From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A gug is a type of monster that appears in SLASH'EM, dNetHack, SlashTHEM, and Hack'EM.


There are several differences in attributes and even monster class between the gug as it appears in dNetHack and its appearances in SLASH'EM and related variants.

In SLASH'EM and its variants, the gug, Z, is a member of the zombie monster class.

Gugs are non-mindless humanoid undead that possess two claw attacks and a paralyzing bite, and have the typical resistances to cold, sleep, poison, and draining magic. They will pick up weapons, food and magical items, are capable of tunneling with a pick-axe, and can follow you to other levels if they are close enough. A tame gug has a chance of turning traitor.


Randomly generated gugs often appear in large groups. A gug never leaves a corpse upon death.


Gugs are decently hard-hitting and move at a speed of 18, making gug swarms incredibly dangerous from the mid-game on even for fast characters - being paralyzed and then surrounded by a group of gugs is a painful source of potential deaths. Free action can neutralize the paralyzing bites, while MC3 can significantly reduce its threat.

Since gugs are not mindless, telepathy can and should be used to scan for them when possible: a Z that shows up via telepathy can either be a gug, a ghoul mage or a ghoul queen, the latter two of which are quite dangerous in their own right.

As a polyform

Gugs are among some of the better polyforms available in SLASH'EM, due to their speed and paralyzing bite; they can also wear all forms of armor.

In dNetHack, the gug, Y, is instead a form of apelike creature. It possesses many of the same traits as the gugs of SLASH'EM, though it only has cold resistance, and it has six attacks as opposed to their four - gugs have one weapon attack, two claw attacks, a grabbing attack, a paralyzing bite, and a third claw attack that can steal items.

Due to their giant size, gugs can break through locked doors, and their anatomy allows them to wield any weapon as one-handed. Seeing a gug can inflict sanity loss and confer a point of insight; killing a gug also raises your insight.
In SlashTHEM, gugs are considered to be part of the same race as ghouls.

In Hack'EM, gugs are additionally vulnerable to fire damage.


Gugs are man-eating creatures that originate from The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, a novella by H.P. Lovecraft that he completed a draft of in 1927; the draft unrevised and unpublished in his lifetime, and was first published posthumously by Arkham House in 1943. It is both the longest of the stories in his Dream Cycle series, and the longest Lovecraft work to feature Randolph Carter, a recurring protagonist within his stories.

As described by the excerpt from the story (used for their encyclopedia entry in dNetHack), gugs are large black-furred beasts with fanged, vertically-opening jaws that reach an estimated sixteen feet in height and weigh nearly 2,000 pounds. Their two eyes protrude from either side of their head, and their limbs split at the elbows, terminating in four separate forepaws. Gugs dwell in the underworld of the Dreamlands and worship the Great Ones, the gods of Earth who reside in Kadath.

Encyclopedia entry

SLASH'EM, SlashTHEM and Hack'EM

These foul creatures dwell in the endless darkness of the
Gulf of N'Kai, scavenging the bones of whatever luckless
intruders have stumbled into it.  It is suspected that they
may be some warped form of ghoul, but few have survived
seeing them so information is scarce.


It was a paw, fully two feet and a half across, and equipped
with formidable talons. Alter it came another paw, and after
that a great black-furred arm to which both of the paws were
attached by short forearms. Then two pink eyes shone, and the
head of the awakened Gug sentry, large as a barrel, wabbled
into view. The eyes jutted two inches from each side, shaded
by bony protuberances overgrown with coarse hairs. But the
head was chiefly terrible because of the mouth. That mouth
had great yellow fangs and ran from the top to the bottom of
the head, opening vertically instead of horizontally.
[ The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, by H.P. Lovecraft ]