🐳 29 years ago: The Elder Scrolls: Arena was released!


Description official description

NetHack is a roguelike role-playing game with both traditional ASCII graphics and a graphical tileset. The objective is to find the Amulet of Yendor and sacrifice it to your deity.

In the beginning, you choose one of the classes - there are some traditional ones, like Priest or Knight, but also unusual ones like Tourist or Caveman. Then, you find yourself on the 1st level of the dungeon, along with your pet that will accompany you and help you in combat. On each level, you have to find an exit to the lower level; on the way, you'll find countless monsters to fight, as well as items to collect. Sometimes, you come upon a shop, where you can buy or sell items.

Items you find can be blessed (more effective than normal), but sometimes are cursed (less effective, or outright harmful). Eating the corpses of fallen enemies is an important part of the game since many creatures give you special abilities or immunities when eaten.

While the above description might seem brief, NetHack is, in fact, a very complex and merciless game - there are lots of ways to die.

Since NetHack is a roguelike, everything is represented as a top-down view of the current dungeon level, where the walls, the floor, and all items, characters, and monsters are ASCII characters. More recent versions of the game also include an official set of graphical tiles which can be turned on at the player's option.

Groups +



Credits (DOS version)

128 People (126 developers, 2 thanks) · View all

A Guide to the Mazes of Menace (Guidebook for NetHack 3.3) by
Guide extensively edited and expanded for 3.0 by
Large portions of the Guide shamelessly cribbed from "A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom" by
Small portions of the Guide adapted from "Further Exploration of the Dungeons of Doom" by
Original Hack written by
Assistance on original Hack from
Hack re-write (v1.0.1 - 1.0.3) by
Early Hack port revisions merged in NetHack 1.4 by
NetHack 3.0c rewrite coordinated by
NetHack 3.0c rewrite team
NetHack 3.0c rewrite team joined by
NetHack 3.1 revision lead
[ full credits ]



Subject User Date
Why does this exist? Tracy Poff (2067) 2014-03-01 23:22:28
NetHack or HackLite? Игги Друге (46300) 2014-04-28 21:07:33


1001 Video Games

NetHack appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


This project is also the descendant of an older game called Hack. Hack was one of the first "dungeon" type games to use a graphical display instead of text based room descriptions - though it still used ASCII characters to portray your environment.

Easter eggs

Some scroll names in NetHack mean something when read backwards (e.g. "ELBIB YLOH", "DUAM XNAHT"), but "KIRJE" just means "letter" in Finnish.

Gameplay features

  • Players are able to receive Email within the game.
  • NetHack is one of the few computer games where you can actually produce offspring. By polymorphing into a female snake, dragon, or other appropriate monster, you can lay eggs. Just be sure to have fire resistance once your baby dragon starts breathing fire.


The owner of the candle shop in the Gnomish Mines town, Izchak, is named after one of the former DevTeam members, Dr. Izchak Miller, who passed away before the release of Nethack 3.2. Information also contributed by Late

Related Games

Released 1992 on DOS
NetHack Plus
Released 1994 on DOS
NetHack: Legacy
Released 2018 on Macintosh, Linux, Windows
NetHack 2000
Released 1999 on Windows
NetHack: Falcon's Eye
Released 2000 on Windows

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 820


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Droog.

Windows Mobile, OS/2 added by Trypticon. GP2X Wiz, GP2X added by 666gonzo666. PC-98 added by Infernos. Acorn 32-bit, GP32 added by Kabushi. Amiga, Macintosh, Android, iPhone, Browser added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Atari ST added by Игги Друге.

Additional contributors: Adam Baratz, Jeanne, Alaka, Pseudo_Intellectual, General Error, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Last modified February 27th, 2023.