Plane of Earth

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Plane of Earth
Location Level −1 of the
End Game
Bones No
Mappable Yes
Teleportable No
Diggable floor No
Diggable walls Yes

The Plane of Earth is the first of the Elemental Planes. It is reached by going up from the top level of the Dungeons of Doom while carrying the Amulet of Yendor.

The Plane of Earth is ineligible to leave bones files. The entire level is no-teleport and has an undiggable floor.


 ....                ..                                                     
 .....             ...                                      ..              
  ....              ....                                     ...            
   ....              ...                ....                 ...      .     
    ..                ..              .......                 .      ..     
                                      ..  ...                        .      
              .                      ..    .                         ...    
             ..  ..                  .     ..                         .     
            ..   ...                        .                               
            ...   ...                                                       
              .. ...                                 ..                     
               ....                                 ..                      
                          ..                                       ...      
                         ..                                       .....     
  ...                                                              ..@      

Most of the level is filled with solid rock, with some caverns scattered around as shown above. You will start the level in the bottom-right cavern. The portal to the Plane of Air is randomly placed in one of the other caverns. As of 3.6.0 there are additional single square caverns scattered around randomly in which the portal may also be.

When you enter the level the Wizard of Yendor will make his only mandatory reappearance (helpfully carrying a spellbook of dig). There is also an Elvenking carrying a pick-axe and a minotaur with a wand of digging nearby. The remainder of the level contains 27 earth elementals, eight rock trolls, five stone giants, five pit vipers, three barbed devils, three pit fiends, a rock piercer, an umber hulk, a dust vortex, four stone golems, a scorpion, and a minotaur, distributed fairly evenly among the caverns.


The Plane of Earth is the most straightforward of the planes. Once the Wizard has been dispatched, the primary challenge is quickly locating the portal.


Digging with a pick-axe or dwarvish mattock should be avoided on this level if possible, not only because it is much slower than wands or spells of digging, but also because it will sometimes generate earth elementals and xorns.[1] If you must resort to this, you should always use a blessed pick—there is an additional 13 chance of a small area of rock immediately clearing around your character. Otherwise, there is an additional 16 chance that a similar small area around you will cave in, slowing progress - this is increased to 14 chance if the tool is cursed.

The single wand of digging dropped by the minotaur may not be sufficient to reach the portal, especially if exploration is required. Bringing a few wands of your own or a source of charging is strongly recommended, and there should be several available by the time you are ready to enter the Planes.


Most of the monsters should pose no real threat to an ascension-worthy character. However, the many earth elementals are much tougher than those generated in the dungeons.[2] As usual, they will phase through the solid rock to get to you; if you dig too slowly they may surround you, further impeding your progress. Conflict can help if you are surrounded, as does polymorphing into a phasing monster yourself, which will enable you to move around rapidly; the usual polyselfing caveats to those forms apply.

Portal detection

The portal can be located by the usual methodsscroll of gold detection, wand of secret door detection, spell of detect unseen, wearing the Amulet, and so on. Reading a cursed scroll of gold detection is the fastest and easiest—just remember where it was, because it will become invisible when you get near. Non-cursed scrolls also work but require becoming confused. Players who lack a confusion source for their scrolls of gold detection might want to seek out the umber hulk in the center of the level, as with some careful manipulation it is possible to enter the Plane of Air confused as well. If one lacks such resources it is possible, though much slower, to locate the portal by physically visiting each cavern and searching or walking over every square - having the automatic searching property can easily assist in this regard.


The debris from your digging comes to life!
Earth elementals and/or xorns were generated from digging using a pick-axe or dwarvish mattock.
A mysterious force <creates a/extends the> cave around you!
An opening was created by digging with a blessed pick.
Crash! The ceiling collapses around you!
Walls were generated from digging with a non-blessed pick.


This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:

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This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

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