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Deathmatch Arena
Location Level 1 of
Deathmatch Arena
Bones No
Mappable No
Teleportable No
Diggable floor No
Diggable walls No

The deathmatch is an optional quest that appears in TNNT (the game). It takes place in a special dungeon branch, the deathmatch arena, and challenges you to fight a player monster representing a previously ascended character.


The arena is accessible via a magic portal on the level immediately above Medusa's Island.[1]


The deathmatch opponent has the name, role, gender, experience level, hit points, some intrinsic resistances, and inventory of a random previously-ascended character on the system. The same opponent may appear in multiple games. Their level will be raised to 14 if it was below that, and their hit points will be clamped to a minimum of 100 + [level]d10 + d30, a hard minimum of 200 and a maximum of 500. Contents of containers and names of items are not preserved, wands of wishing, magic lamps and unique items are removed, and all artifacts will be converted to ordinary base items.[2]

Monsters cannot enter or leave the arena through the portal[3] or by following you[4]. Because of this, a character carrying the Eye of the Aethiopica can branchport here to escape followers such as Demogorgon. The level is no-teleport. You cannot enter the deathmatch arena before starting the deathmatch itself if you are carrying the Amulet of Yendor, or any invocation items before performing the invocation. This prevents you from stranding these items in the arena, which would make the game unwinnable.

The opponent will be generated asleep. There is no penalty for leaving the arena while the opponent is still asleep. If you move onto the space with the door, the opponent will awaken; after that, leaving the arena while the opponent is still alive will remove the ability to return to the arena. Contrary to the engravings on the ground, the only penalty for leaving after the opponent wakes and is still alive is denial of future access to the arena.

When the opponent is killed, their possessions will coalesce on the ground where they died. These objects are transient: you will be able to pick up one of them; once you do, the others vanish. Autopickup will not pick up these objects. This includes any weapons or ammo that were thrown at you by the opponent, and anything you stole from them. If you leave the deathmatch arena after starting the deathmatch, all of these objects will disappear except for the one you took after winning; be sure to do so before leaving.

If no player has ascended yet, a generic player monster will be created instead. Their inventory will not be transient as that of a normal deathmatch opponent is.


The layout of the floor is as follows.[5]

            --}}}........--.....}}.....--........}}}--      ---------      
            |}}..........--.....}}.....--..........}}|      |@@@@@@@|      
            |}}..........--.....}}.....--..........}}|      |@@@@@@@|      
            --}}}........--.....}}.....--........}}}--      ---------      

Randomly placed in the arena proper are four spiked pits, four bear traps, four land mines, two rolling boulder traps, two fire traps, a sleeping gas trap and a polymorph trap.

Opponent's base inventory

The deathmatch opponent will be given the following items if they are missing an item in the respective slots - all items are blessed, erodeproof and +4 or +5 enchantment if applicable[6]:

They will also unconditionally be given ranged weapons:

  • sling and 20-29 flint stones for archaeologists and cavepeople
  • 20-29 +4-5 darts for healers, priests, tourists and wizards
  • 20-29 +4-5 shuriken for samurai and monks
  • bow and 20-29 +4-5 arrows for barbarians, knights and rangers
  • 10-15 +4-5 daggers for rogues and valkyries


The deathmatch opponent will very likely have several attack wands, including at least one wand of death. Magic resistance or reflection is practically required to survive the match, and a defense against petrification is also advisable. Death magic and other attack wands will likely be ineffective against them.

A deathmatch opponent wielding a cockatrice or chickatrice corpse may kill themselves by falling into pits - if you cannot lure them into one, keep as much distance as necessary until the the corpse rots away, which will prompt them to wield another weapon. A cockatrice corpse may be used to kill the opponent, but it will take several hits to burn through their lizard corpses, and ascending characters often have extremely high AC, so landing a hit will be difficult. Be careful not to fall into a pit yourself.

When choosing which object to take, consider that they may have been used by the ascending player, e.g. a magic marker may already be permanently dried out. Unfortunately, you cannot safely pick up the objects in order to identify them.


The deathmatch first appeared in 2019.

Initially, there were pools of water in the center of the arena, each with two giant eels; commit 3daa921 in 2020 replaced them with pools of lava to prevent players from drowning the opponent by freezing the water, then melting the resulting ice. In 2021, commit 427c59f removed two fountains in the entrance room to stop the same exploit.

Levelporting out of an ongoing deathmatch used to be possible, allowing a character to keep any items already picked up, such as thrown missile weapons from the opponent. This was fixed in 2023 via commit a528894.

Other fixes related to the deathmatch:

  • There was no restriction on entering the deathmatch arena with any unique items; theoretically, this could make the game unwinnable if they were left there.
  • Attempting to steal from the deathmatch opponent caused the stolen items to disappear, and a bug caused their entire inventory to be stolen and removed at once this way.
  • The deathmatch opponent was always the most recently ascended character on the system instead of a random one, and it was possible to flee the arena with multiple objects that they threw at you or that you somehow obtained through other methods during the fight.


You hear the roaring of a crowd.
You hear the clash of steel on steel.
You are on the level with the deathmatch portal.
Something in your inventory seems to be anchoring you here.
You attempted to enter the portal while carrying the Amulet of Yendor or one of the invocation tools.
Upon exiting the portal, you immediately feel on edge. You feel as if you've stumbled across something very dangerous. You resist the urge to flee.
You entered the arena for the first time.
A voice echoes in the arena: "Thou art brave indeed, mortal! Now prove thy prowess!"
The deathmatch has started.
Loud booing follows you out of the arena...
You left the arena during the deathmatch.
A voice echoes in the arena: "Choose thy trophy from the spoils!"
You see [the opponent's] possessions coalesce into a large pile near you.
The opponent was killed, allowing you to choose a prize from their inventory.
You hear a pile of objects jumble together nearby.
As above, when you can't see the objects.
You feel a jarring vibration nearby.
As above, when you are also deaf.
You hear a faint exhalation.
You picked up a transient object after killing the opponent, and all others vanished.