Hack 1.0

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Hack 1.0 is the first public release of Hack. Andries Brouwer published it to the (now-obsolete) Usenet newsgroup net.sources in December 1984.


The original postings are all archived, mostly on Google Groups:

Part 15 is missing from Google Groups; the above link is from a different site. By examining the code and the makefile, it is seen that the files are named rnd.c, rumors, and savelev.h; the above Part 15 also includes empty perm and record files. At least two other archives of Hack code are also missing the part with the rumors file, namely a port to the Amiga and Hack 1.0.2; it seems that something in the rumors file did not agree with the news site from which Google Groups obtained its older Usenet archives.

Even before the eventual location of an extant Part 15, it was possible to reconstruct a working Hack 1.0 distribution by using similar files from later ports and versions. Ali Harlow[1] has a Hack 1.0 distribution at [2] which was created in this fashion; accordingly, that distribution has a very different savelev.h to the original (whereas rnd.c is functionally the same and rumors has only one line different).

The Hack 1.0 source code is also available on NetHackWiki for browsing and annotation: Hack 1.0 source code.

The adventurer

The player may choose a Tourist, a Speleologist, a Fighter, a Knight, a Cave-man, or a Wizard. No option to play as female is available.

The adventurer has experience, hit points, armor class, and strength. He may advance to experience level 14.

The initial pet is a little dog.

Dungeon features

The dungeon in Hack 1.0 has no branches; there is one way up and one way down. The first 25 levels or so consist of rooms, and beyond that, the adventurer encounters mazes.

Special rooms are shops, treasure zoos, and vaults. If the player's login name is "david", David's Treasure Zoo appears much more frequently.

The "david" in question is David S. H. Rosenthal [3], who worked with Andries Brouwer in 1982. One of David's students at the Universiteit van Amsterdam demonstrated the need for the shopkeeper to have a limited wallet and be very strong when made angry by theft. A wand of digging was used to tunnel into the shop. Items were repeatedly removed and sold back to the shopkeeper. At that time the shopkeeper had a bottomless wallet and never got angry, so the student became extraordinarily rich overnight.

Traps are:

The Amulet of Yendor is found under a boulder in a maze level. The Wizard of Yendor does not appear in Hack 1.0.


The following monsters may be encountered:

Name Symbol Notes
acid blob a  
bat B  
centaur C  
chameleon :  
cockatrice c Stoning by hissing is an instadeath
demon &  
dog d  
dragon D As the modern red dragon
ettin e  
floating eye E  
fog cloud f  
freezing sphere F  
gelatinous cube g  
ghost (space)  
giant ant A  
giant beetle b  
giant rat r  
gnome G  
guard @  
hobgoblin H  
homunculus h  
imp i  
jackal J  
jaguar j  
killer bee k  
kobold K  
large dog d  
leocrotta l  
leprechaun L  
little dog d  
long worm w if NOWORM not defined at compile time
lurker above ~  
mimic M  
minotaur m  
nurse n  
nymph N  
orc O  
owlbear o  
piercer p  
purple worm P  
quasit Q  
quivering blob q  
rust monster R Reduces enchantment rather than truly rusting
scorpion s  
shopkeeper @  
snake S  
stalker I  
tengu t  
trapper ,  
troll T  
umber hulk U  
unicorn u  
vampire V  
violet fungi v  
wraith W  
wumpus w if NOWORM defined at compile time
xan x  
xorn X  
yellow light y  
yeti Y  
zombie Z  
zruty z  



Hack 1.0 has only one artifact, Orcrist. Any weapon may be named Orcrist and will do d10 extra points damage to orcs. There can even be more than one Orcrist.

In Hack 1.0.2, Orcrist would be limited to two handed swords.


Only the Amulet of Yendor and the cheap plastic imitation exist in Hack 1.0.


Food items in Hack 1.0 are:

The tin did not contain the remains of monsters, but rather a randomly-chosen food such as peaches or, if the adventurer is lucky, spinach.

The dead lizard was a found object rather than a corpse; live lizards did not exist in Hack 1.0. It could reduce confusion, but had no effect on cockatrices.


Weapons in Hack 1.0 are:


Tools in Hack 1.0 are:

The ice box is the only container. Then as now, it preserved corpses, and was generally too heavy (and too rare) to be useful for inventory management.


Armor items in Hack 1.0 are:


Potions in Hack 1.0 are:


Scrolls in Hack 1.0 are:

The scroll of damage weapon acts as the modern scroll of enchant weapon does when cursed. The scroll of genocide acts, in all cases, as the modern blessed scroll; but most symbols refer to only one monster anyway.


Wands in Hack 1.0 are:


Rings in Hack 1.0 are:

Because charisma does not exist in Hack 1.0, the ring of adornment is a useless item.


Gems in Hack 1.0 are:

and worthless pieces of blue, red, yellow, and green glass.

Other items

Other items not appearing in the above categories are:

It is not possible to pick up an iron chain, nor can they be generated from iron golems, because these do not exist in Hack 1.0.