I actually have nothing to post today. I think I’m having a case of mild blogger block cause I’m really reaching for topics right now. What do you do when you sit at the keyboard and can’t think of a single thing that you would want to write about? I’m not completely blocked though – I do have one or two post drafts on the back burner, but they all require some logical reasoning, research or work to finis. Unfortunately my brain refuses to expend that much effort at the moment so I just have nothing for today.

So… Nethack. I just did a quick search, and I noticed that I never, ever posted about the greatest dungeon crawl game ever created. If you never played it, go download it, play it, love it and get addicted to it. Cause you must know that this game is like heroin hero only much more fun.


Oh, and for the whiny little babies who are scared of the original ASCII interface, there are like dozen front ends for the game that include tiled sprites and even the isometric, mouse driven version Facon’s Eye. Personally, I always play in the ASCII mode, which IMHO gives the game it’s unique retro charm.

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Nethack addicts, sound off in the comments! Anyone ever actually beat the game?

[tags]random, games, nethack, rpg, dungeon crawl, falcons eye[/tags]

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19 Responses to Nethack

  1. Teague UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    I’ve played a little (an oxymoron, I know), and it has intrigued me. I have no time for it right now, though, because that rat bastard Shamus Young recently linked to a “free” windows compatible version of the original X-com. ‘Nuff said.

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  2. jambarama UNITED STATES Epiphany Linux Terminalist says:

    Ahh, Nethack. In addition to the retro appeal, I prefer the ascii interface because when people watch me play it, they don’t think I’m playing a game, but doing some sort of weird deep computer stuff. I can even play in a class or a meeting and no one around me thinks I’m slacking off.

    Anyhow, can you actually beat the game? I always just figured the amulet of yendor was illusory. And nice Colbert poll!

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  3. Ben UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I have ascended three times – S,V,W. It took me five years to get my first. I should go back and try another. My wife will be so happy to see me starting nethack again. Staying up until two in the morning, only half listening to conversations. Ahh. The good old days.

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  4. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Always kinda thought I’d missed a chunk of geek-culture by being too young to have played Zork or Nethack and such when they were new.

    Maybe I should catch up :wink:…

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  5. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    @Teague – hehe, I didn’t get lured by the X-com post because I was busy with Portal and Episode one lately. :)

    Still, one does not interfere with the other. Since nethack is turn based you can leisurely play it as you are doing some other stuff. For example – you can easily get few dozen turns done while some software is installing in the background, your project is compiling or your waiting on something else. :)

    @jambarama – yup. Although I’d be worried that someone will figure out that I’m playing some sort of a maze out of the shape of the maze.

    And yeah – you can get the amulet. It’s supposedly somewhere on level 20, and then you have to carry it out of the dungeon. I think. I never actually got that far.

    @Ben – just like I said – it’s the heroin hero for geeks. lol Btw, congratulations – I never actually got that far in the game.

    @Matt` – definitely do. I’m not sure about Zork, but nethack has an unique charm and humor that makes it fun to play even today. And it’s actually a perfect game to play in a terminal window while doing something else or if you just want to kill 20 minutes of time doing nothing. :) Much more entertaining than 89% of the crappy flash games on the web, maybe save for that portal game. But nethack has infinite replayability factor.

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  6. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    hmmm.. flicking through that guidebook makes the game seem a whole lot more complicated than your average flash game (which is good) but possibly too much there to just pick up and go.

    I guess I could just jump in and try and learn as I go (what’s the learning curve like in the game?) but I’d always feel like I’d probably missed something important…

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  7. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    It is a bit complex but you can always press ? to get in game help. All the commands are essentially single key presses.

    For example to wear armor you press W, and then the game asks you what do you want to wear. One of the options is ? which will pull up a list of wearable items with their corresponding characters (a, b, c and etc). Ditto for wielding weapons, eating, dropping items, quaffing potions and etc.

    If you find a chest you loot it with lower case l. If it’s locked, you can type in:


    to force the lock open with the weapon you have in your hand. Of course it may break.

    You press S to save and exit. You can’t save and continue playing and once you die, you must start over. That’s the only annoying thing, but it if you get far into it it feels like an accomplishment.

    The rest is just standard dungeon crawl. You see a chest, you loot it. You see a monster you kill it and loot it’s corpse. You see a store, you sell crap you don’t want and spend the gold.

    I’d say jump in and learn by playing. You might die in silly ways few times, but that’s just part of the fun. :)

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  8. Jake UNITED STATES Mozilla Ubuntu Linux says:

    I’ve played some nethack in the past few days. I guess I’m simply too young to appreciate it. I don’t really find it fun at all. :\

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  9. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Well, I guess it’s not for everyone. But I’ll say this – it grows on you. One day you are bored out of your mind, and will be looking for a mindless flash game to play and you will remember nethack and you will enjoy it much more. :)

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  10. Jake UNITED STATES Konqueror Linux says:

    @Luke Maciak: True. Probably next time the Internet goes out I’ll try it again, since I don’t have many games on my computer that I can load in a couple of seconds (besides Patience and Kolf).

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  11. vacri AUSTRALIA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    ADoM ftw. I never did like nethack’s anachronisms, whereas ADoM is pretty tight. Webpage is pretty sucky but the game is a lot of fun.

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  12. vacri AUSTRALIA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Windows Server 2003? This is an MSDN version of XP64, dammit!

    By the way, XP64 bites.

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  13. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Yeah, there is a little bug in the OS snooper plugin – it treats XP64 as Server 2003. I tried fixing it but last time I checked the user agent info provided by both OS’s is virtually identical.

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  14. k00pa FINLAND Konqueror Linux says:

    It is the greatest game!

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  15. Jake UNITED STATES Konqueror Linux says:

    @Luke Maliak: On the note of the user agent plug-in, it also misread the Iceape I was using as a generic Mozilla. The user agent is “Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20070802 Iceape/1.1.4 (Ubuntu-1.1.4-1ubuntu2)”. Not that it really matters. I’ve been playing with a lot of different web browsers lately.

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  16. Pingback: Terminally Incoherent » Blog Archive » Setting Up a Private Nethack Server on Ubuntu Lite UNITED STATES WordPress

  17. I’ve been playing for a few years now and I absolutely love it. It really is the greatest single player game ever made. The gameplay involved and complex. The deepest I can get before doing something stupid is Gehennom.

    My favorite moments are when I manage to apply various, orthoginal game mechanics together into a neat solution. For example, there was once a leprechaun loose on a level that I wanted to kill.

    Leprechans will go out of their way to pick up gold. So, I placed a bear trap and put my money in the middle, then went on exploring the level again. When I returned, my little leprechaun trap worked, and he was caught inside. It was simply a matter of bashing him to death with my sword while he was trapped.

    Another time I was being attacked by a mind flayer, a very dangerous monster. I polymorphed myself into a cockatrice and let him try to eat my brain. He got himself stoned instead. Problem solved.

    Then there is smashing dozens of soldiers in their own drawbridge, but this is a common tactic.

    I have had plenty of annoying deaths too. I have run into trolls sleeping in zoos with wands of death more than once. Or there is the deadly poisoned arrow shot by a goblin on dungeon level 3. Some were my fault, like forgetting that the succubus took my gloves off before .. uh .. servicing me, forgetting to put them back on, and then picking up that cockatrice corpse. Or getting killed by simple stomach acid. Or just wanting one more bite of that giant corpse and choking to death.

    I’ve got lots of stories, all from an ASCII interface. Greatest game.

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  18. Sarah J. UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Definitely greatest game. I ascended once with a Ranger–had to try every altar before I found the right one, and ascended with next to no HP left. It was awful and I didn’t play again for at least three weeks.

    Of course, then it sucked me back in and I’ve spent all the time since then dying in dumb ways. Like misfiring a cursed arrow and hitting a Minetown guard and then getting jumped in an open space by the whole troop, or reading an unpaid teleportation scroll on a L2 shop then getting murdered by Kops. But it’s a terrific game, and what jambarama said has served me very well during class. ;)

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  19. @vacri I really, really love ADoM, but have never heard anyone else ever reference it. I think my favorite part of ADoM is the way that it handles magic, where your ability in magic decays from use over time, so it makes you careful about using magic more than most other RPGs I’ve played, including non-roguelikes.

    I’ve always appreciated NetHack (and other roguelikes, like ADoM, Angband, SLASH’EM, and so on), but I really suck — I typically get to the first one or two major milestones in the game, then die because I like to try to do everything. If I try really hard to just survive, I can make it as far as halfway through, but my “I have to see/do/eat/drink everything… because it’s there!” side eventually wins in a moment of weakness, and I do something tremendously idiotic and get my character killed.

    However, I enjoy them immensely (from the ASCII interface, the graphics/sound just takes away from the fun), and play them over and over again whenever I have a chance. I hope win one eventually, because I know I can, I just play… differently than the method required to actually win the game.

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