The Ankh is capable of resurrecting the Spelunker once if they die. It is recommended that you purchase it, though it can also be stolen at great risk.
If you die while holding The Ankh, it will resurrect you, then shatter after use. You will spawn at the entrance of the current level with four hearts, all your money and items, but without the item (if any) you were holding in your hands. Only one Ankh can be bought in each game.
Although this power probably makes the Ankh one of the most desirable items in the game, you will most likely have to squander the Ankh before it is needed in order to reach the City of Gold.
The Ankh's true purpose is to be used in conjunction with The Moai in The Ice Caves to obtain the next artifact, the Hedjet. Dying on the level where the Moai is placed will result in your being resurrected inside the mysterious statue where you will find the Hedjet and a secret level exit.
- "Eternal Life" (20 ) – Obtain the Ankh. (Guide)
The Ankh is an Egyptian symbol representing eternal life - appropriate for an artifact that can raise the dead.
- In the XBLA version of Spelunky HD, resurrecting with the Ankh can cause conflicts with Coffin resurrection in Co-Op adventures.
Normally, when one player dies in Co-Op, they become a Spelunker Ghost and are added to a 'resurrection queue', which causes a Coffin to spawn somewhere on the next level with their character inside. If another player breaks them out, the dead player will be revived - but without any items or money.
However, this sequence still runs when a player is resurrected with the Ankh, meaning that a coffin containing their Spelunker inside will be found on the next level, even though they aren't dead anymore.
Breaking open the coffin will cause the player's body to destroy itself like if it was crushed, instantly respawning at the coffin, leaving all their items behind in the process and having their health reset to 4 HP.
Even if the coffin is left alone, it will continue to spawn in all later levels (as the game will keep providing opportunities to revive the 'dead' player), and because only one coffin may spawn per level, they will remain at the front of the queue, preventing any other dead players from reviving until their own coffin is opened and their inventory lost.
- This bug is fixed in the PC and PSN releases of Spelunky HD.
- If you press the XBOX guide when the Ankh sequence is active, you will resurrect, but the Ankh will not shatter, instead, it will not stop growing.
- This can also be replicated in the current Steam version of the game, sometimes by switching windows or losing the focus on it.
- It's possible to keep your held item if you die carrying your item while frozen, this will also duplicate the item you were holding while dying and can be used to get items through the Moai head.