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A python, S, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is a type of non-poisonous snake that has infravision, and it can swim like other snakes, but will not hide under objects.

A python has a bite attack, a touch attack, a holding attack that doubles as a drowning attack, and a second holding attack.


Randomly generated pythons are always created hostile.

Pythons generate among the random S that are part of the first quest monster class for Archeologists and make up 2435 of the monsters that randomly generate on the Archeologist quest.

Pythons generated at level creation are given a random item to hide under, despite lacking the ability to hide.[1]


Pythons are rarely remarkable or dangerous in most contexts: at 3 speed they are far slower than player characters and other snakes, and though they can immobilize a character, their attacks do not deal significant damage. However, their holding attack can drown characters near water, making them a source of YASD for the unsuspecting. Unlike giant eels and other sea monsters with drowning attacks, pythons are not found near water any more frequently than other monsters, making it easy to forget - pythons also use a different message for their holding attack than other drowning monsters.

Be especially wary of pythons while crossing the waters of Medusa's Island - setting a MSGTYPE rule for the python's message in your options can be a helpful reminder. Greased armor or an oilskin cloak can also protect from their holding attacks.


The python first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


Pythonidae, commonly known as pythons, are a family of nonvenomous snakes found in Africa, Asia, and Australia that contains some of the largest snakes in the world - ten genera and 39 species are currently recognized, including the genus Python (or "true pythons"). Pythons are non-venomous snakes that hunt via ambush predation and constrict their prey to suffocate it prior to consumption: they will typically strike at and bite their prey of choice to gain hold of it, then use their physical strength to coil their muscular bodies around the prey animal, effectively suffocating it and causing cardiac arrest before swallowing it whole. Collectively, the pythons are among the most well-documented-and-studied constrictor snakes, much like other non-venomous snakes such as the boas.

Pythons are oviparous, laying eggs that females incubate until they hatch. While many species are available in the exotic pet trade, caution is needed with larger species due to potential danger. Pythons are poached for their meat and skin, leading to a billion-dollar global trade, and can also carry diseases such as salmonella. They are used in African traditional medicine to treat ailments like rheumatism and mental illnesses, and their body parts, including blood and organs, are believed to have various healing properties. In some African cultures, pythons have significant roles in folklore and mythology, often symbolizing strength or a sacred status.


<The python> grabs you!
A python hit you with its holding attack; their first holding attack can drown you.



In SLASH'EM, pythons hit as +1 weapons.

Pythons can be generated in real zoos, and will not randomly generate in Gehennom. The Snake Pit of the Lawful Quest may contain pythons among the random 2-4 S generated at level creation.


In dNetHack, 15 of the monsters randomly generated on the Water Temple level of the Chaos Temple Quest will be pythons.

Four pythons appear within one of the rooms in Demogorgon's lair containing the statue trap of Shaktari if his dwelling appears as the third Abyss level.

Encyclopedia entry

See the encyclopedia entry for snake.