Welcome to The Cave... This guide will help you to understand and get all achievements in the game. I suppose you will play through the game for at least three times to experience each character and their stories. By doing so you will automatically get all story related achievements and be able to collect most of the other achievements. However to get 100% you will need two additional playthroughs.
Fact Sheet & Strategy Recommendation
27 achievements, 8 of them story related, no hidden achievements, many missable achievements
You will need at least 5 playthroughs to get all achievements (see "Corruption", "Redemption" & "The Whole Story")
Each character has two endings, make sure to play each character twice during your 5 playthroughs (see "Corruption" & "Redemption")
Choose the Hillbilly as part of your team for the first 3 of 5 playthroughs (see "Don't Fill Up On Fortune Cookies")
Play as a team of the Time Traveler, Knight & Hillbilly in one of your first 3 playthroughs (see "Weight of the Beast")
This guide is ordered by the character required to get the achievement
I recommened using a checklist to track your progress for the "Redemption" and "Corruption" achievement aswell as "Don't Fill Up On Fortune Cookies" achievements
To reduce the required playtime for your 5 playthroughs I collected a few tips and shortcuts in the appendix of this guide
Thanks for using this guide, feel free to comment, like and submit ideas for improvement. Also thanks to everyone who submitted content and helped with this guide!
Achievable with any character
Well Done - Sacrificed oneself for ultimate flavor.
After picking the sausage on the spike to trap the dragon don't ring the bell! Just jump over the gap to stand between the dragon and the sausage. Wait for him to spit fire and you get the achievement. I recommened to leave the fuse in the box at the Hot Dog machine until you got the achievement, so it's easier to get a new sausage if something went wrong.
Shoplifting - Saw a postcard stolen from the Gift Shop
After you have collected the three trinkets and given them to the souvenir shop guy he will open for you the door to The Cave. Before you go through the door, take a postcard from the postcard display on the left and carry it with you into The Cave, the achievement will unlock after a few meters. Important, don't take one earlier, you can't keep it during the trinket mission and there's only one in the postcard display.
Remorse - Remembered it's wrong to steal.
This achievement is related to the postcard you've just stolen. Keep the card, you will return to the souvenir shop at the end of the game. Yes, you really have to carry the postcard with you for a whole playthrough. When you return to the souvenir shop you will be able to put the card back in the postcard display. Unfortunately leaving the card somewhere in this area until you return doesn't work.
Fire In The Hole - 3 die by the Miner's hand.
When you meat the angry miner, he'll throw several things at you including dynamite. Carefully approach with all three characters, make them stand on the same spot and wait for the dynamite to explode in range killing all three characters at once.
To Soothe A Savage Beast - Recorded and played back the elevator music from the Zoo food court.
In the zoo level you get a tape recorder. After you've found and recharged the batteries go to the house with the small speaker. Just drop the recorder in front of it and it will record the music. Pick it up and drop it again and it will play the recorded music which unlocks the achievement.
Creamed Corn - Food-based destruction.
For this achievement you have to destroy two cans of corn with explosives.
The first can of corn can be found in the part with the angry miner who throws three things at you, a shovel, a bucket and a can of corn. After that he starts throwing dynamite. If the dynamite explodes close enough to the can, the can will be destroyed. You can determine this when the game caption says "Destroyed can of corn" instead of "can of corn"
The second one can be found later in the game on the island. The can of corn is at the right end of the island, take it with you to the explosive barrells you need to solve the level and destroy it with an explosion.
Corruption - Saw the darkness in all our hearts.
Each character has two endings, a good and a bad one, aswell as two corresponding achievements, "Corruption" and "Redemption". The Corruption achievement is rewarded for seeing the bad ending with every character. You can consider this as the normal ending you will most likely see on your first playthrough. In the end of the game, after you've traded a stolen trinket for your object of desire, just leave The Cave and climb up the ladder. While climbing up you will get 2 additional cave paintings per character showing the bad end (see also "The Whole Story").
Redemption - Saw the good in everyone.
In opposite to "Corruption" the Redemption achievement is rewarded for seeing the good end with every character. This time, instead of leaving The Cave with your object of desire speak to the gift shop clerk and ask him if you can return your object. You have to ask him 3 times until he accepts the objects back. Then just leave The Cave without any object and you'll again get 2 additional cave paintings showing the good end (see also "The Whole Story").
And now some math. There are 2 endings for each of the 7 characters, making a total of 14 possible endings. To be able to see all 14 endings with 3 characaters per game it requires at least 5 playthroughs to see each ending. To keep track of your playthroughs and which character has seen which ending, I recommened making a checklist.
The Whole Story - Collector of forgotten dreams.
You get this achievement for unlocking all 84 cave paintings in the game, there are 12 paintings per character. Just stand in front of the signs on the wall and press the action button to unlock the painting. Although the signs are character specific, any character can unlock any sign/painting.
While 8 of the paintings per character can be found throughout the levels, the missing 4 can only be obtained by completing the game twice with each of the possible endings, you get 2 for seeing the good end and 2 for seeing the bad end (see the Redemption & Corruption achievements for more information) what means, it requires at least 5 playthroughs to get all character specific paintings aswell as the ones for the good/bad endings.
Although it's time consuming most of the cave paintings are very easy to find. In my opinion only one is easy to miss, the one in the in the twins house. When your're in the room with the chimney and the bookshelf, repeatedly take books from the shelf until it falls over and reveals the painting on the wall behind.
Who Wants to Live Forever - Got everyone out of The Cave without dying once
This is the most difficult achievement in the game, it requires one playthrough where none of your 3 characters dies ("everyone" is misleading in this case, it doesn's mean all 7 characters). But it's almost impossible to get this achievement on your first playthrough. You have to learn the levels first and know the dangers. So don't hurry, think before you try a solution, avoid long falls, watch out for spike pits, avoid all guards with weapons and be careful when handling with dynamite aswell as moving objects like mine cars, elevators and boats.
This achievement might be easier with certain character combinations. Remember what character specific levels were easy for you. I would suggest using the Monk (telekinesis skills, level is short, but make sure to stand still on the carpet ride!), Knight (invincibility protects you on long falls, level is short, use the monk's telekinesis skills to obtain the key & gold, be careful with the guards) and Scientist (short, easy, just be careful with the guard and laser, the knock out gas doesn't harm you).
Although I wouldn't recommened it (there might be a risk to destroy your savegame), there is also a way to cheat. In case you die, quickly exit the game the hard way without saving. Press Alt+F4 to exit or Ctrl+Alt+Del to close the cave.exe process in the task manager, launch the game again and continue playing.
What You Always Wanted - Reached the bottom of The Cave.
Story related, can't be missed. Awarded for beating the game.
Win-win-win-win-win-win-win - Everyone reached the bottom.
Story related, can't be missed. Similar to the "What You Always Wanted" achievement but requires at least 3 playthroughs to reach the bottom with each character.
Requires The Adventurer
Walk Like An Adventurer - Pantomimed an ancient hieroglyph.
When you're in the pyramid watch out for the hieroglyphs on the walls, there is one with three poeple on it doing something like a dance move. Just line up your three characters in front of the picture and they will automatically do the same move and the achievement will pop up.
It Belongs In a Museum - Came ever-so-close to recovering the Sarcophagus.
Story related, can't be missed. Awarded for finishing the pyramid.
Requires The Hillbilly
Don't Fill Up On Fortune Cookies - Peered into everyone's fate.
In the carnival level you will find the Xavetar fortune teller booth. You'll need a fuse to get it working. Visit and activate the booth with each character, what means you need at least three playthroughs and in each of them the Hillbilly has to be part of your team.
Important! Thanks to Krusty Vader who mentioned in the comments that it's important to visit the fortune teller with your three characters before getting the ticket from the Wheel of Misfortune. If you miss that the booth will be closed after getting the ticket requiring another playthrough. Although if you're only missing this achievement you can start a new game after your visit at the booth.
Weight of the Beast - The scale reveals a baleful figure.
This achievement requires the Hillbilly, the knight and the time traveler as they are the heaviest characters. In the Hillbilly's carnival level you'll find the "Guess the Weight Machine". To get this achievement the scale must display a weight of exactly 666, but the characters alone are not heavy enough. Therefore each one has to hold one of the items (sledgehammer, barbell & wrench) in their hands to achieve this weight. Also make sure to get this achievements before solving the scale puzzle, the scale will be closed after you've got the ticket.
Funnier Than a Burning Carnival - Enabled the Hillbilly to burn down the Carnival.
Story related, can't be missed. Awarded for finishing the carnival level.
Requires The Knight
Royal Buffet - Where did the King go anyway?
After pulling out Excalibur, don't leave yet, don't follow the cave tour sign to the left. Instead, head back right to the princess' room. The Cave will try to stop you, just ignore it and go to her room.
A Midsummer Knight's Thieve - Helped the Knight obtain Excalibur.
Story related, can't be missed. Awarded for finishing the castle.
Requires The Monk
Embrace Impermanence - Broke bridges.
At the beginning of the monk's level you get the (heavy) feather, carry it with you through the whole level! When you reach the area with the three carpets, wait until they start flying, then move all characters to the right carpet. Now you have to be quick, there will be an opening at the right with a rope, get all characters up that rope and go to the bridge. Stand with all three characters + feather on that bridge and let one character jump.
In case you didn't make it in time, just wait until you reach the top, the carpets will dissapear and your characters will fall to death and respawn at the start of the carpet ride.
Grand Theft Karma - Played some dubious role in the Monk's murder of his Master.
Story related, can't be missed. Awarded for finishing the temple.
Requires The Scientist
Hazardous Work Environment - Slipped, where wet.
Downstairs in the missile base you'll find a wet floor sign. Slowly walk to the sign, pick it up and place it closer to the ledge on the left (could also be done on any other ledge in this level). Then run from the right side towards the sign, slip on the water so you fall down the ledge and you get the achievement. This can be done on any ledge
Learn to Stop Worrying - Shared in the blame for the Scientist's act of mass murder.
Story related, can't be missed. Awarded for finishing the missile base.
Requires The Time Traveler
Smells Like Team Spirit - Made all three characters smell like a dinosaur at once.
In the future version of the museum go to the cellar and head to the right until you reach the dinosaur exhibit. Place your three characters in front of the dinosaur, push the green button and the achievement will unlock.
Prevenge - Served as an accessory to the Time Traveler's murder of her enemy's ancestor.
Story related, can't be missed. Awarded for finishing the museum.
Requires The Twins
Such Bad Children - Watched Mummy and Daddy's furniture get broken all to bits.
This achievement requires the twins. On your way through the mansion you will ride the elevator and come into the room with the empty chamber bot. On the left side there is a bed in front of a dog painting. Jump 2-3 times on the bed until it breakes and you get the achievement. Another way to get this achievement is to destroy the bookshelf next to the chimney in the living room. Repeatedly take books from the shelf until it falls over and breaks.
God Bless Us, Every One - Stood by and watched as the Twins murdered their parents.
Story related, can't be missed. Awarded for finishing the mansion.
As already said in the beginning of the guide, you'll need at least five playthroughs to be able to get all achievements in The Cave which is quite time consuming and can get annoying over time. However there are several shortcuts and tips that may help you to skip certain areas/puzzles and reduce the required playtime on your nth playthrough. Some shortcuts need a specific character while others can be used with any character. You might also want to use these tips on your no death playthrough.
Skip the zoo with the Monk: Having the Monk in your team you can easily skip almost the whole zoo level with your telekinesis skills. !!Important: Do not enter the zoo level playing as the monk, the monster will capture the first character, so make sure to switch characters before!! When you reach the ranger just wait until the cutscene is over, don't move, press the telekinesis key and it will activate the hotdog machine, then press again to obtain the hotdog and you can go straight to the monster to break the bridge and finish the zoo.
Skip the zoo with any character: In case you don't have the Monk in your team there is a similar way to skip the zoo, but it needs a little bit more effort. In the trinket mission at the beginning activate the hotdog machine twice to get two sausages from the hotdog machine before returning the fuse to the crane. Just leave one sausage on the ground, collect the trinkets, return them to the gift shop clerk, go back to the hotdog machine an pick up the sausage. You will have to carry the sauge with you until you reach the zoo, but it's worth it. With the sausage you can directly go to the monster and break the bridge. !!Important: Don not enter the zoo level with the character who is carrying the sausage, the monster will capture the first character, so make sure to switch characters before!!
Skip parts of the castle with the Monk/Time Traveler: Again the Monk's telekinesis skills are very helpful here, you can skip the elevator/distract the guard/steal the key section aswell as the distract the dragon/steal the gold section. Just use telekinesis to aquire the key and head right to the dragon's gate, open the gate, don't move, use telekinesis to get the gold.
Similar way with the Time Traveler, you can either teleport right to the key and skip the elevator/distract guard section. Or you can leave the key where it is, use another character to distract the dragon and teleport through the gate directly to the gold. Although you didn't open the gate the game will suppose you opened it and trigger the "who left the gate open" sequence. No idea if this is a bug and will be fixed or not.
Skip the ferris wheel in the carnival: Probably not a real shortcut but it could be very helpful if you choose the Hillbilly for your no death run as the level is quite easy, besides the ferris wheel climbing section. The only reason to go up the ferris wheel is to get the fuse. You can skip the ferris wheel when you bring your own fuse from the trinket mission. After returning the trinkets to the gift shop clerk, return to the crane you used with the crystal monster and take the fuse with you to the carnival.
Speed up gameplay with the Knight: Also not a real shortcut, but the invincibility skills can shorten climbing sections especially in the mine cars level. Instead of climbing down you can just jump and activate invincibility before you hit the ground. Because of that I recommened to use the Knight as your first character for almost the whole no death run.
Leave characters behind/use autogroup: You might have already noticed that the game has an auto regroup feature when you leave characters behind. If you reach a checkpoint, the others will follow you automatically. Use this feature for your own advantage! There are less possibilities to die if you only have to control one character through a level. Only few sections really require all three characters, therefore always ask yourself if you can't do it alone. Good examples for autogroup are the trinket missions at the beginning and end, collect the trinkets with all 3 characters, leave 2 characters behind, only 1 character must return to the gift shop and the others will follow automatically.
Skip the well puzzle in the museum: Thanks to mahi-o-matic for submitting this shortcut in the comments. You can take a bucket with you to skip the tricky well puzzle in the Time Traveler's museum. Just keep the bucket you used to catch the dynamite in the mine car level and carry it with you to the museum.
Save one round trip in the gift shop/trinket mission with the Monk: Thanks to sanjmerchant for submitting this shortcut in the comments. With the Monk in your team you can obtain the bucket to protect the fuse box with telekinesis. It saves you one round trip back to the other well to get the lever. Just head down to the vending machines, stand on the wooden planks on the right, stay close to the wall of the well and use the Monk's special abilities on the bucket.
Easily get the sledgehammer in the carnival with Monk or Time Traveler: Thanks to Darth Guy for submitting this shortcut in the comments. You can obtain the sledgehammer in the carnival level with either the Time Traveler's or Monk's special abilities. Just use telekinesis or teleport to it.
You know a shortcut I haven't mentioned yet? Or any of the tips doesn't work anymore? Please feel free to submit it in the comments or to contact me, thank you.
2013-04-11: Added gift shop and carnival shortcuts
2013-04-07: Added museum shortcut
2013-02-19: Smaller fixes, video removed
2013-02-12: Removed information about glitched achievements, added appendix with shortcut guide and version history
2013-02-07: Improved the decription of "Who wants to live forever"
2013-01-31: Finished content and format of the guide