Shops are randomly-generated features that can be found in the caves, on any level except the first and the last. They are small alcoves dug into the rock manned by a Shopkeeper selling various items.
There are five ordinary types of shops and three special types, distinguishable by the sign hanging above the door. Ordinary shops sell four items randomly selected from the shop's product line, whereas special shops offer certain services or artifacts.
It's also possible to sell Golden Idol at any shop instead of taking it to the level exit; simply dropping the item inside the shop will instantly redeem it for its full monetary value - just be careful not to accidentally drop the Idol on the Shopkeeper's foot.
The cost of all items and services sold in shops increases as the player progresses through the levels.
Prices are determined by a standard "base value", plus a "level inflation coefficient".
The 'inflation coefficient' is the additional cost added to the base value, which is multiplied by the number of levels the Spelunker has completed.
The formula for pricing is:
Base Value + (Levels Completed * Level Inflation Coefficient)
For example, the Bomb Bag has a base value of $2250, and the level inflation coefficient is $250.
Therefore, on level 2 (one completed level), the price is:
$2250 + (1 * $250) = $2500
On level 8, after seven completed levels, the price is:
$2250 + (7 * $250) = $4000
For items, the level inflation coefficient for items tends to be 1/9th of the item's base value. Most items have a base price divisible by 900 and all are divisible by 450.
Kissing Parlors follow the same principle, but the inflation coefficient is much higher.
The base value is $5000, and the inflation coefficient is an additional $5000.
As a result, kisses are priced at $10,000 on level 2, and increase by $5000 every level afterwards. This means they will always cost a significant portion of your money at any stage of the game.
- Shops are never generated on level 1, so no item or service is ever sold for its base value alone.
- Taking a shortcut automatically raises prices to the level they would have been if you had played through from the beginning, so they cannot be used to circumvent price inflation by skipping levels.
- The Ankh is exempt from level inflation; its price is always fixed at $50,000 regardless of when Black Market appears.
- The inflated prices are counteracted somewhat by the increasing value of Treasure collected later in the game. Most normal treasure increases by 25% of its base value in each area, and other forms of treasure such as the Golden Idol and Golden Scarabs also increase substantially in value.
However, treasure also becomes much more difficult to collect later in the game as the levels get harder.
Shops can be randomly generated on any level in the caves, except for the first floor of the Mines and the final level. Guaranteed shops can be found in the Black Market, hidden somewhere in the Jungle.
It is not possible to create a shop in the Level Editor.
No more shops will generate after the Spelunker visits the Black Market, meaning they are most often seen in the first two areas. If the player does not enter the Black Market level, shops will continue to generate normally for the rest of the game.
Called Supply Shops in game, these stock several useful (but somewhat common) items: a pack of three Bombs, a box of twelve bombs, a pack of three Rope, Parachute, Climbing Gloves, the Mattock and the Compass.
Bomb Shops sell packs of three bombs, boxes of twelve bombs, and Sticky Bombs. Note that it is not guaranteed that these shops will sell any given quantity of bombs, or even carry the Sticky Bomb upgrade. Due to the stackable nature of bombs, a shop with 4 sets of 3 bomb packs may spawn.
Called Armories in game, these shops stock the Shotgun, Pistol, Bow, Machete, and Webcannon as well as sometimes packs or boxes of bombs. These shops are commonly the easiest to steal from considering they may stock a loaded shotgun. Pick it up, walk up to the shopkeeper and fire, killing him in one shot, then steal his money and leave. This opportunity is not always guaranteed, but there are workarounds available, particularly if only a Pistol is stocked.
Dice Houses are special 'gambling' parlors where the Spelunker can wage money on the throw of a dice, with a chance to win double his bet or an item prize.
The store consists of two giant dice, a prize displayed behind a glass wall, and a shopkeeper on an elevated platform.
Pressing the purchase button (default: P) while in the shop bets a small amount of money, and allows you to roll the dice to attempt to win.
The result depends on the sum of the numbers that the dice land on.
Hitting 1-6 is a loss, 8-12 doubles your bet, and 7 wins you the prize (which is immediately restocked with a different item).
Because 7 is the most probable outcome (1 in 6 chance) and the probabilities for losing and winning money are both equal, it is always worthwhile to play the game as long as desirable items are in stock, as there is a 58.3% chance of a good outcome.
Don't take too long, though, or you'll run out of time and the ghost will appear.
Rerolling a die you've already rolled or hitting the shopkeeper with a die wins you a face full of buckshot. Players equipped with the Pitcher's Mitt should be especially careful, though they can also use the extra force of their throw to get the dice on-the-fly before it stops, allowing to reroll bad throws. This is a simple way to earn money and prize items without angering the shopkeeper.
Using a Teleporter and a lucky teleport into the cubby hole containing the prize item will allow you to simply buy the item for the regular price. You cannot steal it, however, since you can't run out or bomb yourself out. This is extremely risky though, since the teleport distance is random, and will more than likely send you into a wall to your death.
Kissing Parlors consist of a Damsel and a shopkeeper. Paying the shopkeeper a large amount of money will cause the damsel to kiss you for one extra heart. You can also buy the damsel from the shop but this costs three times the price of a single kiss, so is a waste of money if all you want to do is bring her to the level exit, but may be your only option if you plan on sacrificing her at an altar.
Kissing Parlors are bugged in that picking up and dropping the shop's damsel will cause her to run outside the shop and cause the shopkeeper to get angry.
Amusingly, (or perhaps creepily) if you damage the damsel by any means, the shopkeeper will exclaim "Only I am allowed to do that!" and become angry.
It can be somewhat harder to kill a shopkeeper in a kissing booth, due to the damsel soaking up incoming bullets.
There is one unique shop that is guaranteed to generate in the Black Market, but never anywhere else. It sells only one item, the Ankh, at a set price of $50,000. The Ankh is necessary to reach the City of Gold.