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The Nethack story of Sery the tourist

Written by Solène, on 15 November 2020.
Tags: #nethack #games

Comments on Mastodon

First episode of maybe a serie!

Let’s play NetHack and write a story along the way. I find nethack to be a wonderful game despite its quite simple graphics. In this game, you can do more actions than in any modern games. I can dip a towel in a fountain to make it wet, and wear it on my head. Maybe it would protect me from heat? Who knows.

As this leaves a lot of place for the imagination, every serious nethack game I play, I create a story in my head and try to imagine the various situations, so maybe I could write them down?

Welcome to the underworld Gehennom, you will read the story of Sery the human female neutral tourist and her dog. She has to find the Amulet of Yendor and come back to the surface, for some reasons.

@ is Sery and d is her dog.

Arrival - first floor

{ is a fountain, # a sink, - an open door and + a closed door.

In her inventory, she has 875 gold, tourists are rich! 24 darts to throw at enemies, 2 fortunes cookies, some various food (goblin meat in tin can, eggs, carrot, apple, pancakes…), 4 scrolls of magic mapping, 2 healing potions, and expensive camera and an uncursed credit card.

   ---+---------
   |......{....-
   |@.........#|
   |d..........|
   -------------

She went to the closed door but it resisted, after kicked it three times, the door opened! After walking around in tunnel, she only found empty rooms, leading to others tunnels.

# are corridors (when they are not sinks in a room).

                         --------
                        #   ..  |
                        #|  ..  |
                        #|  ..  |
                        #---|----
                        #   ##
                      ###########
                      ##     #
                      #      #
                      #      #
      ----------|---###   ##d@##
      |             #     # ###
      |            |      #---.---------
      |            -#######|..... {    -
      |            |       |<....     #|
      |            |       |.....      |
      --------------       -------------

At the end of a corridor, Sery was stuck but after searching around for some secrets passage, she found a hidden passage to the first room. Back to square one.

                         --------
                        #       |
                        #|      |
                        #|      |
                        #---|----
                        #   ##
                      ###########
                      ##     #           # #
                      #      #       #######
                      #      #       #   #
      ----------|---###   ############  #d
      |             #     # ###         @
      |            |      #--- ---------#
      |            -#######|      {....-#
      |            |       |<   ......#|
      |            |       |   ........|
      --------------       -------------

After she heard some noise in a corridor, she stumbled on a boulder ``` but it is impossible to move it to clear the corridor.

A new room was found, with a large box ( in it. What could be in this box?

       ------
       |....|
     ##d.@..+
    ###|....|
    ## |....|
    ##`|.(..|
    #  |....|
    #  ------

While walking toward the box, her dog suddenly disappeared, falling in a trap door! Sery shorten her exploration of the first level after opening the box to look after her dog.

The large box was locked, without weapon or tools to unlock it, Sery kicked the large box a dozen time so it opened. What a disappointment when she was it was empty!

Second floor

        ----------
        |......@.|
        .........|
        |........|
        |....>...|
        |.....$..|
        ----------

Sery jumped into the trap to descend to the level below, her dog wasn’t in the room though. There were five gold to loot and stairs to descend to the third level. She needed to find her dog before continuing exploration to third level.

In the adjacent corridor, the dog was found sound and safe!

After continuing the exploration, a room was found with enemies!

F lichen, o goblin and a : newt! That was a lot of enemies for a simple tourist. She wanted to pull them into a corridor and let her dog take care of the enemies. This was a good spartiate strategy after all!

                            ----------
                            |        |
                           #         |
                           #|        |
                           #|    >   |
                           #|        |
                           #----------
                           #
                           #
     --------              #
     |.......              #
     .......F|      -------#
     |:....o.@d#####......|#
     |.......|      |      #
     |.......       |     |
     |......        |     |
     -------        -------

Unfortunately, when a lichen is in contact with you, you can’t escape. It took a while for Sery to kill the lichen and retreat in the corridor, she receive a few hits from the lichen and the goblin (HP 6/10). She heard some noises while staying in the corridor, after coming back in the room, the dog finished to kill the newt and the goblin seemed to ran away.

         -------- 
         |.....o. 
         ........|
         |.....d.@
         |.......|
         |....... 
         |......  
         -------  

The dog was then attacking the goblin and killed it rather quickly. This was really fortunate that Sery was in company of her dog.

After walking a bit to continue the exploration, Sery stumbled on a sewer rat, she got hit rather hard and didn’t had much HP left! While retreating to the last room, looking for the dog who stayed back eating the goblin corp, the dog came back to her bringing a iron skull cap certainly found on the dead goblin. In one bit, the dog killed the rat.

After some rest to recover a few HP, Sery went back to the exploration. The exploration was quiet and easy, rooms with unlocked doors, she found the stairs to go upstairs. Nothing of interested was to be found, so it was time to go to the third level. A newt and a lichen were encountered in the corridors but opposed little resistance to the dog.

---------                                                   ----------
|       |                                                   |........|
|       |       ----------                                 #.........|
|       |       |        |                                 #|.d..@...|
|       |       |        |                                 #|F...>...|
|       |       |        |                                 #|........|
- -|--- -#   ###-        |                                 #----------
  ### ####  ##  |        |                                 #
   #  `##`###   --- ------                                 #
   ###     ###    ##                 ---------             #
     #####  #     #####              |       |             #
---------|-##      ######          ##        |      -------#
|         |#      -- ---|-----     # |       -######      |#
|         |#      |          |   ### |       |      |      #
|         |#      |          |   #   |       |      |     |
|         -#      |           ####   |       |      |     |
| <       |       ------------       ---------      -------
-----------

Third floor

The room where Sery arrived in the third level had an enemy, a huge x bug and some money in a corner near a door.

                  --------------
                  |...@........|
                  |....d.......|
                  ....x.......$|
                  |............+
                  --------------

The door required two kicks to be opened.

In the next room, Sery saw a bug before entering, so she immediately swapped her place with her dig in the corridor to let her defender do their job.

< are upstairs stairs.

                  --------------
                  |   <        |
                  |            |
                               |
                  |             ##
                  -------------- #
                                 ##    --+-
                                  ##d@.x..|
                                        .$|
                                          .
                                          -

As usual, the dog took care of the enemies. A new room was found, multiples windows, some opening in previous rooms wasn’t explored yet too. There were lot of exploration to be done in this area.

                               --------
                               |......+
                               |......|
                               +>.{...|
          --------------       |......|
          |   <        |       |....@.|
          |            |       -----.--     ...
                       |        ######
          |             ##       #####
          -------------- #       #
                         ##   ---|-
                          ####    |
                              |   |
                              |    
                              -----

While exploring, Sery got to fight a giant rat, she didn’t know where her dog was so she had to fight for real this time.

                                                       --------
         ----                                          |      +
         ....                                          |      |
          ..                     ######################-> {   |
           r                     #--------------       |      |
          #@#####                #|   <        |       |      |
          #     #              ###|            |       ----- --        
                ##             ###             |        ######
                 #            ##  |             ##       #####
                 #            ##  -------------- #       #
                 #             #                 ##   ---|-
                 ##        #####                  ####    |
                #- ------  ####                       |   |
                 +      |  #                          |    
                 | >     ###                          -----
                 |      |###
                 |      |
                 --------

Thinking about her inventory, she panicked and used her camera. The flash blinded the giant rat and he ran away! Unfortunately, another giant rat came from the left corridor. She tried to use her camera again but it didn’t work as expected as the giant was still standing in the corridor. The blinding effect didn’t seem very effective because a few seconds later, the first giant rat was back again!

  ----     
  ....     
   ..      
    r      
   r@##### 
   #     # 
         ##

She had no choice but run away, maybe at least fight then but one at a time in a corridor. She want backward, suffered from a giant rat bite and found her dog on the way, who came to the rescue. While she let her dog fighting, a third rat came from behind, this one, she really had to fight, no escape was possible with the dog fighting two rats in the corridor on the other side.

Camera flash, it worked! Time to throw darts, one dart was enough to kill the rat but she missed it a few times. The rat never missed a bite, Sery was in poor health at this moment.

The dog killed the two rats and she was safe, for now.

While walking around to find her way, she got surprised by a giant zombie Z who hit her hard. She had only 1 health point left. Death was close. What she could do? Try the camera flash, drink a potion, escape until her dog run and try to bite the zombie?

She decided to try the health potion and then, support enough hits from the zombie to blind it while the dog behind it was killing the undead living. It was a good idea, at the moment she dunked the healing potion, the zombie hit her, losing one health point, she would be dead if she didn’t drink that potion, then the dog killed the monster and our duo leveled up!

It was time to finish exploring and get deeper in the underworld. A = ring was on the ground in the last room. It was silver ring.

                                                         --------
           --------------                                |      +
          #.            |                                |      |
          #|            |          ######################-> {   |
          #-- -----------          #--------------       |      |
          #########                #|   <        |       |      |
            #     #              ###|            |       ----- --        
            #     ##             ###             |        ######
 -----------#      #            ##  |             ##       #####
 |.......=@.#      #            ##  -------------- #       #
 |.........|       #             #                 ##   ---|-
 |.........        ##        #####                  ####    |
 |....`....|      #- ------  ####                       |   |
 |..  .....|       +      |  #                          |    
 ---  ------       | >     ###                          -----
                   |      |###
                   |      |
                   --------

It would be foolish to wear the ring without identifying it first, it could be a cursed ring you can’t remove that makes you blind or provoke some unwanted effects.

Fourth floor

Arriving at the fourth floor, Sery found a green gem. Feeling this floor would be quite complicated, she decided to read one of her mapping scroll.

   -------
  --     |                                                    ---  ---    ---
  |  --  |           ------                       --- ----   -- ---- --  -- --
  | -|-- |           |  | ---                    -- ---  --  |        ----   |
  |  --| |           |      ----                --        |  |        >      |
  |   || ----------  --      | --------------- --         |  ---             |
  | | ||          -------        | --      | ---         --    -- ---        --
  | |--|  -------     ---                                | ---- --- --        |
  | |  | --     ---                                      | |  |---- --       --
  | -- | --       -------     ----       --  - --        ---  --  | |       --
 --  --|  |             |    --  |       |--   --- ---            ---       |
 |    |-- |             ---  |   --     -| ---  --------                    |
 |    | | ---------       ----    |      --  --      --|            ---     |
 | -- | |.....--.@--             --       |   ------   |-- --      -- |     |
 ---| | ----.......|        ------        |        |-  | ---|-    --  |     |
   -- |   --......-|       --  |         --        |   ---  |    --   --   --
 ---  |  --........|      --             |         |     |  |  ---     -----
--   --  |.........|      |         -- ---         --    |  ----
|   --   |......--.|      |     --  |---            ---  |
--  |    --.|.------      ---- ------                 ----
 ----     -----              ---

After the whole map got reveal in her mind, she got face to face with a dwarf h wielding a dagger. He really didn’t seem friendly but he didn’t attack her yet.

The whole area was very dark, without a torch or a light source, exploring this level would be very tedious.

After exploring the room, looking for interesting loots on the ground, the dwarf attacked her. This was a very dolorous stabbing. Sery retreated back to the upper stairs, she wanted to reach the level below through the other stairs on this level. In the room, she found her dog which stayed behind, fighting a gecko and a giant rat.

She started to feel hungry, hopefully she went to the underworld with a lot of food. She decided to eat a fortune cookie. When cracking it, she found a paper saying: They say that you should never introduce a rope golem to a succubus. This didn’t make much sense to her though.

While walking toward the other stairs, Sery found a graffiti on the ground: ??urist? we?r shirts loud enougn to wake t?e ?e?d.. As for the fortune cookie, this didn’t make much sense.

On her way, she fought various enemies: red mold, newt, rats, found a banana. Descending the stairs, she was surprised to see they didn’t lead to the forth floor with the dwarves, it was a parallel fourth floor. Could it be possible?? There were a newt and money in the room, it wasn’t dark.

         -- -----
         .....@..
         |....d.|
         |...:.$|
         --------

She was angry.

The dog jumped on the newt and killed it. The duo got experience to reach level four. The dog, being a little dog, did grow up into a dog.

After a short rest to eat and recover health, Sery went back in corridors to find a way and continue her quest.

               --------------
               |............|
              #.@...........+
              #|............|
              #|..>...$.....|
              #--------------
              ###
                #
                ##
                 #
                 #
                 #
                 #
         -- -----#
              <  #
         |      |
         |      |
         --------

In the room she found stairs to go in the level below, would it be a good idea to descend now or should she explore the area first? She had lot of money, finding a merchant to buy armors and weapons would be a good idea.

To be continued

It’s all for today! Please tell me if you enjoyed it!