Geek quest

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The Geek quest sees you fighting Bill Gates for the NetHack Sources. For more information on the quest branch in general, see the quest article.

Home level the Development Team's location
Locate level N/A
Goal level the Microsoft headquarter
Leader The Dev Team
Guardians Hacker
Nemesis Bill Gates
Quest Artifact The NetHack Sources

Levels

Random monsters on this Quest are generated with the following frequencies:

  • 96/175 (55%) bug
  • 24/175 (14%) phantom
  • 24/175 (14%) x
  • 6/175 (3%) P
  • 1/7 (14%) normal random monster

The Dev Team's location

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The quest home level, cleared out.

The Dev Team is inside the larger enclosure, accompanied by eight hackers.

Inside the upper enclosure are monsters whose glyphs spell out "May the force be with you", and inside the side room of the lower one are monsters spelling out "WELCOME" in the same way. Spaces are represented by random :. The walls on the level are diggable, so all h are hobbits and the r is a sewer rat, to avoid generating dwarves or rock moles that could tunnel through the walls. In Slash'EM Extended and SLASHTHEM the u is a young unicorn (presumably so the Geek cannot exploit a coaligned unicorn, or tame a pony/horse), the L is a fairly harmless baby lich, and the W is a wraith.

The downstair is located at the position of the M in the upper enclosure.

The level contains an amulet of ESP and a blindfold ("to ensure that the player can see the artwork"), two potions of Jolt Cola, a wand of digging, and eight random objects, all randomly scattered throughout the level. There are also four random traps.

Upper filler level

This is an ordinary room-and-corridor level.

Locate level

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"A level being seemingly harmless may prove to be fatal by monsters suddenly transforming one into another"
The quest locate level, showing one possible location of the downstair.

The upstair is at a random location somewhere on the level. The downstair is located at one of the six numbered spots; the others contain an amulet of life saving, an amulet of strangulation, two giant mimics imitating the downstair, and a polymorph trap. The walls are diggable and teleportation is permitted, so the two enclosed spaces should not be difficult to reach if necessary. The floor is non-diggable, however.

Scattered throughout the level are eight random objects, sixteen monsters, and eight traps.

Lower filler level(s)

This is an ordinary room-and-corridor level.

The Microsoft headquarter


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The goal level, with lava substituted for walls.

The upstair is located in the lower right corner. Bill Gates and the NetHack Sources are at the throne in the center of the spiral.

Scattered throughout the level are eight random monsters, eight packs of floppies, and four other random objects.

Messages

Entry

First time:

You now enter what is pretty known to you - it is the location of
the Holy Development Team, which in a year-long effort developed
the computer game "NetHack". 

With a sudden feeling of melancholy you remember the patches you
yourself wrote and contributed to that game. You truly believe
that this game is the best of all games known to mankind.

However -- something has changed. At first you cannot tell what,
but then you notice. Everywhere there are hostile monsters like
the ones you used to program in NetHack, but, now in reality.
What the heck is going on here?!

Next time:

Once again you approach the Dev Team's location.

If already rejected twice due to bad alignment:

As you again approach the Dev Team's location you fear it might be the last time you see this place.

Quest guardians

If #chatting before the quest is complete:

"Written any patches lately?"
"Do _you_ know what erf(3M) does?"
"How do you like this implementation of the Ravenous Bugblatter of Traal" You reply, "Be careful not to get sued for copyright infringement!"
:-)
"May the force be with you!"

If #chatting after the quest is complete:

"Looking good, <playername>!"
"Eureka! Oh, sorry, just practising..."
"As I expected. Oh, wait a minute... that's not what I expected!"
"It appears our defenses against Bill Gates have completely failed..."
"Well, there goes the neighborhood. Next we'll be seeing Space Balls."

Quest leader

When you first meet your quest leader:

"It is a pleasure to see you again, <playername>.

Horrible things have happened since our last meeting and I really need
a brave Hacker to clean up things for once and all.
Let me see whether you are really able to cope with the task ... "

When you return, having been rejected due to lack of experience:

"Please stand still while I finger(1) your state ..."

This message is not currently used:

$ finger <playername>

When you are expelled from the quest for having failed the alignment test seven times:

"This was too much. You'll never attain the state of Hackishness.
Now begone!"

When being rejected due to lack of experience:

"I see you fighting Bill Gates and finally being done in by him, who we call
The Dark Lord Of Software.

No, I can't let you go like this, I really can't see a chance of a 
<current rank> fighting against Him. 

I can only ask you to train some more until you have achieved the
Hacker's state of ability."

When being rejected due to having worse than pious alignment:

"Foo!
You have strayed from the path of <deity>!
Trying to destroy Bill Gates in this state of mind would mean the sure death
of your hackish soul!

Purify yourself, until you're again piously aligned with Our God,
and then come again and I will admit you."

When finally assigned the quest:

"I now see that you are truly worthy to fight Bill Gates, my <sister/brother>.

Half a year ago, a young programmer, known to everybody as Bill Gates, came
to me to get a hackish education. I was suspicious from the first
moment on, but I admitted him for testing and let him stay.

Several days later, upon waking up, I found the NetHack Sources to be missing.
Bill Gates was away as well.

You are my last hope. If you fail to regain the NetHack Sources, NetHack development
is doomed to stop forever!"

Encouragement

If you subsequently chat to your quest leader, you are encouraged:

"May <deity> protect you!"
"Remember, He is completely evil, yet not invulnerable!"
:-)
"I know you can do it!"
"Our fate is up to you now."
"A level being seemingly harmless may prove to be fatal by monsters
suddenly transforming one into another"
"It is rumoured that Bill Gates filled His lair with deadly traps."
"Do you know what 'memalezu' means?"
"They say that you can escape the dungeon by teleporting to level 0."
"Nobody here has an idea what to use a silver bell for."

Locate and goal levels

When first entering the locate level:

You have a sure feeling that you will soon find the entrace to the the [sic] Microsoft headquarter.
You *know* you can do it!

When returning:

Once again you enter this place and once again you are sure you will succeed.

When first entering the goal level:

You now almost smell the NetHack Sources.

When returning:

Once again you sense the NetHack Sources.

Quest nemesis

When first encountering the quest nemesis:

You will never retrieve the NetHack Sources!

Upon further meetings:

You're doomed! You will end your life as a litte programmer slave earning
$1000 ... per year! ... before taxes!

And on the 4th and subsequent meetings:

You will never succeed! You could give up now as well!

When you have the NetHack Sources, but Bill Gates is still alive:

I will now get the NetHack Sources back from you and then I will make you the MS-DOS
Project Manager. This will be enough torture for you!

Discouragement

Bill Gates will occasionally utter maledictions:

FORMAT C: /V /S
You will die now, as sure as if you quaffed a potion of cyanide!
I think I'll be generous. I will let you have a little fun with my
pet succubus before you die ...
"Perhaps you should consider the following qoute [sic] from Terry Pratchett:
 "But I don't know how to use a sword!"
 "Put the blunt end in your hand and the sharp end in the enemy!"
 "There must be more to it than that!"
 "Remember which end is which."
"What? You said 'Microsloth'? Then die, bastard!"
"I will soon format your body, mind and soul!"
"I've got an idea: we can greatly speed this up (and save much pain
for you). You just have to take your sword and push it into your
stomach. Or, if you prefer, take a COBOL programming course."
"Don't worry, your pains will soon be over!"
"I'm wondering all the time why somebody like you does something like this.
Does pain excite you or what? Well, I have a *great* sortiment of whips handy!"
"Nobody will ever need more than 640 KB of RAM."

Victory

When picking up your quest artifact:

You feel the power of the NetHack Sources flow through your body. Although you know
you have to return it to the Dev Team, you now feel like you could continue
developing NetHack on your own now.

When killing the nemesis:

You see Bill Gates lying dead in a puddle of blood. Not a second do you 
regret what you've done.

When returning to your quest leader:

"You've finally got the NetHack Sources back! I am very grateful for what you've done.

Yet, I am an old man and I will not long more be able to supervise
NetHack. Therefore I pass the duty on to your young and responsible
hands. Take the sources and expand them at your leisure, but be
careful to maintain game balance.

My ultimate secret is: Nothing is true. Everything is allowed."

When subsequently throwing the NetHack Sources to the Dev Team:

"Yes, the NetHack Sources are really yours now. Use them wisely.

And remember: Nothing is true. Everything is allowed.
Be careful to maintain game balance."

Post-quest

When talking to the Dev Team after the quest:

Latest news regarding the Amulet Of Yendor?

When talking to the Dev Team after getting the Amulet:

"Now I see you with the Amulet Of Yendor shining brightly in your
pack. Honestly, I didn't believe you'd (or anyone else, for that
matter) would manage to tear it from the hands of Moloch.

Your way is up now, back to the first level of the Dungeon, and
beyond there. You now must leave the dungeon as you've entered
it.

Then you will get to four planes, dedicated to the four arcane elements
of earth, air, fire and water. If thou successfully pass all these,
you will eventually reach the stars (or astra, as the Greek called
them). This is where the sacred High Temples of the aligned gods
are located. 

Return the amulet to <deity> at His altar, and you will be richly rewarded."

Miscellaneous

When being rejected for permanently changing alignment:

"You have betrayed all those who hold allegiance to <deity>, as you once did.
My allegiance to <deity> holds fast and I cannot condone or accept what you 
have done.

Leave this place.  You shall never set foot at the Dev Team's location again.
That which you seek is now lost forever, for without the Bell of Opening, 
you will never be able to enter the place where he who has the Amulet 
resides.

Go now!  You are banished from this place.

When talking to the Dev Team while carrying the NetHack Sources, but Bill Gates is still alive:

"The silver bell which was hoarded by Bill Gates will be
essential in locating the Amulet of Yendor."