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snakes n ladders

In response to my recent nethack mania, Joel sent in this top ten list, which he wrote:

Top 10 ways to know you've been playing to much Nethack:

10. You spend all night turning on and off the faucet in your sink hoping to find a ring.

9. You go to a store and insist on standing on top of the merchandise before letting the owner tell you how much it is.

8. Everywhere you go, you grab as much food as you can hold and carry it around with you for later.

7. You are an accomplished musician, but refuse to play anything but five notes at a time, then you stop and listen for clicks.

6. You don't pick up anything you find on the street without dipping it in holy water first.

5. You throw out any mail the mailman brings you because you know it only says one of three things you've read before.

4. You are banned from your local church for sacrificing jackals on the altar.

3. You are banned from your local museum for taking a pick ax to all the statues... they didn't buy your "looking for spellbooks" excuse.

2. You always carry a dead lizard around in your pocket 'just in case'.

And the number 1 way to know you've been playing too much Nethack:

1. Whenever you look at someone's email address, you think "Oh my God! I'm surrounded!"

The number double plus one reason I know I play too much nethack is how hard I laughed when I read this. I'm not even going to try to explain it to my family.


Wow I must be in the minority but I've never heard of nethack! Whatever it is...it sounds pretty fun though. Hope you get even further along in the game. :)

nethack hmm sounds intriquing.

Gee, I never thought of the email address one, but now I'm gonna be stuck with it. :)

Thanks for reminding me this classic was still around.

Maybe you need to buy one of these cards:
Keep on gaming,

I came across an old copy of that a few years back. I'd forgotten how amusing games could be even without graphics, or even a mouse. :-)

Another sign you forgot:

You pack a camera with you at all times. Just in case, man...


"I'm surrounded!" is priceless.


Wonderful. And far too true.

I just lost an orc barbarian on the Astral Plane. That's when it hurts the most.


I do not know what this "nethack" is that you speak of, but I'm sure it has something to do with broadbeam phaser relays, defeating terrorists that have taken over your plush blu-blood school, or running to the dock and nearly screwing everything up for all the old fogeys that wanted to go to Uranus at the end of Cocoon.

At any rate, your hysterical laughing clearly indicates that you're delirious from lack of sugar intake, and you need to go about having a series of LUNCHES to compensate.

Hah, even more insane are my friends who play on some 'nix box somewhere. They keep trying to get me to play on it so there are more corpses laying in the dungeon for them to scrounge later. It is kinda wild to come across corpses from other people who have played.

It is sick to know multiple people who have finished it. They make me feel jealous when the best I ever do is get killed in the Mines. I guess practice makes perfect.

I have had the same sort of addiction with Angband, another of the roguelike games (IMHO the finest; not as silly as nethack).

I also recall playing so much King's Quest in the 80's that I once asked my sister at the dinner table to "pass me the k-n-i-f-e", as I mentally hunted and pecked for the letters that represented the object I needed. I should have taken a break after that; now look at me.

SLASH'EM is Super Lotsa Added Stuff Hack - Extended Magic. Basically these guys took the Nethack source and added all kinds of crazy stuff. Like guns, lightsabers, more magic items, more special areas, etc. The basic game is the same though.
It's pretty fun, I've been playing it lately as a new challenge.

Oh shoot, I was going to post my previous comment on the previous entry because someone asked about SLASH'EM in those comments. Uh, yeah.

I really like playing on a public server, you get the benifit of running into bones files of other players on there (plus their ghosts and whoever killed them so watch out).
antisymmetric.com runs both nethack and slashem games.

From this past year's tournament:

207 372438 tapin-Cav-Gno-Mal-Neu died in The Dungeons of Doom on level 27. Killed by a jabberwock.

208 370992 tapin-Cav-Hum-Mal-Neu died on The Quest on level 19 [max 26]. Killed by the invisible Chromatic Dragon.

Moral of the story: I suck at cavemen :-P

(Of course, I did manage to ascend a wizard, barbarian, priest, and valkyrie in the tourney, so I wasn't too upset... :-) )

I've been playing nethack a lot recently as well; admittedly, I've been switching back and forth between the original version and the Windows Nethack with a graphical interface.

You really watch to much late night TV.


I know this is totally off the subject, but since this is Wil's site, I thought this would be of interest to those of us who follow his career:

Did anyone catch This Story on Fark?

Yeah, it's just rumors and speculation, but if it were to be proven true, then MOTHER JESUS BALLS would it be sweet...

I have to support the other poster on Angband. I have played a little nethack, and liked it, but I enjoyed Angband more.

They're similar in style, but Angband was a little more to my taste - I found parts of nethack a little too obscure and silly.

Haven't played a roguelike in years, though, and when I go back to it, it will probably be nethack, since I played all the Angband I ever want to already.

I started playing Angband again (tried it once before) when Wil starting talking about Nethack. Is nethack a lot more difficult? Because my Dunadin Warrior is up to level 13 and hasn't been near death yet.

I just jinxed him, didn't I?!?

I should just uninstall it before it gets its hooks in too deep. Its been years since Civilization got me to that place where you say "Oh no! It's getting light out. No, it can't be that late. Oh, today is going to suck."

Yeah I cut my teeth on freebies like LAD and Castle of the Winds, wow, Now that I just got into nethack, do I realise where they get their insparation.

The first NetHack-like game I played was Rogue, I think, probably around 1984 or 1985. This was on an IBM PCjr at a friend's house. Mostly what I remember is that the infrared keyboard had to be pointed JUST RIGHT, which pretty much defeated the purpose of having a wireless keyboard.

Ok, and I thought I was a nerd for letting MYST suck hours out of my life. And it didn't even belong to me.

I do, however, revel in my geekiness.

At the moment, I am smacking my hands furiously to keep from searching out this "nethack" thing and attempting it.

Oh, the humanity....

0: you always carry booze around so you can avoid using the stairs.

I know this is TOTALLY off topic, but I when I saw this I nearly peed on myself.


PLEASE let it be true!!!!

You're doing fine, Wil, but I'm a bit concerned by your apparently having only 68 max HP when you reached the Big Room.

I've ascended BSVW each a couple of times (they're among the easiest classes), and I have a typical route I go to maximize my survival. First, my basic rules:

1) Explore each level "fully" before going to the next level. By that, I mean try to find every room, but don't bother traveling every single passage, and don't kill yourself searching for secret doors (unless you know for a fact there must be more rooms over there because half the screen is still black, and/or you still haven't found stairs down).

2) Try to reach XP level N before going to dungeon level N. If you do (1) above, this should be fairly easy. This rule can be relaxed by around level 8 or 9.

3) Don't enter the Gnomish Mines until you have 50 or more HP.

So my route is this:
- Main dungeon until HP>50.
- Backtrack and go to the Mines.
- Go down to Minetown, altar-ID stuff, go shopping.
- Go back to main dungeon.
- Continue until you find a level with two stairs up; the one you didn't come from leads to Sokoban. - Clear Sokoban.
- Backtrack to Minetown, explore down to the bottom level in the Mines.
- Back to the main dungeon, and explore down to the castle.

By this point, you're about 1/3 through the game. :-) I'll leave the rest up to you. You can probably ensure a win just by being very patient, as by this point you can pretty much survive indefinitely off of eating what you kill. (Well, not indefinitely, but at least so long a time that you'll get bored first.)

Good luck! BTW, don't feel too guilty about reading spoilers on the web. Nethack's one of those games where, even fully spoiled, it's still tough and fun.

funny stuff... but how do you dip something in holy water without picking it up, first, lol. is there something in nethack that let's you levitate something to be dipped?

I should make it a little clearer about what I want to happen. I am, of course, referring to Rick Berman's emminent release. The Rat. Lyrics in the Enterprise. Was he Frikkin' stoned or what???

Good advice, pokeyburro. I've just recently succeeded in ascending (twice, one Sam, one Arch) and that's about how I play the opening. The only real difference is that I tend to go for Sokoban first, because all the food and magic goodies come in handy, and because if I find a BoH I don't have to worry about buying one in Gnometown. The downside is that very occasionally, a humanoid monster will get to a wand of fire/lightning/death before you do. Getting killed by a death ray from nowhere at level 10 or less really sucks.

Hey Wil, did you know there's a roguelike with you in it? If you're so inclined, you can download it from the yahoo group gearhead_dev. Look for your avatar on the seedy waterfront of Snake Lake...

A whiles ago, I had a roomate who had an obsession with RPGs. So she was kicking around the local Chapters (where she works) and she had to go in and talk to her boss in hopes of getting a raise. Really nervous about it, someone suggested a really good idea. So when I got there, she was running around in circles in front of the Chapters. I asked her what she was doing.

She says: "Running in circles outside gaining XP so I can face the boss....."

I broke.

The End.

I agree on the whole "I hope they ditch Berman" part of the thread.

As for NH, that list left out the RSI/CTS reference, not to mention the devastation NH has caused many a college student's grades.

Personally, I've found the Valkyrie class to be a fairly easy (OK, everything is relative) one to ascend with.

And, if you are looking for a "deep" alternative to NH, check out Omega.

(Not to be a space-wasting fangirl, but the more I read WWdN, the more I realize that I could hang with Wil, though I wish he'd try something more modern than GURPS. ;-)

What's Crackin! - Just need to go Play Bingo - for my Online Bingo Habit! But I cannot Find a Good Bingo Online website to cover my bingo addiction!