A Mattock is a useful digging tool that also makes a decent weapon.
It can be bought in certain Shops or occasionally found in Crates. It is also guaranteed to be found at the bottom of a snake pit, buried beneath the two rubies. (It's always directly under the left ruby.)
The difference between a mattock and a pickaxe is that mattocks have a flattened adze instead of a chisel head, making it more effective at digging through dirt and chopping wood.
Mattocks are one of the few items in the game that can destroy blocks (the others being bombs and the Plasma Cannon), which makes it very useful for digging up treasure and taking shortcuts around difficult terrain or enemies.
Mattocks will hit the block in front of you when used. If there is no block directly in front of you, it will instead hit the block below that space, if there is a block there. It is possible to destroy a lone block which you are standing on if you stand on the very edge of it and face towards the rest of the block. It is also possible to destroy a block one level above you by jumping at the same moment, or possibly slightly after, you initiate the swing.
The mattock can dig through any solid block, but not liquids, web, ladders or the level border. It also cannot damage the Moai.
Unlike the whip, mattocks must be carried in the hands, so must be dropped to carry items such as Golden Idols.
Mattocks have limited durability. Each mattock is different, and in true Spelunky style, the number of uses is random.
The particulars of Mattock breaking behavior changed in the last major patch before the HD PC release. Since that change, it seems that the variability in Mattocks' durability has been substantially decreased. The durability of a Mattock is always between 40 and 60 uses. For example, under four use tests of Mattocks, they gave out after 47, 57, 56, and 56 hits.
As a WeaponEdit
Using a mattock to attack enemies does not reduce its durability. It does the same amount of damage as the whip, but it cannot be used while jumping, so it's generally a good idea to drop the mattock before getting into a fight.
On the other hand, unlike the whip, it can be used to damage stunned enemies. This makes it useful for finishing off tough monsters like Cavemen, Mantraps and even Shopkeepers without waiting for them to wake up between each hit.
Like other weapons, it's able to hit behind the Spelunker, which also allows them to kill the Shopkeeper inside a Vault without having to open it.
- Like Machetes, if a Mattock is used against a wall and dropped before the attack animation is done, it will be dropped inside the block and get crushed. This, however, only works against the walls that limit the level, the Moai head and Olmec, since the rest of blocks will normally be destroyed by the mattock.
- In older versions, Mattock durability would get reset after every level, making them almost unbreakable unless used a lot in a single level.