Shopkeepers are old men who own the various shops that can be found in any of the main areas of the cave.

Spelunkers can buy various items from them, provided they have enough money.

If you're feeling brave, it is also possible to rob a shop by either murdering the Shopkeeper or by simply snatching the items and running out of the front door. Shopkeepers are merciless enemies and have zero tolerance for provocation. A successful heist is very difficult to pull off for an inexperienced player, but there are multiple methods that have been developed to accomplish this.

Every Shopkeeper carries a Shotgun, and will not hesitate to use it as soon as you put a foot wrong in their store. They are also in surprisingly good health, capable of physically outperforming the Spelunkers in both athletics and toughness.

The Shopkeepers' union covers the entire cave, and committing a crime against any single shopkeeper will make the Spelunker wanted to all Shopkeepers in that run.


Shopkeepers in shops are passive, found manning the cashier and approaching visitors that show an interest in their stock.

They are also sometimes seen inside enclosed Vaults, watching over Chests filled with valuable jewels. These Shopkeepers always spawn hostile, regardless of whether the Spelunker is wanted or not, but aren't dangerous unless the vault is broken into.

Incurring their wrath:

They will become enraged if any one of the following conditions are met.

  1. They take any damage.
  2. If a Bomb falls too close to their shop square.
  3. If an item that hasn't been purchased leaves their store.
  4. If a block that is considered part of their shop is destroyed.
  5. A Mystery Box is opened before purchase.
  6. A Damsel is injured in or runs from a Kissing Parlor. This can happen if a Cobra spits on one, or the player picks one up without then paying (careful the price increases to 1.5x the original value).
  7. A Hired Hand is injured in or taken out of a shop without being payed for.
  8. The Camera, Freeze Ray, or Web Gun is used on them (despite dealing no damage).

They will always blame the Spelunker, even if he/she is off-screen and not at fault. Every Shopkeeper thenceforth will want you dead; additionally there will always be an angry Shopkeeper camping at the end of subsequent levels. It's important to note that Cobras and Snails do not deal damage to Shopkeepers and won't make them angry, but Cobra spit and Snail bubbles will if they hit a Damsel, Hired Hand or open an unpurchased Mystery Box.

When angered, Shopkeepers charge back and forth at high speed, leaping around erratically. When the Spelunker is nearby, they will also shoot indiscriminately with their Shotgun (regardless of whether they are in his sights). Shopkeepers will also hurl the Spelunker around if they come into contact with him, much like a Yeti. Taking any damage from a Shopkeeper usually results in death, due to their ability to stun lock the player.

They will be stunned very briefly if they take damage, dropping their Shotgun. If disarmed, they are able to pick their gun back up off the ground or even wrestle it right out of the Spelunker's hands. They can still attack while unarmed by throwing the Spelunker, much like a Hawk Man. They are also able to pick up other weapons if no Shotguns are available, like the Freeze Ray and the Plasma Cannon.

They cannot be killed by a Mantrap - after being swallowed, they will simply tear their way out from inside it after a brief period of being stunned. While this will not anger a passive Shopkeeper, it will not stop an angry one from rampaging. However, you can sacrifice the Mantrap, and it will count points for both a stunned shopkeeper and a stunned Mantrap. Destroying the Mantrap while the Shopkeeper is inside will kill them; if the Shopkeepers were not angry, they won't get angry for this, but the items in a Shop will still need to be bought, and stealing them will make the Shopkeepers angry.

A shop without its shopkeeper.

In Multiplayer Co-op, if one Spelunker angers the Shopkeeper, ALL Spelunkers in the session will be wanted.

Shopkeeper forgiveness works differently than in Spelunky Classic. Killing a shopkeeper can make it impossible to be forgiven for the rest of the run (depending on the method used), but every second stage after committing the original crime is an opportunity to earn forgiveness. Reduction of the player's wanted status is achieved if you manage to exit the level without a shopkeeper noticing you (including being noticed from off-screen), which will eventually result in being cleared of the Spelunker's wanted status, depending on the severity of the player's crimes against the shopkeepers.

Video showing a player being forgiven.


Shopkeeper Trading Card Artwork

Killing While Passive

  1. If you have a ranged weapon like a Shotgun/Boomerang, you can stun lock them to death pretty easily. If they are selling a Shotgun in their shop, you don't even have to buy it, as you can pick up the Shotgun and shoot the Shopkeeper with it repeatedly until he dies. Just make sure there aren't any gift boxes in the way.
  2. A Mattock/Machete will allow you to knock them unconscious and keep hitting while they're stunned (just make sure you are not touching them on the first strike). Be cautious not to dig an unintended hole with the Mattock. Doing so could cause the Shopkeeper to fall and unstun before you are able to hit him again.
  3. Using a Freeze Ray, freeze the Shopkeeper, then quickly jump on him. This will kill him instantly.
  4. One could use a Teleporter to telefrag the Shopkeeper. This is especially easy if the Shopkeeper has one in stock, as you could purchase the Teleporter and immediately kill him with it. However, this method requires special care, as Teleporters can randomly teleport you (4-8 tiles in the direction you're facing) into solid blocks.
  5. It is possible to kill him by using the whip to steal his Shotgun, but it requires very precise execution, and will always cost at least 1 HP.
    • Make sure that there are no pieces of handheld equipment/presents that you might pick up/open by accident (buying them if you feel safer).
    • Make sure he hasn't moved from his alcove.
    • Stand 1 block away from him and whip him twice, he'll drop his Shotgun (and take 1 HP from you).
    • You will have less than a second to run and grab the Shotgun to let him have it!
    • Note: If coming from left to right, his Shotgun usually falls between the 1st and 2nd items from the left (and you can practice this in the third tutorial level). Trying this strategy from right to left is much more risky as the drop location varies.
This can be done even without losing one health. If you jump and whip then you can do this without losing anything at all. Bananasaurus Rex has a tutorial on this.
6. If the floor extends one block past the 'porch' of the shop, you can easily kill the shopkeeper with one rope and one bomb without losing health. Enter the shop and pick up (do not buy) an item. The shopkeeper will follow you. Stand on the porch of the shop (DO NOT leave the porch, or else you'll shoplift the item and the shopkeeper will become hostile) and throw a rope, then climb up the rope. The shopkeeper will follow you and stand on the porch of his shop. Descend the rope and put down the item inside the shop. Walk one square out of the shop, and the shopkeeper will remain on the porch. You can now drop a bomb on that square that will kill the shopkeeper when it explodes, without making the shopkeeper hostile, since you're not in his shop.
7. If the shop is a Kissing Booth, you can pick up the Damsel and throw it at the Shopkeeper to stun him. He will drop his Shotgun, which you can then pick up and shoot him with. Just make sure the Damsel isn't in between you and the Shopkeeper, or she will block the bullets.
8. If you are playing co-op and your partner is dead, then get the player ghost to blow the shopkeeper then have the other player take his gun and shoot him.
9. If you place a bomb at the back of his alcove when he is still in it, the shopkeeper will get stunned and drop his gun allowing you to grab it and shoot him without taking any damage.

Fighting Angry Shopkeepers

They are best dealt with from a distance, using either Bombs or a weapon as they are difficult to hit at close range and are capable of killing you very quickly. Machetes, Boomerangs, Freeze Rays and Shotguns all aid in robbing shops while preventing counter-attack.

Sticky bombs and a Pitcher's Mitt allow you to throw a Bomb at them from a distance that is guaranteed to stick to them, which will kill them as soon as the Bomb detonates.

They take three Shotgun blasts to die, or four stomps while wearing the Spike Shoes.

Related Achievements

  • "Public Enemy" - Kill 12 or more Shopkeepers in one game. (guide)


  • There are many different Shopkeeper names, at least one for each of the letters in the English alphabet: Ahkmed, Ali, Andy, Bob, Brom, Cosmo, Darwin, Dong, Earl, Error, Frank, Garth, Guert, Hakim, Iggy, Ivan, Jimbo, Kao, Kevin, Lemmy, Leon, Lou, Max, Nacho, Omar, Pancho, Quincy, Ron, Sparky, Tarn, Ulf, Vern, Wang, Willy, Xorn, Yoshi and Ziggy.
    • The name Tarn is possibly a reference to Tarn Adams, one of the founders of Bay 12 Games, the studio which is developing Dwarf Fortress. Also, the name Kevin is possibly a reference to Kevin Hathaway, the producer at Microsoft who helped Spelunky get onto XBLA.
    • The name "Error" is a reference to The Legend of Zelda 2:Link's Adventure. Where an NPC of The same name can be found in one of the towns.
    • The name "Yoshi" is an obvious reference to Mario, where Mario's friend Dinosaur is called "Yoshi".
    • The names "Iggy" and "Lemmy" might be references to Mario, where 2 of the 7 Koopalings are named "Iggy" and "Lemmy".


  • Sometimes Shopkeepers are able to take 6 Shotgun bullets, Spikeballs or Tiki Traps without getting stunned.
  • If a Shopkeeper is killed by telefragging or thrown while frozen, gold won't be dropped.
  • When a patrolling Shopkeeper is hit by a Tiki Trap, they will sometimes not go angry and will just remain without their shotgun and won't move; this can be a useful way to get Shopkeeper Forgiveness if the other criteria is met.
  • If a patrolling Shopkeeper is eaten by a Mantrap, they will tear it apart and sometimes leave their Shotgun on the ground until they pick it up.
  • Sometimes Shopkeepers will "freeze" and become immobile when trying to punch a Player or Hired Hand.
  • It's possible to go through Shopkeepers if they are whipped with the right timing.
  • If a Shopkeeper is killed while frozen, the game won't stop playing the angry Shopkeeper music even if there are no Shopkeepers in the level.


More information about Shopkeeper Forgiveness

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