The first in a series, closer examination of the epigraphs themselves will follow in later articles…
Nearly every part of Spelunky is procedurally generated. Not only the levels, but the positioning of the desert rocks and trees Spelunky Guy treks past when you boot the game, and the little epigraph that appears over this scene.
These three lines are the closest the game comes to having a plot. The camera pans down from the blazing desert sun, and as sand-laden winds whisper and rustle the palm fronds a diminutive adventurer, insignificant to the vastness of the desert, strides purposefully among the dunes:
With the desert stretching behind me,
I squeezed the whip at my side,
And felt the gods smiling upon me.