Death in Spelunky 2 is a common occurrence. Seeing world “1-1” on the top-right of the screen after your 50th or so death in Dwelling alone is close to demoralizing. Happily though, there is a shortcut system in place in the game that will ease your exploration of the dungeons and skip whole worlds, giving you chance to start off further in the dungeon and a sense of progress in your journey.
In this guide, we will be listing down the materials needed as well as some tips on how to unlock the first shortcut in Spelunky 2.
Rules of Three
To successfully build your first shortcut, you will need to reach the end of Dwelling a total of three times. Each visit has you meeting a spelunker by the name of Mama Terra Tunnel who tells you the various materials she needs to construct the shortcut.
If you don’t have the materials with you, she will not be able to progress with the construction of the shortcut even though you reached her, so be sure to have the materials ready so as to not waste your run through the dungeon.
You first visit to the end of Dwelling, you will be greeted by Mama Terra Tunnel who will excitedly tell you that she is constructing a shortcut. The first requirement she asks of you to being construction of the shortcut is a measly $2000. This is easily gained throughout your descent from world 1-1 to world 1-4 by collecting gems and gold.
So long as you don’t spend all your money in the shops, this will come to you naturally. If you find yourself lacking in money by the end of world 1-4, you can always place bombs on some blocks containing gold nuggets until you have enough to pay for the construction. If you’re lucky enough, your bomb might dig out gems as well.
For your second visit to Mama Terra Tunnel, she will tell you that to continue constructing the shortcut she will need a single bomb to clear out some debris.
This is once again a simple enough requirement as you are given a total of 4 bombs at the start of your journey. Just make sure to keep count of your bombs before reaching the end of Dwelling and you will have this step done in a cinch.
Third and Final Visit
For the third and final visit to Mama Terra Tunnel, she will ask you for quite a lot more than before: $10000 for the final touches of your first shortcut.
Similar to the first visit, you will need to save and earn money but in a larger scale. Getting $10000 might seem like a lot but there are plenty of opportunities to get that much money. Curse Pots, for example, contain a diamond which costs $5000 alone. Just be wary of the consequences of breaking open a Curse Pot and you’ll be good.
Another method to gain money is if you have the Udjat Eye or Spectacles in your inventory. These items let you see through the ground and reveals which blocks have gems in them. Simply place a bomb on the blocks containing the gems to get them or if you have a Mattock, dig them out of the blocks. For reference, red gems are worth the most, followed by blue, then green.
If all else fails, just make sure to explore each world thoroughly for easily obtainable gold bars ($1500 per stack of three) and gems, and don’t spend any money in the shops. If done right, $10000 will seem like a walk in the park and you’ll have enough for desirable items as well!
Upon giving the last requirement for the shortcut, Mama Terra Tunnel will simply tell you that she can’t wait to finish the shortcut. Play through your run as you would until you inevitably die. Instead of restarting your run, select the “Go to Camp” option. Run to the left of the camp and you will see the banner of Mama Terra Tunnel and a tunnel with the sign “1-4”.
Congratulations, for this is the shortcut that immediately warps you close to the entrances of both Volcana and Jungle!
Seeing a way to skip the whole of Dwelling is very encouraging, especially if you’ve spent hours and hours just reaching the end of it only to die immediately because you are unfamiliar of Volcana or Jungle. With this first shortcut, you can now better prepare yourself for both as it is effectively going to be your starting point.
Take note however that using the shortcut does have its downsides. For example, you will be starting with no equipment, as well as no money upon entering either Volcana or Jungle. Another downside is that you will not be able to gain the Udjat Eye because this is exclusively found in world 1-2.
Therefore, I see this more as a confidence-booster and a save point for your runs through Volcana and Jungle. Without the worry of starting back from the start of Dwelling, you can focus on memorizing the enemies of either world as well as the challenges each world provides. And once you’ve gained that confidence, you can once again start from world 1-1, seeing how far you can go without dying.