Nethack: dead again

, | Game diaries

Well, I’m dead, jerks. I’m dead in Nethack, and I’m getting the flu in real life. You may not care about the flu detail but this is called a “game diary.” I can write about my damn lunch if I want to. Dear diary: Today I ate a sandwich.

After the jump, how my character bit the big one

At the time of his demise, my gnomish wizard had advanced to character level 6, and level 4 of the dungeon — pretty pathetic even by my own negligible standards. I had been descending slowly, trying to stay alive so I’d have things to write about, but this game is a bitch.

Here’s the quick account of how I died:

  • First, I was blinded in the process of killing “a yellow light,” a monster I don’t think I’d ever seen before.
  • Hoping that this blindness was temporary, I wandered around to kill time until my vision came back. Of course, during this senseless stumbling, I was attacked by a monster, which I could neither identify nor cast spells at due to my blindness.
  • Gravely wounded by the monster, I chugged my unidentified potions in the hopes that one of them would heal me. None of them did, but one of them turned out to be a potion of levitation.
  • Really close to death now, retreat seemed my only option. I ran to a staircase I had found earlier, and tried to descend it, but I couldn’t, because that potion of levitation had me hovering above the ground. Not so far off the ground, mind you, that my unseen assailant couldn’t kill me. Which he promptly did. The end.
  • Then I ate that sandwich.

Nethack may give you no useful information at all while you’re playing the game, but after you die it can’t wait to diarrhea-blast you with all the facts and figures that might have been useful, you know, two seconds earlier. It identifies your items, spits up a list of all the monsters you ever killed, and squeezes out a nice firm turd of details about your character. I learned that I “had transgressed”, for instance, whatever that means. Maybe it had something to do with the accidental pet kitten murder I committed with an errant “force bolt” spell. I also was apparently invisible at the time of my death, which must have been caused by one of the potions I frantically guzzled. This was news to me, because I had been blind at the time.

Weird, isn’t it, that even though I was invisible, something was still able to kill me. Must have been a pretty fearsome beast, right? Well, along with the rest of the infodump, Nethack was happy to tell me who had rent me limb from limb.

It was a little dog.

Not just a dog.

A little dog.

Up next: Who the fuck knows? Did you see that I was just killed by a little dog?
Click here for the previous Nethack entry.

Tony Carnevale is a writer who lives in New York City.

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