Kali's altar

Kali's altar found in a jungle

Bloodstained Altars dedicated to the fickle goddess Kali can be found scattered throughout the caves. So long as Kali isn't too unhappy with you, you can earn favor by leaving stunned or dead bodies as offerings upon the altar. However, destroying an altar (or even simply allowing an altar to be destroyed) will anger Kali, reducing your favor standing with her.

A special altar will be guaranteed to spawn in the middle of the City of Gold level, as well as in 4-2 and Madame Tusk's Palace of Pleasure in 4-3 in Neo Babylon.

Favor

Making sacrifices to Kali will increase your standing with her. Kali's altar works on a point system, with different corpses being worth different amounts, giving more favor for stunned sacrifices over dead ones.

Sacrifice Stunned Favor Dead Favor
Damsel 8 4
Spelunker 6 3
Hired Hand 6 3
Shopkeeper 6 3
NPCs 6 3
Witch Doctor 4 2
Croc Man 4 2
Sorceress 4 2
Necromancer 4 2
Caveman 2 1
Cave Mole 2 1
Tiki Man 2 1
Octopy 2 1
Yeti 2 1
Olmite 2 1
Cave Turkey 2 1
Rock Dog 2 1
Axolotl 2 1
Quilin 2 1
Horned Lizard 2 no corpse
Mantrap 2 no corpse
Vampire 2 no corpse
Vlad 2 no corpse
Scorpion 2 no corpse
Eggplant Child 0 0
Hermit Crab 0 0
Leprechaun 0 0
Proto Shopkeeper 0 no corpse

Rewards

  • 8 Favor: A random item will be granted to the player.
  • 16 Favor: The player is granted the Kapala.
  • 24 Favor: The player is granted Royal Jelly.
  • For every further 8 Favor, the player is granted an additional Royal Jelly.

Gaining enough favor to receive a reward after the player has been cursed will replace the reward normally given with a curse removal.

Some special items can be sacrificed to Kali that grant specific rewards. These do not grant Favor, as the special item is seen as the reward.

Sacrificing a Golden Idol to Kali will result in a Golden Monkey.

Sacrificing a gift box to Kali will result in an Eggplant.

Sacrificing a stunned Shopkeeper, Leprechaun or any other NPC that would usually drop money on death will still cause them to drop money.

If you have over 16 favor, sacrificing a rock will result in an arrow.

Sacrificing an Ushabti will result in a companion of some kind. This can include: a caveman, a hired hand, a hired hand holding a shotgun, and a turkey.

Sacrificing two dice will result in a different result, depending on what number the dice add up to.

Dice Total Reward
2 Snake
3 Diamond
4 Telepack
5 Spectacles
6 Rope Pile
7 Machete
8 Web Gun
9 Cooked Turkey
10 Climbing Gloves
11 Vampire
12 Hired Hand

Punishments

Destroying an altar leads to punishment. As soon as either of the altar blocks is destroyed, Kali spawns some monsters there (including Spiders, Bats, Jiangshi and Jiangshi Assassins).

Upon allowing it to be destroyed a second time, the same monsters will spawn, but the player will also be given the ball and chain. This massively reduces the player's mobility.

Allowing it to be destroyed a third time, will spawn monsters again, give the player another ball and chain, spawn the ghost, curse the player, and force any subsequent level that can be dark to be dark.

The ball and chain can be destroyed via lava or by crushing it, which will remove the darkness and ghost by the next level.

Beg

Upon finding another altar after allowing it to be previously destroyed, the player will encounter Beg standing on top of the altar, who has the curse status. He will give the player 3 bombs, then teleport away.

If the player finds another altar after meeting Beg, and is themselves cursed, Beg will acknowledge the player and himself as kindred spirits, and give them The True Crown, which teleports the player in the direction they are facing every 22 seconds, but gives them 22 bombs every time it happens.

Editbutton.png

An Altar to Kali, found in the Mines

Bloodstained Altars dedicated to the fickle goddess Kali can be found scattered throughout the caves. So long as Kali isn't too unhappy with you, you can earn favor by leaving stunned or dead bodies as offerings upon the altar. This increases your hidden 'favor rating' which will incrementally earn you useful rewards as it rises, including items and health.

However, destroying an altar (or even simply allowing an altar to be destroyed) will anger Kali, reducing your favor standing with her.
If her anger surpasses the favor you've earned, she will inflict dire punishments upon you that will increase in severity if you continue to offend her.

Altars may generate at random in any of the five main areas of the cave, but never in Olmec's Lair, King Yama's Lair or in most bonus levels. Altars also never appear on the first level of the mines.
A guaranteed altar will be found near the exit of the Haunted Castle, shaped like a giant throne.

Favor

The amount of favor won from a sacrifice depends on the 'value' of the offering.
Generally, more dangerous enemies are worth more, and Kali prefers them stunned, rather than dead:

Sacrifice Favor Rewarded
Stunned Dead
Damsel corpse.png Damsel 8 4
Hiredhand corpse.png Hired Hand 8 4
Spelunkydude corpse.png Spelunkers 8 4
Blackknight corpse.png The Black Knight 8 4
Shoppie corpse.png Shopkeeper 6 3
Hawkdude corpse.png Hawk Man 6 3
Scorpifly corpse.png Scorpion Fly 6 No Corpse
Scorpy corpy.png Scorpion 4 No Corpse
Yeti corpse.png Yeti 4 2
Devil corpse.png Devil 2 1
Tikidude corpse.png Tiki Man 2 1
Cavedude corpse.png Caveman 2 1
Vlad corpse.png Vlad 2 No Corpse
Vamp corpse.png Vampire 2 No Corpse
Dudetrap corpse.png Mantrap 2 No Corpse

Notes

  • A Spelunker will be accepted as a sacrifice if they land upon an Altar while stunned. The favor will still be rewarded, but you will not be able to benefit from this unless resurrected by the Ankh or playing with another player in co-op mode. Any bestowed bonus takes effect immediately prior to dying by sacrifice (so, for example, you will not be able to keep the 8 HP invigoration bonus after sacrifing yourself and then being ressurected by the Ankh).
  • A monster doesn't necessarily need to be on the altar because of the player to be sacrificed. A monster that falls onto the altar and gets stunned will still be accepted as a valid sacrifice and the player will gain favor, even if the player had nothing to do with the monster falling onto the altar.

    The outcome of sacrificing oneself with no ankh

  • In practice, the Shopkeeper's stun time is usually too short to allow him to be sacrificed alive, but it's possible - albeit risky - to lure him above an altar and stomp him so he lands stunned upon it.
  • Despite being quite powerful, Vampires and Mantraps are worth the least favor because of the very little blood they contain.
  • If a Mantrap eats a Shopkeeper, if you're fast enough you can place the stunned mantrap on the altar. Both will be sacrificed at once, giving you their combined favor value. This is usually very dangerous, as Shopkeepers will break out from inside Mantraps completely unharmed, and will continue their rampage if they have been angered.
  • New Spelunkers unlocked from Coffins can be picked up and placed on the altar. The same can be done to other players in co-op mode.
  • While Croc Men can be stunned, they will always wake up before being sacrificed, so it is not possible to offer them.
  • When only half of the altar has been destroyed by either the Spelunker or other means, it is still possible to use the remaining half to make sacrifices.

Corpses that cannot be sacrificed

Rewards

As you gain favor, Kali will reward you for your devotion.
Rewards are given incrementally, with greater rewards given for higher levels of favor.

8 Favor

"She seems pleased with you!"
At 8 Favor, you gain a random Accessory from the following selection:

Climbing Gloves Pitcher's Mitt Spring Shoes Spike Shoes
Cape Spectacles Bomb Paste Compass
  • Kali will never give you an item you already own.
  • Having a jetpack will prevent the Cape from appearing, but having the Udjat Eye will not prevent the Spectacles from appearing.
  • If you already have every item on the list, then you are rewarded with a jetpack.
    • If you already have a jetpack as well as the 7 non-cape items above, you will be given a bomb box instead.

16 Favor

"She seems happy with you!"
At 16 favor, you receive the Kapala, which allows you to collect blood from enemies. Every eight drops you collect increases your HP by one.

32 Favor

"She seems ecstatic with you!"
At 32 favor, you "feel invigorated" and gain 8 HP.

The altar is made out of two blocks, it has been confirmed during daily challenges that each side will normally give different items. No more rewards are given after invigoration.

Special Rewards

Some sacrifices immediately grant certain special rewards when they are sacrificed, instead of increasing favor.

  • Sacrificing a Golden Idol will spawn a friendly Golden Monkey that defecates treasure.
  • Sacrificing a Crystal Skull will spawn a Crystal Monkey (see Golden Monkey) that also defecates treasure. Since a crystal skull is valued $5000 more than a golden idol in the jungle, sacrificing the skull usually isn't worth the same reward and the triggering of the ghost.
  • Sacrificing a Mystery Box will spawn an Eggplant, as well as cause the level music to change to an 8-bit-esque tune.

Note that if your favor is negative when you make the sacrifice, the item will disappear but you will not get any reward.

Punishments

If a sacrificial altar is destroyed for any reason, Kali will blame you for it and your favor will decrease by 16. Then:

  • If your favor is reduced below zero, eight Spiders will be immediately be released from Kali's statue.
  • If you destroy two or more altars, Kali will attach a Ball and Chain to your leg. This is independent of your favor. The ball can be destroyed by dropping it into lava or by crushing it with a Pushable Block, Crush Trap, Shield or Olmec. You can also destroy it in The Ice Caves by roping or climbing down to just above The Abyss , and dropping the ball and chain into the abyss.
  • If you have destroyed three or more altars, Kali will immediately summon the Ghost in the current level, as well as in every subsequent level immediately after entering. The early ghost punishment is also independent of your favor. The ghost will stop being summoned early if you manage to destroy your ball and chain. The ghost that is summoned is the same ghost that spawns if you hang out in the level too long, just appearing earlier, so you won't get two ghosts because of this. (The only way to get two ghosts is by getting both the normal ghost and picking up the Crystal Skull.)

Trivia

  • Altars feature in many Roguelikes (such as Nethack and ADOM) in which any enemy over the altar could be sacrificed, dead or alive. As such, Spelunky's altars are most similar to those in ADOM.
  • Additionally, the Ball and Chain punishment is seen in Nethack, with similar implications such as the need to carry it, and its potential use as a projectile.
  • Picking up and Sacrificing a Golden Idol before the boulder rolls out of the statue's head will result in no boulder rolling out at all.

Editbutton.png

Oh, great Kali, please accept my humble offering of... this Bigfoot.

Bloodstained Altars dedicated to the fickle goddess Kali can be found scattered throughout the caves.
So long as Kali isn't too unhappy with you, you can earn favor by leaving stunned or dead bodies as offerings upon the altar. This increases your hidden 'favor rating' which will incrementally earn you useful rewards as it rises, including items and health.

However, destroying an altar (or even just allowing an altar to be destroyed) will anger Kali, reducing your favor and causing her to inflict dire punishments upon you that will increase in severity if you continue to offend her.

Altars may generate at random in any of the four areas of the cave, but never on the first or last levels or in the Black Market.

Favor

The amount of favor won from a sacrifice depends on the 'value' of the offering.
Generally, more dangerous enemies are worth more, and Kali prefers them stunned, rather than dead: [1]

Sacrifice Favor Rewarded
Stunned Dead
Damsel 8 8
Shopkeeper 12 6
Hawk Man 6 3
Yeti 4 2
Caveman 2 1
Mantrap 2 No Corpse
Vampire 1 No Corpse

Notes

  • In practice, the Shopkeeper's stun time is usually too short to allow him to be sacrificed alive, but it's possible - albeit risky - to lure him above an altar and stomp him so he lands stunned upon it.
  • If a Mantrap eats a Shopkeeper, if you're fast enough you can place the stunned mantrap on the altar. Both will be sacrificed at once, giving you 14 Favor. This is usually very dangerous, as Shopkeepers will explode out from inside Mantraps alive and angry.
  • You will gain no favor at all if Kali is already very angry at you, which occurs when your favor with her is -8 or less.[2]
  • Despite being quite powerful, Vampires and Mantraps are worth the least favor because of the very little blood they contain.

Corpses that cannot be sacrificed

  • The player character (the Spelunker or the Tunnel Man) will leave a corpse when killed, but obviously these can't be used for sacrificing - unless the player is playing as a Damsel, sacrificing Spelunker NPCs.
  • Alien Lord are too heavy to carry and immobile whilst alive, so therefore cannot be placed on an Altar for sacrifice.
  • The corpses of Fire Frog always explode before Kali accepts them as sacrifices.
  • Skeletons and Piranha Skeletons won't be accepted as sacrifices as they contain no blood.

Rewards

As you gain favor, Kali will reward you for your devotion.
Rewards are given incrementally, with greater rewards given for higher levels of favor

8 Favor

Rewarded!

At 8 Favor, you gain a random Accessory from the following selection:

Cimbing Gloves Small.png
Climbing Gloves
Pitchers Mitt Small.png
Pitcher's Mitt
Spring Shoes Small.png
Spring Shoes
Spike Shoes Small.png
Spike Shoes
Cape Small.png
Cape
Spectacles Small.png
Spectacles
Bomb Paste Small.png
Sticky Bombs
Compass Small.png
Compass
  • Kali will never give you an item you already own.
  • Having a jetpack will prevent the Cape from appearing, but having the Udjat Eye will not prevent the Spectacles from appearing.
  • If you already have every item on the list, then you are rewarded with a jetpack.
    • If you already have a jetpack as well, you will be given a bomb box instead.

16 Favor

Whoo, high favor!

At 16 favor, you receive the Kapala, which allows you to collect blood from enemies. Every eight drops you collect increases your HP by one.

32 Favor

At 32 favor, Kali will fill your bag up to 99 Bombs.

  • If you already have 80+ bombs you will be given an extra 4 to 8 HP instead.

Further Rewards

Finally, for every additional 16 favor you earn above that, you gain an extra 4 to 8 HP.

Punishments

Notice the Spiders falling from above

If a sacrificial altar is destroyed for any reason, Kali will blame you for it and you will lose 16 favor.[3] On top of this, you also receive a punishment:

  • The first time an altar is destroyed, the head of Kali's statue will burst open and release 6 Spider at once.
  • The second time an altar is destroyed, Kali will attach a Ball and Chain to your leg. The ball can be dropped in lava to destroy it, but it will come back upon starting the next level.

    Well, this is annoying.

  • For destroying a third altar (and any more after that), Kali will make the entire level dark and immediately summon the Ghost.
     

If the level is already dark and the Ghost has already appeared, then the 'Spider' punishment will be used instead.

Trivia

  • Altars feature in many Roguelikes (such as Nethack and ADOM) in which any enemy over the altar could be sacrificed, dead or alive. As such, Spelunky's altars are most similar to those in ADOM.
  • The Ball and Chain punishment is seen in Nethack, with similar implications such as the need to carry it, and its potential use as a projectile.
  • An altar and an idol can be found side by side on a floor

    An alter and an Idol, side by side

Footnotes

  1. Source Code, object 'oEnemy', method 'create', default favor stat.
    Object 'oManTrap', 'oCaveman', 'oYeti', 'oHawkman', 'oShopkeeper', 'oDamsel' Method 'create'
  2. Source Code, object 'oEnemy', method 'step'
  3. source code, object 'sSacAltarLeft', method 'destroy'

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