Flesh golem

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A flesh golem, ', is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is a type of golem made of meat that has a unique characteristic: if it takes any kind of shock damage, it can heal itself for 16 of that damage, while fire and cold damage will slow it down.[1] Stoning a flesh golem will turn it into a live stone golem, as with other golems.

A flesh golem has two claw attacks, and possesses fire resistance, cold resistance, shock resistance, sleep resistance, and poison resistance - these resistances are applied separately from the aforementioned slowing effects.

Eating a flesh golem corpse or tin has a 35 chance of conveying any of the five resistances mentioned above, with an equal probability of each one.


Randomly generated flesh golems are always created hostile, and are generated with 40 hit points.[2]

In addition to random generation, flesh golems can be created by casting stone to flesh on a stone golem, or by polypiling enough fleshy items in a single pile.

A flesh golem leaves a corpse upon death, instead of a special death drop like most other golems.


Though flesh golems hit fairly hard, their poor 9 AC and low speed of 8 are unimpressive enough that a savvy player can reliably overpower them - although they resist fire and cold damage, both can slow them down even further. Flesh golem corpses are a good source of resistances, and in particular they are the earliest safe source of potential shock resistance: earlier sources that grant it are either acidic (e.g., globs of black and brown puddings), while other safe sources are generally not seen until much later in the dungeon (e.g., storm giants). They are also a sizeable 600 nutrition per corpse, making them a filling meal for non-vegan and vegetarian characters.

Turning hostile stone golems into flesh golems via stone to flesh is a good means to both obtain useful intrinsic-granting corpses and weaken the harder-hitting stone golems. It may also be worthwhile for certain roles that have a wand of polymorph and can cast stone to flesh reliably to intentionally create flesh golems by polypiling several meatballs.

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.

Pets that eat corpses can now gain intrinsics from them, making flesh golem corpses ideal food for carnivorous pets.


The flesh golem first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


The flesh golem is based on the concept of the monster from Frankenstein, as indicated by the encyclopedia entry below. The titular monster brought his monster to life through the use of electricity, which is why shock damage heals flesh golems; this particular trait and the depiction of Frankenstein's monster as a cobbled-together monstrosity are both owed to James Whale's popular 1931 film adaptation of the story and other early motion-picture works based on the creature.



In SLASH'EM, flesh golems generate with 120 hit points, hit as a +2 weapon and require a +1 or better weapon to be hit.

Frankenstein's Lab is a special level in Gehennom that contains four flesh golems and Frankenstein's Monster, a strong flesh golem-like monster.


In dNetHack, flesh golems may appear among the court of a throne room ruled by a vampire lord or vampire lady.


In EvilHack, eating flesh golem meat increments one or more of your fire resistance, cold resistance, shock resistance, sleep resistance, and poison resistance; it will additionally cure stoning.

Encyclopedia entry

With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected
the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark
of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was
already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against
the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the
glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow
eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive
motion agitated its limbs.

How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how
delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I
had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I
had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful!--Great God!
His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and
arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and
flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances
only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that
seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in
which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight
black lips.

[ Frankenstein, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley ]