The Black Market is a secret level accessible from The Jungle which contains seven shops. It is the only place to obtain the Ankh, a powerful item which must be obtained to reach The City of Gold and eventually Hell.
Finding the Black Market
The entrance to the Black Market is always found on one of the first three levels of the Jungle (2-1, 2-2 or 2-3). It is always hidden behind a ground tile, so you will need bombs or a Mattock to reveal it.
Even without the Udjat Eye, you can sometimes see the leaves surrounding the entrance sticking out from behind a wall. You can also find the entrance by chance upon destroying ground tiles, but this is unlikely.
Because of the random nature of the Black Market's entrance, it is quite possible for it to end up in unusual or inconvenient locations.
Inside the Black Market
Inside the Black Market are seven shops, one of which is always a "Spin the Wheel" shop and another of which sells only the Ankh. The rest of the shops are generated randomly and can contain any type of items.
It's possible that the Shopkeepers will go aggressive even when the Spelunker has not interacted with them. Fire Frogs, Snails and flying corpses can make the Shopkeepers upset.
NOTE: Wanted spelunkers will still be treated with hostility despite the name implying that it is an illegal marketplace.
- You must visit the Black Market if you want to go to Hell, because the Ankh lets you get the Hedjet (an item which, along with the Scepter, is required to gain access to the City of Gold).
- The Ankh costs $50,000 and so can be tricky to obtain if you do not wish to anger the Shopkeepers. Ghostrunning can help you acquire enough money to buy it, though it is very risky.
- You may kill and rob the shopkeepers if getting $50,000 before entering the level doesn't seem likely, thus allowing you to get a lot of items. If you have a shotgun, start killing shopkeepers at the top of the level. If not, start at a shop that contains one. This is, like ghostrunning, risky and can be difficult if the player has no weapon, bombs or ropes.
- You may also explode the tiles in front of the first shop to make the shopkeepers fall to the bottom layers, leaving the top layer safe. This can be really useful if the Spelunker has no weapons or the shopkeepers were already made aggressive before or upon entering the Market.