294 ratings
Characters & How to Unlock Them
By Ludonaut
Spelunky features 16 unlockable characters. Rescue The Entire Gang and get the Achievement.
There are 20 different player characters available in Spelunky, which can be used in single player and multiplayer game modes, including co-op adventures and Deathmatch. Four are available from the beginning, 12 are trapped in coffins, and the remaining four must be unlocked by fulfilling certain requirements.

Each of the Spelunkers have identical abilities, with the only difference between them being their appearance.

Unlocking all 16 secret characters earns the Achievement: 'The Entire Gang'.
Available From the Beginning
These characters are available from the beginning of the game and don't need to be unlocked.

The Spelunker
A character based on the Indiana Jones archetype of the 'Adventurer Archaeologist', with a very prominent red nose.

A man dressed as an early 20th century Safari hunter, with a pith helmet and hulihee beard.

Based on Colin Northway[colinnorthway.com], a friend of Derek Yu and developer of Incredipede.

A man wearing a Turban.

A woman with a green bow in her curled hair.
Trapped Inside Coffins
There characters are trapped inside coffins throughout the game. One coffin may generate randomly in each of the four main areas, though some require certain Level Feelings[spelunky.wikia.com] in order to spawn. Break it open and one of these characters may be found trapped inside, which you will unlock once he/she is released.

Coffins can also hold Hired Hands if all characters are unlocked.

A girl wearing a miner's helmet.

A man dressed in Mariachi clothing.

A girl dressed as a pirate with an eyepatch, bandanna and gold earrings.

A man wearing a furry cyan animal hood, a purple jacket and green pants.

The Eskimo
An Inuk wearing a parka.

Apparently this coffin only appears in the "It smells like wet fur in here" Level Feeling in the Ice Caves.

The Round Girl
A 'round' girl, wearing glasses and a hairband.

Apparently this coffin only appears in the "My skin is crawling" Level Feeling in the Mines.

The Ninja
A ninja wearing a Yin-Yang bandanna.

This coffin seems to only spawn above Olmec.

The Round Boy
A 'round' boy wearing a cap.

Found inside a coffin in a Tiki Village in the Jungle.

The Cyclops
A goofy Cyclops. Based on the titular character of What is bothering Carl?[www.storyfort.com], an interactive storybook created by Spelunky's lead programmer Andy Hull.

Sold in The Black Market.

The Viking
An archetypical Nordic Viking.

Apparently this coffin only appears in the "I hear rushing water" event in the Jungle area.

The Robot
A blocky cartoon robot with treads.

Apparently this coffin only appears in The Mothership.

The Golden Monk
A golden Buddhist Monk that sparkles like treasure.

Apparently this coffin only appears in The City of Gold.
Hidden Characters
These characters need certain requirements to be fulfilled in order to be unlocked.

Van Helsing
Van Helsing, the Vampire hunter from Bram Stoker's Dracula.

How to Unlock: At the top of the secret Haunted Castle level, he can be found trapped inside a coffin. He will be unlocked once the coffin is broken open.

The Jungle Warrior
A tribal warrior, wearing a loincloth and a leopard headdress.

How to Unlock: Defeat Olmec and get to the exit.

Meat Boy
A representation of Meat Boy, drawn in Spelunky's graphical style.

This may be a reference to how Super Meat Boy features The Spelunker as an unlockable character.

How to Unlock: Near the end of the secret Worm level, he can be found trapped inside a dark green fleshy pod. He will be unlocked once the pod is broken open.

A man dressed in traditional Chinese clothing.

How to Unlock: Defeat King Yama and get to the exit.
Though this guide lists all Characters and how to get them, I still consider it incomplete. The unlock instructions could benefit from some more details. I will link appropriate Steam Guides as soon as they are available.
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Sixtano Dec 2, 2018 @ 2:10am 
I just tried to kill the big pirahna. it killed me... But after it killed me it pushed me into a coffin with the viking in it. So now i unlocked the viking!
Warlock Aug 10, 2018 @ 9:45am 
In case you did'nt know, Gimpy can be unlocked by:

- Having the Ankh

-Having EXACTLY 420000 money

-Freezing the Ghost with a camera, and jumping into her

You'll respawn as Gimpy!

Hope this helped! -W
DarkTheWolf87 Jun 30, 2018 @ 2:00pm 
what about gimpy?
Adam May 20, 2018 @ 3:35pm 
Finally unlocked Yang
Bandit Hadron May 15, 2018 @ 4:44pm 
I want Yellow so badly
jaythedogged Jan 27, 2018 @ 2:37pm 
On Xbox, I got the Low Scorer Acheviment and the Teamwork One.
Crunch Wrap Supreme Jan 20, 2018 @ 7:09am 
Cyan and Yellow still elude me. I was able to go from barely beating Olmec to doing low scorer achievement with every other character unlocked besides those two.
TimePause Nov 24, 2017 @ 11:58am 
I need this Mexican
True Loaf Sep 14, 2017 @ 4:06pm 
yang is easy to get
bruh sound effect #2 Aug 5, 2017 @ 7:05pm