Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ascending NetHack

After playing NetHack the entire weekend, I have finally ascended. My Dwarven Valkyrie joins the ranks of demi-gods and -goddesses. The road was long, and, in a way my journey actually began two years ago when I first discovered NetHack and became completely captivated with its ASCII graphics and technical superiority.

The quest was difficult, the monsters were brutal, and the instant death hazards were abundant. For two years I knew I had to beat this game, but for two years I only managed to kill off dozens of noble would-be heroes. This morning I was on level 46 of Gehennom, and a Master Mind Flayer wiped my memory. I lost all hope of ascending. However, after a few minutes I realized that I would push on, despite the odds. I returned to the first level of the game, remapping all of the levels, and carving a direct path down to the Inner Sanctum. When I returned to scene of my memory loss, I was more powerful and better prepared for future dangers.

The second major obstacle manifested on the elemental planes. I had no means of detecting the portals. Haphazardly, I stumbled about and easily found 3 of the portals.

Finally, I was on the Astral Plane, the legendary final level. Using wands of teleportion, I carved a path through the monsters to the first altar. It was unaligned. Using the remaining teleport charges, I reached the second altar, and my fears were once again realized: the altar was unaligned. However, my hit points never dropped to a dangerous level and my confidence was increasing. Adrenaline flooded my nervous system. I had no more wands of teleport, so my only option was to cut a bloody swath the to the final altar.

The amulet sacrificed, the game was over. I had ascended.

Check out the dumplog of my ascension, complete with ending stats, items, and screenshot.


samiorigami said...

OMG! That is awesome!!! congrats!

I could never have the patience to get that far.


dominic said...

congratulations! i didn't even have the patience to learn the controls, much less watch hero after hero die.

speaking of text games with difficult control schemes, i do hope you play dwarf fortress? it's a steep but rewarding learning curve, and it makes for awesome stories.

8bitcity said...

I do dabble in Dwarf Fortress. I've been trying to get it to run on my netbook, a 1.6 Atom processor with only 1 gig of ram. I can't get the framrate above 12 or so, which makes the game impossible to play (at least for me).

NetHack can be very rewarding too! It only took me about 150 tries to beat it.

But last time I played Dwarf Fortress I couldn't figure out how to make tables and got frustrated and quit :(

dominic said...

yeah, DF is processor-intensive game, especially once you get quite a few dorfs in your fort. this is because it models so much. unfortunately it isn't multi-threaded either, so multi-cores don't help much (although you can set it to use one core and set your other processes to use other cores). for your netbook, try weather and temperature to NO in data\init\init.txt. this means that weather and temps won't be modeled; unfortunately it does mean that magma won't melt things like it should, but it might make the game playable at least.

the basic rationale in DF is that to do anything you have to have a dwarf with the appropriate labor (job) enabled, build a workshop for what you need, then assign the job in a workshop. what happens after that varies depending on the items in question, but for furniture you then have to go "build" it where you want it to be placed.

here are some good things to get started:

the first one is if you want more hand-holding, the second is if you want less. if you continue to play for any amount of time the wiki will be hugely valuable for you.

strike the earth!

dominic said...

oh yeah, in DF you can also try embarking to smaller zone (say, 4x4 instead of 6x6) for better performance.