Oracle (level)

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Delphi
Location Level 5–9 of the
Dungeons of Doom
Bones Yes
Mappable Yes
Teleportable Yes
Diggable floor Yes
Diggable walls Yes
For the monster found on this level, see Oracle (monster).

The Oracle Level, also known as Delphi, is a special level that appears in NetHack, and is the home of the Oracle, who can provide hints about the game and its mechanics for a fee.

Generation

The Oracle level is always generated somewhere from dungeon levels 5 to 9 inclusive in the Dungeons of Doom. It is eligible to leave bones, and monster creation is biased towards neutral monsters. The level below this one will always have the entrance to Sokoban.

Description

-------------
|C.........C|
......C.....|
|...-----...|
|.....{.|...|
|..C|{@{|C...
|...|.{.|...|
|...-----...|
|.....C.....|
|C.........C|
-------------
The Oracle's room, with fountains and centaur statues.

The level is a standard rooms-and-corridors level, with the Oracle's room (shown above) placed in the center of the level - there are usually five other rooms on the level, though the game will sometimes run out of space when creating them. The rooms outside of the Oracle have a total of five random monsters, three random traps, and six random items placed within them: one room has two items and a monster inside, two rooms have an item along with a trap and a monster, the room with the down stair has two monsters along with a trap and an item, and the the room with the up stairs will have a single item.

The Oracle is at the center of the fountains in the 3x3 room (called "Delphi"), with a random empty doorway in one of the walls; two random monsters are generated in the larger room surrounding Delphi. The marked historic statues in the larger room are:

If any type of centaur is genocided or extinct, their statues will be replaced with statues of random monsters.

Strategy

The presence of naga hatchlings and baby dragons on a main dungeon level typically indicates that a character has found the Oracle level. The statues can be useful for spellbook-hunting characters in roles other than early Archeologists, who take an alignment penalty for breaking historic statues. The guaranteed fountains also make the Oracle a common target level to dip for Excalibur with lawful characters that obtain a long sword (or start with one in the case of Knights and Valkyries).

History

The Oracle level first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.

Origin

The Oracle and her level are primarily based on the Pythia, the priestess who presided over the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi; the NetHack Oracle will welcome the character to "Delphi" upon seeing them.

The Oracle-level sound effects reference several different oracles - the "strange wind" alludes to the Oracle of Jupiter at Dodona; "conclusive ravings" refers to the Oracle of Apollo; and "snoring snakes" is derived from the Oracle of Aesculapius at Epidaurus. The two additional hallucination sounds both reference the Internet Oracle from rec.humor.oracle, which first appeared in 1989, particularly the taboo question "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" The Oracle was added to NetHack the same year.

Messages

You hear a strange wind.
You hear convulsive ravings.
You hear snoring snakes.
The Oracle is present on the level.
You hear someone say "No more woodchucks!"
You hear a loud ZOT!
As above, while hallucinating.

Variants

xNetHack

xNetHack adds two other variations of the room in the center of the Oracle level. In both of them, the Oracle sits amid a ring of pools instead of a smaller room. One variant has several trees and only three fountains; the other has statues of snakes, nagas, sea monsters and elementals.

SpliceHack

SpliceHack adds the new Delphi variations from xNetHack, but the pools have a small chance of being replaced with lava. The original Delphi variation from NetHack is also changed to have different statues:

EvilHack

EvilHack includes the map variations for the Oracle level present in xNetHack.

References

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

Redistribution, copying, and editing of these spoilers, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. The original contributors to any spoiler must continue to be credited.
  2. Any modifications to the spoiler must be acknowledged and credited.

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

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.1. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-361}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.