Black rat

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A black rat, r, is a type of monster that appears in SLASH'EM, SlashTHEM, SpliceHack, and Hack'EM. It is a tiny carnivorous animal that is almost identical to the sewer rat, with the exception of being much less common than the sewer rat and its fellow rodents.

A black rat has a single bite attack.


Black rats are not randomly generated, and normally-created ones are always hostile.

Eight black rats are generated on the rat level at level creation.[1]

In Hack'EM, black rats are not a valid target for genocide.


Black rats are as easy to deal with as their sewer-dwelling counterparts, but share a glyph with the pack rat, r, making it prudent to remain attentive while on the rat level - use far look to keep track of which specific glyphs represent which monsters so that pack rats do not steal valuable items.


Black rats, or rattus rattus, were once the most common rats in Europe. While still common in warmer areas, in most of their previous habitats they have been displaced by the brown rat (rattus norvegicus) - the brown rat may be represented in Nethack and its variants by the sewer rat and/or the giant rat.

Encyclopedia entry

Rats are long-tailed rodents. They are aggressive,
omnivorous, and adaptable, often carrying diseases.
"The rat," said O'Brien, still addressing his invisible
audience, "although a rodent, is carnivorous. You are aware
of that. You will have heard of the things that happen in
the poor quarters of this town. In some streets a woman dare
not leave her baby alone in the house, even for five minutes.
The rats are certain to attack it. Within quite a small time
they will strip it to the bones. They also attack sick or
dying people. They show astonishing intelligence in knowing
when a human being is helpless."

[ 1984, by George Orwell ]