YAAP: Joan-Tou-Hum-Fem-Neu

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Sep 16, 2021, 12:15:44 AM9/16/21
This ascension is dedicated to my Mom, who through determination and force of will imbued me with formidable writing skills, which to my shame I have only ever used to write papers for school, technical documentation, and rec.games.roguelike.nethack ascension posts.

After wrapping up my monk ascension in Junethack 2020 I began to scour the films of my youth for a proper tourist archetype. It isn’t the kind of role featured in most of the movies I grew up on, though it certainly encapsulates the “fish out of water” theme. Since I switch genders every game I was looking for a female tourist, which was even trickier. But one film in particular seemed to fit the bill.

My family was relatively late to the VCR game, renting equipment and tapes together until my parents had finished grad school and settled into regular work. When we finally obtained our own, a number of our family friends had two, and were more than happy to start our VHS film collection off with a handful of dubbed cassettes, as was a popular (if shady) practice at the time. For the first two or three years we had six movies on three tapes, the first of which was the 1984 Robert Zemeckis film, “Romancing the Stone”, starring Kathleen Turner. I probably watched that movie a hundred times.

I did give some consideration to Trillian, the only female hitchhiker in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but her representation in the 1981 TV adaptation so disquieted me (no offense to Sandra Dickenson, but it is clear that the this version of Trillian was heavily influenced by early 1980’s concepts of “production value”) that I didn’t really want to watch the series again, particularly to make a study of that character. I wanted a fish who could handle herself outside of the water, and while the radio and novel depictions of Trillian certainly could, the first screen version left me wanting.

Joan Wilder, however, was such a fish. It was the first time I saw a representation of a woman in film who successfully faced the primary antagonist herself, without the assistance of a man swooping in to save the day (though she admittedly did have some help from a friendly crocodile). I wasn’t sure if this was the right choice for my tourist, who after all should embody the “flashing with the camera to distract the enemy” theme somehow. But on researching that film trope, to my surprise, this was indeed depicted in the Jewel of the Nile (which I saw only once, being as disappointed as Jack and Ralph that the Jewel didn’t turn out to be a gemstone, as I was obsessed with gemology at the time). That sealed the deal, and joan the tourist was born.

Her kitten was Romeo, a nod to Miss Wilder’s cat. Her fruit type was olive, in reference to the jar she and Jack found in the crashed drug smuggling plane during their journey through the Columbian rainforest. Horses were named “Little Mule” or “Pepe”, after Juan the Bellmaker’s getaway car. Nurses were named after allies, such as her publisher, Gloria, her sister, Elaine, her romance novel character, Angelina, her building superintendent (credited in IMDB as “Super”), her neighbor, Mrs. Irwin, and of course, Juan the Bellmaker. Incubi were initially named for Jack and Jessie, then often for the assorted antagonists in the film, such as Ralph, Ira, and Zolo, but by the final game I realized that was just gross and consigned antagonist names to Romeo’s eventual successors. By that point the second pet was always Ralph.

I started joan off in earnest during the hardfought tournament. Though I managed to get her to the Astral plane, I did so without a ring of conflict, which I had relied on heavily for every other ascension. I took an unlucky route through the Astral Plane and ran out of resources after the second altar, ultimately falling victim to Death. I was devastated, never before having died on the last level. I tried again in February, but once again got to the Astral Plane without conflict. This time I did have a magic whistle and a blessed figurine of a cockatrice, but unable to restrain myself, I attempted to complete the Astral Plane first thing in the morning before eating breakfast. I hit the same bad luck with altars as before, and was ultimately brought down by a High Priestess of Moloch. I officially had my first case of the “nethack yips”. It was so bad that in Junethack, the best showing I was able to make was obtaining the luckstone from Mines’ End.

The game (3.6.6 on slashem.me) that finally ascended Joan came together relatively early, with a pair of gauntlets of power and a banded mail in a shop on the second level, and an altar on the fourth which yielded Mjollnir as The Lady’s first gift. Between Mjollnir and the gloves, the game was under control. Joan acquired speed from a wand while going through Sokoban, and for the first time Romeo actually survived the treasure zoo (though the freshly tamed Pepe did not). Sokoban’s prize was an amulet of reflection.

A wand of make invisible, poison resistance via a violet fungus, and fire resistance from a gelatinous cube added to survivability in the Mines. This Minetown was the orc-conquered version, so there would be no protection until later, and the shops were minimally fruitful. Food was a bit of a problem as well, as I have been trying to ascend a vegetarian for some time. Like my last character, joan started with the best of intentions, but I keep forgetting about delicious black pudding (which at least supplied shock resistance this time. In the outtakes of Romancing the Stone, incidentally, Miss Wilder is seen to be eating “snake on a stick”, so in retrospect it’s somewhat serendipitous).

Romeo stepped on a polymorph trap and became a very useful soldier ant for a while, but without a magic whistle or leash, his habit of wandering off became impractical, and he was left behind. By the time joan encountered him again she had discovered a magic whistle, but though he was peaceful, he was no longer tame. Soldier ants apparently don’t eat tripe, but instead become hostile. Sadly, Romeo didn’t make it after joan accidentally smacked him with Mjollnir (I’m not great with pets).

It took long enough to get to 14th experience level that joan explored down to Medusa’s island long before qualifying for the Quest. On her journey she discovered an amulet of magical breathing and gauntlets of dexterity. An attended alter to Offler on level 11 furnished protection, and an unattended altar on level 13 made a suitable base camp, yielding Magicbane after several offerings. A cloak of protection ended up being worn until the end, as the Platinum Yendorian Express Card would ultimately provide magic resistance, and joan never encountered the oilskin cloak which would ordinarily be her go-to.

It wasn’t long after dispatching Medusa that sufficient incubus dalliance bumped joan to quest-readiness. The quest itself was relatively uneventful, yielding a ring of levitation, wand of death, oilskin sack, water walking boots, and at long last, a ring of conflict (the first of three she would eventually discover). She didn’t even bother to wake the Master of Thieves, but just hit him with a death ray before he could pick up the Platinum Yendorian Express Card.

Next joan sought to gather as much gold as possible in order to max out protection and found, for the first time in any of my tourist games, Fort Ludios. This sewed up protection quickly, but joan opted to not try and take the gold out of the dungeon, instead buying all potentially useful items from the shops. In homage to the $375 in American Express traveler’s checks which was to be Jack’s reward for escorting Miss Wilder to Cartajena, joan would keep only 375 zorkmids on her when she left the dungeon, in addition to every gem she could find.

On the way to the castle she obtained sleep resistance from a Green-elf corpse, cold resistance from a frost giant corpse, and her first set of dragon scale mail from a yellow dragon. She also discovered a wand of wishing before making it to the castle (now that all of my games are wishless I find myself awash in these every time). There wasn’t a great deal of interest in the Castle’s strong rooms, but a silver dragon guarding one of them was good enough to drop scales, facilitating the suit of silver dragon scale mail joan sported for the remainder of the game.

Almost immediately on entering the Valley of the Dead, a Master Lich summoned Jubilex to face joan, but now with Magicbane in hand, she dispatched both quickly. If I learned one thing in my time playing the tourist it was this - Magicbane is insanely useful. While I would typically have gone with Mjollnir or Frostbrand (awarded by The Lady shortly before the assault on the Castle) as the go-to weapon, the “no getting stuff cursed while wielding Magicbane” feature negates the need for a myriad of ascension kit gear which might be otherwise necessary, making Liches, Nalfashnee, and Titans more nuisances than actual threats. A stack of 125 poisoned +7 darts handled the mind flayers and disenchanters.

Despite the relatively small number of altar gifts, Gehennom featured a number of other artifacts just laying around, ultimately including Trollsbane, Giantslayer, and Grimtooth. Asmodeus and Baalzebul were paid off, while Yeenoghu and Orcus were dispatched by traditional means. Not until just before Vlad’s tower did a ring of slow digestion and a bag of holding finally fall into joan’s hands. She went through 4 potions of paralyzation doing it, but finally put Vlad down.

Things should have been clean from here, but joan got a little too aggressive trying to pick up items in the Wizard’s Tower and woke up Rodney accidentally, having to go all of the way back up to her basecamp to pick up candles before starting the run (during which she was crowned Envoy of Balance and awarded Vorpal Blane, which she never even wielded). Fortuitously, one doesn’t run out of charges in a stack of wands of death when one has the Platinum Yendorian Express Card, so he was annoying but not overwhelming. Conflict made Moloch’s Sanctum much more manageable than in previous runs, and the Mysterious Force was only encountered three times on the way out of Gehennom.

By this time I had way more practice bringing joan through the Planes than anyone should ever have, and the time had come for my third and final confrontation with the Astral plane. This time I was prepared. I hadn’t realized before that reverse genocide doesn’t break the genocideless conduct, and joan had brought with her two cursed scrolls of genocide, four blessed scrolls of taming, and a number of wands of teleport. On reaching Astral she summoned a gaggle of purple worms, tamed them, teleported several to places unknown, and slipped on the ring of conflict just in case. Famine was behind the first door, but joan’s oversupply of wands of death made short work of him. The temple foyers by this time were surprisingly sparsely populated. And despite the over-prep, this time, the first altar she made it to was consecrated to The Lady…

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Joan the Voyager St:18/** Dx:22 Co:18 In:14 Wi:18 Ch:17 Neutral
Astral Plane $:2 HP:392(392) Pw:180(180) AC:-43 Xp:24

You offer the Amulet of Yendor to The Lady...--More--
An invisible choir sings, and you are bathed in radiance...--More--
The voice of The Lady thunders: "Mortal, thou hast done well!"--More--
"In return for thy service, I grant thee the gift of Immortality!"--More--
You ascend to the status of Demigoddess...--More--

$ - 2 gold pieces
u - an uncursed amulet of life saving
x - an uncursed amulet of life saving
D - a blessed amulet of magical breathing (being worn)
j - a blessed +6 silver saber (wielded in other hand)
s - the blessed rustproof +7 Magicbane (weapon in hand)
z - 10 blessed poisoned rusty +7 darts
h - an uncursed +5 pair of water walking boots (being worn)
m - a blessed +4 Hawaiian shirt (being worn)
v - a blessed +4 silver dragon scale mail (being worn)
w - a blessed +7 elven leather helm (being worn)
V - a blessed +5 cloak of protection (being worn)
X - a blessed +4 pair of gauntlets of dexterity (being worn)
o - 2 uncursed lumps of royal jelly
t - an uncursed lizard corpse
i - 2 blessed scrolls of taming
k - the uncursed Book of the Dead
Q - an uncursed potion of full healing
g - an uncursed ring of conflict
q - a blessed ring of free action (on left hand)
C - a blessed ring of slow digestion
d - a wand of death (0:2)
e - a wand of teleportation (0:6)
l - a wand of teleportation (0:4)
A - a wand of death (1:2)
K - a wand of teleportation (0:0)
L - a wand of teleportation (0:3)
a - a blessed +0 unicorn horn
c - an uncursed skeleton key
f - an uncursed oilskin sack named utility belt containing 9 items
n - a blessed bag of holding named loot containing 55 items
F - the blessed Platinum Yendorian Express Card
G - the Bell of Opening (0:2)
H - the uncursed Candelabrum of Invocation (7 candles, lit)
E - a blessed luckstone
(3 of 3)

Contents of the oilskin sack named utility belt:

an uncursed amulet of magical breathing
a blessed scroll of identify
a blessed scroll of remove curse
5 potions of holy water
an uncursed ring of slow digestion
a wand of cancellation (0:3)
a wand of death (0:8)
an uncursed magic whistle
a +0 unicorn horn

Contents of the bag of holding named loot:

375 gold pieces
an uncursed amulet of reflection
89 blessed poisoned +7 darts
the rusty +0 Grimtooth
the blessed +3 Sting
the blessed rustproof +2 Frost Brand
the very rusty +0 Giantslayer
the blessed rustproof +6 Mjollnir
the blessed +0 Orcrist
the very rusty -1 Trollsbane
the blessed rustproof +1 Vorpal Blade
an uncursed thoroughly burnt rotted +0 pair of water walking boots
an uncursed +0 cloak of magic resistance
an uncursed olive
2 uncursed lembas wafers
2 uncursed lumps of royal jelly
an uncursed tripe ration
3 uncursed potions of water
6 uncursed potions of water
an uncursed ring of conflict
an uncursed ring of levitation
an uncursed ring of regeneration
an uncursed ring of slow digestion
a wand of fire (0:3)
a wand of sleep (0:6)
a wand of sleep (0:5)
a wand of speed monster (0:4)
a wand of wishing (0:3)
a wand of wishing (0:0)
a can of grease (0:16)
an uncursed magic whistle
an uncursed wet towel
a +0 unicorn horn
4 uncursed agate stones
9 uncursed amber stones
5 uncursed amethyst stones
5 uncursed aquamarine stones
7 uncursed black opals
4 uncursed chrysoberyl stones
19 uncursed citrine stones
4 uncursed citrine stones
6 uncursed diamonds
14 uncursed emeralds
4 uncursed fluorite stones
6 uncursed garnet stones
7 uncursed jacinth stones
6 uncursed jade stones
4 uncursed jasper stones
3 uncursed jasper stones
5 uncursed obsidian stones
9 uncursed opals
15 uncursed rubies
13 uncursed sapphires
9 uncursed topaz stones
11 uncursed turquoise stones

Joan the Tourist's attributes:

You were a Voyager, a level 24 female human Tourist.
You were neutral, on a mission for The Lady
who was opposed by Blind Io (lawful) and Offler (chaotic).
You were in the endgame, on the Astral Plane.
You entered the dungeon 131366 turns ago.
You had 40024576 experience points, 9975424 more were needed for level 25.

You had all 392 hit points.
You had all 180 energy points (spell power).
Your armor class was -43.
Your wallet contained 2 zorkmids.
Autopickup was off.

Final Characteristics:
Your strength was 18/100 (limit:18/100).
Your dexterity was 22 (base:18, innate limit:18).
Your constitution was 18 (limit:18).
Your intelligence was 14 (limit:18).
Your wisdom was 18 (limit:18).
Your charisma was 17 (limit:18).

Final Status:
You were unencumbered.
You were wielding two weapons at once.
You were skilled in two weapon combat.

Final Attributes:
You were the Envoy of Balance.
You were piously aligned.
You were magic-protected.
You were fire resistant.
You were cold resistant.
You were sleep resistant.
You were disintegration-resistant.
You were shock resistant.
You were poison resistant.
You saw invisible.
You were telepathic.
You had automatic searching.
You were invisible to others.
You aggravated monsters.
You could walk on water.
You could survive without air.
You had a moderate defense bonus (+9).
You were protected.
You took half spell damage.
You were very fast.
You had reflection.
You had free action.
You were lucky.
You had extra luck.
Good luck did not time out for you.
You survived.

Vanquished creatures:

the Wizard of Yendor (5 times)
Vlad the Impaler
7 arch-liches
a high priest
2 mastodons
9 krakens
the Master of Thieves
8 iron golems
3 master liches
27 storm giants
2 titans
10 glass golems
4 balrogs
15 purple worms
3 gray dragons
2 silver dragons
5 red dragons
a white dragon
5 orange dragons
6 black dragons
7 blue dragons
4 green dragons
6 yellow dragons
20 minotaurs
10 jabberwocks
10 baluchitheria
17 Angels
14 demiliches
4 stone golems
9 master mind flayers
12 Olog-hai
5 Nazgul
6 pit fiends


4220 creatures vanquished.

Do you want a list of extinct species? [ynq] (n)
Extinct species:

giant spiders (extinct)
soldiers (extinct)
erinyes (extinct)

3 species extinct.

Do you want to see your conduct? [ynq] (n)
Voluntary challenges:
You never genocided any monsters.
You never polymorphed an object.
You never changed form.
You used no wishes.
Do you want to see the dungeon overview? [ynq] (n)
The Elemental Planes:
Astral Plane: <- You are here.
A temple to The Lady.
Plane of Water:
Plane of Fire:
Plane of Air:
Plane of Earth:
The Dungeons of Doom: levels 1 to 25
Level 1:
One way stairs up to The Elemental Planes.
Level 2:
Some fountains.
Level 3:
A general store, a fountain.
Level 4:
Final resting place for
joan-Tou-Hum-Fem-Neu, killed by a rothe.
Level 5:
A general store, an altar to The Lady, a sink.
Level 6:
Many fountains.
Oracle of Delphi.
Level 7:
An altar to The Lady, a sink.
Stairs up to Sokoban, level 6.
Level 8:
A fountain.
Level 9:
A wand shop, a fountain.
Level 10:
Level 11:
A temple.
Level 12:
A general store, a fountain.
Portal to The Quest.
Level 13:
An altar to The Lady, a fountain.
Level 14:
Level 15:
Level 16:
A fountain.
Level 17:
Level 18:
A primitive area.
Level 19:
Portal to Fort Ludios.
Level 20:
A general store, a fountain, a sink.
Level 21:
A fountain, many trees.
Level 22:
Level 23:
Level 24:
Level 25:
A fountain.
The castle.
Connection to Gehennom.
Gehennom: levels 26 to 45
Level 26:
A temple, many graves.
Valley of the Dead.
Level 27:
Level 28:
Level 29:
A fountain.
Level 30:
Level 31:
Level 32:
Level 33:
Level 34:
Stairs up to Vlad's Tower, level 33.
Level 35:
Level 36:
Level 37:
Level 38:
Some shops, an altar.
Level 39:
Level 40:
Level 41:
Level 42:
Level 43:
Level 44:
Level 45:
A temple, many graves.
Moloch's Sanctum.
The Gnomish Mines: levels 4 to 11
Level 4:
Level 5:
Level 6:
Level 7:
Level 8:
Level 9:
Level 10:
Level 11:
The Quest: levels 1 to 6
Level 1:
A throne, many graves.
Completed quest for Twoflower.
Level 2:
Level 3:
Some shops.
Level 4:
Level 5:
Level 6:
Some shops.
Sokoban: levels 6 up to 3
Level 3:
Level 4:
Level 5:
Level 6:
Fort Ludios:
Level 1:
Vlad's Tower: levels 33 up to 31
Level 31:
Level 32:
Level 33:

Aloha joan the Demigoddess...

You went to your reward with 4307912 points,
The Book of the Dead (worth 10000 zorkmids and 25000 points)
Orcrist (worth 2000 zorkmids and 5000 points)
Sting (worth 800 zorkmids and 2000 points)
Grimtooth (worth 300 zorkmids and 750 points)
Trollsbane (worth 200 zorkmids and 500 points)
Giantslayer (worth 200 zorkmids and 500 points)
Vorpal Blade (worth 4000 zorkmids and 10000 points)
Mjollnir (worth 4000 zorkmids and 10000 points)
Frost Brand (worth 3000 zorkmids and 7500 points)
Magicbane (worth 3500 zorkmids and 8750 points)
The Platinum Yendorian Express Card (worth 7000 zorkmids and 17500 points)
The Bell of Opening (worth 5000 zorkmids and 12500 points)
The Candelabrum of Invocation (worth 5000 zorkmids and 12500 points)
23 citrine stones (worth 34500 zorkmids),
15 rubies (worth 52500 zorkmids),
14 emeralds (worth 35000 zorkmids),
13 sapphires (worth 39000 zorkmids),
11 turquoise stones (worth 22000 zorkmids),
9 amber stones (worth 9000 zorkmids),
9 topaz stones (worth 8100 zorkmids),
9 opals (worth 7200 zorkmids),
7 jacinth stones (worth 22750 zorkmids),
7 black opals (worth 17500 zorkmids),
7 jasper stones (worth 3500 zorkmids),
6 diamonds (worth 24000 zorkmids),
6 garnet stones (worth 4200 zorkmids),
6 jade stones (worth 1800 zorkmids),
5 aquamarine stones (worth 7500 zorkmids),
5 amethyst stones (worth 3000 zorkmids),
5 obsidian stones (worth 1000 zorkmids),
13 sapphires (worth 39000 zorkmids),
11 turquoise stones (worth 22000 zorkmids),
9 amber stones (worth 9000 zorkmids),
9 topaz stones (worth 8100 zorkmids),
9 opals (worth 7200 zorkmids),
7 jacinth stones (worth 22750 zorkmids),
7 black opals (worth 17500 zorkmids),
7 jasper stones (worth 3500 zorkmids),
6 diamonds (worth 24000 zorkmids),
6 garnet stones (worth 4200 zorkmids),
6 jade stones (worth 1800 zorkmids),
5 aquamarine stones (worth 7500 zorkmids),
5 amethyst stones (worth 3000 zorkmids),
5 obsidian stones (worth 1000 zorkmids),
4 chrysoberyl stones (worth 2800 zorkmids),
4 fluorite stones (worth 1600 zorkmids),
4 agate stones (worth 800 zorkmids),
2 amulets of life saving (worth 300 zorkmids),
2 amulets of magical breathing (worth 300 zorkmids),
1 amulet of reflection (worth 150 zorkmids),
and 377 pieces of gold, after 131366 moves.
You were level 24 with a maximum of 392 hit points when you ascended.

Mom, for her part, has begun publishing her writing now that she is retired. Read your fill at https://dreamsmithcom.wordpress.com

Thanks Mom!
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