I got to level 14 in Nethack, the furthest that I’ve gone yet. It sure gets darn tough past level 10 or so. If you are lucky enough to find a scroll of genocide, it is good to use it against tough monsters. Well there are sure enough monsters that fit the “tough monsters” category so I can’t say for certain which monsters you should genocide but I can say that the first monster types that you encounter that you may find some serious difficulties with are ants, whether they be fire ants or ants of another type. Also Killer Bees are tough too. Mainly because they usually come in groups similar to ants and will swarm and attack you and they are pretty tough to kill especially when fighting one after another after another. Usually when you first see an ant or a bee, just make a bee line to the nearest exit of escape. Pun intended. There will definitely be more stronger monsters that you will want to genocide like Titans on Medusa level.
There is also the difficulty of what the heck to do with the Big Room. Jeez that’s tough. It’s not a definite that you will encounter the big room but if you do it would occur on levels 10-12. Hopefully you don’t encounter it cause its a real bitch.
I got killed by a Mumak on level 14. Don’t let these Mumaks get too close cause they will clobber the hell out of you if so. Hit them with ranged weapons and wands/spells.
You can also change the tileset display to various graphical versions. I like the default version the best of the graphical tilesets but I am most familiar what monsters and items are what with the non-graphical ascii version so I prefer to use ascii over the graphicals, but the default does look very nice. Below is the default graphical display of Mead and Sirius the dog meeting the Oracle in Delphi.
On a non related topic, David Bowie’s Sense of Doubt from his Heroes album is amazing!
I made it to level 12 of the Gnomish Mines when the unthinkable happened. They killed my dog Sirius! Damn those gnomes! I also had run out of arrows so I started throwing every ranged weapon I had until I was left only with an orcish dagger and short sword to melee with.
Some interesting things about nethack….If you find a bugle you can play it by improvising and sometimes the monsters will get scared and run away, either for fear that re-reinforcements are about to come to your aid, or that you are such a horrible Bugle player that they can’t bear the sound of your “music” any longer and are repulsed and forced to flee. Of course, the Dwarf King just had to pick up and steal one of my arrows from the ground before running away, didn’t he? Another interesting find is a magic marker. If you also find a blank scroll you can use the marker to make magic scrolls or just use the magic marker to write Elbereth. Provided that you don’t get interrupted or misspell the word, writing Elbereth will prevent monsters from being able to hit you while you remain on the square where the Elbereth writing appears. You can also attempt to write in dust, however it won’t last as long as with a magic marker or engraving. Gemstones can be used to engrave writings provided that the stone is hard enough for writing. If you have gems and encounter a unicorn you may want to throw some gems at it. I hear throwing red gems may do some interesting things perhaps involving luck.
I was able to vanquish 148 monsters this time around!
Eventually died on level 12 of the gnomish mines by a Warg. Slowly getting better with this game, but darn it’s tough once you get past the first 10 levels or so. I love Nethack!
I made it to Delphi! and spoke with the Oracle. The Oracle is surrounded by 4 fountains and a larger room containing 8 Centaur Statues.
In Nethack you can have a pet that follows you around and will mostly stick with and fight with you as long as it gets fed. Don’t let the pet wander too far off as they are really useful and can often defeat monsters with more ease than your own character. If your little dog stays with you long enough it will eventually become a bigger dog.
Immediately below the Oracle Level is the level with the entrance to Sokoban. Unfortunately I didn’t make it too much past the Oracle this time. So far my favorite character classes to play are as a gnome healer, (lots of healing spells and potions, along with an uncursed stethoscope you can use to listen to the walls to see if they are hollow [find secret doors] which are numerous in Nethack), and as an orc ranger (better fighter than the healer, comes equipped with a cloak of displacement, a whole lotta arrows and a bow and can naturally find secret doors easily).
I played a bit of Nethack today and stumbled across a scroll called LEP GEX VEN ZEA.
It’s fantastic! Upon reading the scroll the entire level map appears in your mind.
I made it through to the seventh level of the gnomish mines. For a while I thought I’d die of starvation as I had run out of edible food. Would have had to risk eating a corpse of one of the monster’s I slaughtered along the way.
I dragged along a coyote corpse just in case, but came across a wererat that attacked. No problem I thought, but then the wererat called up his other wererat buddies and they had me surrounded. Cast a few healing spells and faught like hell but it was not to be.