Beholder (monster)

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For other implementations of the monster, see Beholder.

The beholder, e, is a deferred monster in the source code of NetHack. It is a monster that is part of the eye or sphere monster class, and is breathless, mindless, capable of flight, and can be seen via infravision.[1]

A beholder has a slowing gaze attack, a sleep-inducing gaze, a disintegration gaze, a gaze that inflicts stoning, a cancellation gaze, and a bite attack. Beholders possess cold resistance.


As a deferred monster, beholders are not generated at all, but have rules governing their generation like any other monster.

Randomly generated beholders will always be created hostile, and they are not a valid target for polymorph.


The beholder first appears in NetHack-- 3.0.10, and its vanilla data first appears in NetHack 3.2.0.


The beholder is a well-known creature from Dungeons & Dragons, one of the franchise's most iconic original creations. As described in the SLASH'EM encyclopedia entry (taken from a D&D manual), beholders have spherical bodies with a single large eye, ten smaller eyes on stalks above it, and a mouth full of teeth. The smaller eyes are used for offense or defense; each one has a different magical ability. Beholders are typically hostile to other creatures, and often hostile to one another.


Several variants of NetHack fully implement the beholder and its gaze attacks, while granting the monster additional traits and abilities depending on the variant.


Main article: Beholder (SLASH'EM)

In SLASH'EM, the Beholder is the quest nemesis for the Neutral Quest.


Main article: Beholder (GruntHack)

In GruntHack, beholders are randomly generated and can appear in the main dungeon, and possess some additional resistances alongside their vanilla NetHack abilities.


Main article: Beholder (dNetHack)

In dNetHack and notdNetHack, beholders are much different and more dangerous than their NetHack incarnations. They are only generated in the Chaos Temple Quest and Gehennom, and have two gaze attacks that can select from various damage types, along with a third paralyzing gaze as a passive similar to the floating eye. Beholder corpses, tins and blood have some useful applications as well.


The beholder appears in older versions of SpliceHack, but is not implemented in SpliceHack-Rewrite.


Main article: Beholder (EvilHack)

In EvilHack, beholders can appear in the main dungeon as in GruntHack, but are slightly faster and resist stoning, and have a stronger cancellation gaze and a much more powerful bite. Tal'gath is a powerful unique beholder who must be killed in order to genocide beholders.


Main article: Beholder (Hack'EM)

In Hack'EM, the Beholder is the quest nemesis for the Neutral Quest as before, but is much more difficult.