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Esc-key is used to cancel prompts. What happens then depends on the prompt that was cancelled. For example:

  • wishing prompt will give you a random item.
  • --more-- prompt in the TTY windowport will suppress the rest of the messages.

On NAO, NetHack has been patched to make escape clear the input, and only the second escape cancels.

Instead of pressing escape once per turn at the --MORE-- prompt, you might want to configure your MSGTYPE patch options in your config file.