1-turn ascension

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Wizard mode

A 1-turn ascension is possible in wizard mode:

  1. Level teleport (Ctrl + v) to the Plane of Earth – use ? to see the menu and select the Plane of Earth ("-1" will not work), this will also automagically give you the Amulet of Yendor
  2. Level teleport to the Astral Plane
  3. Wish for a (lawful/neutral/chaotic) altar
  4. #offer the Amulet

Although this is four steps, none of them consume turns in wizard mode. Players hoping to save themselves tremendous amounts of embarrassment should refrain from claiming this as a real ascension.

Bug exploit

If you don't consider exploiting bugs to be cheating, it is possible to achieve ascension on turn 1 in non-wizard mode.

The bug is integer overflow of the turn counter.

This will take very much effort to do manually, so it should be done with a pasted sequence instead. Using one does not allow responding to most interferences; they must be prevented or dealt with predictably.

  • Sounds could cause "--MORE--"; go to a dungeon level without anything that could cause them.
  • Attribute gains or losses from exercise or abuse could interfere by causing "--MORE--". Wear a ring of sustain ability to prevent this.
  • Monsters could interfere in many ways. They can be removed, but normally, new ones will spontaneously appear.
    • One way to stop this is by occupying all spaces with sessile monsters.
      • Create a blue jelly or brown mold, or use a pre-existing one, and attack it without cold resistance using something weak, causing it to divide. Continue until all spaces are occupied. You should move and choose the one to attack to avoid having them surround you.
      • Choosing a level with little space and having ways to recover from the damage the monsters do will make this faster.
      • Phasing monsters could appear in positions others cannot. The sum of your experience level and the dungeon level must be less than 20 so that they do not appear.
    • Another way is to genocide or make extinct every monster that can appear.
      • Minimise your experience level and dungeon level to restrict the monsters that can appear.
  • Consumption of nutrition over time could also interfere.
    • Wear a ring of slow digestion to reduce it. Remove all other jewelry other than the ring of sustain ability, because they increase it.
    • Prayer can be used to regain nutrition. For it to be completely reliable, you must not be crowned, and your god must not be angry.

Write the following in a text editor:


If the "number pad" option is set to 1 or 2, add "n" before each "99999.".

Be sure to replace <ESC> with an actual escape character, and <CR> with an actual carriage return. These can be inserted, for example, with vi's Ctrl-V command.

Duplicate this line about 505,200 times, copy it into your paste buffer, paste it into NetHack's terminal, and wait approximately 19 days. This will overflow the turn counter, wrap around to -2,147,483,648 and slowly creep back up to zero. Each pasted line passes 8500 turns, so you must calculate precisely how many lines must be pasted to bring the counter back up to the right amount. As it approaches a reasonable negative value that should give you enough time, prepare to ascend, then offer the amulet to your deity as the counter ticks over to 1.

The hungry and weak status messages will interrupt the waiting command. You really need to wait until you are "weak" but not "fainting" 8499 turns later because "hungry" counts only as a minor problem, which will not always be solved by praying.

If NetHack is compiled for a 64-bit platform, the "long" type will not wrap around until it gets to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. The above trick still works in principle, but will take a few hundred million years to complete.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

For games running over 100000 turns, prayer timeout increases by 1 every 100 turns, so prayer will eventually fail and you will starve to death. This was implemented to prevent denial-of-service attacks against public servers.

If a game runs over one billion turns, it ends immediately in an escape:

The dungeon capitulates.