Once the Eggplant is created at an Altar, the current level's background music changes to a strange chiptune-style piece, known as "Ultra Egg".
Eggplants have the same durability as a Pot - It is incredibly fragile, and any action done with the Eggplant that is not gently setting it down on the ground (eg; throwing it, dropping it down a hole or pit) will swiftly splatter it into unusable purple chunks.
Although seemingly useless, it has a single, devastating function. If it is thrown at King Yama's face during the battle, "Ultra Egg" will play once more, and it will transform him into a giant, immobile Eggplant Monster with only two hit points. As the Eggplant deals 1 damage from hitting Yama, this effectively leaves him with 1 HP, and unable to attack the player.
This makes the remainder of the battle a cinch, but of course this is offset by the extreme difficulty of escorting the Eggplant into Yama's Throne to begin with.
The Mystery of the Eggplant
For over a year after Spelunky HD's release, the function of the Eggplant was the game's greatest mystery. It wasn't until the game was released for the PC that fans were able to hack the game to discern its function.
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.
The amazing feat that was first accomplished by Bananasaurus Rex was later referenced in Spelunky 2. The character that he played as for the run, Tina Flan, now canonically is the one responsible for turning King Yama into the Eggplant King, now found within the depths of the Eggplant World. The Eggplant King also has a special line for when he is killed by Tina Flan, remarking how she came back to finish the job.
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 Inuk Spelunker bearing an uncanny resemblance to the protagonists of the game Ice Climber. It may also be a reference to the Eggplant Wizard from the Nintendo game, Kid Icarus, who transforms the main character, Pit, into a defenseless Eggplant.
- 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 its status as an unusual item of interest.
- 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, 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. There is no evidence to support this hypothesis.
|Spelunky HD Items|
|Equipment||Spectacles • Climbing Gloves • Pitcher's Mitt • Spring Shoes • Spike Shoes • Paste • Compass • Crysknife • Parachute • Kapala • Udjat Eye • Ankh • Hedjet • Book of the Dead • Vlad's Amulet|
|Backwear||Cape • Jetpack • Vlad's Cape|
|Power-ups||Rope • Bombs • Royal Jelly|
|Useable items||Mattock • Boomerang • Machete • Web Gun • Shotgun • Freeze Ray • Plasma Cannon • Camera • Teleporter • Shield • Sceptre|
|No Journal Entry||Treasure • Chest • Crate • Arrow • Gold Key • Locked Chest • Torch • Lamp • Mystery Box • Eggplant • Punish Ball • Crystal Skull • Throwables|