Once the Eggplant appears, the current level's background music changes to a strange chiptune-style piece.
If it is thrown at King Yama's face during the battle, it will transform him into a giant, immobile Eggplant with only two hit points and deal one point of damage as usual (effectively 1 HP), making the remainder of the battle a cinch, but of course this is offset by the difficulty of escorting the Eggplant into Yama's throne room to begin with.
For over a year after Spelunky's release, the function of the Eggplant was the game's greatest mystery. It wasn't until Spelunky was released for the PC that fans were able to hack the game to discern its function. Avih20 was the first to defeat King Yama using an eggplant in a co op game. On November 10, 2013, Bananasaurus_Rex was the first to defeat King Yama using an eggplant in a single player game. This is even more complex as the player needs to acquire a Hired Hand(or a Spelunker from a Coffin) or the Ball and Chain in order to transport the eggplant through The Moai, and a Hired Hand's help is needed again to carry both the Scepter and the Eggplant to the entrance of The City of Gold.
Spelunky's creator Derek Yu has referenced several other games and movies in Spelunky, which has led some to believe the Eggplant is either a reference to the Nintendo game Ice Climber, which prominently features an Eggplant at the top of the mountain. This is further reinforced by the Eskimo Spelunker bearing an uncanny resemblance to Nana from Ice Climber. Alternatively, it may be a reference to the Eggplant Wizard from the Nintendo game, Kid Icarus.
- There are certain rare chiptune music tracks in each area of the caves that play much less frequently than the regular background music tracks, known as 'Mines egg', 'Jungle egg' and so on. The Eggplant chiptune is known as 'Ultra Egg'.
- The Eggplant has no journal entry, despite being an unusual item of interest.
- It is very fragile, and easy to splatter if not handled carefully.
- Andy Hull, the lead programmer of Spelunky HD of the XBLA version had jokingly feigned ignorance of the existence of the Eggplant when asked about it on his formspring. Here and here and in livestreams, denying knowing anything about the item.
- Derek Yu, the creator of Spelunky, confirmed the purpose of the Eggplant on his Twitter, after fans had discovered its effect on King Yama.
- It is believed by some that the eggplant actually exists in real life.
- The Jumanji Fruit in the movie Jumanji The Next Level was a reference the eggplant.
- Video footage of obtaining the item: