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The City of Gold is a secret level hidden within the Temple. The Golden Door will spawn randomly on 4-2 within the main path or a room adjacent to it, which will lead the player to the City of Gold, replacing 4-3.

Gaining entry to the City of Gold is considered to be one of the game's greatest achievements, due to the incredible difficulty of reaching the level and the extremely high scores that can be achieved by looting it.

Item Chain

To access the City of Gold, the player must play through the whole game from the beginning, collecting all of the special ancient Egyptian artifacts from each area:

  1. The Udjat Eye from the Mines.
  2. The Ankh from the Black Market in the Jungle.
  3. The Hedjet from the Ice Caves.
  4. The Scepter from the Temple.
  • To acquire the Udjat Eye, you must find the Key to unlock the Locked Chest.
  • To acquire the Ankh, you must use the Udjat Eye to locate the entrance to the Black Market, use an explosive or a mattock to reveal it and purchase the item within for $50,000 or risk stealing it from the Shopkeepers.
  • To acquire the Hedjet, you must locate the Moai and kill yourself anywhere on the level to resurrect inside it, where the item will be found.
  • To acquire the Scepter, you must find and kill Anubis in 4-1 of the Temple.

When you possess both the Hedjet and the Scepter, you must then locate the Golden Door somewhere in the Temple 4-2 to gain entry. The Scepter must be relinquished to open the door, leaving you with only the Udjat Eye and the now-useless Hedjet.

Workarounds

  • The Udjat Eye is not strictly necessary to find the Black Market; it is possible (albeit somewhat unlikely) to find the entrance by blind luck. Sometimes, the leaves surrounding the entrance to the Black Market stick out of the wall, and can be seen.
  • The Ankh can be stolen if the player are unable to raise $50,000 by the time they reach the Black Market, but they are forced to fight off seven angry Shopkeepers at once to do so.

Features

The City of Gold is much like any other level in the Temple, except that every block and trap is made entirely of gold and other treasures, giving the player the potential to earn an enormous amount of money from leveling it with bombs.

The City of Gold also contains the Book of the Dead in the center of the level under a statue of Anubis encased in brick and surrounded by four mummies. It is a necessary item for reaching Hell, and summons Anubis II when picked up.

The Glorious City of Gold.

Strategy

The primary reason for visiting The City of Gold is when attempting to get a high money score, or when shooting for a Hell run.

Although the huge wealth attainable from the City makes the level an attractive prospect, reaching the City of Gold requires a heavy investment: Finding the Black Market is tricky and can use numerous Bombs. The Ankh costs $50,000 to purchase, and its valuable power must be squandered by the player intentionally killing themselves to acquire the Hedjet. Furthermore, the Scepter must too be sacrificed to open the golden door, depriving the player of a powerful weapon. One's ability to collect the gold from within is limited by the number of Bombs they have available to demolish the place with, and several ropes or other forms of mobility may be needed to collect it all.

When visiting to gather money, several dozen paste bombs are vital. Since finding this number of bombs through supply crates and legitimate Shop purchases is neither likely nor cost-effective, the best way to make the City of Gold worthwhile is to violently plunder the Black Market - an extremely risky move.

It's also possible to use the Ball and Chain to destroy the City of Gold and gather all the money on it, keeping in mind that the ball can't destroy golden push blocks. Using a Hired Hand to get the Plasma Cannon into the City of Gold can also be an effective way to get all the possible money from it. Due to the random generation of the level, the amount of money that can be obtained is different every time, but it can go from $450,000 to $800,000 depending on the blocks and gems generated in the level, and whether or not the player turned all of the gems in the level into diamonds with the help of The Ghost.

Related Achievements

  • "City of Gold" - Reach the City of Gold.
  • "To Hell and Back" - Complete the game the hard way.

Trivia

  • Inspiration for The City of Gold could have its roots in the tale of the Seven Cities of Cibola, which were rumored by Americans Indians and Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century to be made of gold and filled with riches.
    • In reality, the Seven Cities of Cibola were simply American Indian settlements with pueblo homes made of adobe brick and limestone.
    • The cave which the Spelunker descends into is located in the desert - similar to the geography of New Mexico, where the cities were said to have been.
  • The name "The City of Gold" could also be a reference to the myths formed about Timbuktu, a city famously known for its myths that formed after trading gold for salt.
  • There's a message in the game files reading "The key doesn't fit in this door", supposedly meant to be used when the player tries to use the Gold Key on the door leading to The City of Gold, but no message is ever seen ingame.
Spelunky HD Places
Area 1 The Mines
Area 2 JungleHaunted CastleBlack MarketWorm
Area 3 Ice CavesWormMothership
Area 4 TempleCity of GoldOlmec's Lair
Area 5 HellYama's Throne
Miscellaneous Entrance
See also Level Feelings
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