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[Download link for win32] (browse around a bit to find instructions for other ports)
A RogueLike game; which is to say, a dungeon crawl in which the player is represented by an @ and enemies are represented by various ascii characters. Assuming, that is, that the player is not using one of the many tilesets available nowadays.
One of the few RogueLikes still in development; its faceless and shadowy DevTeam? recently released version 3.4.1.
- Anyone else here an AngBand fan? - MoonShadow
- Yes - Garbled Question, which was original, NetHack, Rogue, or Moria?
- Rogue. Hence "RogueLike". I think that Hack (NetHack's ancestor) predates both AngBand and Moria; but no idea really.
- What about Larn? Admiral
Remarkably addictive; also remarkably difficult. It took StuartFraser almost a month of solid play (by solid, I mean that this was during the pre-going up vacation), having read almost every strategy guide available (after failing to get beyond Minetown during the first week); and then he was exceptionally lucky. It took another five months to ascend again. This is about as fast to a first ascension as is known by rec.games.roguelike.nethack
Incredibly deep: TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything?, it is said, and indeed, it's hard to come across a situation in which you think "I wonder if I can do this" and you can't.
Even when it is beaten, has a number of challenges; from the eminently doable (genocideless, polymorphless) through the more awkward (ascend every class, wishless) to the very challenging (atheist, extinctionist, illiterate, pacifist) and the downright impossible (under 10,000 turns, foodless, naked, zen, wielding only a wooden chest...all of which have been done).
- Oh yes, I forgot that one. But that was nyra, so does it really count?
Garbled is playing this. His most recent character was a wizard getting trounced by a pack of werewolves. He tried about 50 times to get out of the situation, then had a try at the explore mode (Do you want to die y/n). Fun, but I am only going to attack werewolfs from a large distance away in future. PS I don't like the shopping interface.
- Sounds like you're a)Not using Elbereth, and b)you're probably too high level - unlike in AngBand, high levels are a definite disadvantage in NetHack, because you end up meeting beasties you're not remotely prepared to fight yet. Although I'm a one to talk, because my logfile shows probably over 300 dead wizards by now, with no W ascension. Including the one who died deep in Gehennom because I didn't read the status line and forgot that I'd been poisoned, with the spell "cure sickness" at 0% fail rate...
- And c) You're playing a wizard as your first character... For something with a bit more of a survival rate, try a knight or valkyrie. Don't worry about dying lots, NetHack kills frequently and with little warning. Just start again. As for the shopping interface, it's an acquired taste - but becomes much better once you find the option to turn off autopickup. --Vitenka
- Ah, the shopping interface... So many happy memories of trying to find ways to steal stuff (they get fixed as they are found). A feature that was really annoying is that if there were mobs in the shop, and they pick up your stuff, then when they drop it the shopkeeper will think it's his. I wonder if that's been fixed yet--Mjb67
- I just remembered how to steal stuff - you get mobs to take the shopkeeper's stuff out of the shop, and then go and kill them--Mjb67
- Well, it wasn't quite a successful steal (the alarm was given) but I did discover that even at very low levels if the shop has an amulet of reflection, then the shopkeeper can usually be induced to kill himself ;) --Vitenka
- There's another one to do with training your pet to put things on the threshold of the shop, then picking them up from outside--Mjb67
- This is true. Pile the stuff up and blow out the floor under yourself also works, though imperfectly since you get into trouble for it. --Vitenka
Garbled is probably on his 20th or so character (Mostly completely randomly generated). He wrote a script to save/load the game in case of death, on the lines of copy Ad*.* \save (for user Administrator), as he can't see much point in dying permanently unless he really has to. He is also quite impatient.
- Not actually that good an idea - many NetHack games are just unwinnable. The game really is designed around having throw-away characters. I know a lot of people quit as soon as they find that there is no fountain or altar before level five. --Vitenka (then again, others deliberately kick their cats down holes)
- Heresy! The whole point of RogueLikes is that death is final. It's supposed to make you play carefully, and in fact, does so. rec.games.roguelike.nethack maintains as an article of faith that save-scumming (the practice of backing up your savegames) makes you a worse player, because your character will descend deeper than they should and remain underprepared for the enemies they'll face. I wouldn't think about heading deep enough into the dungeons to encounter werewolves without over 70Hp and a reasonably negative AC. --SF
- Hang on - reloading is heresy, but kicking cats down holes isn't? For shame! --Vitenka
- What happens if you kick a cat down a hole? --RobHu
- You can't actually kick cats down holes, but killing your pet kitten is indeed heresy (and sacrificing it to your god more so) --Edwin
- I tried to blast my cat with a spell last night but wasn't very successful... OMG who decided what the movement keys would be? They were literally insane (and the numpad doesn't work on the Mac OS X terminal port) --RobHu
- Rob - go into settings, you should find that there is an alternate keyset. The default is 'rougue' which is, to my mind, insane - but actually fairly closely matches the default 'best' layout for fps games, so who am I to judge? The alternate uses the numeric keypad and is sane. In both cases, all other keys are the first letter of the verb when possible, and the first letter of a verb you'd find in a thesaurus when not :) As for cats down holes, it certainly used to be possible, and was a good way to get mauled becuase it would be feral by the time you got down there. Possibly you need to know where a hole is, but the game to not know that you know. --Vitenka
I suppose these could be considered spoilers.
Name everything you pick up
- When you pick up some gems, name them as 'gem1', 'gem2', etc. Then when they turn out to be glass, you can change the name to 'glass gem' etc. Now, when you pick up a new gem of the same type, it'll have a meaningful name, which means you can sell it to the shopkeeper _before_ identifying it, which means you get the 'unidentified gem' price instead of the 'glass' price.
Cheap way to find out if your gems are glass
- Name your gems. Put them in a chest. Smash the chest. The glass ones break. There are various schemes that use this, but the most basic is that next time you find a 'gem1' you'll know it's a glass, so you can rename it as 'glass gem' and you're sorted. Ah yes, name them all 'glass' before smashing them, then rename the ones that are left to 'valuable'.
- Doh, I just tried to verify this one on the Internet, but it looks like it hasn't worked since 3.2--Mjb67
- Well - you can still take the ones that didn't break and assume they're not glass. --Vitenka (But if you're stealing stuff from shops, why do you need gems?)
- The thing on the Internet seemed to imply that kicking and smashing chests no longer makes gems break, but I may have misunderstood it--Mjb67
WARNING: Changing the name of something affects the game's behaviour when you throw it at a unicorn. There may be other ways that the game's behaviour changes, but I can't remember them.
- And, of course, some patches make all gems have a chance to smash - with glass and the most valuable ones the most likely. --Vitenka
I think I'm missing the point. Tried NetHack and was defeated by the interface. Tried NetHack - Vulture's Claw and started in a three by five room With No Windows and No Doors... --K
- The dungeon is always connected (with an exception that you are unlikely to encounter soon). Somewhere in that room is a secret door. --Edwin
- Yes, I guessed that, but I walked around the room twice hitting what I believe to be the search key at least twice per square. It just left me wondering how much I wanted to play a game which effectively "killed" me in the first room --K
- It can be awkward at the start. It can take much more than two searches to find a secret door, especially at the beginning when the stats which affect searching tend to be low. --Edwin
- If it's a problem, play a healer. You can use the stethoscope to locate secret doors. Although, frankly, how hard is it to type n10s or whatever? --SF
- Very, when you have no idea that that command is available (I assume it means search 10 times?). I guess this comes back to the aforementioned learning cliff. --K
- Or a ranger, who gets twice as much searching (they search after every action automatically). --CH
- Or just, you know, restart. It's not a 'big' CRPG style game, it's more like one of those little handheld games. Play a quick round, lose then play again to see if you get a bigger score. --Vitenka (Still doesn't excuse the learning curve - try 'moria' for something similar but much simpler)
- Now there's a thought. Why hasn't someone ported on of these to the GBA yet? --K
- Not enough buttons. And who needs it now there's a Rebelstar for the GBA?
- On the basis of the one review I read, Rebelstar appears to be a completely different style of game? The buttons thing could be worked around. Especially if it was for the DS instead since then you have touch screen to work with. --K
- I've actually got a roguelike for the MegaDrive. It works on a pretty simple basis - there's really only one thing you usually want to do with any given object, and there's usually only one thing you want to do on a given square, and these map onto the two main buttons. The third takes you to a menu where you can eat food etc. (And would include inscribe and such.) --Vitenka
- The interface does have a somewhat steep learning cur^H^H^Hcliff, but not really worse that other roguelikes.. - MoonShadow
...there is a [solution].
- I have to ask, with regard to Falcon's Eye: the orthogonally-oriented map has been rotated to a more 3D isometric view. Does that mean that pressing "up" now takes you (what looks like) North East? If so, how hard is that to get the hang of? Also, recent Windows versions of NetHack do come with nethackw.exe, which provides a pretty decent tileset. It's how I play it. --CH
- IIRC ye it does and yes it is. I think there is an option to tell it that up now means what looks like North and is actually 7, though. And yeah, the windows tileset isn't too bad - visual indications of subtypes is a nice thing. --Vitenka
Many years after my comment above I'm back trying it out again but still regretting it. I had a pretty good looking priest going, down in the Gnomish Mine (above mine town). Cure, Extra Cure, Blessed +3 Plate Armour, 53/53 HP and then... "The gnome lord plays a frost horn! The bolt of cold hits you! [...] The bolt of cold bounces! The bolt of cold hits you! DYWYPI?". Why am I playing this? --K (frustrated)