The gelatinous cube, b, is an amoeboid monster in NetHack. Unlike the Dungeons & Dragons creature from which it is derived, it has no means to engulf the player; however, it still possesses the means to paralyze the unwary. The gelatinous cube possesses two different kinds of paralysis attacks: the paralyzing touch is a melee attack that can be protected against with high magic cancellation, while the other one is a passive attack that can be prevented by wearing a ring of free action or not engaging in melee combat.
Gelatinous cubes are noteworthy in that, as they move, they will eat organic items they pass over and engulf most other items (exceptions being boulders or a punished player's iron ball and chain). The engulfed items are placed into the cube's inventory, making them useful for cleaning useless items out of a level. This also makes them the bane of stashes - if a cube eats a container, the container will be destroyed, though the items are recovered when the cube is slain.
Monster cubes will respect and not eat a scroll of scare monster, but you can eat one while polymorphed into a cube. Eating a scroll of scare monster, a scroll of mail, a scroll labeled YUM YUM, or any other paper item gives special messages, but no additional effect.
- You hear a slurping sound.
- You hear several slurping sounds.
- A gelatinous cube has eaten (more than) one thing somewhere out of sight on this level.
- The gelatinous cube engulfs <foo>.
- The gelatinous cube engulfs several objects.
- A gelatinous cube has engulfed - that is, picked up - (more than) one thing.
Despite its popularity (or perhaps because of it), the
gelatinous cube is also widely known as one of the sillier
role-playing monsters. It is something of a commentary on the
ubiquity of treasure-laden dungeons in the Dungeons & Dragons
universe, as the cube is a creature specifically adapted to a
dungeon ecosystem. 10 feet to the side, it travels through
standard 10-foot by 10-foot dungeon corridors, cleaning up
debris and redistributing treasure by excreting indigestible