Elf (monster)

From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
For other uses, see Elf.

An elf, @, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. The elf serves as the base monster for the corpse left by elven characters, elf zombies or elf mummies, and has a much higher base level than other monsters representing a playable race, with a monster difficulty comparable to a player monster.

Eating an elf corpse or tin of its meat has a 23 chance of of conveying sleep resistance, the highest of all elves.


Standard elves are not randomly generated. An elf can grow up into an elf-lord.

An elf zombie or elf mummy will leave an aged elf corpse behind upon death;[1][2] player elves that are killed and leave bones will have an elf corpse atop their grave, unless they were killed by certain monsters or else stoned or disintegrated. Elves can be generated by zapping a wand of undead turning at an elf corpse that is not left by a elf zombie or mummy, or else selecting elves while reading a cursed scroll of genocide.

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

An elf will grow up into an elf-noble of the appropriate gender, rather than always becoming a male elf-lord regardless of gender.


Despite being the most reliable source of sleep resistance, elf corpses are usually left by undead and thus pose a high risk of food poisoning; however, they can be safely tinned and eaten with a tinning kit.


The elf monster first appears in NetHack 3.0.0, where it corresponds to the Elf role. It remains in the game's data after the role is replaced with the Ranger, where it instead serves as the corresponding monster to



In dNetHack, elves grow up into Woodland-elves rather than elf-lords.

Encyclopedia entry

The Elves sat round the fire upon the grass or upon the sawn rings of old trunks. Some went to and fro bearing cups and pouring drinks; others brought food on heaped plates and dishes.
"This is poor fare," they said to the hobbits; "for we are lodging in the greenwood far from our halls. If ever you are our guests at home, we will treat you better."
"It seems to me good enough for a birthday-party," said Frodo. Pippin afterwards recalled little of either food or drink, for his mind was filled with the light upon the elf-faces, and the sound of voices so various and so beautiful that he felt in a waking dream. [...]
Sam could never describe in words, nor picture clearly to himself, what he felt or thought that night, though it remained in his memory as one of the chief events of his life. The nearest he ever got was to say: "Well, sir, if I could grow apples like that, I would call myself a gardener. But it was the singing that went to my heart, if you know what I mean."

[ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ]


  1. src/mon.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 147: Converting monster index of undead to corpses of their living counterparts
  2. src/mon.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 372: Undead corpses and their ages are handled with other "special" death drops