Health refers to a character's state of vital well-being, symbolizing their capacity to withstand injuries without dying.Health is represented objectively, in numeric units known as 'hit points' or 'hearts'. Most characters in Spelunky have a finite number of hit points (HP) which are lost when they take damage. When a character runs out of HP, they die.
Some sources of damage deal multiple hit points worth of damage in a single stroke. Other scenarios can even cause instant death regardless of how much health a character has (being crushed by a boulder, impaled by spikes, eaten by a Mantrap or by falling into the Abyss).
Note: If the character has more than 99 health, it is possible to survive spikes.
Health is a valuable resource in Spelunky. The player Spelunkers begin the game with a relatively low total of hit points, and increasing the total number of hit points is a slow and difficult task.
They are not much tougher than many of the monsters they will face on their adventure, and are always outnumbered, meaning that every single hit point is precious.
A Spelunker starts each game with 4 HP, but it is possible for them to gain more health - either to recover from injuries or to improve upon their initial fortitude - by completing one of the following tasks:
- Bringing a Damsel to the level exit (rewards 1 HP)
- Buying a kiss at a kissing booth (rewards 1 HP)
- Collecting Royal Jelly (rewards 4 HP)
- Absorbing eight drops of blood with the Kapala (rewards 1 HP)
- Earning 32 favor points at an Altar (rewards 8 HP)
Technically, the maximum number of hit points you can hold is limited to 99. In practice, this limit is probably impossible to reach outside of custom deathmatches without cheating or exploiting Mummy vomit using the Kapala.