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The Ankh is a quest item in Spelunky 2.

If the spelunker dies while holding the Ankh, they will be resurrected at the start of the level they died in, leaving then with 4 HP and consuming the Ankh in the process.

Functionality

The Ankh at the top of the backlayer in Olmec's Lair.

The Ankh is found at the top of the backlayer of Olmec's Lair. Olmec himself is used as a platform to enter one of the many backlayer doors in the area to collect it.

The Ankh's main purpose is to be used in The City of Gold (2) to reach Duat, or in level 4-3 of Tide Pool to reach Abzu, and subsequently obtain the Tablet of Destiny in either hidden area.

Use in The City of Gold

Entering Duat with the Ankh.

The City of Gold always contains a conspicuous Kali Altar in the center of the level, with the usual statue from Kali being replaced with a golden bull statue.

The Ankh on the forehead of the bull statue is a clue for the spelunker; sacrificing oneself onto the altar with the Ankh equipped consumes it and transports them to Duat.

Use in Tide Pool

The Lake of Fire in Tide Pool's 4-3.

In level 4-3 of Tide Pool, a massive Lava lake spawns at the bottom of the level, known as the Lake of Fire. The spelunker can access the portion under the Lake of Fire through a backlayer door in one of the rooms in the upper half of the level.

An Idol can be found in this area, and moving it causes the Powder Boxes below the lava to begin exploding in a cascading fashion, pouring the Lake of Fire onto the spelunker. Activating the Idol trap is almost certain death, but also moves the lava out of the way of the to Abzu that the Lake of Fire originally blocked.

The Ankh can be used to easily circumvent the run ending from this trap and reach Abzu. It is still possible to survive this trap via other means, however.

Notes

  • The player will leave any items behind that they were holding when they died, meaning that they must go back to where they died to retrieve their held item.
    • This does not apply for backwear, as they will respawn with it still on their back. The only exception to this rule is if the player's corpse was destroyed as they died (eg; haunted, vaporized, telefragged, crushed), or if the backwear was ignited at the time of death (eg; a Jetpack ignited by lava).
  • Dying with the Ankh in Hundun's Hideaway will instead respawn the player at the top of the level by the level exit, due to the nature of the level.
  • The Ankh cannot be used to circumvent the Sun Challenge, as dying during the challenge will reactivate the Forcefields at the entrance to the challenge, forcing the player to anger Tun to obtain the Arrow of Light.

Trivia

  • The Ankh was a symbol used in ancient Egypt as a representation of the word and concept of life, hence its function.
    • This is also why the Elixir is stored with an Ankh-shaped cork.
  • The spelunker is not the only entity in the caves that uses the Ankh to cheat death; Anubis can be seen wearing one around his neck, which he uses to resurrect into Anubis II after being killed by the player in Temple of Anubis.
Spelunky 2 Items
Equipment PasteSpectaclesClimbing GlovesPitcher's MittSpring ShoesSpike ShoesCompassAlien CompassParachuteUdjat EyeKapalaAnkhTablet of DestinySkeleton KeyFour-Leaf Clover
Crowns HedjetCrownEggplant CrownThe True Crown
Backwear CapeVlad's CapeJetpackTelepackHoverpackPowerpack
Power-ups BombsRopesRoyal JellyCooked TurkeyElixir
Usable Items WebgunShotgunFreeze RayClone GunCrossbowCameraTeleporterMattockBoomerangMacheteExcaliburBroken SwordPlasma CannonScepterHou Yi's BowWooden ShieldMetal Shield
Miscellaneous Arrow of LightIdolThe Tusk IdolCurse PotUshabtiEggplant
Traps Bear TrapLandmine
No Journal Entry CratePresentChestKeyGold KeyLocked ChestArrowsTorchPunish BallDiePot of GoldTreasurePlayer BagGiant FoodScrap
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