Ironman achievement in Spelunky


Complete the game without using shortcuts.

3 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperative

How to unlock the Ironman achievement

  • Carlos AgainCarlos Again150,526
    26 Jul 2012 27 Jul 2012 27 Aug 2012
    25 0 7
    "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

    I hope my experience with this game and these tips help at least some of you fellow achievement-hunters obtain this tough achievement.

    1. Get a kapala. The kapala is extremely useful for staying alive. With the kapala, the blood of your defeated foes can be transferred to imbue you with life-points. To get the kapala, you need to make enough sacrifices to the god Kali. The appearance of Kali's altar is randomized. The easiest way to appease Kali, is to sacrifice a damsel each time you come across a Kali altar, it only takes two damsel sacrifices to be granted the kapala, and they are most definitely worth it.

    2. Get a jet-pack (or at least a cloak). These upgrades make the ice caves a breeze, and overall just make platforming easier. The jet-pack also removes any reliance on ropes (for the most part).

    3. Don't anger the shopkeepers. Unless you are an expert at the game, angry shopkeepers are possibly the biggest danger in the regular zones. Even if you find a stocked jet-pack that you can't afford, the added challenge of the shopkeepers is usually not worth the risk.

    4. Get a shotgun, and hold onto it. Having a shotgun is the difference between a Mario with no mushrooms and a Mario with two. It overall just makes the game easier. In the jungle zone, during the random undead event, there is a guaranteed shotgun. While most of the tombstones will spell "R.I.P", one will spell "ASH". A shotgun is buried under this tombstone, ready to be plundered. This secret is likely a reference to the cult Evil Dead movies, starring Bruce Campbell as Ash.

    5. Get a compass. They are cheap, and prove extremely useful in the Ice Caves and the dreaded dark levels.

    6. Stock up on bombs for the Olmec (final) battle, encountered in zone 4-4. I would suggest having at least 15 bombs ready for the fight. The object of the battle is to force Olmec to plunge himself into the lava pits at the bottom of the level. The best thing to do in this final battle, is to bomb out a sizable portion of the floor all the way to the lava pits, before Olmec notices you. Then you just need to get the attention of Olmec, and lead him straight down into the pit. The exit to the level is on the far right-side of where you spawn, so make sure you have a way back up.

    7. Always carry something. If you don't have a shotgun, you can still use rocks, pots, animals and even the lovely damsels to set off traps, be your pincushion, or be thrown at enemies. A carried rock is infinitely more useful than carrying nothing at all.

    8. Possibly most important to succeeding at this game, is the virtue of patience. You can hold up or down to get a better look at your surroundings, and avoid any nasty surprises. It is vital to know what you are getting yourself into, don't just jump down into a steep pit. If you get frustrated and/or rush through a level, you generally aren't going to last very long. Take your time, be wary of your surroundings and always learn from your mistakes.

    Good luck, and watch out for the teleporting lizard guy.

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    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    Eric From CaliThe achievement says beat the game with no shortcuts, but you don't say what a shortcut is in your guide. Is a shortcut when you die and continue? Or is the shortcut something in the actual level itself? Some clarification would be nice
    Posted by Eric From Cali on 30 Sep 16 at 05:19
    TophertaniumShortcuts appear after you complete a section (after the last exit of the jungle was when mine was available). A guy will off to dig a hole connecting you to the beginning of the next section. They appear off to the left of the start portal.
    Posted by Tophertanium on 12 Oct 16 at 20:06
    artemis filthgood guide, very well written. thumbs up from me.

    i agree on all points except for angering the shopkeepers. personally, the game opened up a lot for me once i learned how to deal with aggro'd shopkeepers. for those who followed your guide and are still stuck, i'd recommend going for the "public enemy" achievement first to get more comfortable with the idea of killing those &$@?! shopkeepers.
    Posted by artemis filth on 02 Jan 17 at 05:28
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  • SummitVikingSummitViking522,501
    10 Jul 2012 21 Jul 2012 21 Jul 2012
    8 0 0
    To complete the game without using shortcuts, you must beat the game from start to finish, without dying. If you die just once, you have to start all over.

    There are 4 regular worlds, with 4 levels in each, with the Temple having 3 levels and the boss level.

    To defeat Olmec (the boss), he needs to fall in the lava below. Use bombs or run under him to destroy to the ground. If you run under him, he freezes in the air for awhile then slams and destroys part of the ground. Sometimes when you run under him, enemies will come out of him in yellow fire-ball-like forms. During the fight, you can find various items above you: boxes and treasure.

    If you play Co-op, on the other hand, you have a chance to continue if you die. When you or your friend dies, they will become trapped in a coffin in the next level. All you have to do is whip the coffin and they come back to life. I recommend not using a Shotgun or bomb to free them, because they can die.

    And this achievement can unlock in Co-op. When my brother and I unlocked the Good Teamwork achievement, he got this achievement as well.
  • dbldndbldn199,578
    15 Sep 2012 17 Sep 2012 31 Jan 2014
    7 0 1
    My best set up included a mattock, compass, and a jet pack. Sticky bombs are a ton of help. Everything else is a bonus.

    At Olmec I used the mattock to tunnel under him just above the lava. From there I teased him until he smashed through the bottom floor.

    Playing through the game, don't focus too much on gold. If you see gold or gems - pick them up. But don't risk your life for one gold brick.
    Showing only comment.
    MrEDMeanerThis is a great strategy, never thought of it!
    Posted by MrEDMeaner on 03 Sep 17 at 04:11
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