The Eyes of the Overworld

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(   The Eyes of the Overworld   Lenses.png
Base item pair of lenses
Affiliation
When carried (none)
When worn
When invoked
Base price 2500 zm
Weight 3

The Eyes of the Overworld is the Monk quest artifact. It is the reward for completing the Monk quest, and is neutral for wishing purposes. Its base item type is a pair of lenses.

Effects

Main article: astral vision

While wearing the Eyes, in addition to the usual effects of lenses, you are granted astral vision: the squares around you are illuminated as would be lit by a lamp. The Eyes also provide magic resistance when worn; prior to version 3.6.0, the Eyes provided magic resistance when simply carried. Invoking the Eyes provides enlightenment.

Astral vision penetrates walls, doors, solid rock, and any other obstruction. Objects seen through astral vision using the farlook command are described as though you had personally handled the item (a behavior similar to a blessed potion of object detection; for example, viewing a scroll on the floor will tell you its label, not merely "a scroll," and gems discovered embedded in rock will appear with whatever type-name you might have given them.

Blindness from any source will not obstruct your vision if you are wearing the Eyes; internally, the game tracks the duration and cause of your blindness, but all effects of those status ailments are overridden by astral vision, similar to Grayswandir's behavior with hallucination. Astral vision does not grant its usual "vision" properties while on the Rogue level; monsters, tiles, and items are not revealed through darkness or obstructions, but the Eyes will still prevent and override blindness.

Strategy

See also: Invoke § Optimum invocation schedule

Astral vision is highly useful in trying to find secret doors or trying to navigate Gehennom without magic mapping.

The enlightenment from invoking the Eyes can be used as a method to identify useful rings and amulets.

Gaze attacks

Because Nethack assumes line-of-sight is symmetrical—that is, if you have a clear line of sight to a monster, it can see you too—monsters are capable of using gaze attacks through walls and other obstructions if they are within a three-tile radius while you are wearing the Eyes. This can be lethally tragic when dealing with Medusa, or if a pesky umber hulk on the other side of an unphaseable or undiggable wall repeatedly confuses you. In such cases, it may be necessary to temporarily remove the Eyes, as astral vision becomes a liability instead of a boon.

Zen conduct

If you are attempting the Zen conduct, do not wear this item under any circumstances, as it will instantly break the conduct. As it no longer provides a benefit when carried and the invocation effect of enlightenment is easily achieved through other means, it's best to ignore this artifact altogether to avoid the risk of accidentally wearing it.

Origin

The Eyes of the Overworld is a 1966 novel by Jack Vance, part of his Dying Earth series, which was highly influential on Dungeons & Dragons (but not NetHack itself so much). The anti-hero Cugel, a resourceful but amoral rogue, is tasked by a wizard to obtain the titular artifact (essentially, rose-tinted contact lenses) from a squalid village whose "aristocracy" wears the Eyes, which allow them to see everything around them as though it were opulent luxury.

Encyclopedia entry

... and finally there is "the Eyes of the Overworld". This
obscure artifact pushes the wearer's view sense into the
"overworld" -- another name for a segment of the Astral Plane.
Usually, there is nothing to be seen. However, the wearer
is also able to look back and see the area around herself,
much like looking on a map. Why anyone would want to ...

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