Did you know Spelunky 2 has wanted level mechanics? This quick guide shows you how to manipulate it to your advantage for guilt free items and easier runs!
How to Level Manipulate
Your Wanted Level: Gaining It
Shopkeepers keep track of your transgressions, and the more you slight and slaughter them the worse things will get for you. With a little skill and a bit of luck you can still get all that precious loot without having to deal with them waiting at nearly every exit.
Your wanted level with the shopkeepers starts at neutral and gains what we’ll call “infamy” as you perform the following actions:
- Attacking the shopkeeper or any NPCs he sells.
- Stealing from the shopkeeper.
- Destroying parts of the shop.
- Breaking into a shopkeeper vault (From the front or back).
Doing any of these things to a single keeper generates 1 infamy and causes the keeper to enrage and attack you. Note that doing multiple of these things to one keeper does not stack infamy, but if there’s more than one keeper on the level each can give you 1 infamy if they personally are slighted.
When a keeper enrages, either through one of the above actions or because you have outstanding infamy and they spotted you, a chime sounds. This is important because if a keeper is killed by any means after enraging it counts against you.
Killing any keeper generates 3 additional infamy. If you ever want to be forgiven by the keepers you must try to avoid killing keepers or letting them die.
Your Wanted Level: Not Gaining It
Obviously the most effective way to keep infamy free is to simply never offend shopkeepers, but then you wouldn’t be reading this guide if that was a satisfying solution to the problem. The following actions do not raise your infamy level, note that some of these are rather counter intuitive.
Being attacked or killed by enemies/environmental hazards
If a keeper is hurt or dies, wasn’t enraged, and you had no hand in it, it generates no infamy. Note that you are blamed if traps you trigger hit the keeper or if a thrown enemy collides with the keeper. Any dead keeper’s goods are free to take, and generate no infamy of their own.
Stealing from an enraged keeper
If a keeper is enraged and is running about his items are no longer for sale, and can be collected freely without generating infamy.
Unlocking doors in shops
Keepers sometimes have a second floor or basement with a locked door. If you have a skeleton key or find another key on the level you can use it here without the keeper enraging. Note that the keeper has his own key on him, but it’s very hard to get to it without enraging the keeper as it usually requires him to take damage.
Damaging an enraged keeper’s store
If a keeper is enraged you can safely damage his store without generating infamy. Note that if the keeper is harmed in the blast that DOES generate infamy.
Taking opened presents
If the keeper is selling a present and an attack you didn’t have a hand in opens it that item is not for sale and can be collected without generating any infamy. Presents will typically be opened by the keeper’s shotgun as he fends off aggressive mobs that damaged him.
Enraging keepers by being spotted
If you have infamy and are wanted keepers will enrage upon entering their range (they do NOT need line of sight). This act in itself does not generate infamy, but any way to enrage a keeper while not wanted requires generating infamy.
Your Wanted Level: Losing It
Every floor after the floor where you first gained infamy you will be wanted, and every such floor you manage to leave you will lose one infamy. What this means is that if you avoid all the things that raise infamy you will eventually return to the keepers good graces.
The trickiest part of doing this is not harming the keeper that guards the exit. Remember, once you here that chime and they start running everything that happens to them is your fault! Once you’re spotted by the exit guarding keeper it is in your best interest to leave the level as soon as possible before they find themselves trouble to get into.
Certain levels do not generate keepers by the exit, and on these levels you do not lose infamy for completing them.
A level feeling will display on the first level where your infamy drops to zero, the wanted posters will come down, keepers will not have their guns out anymore, and they once again will let you buy from them.
Stakeouts: When It Gets Bad
If your infamy rises too high starting from the second world shopkeepers will start to set up stakeouts to stop you. These forts are always found on the main path through the level, and have three enragable keepers fully armed with guns. The ghost pot and the damsel are also very likely to be generated here, rising the chances that they will be maimed in the chaos.
Because they are very likely to shoot each other approaching a stakeout is very likely to raise your infamy faster than you can clear it, meaning you will never be forgiven. If you notice a stakeout your only option is usually to bomb around it, giving the keepers a wide berth. Even clearing one stakeout by force can generate up to 9 infamy, likely blocking you from forgiveness for the rest of the run.
You don’t want to reach this point unless you are extremely confident in your ability to dispatch shopkeepers.
When a Keeper Isn’t a Keeper
Shopkeepers, with their bald heads and bushy beards, only care about what you do to other shopkeepers who look like that. You will occasionally find shops run by other characters, and for the most part you can rob and kill them without any lingering penalty. There are two exceptions to this rule:
The robed rabbit like creature stalks the player just like traditional shopkeepers except instead of guarding the exit they rush out of the entrance. They have their own separate infamy counter that can be manipulated the same way as the keepers’. In general if you’ve offended Tun get away from the entrance as quickly as possible and do not look back! Tun will forgive you following the same rules as normal shopkeepers and it’s possible to be on the road to forgiveness with both at the same time.
If you enrage Tusk or her bodyguards they will remain aggressive to you for the rest of the run. They do not stake out levels however so this is only an issue on the levels which they naturally appear in.
Every other keeper you come across will simply disappear if enraged and left behind or killed. Note that there are ways to stop progression to certain endings by enraging/killing certain keepers such that they cannot set up shop later.
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