Cavemen are a relatively common enemy in all areas, but are most abundant in the Temple.
In the Ice Caves, they will be found frozen in ice and are not dangerous unless broken free.
A Caveman normally moves slowly, walking a few tiles before pausing, and occasionally changing direction. When they encounter an obstacle, they may try to jump on top of it.
They will enter a "frenzied" state when they see you, which causes them to start running. In this state, they only run forwards and will not stop or change direction unless they run into a wall. They will charge off ledges but not jump up them. A caveman's line of sight only extends horizontally in front of them for about 6 tiles, so they cannot see anything above, below or behind themselves.
Once angry, a Caveman will not stop attacking unless stunned, at which point he will wake up in a passive state. He will resume attacking if he sees the Spelunker again, but otherwise will not remember a thing.
A stunned caveman will never wake up if he is stuck in a spider's web.
In the Ice Caves, Cavemen are sometimes seen encased in ice instead of walking around. He can be released if the block is destroyed with a Bomb, Mattock or a UFO, but unless you're looking for sacrifices or some blood to fill the Kapala, there isn't much reason to do this intentionally.
Cavemen can present a unique challenge to players first exploring the early areas of the game. Unlike most other enemies in the Mines, they have multiple hit points (a trait shared only by the Giant Spider) and can endure more damage than the other enemies encountered at this stage.
Cavemen only become frenzied when Spelunky Guy enters their narrow sight-line. Therefore, the ideal plan is to sneak up on Cavemen and KO them before they ever see you. As frenzied cavemen cannot jump, climbing to higher ground is an effective way of escaping from them.
When they take modest damage (such as being stomped or whipped) they will be stunned for several seconds. During this period they will be immune to further jumping or whip damage, meaning that a total of 3 such attacks will be necessary to kill them. Accordingly, it is often easiest to simply stun a Caveman and move past him.
It is useful to get an intuitive sense of how long a caveman lies stunned before he wakes up. Being ambushed by a rousing Caveman can be an easy way to lose a hit point.
Cavemen can be killed instantly by using more powerful attacks, such as bombs, weapons and the spike shoes, and are also vulnerable to environmental hazards such as spikes, lava and Mantraps.
The Caveman's stun period can be used to capitalize on these latter weaknesses, throwing a stunned Caveman into a dangerous situation can serve to deal with him permanently.
- Cavemen are based off of Neanderthals, an extinct sub-species of modern humans.
- In an online interview Derek Yu stated that he modeled the Caveman after being inspired by his acquaintance George. This has led to some lending the nickname 'George' to the Caveman.