A released djinni grants the player a wish.
|Developer(s)||The NetHack DevTeam|
|License||NetHack General Public License|
|Version||3.4.3 (8 December 2003)
3.4.1 (23 February 2003)
3.4.0 (20 March 2002)
3.3 (10 December 1999)
|Release date(s)||1.3d (July 1987)|
|Input methods||Keyboard and mouse|
NetHack is a single-player roguelike video game originally released in 1987. It is a descendant of an earlier game called Hack (1985), which is a descendant of Rogue (1980). Salon describes it as "one of the finest gaming experiences the computing world has to offer."
The "net" element references that its development has been coordinated through USENET  even before the Public Internet existed. The "hack" element refers to the game it was based on, Hack. The player takes the part of a dungeon-delving character in search of the Amulet of Yendor.
NetHack is open source and remains one of the oldest computer games still actively developed, with bug fixes added as deemed necessary by a group of volunteers commonly called the DevTeam. The DevTeam rarely discusses versions under development in public, and releases new versions without notice. However, they do maintain a list of known bugs. Since NetHack is open source, others are free to release patches to the game between official, versioned releases.
Before playing a game, the player is asked to name his or her character and then select a race, role, gender, and alignment, or allow the game to assign them. There are traditional fantasy roles such as knight, barbarian, wizard, rogue, valkyrie, priest, monk, and samurai, but there are also unusual ones, including archaeologist, tourist, and caveman. The player character's role and alignment dictate which deity the character serves in the game and "how other monsters react toward you".
After the player character is created, the main objective is introduced. To win the game, the player must retrieve the Amulet of Yendor, found at the lowest level of the dungeon, and sacrifice it to his or her deity. Successful completion of this task rewards the player with the gift of immortality, and the player is said to "ascend", attaining the status of demigod. In addition, a number of sub-quests must be completed, including one class-specific quest.
The player's character is usually accompanied by a pet animal, typically a kitten or little dog, although knights begin with a saddled pony. Pets grow from fighting, and they can be changed by various means. Most of the other monsters may also be tamed using magic or tempting food.
NetHack's dungeon spans about 50 levels, of which most are randomly generated when the player character first encounters them. A typical level contains a way "up" and a way "down" (these may be stairways, ladders, trapdoors etc.), along with several "rooms" joined by corridors that may contain features such as altars, shops, fountains, traps, and even sinks. Some "special" levels are of fixed design in every game session. There are several dungeon branches, including a Sokoban puzzle and Vlad's Tower.
NetHack features a variety of items: weapons (either ranged or melee), armor to protect the player; scrolls and spellbooks to read, potions to quaff, rings, amulets, and an assortment of tools such as keys and lamps.
One important aspect of NetHack's gameplay is the identification of items. For example, a newly-discovered potion may be referred to as a 'pink potion' with no other clues as to its identity. Players can perform a variety of actions and tricks to deduce, or at least narrow down, the identity of the potion. The most obvious is the somewhat risky tactic of simply drinking it.
Unlike some other roguelikes, all items of a certain type will have the same description; e.g., all scrolls of enchant weapon may be labeled 'TEMOV', and once one has been identified, all scrolls of enchant weapon found will be labeled unambiguously as such. Starting a new game will scramble the items' descriptions again, so the 'silver ring' that is a ring of levitation in one game might be a ring of hunger in another.
As in many other roguelike games, all items in NetHack are either "blessed", "uncursed", or "cursed". The majority of items are found uncursed, but the "BUC" (Blessed/Uncursed/Cursed) status of an item is unknown until it is identified or detected through other means. The priest character class automatically identifies BUC status.
Generally, a blessed item will be more powerful than an uncursed item, and a cursed item will be less powerful. Regarding objects which bestow effects upon the character, a curse will generally make the effect (more) harmful. There are exceptions, however, which are usually very specific (e.g. the cursed potion of gain level will make the character rise through the ceiling to the level above).
Like roguelikes in general, NetHack features permadeath: expired characters cannot be revived without having made backup copies of the actual save files. Players sometimes use the acronyms "YAAD" and "YASD" when discussing their characters' deaths, meaning "Yet Another Annoying Death" or "Yet Another Stupid Death". An "annoying" death is typically one that was the fault of misfortune more than the player (such as falling into a spiked, poisoned pit trap early in the game); a "stupid" death is when player's actions were directly responsible for their own death.
The prompt "Do you want your possessions identified?" (abbreviated as "DYWYPI" and used to suggest character death) is given by default at the end of any game, allowing the player to learn any unknown properties of the items found during the game.
The game sporadically saves a level on which a character has died and then integrates that level into a later game. This is done via "bones files", which are saved on the computer hosting the game. A player using a publicly-hosted copy of the game can thus encounter the remains of many other players. Players can also swap bones files via programs like Hearse.
Although NetHack can be completed by new or intermediate players without any artificial limitations, experienced players can attempt "conducts" for an additional challenge. These are voluntary restrictions on actions taken, such as using no wishes, following a vegetarian or even vegan diet, or even killing no monsters. While in general conducts are tracked by the game and are displayed at death or ascension, unofficial conducts, such as the Zen conduct (in which the player's character wears a blindfold throughout the whole game), also exist within the NetHack community.
NetHack is largely based on discovering secrets and tricks during gameplay. It can take years for one to become well-versed in them, and even experienced players routinely discover new ones. A number of NetHack fansites and discussion forums offer lists of game secrets known as "spoilers". Fans of NetHack consider an ascension without having read spoilers very prestigious; the achievement is so difficult that some question whether it has been or can be accomplished.
NetHack was originally created with only a simple ASCII graphical user interface, although the option to use something more elaborate was added later in its development. Interface elements — environment, entities, and objects — are represented by arrangements of ASCII or Extended ASCII glyphs used in plain text, "DEC graphics" or "IBM graphics" mode. In addition to the environment, the interface also displays character and situational information.
A detailed example:
You see here a silver ring. ------------ ##....._.....| |...........# ------ #...........| |....| --------------- ###------------ |...(| |..%...........|########## ###-@...| |...%...........### # ## |....| +.......<......| ### ### |..!.| --------------- # # ------ ### ### # # ---.----- ### |.......| # |........#### |.......| |.......| --------- Hacker the Conjurer St:11 Dx:13 Co:12 In:11 Wi:18 Ch:11 Lawful Dlvl:3 $:120 HP:39(41) Pw:36(36) AC:6 Exp:5 T:1073
The player (The '@' sign, a wizard in this case) has entered the level via the stairs (the '<' sign) and killed a few monsters, leaving their corpses (the '%' signs) behind. Exploring, the wizard has uncovered three rooms joined by corridors (the '#' signs): one with an altar (the '_' sign), another empty, and the final one (that the wizard is currently in) containing a potion (the '!' sign), chest (the '(' sign), and has just moved onto a square containing a silver ring. Large parts of the level remain unexplored (probably to the west through the door (the '+' sign)) and the player has yet to find the down-stairs (a '>' sign) to the next level.
Apart from the original termcap interface shown above, there are interfaces that replace standard screen representations with two-dimensional images, or tiles, collectively known as "tiles mode". Graphic interfaces of this kind utilize the X Window System, the similar Microsoft Windows GUI, the Qt toolkit, or the GNOME libraries.
Enhanced graphical options also exist, such as the isometric perspective of Falcon's Eye and Vulture's Eye, or the three-dimensional rendering that noegnud offers. Vulture's Eye is a fork of the now defunct Falcon's Eye project. Vulture's Eye adds additional graphics, sounds, bugfixes and performance enhancements and is under active development in an open collaborative environment.
NetHack also has an IRC channel, #nethack, on the Freenode network. Many people discuss the game there, and the resident announcer bot, "Rodney", notifies of every death and ascension that occurs on the NAO server. Rodney can also announce full and new moons, as well as providing a substantial database of information which players can access with commands.
Unofficial ports exist for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Tapwave Zodiac, GP2X, Windows Mobile, Android,, Nokia Internet Tablets 770, N800 and up  and iPhone. NetHack is acknowledged by Blizzard as an inspiration for Diablo.
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|Developer(s)||NetHack dev team|
|Publisher(s)||NetHack dev team|
|System(s)||MS-DOS, Windows 3.1 and newer, Linux, Macintosh 8.1 and newer,
Commodore Amiga, Windows CE, Atari, OS/2
Unix, BeOS, VMS (Source Only)
NetHack is a free roguelike computer game. The goal of the adventurer is to descend through the dungeon and retrieve the Amulet of Yendor. You can download the game from the official NetHack home page. The game runs on Mac OS, Windows, Unix, and many other platforms.
The dungeon contains many monsters and other causes of death. NetHack is a very difficult game, especially for players who lack knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons and avoid reading the spoilers.
NetHack is a complicated game, and it can be difficult to understand all the details of how it works. There are numerous "spoilers" available on the Web; here is a fairly complete list. However, NetHack is very much an exploration and discovery game, and many people prefer to avoid reading spoilers, or at least to wait to read them until they have a hunch about how a certain part of the game works and want confirmation. If you'd prefer to figure out the game for yourself, here are a few tips that may help:
NetHack is an open source roguelike adventure game. NetHack evolved from Hack, and has been in continuous development for nearly twenty years. The first version of NetHack was released on July 28, 1987.
NetHack is characterized by its many surprising events. Dipping, quaffing, scrawling, and many other actions can often have hilarious and/or infuriating results. This has yielded the popular phrase, "The Dev Team Thinks of Everything." (TDTTOE)
Nethack features 13 roles which serve as the base of your avatar's starting abilities.
Roles also restrict races and alignments that your avatar may pick from.
Nethack features 5 races which help determine your starting statistics and abilities, as well as how you get along with the various creatures that populate the Mazes of Menace.