How to unlock every shortcut in Spelunky 2

Spelunky 2 shortcuts
(Image credit: Mossmouth, Blitworks)
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Spelunky 2

(Image credit: Mossmouth)

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Curious where all the Spelunky 2 shortcuts lead? There's no denying that Spelunky 2 is a challenging experience—even if you're comfortable speeding through the first game. Sharing money and items with friendly NPC, Terra 'Mama' Tunnel, allows her to build shortcuts that you can also use, saving you time on specific levels.  

It takes a few runs to procure the items Terra needs to begin construction on these shortcuts. You're asked to hand over the item separately, so you need to speak to Terra multiple times to progress, but you'll be glad that you parted ways with your hard-earned cash, ropes, and more, I promise. Here's everything you need to collect and donate to unlock all the Spelunky 2 shortcuts.

All the items you need to unlock the Spelunky 2 shortcuts

While you may remember donating items to unlock shortcuts in Spelunky, they operate slightly differently in its sequel. Once you've unlocked each passage, you'll still be able to access them from the left side of the camp in the new hub area. However, the main difference is that taking a shortcut won't drop you at the beginning of the world, e.g. 3-1. Instead, you'll spawn between two possible exits.

(Image credit: Mossmouth, Blitworks)

To unlock the shortcut after 1-4 you need:

  • $2,000 
  • Bomb x1
  • $10,000

Before you can even think about using shortcuts in Adventure mode, you need to consistently reach the end of level 1-4. It's here you meet Terra Tunnel—the first time you speak to her she'll ask whether you'd mind donating $2,000 for her to restock her supplies.

The second time you complete 1-4 Terra has another item on her mind. This time she'll ask for one bomb. You start each run with four, and you can find or buy more on the way. Just be sure to save one for Terra.

The final donation is substantial, but it's a small price to pay as it'll let you skip through the first world. Spend a bit of extra time collecting gold bars and gems on your way to Terra, though: you need to fork out $10,000 to seal the deal.

(Image credit: Mossmouth, Blitworks)

To unlock the shortcut after 3-1 you need:

  • Rope x1
  • Weapon x1
  • Mount x1

The next shortcut is a little deeper into the Moon's mysterious underworld. This time you'll need to complete level 3-1—and have unlocked the above shortcut—before Terra will appear to ask for more supplies. To get the ball rolling, Terra needs just one rope. Again, you start with four ropes at the beginning of a fresh run, so make sure you don't use them all before 3-1.

The second time you complete 3-1, Terra will ask for a weapon. This is one of the more difficult items to part with as weapons are very useful for eliminating the creatures you face in each zone, but it's your only option if you want to unlock this shortcut. If you're confident stealing from the Shopkeeper, the shotgun will do just fine. For a less stressful run, grabbing a boomerang from the enemies in the Jungle levels is much easier.

Finally, Terra's got her heart set on a mount, and she'd like you to deliver it to her. You can find turkeys in the opening levels, but keeping them alive for this long may be a struggle. If you prefer visiting Volcana over Jungle, you may run into a few rock dogs. These mounts can occasionally be found in shops, too. Ensure you're in a safe area and hop onto these animals' backs to tame them. They run around erratically for a few moments, but once you see small hearts float around them, they'll calm down. You can carry them (similar to a pet) if you're unsure how to traverse levels while perched on their backs.

(Image credit: Mossmouth, Blitworks)

To unlock the shortcut after 5-1 you need:

  • $50,000
  • Hired Hand x1
  • Golden Key

Ready to unlock another shortcut? If you've managed to venture this far into Spelunky 2's levels, you're certainly improving. As a reward, Terra is on hand to build another sneaky passageway for you to slip through. But this kind of help doesn't come cheap.

After completing 5-1, it's time to cough up a whopping $50,000. Avoid the temptation to use previous shortcuts and complete the adventure normally. Try to carry curse pots to the end of each level, and break them to retrieve the gem inside. Stealing golden idols also awards extra cash.

Next, you need a Hired Hand. This is one of the characters you can find by whipping coffins. These characters are very energetic and clumsy, so ferrying them all the way to Terra unscathed may take a few tries.

The final item you need is the Golden Key from the first world. Unlike the Skeleton Key, you have to physically hold this one, and carry it to the end of each level. Thankfully, it comes in really handy against early enemies including bats, spiders, and horned lizards.

Emma Matthews

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.