From NetHackWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Graffiti refers to the messages engraved on the floors in NetHack either by shopkeepers ("Closed for Inventory") or on a random basis. These messages are often helpful tips, but sometimes are silly.

Graves have their own random epitaphs.

Random messages

Graffiti messages can be taken from rumors.tru or rumors.fal, or can be one of the following additional messages. Their origins are listed in the code comments.[1]

  • Elbereth
  • Vlad was here
  • ad aerarium
  • Owlbreath
  • Galadriel (Character in Tolkien's books, unattributed in source)
  • Kilroy was here (A popular graffiti)
  • A.S. ->
  • <- A.S. (Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth)
  • You won't get it up the steps (The original Adventure game)
  • Lasciate ogni speranza o voi ch'entrate. (Dante's Inferno: Abandon hope all ye who enter here)
  • Well Come (Engraving from the TV show The Prisoner)
  • We apologize for the inconvenience. (Douglas Adams's So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. Note the Americanized orthography.)
  • See you next Wednesday (Wednesday Thriller shows)
  • notary sojak (Smokey Stover comic, but "sojac" changed to the current spelling)
  • For a good time call 867-5309 (The 80s' song 867-5309/Jenny)
  • Please don't feed the animals. (Various zoos around the world)
  • Madam, in Eden, I'm Adam. (A palindrome)
  • Two thumbs up! (Siskel & Ebert TV shows)
  • Hello, World! (The source comment attributes this to "the first C program", but in reality it refers to the legendary "hello, world" program in the K&R book, thus the first C program many encounter when learning C. In K&R the words are in lower case and the exclamation mark is not used.)
  • You've got mail! (AOL, only available when MAIL is enabled at compile time. See also: scroll of mail.)
  • As if! (The film Clueless)

Some of these messages can be confusing: “Elbereth” can also indicate a bones level, and “ad aerarium” can also indicate a vault teleporter. However, random messages appear as though written with a magic marker, whereas vault messages are always written in the dust,[2] and player-written Elbereth engravings rarely come from markers.


  1. engrave.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 13: List of extra graffiti messages
  2. mklev.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 491: Niche trap engraving type

This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.1.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to {{nethack-360}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.