The main purpose of a Damsel is to give the Spelunker more health after being rescued at the end of the level. However, they do have some other uses as well:
- Sacrificed at an Altar for a large amount of favor
- Used as a makeshift throwing weapon
- Used as shield to soak up damage from Traps and other projectiles.
Picking up a Damsel will cause them to pass out in the Spelunker's arms, becoming stunned for several seconds after being set down. A Damsel who has been dropped or thrown will eventually come to their senses and begin running around in panic, and will behave in the same way if they take damage.
A panicking Damsel will run blindly forwards, only turning if they hit a wall. They will also fall off ledges, which makes them prone to falling into Spikes and other hazards.
Damsels have a high spawn rate, but are not guaranteed to spawn in every level. In some cases, certain Level Feelings are responsible for a Damsel spawning or lack of spawning. For example, Damsels are guaranteed to spawn on Sacrificial Pit levels, while they will never spawn in Olmec's Lair or Yama's Throne.
For bringing them to a level exit, they will reward the player with a kiss when you leave, increasing their health by one point.
Damsels will always give the player a kiss in the exit tunnel after you rescue them, even if they leave the level through a different exit than the one you sent the Damsel into. This can happen on levels that have multiple exits, such as the level with the hidden Black Market entrance. This also includes allowing the Damsel to be eaten alive by The Worm.
Attacking the Damsel does not ruin the chance of getting a kiss for saving them so long as they are still alive, so whipping them once or twice in an enclosed space is a good way to collect blood for the Kapala and potentially earn an extra health point from the Damsel's blood.
Though the player is not allowed to take a Damsel corpse through a regular exit, it can still be used to trigger the Worm to take the player to the Worm level.
Dead Damsels can still be carried and thrown at enemies. However, no reward is given for carrying their corpse to the end of the level, making a dead Damsel a prime target for sacrifice at a Kali Altar.
If a Damsel is found inside a Kissing Parlor, then the player will be able to pay for a kiss, buying as many kisses as money can pay. The price per kiss starts at $8000 in the Mines with an added $2000 to the price for each new area (making Jungle kisses $10000, Ice Cave kisses $12000, and Temple kisses $14000).
Additionally, it's possible to buy the Damsel if the player uses the purchase button while holding the Damsel. Buying the Damsel outright will cost 50% more than the price of a single kiss. Although this is normally considered a waste of money, it can be a good option if the player wants to sacrifice the Damsel on a Kali Altar or trigger the Worm without angering Shopkeepers.
Types of Damsels
As lead developer Derek Yu was uncertain with the idea of the female damsel as a whole but wanted to stay faithful to the original game, Spelunky Classic, he decided to "even the odds", adding various Damsels in addition to the female damsel.
The type of Damsels that appear can be set in the Options menu, and there is also the option to have all types of Damsel appear at random.
There are three main varieties:
|The Female Damsel||The Male Damsel||The Dog Damsel|
There is a secret fourth Damsel type that can be activated as an Easter egg.
The Sloth Damsel replaces the Pug and can be selected from the options menu by clicking on the Pug icon a hundred times. After enough clicking, the secret tone will play and the icon will change to that of the Sloth, who can be selected as a Damsel type or added to the pool of random Damsels.
The unlock will only be active for the duration of the game session, and does not permanently replace the Pug. The Damsel will revert back to the Pug upon exiting the game, so the process of activating the Sloth must be repeated each time the game is booted if the player wants to use it.
There is also a small chance of the Damsel appearing in the level as the Sloth, though the odds of happening are approximately one every 2500 or so runs, it's a very rare event.
- "Casanova" (10) - Rescue 10 or more Damsels in one game. (Guide)
- Sometimes if Damsels are thrown out of a Kissing Parlor without being paid for, usually if the Spelunker is equipped with the Pitcher's Mitt, the shopkeepers will not get angry.
- While the male damsel does not return in Spelunky 2, the female damsel became playable in the form of Demi Von Diamonds, and the pug damsel was named Monty, now the companion to Ana Spelunky.
- Damsels (whether in the level or in a Kissing Parlor) are guaranteed to spawn on Levels 2-1 and 3-1, making it always possible to enter the Worm on those levels.
- Even though a Damsel will normally spawn inside a Kissing Parlor in the Black Market, on very rare occurrences it's possible for a Damsel to spawn outside of the shops.
- If the Damsel spawns as a Sloth through random chance, it will continue to be a Sloth until the game is restarted.