Orc zombie

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An orc zombie, Z, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is a zombified orc that is the first monster from the zombie monster class to appear in groups. Orc zombies can follow you to other levels if they are adjacent.

An orc zombie has a single claw attack.


Randomly generated orc zombies may occur in small groups of 2 to 4, and are always hostile.

In a game with Orcish Town, it is possible for named orc zombies to appear elsewhere in the dungeon, carrying the same loot as other orcs.

Orc zombies may appear among the zombies and other monsters that are part of the first quest monster class for Priests, and make up 24175 of the monsters that are randomly generated on the Priest quest. The branch also has several undead-filled graveyards that include orc zombies among their ranks.

An orc zombie will leave an aged orc corpse upon death.[1][2]


Groups of orc zombies may be an unwelcome surprise for a poorly-kitted early character, but they are infinitely less of a hazard than groups of live orcs: they cannot use items of any kind and only have slightly better base AC. Player orcs may appreciate orc zombies for providing corpses to convert cross-aligned altars with, or else summon demons on co-aligned ones - the age of the corpse thankfully makes no difference for either purpose. Conversely, protection racketeers will want to avoid killing orc zombies themselves due to the amount of experience they give in order to minimize level gains.


The orc zombie first appears in NetHack 3.0.0, where most of the various zombies are first distinguished from each other.



In SLASH'EM, orc zombies can be created by using the raise zombies technique while adjacent to the corpse of any orc.

Four orc zombies are generated in the throne room of Grund's Stronghold at level creation.


In GruntHack, orc zombies are replaced with the zombie racial monster, which orcs are eligible to generate as. Any non-undead orc monster killed by a zombie will become an orc zombie.

Encyclopedia entry

The zombi ... is a soulless human corpse, still dead, but taken from the grave and endowed by sorcery with a mechanical semblance of life, -- it is a dead body which is made to walk and act and move as if it were alive.

[ W. B. Seabrook ]


  1. src/mon.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 147: Converting monster index of undead to corpses of their living counterparts
  2. src/mon.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 372: Undead corpses and their ages are handled with other "special" death drops