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"Skips" are commonly used for completing secret endings for Spelunky 2 if the player wants to save time, keep certain items, or needs a backup plan. They involve bypassing/locating certain locations without using the necessary item or retaining a specific item normally used as part of the quest to the Sunken City.
Udjat Eye Skip
If the player forgot to pick up the Udjat Eye or did not want to spend the resources to obtain it in Dwelling or does not want to sacrifice it for use in Volcana, there is still a way to continue the run into Vlad's Castle or the Black Market without it.
As a general rule of thumb, neither Vlad's Castle nor the Black Market spawn on the first level of either area, nor do they spawn on the same level as the Moon Challenge. In the level containing either secret area, a Compass will indicate to the spelunker that there are two exits on the level.
The level that contains Vlad's Castle can be easily ascertained by seeing if the Drill spawned on the top row of the level. As the terrain that the Drill bores through is no different than standard terrain, it is possible for the spelunker to create the tunnel to Vlad's Castle themselves.
If only bombs are used, the spelunker will need approximately 8-10 of them to reach Vlad's Castle, which may be difficult to attain. Powder Boxes appear in the ground, which can be detonated to save on resources. Spikeballs can also be used to create a hole to Vlad's Castle, although this can be dangerous and time-consuming.
The main difficulty in reaching the Black Market without the Udjat Eye is deducing its location properly:
- The entrance always has the same appearance (), and can occasionally be seen sticking out from walls.
- The entrance never spawns on stone brick tiles or traps.
- Standard Shops never spawn in the regular portion of the level if the Black Market is present.
- As the Black Market is guaranteed to contain a Pet Shop, being unable to find the Pet in the main portion of the level may suggest the Black Market's presence.
- If in a backlayer, the drumbeat of the Black Market's theme can be heard playing.
- The spelunker can always check for this, as the backlayers containing The Three Sisters are guaranteed to spawn on levels that the Black Market can spawn on.
- In some cases, its possible to locate the entrance to the Black Market by looking around a nearby backlayer or even teleport into it with the Teleporter or other forms of teleportation.
The following skips are the Olmec Skip and Death Skip. "Ankh Skip" may refer to one of the following:
- The Olmec Skip, where Olmec's head is used to enter the door at the top of Olmec's Lair, quickly obtaining the Ankh.
- The Death Skip, where the spelunker successfully triggers the Lake of Fire trap in Tide Pool 4-3 without dying, opening the way to Abzu.
- Simply continuing a run without collecting the Ankh.
The spelunker may also use some form of Teleportation to get from Waddler's cave to the Ankh. The spelunker can jump on the wooden block and teleport up at the apex of their jump, or use a rope and teleport left to enter the chamber with the Ankh consistently.
The trap that sets the Lake of Fire in 4-3 of Tide Pool can be activated while still avoiding certain death. This is generally done with careful bomb placements, creating a sort of shelter against the deadly lava for the spelunker.
There are two main strategies used for the Death Skip, depending on whether or not the spelunker has Paste or not:
- With Paste, placing 3 rope and 2 paste bombs on specific spots on either side of the lava trap area.
- Without Paste, aligning oneself with one of the rectangular pagoda tiles on the ceiling before quickly placing 4 bombs beside the Golden Idol.
There are also other less efficient and often trickier ways to Ankh Skip, discovered prior to the discovery of more consistent strategies:
- Using numerous bombs (~10) to allow enough room for the lava to avoid killing the player, and using the structure holding the Golden Idol as shelter, before using pre-placed rope (~5) to escape.
- Properly timing four bombs without paste, placed in a precise location before using rope to avoid a falling powder box and subsequent lava, and fleeing with aforementioned rope.
- Throwing a well timed bomb without Pitcher's Mitt to create a shelter for the player, and using rope to properly align the bomb and help the player escape the lava trap.
Various other Ankh skips can be seen in this video here from user Mezian.
Wet Fur Skip
The entrance to the wet fur cave always has at least one tile just under it. Because of a quirk in the level generation, falling after hanging from this specific tile will always result in the player ending up on a ledge just beside the exit to the wet fur cave, skipping the entire section.
- If the spelunker moves at all during their descent, they will not cling to the next possible ledge and instead die.
- In extremely rare situations, an explosion may destroy the terrain below, rendering this skip deadly.
Alien Compass Skip
- On the 6th tile away from the right wall
- On the 5th tile away from the left wall
- In the middle, where it is on the 15th tile from the left wall/16th tile from the right wall.
Because of this, spelunkers can use various mobility items to check all three locations by counting from each wall to find where the possible spawns are going to be located.
- If a Landmine falls into the abyss, it will eventually explode on its own. As such, if a landmine successfully lands on top of the Mothership entrance, it will not explode, which can be used to help find the entrance.
- Mechs can also be used to achieve this goal.
- A Falling Platform may be used to enter what is intended to be the exit door to The Mothership, similar to the Olmec Skip.
- If the player simply wants to reach the Mothership, they may use the Shortcut to the Ice Caves and descend into the abyss until the entrance spawns 6 blocks away from indestructible wall on the right of the level.
- Occasionally, a Vault may spawn just above The Mothership, allowing access if the player bombs their way down through it.
The Qilin skip is the largest in the game, allowing the spelunker to bypass the entirety of the chain normally done to obtain the Qilin, who is then used to ascend to the Sunken City. To achieve this, the spelunker must ascend past the many Forcefields and Spark Traps above Tiamat's Throne by themselves.
Qilin skips are some of the most difficult in the game, demanding dexterity and discipline of the player to perform them. This skip can be done without any resources, although the more efficient the player's current mobility items are, the easier it becomes.
- A full, in-depth video guide on every single Qilin skip can be found here, from Gugubo.
- The Sunken City can be reached with little or no resources, although it is difficult to do so. The strategy used in this case is known as the "Bubble Skip", where the spelunker leaves a crater in the throne of Tiamat with an explosive, prompting bubbles to start spawning in the middle of the level. Taking a bubble up to the top of the level then tossing rope to stall it between forcefields allows one to reach the top.
- In a Developer AMA, Spelunky creator Derek Yu was asked about Spelunky 2's many skips, stating that they were "sort of intentional!", with him not knowing how they would be possible but knowing that many of them would be regardless.