An introduction to
the wonderful world of
Written by Douglas Rosengard
with contributions from
Edited into human-readable form
by Pete Granger & Steve Yaste
[When I received this, it was suffering badly from line-wraps, misplaced tabs, t
ypos, bad grammar, misspellings, etc. I have now cleaned up as much as I can of
it. It's not perfect, but it's better. Although I have edited the context fre
ely, the content as originally posted is unchanged, with the exception of one pl
ace which contained data which I know to be incorrect for all versions: It was s
tated that nothing bad would happen if you prayed at the wrong time. This has b
een corrected. I have also adde
d some new data to reflect changes in the latest release of NetHack. Any other
comments of my own are in brackets, like this, with my initials, like this. -PG
[My contribution has been to reformat into MS-Word (from the original text file)
and add whatever information, comments and recommendations I can. All such add
endums are initialed. - SY]
[With the 2.3 mods we received two spoiler files. These files have been edited
into a format which matches the original version of this document.]
CHAPTER 1: What is Hack?
"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."
Hack is a single-player, interactive fantasy game in which you play a mighty her
o, determined to recover the powerful Amulet of Yendor. This task will not be
easy, however. During your quest, you will journey deep into the earth, battle
strange and ferocious creatures, be blinded, confused and encounter deadly trap
s. And, perhaps worst of all, you will slowly starve. Have no fear, however.
Although an unending horde may assail you, and you are a weakling at the start o
f your trek, you have the potent
ial to far surpass all of your mightiest enemies. As you defeat your foes, you
will become more powerful, learn how to fight better, and increase your stamina.
You will also find many items, some ordinary, while others have great powers.
In addition, you are not quite alone. You will find shops which can sell you u
seful items. And what fool would adventure without a faithful watchdog beside
him. But beware! The gods frown upon those who turn against their allies. Her
e begins your journey into a new
and exciting world... the world of HACK.
CHAPTER 2: A brief introduction to the game of Hack.
The first step is to run the game itself. Type hack (or whatever the name of y
our version is), and press return. The first thing which will happen is that it
will welcome you to the game, and ask you what type of character you wish to p
lay. For now, we will play a Caveman. Type "c" to indicate this to the program
. After a few moments, the game will start. You will see something like this:
Your Command ?
AC 7 Str 18 Hp 12(12) Exp: 0 Level: 1
You are the "@" symbol. What you see is a single room in the Dungeon of Doom.
The dungeon is divided into many "levels." Most levels consist of up to nine roo
ms connected by a twisting passageways. The "." are simply empty places on the
floor of the room. The "-" and "|" symbols are the walls of the room. The "+"
symbols represent doorways leading out of the room. Finally, the "d" symbol is
your faithful dog. Don't worry yet about the information on the bottom of the
screen. The "Your Command?" at
the top of the screen indicates that the program is waiting for you to give it a
command. In Hack, the world literally waits on your command. Until you type i
n something for it to do, NOTHING will happen during the game. This means that
you can leave the computer, eat lunch, and come back, and the game will be exact
ly as you left it. (Note: The command prompt is not always as it appears above.
) Basically, if nothing is happening on the screen, the program is waiting for y
ou to give it a command. Let's
move the character one space to the left. Movement is performed by typing the k
ey (make sure your caps lock is off) which corresponds to the direction you want
to go in.
The direction keys are:
y k u
\ | /
h- @ -l
/ | \
b j n
This means that if you type "h", the "@" will move one space to the left. If yo
u type "u", the "@" will move diagonally up and to the right one space. So to m
ove to the left one space, we type "h". The room now looks something like this:
Notice that not only have you moved one space to the left, but the dog has moved
one space to the right. The dog's movements are controlled by the program, and
he will move when all the other computer controlled people (and monsters) move.
The "<" symbol is the way out of the dungeon. "<" represents a set of stairs
which go up to the previous level. If you leave the dungeon, then the game ends
. Similarly, the ">" symbol represents stairs going to the next level. To clim
b or descend the stairs, type th
e stair symbol you are on. That is, to climb up, type "<". To go down, type ">
". Once you have moved a few times, you should have the idea of how basic move
ment works in Hack. Now to deal with other things. Type "i". You now see a li
st of objects. It will look something like this:
(a) +1 Club (weapon in hand)
(b) +1 Bow
(c) 43 +0 arrows
(d) +0 Leather armor (being worn)
The "i" command stands for "Inventory." The list of objects is the list of item
s in your possession. Most items will be carried in your characters "back-pack
." Those that are not, such as the club in the above example, are indicated in y
our inventory. "Weapon in hand" means that your character is holding that item
in his hand. If he attacks a creature, he will hit it with this weapon. "being
worn" means the character is wearing that item. In particular, the character w
ill wear armor to protect himsel
f from damage. You may have seen symbols in the room other than the ones discus
sed. The general rule is: if a symbol is a letter, then it is a creature. Othe
rwise, it is an object. There are exceptions to both parts of the rule, however
, so be careful. To see a list of all the object symbols, type "?". This will
send you into the help subroutine. If the program asks you "Long or Short help?
" type "s" for now. A list of all the objects and commands will be printed on t
he screen. Read them carefully,
and follow the prompts. The long help contains information on how to play hack
. It is strongly recommended that you read this also. To pick up an item, you
simply walk over it. When this occurs, you will automatically attempt to pick u
p the item. Be aware, however, that items are not weightless, and so you may fi
nd yourself unable to pick up an item because it weighs to much. To move onto a
space without picking up an item, type "m", and then the direction you wish to
move. If there is something on
the space you are on, you may look at it by typing ":". [In some versions, you
can also set your "pickup" option on or off by typing the "@" symbol. This is v
ery useful if there are a lot of items around that you don't want to pick up. -
PG] The last thing which will be covered is combat. Let's say that you have be
en wandering about for a little while, and you have found a monster. The monst
er appears as a symbol on the map, just like the little dog. Combat in hack is
very simple. There are three wa
ys that you can fight a monster:
1) You can bash it with your weapon.
2) You can throw or shoot something at it.
3) You can zap it with a wand, or cast a spell at it.
(Spells are only used in nethack.)
To accomplish 1), you simply attempt to move into the space the monster is curre
ntly in. So, for example, if the creature is one space to the left of your cha
racter, and you type "h", you will attack it. Likewise, monsters attack you by
moving into your space. For 2), you must have something to throw. You can thro
w anything, but it is strongly recommended that you use a weapon if you want to
do damage to the creature. To throw an object in your inventory, type "t". The
game now asks what object you w
ish to throw. To see your inventory, type "*". To see the weapons in your inve
ntory, type "?". Once you have decided what to throw, type the objects letter,
and then the direction you wish to throw it in. You will now (hopefully) hit th
e monster with whatever you threw. To use a bow and arrows for maximum effect,
you must be wield the bow, and then "throw" an arrow. To wield a different weap
on, type "w", and then the letter of the object you wish to wield. Be careful t
hat you are not bashing a creat
ure with your bow, as this is not very effective. The same applies for slings
and rocks. [And crossbows and bolts. -PG] For 3), the procedure is similar to
2). Type "z" (for zap), and the letter of the wand you wish to use. If the pr
ogram now prompts you to type a direction, then type the direction you want to b
last in. There are three basic effects possible when zapping a wand:
1) The wand has no direction, and simply does something.
Example: When a wand of light is zapped, it will light up the room.
2) The wand affects whatever is in the given direction.
Example: A wand of slow monster will slow down any monster it is zapped
3) The wand shoots a "ray" or "bolt" in the given direction. It will try t
o hit any creature in its path, and may bounce off of walls and doors. BE CAREF
UL! It is very easy to bounce such a blast into yourself.
Example: A wand of fire shoots a bolt of fire in the indicated direction
. Note that you may throw or zap in any direction (including up (<) or down(>))
that you may move in.
When you attack a creature (or are attacked by one), if the attack hits damage i
s done by the attacker. This damage is represented as hit points, or HP for sho
rt. Every creature, including yourself, has a certain number of these hit point
s. When you take damage, you will lose a certain number of them. The greater t
he damage, the more hit points you will lose. If a creature is reduced to less
than one hit point, it dies. Hence, ALWAYS BE AWARE OF HOW MANY HIT POINTS YOU
HAVE LEFT, because if you lose t
hem them all, the game is over, and you have lost. The amount of HP's damage th
at is done depends on a number of different factors, such as what weapon you are
wielding and what your current strength. Your strength is the number listed af
ter "STR" on the bottom of the screen. This is discussed later on, and you do n
ot have to worry to much about it to start. Any attack has a percent chance to
hit which depends on a few key statistics. The first of these is the armor clas
s of the defender, or AC for sh
ort. This number ranges (usually) from 10 to -10. It may go higher or lower de
pending on the circumstances. In particular, armor classes for a winning charac
ter very often do go below -10. The lower the number, the better the chance tha
t any attack on that defender will miss. The second factor is the "level" of th
e attacker. Your level is listed on the bottom of the screen. Initially it is
1, but it will rise as you kill monsters. For every monster you kill, you will
be awarded points, called experi
ence points (EXP). Your level is directly determined by the number of EXP you p
ossess. In addition, your hit points will increase every time you go up a level
as well. The final factor is a vague factor known as luck. The program will n
ot tell you what your luck is, but it is used in many factors of the game. Basi
cally, the higher your luck, the better you are at doing almost everything. The
re are ways to modify your luck, which are up to you to find. [These are virtua
lly impossible to find out throu
gh play. If you want to know them, read them in the spoilers section below. -P
G] Now you should know enough to play the game, and discover things on your own
. What follows is a summary of the commands and symbols, and then a section whi
ch discusses more advanced topics. It is meant to act as a guide to players of
what their options are. The final section contains "spoilers", or information w
hich gives away something in the game which might "spoil" the game for those wh
o prefer to find the information
on their own. CONSIDER CAREFULLY YOUR DECISION TO READ THIS SECTION. Only if
you are truly stuck should you have to resort to reading it, and many players fe
el that spoilers are another form of cheating. That being said, enjoy the game!
CHAPTER 3: COMMAND SUMMARY AND DESCRIPTIONS
(The following is an excerpt from the long help command in nethack)
Hack knows the following commands:
? help: print this list.
Q Quit the game.
S Save the game.
! Escape to a shell.
^Z Suspend the game.
< up: go up the staircase (if you are standing on it).
> down: go down (just like up).
kjhlyubn E go one step in the direction indicated.
k: north (i.e., to the top of the screen),
KJHLYUBN E Go in that direction until you hit a wall or run into something.
m (followed by one of kjhlyubn): move without picking up any objects.
M (followed by one of KJHLYUBN): Move far, no pickup.
g (followed by one of kjhlyubn): move until something interesting is found
G (followed by one of KJHLYUBN): as previous, but forking of corridors is
not considered interesting.
i print your inventory.
I print selected parts of your inventory, as in I* E print all gems in inv
entory; IU E print all unpaid items; IX E print all used up items that are on yo
ur shopping bill; I$ E count your money.
s search for secret doors and traps around you.
^ ask for the type of a trap you found earlier.
) ask for current wielded weapon.
[ ask for current armor.
= ask for current rings.
$ count how many gold pieces you are carrying.
. rest, do nothing.
, pick up some things.
: look at what is here.
^R redraw the screen.
^P repeat last message (subsequent ^P's repeat earlier messages).
/ (followed by any symbol): tell what this symbol represents.
\ tell what has been discovered.
e eat food.
w wield weapon.
w- means: wield nothing, use bare hands.
q drink (quaff) a potion.
r read a scroll.
T Take off armor.
R Remove Ring.
W Wear armor.
P Put on a ring.
X transcribe (learn) a spell.
x print a list of know spells.
z zap a wand.
t throw an object or shoot an arrow.
p pay your shopping bill.
d drop something.
d7a: drop seven items of object a.
D Drop several things.
In answer to the question "What kinds of things do you want to drop? [!
%= au]" you should give zero or more object symbols possibly followed by 'a' and
/or 'u' 'a' means: drop all such objects, without asking for confirmation 'u' me
ans: drop only unpaid objects (when in a shop).
a use, apply E Generic command for using a key to lock or unlock a door, u
sing a camera, using a rope, etc.
c call: name a certain object or class of objects.
C Call: Name an individual monster.
E Engrave: Write a message in the dust on the floor.
E- means: use fingers for writing.
O Set options: You will be asked to enter an option line.If this is empty
, the current options are reported Otherwise it should be a list of options sep
arated by commas. Possible boolean options are: oneline, time, news, tombstone,
rest_on_space, fixinvlet, beginner, male, female. They can be negated by prefi
xing them with '!' or "no".
A string option is name; it supplies the answer to the question "Who are
you?"; it may have a suffix denoting character class, i.e. Name=Brunhilda-V, is
a Viking named Brunhilda.
A compound option is endgame; it is followed by a description of what pa
rts of the list of topscorers should be printed when the game is finished. Usua
lly one will not want to use the 'O' command, but instead put a HACKOPTIONS="...
." line in one's environment.
v print version number.
See Options below for more details.
You can put a number before a command to repeat it that many times, as in "20s"
COMMAND REFERENCE MANUAL:
The following is a more complete description of the commands in hack. The synta
x used is:
(Command name) (additional prompts)
a [*? or letter] means type "a". At the next prompt, type a letter, * or ?
a [*? or letter]
- apply an item which has an unusual use, such as a camera, leash or lunc
h box. All such items fall under the class of Tools.
"a ?" E gives an list of all Tools in the inventory.
"a *" E prints the inventory.
"a " E If that letter is in the inventory, applies that item if
b - move one space down and to the left.
B - move down and to the left until an object is encountered.
c [yn] [?* or letter] - allows the player to name an object or type of ob
ject in his inventory. At the prompt "Do you want to name an individual object?
[yn]" type "y" if you wish to name a specific item in your inventory, or type "
n" if you wish to name a type of object.
"c y" E Typing "?" or "*" displays the inventory. If the letter of an o
bject is typed, the player is prompted for the name of the object. This name wi
ll be used whenever the program refers to that object. Example:"c y Feel Good"
results in all whit
e potions being referred to as "a potion of Feel Good." The name will be nullif
ied when the item is identified.
C [hjkl.] E allows the player to name a specific creature. At the prompt
, a cursor will appear. Move the cursor with the keys "hjkl" as with normal mo
vement. When the cursor is over the monster to be named, type ".", and then th
e name of the creature. This names only that monster, and not that class of mo
nsters. Example: naming your little dog "Spot" will result in any future refere
nces to the little dog as "Spot", as in: "Spot hits the acid blob. Spot kills t
he acid blob!" [This can be hila
rious at times. Try walking into a treasure zoo while wearing a ring of conflic
t and naming every creature in sight. The play-by-play of the ensuing brawl is
a riot. -PG]
d [?*$ number or letter] E Allows the player to drop either his gold or a specif
ic item in his inventory. Typing "?" or "*" displays the inventory. Typing a l
etter drops all items labeled with that letter. Typing "$" drops all of the pla
yer's gold. Typing a number, and then either a letter or "$" drops that number
of the item being dropped
Example: "d 3 " drops 3 darts. "d 250 $" drops 250 gold.
D [`()%/=?!*$ and/or a] [nyaq] - Allows the player to selectively dro
p items from a selected set of object types. To use, type a string which consis
ts of object symbols of the types which are to be dropped. If this string is fo
llowed by an "a", all items of the listed types are dropped. Otherwise, the pro
gram displays, in inventory order, each item which is one of the selected types,
and prompts the player with "[nyaq]". Typing "n" will keep the item in the inv
entory, and prompt for the next
item. Typing "y" will drop that item, and prompt for the next item. Typing "a"
will drop that item, and all subsequent items. Typing "q" will abort the comma
nd. Example: "D %/=* a" will drop all food, wands rings and gems in the invento
e [?* or letter] E Eats something in the inventory. Typing "?" displays all foo
d in the inventory. Typing "*" displays the inventory. Typing a letter of a Co
mestible results in the player eating one of that item.
E [?*- or a letter] - Allows the player to engrave a phrase on the grou
nd with some specified object. Typing "?" displays all items listed after "-" i
n the prompt. Typing "*" displays the inventory. Typing a letter wields that i
tem if the item can be engraved with. Typing "-" unwields the players weapon (i
f uncursed), and writes in the dust with the players fingers. Once the writing
implement is selected, the player is prompted for a phrase. This phrase is writ
ten in that spot. If a sharp ob
ject or magic marker was used, the engraving is permanent, and whenever the play
er walks over the spot, he will see the phrase which is engraved there. If fing
ers are used, the engraving will smudge after the player takes an action, and no
t be as legible. The effects of different objects on Engravings are left to the
(f or g) [yuhjklbn] E Moves the player in the specified direction until next to
an object, intersection, door, stairs or unfriendly monster.
(F or G) [yuhjklbn] E moves the player as above, but ignores intersections.
h E moves the player one space to the left.
H E moves the player to the left until he moves onto an object.
i E displays the inventory
I [`)([%/=?!+] E Allows the player to display objects of specific types in the i
nventory. At the prompt, type the symbols for the types of objects you wish to
display. Example: "I %=!?" gives a list of all food,rings, potions and scrolls
in the inventory.
j E Moves the player down one space
J E Moves the player down until he moves onto an object.
k E Moves the player up one space.
K E Moves the player up until he moves onto an object.
l E Moves the player one space to the right.
L E Moves the player to right until he moves onto an object
m [yuhjklbn] E Moves the player one space in the specified direction, but if the
player moves onto an object, he will not attempt to pick it up.
M [yuhjklbn] E As above, but moves in the specified direction until no legal mov
es are possible.
n E Moves the player one space down and to the right.
N E Moves the player down and to the right until he moves onto an object.
O E Allows the player to set game options during play. Possible option
s include: help: gives help on setting options in hack. rest_on_space (or resto
nspace): makes the space bar act as the "." command. time: displays the number
of turns the player has been playing for on the bottom line of the screen. tomb
stone: If on, a tombstone is displayed after the player dies. (fe)male: Sets th
e players sex. Compound options include: name:: sets the players
name and class, as in "Merlin-W"
. dogname: gives the name of the players (first) dog (e.g. dogname:Spot) packo
rder:<")[%?+/=!(*0>: sets the default packorder of the inventory. The inventory
will be sorted by the object type given. The above order is the default. Exam
ple: Since "?" comes before "/", scrolls are displayed before wands. endgame::
describes what is displayed after the game is ended. options are separ
ated by the "/" character. options include: own scores: displays all scores wi
th the players name in the high
score list. top scores: displays the top scores aro
und my score: displays the scores greater than and less than the player
's score. Example: "endgame:own scores/5 topscores/4 around my score"
[Note: these options may be setting by modifying the "Hackoptions" STR
resource with ResEdit - SY]
p E If the player has unpaid items in his inventory or on his bill for a sho
p, he will pay the shopkeeper the full amount of the bill if possible.
P [?* or letter] [rl] E Puts a ring on one of the players hands. Only one ring
is allowed per hand. Typing "?" displays all rings in the inventory. Typing "*
" displays the inventory. If the letter of a ring is typed, the program will as
k which hand to place the ring on, if both hands are available. Ring's powers r
emain in effect as long as the ring is worn. [If only one hand is free, the rin
g will automatically go on that hand. -PG]
q [?* or letter] E Quaffs a potion. Typing "?" displays all potions in the inve
ntory. Typing "*" displays the inventory. If the letter of a potion is typed,
the player will quaff that potion. Potions are only usable once. After being q
uaffed, the item is destroyed.
Q [yn] E Quit the game.
r [?* or letter] E Reads a scroll in the inventory. Typing "?" displays all scr
olls in the inventory. Typing "*" displays the inventory. If the letter of a s
croll is typed, the player will read that scroll. Some scrolls may have to be n
amed by the player after being read. In these cases the program will ask what t
o call the scroll. Type in the name, as if typing in the name for the "c" comma
nd. All scrolls (except possibly for "blank paper") may only be read once. The
y are destroyed after use.
R [rl] E Remove the ring on the right or left hand. If the ring is cursed, it c
annot be removed with this command.
s E Search for secret doors and traps. There is a fair chance on each use o
f this command that any neighboring secret door or trap will become visible. Do
not expect only one search to be sufficient.
S E Save the game in progress. The next time the game is played, the old ga
me will be restored from the point at which the player left off. This command
ends (temporarily) the game in progress.
t [?* or letter] [yuhjklbn<>] E Throws an object in the inventory in the specifi
ed direction. Typing "?" lists all weapons in the inventory. Typing "*" displa
ys the inventory. Typing the letter of an object makes the game prompt for the
desired direction. After typing the direction, the object is thrown away from
the character in that direction.
T [?* or letter] E Removes a specified piece of armor which the player is wearin
g. Typing "?" lists all worn items (except rings). Typing "*" displays the inv
entory. Typing the letter of a worn piece of armor takes off the armor. Note t
hat this command may take a number of turns to execute.
u E Move one space up and to the right.
U E Move up and to the right until the character moves onto an object.
v E Print the version number and information.
V E Prints author's credits and version information.
w [?* or letter] E Wields an item in the inventory (usually a weapon). Typing "
?" displays all weapons. Typing "*" displays the inventory. Typing the letter
of an item in inventory makes the player wield that object as his weapon. This
object is used in all close combat as the player's weapon. If the player is wi
elding a cursed item, this command is aborted. If the player is wearing a shiel
d, he can not wield a two-handed sword.
W [?* or letter] E Allows the player to wear a specified piece of armor. Typing
"?" will display all unworn pieces of armor. Typing "*" will display the inven
tory. Typing the letter of a piece of armor will, if possible, result in the pl
ayer wearing that piece of armor. The player must remove his cloak before alter
ing his body armor. If the current armor of that type is cursed, this command i
x E List all spells that have been transcribed by the player.
X [?* or letter] E Attempt to transcribe a spellbook. Typing "?" lists all spel
lbooks in the players inventory. Typing "*" displays the inventory. Typing the
letter of a spell book results in the player attempting to transcribe the spel
l book into memory. Note that transcription success depends on level, and also
transcribing a spell may take a while. [Note: This can be dangerous, since you
can be attacked while transcribing. Unlike most other actions, you will not st
op your attempt to transcribe! -
y E Move one space up and to the left.
Y E Move up and to the left until the player moves onto an object.
z [?* or letter] [direction or string?] E Zaps a wand in the inventory. Typing
"?" displays all wands in the inventory. Typing "*" displays the inventory. Ty
ping the letter of a wand zaps that wand. Note that wands have a limited number
of charges, and will not work (usually) after their charges are depleted. Some
wands require the player to specify a direction in which they may be zapped.
One wand requires the typing of a string. (The player must find this one.)
E If a number if typed before a command character, then t
he command which follows will be executed that number of times, or until someth
ing swings at the player, or the command is no longer possible. Example: "5h"
moves the player five spaces to the left. Example: "10s" searches ten times.
@ E Toggles the pick-up option (default is ON). When this option is OFF, th
e player will not automatically pick up any item in a space he moves into. He m
ust pick it up using the "," command. Note that this is particularly useful in
rooms which are crowded with worthless items, and when walking over dead cockatr
# [command] E Allows the player to use an extended command. To use an extended
command, type "#" followed by the command's name, and return. The possible comm
#? "?" E Displays the set of extended commands
#b "breathe" E If the player is able, he will breathe fire like a dragon.
#c "cast" [letter] - casts a spell which the player knows. Typing the let
ter of a displayed spell will cast that spell. The number listed next to the sp
ell is its mana cost. This is deducted from the players current energy. Spell
effects are left to the reader's imagination.
#d "dip" [letter] E dips a specified object into something, such as a pool
or a potion To dip an item into a pool, stand over the pool and use the dip com
#p "pray" E Plead with the gods for help. The reader may experiment with t
his command at his own choosing (and risk).
#r "remove" E If the player has the ability to do so, he can remove a curse
d item, such as an iron ball.
#s "sit" E Sit down on the space you are in. Sit in thrones at your own pe
#t "turn" E Attempt to turn undead creatures. Turned creatures will flee i
n terror from the player. Only knights and priests may turn undead.
#w "wipe" E Wipe of the player's face. Useful when it is dirty.
$ E Counts the player's money. If the player has a large quantity of money,
he will sit down to count it. [This is mostly useless, since gold is displayed
at all times. -PG]
^ [yuhjklbn] E Tells the player what type of trap a "^" represents. If the play
er is adjacent to a trap, and types "^" followed by the direction the trap is in
, the program will tell the player what the name of the trap is.
Example: "This is a sleep trap." )
E This displays the what the player's currently wielded weapon is.
= E This displays what rings the player is wearing.
[ E This displays the armor that the player is wearing.
\ E This displays a list of all items (except weapons and armor) that have
been identified, or have been named by the player.
: E This displays everything that is in the player's space.
, [`)([%/=?!+ aA] E This allows the player to pick up items in his space. All g
old is automatically picked up. If there is only one item, it is picked up. If
there are multiple items on the space, the player is prompted for which types o
f item he wishes to pick up. To pick up all items in the space, type "a". To p
ick up all items of one or more types, input a string consisting of the symbols
for the types you wish to pick up, followed by "A" To pick up only certain item
s of specific types, input the t
ypes as above, but do not type "A". The program will display, one item at a tim
e, every item in the inventory which is of the specified types, followed by the
prompt "[ynaq]". Typing "y" picks up that item, and displays the next. Typing
"n" displays the next item. Typing "a" picks up that item, and all remaining i
tems of the named types. Typing "q" aborts the command. The program will not a
llow the player to pick up any item which is too heavy.
. E The player does nothing for one turn.
/ [symbol] (for versions before nethack.) E displays help on the symbol type
d at the prompt. Example: "/=" tells the player that "=" represent rings.
/ [yuhjklbn.] (for nethack) E allows the player to display help about any visibl
e symbol. The player moves the displayed cursor with normal movement keys onto
the symbol in question, and then types "." Help is then displayed on that symbo
l. [You may also use the command as above to tell you about a class of symbols,
rather than a specific one. -PG]
< E Climb up to the previous level. The player must be on a "<" symbol.
> E Go down to the next level. The player must be on a ">" symbol.
^R E redraws the screen.
CHAPTER 4: SPOILERS WARNING AND PREFACE
The following section contains information which the player does not have to kn
ow in order to play the game, but which can be found out through the normal cour
se of play. Players who wish to win without any additional help should not read
the following sections. Those who only wish to find some specific information
may find what they want here, and then not read anything else. For those whose
curiosity has gotten the better of them, read what you will.
SPOILERS ON NETHACK
The following is a reprint of an article posted by Maarten Jan Huisjes on 13 Aug
, 1987. It has been extended to include other useful information. All informat
ion is for the nethack version of hack. For people playing other versions of ha
ck, you may ignore all the items which do not appear in your game. In particula
r, ignore all references to spell books. This is a nethack property only.
1000-1499 Having a hard time
Example: If the player is Having a hard time getting food down, he has at le
ast 1000 turns before fainting. Hunger goes down 1/turn; 10/turn if regeneratin
g or wearing a hunger ring You are hungrier after vomiting and casting spells.
[Information under rings says 5/turn. I don't know which is correct. -PG] Mea
t becomes tainted after ~50 turns. It is best to eat it immediately, or not at
Name = The name of the food. The name used when wishing for the obje
Chance = The chance that a "%" symbol is that type of food.
Weight = weight in pounds.
Nutrition = The number of turns added to the players hunger count.
Name Chance Weight Nutrition1 Remarks
food ration 46 4 800
tripe ration 16 2 200 May make you vomit. Tastes
okay if polymorphed.
pancake 3 1 200
dead lizard 3 1 40 Try when turning to stone.
fortune cookie 7 1 40 Some rumours are true, some
rumours are false.
carrot 2 1 50 May improve vision
slice of pizza 5 1 250
cream pie 3 1 100 Fun to throw
tin 7 1 *
* Contents of Tins:
Salmon 60 Will make your hands slippery
Apple Juice 20
Rotten meat -50 Makes you vomit
Spinach 600 Strength++.
orange 1 1 80
apple 1 1 50
pear 1 1 50
melon 1 1 100
banana 1 1 80
candy bar 1 1 100
egg 1 1 80
clove of garlic 1 1 40 Can wield against undead
lump of royal jelly 0 1 200 Healing, Sometimes strength++.
It is advised that the player not save meat for long periods of time, as it may
become tainted. Eating a dead monster often conveys one of its attributes. The
se are listed in the Remarks.
Name Chance Weight Nutrition Remarks
dead acid blob 0 3 p30 Try when turning to stone.
dead centaur 0 50 500
dead cockatrice 0 3 30 If you want to be a statue (But may
eat safely as a cockatrice.)
dead daemon 0 80 800
dead dog 0 20 200 Aggravate monsters.
dead dragon 0 150 p1500 Makes you fire resistant.
dead ettin 0 3 30
dead floating eye 0 1 s10 Gives you telepathy.
dead fog cloud 0 1 10
dead freezing sphere 0 1 10 Makes you Cold resistant.
dead gelatinous cube 0 10 100
dead giant 0 70 700 Strength++.
dead giant ant 0 3 p30
dead giant bat 0 3 30 Confuses
dead giant beetle 0 1 p10
dead giant rat 3 30
dead giant scorpion 0 10 p100 Same as killer bee.
dead gnome 10 100
dead hobgoblin 0 20 200
dead homunculus 0 20 p200
dead human 0 40 400 Permanent aggravate monster.
dead imp 0 1 10
dead jackal 0 10 100
dead jaguar 0 30 300
dead killer bee 0 1 p10 Makes you poison resistant.
dead kobold 0 10 p100
dead leocrotta 0 50 500
dead leprechaun 0 40 s400 Makes you teleport.
dead long worm 0 50 500
dead mimic 0 40 400 Mimic a treasure chest.
dead minotaur 0 70 700
dead nurse 0 40 400 Aggravate monsters,heal wounds.
dead nymph 0 40 s400 Makes you teleport.
dead orc 0 20 s200
dead owlbear 0 70 700
dead piercer 0 20 200
dead purple worm 0 70 s700
dead quantum mechanic 0 20 s200 Makes you teleport.
dead quivering blob 0 10 100
dead rust monster 0 50 s500
dead snake 0 10 p100
dead stalker 0 40 400 Gives you see invisible (Also
invisibility if invisible?)
dead tengu 0 30 300 Makes you teleport.
dead troll 0 40 400
dead umber hulk 0 50 s500
dead unicorn 0 30 s300
dead vampire 0 40 p400
dead violet fungus 0 10 100 Cosmic indeed (Oh wow ).
dead wraith 0 1 10 Gain level.
dead xan 0 30 s300
dead xorn 0 70 700
dead yellow light 0 1 10 Confuses. May improve vision
dead yeti 0 70 700 Cold resistance.
dead zombie 0 3 30
dead zruty 0 60 s600
AXE, SWORD, KATANA, and TWO-HANDED SWORD are good for worm-cutting.
(PICK-)AXE, DAGGER, and CRYSKNIFE are good for tin-opening.
SPEAR is good against X, D, n, e.
The damage is the maximum damage done by the weapon against that size of creatur
e, not including damage modifiers.
Name Chance Weight Small/Large-damage
aklys 1 3 6 3
arrow 6 0 6 6
axe 5 3 6 4
bardiche 1 3 4 4 /* +1d4 small, +2d4 large */
bec de corbin 1 3 8 6
bill-guisarme 1 3 4 10 /* +1d4 small */
boomerang 1 3 9 9
bow 4 3 4 6
broad sword 1 3 4 6 /* +d4 small, +1 large */
club 1 3 6 3
crossbow 5 3 4 6
crossbow bolt 6 0 4 6
crysknife 0 3 10 10
dagger 4 3 4 3
dart 6 0 3 2
fauchard 1 3 6 8
flail 5 3 6 5 /* +1 small +1d4 large */
glaive 1 3 6 10
guisarme 1 3 4 8 /* +1d4 small */
halberd 1 3 10 6 /* +1d6 large */
javelin 1 3 6 6
katana 1 3 12 12
lance 1 3 6 8
long sword 5 3 8 12
lucern hammer 1 3 4 6 /* +1d4 small */
mace 6 3 6 7 /* +1 small */
morning star 1 3 4 6 /* +d4 small, +1 large */
partisan 1 3 6 6 /* +1 large */
ranseur 1 3 4 4 /* +d4 both */
rock 4 1 3 3
scimitar 1 3 8 8
short sword 1 3 6 8
shuriken 3 0 8 6
sling 4 3 6 6
sling bullet 6 0 4 6
spear 4 3 6 8
spetum 1 3 6 6 /* +1 small, +d6 large */
trident 1 3 6 4 /* +1 small, +2d4 large */
two handed sword 4 4 12 6 /* +2d6 large */
voulge 1 3 4 4 /* +d4 both */
worm tooth 0 4 2 2
Enormous Rocks- have an excellent chance of hitting, and will do 1-20 damage, bu
t you must be a giant to wield them.
Heavy Iron Balls- will do 1-25 damage! (but are extremely heavy)
Name Chance Weight Ac
banded mail 9 5 4
chain mail 10 5 5
helmet 3 1 9
plate mail 5 5 3
ring mail 12 5 7
scale mail 10 5 6
splint mail 7 5 4
The armors below do not rust.
bronze plate mail 6 5 4
crystal plate mail 1 5 3
elfin chain mail 1 1 5
elven cloak 5 0 9
leather armor 15 3 8
pair of gloves 1 1 9
shield 3 0 9
studded leather 12 3 7
Many scrolls give strange effects when confused or hallucinating.
Name Chance Remarks (Effects when the player is not confused)
amnesia 3 Player loses all spells, maps and knowledge of what
blank paper 3 The player may write on the paper in magic marker, and
create a scroll. Write the name of a scroll you have already
confuse monster 5 The player will confuse the next monster he hits.
create monster 5 A monster appears next to the player.
damage weapon 5 The weapon has a -1 penalty cast upon it.
destroy armor 5 Destroy the player's worn armor.
enchant armor 6 Gives the armor a +1 bonus.
Do not try more than a +4 armor or it might evaporate.
enchant weapon 6 Gives the weapon a +1 bonus.
fire 5 Player loses 1-6 h.p., and may lose some flammable
food detection 1 Displays all food on the level.
genocide 2 The player may destroy any one type of monster. Do not
try genocide '@', or reading when confused.
gold detection 4 Displays all gold on the level.
identify 18 The player may identify items in his possession.
light 10 If read in a room, the room is now lit.
magic mapping 5 Maps the level.
punishment 1 The player is cursed with a heavy iron ball.
remove curse 6 All cursed items wielded or worn are uncursed.
scare monster 4 The scroll has two uses:
1) If read, all monster in sight will run in terror from the
2) If dropped on the ground, no monster may attack the
player in hand to hand combat so long as he remains st
anding on the scroll. If the player attempts to pick up th
e scroll after he has dropped it, it disintegrates.
taming 1 Any creature next to the player becomes the player's pet.
teleportation 5 The player teleports to a (random) location on the level
EFFECTS OF SCROLLS WHEN CONFUSED
amnesia E you forget how to read.
confuse monster E Normal effect.
create monster E surrounds the player with eight acid blobs ("a").
damage weapon E weapon is now rustable
destroy armor E armor is rustable.
enchant armor E armor glows silver, and is now rust proof.
enchant weapon E weapon is now rust proof.
fire E you burn your hands.
food detection E see fake food
genocide E kills all @. (including you)
gold detection E see fake gold
identify E identifies the scroll as an identify scroll
light E room is now not lit.
magic mapping E gives random spaces of the map
punishment E ?
remove curse E curses item
scare monster E aggravate monster blank paper E Normal effect.
taming E tames EVERY creature in sight. (fun for treasure zoos)
teleportation E the player is teleported to a random level. If the player has
teleport control, he may choose the level.
Some wands may be used on the player. Type "." for direction.
Name Chance Remarks - (D) indicates the player must specify a direction.
cancellation 5 (D) The target loses any special abilities. If the targ
et had or was a magic object, it loses any magic pluses and char
cold 5 (D) Fires a bolt of cold in the direction indicated.
create monster 5 Acts as a scroll of create monster.
death 1 (D) Death will kill any creature it hits. Use with care, it mig
digging 5 (D) Digs a hole in walls in the direction the wand is pointed.
fire 5 (D) Fires a bolt of fire in the direction indicated.
light 10 Acts as a scroll of light when zapped.
magic missile 10 (D) Fires a bolt of magic missle in the direction indica
make invisible 7 (D) Makes the target invisible.
nothing 2 This wand does nothing when zapped.
polymorph 5 (D) Use it on wands and you might find another. The pla
yer changes the target(s). This is discussed further under POL
YMORPHING YOURSELF AND YOUR ITEMS.
probing 2 (D) Displays the stats of any monster it is pointed at.
secret door detection 5 All secret doors in sight of the player are foun
sleep 5 (D) Will sleep any creature it hits.
slow monster 5 (D) The monster's speed is halved. Not cumulative.
speed monster 5 (D) The monster's speed is doubled. The player gains Sp
striking 7 (D) The player gets a ranged attack on any creature or o
bject it is pointed at.
teleportation 5 (D) Teleports the target (randomly).
undead turning 5 (D) If zapped at undead creatures, they run in fear If
zapped at a dead monster, it is brought back to life.
wishing 1 Actually this chance is even smaller. The player may wi
sh for an item. This is discussed under "WISHING FOR OBJECTS"
These spells are for nethack only. Level is the difficulty of learning the spel
l, and its point cost. It is harder to transcribe spells before the player is 7
Name Chance Level
cancellation 1 7
cause fear 4 3
charm monster 3 3
cone of cold 1 5
confuse monster 5 2
create familiar 1 6
create monster 4 2
cure blindness 3 2
cure sickness 3 3
detect food 5 2
detect monsters 5 1
detect treasure 3 4
detect unseen 4 3
dig 2 5
extra healing 3 3
finger of death 1 7
fireball 2 4
force bolt 4 1
genocide 1 7
haste self 3 3
healing 6 1
identify 1 5
invisibility 3 4
levitation 3 4
light 5 1
magic mapping 2 5
magic missile 4 2
polymorph 1 6
remove curse 2 5
restore strength 2 4
sleep 6 1
slow monster 4 2
teleport away 2 6
turn undead 1 6
Rings all weigh 1
adornment No effect, other than its value.
aggravate monster All monsters will be awake and angry at the player.
cold resistance The player is immune to cold.
conflict All creatures will attack the creature closest to themselves. G
reat at treasure zoos.
fire resistance The player is immune to fire.
gain strength The player's strength is increased.
hunger The player becomes hungrier 5 times as quickly.
increase damage The player's damage is increased.
levitation The player floats off the ground, and can not fall down, nor can
he pick up items. He is immune to pit traps, trap doors and water
spaces, and can carry more items up stairs.
poison resistance The player is unaffected by poison. (But watch out for
biologically contaminated orange juice).
shape changers All shape changers appear as a ":", and cannot c
protection The player gains a bonus on his A.C.
regeneration The player heals one hit point per turn.
Note: This ring makes the player become hungrier 5 times as quickly.
Also, at high levels the rings SLOWS DOWN your regeneration.
searching The player performs a free "s" command each turn.
see invisible The player can see all invisible objects and creatures.
stealth The player will not wake up sleeping monsters, unless he attacks
teleport control The player may choose, when he teleports, where he wishe
s to go to.
teleportation Bestows intrinsic teleportation. [But not control! -PG]
warning The ring will glow when a monster is generated.
[These last two are additions as of NetHack 2.2 -PG]
polymorph Randomly polymorphs player into another monster. May or may
not be human. May or may not kill player from shock.
polymorph control The player may choose what type of monster to Polymorph
Name Chance Pecunia
dilithium crystal 1 4500
diamond 1 4000
ruby 1 3500
sapphire 1 3000
emerald 1 2500
turquoise 1 2000
aquamarine 1 1500
tourmaline 1 1000
topaz 1 900
opal 1 800
garnet 1 700
amethyst 1 650
agate 2 600
onyx 2 550
jasper 2 500
jade 2 450
Potions may be quaffed, or thrown. If a potion is thrown down (">" for directio
n), the message listed next to Vapor is received.
restore strength Wow! This makes you feel great!
... looks sound and hale again! (Thrown to monster)
gain energy Magical energies course through your body.
You feel feverish. (Confused)
booze Ooph! This tastes like liquid fire!
You feel somewhat dizzy. (Vapor)
invisibility Gee! All of a sudden, you can't see yourself.
For an instance you couldn't see your right hand.(Vapor)
You feel rather airy. (Blinded)
fruit juice This tastes like fruit juice.
healing You begin to feel better.
... looks sound and hale again! (Thrown to monster)
paralysis Your feet are frozen to the floor!
Something seems to be holding you. (Vapor)
You are motionlessly suspended. (Levitated)
monster detection You sense the presence of monsters.
You feel threatened. (No monsters)
object detection You sense the presence of objects.
You sense the presence of objects close nearby.
You feel a pull downward. (No objects)
sickness Yech! This stuff tastes like poison.
... looks rather ill. (Thrown to monster)
confusion Huh, What? Where am I?
What a trippy feeling. (Hallucinating)
You feel somewhat dizzy. (Vapor)
gain strength Wow do you feel strong!
... looks sound and hale again! (Thrown to monster)
speed You are suddenly moving much faster.
Your knees seem more flexible now. (Vapor)
Your legs get new energy. (Fast)
blindness A cloud of darkness falls upon you.
It suddenly gets dark. (Vapor)
Bummer! Everything is dark! Help! (Hallucinating)
gain level You feel more experienced.
extra healing You feel much better.
... looks sound and hale again! (Thrown to monster)
levitation Oh wow! You're floating in the air! (Hallucinating)
hallucination Oh wow! Everything looks so cosmic!
You have a vision for a moment. (Vapor)
holy water You feel full of awe.
This burns like acid. (When you are 'Z','V','W' or '&')
... shrieks in pain! (Thrown to 'Z','V','W',' ' or '&')
#dip Dip arrows or darts in the potion and if it was a potion of:
Sickness or Paralysis --> your dipped weapon gets stronger.
Holy water --> your weapon gets blessed and is better in use against the
undead. Note that this uses up the potion, just like quaffing it.
#pray You can pray 300 turns after you last prayed (1000 if a demigod). Howev
er, you can wait too long between prayers. You can also use the "time" option t
o see how much time has passed. Terrible things may happen if you pray too soon
, so be sure that your time has come. Possible effects include having your stre
ngth, hit points and hunger restored, gaining 5 additional hp; gaining an intrin
sic power; gaining an item, and becoming the hand of Elbereth (good luck). The
negative effects of praying too s
oon are left to the player to discover.
#sit Use this command while you are on an throne (\). You might get a wish (
Chance 1 in 86), but also you can lose your gold or your possessions get cursed
#wipe Clean your face when dirty.
#breathe First polymorph yourself in a Dragon. Then you can breathe fire
#remove First polymorph into a Nymph. Then you can remove iron balls.