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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.

Behavior

When idle, a Caveman roams around slowly, aimlessly wandering off ledges and hopping over obstacles.

They will enter a "frenzied" state when they see a Spelunker, 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 do not jump when frenzied, so can be easily escaped by climbing upward. They will also run off ledges without thinking, so tend to get trapped in pits.

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.

It requires a keen eye to be able to find the Caveman in the ice, better leave him there.

In the Ice Caves, Cavemen are sometimes seen encased in ice instead of walking around. They 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, especially when you consider how hard is to spot them in the first place. This is due to the almost fully opaque color of the ice. Playing as the Golden Monk can help, however, as his natural glow has unusual effects on the ice texture.


Strategy

Unlike many other enemies in the mines, Cavemen have multiple hit points and can present a challenge to players first exploring the early areas of the game.

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.

Trivia

  • 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.
  • The Cavemen, being frozen in the Ice Caves, has a reference to Ötzi the Iceman, a natural ice mummy from around 3200 B.C., found by scientists in the Tyrol Alps of Europe.

Bugs

  • Sometimes when walking and falling, cavemen will clip into a wall and die.
Spelunky HD Monsters
The Mines SnakeCobraBatSpiderSpinner SpiderGiant SpiderScorpionCaveman
Jungle BatCavemanTiki ManFrogFire FrogGiant FrogMantrapPrianhaOld BiteyKiller BeeQueen BeeSnailMonkeyJiang ShiVampire
Haunted Castle Jiang ShiGreen KnightBlack KnightVampire
Worm BacteriumWorm EggWorm Baby
Ice Caves YetiYeti KingMammothAlienUFOAlien Lord
Mothership AlienUFOAlien TankAlien LordAlien Queen
Temple CobraScorpionCavemanHawk ManCroc ManMagma ManScorpion FlyMummyAnubis
City of Gold Anubis II
Olmec's Lair Olmec
Hell BatJiang ShiVampireMagma ManVladImpDevilSuccubus
Yama's Throne Horse HeadOx FaceKing Yama
Miscellaneous SkeletonDamselShopkeeperTunnel ManScarabGolden MonkeyGhost
No Journal Entry CrittersHired Hand
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