Lizard

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For the class of monster that includes this creature, see Lizard (monster class).

A lizard, :, is a monster that appears in NetHack.

While seemingly unremarkable as enemies, lizard corpses and tins serve a vital purpose to aspiring adventurers - eating lizard meat cures gradual stoning and reduces the duration of any confusion and stunning to two turns.[1][2] Lizards themselves have stoning resistance, and carrying a corpse on hand counteracts the immediate stoning that a cockatrice hiss can initiate during the new moon.[3] The lizard is the only member of its monster class to have these properties.

Monsters can use lizard corpses as defensive items, and will eat lizard meat to cure stoning, stunning and/or confusion[4] - monsters with a tin of lizard meat have a 23 chance of opening it.[5]

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Lizard meat now grants temporary petrification resistance, like the meat of all stoning-resistant monsters. You will also get a message when you gain temporary stoning resistance such as: "You feel less concerned about becoming petrified." and when that effect expires you get "You no longer feel secure from petrification." message.

Generation

Killing a lizard always leaves a corpse unless it is done via disintegration or engulfing.

Strategy

Most players carry at least one lizard corpse in inventory, both to lower the odds of slowly turning to stone from footrice attacks and to immediately cure any such stoning should it occur. Lizard corpses do not rot and cannot become tainted from aging, though they can still be too old to sacrifice - as such, they are a very common autopickup exception.

Note that you do not have to finish the lizard corpse to prevent gradual stoning: simply taking a bite is enough. This can prove useful and allow you to get a couple of "unstonings" per corpse, especially since a hostile monster (usually the one attempting to stone you) will often interrupt you meal. Note that lizard meat does not prevent you from turning to stone if you make contact with or eat a stoning corpse (e.g. accidentally touching a cockatrice corpse by feeling around on the floor without gloves while blind); lizard meat also does not restore any intrinsic speed lost from turning to stone. In addition, be mindful of killing lizards around meat-eating pets, as they may quickly snatch up the corpse and consume it.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Monsters can now use the wand of undead turning against you if there are any corpses in your inventory; this is most likely to occur with lizard corpses you are carrying.

History

Both the lizard and lizard corpses date all the way back to Hack121, a variant of Jay Fenlason's Hack, where they were first known as dead lizards; live lizards also appeared in Hack121. Prior to Hack 1.0, dead lizards were simply normal food items; from Hack 1.0 to Hack 1.0.2, stoning by cockatrice hissing is an instadeath, and lizard corpses reduce the duration of confusion instead. Hack 1.0.3 introduces gradual stoning and gives lizard corpses their additional anti-stoning function. NetHack 3.0.6 're-introduces' the lizard as a monster, and their corpses are no longer a distinct item.

Messages

You feel limber!
You ate a lizard corpse and cured stoning.
What a pity - <you> just ruined a future piece of <fine> art!
As above while you are hallucinating; if your charisma is above 15, the message will say "fine art", and just "art" otherwise.[6] This also applies to monsters that eat a lizard corpse or tin to cure stoning while you are hallucinating.[7]
<Monster> is slowing down. <Monster> eats a lizard corpse. <Monster> seems limber!
A monster ate a lizard corpse to cure stoning.
<Monster> is slowing down. <Monster> eats a lizard corpse. <Monster> seems steadier now.
The monster ate a lizard corpse to cure stunning or confusion.[8] The "slowing down" message appears incorrectly in this case because the "eat a lizard corpse to unstone" function is called. This also means that a monster with intrinsic speed loses it if it eats a lizard corpse.[9][10]
You hear chewing.
As above, but unseen.

Variants

SLASH'EM

In SLASH'EM, lizard corpses are very hard for player vampires to utilize, as they cannot drain corpses more than a few turns old. It is still worth carrying one for the protection they provide on the new moon, but a vampire will instead need to rely on a potion of acid, the stone to flesh spell or an amulet versus stone.

UnNetHack

In UnNetHack, player vampires face a similar dilemma to SLASH'EM, and should stock up on acid or use the stone to flesh spell.

dNetHack

In dNetHack, you can make potions of monster blood via tinning kit, which has the effects of eating that monster's flesh when quaffed; player vampires, incantifiers and android Anachrononauts, can stockpile the blood of lizards or any acidic monster to cure stoning in the mid- and late game. Cave lizard corpses provide the same benefits as does their blood, though their corpses eventually rot away unlike normal lizard corpses - the corpses are also much heavier to carry.

A lizard corpse is practically essential for any player to protect against not only stoning from cockatrices, but the flesh to stone monster spell and the clawing attack of a teraphim tannah.

The November NetHack Tournament

In The November NetHack Tournament, the DevTeam Office has a peaceful lizard known as the Lizard of Yendor.

Encyclopedia entry

Lizards, snakes and the burrowing amphisbaenids make up the
order Squamata, meaning the scaly ones. The elongate, slim,
long-tailed bodies of lizards have become modified to enable
them to live in a wide range of habitats. Lizards can be
expert burrowers, runners, swimmers and climbers, and a few
can manage crude, short-distance gliding on rib-supported
"wings". Most are carnivores, feeding on invertebrate and
small vertebrate prey, but others feed on vegetation.

[ Macmillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia ]

References