Most games have endings. Some games have multiple endings. Spelunky 2 is one of the rare games that has an ending behind an ending that tries to end you. Indeed, like Spelunky HD’s secret Hell level, Spelunky 2 ups the ante with the ridiculously brutal Cosmic Ocean secret after-level.
Not only is reaching the Spelunky 2 Cosmic Ocean ending an absolutely herculean task itself, reserved for only the best of the best gamers with serious levels of dedication, the concept of beating it is so generally unthinkable that all but a handful of the world’s gamers have ever managed to complete it.
It’s so insanely difficult that until data miners were able to peek into the game files and see otherwise, many thought it was, quite literally, endless. The truth was that the Cosmic Ocean ending’s ending exists, just far, far out of the reach of the average player.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a crack at it. Dare we hope that you might even join the pantheon of gamers who actually made the transcendent journey to floor 99 of the Cosmic Ocean?
Well, first you have to get there.
How to Reach the Spelunky 2 Cosmic Ocean Ending
- Get Your Hands on the Udjat Eye
- Defeat Quillback & Go Right
- Complete the Moon Challenge & Grab the Hou Yi Bow
- Enter Vlad’s Castle and Steal the Crown
- Store the Bow with Waddler
- Defeat Olmec & Get the Ankh
- Enter Tide Pools, Claim Excalibur, and Die.
- Resurrect, Kill Kingu, Leave
- Complete the Ice Caves to Reach Neo Babylon
- Find the Ushabti Room, Pick the Right Ushabti Doll
- Hatch the Doll, Take Quilin for a Spin, and Hop Aboard the S.S Olmec
- Find Good Old Waddler and Get Your Bow Back
- Complete the Sun Challenge
- Defeat Hundun (Without the Bow)
- Prepare to Die (But First Congratulate Yourself)
How to Reach the Spelunky 2 Cosmic Ocean Ending
Okay. Buckle your turkey-belt, and keep that Ankh in a white-knuckle death grip, because it’s going to be one hell of a ride. We won’t go into depth about each minor obstacle, as any players looking to even reach the Cosmic Ocean, let alone trying their hand at crossing (ascending?) it should be well-seasoned
Get Your Hands on the Udjat Eye
Early on in the Dwelling, you’ll first need to acquire the Udjat Eye by getting a Gold Key to the secret cave containing the Eye. If you’re heading towards the Ocean, this step should be a no-brainer you can do on pure muscle memory.
Defeat Quillback & Go Right
After defeating Quillback, you have a choice of two doors through which to exit this floor. Left takes you to the Jungle, while the Right door leads to Volcana — generally considered the better option. The Jungle is more compact and trap-infested than the more vertical, movement-friendly Volcana. Of course, don’t let your guard down there, either. It is still Spelunky we’re talking about here.
Complete the Moon Challenge & Grab the Hou Yi Bow
Once you’re on Volcana, find the Moon Challenge and make sure to grab the Hou Yi Bow hidden somewhere inside. This bow is critical so make sure to keep ahold of it until later. Note that it costs 10,000 gold to initiate the challenge.
Enter Vlad’s Castle and Steal the Crown
Inside Volcana, look for a large Drill near the top of the level and place the Udjat Eye on the pedestal beside it. The drill will activate, plunging down through the level, and through the bottommost layer of Volcana. Descend along the chain left by the drill, taking care not to pull a Gollum on the lava at the bottom. You’ll find the entrance to Vlad’s Castle laid in striking red stone.
Entering the castle, work your way up to Vlad, King of Vampires. His crown is impossible to miss. If you rescued Van Horsing beforehand, he’ll take down Vlad — otherwise, you can kill ’em all by yourself or try to snatch the crown and run away. Complete the rest of Volcana.
Store the Bow with Waddler
Whether you took Volcana or that terrible, horrible Jungle where nothing good happens, you’ll be taken to the next level where you will be confronted with the king of the stomp, Olmec. Keep traveling all the way to the right until you hit a ladder — you should find a gateway hidden a little under the stone. Use a couple of bombs to blow your way into the gateway, and then store the bow with Waddler.
Defeat Olmec & Get the Ankh
Once the bow is safely stored with Waddler, go and initiate the fight with Olmec. Your first priority is to trick Olmec into smashing a hole in the first floor. Once you’re both on the next level down, Olmec will switch to levitating on thrusters and firing bombs at you.
Your goal is to shatter these thrusters by either riding around on top of Olmec until his own bombs break his thrusters with their AoEs, or by sticky-bombing them. Once Olmec is grounded, he’ll return to the smashing-attack that he used to break through the first floor. Guide Olmec into breaking another hole and time pulling a Frollo.
Once Olmec is situated in the lava, use him as a platform to enter one of the small cave entrances running overhead the lava pit. Inside, nab the Ankh and exit through the upper right door to return to the outside. There are doors on the second and third bottommost floors. Take the topmost door to the Tide Pool. The lowermost door leads to the Temple of Anubis, but is only recommended for Spelunky HD players looking for some familiarity.
Enter Tide Pools, Claim Excalibur, and Die.
On the second level of the Tide Pools you’ll find Excalibur set inside a large block of stone. As long as you’re wearing either Vlad’s Crown or the Hedjet, you will be able to pull the sword free. But don’t get excited just yet. Take Excalibur up to the top of the level and find a safe spot to drop it because this next part is where the Ankh comes in handy.
With the Excalibur safely stowed away, look for a door in the uppermost levels of the Tide Pools. This should lead to a secret room set underneath a massive pool of lava above. Look for the Golden Idol set in the center of the chamber and pull an Indiana Jones, and then pull an Unfortunate Fire & Ice Henchmen. By removing the Golden Idol, you will be insta-killed by the deluge of lava that subsequently floods in from above.
Resurrect, Kill Kingu, Leave
Head to the bottom of the level and look for the newly revealed door to the Tide Pool’s secret area, Abzu. Inside it, you’ll find a monstrous and somewhat disturbing human-tortoise hybrid miniboss called Kingu crawling up the wall. Hop onto his back and start hacking at his shell like you’re mining for gold. He’ll, rather understandably, continuously spawn enemies while you’re trying to murder him, so be careful. It shouldn’t take long to see Kingu dead, which should spawn one Tablet of Destiny. Pick it up and proceed through the Tide Pools to the Ice Caves.
Complete the Ice Caves to Reach Neo Babylon
Your only concern regarding the Ice Caves is survival. There is no special item or a secret door to find. Just get yourself to the end of the level in one piece. You don’t even need Excalibur anymore.
Find the Ushabti Room, Pick the Right Ushabti Doll
Once you’re inside Neo Babylon, find the door to the Ushabti Room, inside which is an array of funerary urns. Open up your journal, head to the Tablet of Destiny page, and read the description there carefully. Find the corresponding Ushabti Doll (it’s randomized each run by size, material, and marks) and very rudely “borrow it”, ditching Excalibur. Treat this Ushabti Doll as your baby as you make your way to the next stage.
Hatch the Doll, Take Quilin for a Spin, and Hop Aboard the S.S Olmec
In Stage 3, the Ushabti Doll will hatch into a flying, fire-ball spitting, all-around badass mount called Quilin that you need to keep alive all the way to the end of the stage. In Stage 4, you’ll come head to head with what is ostensibly the game’s final boss, Tiamat, who looks a lot like if the Little Mermaid chose the Dark Side. As terrific a boss fight as Tiamat is, what you need to do is ride Quilin up, up, and away to the roof of Tiamat’s throne room where you’ll find a hole guarded by a timed-lightning trap.
Avoid pulling a Mace Windu as you make your way upwards through the lightning traps. Eventually, should you remain unzapped, you’ll find an exit that opens up to a spaceship that looks suspiciously like the Olmec. Hop in the ship, take off for the Sunken City, and prepare for things to get weird.
Find Good Old Waddler and Get Your Bow Back
The first thing you have to do, once you’ve finished taking in the overwhelming strangeness of the Sunken City, is to look for your buddy Waddler and retrieve the bow we left with him all the way back in the Olmec’s Lair. Just look for the same signature door somewhere on the first stage.
Complete the Sun Challenge
Now that you have your bow back, you’re going to need some ammunition. Look for the entrance to the Sun Challenge — it can appear anywhere in 7-1, 7-2, or 7-3 so keep an eye out as you go. Once you find it, pony up the fifty grand to start the challenge, and make sure to keep your bow in a safe place. And be warned: the Sun Challenge is a pretty insane little microcosm of raw chaos itself. You’re going to be overrun with enemies throughout the duration of the challenge, with your only goal to survive the onslaught until time runs out. If you do make it through, you’ll be rewarded with the Arrow of Light. It’s pretty distinctive. Pick up your fancy new projectile and head out. It’s time to fight the final final boss, Hundun.
Defeat Hundun (Without the Bow)
As soon as you enter stage 7-4, hightail it to the top of the level. The two-headed winged egg that is Hundun, one of the OGs of Chinese Mythology emerges from the base of the level to chase you upwards. Get up top, drop off the Bow and Arrow and defeat Hundun with good ol’ explosives. Which is, of course, easier said than done — but then again we‘re trying to get to the Cosmic Ocean here!
Once you’ve laid waste to the Source of all Chaos itself, the now headless, oblong corpse of the once great being will sprout an eye that will watch you as you move about. Retrieve your bow, take aim at that impossibly unsettling piece of optical anatomy, and fire.
Welcome to the Cosmic Ocean.
Prepare to Die (But First Congratulate Yourself)
As soon as your Arrow of Light makes contact with Hundun’s eye, a bright wormhole will open up, sucking you in with a gravitational pull and depositing you into the strange universe of the Cosmic Ocean, Spelunky 2’s secret after-level.
We hope you’ve prepared adequately up to this point. You’ve waded through the unrivaled rogue-like depravity that is Spelunky 2 just to step foot at the beginning of whole universe platforming so merciless, you can count all the players who’ve completed it on one hand. So be on your game, make sure you’re recording, and keep your eyes peeled.
Getting to the Cosmic Ocean is no easy task, and everyday players are looking at new and more streamlined ways to get there. Give it a shot yourself, and feel free to share your own tips and tricks down below!