The way death works in Dead Cells is peculiar, since it has a lot of branches to be covered.
When the player dies, all of the Cells, items, mutations, scrolls, amulets, and most of the gold they have collected are lost. The Beheaded's body will be desecrated, deemed by its owner way too damaged to continue in battle and the "actual" Fallen One will flee from it, until a new dead and headless body is found in the start of the next run.
When the player starts a new run, they will have no items or cells. There is, however, a way to maintain some of the gold collected in the last run. The maximum ammount of gold that can be retained is 2,500, when the player buys Gold Reserves V from the Collector and maximizes its capacity to hold gold upon death. The bag with gold will appear by the side of the player's body upon starting a new run as soon as the first "Gold Reserves" upgrade is bought.
However, this works differently if the player completed a run by killing The Hand of The King in the Throne Room. When that happens, the body used in the run will be abandoned by the Fallen One itself instead of being desecrated, and when the player starts a new run, it will now retain all of the pickups (gold and cells) from the last battle with The Hand. This allows the player to spend the cells they got from the battle, instead of making them go to waste. These cells, will, however, be lost if the player restarts or dies during the new run.
- It is possible for the player to die without their body being desecrated, by picking the Ygdar Orus Li Ox mutation (which won't prevent death by curse). This will revive the player's body, therefore having a non-desecrated death.
- The term Permadeath refers to the mechanic of losing every item, upgrade or currency upon death, a common term in Rogue-likes.