Spelunky Guy is the protagonist of Spelunky who descends into the mysteriously shifting caverns beneath the desert in search of fame and fortune.
He is one of the four player characters unlocked from the beginning of the game.
"Spelunky Guy" is an eponymous name given to the player character as the star of Spelunky; a game about spelunking.
He has not, however, been given a canonical name. As a result, there are a number of nicknames for him created by the fandom:
- Iowa Jack - A parody of the name Indiana Jones, whom the character is based on.
- Indie - Independent games like Spelunky are colloquially known as "indies", which also happens to be similar Indiana Jones' nickname (Indy).
- Derek - After Derek Yu, the creator of Spelunky.
As is the case with his name, Spelunky Guy's background is mostly only speculated by fans.
However, there is also a little information about him that can be deduced from the inner monologues generated in the opening cutscene of the game. These sometimes allude to a deceased father, whose last words presumably referred to the caves. It is possible that finding the Giant Idol was his father's ambition, and Spelunky Guy undertakes this quest in his honor.
Additionally, there is reference to a faded photo that he keeps in his pocket, a treasured memento of someone he refers to only as 'her'.
This may refer to the Damsels found in the caves, but given his propensity to sacrifice them or otherwise treat them with relative indifference, it seems that the girl in the photo is someone he was more fond of, whom he lost a long time ago and doesn't expect to see ever again.
He also has apparent beliefs in polytheism and destiny.
In the trailer for Spelunky 2, he has a daughter who follows in his footsteps and becomes a spelunker like him, becoming the protagonist of the game. Spelunky Guy is implied to have died of old age.
Spelunky Guy starts each game armed with a whip, 4 bombs, and 4 ropes, which he uses along with his mountaineering skills to navigate the caves.
He is highly resourceful, capable of picking up and using a wide range of other items and utilizing them in inventive ways to dispatch enemies and evade traps.
Highly athletic, he is capable of running, jumping, climbing, swimming, crawling and dying hilariously in many, many, many ways.
Success in Spelunky requires that you use his basic range of abilities inventively and in clever combinations.
The spelunky guy could be a reference to the term “spelunker” meaning someone who goes through caves.