Vulture is an answer to anyone who believes that the interface of NetHack is too primitive. Vulture contains comparatively lavish graphics and also boasts background music and sound effects.
Vulture was previously known as Vulture's Eye and Vulture's Claw, for NetHack and SLASH'EM, respectively, with Vulture's encompassing both projects. Clive Crous has renamed the project as simply "Vulture" to reflect its forthcoming embrace of UnNetHack and SporkHack.
Vulture was recently added to Steam, and there are plans to include SLASH'EM and UnNetHack as free DLC.
In contrast to other interfaces, Vulture rotates the entire map by forty-five degrees. North in traditional interfaces becomes northwest in Vulture. To make a diagonal move (across the corner of a square) with the number_pad, you would press 7931 for traditional interfaces but 8624 for Vulture.
The website provides Vulture in free download as source code for multiple platforms. Binaries, previously available for free download, are now commercial. The developer has stated that the source code for the Vulture project will remain free and open. The distribution is not a patch; it includes a copy of NetHack or SLASH'EM, with modifications to support Vulture.
To install Vulture for Unix, you can use the Debian/Ubuntu packages or you'll have to fetch the source code and compile it. To compile it, you will need to have libpng, SDL, GNU make, and a compiler (such as gcc). There is also a precompiled version for the Nokia N900 Phone & Internet Tablet available through the Maemo Program Manager.
Vulture is also available on Desura and is currently on Steam Greenlight.
Vulture's 2.0.0 was released in April 2006. This release was an involved rewrite of the old core. The game now works with true transparency, 24-bit color, and relies extensively on SDL for its core drawing routines.
Vulture's 2.1.1 was released in 12 January 2008. New in 2.1.1:
- Vulture's Claw receives an update from SLASH'EM 0.0.7E7F2 to SLASH'EM 0.0.7E7F3.
- Vulture's now supports the vi keys, previously number_pad was always on.
- Other "bug and performance fixing".
Vulture's 2.1.2 was released on 15 July 2008. Quest levels now load properly in the Windows version.
Vulture's development moved from Darcs to Subversion sometime between the 2.1.0 and 2.1.1 releases. It moved from Subversion to Git sometime between the 2.1.1 and 2.1.2 releases.
Sometime after 2.1.2, Vulture's was renamed to Vulture.
Vulture 2.3.67 was released on 5 April 2011, supporting UnNetHack for the first time.
A major graphic, media and engine update is currently under production, with a teaser having been released.