The Let's Play Archive


by Lobster Maneuver

Part 6: Better Halves

Previously on Heroes...

Another good friend laid to waste by the forces of evil. Will Hiro be able to continue his journey, "burdened" by the weight of his loss? (hehe)

Chapter 6 - Better Halves

Pity that cat didn't learn how to take on ants in corridors. Hiro is revenged!

Whoops, forgot to do this earlier. Replaced the engraved Elbereth on my stash with a burned Elbereth so that it will never wear out.

There was another vault two levels down that I decided to loot. There were no enemies spawned in this vault, so it was a bit harder to find. You can always quaff a potion of object detection to find any vaults. But, if you take a closer look at the vault, you can see that it takes up a 4x4 area (2x2 for the gold, 1' border on all sides). So, there's only so many spaces on this map that you can hide a 4x4 room, so I just dug in a straight line across all the obvious places.

Now that I've looted 2 vaults, I've got a good bit of money. Let's head down to Minetown and have a chat with the priest.

#chat with the priest and donate 400*your character level. In this case, it's 400*10 = 4000 gold for Hiro.

The priest will reward you by lowering your AC by 2-4 points! Note how Hiro's AC drops from -2 to -4. This is divine protection granted by your god and won't go away unless you change alignments. You can keep donating 400*level gold to any priest you find (even the one in the Valley of the Dead) to lower your AC by 1 point until you reach naked 1 AC, at which point it becomes much harder to buy protection.

I price ID my spellbooks to level 1 and 2. Those are low level enough that they're worth reading (90% and 80% respectively), so I go ahead and read them and get a few spells out of it. Magic missile could come in handy once I ditch my metal armor, it's a pretty good attack spell and Samurai can become skilled in attack spells.

I sell my other high level spellbooks that I'm never going to be able to use and head back up to my altar. Now that I have a unicorn horn, it's a good time to start IDing some of my other potions.

Potions of blindness (price 150), hallucination (price 100), and confusion (price 100) will become water if you #dip a unicorn horn into them. #name those potions "<price> <color> clears" and dip a unihorn into them.

This one cleared, so it was either hallucination or confusion. Neither of them are particular useful, so if I find any more they'll go straight into the dipping queue. You need to name it before you dip it, since after it clears you can't name it anymore.

If it's not one of those three potions, you'll get this message and nothing will happen.

I ID another potion as blindness. The rest of these 100 or 150 price potions are pretty safe to quaff ID. After quaffing, I find these 3 are invisibility, gain energy, and extra healing.

I was wandering around looking for stuff to sac to check my prayer timeout when after one of my sacrifices my god crowns me. Crowning is both a blessing and a curse - on the one hand, I get all sorts of cool intrinsics:

* cold resistance * fire resistance * poison resistance * sleep resistance * shock resistance * see invisible
and I also would have gotten Excalibur, if I didn't have it already. On the other hand, my prayer timeout increases to about 4000 turns, which means that I can't pray nearly as often as I did before. Fortunately, I haven't had to rely on prayer too much this game.

I bless 2 more potions of gain ability and quaff them to up all my stats by 2. That's about all I have to do at my stash, so let's head down to Sokoban now.

A bag? Could it be holding?!

#loot test says no, it's a bag of tricks (which autoidentifies). I'll hang onto this for when I head back up to my altar.

The level under the Oracle has a second upstair. This one leads to Sokoban.

This shop seems to be closed and the door is locked. Kick the door down, and the shopkeeper will get mad at you. But if you unlock the door and open it, the shop will function as normal. Weird, I know.

Telepathy lets me do an easy mimic check.

Scrolls of identify are the easiest to identify - they're the only ones that sell for < 30 zorkmids.

Nothing else interesting in this store, let's go to Sokoban!

Nethack's Sokoban is based off an old Japanese game that had you push boxes around a maze trying to reach an exit. In Nethack, the point is to fill the pits (^) by pushing the boulders (`) into them. You can only push, not pull, and you can't push boulders diagonally. Not spatially inclined? Neither am I, and I always turn to the handy dandy Sokoban spoiler to figure out Sokoban.

Sokoban is also a good early game target since every level is guaranteed to have several food items, a wand, and a ring. In some cases, the item could be hidden under a boulder, so after you solve the puzzle make sure you push all the boulders one square to check underneath them.

The first level of Sokoban is also guaranteed to have 2 scrolls of earth in the bottom left corner. These are useful if you screw up and need to create some more boulders to fill some pits. BUC status can vary though, so be careful.

Well, looks like that one was confusion.

Monsters can be randomly generated behind boulders. Keep your telepathy active and check to make sure you aren't boxing in any monsters.

On to level 2. There are 2 possibilities for each level of Sokoban, with a 50/50 chance of pulling either one. This one happens to be the much harder version of level 2.

Food can also be generated on the pit itself. The easiest way to get the food off is to give it a good kick. It will either fall down the pit, in which case you can go downstairs and pick it up.

Or it will fly to the end of the row and you can pick it up when you finish the puzzle.

One of the food items was a tin that I decided to eat. Some tins contain spinach, which as you can guess make your character stronger. It's worth eating all tins you find as soon as you get a chance in case they're spinach - if it's something bad, just throw the tin away.

Usually, by the time you've finished the Sokoban puzzle, a ton of monsters will have generated in the stair room. Don't go rushing into the room like me, stay outside and take them on one at a time.

Hey, engrave-testing this wand shows me it's a wand of cold. Wands of cold aren't quite as useful as fire or lightning because they can't burn Elbereth, but these can be useful in water stages to freeze water into ice. It's also a strong distance attack, like all other attack wands. The other wands engrave-tested to light and "did nothing", which usually means it's useless.

These came from an elf I killed. The mud boots are one of those randomly shuffled names, but elves almost always carry and drop elven boots, so I'll name these elven so I don't frget.

I was starting to get burdened, so I made a pile of the extra food rations next to the stairs so I remember to pick them up on my way out of Sokoban. Only one more level to go!

Bag of Holding version of Sokoban. I'm not going to complain, since I don't have either item yet.

Hm, the Sokoban spoiler doesn't have this boulder on the map. Guess that's why.

La-de-da, just pushing boulders on my what on earth does this mean?

Argh, outtatheway buddy.

Few zaps from my wand of magic missile give this orc what he deserves. You can also throw things/shoot arrows/zap spells/wands at enemies behind boulders. Just avoid wands of striking and force bolt, since those will break the boulder and incur a luck penalty.

One last peek into the zoo before I head in via telepathy. There's a lot of stuff in there, and the square I'm standing on it the safest to take them out from.

These guys in particular are scary to a gloveless character such as me.

Oh god oh god oh god oh god don't hit the , key.

Pick up a cockatrice or chickatrice corpse without gloves on and you will instantly turn to stone. Wander onto a square with a corpse on it while blind and without gloves and you will instantly turn into stone. There are far too many way to die to a cockatrice that I won't even bother listing them all, but be very careful around cockatrices/chickatrices. It's also a good idea to stand on their corpses, in case some monster with gloves decides to pick it up and give you a good whack with it, but oh god the potential for mistakes is terrifying.


Uh oh, this wand is a vanisher. I'll name it as such and put it away in my oilskin bag right away.

At long last, the bag of holding.

One step closer to his final goal, Hiro thanks the gods for blessing him with this magic bag. But as wonderful as it is, the bag of holding won't help keep him any more alive! Will Hiro survive the next dungeon levels without magic resistance or reflection? Find out next time on Chapter 7 - Nothing to Hide.


Next time on Heroes...