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In NetHack, Perseus is the name given to an historic statue of a knight found on Medusa's Island.


The statue of Perseus appears in all versions of Medusa's domain, with his location dependent on the version and tied to the down stairs location. Two versions of the isle have the statue occupy the same tile as both Medusa and the down stair; the other two have multiple eligible squares for Medusa and the down stair to appear on, and his statue will appear on one of the remaining squares.

The statue of Perseus has an independent chance of containing each of the following items:[1][2][3][4]

  • A 14 chance of a cursed +0 shield of reflection on the second map, with a 34 chance on all other maps
  • A 34 chance of a +0 pair of levitation boots on the second map, with a 14 chance on all other maps
  • A 12 chance of a blessed +2 scimitar
  • A 12 chance of a sack


Perseus's statue is often checked for a source of reflection by a hero who either manages to kill Medusa without one, or else plans to pilfer the statue before taking her on - characters should have the required items for at least one of the usual strategies listed on her article readied and equipped, lest they end up like Perseus. His statue can also potentially provide a source of levitation, either for later points of the game such as the Elemental Planes or for crossing Medusa's island freely (e.g. after digging past).

The raven-filled variant of Medusa's island is likely to have the statue on a different island from Medusa herself, making it safer to break the statue but much harder to actually reach either area if the character lacks most other means of crossing the sea.


Perseus is named for the Greek mythological figure that beheaded and killed Medusa, using his polished shield to view her reflection and avoid meeting her gaze directly. The items found in the statue each reflect the tools Perseus was gifted for the task of killing Medusa: Zeus or Hermes gave him a set of winged sandals and an adamantine harpe (a sword with a sickle or scythe in the blade, hence the scimitar); the polished shield was a gift from Athena that would allow him to safely view Medusa; and the Hesperides gave him a knapsack (kibisis) with which to safely contain Medusa's head as well. The sack in particular also serves as the inspiration for both the Wallet of Perseus in SLASH'EM and its variants and the Bag of the Hesperides in EvilHack.



In FIQHack, the statue of Perseus is guaranteed to contain the shield of reflection and a pair of levitation boots, with the same independent 12 chance of the scimitar and sack each generating within the statue.


In EvilHack, the +2 scimitar generated within Perseus's statue is replaced by a +2 saber, which additionally has a 120 chance of being made into an appropriate artifact (i.e. either Werebane or Grayswandir), with an equal probability for each artifact.

Encyclopedia entry

See the encyclopedia entry for Medusa.