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This article is about the invisible monster. For monsters with the M2_STALK flag, see follower.

A stalker, E, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is an elemental being that is always generated invisible.[1] Stalkers are different from the rest of their monster class in a few aspects: they are the only non-mindless monster of the group, the only one classified as an animal, the only one that lacks any MR score, and the only one that can leave a corpse.

A stalker has a single claw attack - in addition to invisibility, it possesses flight, infravision and the ability to see invisible, and will follow the player to other levels if adjacent to them. Stalkers will also wander around randomly; players that polyself into stalkers are stunned for the duration of the polyform.

Eating a stalker corpse or tin will stun the character and turn them invisible for 50-149 turns if they are not already invisible, while eating one when already invisible will turn the player permanently invisible and convey the see invisible intrinsic.[2] Wearing a mummy wrapping counts as being visible for this purpose.


Stalkers are always generated invisible as indicated above, and randomly generated stalkers will always be hostile.[1] Stalkers may be generated by a hostile spellcaster casting the summon nasties monster spell.

The stalker is the second quest monster for Samurai, and makes up 14% of the monsters randomly generated in the Samurai quest. Stalkers are also generated upon the initial creation of each quest level: one each on the home and upper filler levels, nine in the locate level, three in the lower filler level(s), and nine at the goal level. Stalkers are also part of the first quest monster class for Monks and the second quest class for Samurai.


Stalkers can hit fairly hard with their single attack and move at the same base speed as the player character - in addition to being invisible, their erratic wandering movements make them annoying to fight or avoid, unless you have a means of detecting them such as see invisible or telepathy.

Stalker meat is one of the more reliable sources of the see invisible intrinsic, either through eating two separate servings in quick succession or else eating one with another source of invisibility on hand. As eating stalkers stuns you, be sure to avoid doing so in the midst of a fight unless you can cure it quickly (e.g., with a unicorn horn); keeping a mummy wrapping around is also advisable if you plan on shopping at any point afterward.


The stalker first appears in Hack for PDP-11, a variant of Jay Fenlason's Hack, where it is known as the invisible stalker; it is included in the initial bestiary for Hack 1.0, with the name shortened to "stalker" in order to avoid redundancy from automatically prefixing monster names with "invisible" when relaying actions referring to an invisible monster.

From Hack 1.0 to NetHack 3.2.3, stalkers used the I glyph; in NetHack 3.3.0, the stalker is moved to the elemental monster class, E, and I is repurposed to indicate the last known position of any invisible monster.


The invisible stalker is a monster that appears in Dungeons & Dragons, where it is a type of air elemental; this is likely the basis for making the stalker part of the elemental monster class in NetHack.


You feel hidden!
You permanently gained the invisibility intrinsic and see invisible by eating a stalker while already temporarily invisible.



In SLASH'EM, stalkers that drop corpses will always drop invisible ones.

At least one stalker is generated within the Cloud Bank of the Lawful Quest at level creation, with a 35 chance of a second one being placed nearby. All the given information also applies to SlashTHEM.


In GruntHack, stalkers leave invisible corpses as in SLASH'EM.

Stalkers are treated as permanently stunned, which may cause them to occasionally attack other monsters.