For the Spelunkers in Spelunky 2, see Spelunkers (2).
There are 20 different playable Spelunkers available in Spelunky HD that can be used in all single player and multiplayer game modes.
Each of the Spelunkers have identical abilities; the differences between them are purely cosmetic and do not affect gameplay.
Four are available from the beginning, but the remaining sixteen must be unlocked by fulfilling certain requirements. A padlock in the character selection menu tells the player how many Spelunkers remain to be unlocked.
Unlocking all 16 secret characters earns the Achievement 'The Entire Gang'.
On the Xbox 360 version of Spelunky HD, The Inuk, The Round Girl, The Round Boy, The Ninja, The Cyclops, The Viking, The Robot, And The Golden Monk are all unlocked from purchasing the Explorers DLC, valued at $1.99.
In the Playstation 3, Playstation Vita, Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch ports of Spelunky HD, the aforementioned spelunkers all come free with purchase of the game and are unlocked by default. The player does not have to purchase The Cyclops from the Black Market for $10,000 or search for all other playable Spelunkers in the areas they would have normally been found in.
List of Spelunkers
|Journal Portrait||Name||Color||Unlock Condition|
|Guy Spelunky||Orange||Unlocked by default|
|Colin Northward||Blue||Unlocked by default|
||Red||Unlocked by default|
||Green||Unlocked by default|
|Hardhat||Yellow||Found inside a random Coffin in one of the four Places, only one character can be found per area.|
|Mariachi||Lime||Found inside a random Coffin in one of the four Places, only one character can be found per area.|
|Pirate||Purple||Found inside a random Coffin in one of the four Places, only one character can be found per area.|
|Bearguy||Cyan||Found inside a random Coffin in one of the four Places, only one character can be found per area.|
|Black||Black||Found inside a coffin at the top of Haunted Castle.|
|Aztec||Brown||Beat the game by defeating Olmec and leaving through the main exit.|
|Meat Boy||Pink||Found inside a dark green pod near the end of the Worm.|
|Yang||White||Beat the game by defeating King Yama and leaving through the exit.|
|Inuk||Magenta||Found inside a Coffin in a "It smells like wet fur in here!" Level Feeling.|
|The Round Girl||Violet||Found inside a Coffin in a "My skin is crawling..." Level Feeling.|
|Ninja||Dark Green||Found inside a Coffin on the platforms at the top of Olmec's Lair.|
|The Round Boy||Mint||Found inside a coffin in a Tiki Village in the Jungle.|
|Carl||Dark Orange||For sale at the Black Market for $10,000. May also be found in a random coffin after seeing him there.|
|Viking||Light Gray||Found inside a coffin in a "I hear rushing water!"/"The Dead Are Restless..." Level Feeling.|
|Robot||Dark Gray||Found inside a green pod in the Mothership.|
|Golden Monk||Gold||Found inside a coffin in City of Gold.|
- Colin Northward, Alto Singh, Liz Mutton, Tina Flan, Margaret Tunnel, and Van Horsing were given their names in Spelunky 2 as returning Spelunkers. Their names prior to the sequel are derived from the game's debug menu, or the game's code itself.
- Robots in Volcana also bear a resemblance to the robot from Spelunky HD.
- Van Horsing and the youngest son of Yang both later became NPCs in Spelunky 2.
- Bearguy was later referenced in the credits for Spelunky 2, with the cartoon portrait for Spelunky 2 programmer and designer emeritus Andrew Hull featuring him wearing the same outfit as "Cyan".
- Colin Northward is a character is based on Colin Northway, a friend of Spelunky's developer Derek Yu.
- Meat Boy makes an appearance in Spelunky HD as homage to Edmund McMillen's Super Meat Boy games. Spelunky Guy also features as an unlockable character in Super Meat Boy for XBLA, known simply as "Spelunky".
- Carl is based on the titular character of What is bothering Carl? an interactive storybook created by Spelunky's lead programmer Andy Hull. This is referenced in the pop-up prompt to purchase the character when he appears in the Black Market, which reads 'Bother Carl'.
When a spelunker dies in Co-op (or deathmatch, given the Ghost option is active), they will become a spelunker ghost. Spelunker ghosts can fly in any direction (with a slippery traction) and can pass through walls. Spelunker ghosts will be dragged along by the host (or the highest numbered player if the host is dead) such that they cannot leave the host's line of sight.
Spelunker ghosts can blow puffs of air with the attack button, which pushes items and enemies in a 2 block range, stunning them like a whip does (not dealing damage). In addition, this will also smash breakables such as pots and bone piles. This can be used to assist or hinder living players until they are revived.
If the attack button is held for a few seconds, they will fire a Freeze Ray projectile instead.
They also visual effects. They can spin in a circle with the rope button, stretch themselves vertically with the bomb button, and pulsate a few times with the jump button .
If a camera is used on a spelunker ghost, they will freeze and perform a pose of some sort, unique to each spelunker. They are also able to make a pose while performing a spin.
"The Entire Gang" - Rescue all hidden characters.