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< 65th game at NAO
52nd game at Pallas Next Game
2nd game of brass >

Now after my 65th game of NAO and my 1st visit to Gehennom, I took break from vanilla NetHack to play some SLASH'EM and ToME. In both games did I find many deaths. I played in the plain 0.0.7E7F2 playground through to 2 June 2006. Then on 3 June 2006 I switched to Slethe. I desired a 2nd visit to Gehennom and I wanted it to be more interesting.

Though I have not come close to that goal, my 52nd game of SLASH'EM went farther than any previous, thanks to being a Drow, a Barbarian, and knowing Elbereth. Yet on 7 September 2006 did I die in the Neutral quest.

  • SLASH'EM 0.0.7E7F2 + Slethe 1.5
  • Kernigh the chaotic female droven Barbarian
  • Score: 171625
  • This is my highest SLASH'EM score to date, and only two of my vanilla NetHack games have higher scores; they are the 38th and 65th NAO games.
  • This my first SLASH'EM game to reach Sokoban.
  • This is also my first SLASH'EM game to reach the Quest portals.
  • It was the first game during which I often consulted the source code. My activity in NetHackWiki had by now given me much more familiarity with vanilla source; thus could I check for different behavior in the SLASH'EM source.


I like to play chaotic elves in SLASH'EM, as I do in NetHack, but the chaotic elves are drow. Thus the random roles for me are only Barbarian, Flame Mage, Ice Mage, Necromancer, Priest, Ranger, Undead Slayer, Wizard. In this game I became Barbarian. I started with this inventory:

I immediately went bare-handed. To survive, I combine the Barbarian's strength in melee with the drow's bare-handed sleep attack. In combat, I discover that this works well. I replaced my ring mail with a plate mail; then on Dlvl5 I smote a gray unicorn in melee, thus obtaining the first of several unicorn horns. However I could not defeat the statue gargoyle at Dlvl6; I checked the bestiary to learn that I needed a +1 weapon. So I went back to Dlvl3 to follow the staircase to the Gnomish Mines.

Statue gargoyle, pixie, soldier

I did not fully explore Dlvl4 (Mines 1), but I gathered some armor and daggers, excluding anything cursed. I found a dagger that did not stack, brought it back to Dlvl6 (Dungeons of Doom), tested it against the statue gargoyle, named it "safe +1", killed the statue gargoyle, and proceeded to explore Dlvl6. Something charmed me, though it was invisible, and began to steal my items; I tried to fight it, but it would steal another object and teleport away. Finally, I found it, it missed me (because of my plate mail), and I hit it and put it to sleep. At turn 5736, I killed the pixie. Thus did I take back what was stolen, including my armor:

Without the sleep attack, I might have never defeated that pixie, nor the leprechaun that I later encountered. I lacked a way to see invisible and did not carry ranged weapons. However, the leprechaun gave me teleportitis and a tengu gave me teleport control, a useful combination that I normally do not enjoy so early in the game. So when I encountered the Oracle at Dlvl9, I could teleport to the part of the map that I believed to hold the down staircase, despite having failed to find the secret paths.

At turn 8914, I am in a corridor of Dlvl10 when a frag grenade almost hits me. The soldier that I meet now thrusts a poisoned dagger against me, but I am Barbarian, so I already have poison resistance. I make asleep and kill the soldier and reach Expert in bare-handed combat. I kill another soldier, and having not been shot, I now possess a supply of guns and bullets. Using a pet pony, I work out what is not cursed. A submachine gun and bullets become my ranged weapon. They work well enough, though I am restricted in firearms. I went back to stash on Dlvl4.

Sokoban, Mines, chameleons

When I opened my save file at 3 September 2006, I was near my stash on Dlvl4. I possessed the artifacts Orcrist, Sting, and Elfrist (useless banes, but at least they will not later be sacrifice gifts) and wore a +0 elven mithril-coat. I chose to go to Sokoban.

I decide not to consult the Sokoban spoilers, though I have seen them in the past. I readily clear Dlvl9 (Sokoban 1), but at Dlvl8 (Sokoban 2) I miscount the number of holes and use a strategy that leaves me short with boulders. Oops! I exit Sokoban and proceed to explore the Dungeons of Doom. A troll at Dlvl11 almost kills me, so I read a scroll of teleportation (knowing that I have teleport control) and escape upstairs to heal. Before turn 13000, I have made two more trips to my Dlvl4 stash and trapped the troll's corpse behind a boulder in a dead-end corridor.

I travelled to Dlvl15, the reincarnation level where I meet Glenn Wichmann's ghost. Here do I encounter so much trouble with a forest centaur that I decide to go back up and try the Gnomish Mines again. The Mines entrance is still at Dlvl3; I finish exploring Dlvl4 (Mines 1) and start playing with a magic trap at Dlvl5. Then comes my opportunity at turn 16532: "The large dingo turns into a warhorse!" I toss a lichen corpse and voila! I have a pet chameleon. Though the magic trap never raised my charisma (which stays at Ch:8), it gave me my best pet. The chameleon joins my then-current pets, two large cats. Dlvl6 is Minetown; it is about turn 17000. I buy protection before the chameleon (as a water troll) kills the priest of Set. (I wanted to keep the priest alive in case I found another 4000 gold. He died, I took my 4000 gold back, but now I must find another temple.) After doing part of Dlvl7, I decide to go back to Sokoban, still with one chameleon and one large cat.

My other scroll of earth was cursed, so I intend to go to Dlvl8 (Sokoban 2), read a scroll of earth in a strategic location, then squeeze around boulders so I can fill both remaining holes. At Sokoban 2, I drop my other inventory except a +0 orcish helm. At turn 18622, I read the scroll. Now I notice that I dropped my inventory on the wrong square. Having filled both holes, I cannot retrieve my inventory, but have no choice but to push a third boulder over it!

Then began the great run for the wand of striking. I knew that I had a wand of striking in my stash at Dlvl4; I wanted to retrieve it and use it against the boulder on my inventory (further reducing my luck after having read that scroll). I must run to Dlvl4 while bare-handed, but also naked with only a helmet. On Dlvl9 (Sokoban 1) I immediately encountered a leather golem. So I pet-tested the leather armors and then wear a +0 leather armor. This sends me down to AC 1. Thus my run for the wand was successful. I clear Sokoban (though while losing more luck) and fight through the zoo while waiting for my bad luck to time out. My reward is an amulet of reflection, but I have so much loot that I choose not to carry it. I threw some gems at a black unicorn (before my chameleon dispatches it) to restore my luck. Exitting Sokoban at turn 22310, I sought again my stash of Dlvl4.

My time as an asphynx

Returning from my stash, at Dlvl10 (Dungeons of Doom) I step on a polymorph trap that I had previously not noticed. At turn 22573 I became an asphynx, breaking polyselfless conduct. "You can't even move a handspan with this load!" "Use the command #sit to lay an egg." This is good for me, because asphynx are snakes that stone (as a cockatrice) and would make good pets. I drop my inventory, lay several eggs and eat a food ration. My own pet at the time, the chameleon, became a basilisk and ate two of my eggs before it became something else. "You see an asphynx hatch." My pet asphynx ate all of my remaining eggs but one. "You see an asphynx hatch." So I had one pet chameleon and two pet asphynx (and several statues). At turn 23414, the polymorph finally times out. "You return to droven form." Now I can finally return to Sokoban and take the amulet of reflection, before going back to the Gnomish Mines.

Having two pet asphynx and one pet chameleon makes the Gnomish Mines (which I could have explored long before now) trivially easy. The hardest part is lining up gnome and dwarf statues so that I can strike them open for loot. I even tame a second chameleon in the mines. Dlvl11 is Mines' End; Dlvl12 is the end of Ruggo the Gnome King.

The end

I now encounter places which are unfamiliar. I can read enough of the DES-file format to spoil the maps, but my strategy is too uncertain.

Grund's Stronghold is at Dlvl14, a branch from Dlvl13. I explore part of the level but do not cross the drawbridge; I could have destroyed the bridge and crossed with my ring of levitation. I lose one asphynx, leaving the other asphynx and the two chameleons.

I find the portal to the Home Quest, but choose not to attempt the Quest because the Heart of Ahriman is of no interest to me. I already have stealth (from elven boots) and levitation (from the ring).

Dlvl18 has a cockatrice nest. I learn for the first time that because I have stealth, the cockatrices never awake until I attack them. So after killing off about half of the nests, I leave the other cockatrices intact should I later want a corpse; I had lost my last asphynx somewhere. I also accidentally discover the portal to the Lawful Quest.

At 6 September 2006, I loaded my game and proceeded into Dlvl19, where something invisible curses some of my armor and my unicorn horn. I have to go to my stash (still at Dlvl4) and retrieve another horn. The two down staircases of Dlvl20 are both mysteries to me, and I start thinking about whether to proceed down or look for alignment quests, for the sources revealed that there were three.

I have lost both pet chameleons when a dust vortex discovers the Neutral Quest portal at Dlvl14. I enter and decide to attempt this quest. However, I can only fight the many gas spores by having them blow on me. This weakens me so much that an elf-lord, surprising me in the dark with no pets, is able to kill me.

Quotes from the dump

Your inventory
  h - an uncursed amulet of reflection (being worn) {20}
  a - the rustproof +0 Cleaver (weapon in hands) {120}
  b - a +0 submachine gun named safe {25}
  d - a corroded +1 dagger named safe +1 {10}
  n - a +0 orcish dagger named safe {10}
  y - a cursed burnt +0 pair of elven boots named safe (being worn) {15}
  A - an uncursed +0 pair of leather gloves named safe (being worn) {10}
  B - a cursed +0 dwarvish mithril-coat named safe (being worn) {150}
  D - a cursed burnt +0 elven cloak named safe (being worn) {10}
  E - an uncursed +1 helm of brilliance named safe (being worn) {50}
  M - an uncursed +0 mummy wrapping {3}
Final attributes
  You were piously aligned
  You were cold resistant
  You were sleep resistant
  You were poison resistant
  You were telepathic
  You were stealthy         /* elven boots */
  You aggravated monsters   /* ate large cat while hallucinating */
  You could teleport        /* ate leprechaun */
  You had teleport control  /* ate tengu */
  You were protected
  You had reflection
  You were very lucky (8)
  You had extra luck
  Bad luck did not time out for you
  Good luck did not time out for you
  You are dead
  /* You were fast, but slowed after eating a Quantum mechanic */
Vanquished creatures
  2 asphynxes
  2 chameleons

Dump and recordings

  • Dump
  • Recordings: 2006-09-01.22:33:30.ttyrec to 2006-09-06.19:56:24.ttyrec
Previous Game
< 65th game at NAO
52nd game at Pallas Next Game
2nd game of brass >