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NetHack 2.3 Update Pt. 03 of 12

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Mike Stephenson

Apr 10, 1988, 2:04:17 PM4/10/88

This is the only one going out today.

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.ND "December 10, 1987"
(Net)Hack ``Spoilers'' Reference Manual
.AF "{amd, ihnp4, microsoft, ucscc}!sco!stevem"
.AU "Edited by Stephen Marino*"
.AS x .5i
.\" This is a kludge to get the date on the cover sheet.
(Net)Hack is a Rogue-like dungeon game that runs on a variety
of computer systems in as many implementations. Although much
of the information in this document is generic to Hack, it is
slanted toward the newest release, NetHack. This reference is
neither a man page nor a basic instruction manual. Beginners
and those who wish to learn strictly from experience should
refer to the \fIGuide to the Mazes of Menace\fR, a revised
edition of Ken Arnold's \fIGuide to the Dungeons of Doom\fR
by Eric S. Raymond. The (Net)Hack ``Spoilers'' Reference Manual
is an exhaustive compilation of facts,
strategies, and what are known in the vernacular as SPOILERS.
The reader is warned that this guide leaves little to the
imagination. Although probably a bit overwhelming for the
complete novice, this manual should prove useful
to those who want to know almost everything about the game.
.SP 2
.\" These are footnotes on the cover sheet.
.FS *
Many people are responsible for the text of this document, but it
is principally the work of Dave Harmon, Greg Samson, Melissa Silvestre,
Robert Thau, Tony Lazar, ``Daniel G. Winkowski'', Carlton Hommel and
``Colonel'' George L. Sicherman, who all created a set of hint files
for Hack 1.0.1. Also, my thanks to Douglas Rosengard, whose tutorial
taught me a couple of things even I didn't know.
My apologies to anyone I've missed.
.MT 4
.nr % 0
.ds +3 +2 +0 +0
.PF 'DRAFT'%'12/10/87'
.ce 3
\s+2\fB(Net)Hack ``Spoilers'' Reference Manual\fR
\fIEdited by Stephen Marino\fR\s-2
\fB{amd, ihnp4, microsoft, ucscc}!sco!stevem\fR
If you are relatively new to Hack, keep the handy reference sheet
in Appendix A close by. Beware of features that may not apply to
your version; NetHack features are flagged where possible.
Your character begins on level one of a 30+ level dungeon.
Accompanying you is your faithful dog, which should be named (with the
``C'' command). The idea is to kill monsters, gather gold,
and (eventually) retrieve the Amulet of Yendor. The primary objective, however,
is to survive, which isn't that easy. To help (or hinder) your progress are
magic items, traps and other contrivances developed by scores of programmers,
all calculated to drive the player mad with frustration.
.H 2 "How to Use this Guide"
This paper is organized into the following sections:
Basic Instructions
Rooms and Other Bad Places
To Eat, or Not to Eat
Weapons and Armor
Scrolls, Potions, Rings and Wands
Extended Command Set
Special Items
Tricks and Other Non-intuitive Actions
The basic structure is that of a reference manual, with basic and
strategy tutorials to the front. The Table of Contents should prove
useful for quick indexing by subject.
.H 2 "Getting Started"
There are some basic commands that you
should be familiar with;
refer to the command chart in Appendix A
or the ``?'' command. Learn all the move keys \- diagonal movement can
be critical.
This section discusses the most basic considerations of playing the
game. The first decision to be made is the choice of character to
do your dirty work.
.H 2 "Character Classes"
The table below lists the various character classes, their equipment
and beginning stats.
tab (#),center,expand,box;
c c c c c c
l | l | n n n | l.
Class or Name#Special Items#St#Ac#Hp#Other
Archaeologist\(de#pickaxe & icebox#14#7#12
Cave(wo)man\(de#+1 club#18#8#16
Elf# #16#9#16#sword
Fighter\(de# #17#7#14#two-handed sword
Knight\(de#suit of armor#10#3#12#long sword
Ninja# #10#7#15#katana, shurikens
Priest(ess)#+1 mace, blessed#15#4#13#2 spellbooks
Samurai# #16#4#16#katana
Tourist\(de#camera (w/flash)#11#10#10#+2 darts, lots of food
Valkyrie#+1 long sword#17#6#16#+3 shield
Wizard\(de# #16#9#15#lots of magic items
.LI "\(de"
Denotes standard Hack character classes. All others exclusive to
Nethack. ``Speleologist'' has been renamed ``Archaeologist'' in Nethack.
Beginning stats shown are also for NetHack.
Each character has advantages, but some are more unusual than others.
The Tourist is a weak human being, but is equipped with a
a camera and inexhaustible flash unit that blinds monsters. The
Healer (with a stethoscope to diagnose monsters) and the Tourist
are both weak and difficult to keep alive. (The idea
is to get by until weapons, armor and magic can be found, so that
the benefits of the peculiar items can be enjoyed.)
The Archaeologist/Speleologist starts with a pickaxe
to dig and box to keep food.
The remaining characters are self-explanatory.
.H 2 "Words to the Wise"
Consider the key points that are listed in this section; they may save
you time and frustration.
.H 3 "Choose an appropriate character."
To start out, choose a character that can survive a few beatings while
you learn your way around; the archaeologist/speleologist, healer,
tourist and wizard are virtually unarmed and defenseless.
.H 3 "Your best friend is your dog."
Be patient with your dog; it can save your life.
You will notice that he gets in your way and sometimes eats what you
would like to get hold of. He eats what he needs to, but he leaves
food rations alone unless you throw one to him. If the message is
displayed: ``You feel worried
about the dog,'' it means that he is starving. Throw him a tripe ration,
kill something, or (if you can spare it) toss a food ration.
The message ``You have a sad feeling for a moment, then it passes,''
means that your dog has died.
Many people prefer to leave their dog behind on the first level.
Considering that your canine is a match for almost any creature in the
dungeon, you are well-advised to keep it around. A leash
allows you to keep the animal with you at all times, but also tends
to make him get in your way more often.
.H 3 "Don't let the monster get the upper hand."
When moving around or running from monsters, the idea is to give them
as few chances as possible to hit you. If you end a move right
next to a monster, it will have first crack at you. Some monsters, like
leprechauns and bats, can leap an extra space and still hit you.
When moving in a room with monsters in it, plan your moves ahead. Remember
that you can enter a door only at right angles to the wall, but you can
attack to or from a door diagonally. This applies to monsters too.
.H 3 "Beware Swarms of Orcs."
It is a good idea to use the ``c'' (call) command to name your
weapon ``Orcrist.'' This will give you a hitting bonus against the
swarms of orcs you will encounter. Orcs are very common, and if you
run into one, the others aren't far off.
.H 3 "Where possible, eat what you kill."
You must eat food soon after the display indicates you are hungry.
Dead monsters are a necessary supplement to your diet. Some characters
start off with little or no food. Not only do corpses ward off
starvation, but some monsters will give you
special powers. However, you must be very careful to only eat monsters
killed within the last few turns and eat only those that are safe for
consumption. (Refer to the section on Food for more details.)
.H 3 "In Hack, relief is spelled E-l-b-e-r-e-t-h."
One of the most vital tactics in Hack is the use of the E)ngrave command
in conjunction with the magic word ``Elbereth.'' When written on the
floor of the dungeon, this word represents a sort of truce with monsters.
When surrounded
or close to death, you can ``go under Elbereth,'' as the expression goes,
and monsters will not attack again until you strike at them first.
(There are several exceptions;
see the section on Elbereth under ``Tricks and Other Non-intuitive
Actions'' for detailed instructions.)
.H 2 "Learning the Ways of Magic"
At low levels, you only have to worry about 3 things: your hit points, your
food supply, and dealing with cursed magic that can temporarily cripple you.
Two particular items that require great consideration are a wand of
wishing and a scroll of genocide. These items should not be wasted;
give some thought to possible uses before you find one. There is more
than enough information in this document to aid your decision.
.H 3 "Test potions and scrolls carefully."
While playing, it is best to read unknown scrolls and try potions
before you clear an entire level; scrolls and potions of detection
will yield ``strange feelings'' if there is nothing to detect.
(You might drop some gold, a magic item, a food item,
and ensure that a monster is around before testing to guarantee results.)
It is also possible to fling potions at monsters and observe their effects
(see ``Potions'').
It is not a good idea to test magic when your hit points are really low;
scrolls of fire, create monster, and potions of sickness can kill you.
With most magic items, after testing you will be
able to identify them the next time you pick one up, or at least have an idea
what they are. If you are prompted to name an object you've just used
(usually scrolls) this is the name it will be given if you find it again.
This document should enable you to recognize these items quickly.
In the case of scrolls, there are three whose action is sufficiently
nasty that it is important to take precautions until they have been
discovered: Damage Weapon, Destroy Armor and Amnesia. The respective
dangers are that your weapon will be ruined, your armor destroyed and
your spells forgotten. One way to prevent this wanton destruction of
your property is to (prior to reading scrolls) wield an alternate weapon,
wear an alternate armor or something over your primary armor, and don't
transcribe spells until you've read the Scroll of Amnesia (``Who was that
Maude person anyway?'').
.H 3 "Zap wands immediately."
If they are non-directional you will usually
find out what it is immediately. A non-directional wand that doesn't seem to
do anything is a wand of secret door detection. You may want to conduct such
tests in a room where you suspect a secret door, but haven't searched it out
yet. If it asks for a
direction, hit <space> to cancel, and next time you have a cooperative monster,
engrave Elbereth and zap it at the monster in such a way that if it's a
``bolt'' wand it won't bounce back at you. (Stand at a diagonal from the
Don't accidentally hit your dog!
.H 3 "Never experiment with rings."
Use identify scrolls on rings. Be particularly careful with rings (and
weapons and armor for that matter) from a ghost hoard, which are
\fIstickeycursed\fR, which means that they are not necessarily cursed
in the usual sense (with negative enchantment) but they cannot be removed
without a remove curse. If, for example, you put on a stickeycursed
ring of levitation, you won't be able to pick up anything, including
a scroll of remove curse.
.H 2 "Upper Levels"
.H 3 "Let the dog fight for you when you are badly hurt or outclassed."
He is bigger and stronger than you. Don't steal all his kills;
he can starve to death. He will eat more than he needs, but the more he eats,
the faster he grows into a big dog. There is no monster except a cockatrice
that a big dog cannot take on with a reasonable chance of survival.
His body is one guaranteed non-hostile food source, provided you don't
wait so long you die before you can kill him. (Due to the ``You avoid
hitting your dog feature,'' the only way to kill your dog is with
a wand or projectile weapon, or hitting him while blind.) Starvation excepted,
however, (and not then if you have an alternative) DO NOT kill your dog
out-of-hand! He may get in the way, but he is a powerful ally. Also, the
minute you eat a dog, every monster on the level will head for you with blood
in its eye(s). There are a few monsters he will not normally attack, such as
shopkeepers, and others that he won't attack until he sees you fighting
them. On the other hand, he will immediately attack bats ond orcs.
A ring of conflict will make him fight anything.
Don't test wands out on him; your canine is not invulnerable.
If you meet a wild dog, the best bet is to throw food at him \- anything
you could eat. Tripe
is wonderful, but don't bother throwing rotted corpses.
If you find a ``wild'' dog above 8th level or so, or a named monster
anywhere, you are on a ghost level. Watch out for the dog's former owner.
Please name your dog, even if it's Ralph. That way, other people will have the
same advantage if you die and become a ghost.
Don't try to maintain more than two tame dogs \- if you get more than
that, abandon them (save some tripe in case you need to go back to the level)
or, if you are powerful enough to face enraged hordes, kill and eat the extras
next time you're hungry. Scrolls of
taming produce tame monsters that should be treated as polymorphed
dogs. Tame monsters all eat a lot, except the cockatrice, and you can't eat
anything he kills.
(By the way, if you get a tame cockatrice, DO NOT GO AROUND BAREHANDED!
If you are not wearing gloves, wield anything, even an egg! Otherwise,
you run a terrible risk of bumping into it with your bare hands and
becoming petrified.)
.H 3 "Don't get careless."
A major cause of upper-level fatalities, or
fatalities at any level, is not keeping an eye on your hit points. If you are
low on hit points, freeze with your hands off the keyboard and figure out what
to do. Can you get away from the monster? Do you have a secret weapon?
The first thing to do is often to write Elbereth. (Magic Markers can be used
to create an indestructable Elbereth that works the same as a scare monster
scroll; see Magic Marker under ``Tools.'') Even a puny monster can
kill you if you don't watch your hit points. Monsters to keep an eye on at
low levels are hobgoblins and acid blobs. If you have 8 or fewer HP,
a hobgoblin can kill with one blow.
Getting killed by acid blobs is always embarrassing,
because the only way they can hurt you is if you hit them. Don't chase acid
blobs if you're low on HP.
.H 3 "You may want to eat a leprechaun and a floating eye."
The first is a matter of preference, since the ability to teleport
randomly can be a blessing and a curse.
The latter, your dog will be happy to kill for you,
but you will, as usual when he
kills monsters, have to move fast to prevent him from happily eating it for
you. You should be able to kill a leprechaun by 3rd level or so.
in NetHack, wizards gain teleport control at experience level 5, so it
is a good idea to eat one. (Other character classes gain the same
ability at experience level 10.)
You can use a wand to kill a leprechaun,
but if planning an extended visit in the dungeon, just wear him
down hand-to hand, perhaps softening him up with a couple of throwing weapons.
To keep him from stealing all your gold, drop it in a corridor, and once you
disturb him, defend the door to that corridor. (Remember, he's much
faster than you are). If he gets your gold anyway, he and the
gold are still somewhere on the level. Again, the dog may be some help
in the fight, but you will have to grab the corpse before he does.
Another strategy is to start with dog well away from both you and leprechaun.
Throw something at leprechaun from 3 squares or so away, and go under Elbereth.
He will come up to you, and your dog may fight
him and kill him at your feet. This works best with you standing in a door
and your gold behind you in a corridor, and your dog wandering someplace on
the far side of the room.
.H 3 "Try to conserve your missiles and magic."
You can just take it slow,
and deal with monsters as leisurely as your food supply (including their
contributions) permits. If you conserve firepower early, then you can use it
against tougher monsters when you really need it. On the
other hand, you might find that your weapons and skill have improved to the
point where you can deal with tougher monsters.
Remember, if you use a potion of extra-healing to gain
4 HP now, you may not have it when you're down to 10 out of 40 HP.
A partial exception is wands of wishing.
You need one good weapon, one rustproof armor (or an elven cloak to protect
your armor),
miscellaneous such as 3 tins (usually spinach), or a powerful magic item.
This applies to wizards, of course \- other types should wish for whatever they
are short of. Don't wish for scrolls of genocide just yet, either. If you
are genuinely doing all right, you might save a wish for future needs.
In NetHack, the presence of spellbooks makes your choices somewhat different.
(Refer to the section on Spellbooks in the ``Extended Command Set'' section.
.H 3 "Do anything to survive."
If you are starving and no edible monsters
in sight, then kill your dog! If you are fainting, down to 2 HP, and cornered
by a hobgoblin, then zap anything you can, try all your rings, quaff all your
potions, read all your scrolls. You might be teleported, or discover a ring
of regeneration or a potion of extra healing, or a wand of fire. If you
are killed by the rebound of your magic missile, at least you tried.
.H 2 "Lower Levels"
.H 3 "Be prepared for crowded rooms."
Below level 8, Throne Rooms, Treasure Zoos and Beehives become regular
hazards. If you are reasonably equipped, you can back into the corridor
and fight the monsters one at a time. If you aren't, it's best to teleport,
drop a scroll of scare monster, or find some way of retreating to a staircase.
Bolt wands and spells can be counted on to kill more than one monster at
a time.
Don't count on Elbereth to save you when you are badly outnumbered.
If you've found a ring of conflict, you are well-equipped to
handle the situation, as the monsters will fight amongst themselves.
Don't wear it constantly; it is only
useful when there are two or more monsters near you and the ring consumes
a great deal of energy.
In NetHack, a spell of Charm Monster can be used to turn several monsters
to your side; they will behave like dogs and kill your enemies.
.H 3 "Rob stores; the risk is worth it."
You should be robbing stores according to the procedures described in
the section on ``Shops.'' Stealing may seem unethical, but 50 types of
monsters bent on killing you gives you a sense of perspective.
.H 3 "Don't throw away bad potions."
Throw them at monsters. A potion of sickness can do considerable damage.
You can also dip your weapon in them. Save potions of confusion. (See
.H 3 "Genocide with consideration."
If you have scrolls (or spell) of genocide, it is best to eliminate
xans or, if you're short on missiles, cockatrices. Don't genocide dragons;
you'll need to eat one if you don't find a ring of fire resistance.
.H 3 "There are eight truly awful monsters in the dungeon; know them."
In order of fearsomeness: Humans (shopkeepers), Dragons, Demons, Ettins, Eels,
Cockatrices, Xans, and in NetHack, Nymphs.
.VL 12
.LI Humans
When angered, nothing lowers your hit points quite like a shopkeeper.
.LI Dragons
Their flames are fearsome and have been known to travel through walls
and past boulders. Even with a ring of fire resistance, beware of
boiling potions that have negative effects. Kill them quickly or run
away fast.
.LI Demons
Demons get multiple hits and tend to replicate. A wand or spell of
turn undead works well. Blessed weapons also fare well. Use a wand
of cancellation to prevent replication. Demons usually appear when
you are fooling with fountains.
.LI Ettins
They hit hard and fast, doing about the same damage as a shopkeeper.
.LI Eels
Invisible, eels hide in muddy pools (}). When you walk into a room
with pools, a message is displayed ``It looks rather muddy in here.''
If you aren't careful, one will quickly pull you in to drown. If you
have the ability to teleport at will, you will do so automatically.
Their touch turns you to stone instantly, their hissing may do the
same, only more slowly. Dead lizards are useful against them. The
problem with cockatrices is that, once dead, are still a hazard.
Don't forget where you left the corpse and don't inadvertantly pick
it up.
.LI Xans
Their pricks eventually render you unable to move, collapsed. Time
heals you slowly, but royal jelly (found in hives) restores movement
instantly. Levitation can be used to avoid xans; they are short
.LI Nymphs
They are much nastier in NetHack than in other games. Although usually
asleep, they can wander and hit so fast that, if you have no handy
killer magic, they can rob you blind. They teleport instantaneously
unless you use a wand of cancellation. (Think of what could happen to
you if, in two passes, a nymph has stolen your weapon and your armor.)
.H 3 "To win the game, you must go to hell and back."
Your principal goal, the Amulet of Yendor is found in the center of Hell,
guarded by the Wizard of Yendor and his dog, surrounded by a moat.
Once below level 26, you will notice there are no stairs going down.
To get to hell, you must read a teleport scroll while confused; you will be
asked "What level?" Enter ``40'' and to hell you will go.
You will burn to a crisp without fire resistance.
You must levitate over the moat or blast the waters with fire and dig
through the wall to reach the Wizard.
(If you genocide dogs, the Hell Hound will also be destroyed.)
Rooms can be empty, filled with traps, treacherous pools with eels,
or even a beehive. The types of rooms listed in this section are
much easier to deal with if you have a ring of conflict to force the
denizens to fight amongst themselves.
.H 2 "Assorted Shops"
Shops add much of the spice to hack. Shops
are rooms filled with goodies guarded by a shopkeeper. Shops
may specialize in a particular object (armor, weapons, scrolls, wands, rings) or
they may be general (antiques). There are three things you can do in a shop:
buy things, sell things, or steal.
Buying things is simple. You pick up items and p)ay your shopping bill.
(Note: prices for magic items are high, but you often may want to buy food or
a weapon if you aren't equipped to steal.)
Selling things is almost as simple. You drop (not throw) the items, and if
the shopkeeper is interested, he will buy it from you. WARNING: if not
interested, he may take the item without paying (i.e. the keeper of a
book shop isn't interrested in your mace or potion).
Stealing is harder. You must kill or sleep the shopkeeper or get out past
him. A nasty but lucrative tactic is to enter a shop, sell everything you can
to him, including extra rings, cursed items, and/or dead monsters, then take
(not buy) back everything you want to keep, anything of his you can carry, and
steal it all, including the gold he paid you. You will
have to rely on your brains, not your brawn. Note that the shopkeeper usually
has some treasure of his own that may not appear until he is dead.
.H 3 "Strategies for dealing with shopkeepers"
Teleport out: keystone kops will immediately pursue you; the shopkeeper
will follow somewhat after, asking "Did you forget to pay?" Beware the
pies thown by the keystone kops;
the shopkeeper will get angry if he gets hit and take it out on you.
Dig your way out.
Teleport the shopkeeper away with a wand of teleportation; just
don't meet him on the way out.
Avoid the shopkeeper: lure the shopkeeper away from the door, then
zap him with a wand of sleep. Tiptoe around him and make good your
Kill the shopkeeper: you better have a wand! Killing humans is very bad
luck. On the run, these retired barbarians will
wipe up the floor with you if they catch you. They are faster than you and
\fBthey ignore Elbereth\fR. If you quaff a potion of invisibility, they will stand
in front of the door no matter what you shoot or throw. The shopkeeper
knows who's attacking him, and if you get too close, he'll get you.
Train your dog: this isn't as hard as it sounds. It can be fun if you're not a
taker of risks. Get your dog inside the shop and sit in the doorway until
the dog puts an object directly in front of you. You can step forward and
take the item without being charged for it.
When he moves away, toss him a tripe ration. Having been rewarded,
your dog will will bring other objects to you in the same manner.
(Note: the shopkeeper may stand
on this critical spot if the dog has displaced him; just be patient.)
If by some chance you have a shop with a bunch of orcs in the back,
Elbereth one step behind the door, and kill the orcs as they exit the room.
(You may have to take a step into the room or throw something to wake up the
orcs). The orcs will carry many items outside the shop for you, and you will
not be charged for them. The shopkeeper may not even declare his shop
Shopkeepers have long memories. They will refuse to let you out
of a shop if you have stolen any items from it, even if you are not trying
to steal anything on this visit. Shopkeepers are also crafty enough to
stay out of your line of fire, unless you are within 2 spaces of the door.
Make sure you have a means of escape before trying anything, since you will
have to pay for or steal anything you use up or get stickeycursed by! If you
know which scroll is teleportation, then you can use one of his, but if trying
his scrolls out to find a teleport scroll (don't even try it except in a book
store) you run a risk of being stranded. Trying wands out in a walking-cane
shop will avoid that problem (since wands are not used up in one shot) but
if any wand is fired at, or any ray hits (look out for rebounds) the
shopkeeper, he will get mad! If you really wipe out a shop, the storekeeper
will declare it pillaged, and instead of buying, he will accept contributions.
.H 2 "The Magical Memory Vault"
This little 2x2 room holds the current
balance of the Magical Memory Bank. It has no doors connecting it to any
room or corridor on the level. You may locate it in three ways. 1)
read a scroll of gold detection. The four piles of gold are unmistakable.
2) read a scroll of magic mapping. Any 2x2 rooms on the level not
connected to any other rooms will be a Magic Memory vault. 3) stumble
upon one.
There are three ways of getting to a Magical Memory vault.
1) teleport in. This is the fastest way in, but will you be able to get out
again? 2) use a wand of digging. 3) Find the phrase ``ad ae?ar um''
(Latin: \fIad aerarium\fR,``to the money.'') and search it until
you find a passage that contains a ``single-use'' teleport trap and use it.
If you stay in a vault too long, a guard will come by and ask you
to identify yourself, and if he doesn't know you,
to drop all your gold. If you have no way to teleport out or defeat
the guard, you lose both your money and the money you've stolen.
The key is to identify yourself as ``Croesus'' (as in ``Rich as Croesus.'').
The guard will then leave you to your looting.
In some older versions of Hack (1.0.3) it is also possible to
deal with the guard this way:
Drop your gold, and move one step toward the guard (once he
gives you room). He will move a step down the corridor.
Take a step back to pick up the gold; the guard will stay put.
Step toward the guard again, till you are next to him (Don't
hit him!). Drop gold again. He will advance again.
Repeat until guard reaches end of corridor, where he will disappear.
.H 2 "David's Treasure Zoo"
The zoo corresponds to a monster room (sometimes know as ``party rooms'')
in Rogue. There are some differences: A zoo is packed with monsters,
except for the row facing the door. There are no magic items, (except for
what materializes when you kill a monster) but a pile of gold is under
every monster. Monsters in a zoo are best dealt with with a ring of
conflict, but zapping a missile wand (fire, cold, magic missile, death,
etc.) will kill many monsters. Otherwise, you better run as fast as
you can away from the zoo and come back when you are better prepared.
Best thing is to use Elbereth and a strong wand. If a
leprechaun is in the zoo,
when you use a wand or a ring of conflict, he will go around picking up the
gold left by dead monsters. When he has all the gold, he will teleport, which
is wise of him, because he is carrying a lot of gold.
Orcs will also pick up gold but, or course, can't teleport.
.H 2 "Hives"
Lairs filled with killer bees. Asleep at first, they will swarm if
you remain long. Hives have several lumps of royal jelly, a substance
that simultaneously fills your stomach, heals and increases strength.
It also heals the effect of xan pricks.
.H 2 "The Morgue"
These are filled with ghosts with strange names. When
you disturb their rest, they file out and attack. Note that these
ghosts are not of former players.
.H 2 "Throne Rooms"
Like Treasure Zoos, Throne Rooms are packed with monsters. In order to
get a crack at the throne, you must clear some of them. A ring of
conflict is useful. When you approach the throne, use the # sit command
if you dare.
Although the message ``you feel somehow out of place...'' is always displayed
when sitting down, there is a one in three chance that something will happen.
As with fountains, after a random number of operations, the throne disappears:
``The throne vanishes in a puff of logic.''
.S 9 10
tab (#), center, box;
c c
l l.
``you feel suddenly weaker.''#Lose 1-2 strength, plus hp damage
``you feel suddenly stronger.''#Gain strength
``A massive charge of electricity shoots through your body!''#Electrocution, great damage
``you feel much, much better!''#Cure all
``you notice you have no gold!''#That's correct
``you feel your luck is changing.''#Adds to luck or grants a wish
``an image forms in your mind.''#Magic mapping
``your vision sharpens.''#See invisible
``you feel threatened.''#Aggravate monster
``you feel a wrenching sensation.''#Teleportation
``you are granted a gift of insight!''#Identify pack
``your mind turns into a pretzel!''#Confusion
``you hear a voice echo:''#[Three possible:]
``Your audience has been summoned, Sire!''#A nasty monster appears
``By your Imperious order Sire...''#Genocide
``A curse upon you for sitting upon this most holy throne!''#Blindness or curse pack items
.H 2 "Mazes"
Mazes are found on the lowest levels of the
dungeon. The exact level may vary depending on your version of hack.
The maze takes up the entire level, and is inhabited by a variety of
strong monsters. One peculiarity of the maze is that there are no
staircases down. All staircases in mazes lead up, even if you had just
ascended the staircase from a lower level. The only way to get to the second
or greater maze levels is to fall several levels through a trapdoor. Even
then, you will have to repeat the fall if you want to return. You may wish to
save a scroll of mapping for the maze, especially if you possess a ring of
teleport control. Also useful are potions of object detection (see Amulet),
monster detection, and blindness (if you have telepathy).
Every maze is inhabited by a minotaur (m) who carries a wand of digging.
It is rumored that a wand of wishing can be found on a particular level.
.H 2 "Traps"
There are various types of traps, designed to injure, incapacitate,
or relocate you.
.VL 22
.LI "dart trap"
Small damage, rarely poisoned.
.LI "arrow trap"
Greater damage, rarely poisoned.
.LI "pit trap"
Small damage, temporary imprisonment. Greater damage if spikes are
.LI "bear trap"
Little damage, temporary imprisonment.
.LI "sleeping gas trap"
Sleeping gas is dangerous during battle; you can die while asleep.
Lasts several turns.
.LI "teleport trap"
Send you to random spot on same level.
.LI "level teleport trap"
Sends you to a random lower level. Message reads: ``You
are momentarily blinded by a flash of light.'' It is quite possible to
teleport to level 30, where, if you do not have fire resistance or a
ring of fire resistance on your finger (in your pack does you no good!)
the message is displayed: ``You arrive at the center of the earth \-
Unfortunately that is where hell is located \- You burn to a crisp.''
.LI trapdoor
Drops you to the next level.
.LI "squeaky board"
Makes a sharp sound that alerts monsters to your presence.
.LI "anti-magic field"
Drains some of your magic energy.
.LI "water trap"
Squirts water that can rust your weapons and armor.
.LI "magic trap"
Has several effects, some which are familiar, but not all of which are
real. The following is a list of messages associated with magic
traps and their meanings. The most common effect is a blinding flash
of light followed by the creation of one or more monsters around you.
expand, tab(#), center, box;
c c
l l.
``You are momentarily blinded by a flash of light.''#Blindness; create monster
``You yearn for your distant homeland.''#No effect
``Your pack shakes violently!''#No effect
``A shiver runs up and down your spine.''#No effect
``You hear a distant howling.''#No effect
``You hear a deafening roar!''#Create monster
``You feel someone is helping you.''#Lift curse
``You feel charismatic.''#Tames monsters around you
``You feel in touch with the Universal Oneness.''#Lift curse (hallucinating)
``You feel like you need some help.''#Lift curse (hallucinating)
``A tower of flame bursts from the floor.''#Reduces hit point maximum
You can still fight and use Elbereth from bear and pit traps.
All traps can be discovered by searching, or by passing near with a
ring of searching. A wand of secret door detection may also find them.
.H 2 "Fountains"
You can drink (quaff) from fountains or dip things in them. The water
may bestow certain benefits, but such instances are rare. Most of the
time you will find ``The cool draught refreshes you.'' Sometimes a gem
will appear. There is a small
chance of causing the fountain to overflow. When this happens, stay clear
of the pools, which are displayed as ``}'' (rather than as fountains,
``{''). If you step into one, you will certainly drown, unless you
have teleport ability. (The game automatically attempts teleportation
when drowning.) It is also possible to unleash Demons; this
is likely to be very unlucky. (See ``Monsters.'')
Dipping a long sword can be useful (see ``Excalibur'') but there may be
some initial damage and enchantment may not be achieved before the fountain
dries up. The best procedure seems to be going under Elbereth before
dipping. You may see several messages, as summarized here:
.so fount.tbl
.H 1 "FOOD"
.H 2 "Hunger, Weakness and Death"
In Rogue, it is best not to eat until the message ``You feel weak'' is
displayed. Not so with Hack (and especially NetHack). Your strength
drops by one point when the ``weak'' message is displayed, and there
may be lasting effects. Eat when you are hungry. If you
eat two food rations in a row, or an enormous amount of other stuff, you will
become Satiated ('You're having a hard time getting all that food down').
\fBDo not eat while satiated\fR. You may choke and die.
.H 2 "Monsters"
Eating fresh-killed monster corpses is good for saving your
rations. However, some are poisonous, and all rot after a short time.
Eating some monster corpses will give special abilities or effects (see
the table at the end of this section),
but may simultaneously do poison damage. Eating rotted (tainted)
corpses is lethal within 20 turns at most, unless you have a handy healing or
extra-healing potion. If you do, drink it fast. Poison resistance will not
protect against rotted corpses.
.H 2 "Food Items"
Aside from monsters, food seems to keep forever. Most
named items have little food value. Food rations however, are a super
food which will take you from fainting to healthy in one shot. Some pancakes
also seem to do this. Fortune cookies contain hints from a rumor file.
Ignore ``clues'' to next level; they are random. Hints about monsters, methods,
etc. are usually good. Tripe is dog food. If you eat it, it will usually
behave as a food ration, but you may throw up, and be left only slightly
better (or worse) than you started. Small food items can at least delay
starvation. Carrots will cure blindness, and a clove of garlic can be
wielded against a vampire. A few food
items (random) are rotten. There is not much you can do about this or the
minor effects that it may have, but be warned that rotten things have
only 1/4 the food value.
.H 2 "Tins"
Tins take a while to open, and
you will automatically stop opening the tin if a monster approaches
(even if you are under Elbereth).
Tins may contain apple juice (useless) peaches (food),
rotten meat (causes you to vomit) unknown substance (disgustingly nutritious)
and the important stuff, spinach. This miracle weed increases your strength
by a random but potentially large amount. Two or three of them will
almost certainly turn you into a hulk. Note that monsters will interrupt
your opening it. If you don't have a can opener, axes, crysknives, and
daggers help speed up the process of opening tins. To help you, though, they
have to be wielded, and if you wield a stickeycursed dagger, tough luck.
.H 2 "Food Attribute Index"
Levels: satiated, not hungry, hungry, weak, fainting.
Belly limit: 1499 units
Initial food in belly: 900 units.
Probability of rotten food (unless fortune cookie or dead monster): 1/7
Consequences of rotten food:
c c
l l.
1 in 4#confusion (2d4)
3 in 16#blindness (2d10) (if not blind already)
3 in 16#loss of consciousness (1-10)
3 in 8#no harm
Value of rotten food: 1/4 normal value.
Eating restores 1 strength point unless it leaves you weak or satiated.
.so food.tbl
It is possible to use polymorph to change food items. When you kill Kops
or giants you get cream pies. They are relatively light and you can
carry many. When you are hungry simply zap a number (2-3) pies into
food rations. This allows you to carry a lot of food. (It is a good
idea to always have at least one food ration because you may not be
able to cast.) You can also polymorph dead bodies with this spell.
.H 2 "Monster Data Index"
.so monster.tbl
.H 2 "Descriptions"
.LB 4 0 0 2 a
Acid Blob: Not edible. Does not attack unless confused, but when you hit
it it may splash you with acid or corrode your weapon or armor. (Elven
cloaks and leather armor are not affected.) Worth 9 XP; good for
building your levels at first. However, an acid splash can do as much
as 8 points of damage. They are slow and easy to avoid. If one is
blocking your path in a corridor or door, you can lead it into a room
and dodge around it.
Giant Beetle: Edible. Nothing else special.
Cockatrice: Very dangerous! Any hit will turn you to stone. Even if it
misses, it has a one in five chance to do so by hissing. Touching a
dead cockatrice is also lethal, unless you are wearing gloves. If you
threw things at it, do not try to retrieve them until detect food
tells you there is no corpse underneath. Don't even think of
eating it. Gloves allow you to handle dead cockatrices, but not
necessarily safely (see gloves). A monster
turned to stone by a living cockatrice eventually become a
pile of rocks. Monsters you hit with a dead one
seem to be normal corpses.
The wand of cancellation does not stop the petrification.
Typically, the process begins with a message about
your limbs stiffening. Eating a dead lizard has been known to
prevent petrification.
Dog: your dog, or that of a previous adventurer. If you throw tripe or
anything else edible (not rotted corpses) at a wild dog, it becomes tame.
If you leave a tame dog alone on a level, it instantly goes wild. To
take a tame dog to another level, use stairs when it is adjacent to you.
A tame dog will not attack you unless it is confused.
It can starve to death, and for a while near the end will be confused
by hunger. If you get ``Sad feelings'' it means
that your dog has died or been killed. If you feel ``worried'' it means
that it's dangerously hungry. Dogs are surprisingly powerful. Note:
if the dog falls down a trap door, it will still be tame \- it only
goes wild when deserted. Little dogs grow to be big dogs as the game
wears on. There is nothing except a cockatrice that a big dog cannot
at least argue with, and have a reasonable chance of killing. It seems
to kill only for food, with a few exceptions such as acid blobs and
sometimes kobolds. If you are fighting something and it has a high
loyalty quotient, it may get the idea.
NOTE: Dogs will not step on a cursed object. Thus you can drop a
cursed object (rings do well in a passageway or door and the dog will not
follow. Later, come back and get him, no worse for the wear.
(CAVEAT: This may apply only to stickeycursed items.)
Ettin: in D&D, hard to surprise. In hack, hard to kill (meaner than a troll).
Fog Cloud: edible, weak, but difficult to kill. 24XP. A real bargain.
Gelatinous cube: Occasionally paralyzes. 23XP.
Homunculus: bite can put you to sleep. (Rare for wizards) Not edible.
Imp: Poor attack, but hard to hit. You might starve to death trying
to kill one. Edible.
Jaguar: has multiple attacks, but does not inflict much damage.
Killer Bee: Like orcs, this denizen of the dungeon appears in swarms.
If you get hit, you may find that the bee's sting is poisoned. If
you haven't already eaten a killer bee or a scorpion, doing so
will give you permanent resistance to poison. They also are created
in swarms by create monster. Unlike orcs, these are individually
medium-tough monsters, and there is no Orcrist for them. Poison resistance,
however, takes the sting out of them.
Leocrotta: The leocrotta is a master of hit and run tactics. He tends to
take three hits and then step back. The leocrotta is a real headache
when you are fighting other monsters.
Minotaur: The minotaur is the king of the mazes that exist on the lowest
levels of the dungeon (~27+). One of these bull-headed creatures
can be found in each maze level. Kill him and you will find a wand of
Nurse: tends to a wear a ring, but not always.
If you remove your armor and go barehanded,
she heals you and raises your maximum hit points.
NOTE: Elbereth works to stop her either way. You can either be truly
defenseless, heal yourself, or fight her. Try to avoid her until you
have cleared the level. It is bad luck to kill a nurse.
Owlbear: If the owlbear gets a good hit on you, he will embrace you in a
bear hug! You are then unlikely to be able to escape from its
clutches short of killing it or teleporting away.
Piercer: can drop from ceiling by surprise.
If it falls and hits you, it might do up to 30+HP damage.
Once on the ground, however, is not much of a problem.
One of the prime reasons to wear a helmet in hack. Edible. 10XP.
A hanging (hidden) piercer can be found by searching.
Quivering Blob: Edible. Weak and slow.
Giant Rat or Rockmole\(dg: Both are edible. Rockmoles bore into walls
and corridors, making new passages.
Giant Scorpion or Spider\(dg: poisonous sting. Edible
for poison resistance.
Like snakes, scorpions and spiders hide
under objects. You can turn this to your advantage by throwing
missiles at them from across the room. They will hide under the first
one, then sit still for you to hit with many more. Beware of spider
Tengu: The tengu tends to engage in guerilla tactics (like the leocrotta).
Tengus teleport short distances while in melee, and may even be able
to follow you if you teleport away.
Unicorn: DON'T fight! this is a good guy. Throw gems at it. If the gems
are valuable, the unicorn will give you something valuble. Throw a gem
directly at it and it "graciously accepts your gift." This raises
your luck 5 points, which is useful. It won't tell you
this, however. If you throw worthless glass at it, it will be insulted
and refuse the gift. Like the albatross, it is unlucky to kill one.
Violet Fungi: slow, edible. Sticks to you.
Long Worm or Wumpus: Has a long body (~) behind a head (w).
Only the head can hit,
though you can hit (and destroy) the worm at any segment. Hitting
the last segment is by far the best approach.
You can get a worm tooth out of the corpse. Enchanting that will
produce a crysknife, a powerful weapon.
Long worms tend to hit in long bursts; you may get one that
just sits there while you hit it a few times and then hit you 10 or
more times. The worm scores hits in quantity rather than quality.
Avoid attacking the midsection.
This can divide the long worm in half, creating two short worms.
It is possible to halve a worm, then split each of
the halves.
Find a good running loop (two doors on the same side of a room
that connect through tunnel) and sneak around to whack at its tail.
You do not have to kill every single segment to kill the whole worm.
It is worth 115XP.
Some versions of Hack have the wumpus, a strong creature without
the complications of the long worm.
Xan: pricks your leg. More than one prick ruins your load-carrying
capacity. Potion of speed or lump or royal jelly will cure.
A real hazard. Found under
20th level. Good candidate for genocide. A ring of levitation allows
you to rise above them; they are very short.
Yellow light: if it hits, it will blind you and disappear. Blindness is
temporary (much shorter than from a potion of blindness).
(See Floating Eye, and potion of blindness.)
Zruty: nothing special. Hits a lot.
.LB 3 0 0 2 A
Giant Ant: poisonous sting can lower your strength. Moves several times
in one turn.
Giant Bat: jumps around. Not powerful, but so fast that it can hit you and
get out of hand-to-hand range. Eating corpse causes confusion like
potion. (No warning message.) Good as dog treat, though.
Centaur: Fast and powerful. Edible, but corpse is heavy.
Dragon: A mega-monster. Nasty attack or breathes fire. The second best reason
to own a ring of fire resistance at low levels. You may also do
it the hard way; eating a dragon's corpse
will give you permanent fire resistance. Unfortunately, a dragon's
corpse is an unliftable object. Dragons can flame you even through walls
and past boulders,
though probably won't hit you. This is particularly common in mazes (level 27+).
A dragon at the back of a zoo can be useful \- they flame at you, and
take out any intervening monsters. Dragons can flame you through
Elbereth. Note that even with fire resistance, the dragon's flames
can cause your scrolls to burn and your potions to explode on you.
Floating Eye: Gaze can paralyze you, leaving you game for monsters. It
cannot do this unless you attack it hand-to-hand. Eating corpse makes
you sick but bestows telepathy; whenever you are blind, you
know what and where every monster on the level is. This turns yellow
lights and potions of blindness into potential godsends when you have
most of the level mapped out. To get corpse without getting frozen,
stand next to it while your dog kills it, then grab corpse before he
eats it. (Note for Tourists: use your camera to blind it. A blinded
floating eye cannot defend itself.) If your dog is deceased, throw
things at it. Unaffected by wand of cancellation. Wand of invisibility
prevents them from paralyzing just as blindness does.
Freezing Sphere: eating corpse gives protection from cold as ring, but
permanent (may do poison damage). Usually gives you a blast.
You may kill a freezing sphere with projectiles/ray wands or missile
weapons. Exploding freezing spheres leave no bodies. It is
easy to kill at a distance (two crossbow bolts). Ring of cold
resistance will protect you from explosions, as will having eaten a
sphere corpse.
Gnome: edible.
Hobgoblin: edible \- good food source. Attack can do up to 8 points
of damage.
if test 48344 -ne "`wc -c < ''`"
echo shar: error transmitting "''" '(should have been 48344 characters)'
fi # end of overwriting check
# End of shell archive
exit 0
Mike Stephenson

Mail: Genamation Inc. Phone: (416) 475-9434
351 Steelcase Rd. W
Markham, Ontario. UUCP: uunet!{mnetor,utzoo}!genat!genpyr!mike
Canada L3R 3W1 uunet!{mnetor,utzoo}!genat!mike

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