In many levels there appears to be an Altar to Kali. What purpose does it serve and how can I use it?


4 Answers 4


Damaging an altar (either with bombs or by enemies/traps while you're in the level) will result in punishments:

  • Damage an altar once and you will get a lot of spiders after you.
  • Damage once twice and you'll also get a ball a chain that you have to drag around the level.
  • Damage one a third time and the level will also go dark and a ghost will be summoned. Unless you're right next to an exit you are unlikely survive this.

Sacrifice items to an altar to get rewards:

  • Drop a gold idol to get a golden monkey that runs around the level crapping gold. I think this might eventually net more gold than the idol would have given you, but it's hard keeping the monkey alive.
  • Drop a stunned (or dead) enemy to please Kali a little.
  • Drop a stunned damsel to please Kali a lot - one damsel is enough for a random item reward.

Please Kali enough and you get the Kapala - a skull cup that gives you back health from bleeding enemies.

  • 8
    As an amusing bit of trivia, accidentally sacrificing yourself on the altar (falling or being knocked onto one while stunned) also seems to please Kali equally to a damsel; every time it's happened to me, a random item reward has spawned.
    – Cloudy
    Jul 19, 2012 at 16:05
  • 2
    6 years late, but part of this answer is partially incorrect. Damaging the alter doesn't directly result in the listed punishments, instead it decreases the amount of favor you've earned with Kali. If you've made a few sacrifices already, then you'll likely be able to destroy the alter without receiving a punishment. If you don't make any sacrifices though, then the punishments proceed exactly as you listed. Jul 9, 2018 at 12:06

In the original Spelunky they were all the things were worth sacrifice points, I believe the Stunned Damsel/Idol were 8 (if dead the damsel is worth 1 or 2, the same goes for regular enemies, alive they are 2, dead they are 1) I have a feeling a stunned Shopkeeper is also worth 8, at 8 sacrifice points Kali gives you a random item, at 16 (2 damsels) you get the Kapala, I think at 32 (4 damsels) you get an extra 8 lives, I believe the Throne in the Black Knights castle acts as a regular altar.


  • Any way to confirm those relative values? I thought the PC version gave 99 bombs at the top, has anyone confirmed that it's 8HP?
    – Keith
    Jul 12, 2012 at 8:50
  • Added link to sacrifice point values. Jan 18, 2014 at 3:26

In addition to the other answers - if you are playing split-screen, try putting your friend on the altar. Guaranteed item at the cost of a friend!

  • Can you really call them a "friend" if you're sacrificing them to get items? :)
    – Tim S.
    Apr 6, 2016 at 22:56

Sacrificing a damsel gives you 8 favor with Kali, along with hired hands or another spelunker (or yourself if you get stunned on the altar). At 8 favor, Kali gives you one of these: climbing gloves, catcher's mitt, spike shoes, spring shoes, spectacles, compass, paste, or cape.
Moving on, at 16 favor, she will give you the Kapala, allowing you to collect blood from your enemies to replenish your health. Every 16 favor from this point on will give you 8 HP. Some things to note: Having an item eliminates it from the pool. Having all the items in the pool and sacrificing a damsel gives you a jet pack. Wearing the jet pack prevents the cape from being summoned. If you have all 7 non-cape items and the jet pack when you reach 8 favor, Kali will give you a bomb box. Donating the golden idol will give you a golden monkey, who, over time, poops out 10,000 gold, and then dies making him only really useful in the mines. The crystal skull will give you the crystal monkey, the exact same except white, making it useless, as it is worth 5,000 more gold at the exit. The crystal monkey is not even a journal entry, so you really don't have to bother. Sacrificing a mystery box will give you the eggplant, which, when thrown at the face of King Yama, will turn him into an eggplant monster (also not a journal entry), setting his health to one. The only place there is guaranteed to be an altar is the haunted castle. There will NEVER be an altar on Olmec's lair, Yama's throne room, the Worm, the alien Mothership, and the Black Market.

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