The City of Gold is a secret level hidden within the Temple. The Golden Door will spawn randomly on 4-2 within the main path or a room adjacent to it, which will lead the player to the City of Gold, replacing 4-3.
Gaining entry to the City of Gold is considered to be one of the game's biggest challenges, due to the incredible difficulty of reaching the level and the extremely high scores that can be achieved by looting it.
To access the City of Gold, the player must play through the whole game from the beginning, collecting all of the special ancient Egyptian artifacts from each area:
- The Udjat Eye from the Mines.
- The Ankh from the Black Market in the Jungle.
- The Hedjet from the Ice Caves.
- The Scepter from the Temple.
- To acquire the Udjat Eye, you must find the Key to unlock the Big Chest.
- To acquire the Ankh, you must use the Udjat Eye to locate the entrance to the Black Market, use a bomb, Fire Frog or a mattock to reveal it and purchase the item within for $50,000 or steal it, although this is risky.
- To acquire the Hedjet, you must locate the Moai and kill yourself anywhere on the level to resurrect inside it, where the item will be found.
- To acquire the Scepter, you must find and kill Anubis in the temple 4-1.
When you possess both the Hedjet and the Scepter, you must then locate the Golden Door somewhere in the Temple 4-2 to gain entry. The Scepter must be relinquished to open the door, leaving you with only the Udjat Eye and the now-useless Hedjet.
- The Udjat Eye is not strictly necessary to find the Black Market; it is possible (albeit somewhat unlikely) to find the entrance by blind luck. Sometimes, the leaves surrounding the entrance to the Black Market stick out of the wall, and can be seen.
- The Ankh can be stolen if you are unable to raise $50,000 by the time you reach the Black Market, but you must fight off seven angry Shopkeepers at once to do so.
The City of Gold is much like any other level in the Temple, except that every block and trap is made entirely of gold and other treasures, giving you the potential to earn an enormous amount of money.
Although the huge wealth attainable from the City makes the level an attractive prospect, reaching the City of Gold requires a heavy investment: Finding the Black Market is tricky and can use numerous Bombs. The Ankh costs $50,000 to purchase, and its valuable power must be squandered by intentionally killing yourself to acquire the Hedjet. Furthermore, the Scepter must too be sacrificed to open the golden door, depriving you of a powerful weapon. Your ability to collect the gold from within is limited by the number of Bombs you have available to demolish the place with, and you may also need several ropes to collect it all.
When visiting to gather money, several dozen sticky bombs are vital. Since finding this number of bombs through supply crates and legitimate Shop purchases is neither likely nor cost-effective, the best way to make the City of Gold worthwhile is to violently plunder the Black Market - an extremely risky move.
It's also possible to use the Ball and Chain to destroy the City of Gold and gather all the money on it, keeping in mind that the ball can't destroy golden push blocks. Using a Hired Hand to get the Plasma Cannon into the City of Gold can also be a way to get all the possible money from it. Due to the random generation of the level, the amount of money that can be obtained is different every time, but it can go from $450,000 to $800,000 depending on the blocks and gems generated in the level.
- "City of Gold" - Reach the City of Gold. (Guide)
- "To Hell and Back" - Complete the game the hard way. (Guide)
- The City of Gold could be a reference to the Seven Cities of Cibola, which were rumored by Indians in the 16th century to be made of gold and filled with riches. This theory is supported by the fact that the cave which the Spelunker descends into is located in the desert, which is where the Indians said that the cities were located.
- The name the City of Gold could also be a reference to the myths formed about Timbuktu, a city famously known for its myths that formed after trading gold for salt.
- There's a message in the game files saying "The key doesn't fit in this door", supposedly meant to be used when the player tries to use the Key in the City of Gold's entrance, but no message pops up in the game.