Low Scorer Trophy in Spelunky 2
Complete the game without collecting any treasure and without using shortcuts in a non-seeded, single-player run.
How to unlock Low ScorerThis trophy requires you to make it through the game and beat Tiamat without picking up any money. It’s not entirely confirmed whether picking up money and spending it later is allowed so it is not recommended. You will also gain $100,000 gold for completing the game but this is not counted for the trophy so don’t worry about it.
This is very likely the most difficult trophy in the game. Making it through the game, while avoiding enemies, traps and obstacles is a feat in its own right. Doing all this while also avoiding each and every gold nugget, gold bar, gem and diamond scattered throughout the world, often barely visible, is just insanely difficult. You will quickly notice that every one of these being a literal landmine, ending your run instantly if you as much as touch one, makes the game even more difficult and especially, even more unfair. First and foremost, the game is obviously not balanced around being able to avoid picking up money. You will often find gold bars blocking a narrow path, effectively meaning there is nothing you can do but try and whip it away or to find another path. Secondly, any explosion can and will fling any gold and gems in the area through the air at high speed, making using bombs very dangerous, especially since blowing up a block with gold in it makes the surrounding area a literal minefield. For this reason, you should avoid using bombs as much as possible and if you have to use them, make sure not to hit any blocks with money in them. Grabbing the spectacles or the Udjat Eye can be very valuable for this reason, since they make it so that you can see which blocks contain gems as well as gold, allowing you to avoid blowing them up. The little gold pieces are especially dangerous, since they are very difficult, if not impossible to see. Luckily they don't spawn normally in the area and only come free from interactions with the player. These include: breaking blocks with gold ore, breaking vases or lighting torches.
Shops: Not picking up money has the rather obvious side-effect that you cannot buy anything. This is especially tough since you’ll likely need bombs, mobility items and a weapon to make it through the game. For this reason, I highly recommend trying to steal from the shopkeeper in 1-2 (and possibly 1-3 if the items are worth it) and try to get them to forgive you as soon as possible. To find out how to do this, see the section dedicated to robbing shopkeepers in The Full Spelunky . Being hunted by shopkeepers not only makes every floor much more dangerous, killing one also makes him drop a ton of coins, which you will have to avoid each time. I therefore highly advise against killing them and instead learning to rob them effectively.
Jetpack/Hoverpack: Both the jetpack and the hoverpack are very good items under normal circumstances. When trying for this trophy however, they become invaluable, allowing you to avoid touching the ground almost entirely, drastically lowering the risk of accidently stepping on any hidden gold. This goes for the cape and mounts too, albeit to a lesser extent.
Shotgun: The main use for the shotgun is to kill Tiamat. Killing her by tossing bombs at her is possible but not recommended due the risk of exploding a gold block. It is also valuable in dispatching enemies easily but watch out you don’t accidently shoot a vase or TNT block (or god forbid a shopkeeper or Tun) on the other side of the floor, since they can scatter gold around without you noticing.
Shield: Either the wooden or the metal shield will allow you to push gold and gems out of your way instead of picking them up, making walking in a straight path much safer. The metal shield can also crush gold by pressing it against a wall, allowing you to clear these obstacles with much more ease. Just be careful not to accidently jump on any gold, as the shield only blocks gold that lies directly in front of you.
Camera: This might seem like a weird choice but the camera can be an extremely powerful weapon in the right hands. It can kill Jiang shis and bats in one hit and stun most other enemies, including shopkeepers, the ghost and Quillback. It can also light up dark areas for a short time, though you should take care as snapping a lightning bug will weirdly enough count as picking it up, ruining your run. The main drawback of the camera is that you can't use it to kill Tiamat. I would therefore recommend swapping it out for a shotgun from one of Madame Tusk's guard on 6-3.
Turkeys: Turkeys are surprisingly good for this challenge, since they allow you to double jump and to float, making it much easier to jump over gold and avoid obstacles and enemies. If you find one in Volcana, consider taming it. Just watch out you don't run into any gold lying around.
Spectacles/Udjat eye: Both of these items allow you to see gems hidden in blocks, which makes it easier to bomb through areas while avoiding blowing up blocks containing money.
Hp: Since avoiding enemies is often easier than avoiding gold, hp has less of a priority than it would on a normal run. This does not mean that it is worthless, since you can of course still die if you take enough damage but it should be a lower priority if you manage to keep it above 4.
Common run killers
Explosives: Any explosion has the risk of breaking a nearby gold block, scattering tiny gold pieces all across the floor or launching gold and gems through the air. Explosions are mainly caused by your own bombs but can also be a consequence of interacting with certain enemies like UFO's and the robots in Volcana. Avoid setting off these enemies when possible.
Dark levels: Dark levels are always hard, as they make it very difficult so see enemies, traps and money. For this challenge however, they have the added danger of wall-mounted torches dropping gold when lit. This makes carrying torches around slightly more risky but still recommended for the most part, as you'll need to see where you're going and avoid stepping on gold. Note that if you go quickly, you can move through the wall-mounted torches without picking up the gold, just be careful on your way back. Also take care that torches can also be lit by other means, like magmars in volcana or flaming arrow traps, dropping gold without you noticing.
Vases: Unlike normal runs, where opening vases has a risk-reward trade-off, it is simply a double risk when going for this challenge. It can either spawn an enemy or a barely visible gold piece so try to avoid interacting with them when possible.
Quillback: While he himself is not too much of a threat, the blocks he breaks can scatter the ground with gems and tiny gold nuggets. Consider leading him away or killing him and carefully whipping the gold out of your path or taking the other way if it is less risky. Picking up his extra bombs and hp can be helpful but since it is possible that a gold nugget is hiding behind these items, you should be very careful in picking them up.
Olmec: Since this trophy does not requires you to get the Ankh, you can skip the second and third phase of the Olmec fight. This is highly recommended since Olmec has the tendency to crush a lot of gold blocks, scattering gold while you’re trying to dodge him. If you have enough bombs, try to lure Olmec to one side of the floor and bomb your way down to the Tide Pool, trying to avoid blowing up bombs with gold in them. If you don’t, make very sure Olmec crushes all gold pieces he creates or you’re very likely to step on them trying to avoid him.
Tide pool: Generally speaking, the Tide Pool is not the most difficult section of the game. It does however have the tendency to obscure gold bars and gems behind difficult to see through foliage that appears in this biome. Be very careful, try to whip in front of you when in doubt and try to avoid the ground in places with a lot of plants.
Tiamat: Making it to the last floor of the game might give you the feeling that the run is as good as won. It is not. Be extremely careful fighting her, since she can spawn UFO's, which are able to break the blocks around her, scattering the ground with gold without you even noticing. I failed to get this trophy 2 times because of this so don't underestimate her. Either break the blocks yourself and take cover for the falling gold or try to finish her as quickly as possible.