Travel to the land of Juyed Awk Yacc

Travel to the land of Juyed Awk Yacc

Nethack is a single-user role playing, dungeon exploring game. This is probably most complex RPG ever built. Nethack consists of a core game engine (however no such term existed at the time of game creation), and a number of front-ends (windowing systems) providing a view into the game world. Although many GUI-based front-ends for nethack were written over time, original TTY-based one is still the best: difference between graphic and text-based games is like difference between watching TV and reading a book. In the latter case it's completely up to the reader to create and maintain the world in its imagination. As a result reader/player feels much greater attachment to the constructed reality, and is emotionally bound to it.

Another crucial difference between nethack and other RPG games is what can be termed its orthogonality: nethack objects (monsters, tools, magic items, dungeon elements, weaponry and armor, etc.) can be used in a ways and combinations well beyond any fixed „game script“. For example, magic ring can be wield as a weapon, or thrown like a projectile, or when player polymorphs into type of monster that has no hands, weapon fell to the floor (and if player happens to levitate over water at that moment, fallen objects sink). This orthogonality if often referred to as „Dev Team thought about everything“. This makes nethack similar to the real world where there are laws rather than scripts.

Below is an account of my last (yet uncompleted) nethack game as nikita-Wiz-hum-neu-mal.

The Beginning

I got rather standard initial abilities, but initial inventory contained two extremely valuable items: a ring of invisibility and a ring of slow digestion. The latter is very useful in the early stages of the game, where starvation if one of the commonest causes of death.

By falling through two trapdoors I quickly descended deep into the dungeon. This is usually a fatal experience, but luckily, while trying to climb back to the safer levels, I got a wish by drinking from a fountain. It would be silly to waste it to anything less than the best armor in the game:

With the ring of invisibility and the dragon scale mail I was well-prepared to go forward.

The Gnomish Mines

Even with the ring of slow digestion, exploring the Gnomish Mines is reasonable first step, as there is plenty of food there. Also, I hoped to get a luck stone and a bag of holding there.

Our dungeon happened to have rather rare form of Minetown („Grotto Town“):

Unfortunately there was no bag of holding anywhere, which turned to be constant annoyance: I was short on inventory space all the time and had to create multiple intermediate storage spots.

At the Mines End (The Mimic of the Mines), there was a box with Schroedinger's Cat inside:

I wonder what statistics an ensemble of all nethack cats follows?


At the dlvl 10 there was a stairway up leading to the Sokoban branch of the dungeon. This branch extends upward, so the level numbers decrease. As passing this maze is one of the most tedious parts of the same, I took numerous shots, to record required sequence of moves:

After returning from the sokoban, I descended through several ordinary levels...

... before reaching Rogue level at dlvl 15:

There was Kenneth Arnold's ghost there with the usual funny stuff:


Magic portal to the Quest home level was on the rogue level...

... but after cleaning quest home up, I decided to first descend a bit more through the main dungeon first:

Then I returned to the quest...

And reached the Dark One's lore, where I found a wand of wishing:

I wished for the ring of teleport control, because I had intrinsic teleport by that time.

The Dark One proved to be not that much of a challenge, albeit full of amusing curses:

While immune to the magical attacks, he could do nothing against the old trusty potion of paralysis....

By returning by quest artefact (the Eye of the Aethiopica) to the Neferet the Gree, I completed the quest, and...

Medusa's Island and the Castle

... went downward through the main dungeon, to Medusa's Island.

I spent a *lot* of time on this level, first because there was a couple of demiliches that were busy creating monsters, but mainly because few groups of giants appeared there and I decided that I won't lose any opportunity to improve my strength (strength is improved by eating giants). There are few tricks there: first giant corpse is too heavy to be carried away to the safe place, which means that monster is better to be killed in a place where it can be eaten safely without its cogeni attacking you all the time. Second, after eating a giant corpse one has to wait a long time to digest it. This is where ring of hunger would be very useful. Welladay, I don't have one.

Nikita, meet Jabberwocky. Jabberwocky, meet Nikita.

After clearing Medusa's Island somewhat I went to the Castle. As I had a ring of levitation, there was no need to muck with the drawbridge.

The Castle always has a wand of wishing.

As I am strong enough already, gauntlets of dexterity are reasonable choice.

Now I have standard ascension kit.

Back to the Medusa's Island.

Watch gremlins fun...


And through the Castle, down to the Valley of the Dead, first level of the Gehennom

Lot of ghosts here...

Gee... even my owns.

Below the Valley of the Dead are few normal Gehennom style mazes, followed by Juiblex' Swamp, where we find another Schroedinger's Cat... this time alive!

Got a glimpse at my attributes...

Now to the Asmodeus' Lair

Oops... got a hit from the green slime.

Time to resort to the extreme measures.

Aha, Wizard of Yendor is sitting in his tower. Wait for me, I am coming.

Entering the Vlad's Tower

Passing through it upward...

Killing Vlad The Impaler...

And returning back to cozy Gehennom.

Peaceful mind flyer: a rare sight.

Attacked by a shade...

and by a wraith.


Now I can enter Wizard's Tower.

Ascending through it...

Only to find out that Wizard of Yendor is little more than a vulgar thief.

Killed him. For the first time. There will be more to come, I know.


See? Wizard of Yendor resurrected and attacked me here. Little did he know how handy nearby cockatrice can be. Attack of the clones.

To Be Continued


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