castle, obtaining the Kapala is guaranteed. You always have an Altar, bunch of green knights, the Black Knight, and usually a coffin with Hired Hand and a Damsel. This is not just enough for the kapala, this level is really good source for gaining favor. Just place Damsel and the Hired Hand / Van Helsing on the "throne" or manage to stun and place the Black Knight there in case you are unlucky enough.
- Finding an Altar in the Ice Caves is also a blessing, especially if you have a jetpack. Yetis are plentiful and earn a decent amount of favor when sacrificed alive, so you can potentially gather enough favor for the Kapala in a single level.
The Entire Gang
Difficulty: Insanely Difficult.
Details: This achievement requires that you unlock all sixteen characters. Some are harder to unlock than others, and the hardest requires that you complete Hell.