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Skeletons are weak enemies that randomly appear in all areas that spawn bone piles.

Behavior

While inactive, they are indistinguishable from the harmless piles of bones that may also be found, but will rise if a Spelunker approaches one of them to within three tiles horizontally and downwards or two tiles upwards.[confirm] Skeletons that have been awoken will revert to their inactive state if they wander too far from the Spelunker or fall into a single tile wide hole. [confirm]

Skeletons are 'blind' and will always walk directly forwards, regardless of their surroundings. They will walk off ledges and only change direction when they reach a wall. Because Skeletons cannot jump, this behavior often leads to them getting trapped in pits.

Strategy

It is prudent to always treat piles of bones as if they were Skeletons so as never to be caught by surprise. Undead Skeletons lying in wait can easily be dealt with by either jumping onto bone piles, which kills the Skeleton the instant it rises, or by approaching slowly.

Skeletons are still easy to defeat using the whip or a jump once they have risen, and it may even be valuable to do so thanks to the skull they drop, which can be used to trigger traps or damage other enemies.

It is worth noting that Skeletons do not give off blood when they die, and thus do not fill the Kapala.

Within the Jungle special caution must be taken as they can be almost invisible depending on the terrain on which they spawn.

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Skeletons are weak enemies that randomly appear in all areas of the dungeon.

While inactive, they are indistinguishable from the harmless piles of bones that may also be found, but will rise if a Spelunker approaches one of them in the horizontal distance of (inclusively) the limit of 3 blocks, either in the same height or below, to (inclusively) the limit of 2 blocks of vertical distance.
It is prudent to always treat piles of bones as if they were Skeletons so as never to be caught by surprise. Undead Skeletons lying in wait can easily be dealt with by either jumping onto bone piles or approaching slowly. It is worth noting that Skeletons do not give of blood when they die, and thus do not fill the Kapala.

Skeletons are 'blind' and will always walk directly forwards, regardless of their surroundings. They will walk off ledges and only change direction when they reach a wall. Because Skeletons cannot jump, this behaviour often leads them to get trapped in pits.

Skeletons that have been awoken will revert to their inactive state if they wander too far from the Spelunker or fall into a single tile wide hole.

Within the Jungle and the Ice Caves special caution must be taken as they can be almost invisible depending on the terrain on which they spawn.

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Skeletons are a somewhat uncommon enemy in Spelunky that may be found in all areas.
They pop up from certain seemingly innocuous piles of bones that are occasionally seen around the dungeon. While they're not very dangerous foes, they can still score cheap hits if you get fail to take caution around suspicious skulls.

Strategy

Bones can appear two ways. "Fake" bones are those that may pop up as a skeleton

Undead Skeletons spawn as dormant piles of bones on the ground, attempting to disguise as one of the harmless bone piles that are sometimes seen on the ground. When the Spelunker runs over them or attempts to pick up the skull, they will assemble into Skeletons and walk towards them, dealing damage as they do so. A reanimated Skeleton will walk off ledges and only turn around if it runs into a wall.

A good method for checking whether a pile of bones is an undead Skeleton lying in wait is to whip them - skulls that are part of a skeleton will be destroyed, regular ones will not.
Suspicious piles of bones may also be identified from a distance. Undead Skeletons waiting to ambush you will always be arranged with a large white bone visible to the right of the skull (See attached image), so skeletons that don't show this bone are always safe to touch.
However, not all skeletons with a visible white bone are the undead enemies. Even suspicious bones may sometimes turn out to be safe.

Bone piles which can't be destroyed when shot at (for example with the shotgun) always reveal a skeleton. Be careful; skeletons are invincible when re-assembling, but may still hurt you.

Active skeletons are easily dispatched with the whip, or by jumping on them. When destroyed, they drop a skull which usually shatters when it hits the ground.

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