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I started playing Rogue back about 1983 or '84, a version packaged and sold (for about $15) by a software company which I've never heard of since. Once I got access to a modem, around 1992 or so, I found Hack, and from there, Nethack. I wouldn't say I played continually -- but I don't think there's been a year in the past 28 or so that I haven't spent at least a few lives trying to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor in some form or another. Every computer I've ever owned has had some version of the game installed on it.

And, lo and behold, I finally ascended for the first time on 29 January of this year, much to my surprise... on my girlfriend's computer. So I STILL haven't ascended on my own stinking machine, but I'm optimistic that it won't take another 28 years to succeed. I used nethackwiki extensively in that ascension -- here's hoping I can continue to use it and add to the below section.

Update: Well, there you go... spend 28 years working on your first ascension; get your second five days later. :D

Update update: Finally finished. I guess I'll have to learn how to play pac-man now?

Ascensions: (repeats don't count)

  • 29 January 11- Dude-Val-Hum-Fem-Law ascended to demigoddess-hood.
    • You never polymorphed an object
    • You did not wish for any artifacts
  • 3 February 11- Kn-Kni-Hum-Mal-Law ascended to demigod-hood.
    • 2506 creatures killed
    • 19 species genocided
    • You never changed form
    • You did not wish for any artifacts
    • 4222412 points after 65513 moves... gotta work on trimming those down.
  • 16 October 11- Pest-Pri-Hum-Mal-Law ascended to demigod-hood.
    • 16 species genocided
    • You never changed form
    • You did not wish for any artifacts
  • 23 October 11- Sma-Sam-Hum-Mal-Law ascended to demigod-hood.
    • 6 species genocided.
    • You never changed form
    • You did not wish for any artifacts (but I found or was gifted: Excalibur, the Tsurugi, Demonbane, Trollbane, Sunsword, Stormbringer, Sting, and Orcrist -- and I did FIND both Sting and Orcrist; I was going to make them to sell to a shopkeeper and my hand kept slipping as I named it "Sming" :/ Lots of bones in this one.)
    • 4801566 points after 91587 turns. I took about 20K turns setting up a farm in the Big Room in the hopes of getting someone to drop either a scroll of charging, a scroll of genocide, some kind of gloves other than plain leather gloves, or a magic marker. None of these. After losing my speed boots and my second robe to a destroy armor spell, I finally realized that Magic Resistance was not something I could spare, so I vaporized the castle wand to get a CoMR -- a lesson I probably should have learned earlier.
    • That's probably the last one I can do for a bit using Excalibur... I'll have to be creative from now on.
  • 10 December 11- Indiana-Arc-Gno-Mal-Neu ascended to demigod-hood.
    • 15 species genocided.
    • You never changed form.
    • You did not wish for any artifacts (dual wielding a +4 silver saber next to, alternately, a +4 Vorpal Sword and a +2 Magicbane got me through).
    • I found a few polymorph traps in this one, and I had a staff of dragons for most of gehennom -- four at one point, each adult and effective. The last one died on the plane of Air. Most useful pets I've ever had.
    • My first Neutral, non-human, and archeologist all in one.
    • 3699450 points in 50755 turns; level 21 with 189 max hp (Death stole about 15 from me). The ride up was hard; I fended off Rodney fourteen times, and he double troubled more than I've ever seen. I think next time I'm going to level up a little higher before waking him; he's more formidable than I am used to. I survived... after burning through FOUR amulets of life saving.
  • 11 December 11- Cimmerian-Bar-Hum-Mal-Neu ascended to demigod-hood.
    • 13 species genocided.
    • You never changed form.
    • You did not wish for any artifacts (but was gifted Cleaver and Giantslayer, and FOUND Vorpy, Sunsword, Demonbane, Grimtooth, and Ogresmasher)
    • 8 wishes -- and had 3 left when I ascended. Found a wand of wishing about 5-10 floors above Medusa; first time that's ever happened.
    • Killed 2780 total with 185 ogres, which is a lot, I think.
    • 4612384 points in 56924 turns, level 26 with a max of 351 hp. The lesson to take away from this game is that, even as a heavily-armed and -armored tank, which I was (+5 Vorpy & +5 silver saber and an AC below -35), if the mysterious force wants to rape you, you're going to get frustrated and screw stuff up. I must have walked across dl 47 thirty times. Also, murder costs you your telepathy, and without spellcasting, crystal balls, or telepathy, doing the 'C'all trick to identify your high priest on the Astral Plane is a lot harder. So, limit being a murderer when possible... probably a good rule in life.
  • 4 February 12- Pork-Rog-Orc-Mal-Cha ascended to demigod-hood
    • 11 species genocided (the standard "h" and "L" -- not nearly as many as I would have liked; I was cancelling disenchanters at every turn on the ascension run)
    • You never changed form
    • You did not wish for any artifacts (because there aren't any good chaotic ones but Stormbringer, the first guaranteed sac gift -- but I finished with Stormy, the MKoT, a +8 Sunsword, +4 Vorpy, +8 Fire Brand, and Ogresmasher. Those player monsters in Astral enchant the shit out of their stuff...)
    • 11 wishes -- found a 0:2 above the castle and the castle wand was 0:3 itself. Full of wishes. Had the last wrest left... I should have burnt it on gold before ascending.
    • Final combat loadout: +6 Stormy with a +5 Silver Saber (I had been using an elven broadsword offhand till Gehennom) and 15 +3 elven daggers, "oR, GDSM, speed boots, GoP, +3 Cloak of Protection, a +5 Helm of Brilliance -- and I was a spellcasting Pork the Orc).
    • Killed 2978 total. Ok, let me be perfectly clear on this: I did not kill 255 gremlins. I killed a few. But gremlins were already all over the damn place when I showed up in Juiblex's swamp, and if I had conflict on when the MF made me walk through that level five or six times, I don't think I can be properly blamed for it. I very likely did kill 128 leprechauns, but to be fair, those little shits deserved it. The 129 killer bees... that probably happened, too. At the end, especially, I was chilling in Astral a bit and a lot of priests kept summoning insects. I can't be responsible for that. When you have half-damage, -37 AC, and 326 hp, hanging out in Astral a while surrounded by insects just isn't so scary.
    • 3299784 points in 64611 moves, level 27 and ascended with NINE artifacts... should have named one of my daggers Sting before the end, too. So many points left on the table when you're anxious to ascend.
  • 29 April 12- Rick-Ran-Hum-Mal-Neu ascended to demigod-hood.
    • It's the first time I've ascended without any levels or hitpoints -- I got to level 16 and 170 hp, but that was in the planes; I made level 15 probably four times. I found a bones file with a bunch of really good daggers in it before I ran out of my starting +2 arrows, so I had a +3 to wield and a stack of about 20 +2's to fling at people. Essentially, I didn't fight anyone melee till I was nearly at the quest, by which time I had picked up a pet white dragon, so I didn't have to fight many after that, either. (Finally abandoned little Cleo on the ascension run; she kept wanting to stop to eat.)
    • 13 genocides -- h, L, and R; standard.
    • You never changed form. I should have, right at the end; I had a wand and a ring of poly control...
    • 6 wishes, no artifacts.
    • 2170 total kills. Killed once myself; I ascended with a max of about 178 hp, but two "oLS left. Also ascended with my +5 shield of reflection unequipped... stupid mistake; I kept taking it off to cast and forgetting to re-wear it.
    • 3202644 points in 51040 moves, with Magicbane, the Longbow of Diana, Sting, Orcrist, Vorpy, all three invocation artifacts (which I usually ditch in Sanctum)... and I thought I picked up Excalibur from one of those bones files, but I guess I mislaid it. Damn shame. And 47826 pieces of gold, which I also usually ditch, but thought I'd go for some points this time. They didn't help. :/
  • 6 August 12- Captain-Cav-Dwa-Mal-Law ascended to demigod-hood.
    • This one would have been hard to screw up, although I tried. I found +1 crystal plate in the second room I walked into, and I was strong enough to wear it. Then got Grayswandir at nearly the first sacrifice. And grabbed a magic lamp in Minetown that I converted (after Sokoban) to GDSM. I almost ate a doppelganger once, thinking it was a wraith, which would have ruined half my armor in Gehennom... but I don't even remember any other close calls. Running through with endgame-ready weapon and armor before you hit level 6 sure does make it easier.
    • 8 genocides -- first time I've ever ascended a dwarf; I was (and am) terrified of mind flayers... and of self-genociding.
    • You never changed form. Had the two rings ready to do it, but didn't bother; I'm lazy.
    • A mere four wishes, with five (including a magic lamp and the wrest) left in the bag. Should have wished for more bling; I ascended with 130-odd gems and 50K+ zorkmids. Still a lame score.
    • 3912152 points in just over 51,000 moves, with AC of -48 and 415 hp.
  • 22 December 12- Florist-Tou-Hum-Mal-Neu ascended to demigod-hood.
    • It seemed like it was going to be the end of the world before I managed a tourist. Luckily, the Mayans mis-prognosticated that one. I started this one several months ago, got distracted working on a masters thesis, and finally came back to finish it off. Tourists are hard; it's hard to damage people -- I used a mattock for an awful long time before I got altar-camping nice and efficiently. I finally worked up to a +4 Magicbane and a +6 silver saber, and then I felt ok. This was the first time I got the castle wand without having found genocide first -- so I actually had to do combat with an arch-lich and a mind-flayer. First three wishes were SDSM, genocide, and a magic marker for more genocides :)
    • The traditional 13 genocides -- h, L, and R. 2484 creatures vanished, and I do not apologize for farming for several thousand turns. I had a friendly altar, several bags of tricks, and a blessed PYEC -- and I *still* never found a means of levitation; I had to burn a wish for the ring when the spell let me down on the Plane of Air. (Only got six Nazguls... one of these days I'll get the complete set.)
    • I never changed form. I had a polymorph control ring pretty early on, but I wasn't confident enough to try something new with an otherwise-promising game.
    • I used 7 wishes -- SDSM, helm of brilliance, marker, genocide, ring of levitation, and two other things; I forget. Zero magic lamps, about four cloudy potions -- those were paralysis, and I generally saw them in flight headed at me.
    • No artifact wishes, although I wish I could have. I found or was gifted: Magicbane, Mojo, Sunsword, Firebrand, Cleaver (which kept me alive a good while), Trollsbane, Vorpy, and Sting.
    • 3388502 in 48,368 moves, with 266 hp
  • 7 Jan 13- Teeth-Hea-Gno-Mal-Neu ascended to demigod-hood.
    • Dr. Teeth, from the Muppets, get it? No? Nevermind then. Like the Healer strategy said, the key to this one was patience -- and flexibility. I switched primary weapons probably four times in this one, along with having a small stack of first darts, then daggers. I never did wind up improving my magic skills; I spent skill slots on dagger, unicorn horn, long sword, and of course staff. I used, like I meant it, Sting, Giantslayer, Firebrand, Vorpy, and the Staff of Misspelling, which is probably as much weapon flexibility as I ever have used.
    • Zero conducts -- I changed form on accident once, to a Vrock or some other demon, if I remember right. It lasted about 12 seconds, and then I was right back to healer, only with less armor. :/
    • 13 genocides, like I do. 2744 monsters total, and I thought it was more than that -- I was sure I'd extincted some of them. 7 Wizard kills, and 163 giant rats.
    • 9 wishes. I went through about four early magic lamps on this one, and had 2 magic lamps left when I went up. Burnt the second one on the Eye of Misspelling, which made the rest of the game very easy -- I knew that accelerated Pw regenerating, but I didn't know it accelerated it THAT much. Essentially, every turn you don't cast a spell, you're full on Pw. Ridiculous. Also ascended with the Staff, Vorpy, Firebrand, Giantslayer, Trollsbane, Sting, Orcrist, and the three invocation bits... and a blessed tin of Wizard of Yendor meat.
    • 3069288 points in 48,954 moves, with 309 hp and 229 pw at level 27 (which may be my highest level ever).
  • 17 Mar 13- Paul-Mon-Hum-Mal-Neu ascended to demigod-hood.
    • The first monk I started under the new Pope's regime was the lucky one -- an early wish from a lamp got the Eye of the Ethiope; there were lucky finds of +2 and +3 armor early; I found a few magic markers and a few wands of poly to manufacture more, and I found a spellbook of magic missile. I got the castle wand before trying Master Kaen, who offed me a few times gleefully when I tried to take him down before. I have killed more Monks than I could shake a stick at; this one felt like it took a REALLY long time.
    • And, playing on my ancient half-dead laptop, I 'disconnected' a few times in this one -- the power cord unplugged a few times during the midst of a level. No problem; you plug back in, and the game auto-recovers where you left off. The last time it happened? Ten seconds after it said, "You ascend to the rank of demigod-hood! DYWYPI?" I kicked back, put the laptop on my lap, and perused my inventory carefully (for no good damn reason; I'd had the identify spell more than half the game). And the power cord unplugged.
    • The result? No high score list entry. No saved game. No recover files. No evidence that the game was ever played, except the unique memories.
    • What was unique? I had a ridiculously easy Gehennom -- fully 3/4 of the levels had the stairs within fifteen steps of each other, some within six. The MF didn't bother me hardly at all; I think it only threw me down once and across the level twice. I killed Rodney maybe twelve times, which is a lot -- but he never DT'ed me, and almost every time was just him eating a /oD, of which I collected several.
    • But I forgot gold detection scrolls. I nearly died on Air before finding it, just from elementals -- and somehow, I hadn't collected even one wand of teleporting! I thought it wouldn't be a problem on fire, which is usually so easy -- =oL and =oC and let the monsters find it for you. But they didn't. Eventually I was surrounded by 40 or so elementals, pit fiends, and salamanders, all pounding away both at me and each other, so I took off the ring of levitation, fought my way through them, stepped... uh-oh. Into lava.
    • Well, shit. I immediately put the ring back on. "You're still stuck in the lava," the game told me. I broke a wand of cold. The lava cools and turns to rock! So I'm not sinking any further. But I was, sadly, still stuck in the lava. I tried applying my pickaxe to dig myself out. "You are floating high above the ground," the game told me.
    • I'm tempted to report this as a bug to AIS for a NetHack4 fix, but I'm not interested enough in re-creating it to try it. I'll probably write him tomorrow. (I was able to continue by removing the ring, breaking a wand of digging, and then re-putting on the ring and floating out. And eventually, after wishing for 2 scrolls of gold detection, I found the exit.)
    • Glad finally to have monk out of the way -- and if I never play a monk again, that'll be just fine, thanks.
  • 16 Feb 2014 - Beal-Wiz-Gno-Mal-Neu ascended to demigod-hood.
    • Finally did it, a good 25 years after I started playing Rogue. I guess they can release 3.4.4 now.
    • Obviously I'm not a natural wizard player, so to win, I needed to get lucky. Holy cats, did I get lucky. Two bags in the first two rooms, one of tricks, one of holding. Level 2 had the entrance to the mines and a co-aligned altar. First level of the mines were lit; my cat found me a pickaxe to skip through the second level, and then Minetown... had an 88 zorkmid lamp in the lighting shop.
    • Dilute the starting potion of object detection, apply the bag o' tricks for sacrifice fodder, make a potion of holy water, rub your lamp, and boom -- silver dragon scale mail before you hit level three. Sacrifice a few more for Magicbane, and that's basically half the ascension kit covered.
    • Nothing else much of consequence happened -- I dug for the castle fairly quickly, then pulled back when I realized I didn't have a tonal instrument or means of levitating. I stormed Luidos essentially just to find a bugle. First wish from the castle wand was for the Eyes of the Overworld -- my very favorite item in the game, especially in Gehennom.
    • I didn't altar-camp too much, but enough to get crowned the Envoy of Balance. The Finger spellbook lasted me the rest of the game. I never hit Rodney with a wielded weapon -- gave him the Finger every time (8 times!). Between FoD and Magic Missile, another early spellbook, Magicbane and my quiver of throwing daggers rarely got used.
    • 2181 creatures vanished, including the Oracle (I had a purple worm pet on the ascension climb). 19 genocides -- I am not a proud man, not as long as I've been working on this class; I did h, L, ;, and R. I never changed form. There, one conduct, go me. I think 8 wishes -- one lamp, six from the wand (saved the wresting), and one from Vlad's throne.
    • Goodbye, Beal the Demigod...

You and the invisible guardian Angel of Thoth and the yellow dragon went to your reward with 3073377 points, Magicbane, Demonbane, Sting, The Eye of the Aethiopica, The Eyes of the Overworld, two amulets of life saving, and 66481 piece of gold, after 40965 moves. You were level 19 with a maximum 166 hp when you ascended.

To do list

Get a life!

Done list

  • Valkyrie
  • Knight
  • Priest
  • Samurai
  • Archeologist
  • Barbarian
  • Rogue
  • Ranger
  • Caveman
  • Tourist
  • Healer
  • Monk
  • Wizard

Note: user:Delbow/Tengu