The Let's Play Archive


by Lobster Maneuver

Part 3: One Giant Leap

Previously on Heroes...

Our brave adventurer Hiro Nakamura and his pet dog Hachi started their descent into the Gnomish mines.

Chapter 3 - One Giant Leap

One poorly placed teleportation trap later...

A grave?

Ha, told you gas spores were dangerous.

This is a bones file, which is a file that gets generated any time one of your previous characters dies. Since I'm playing this on my computer, this one happens to be me from several months ago. If you play online at a place like NAO, you can get bones files from all sorts of different people. Bones files contain the complete inventory of the previous adventurer. Lose a promising character to a soldier ant on dlvl 8? When your character dies, its bones get saved to that level, and every time a new character enters a level (dlvl 3+ and excluding some special levels), they have a chance of meeting the bones of one of your previous adventurers. It's a way to relive your old characters beyond the grave - but more importantly, it's a way to loot sweet shit off dead bodies. Be careful though, bones items get randomly cursed, so don't go trying on any random armor you see quite yet.

It's often pretty easy to identify what class the bones file was in its life. In this case, the fedora is a dead giveaway - b was an Archaeologist. That also means that some of the other items can be identified - in particular, this gray stone is almost certainly a touchstone, the bag is probably a sack, and the lamp is probably oil. There are some questions of abuse involved in bones files, especially since you can make bones files for yourself, or if you find one on NAO you can look up its previous owner's dumplog and get a good idea of what some items are. But since this bones pile is pretty bare anyway, we'll loot it and press on.

Bags are a great item to have early game, even this possibly cursed sack. Putting all your potions, spells, scrolls, spellbooks, wands, and rings in a bag prevents them from blowing up from a random fire trap or getting frozen and shattered by a winter wolf cub. Your character also has a 52-item limit for things in the current inventory. The bag has no such limit, so you can now carry as much stuff as you want, provided you can deal with the burden.

Heading back up to the altar to BUC test this stuff, I hit level 6.

Yeah, looks like a lot of that stuff was cursed . I drop most of the useless stuff, but trade out my splint mail for the elven mithril. Even though the armor spoiler will tell you that elven mithril (AC 5) provides less protection than splint mail (AC 6), it's also much less heavy (150 vs 400). The weight is definitely more important than the extra AC point - being burdened or worse severely slows your character down, and a slow character is a dead one. Try to minimize the time you spend burdened by making stashes of stuff as you descend.

Well shit. That blows. Good thing I don't need him anyway, haha so long sucker. If I was more concerned about my pet, I'd probably raise him past a little dog before descending into the mines, but Samurai are strong enough that they don't really need a pet.

Cool. Like pretty much all rings, you definitely shouldn't put it on before you BUC test it first, but this ring is of note because it's emerald. That means you can engrave with it and make a semi-permanent Elbereth. This will come in handy when I start making stashes. Usually, when I'm in the mines, I engrave-test all gems I see looking for a hard gem to engrave with, but this ring will suit that need perfectly.

If you look through the Object ID spoiler, you'll see that whistles (like most tools) are pretty easy to ID. Just apply the whistle and it will tell you if it's magic or tin.

Tin, and useless. #name it tin and you won't pick it up again.

Whoops, forgot to screencap the beginning of this, but a dwarf threw a potion at me, and it held me in place. Thankfully it didn't hold me long enough to die.

Using Ctrl-P, which shows your previous messages, I found out that it was a purple-red potion which I now know is paralysis. Nethack is kind enough to auto-identify this for me, which I could check using the "\" key, which shows all my discoveries.

Hiro Nakamura fears no ghosts of the past, present, or future!

I also can now #enhance my weapon skill, which in this case is long sword. It's usually a good idea to #enhance things as soon as you get a chance, but sometimes you might want to reserve skill slots for another skill, depending on your class. It takes some time to learn how to best use your skill slots, but for a melee character like Samurai enhancing my long sword is definitely a good idea. You can read up more on skills here on the wiki, they're a bit more complicated than you might expect.

Headed back up to BUC test my ring, and it was uncursed. It's OK to try on non-cursed rings for a couple turns, just in case they autoidentify, but don't keep them on for a long time - some rings have bad effects that might activate if you keep them on for more than a few turns (ie polymorph).

Awesome. A ring of levitation is (usually) an important part of any ascension kit and is very handy to have around.

Just heading back down the mines, killing dudes.

I'll talk more about how to use a stethoscope later.

Uhhhhh...:untoot: I swear I didn't mean it RNG God please be my friend

Phew. Nethack is full of insta-deaths that can sometimes be impossible to avoid (see Gnome with the Wand of Death). A level teleport trap isn't an instant death, but it could have put me 10 levels below where I am now, completely unprepared to face the monsters there. I just dodged a bullet here.

Nothing else of interest on this floor, so let's head down to the next floor.

A door? In the middle of the mines?

Yup, that means that we've made it to Minetown. Now's a good time to read up on another spoiler, in this case the Gazetteer. The Gazetteer contains maps of all the unusual levels in the game, and Minetown is definitely one of them. If you come across a level that's not a standard dungeon level or a standard mines level, read up on it in the Gazetteer.

If we take a look at the Minetown page, we see that Minetown can be generated in several ways. By comparing the door layout of my game with the Gazetteer's maps, this Minetown looks like a Town Square.

--------------------------------- |.+..|..|..+....+..|..|..|..+...| |.|..|..|..|....|..|..|..|..|...| |.----+-----....----+--+-----...| |...............................| |.-+-----+--.......--+---+---...| |.|..|..|..|......{|....|...|...| |.|..|..|..|.......|....|...|...| |.----+-----.......|.._.|foo|...| |.............{....|....|...|...| |.-------+-------.----------|...| |.|....|...|....|.|....|....+...| |.+.gen|...|lght+.+....|tool|...| |.|....|...|....|.|....|....|...| |.---------------.-----------...| |...............................| ---------------------------------
Now I know where all the shops and the altar are (Minetown is guaranteed at least a lighting shop and an altar). Let's head for the tool shop first.

Right where the Gazetteer said it would be. In the tool shop, I pick up a key to replace the cursed lockpick I picked up off the bones file, and also price ID the lamp as oil. Poo. There's two more lamps in the tool shop, but they're both oil as well. Nothing else good in the tool shop (another stethoscope in case I lose this one), except for:

A bag? Any bag that costs more than 5 zorkmids or so is either oilskin, bag of tricks, or holding. Unfortunately, they all cost the same. Bag of tricks is trivial to identify - just try and #loot it (this bag isn't a bag of tricks). Oilskin and identify are harder to identify, since I need to pick up items and put them into the bag and see if I change weight status. There's not enough stuff in the tool shop to bring me to the next weight level, but either way it's a good buy, so let's buy it and head on.

Nothing going in the food shop, so I stop into the altar to BUC test more stuff. Killed a couple gnomish wizards and one of them dropped this wand. Many wands are easy to identify through engrave-IDing, so let's do that right now. Engrave something with your fingers first (I always write Elbereth, since that exercises your wisdom), then Engrave with the wand on top of it. The Object ID spoiler is invaluable here in helping you interpret the messages you might see.

Well, if I had to guess, I'd say it's probably a wand of create monster.


Now traveling alone for the first time in his journey, Hiro Nakamura has been surrounded by a horde of angry monsters! What will he do next? Find out in the next installment of the Heroes saga: Chapter 4 - Collision.