The Let's Play Archive


by Lobster Maneuver

Part 7: Nothing to Hide

Previously on Heroes...

Hiro Nakamura bested a formidable foe in his conquest of Sokoban. But will he be able to defeat the greatest danger in all of Nethack...himself? Because 95% of deaths are due to user error, get it?

Chapter 7 - Nothing to Hide

A regular bag of holding is a great tool, since it decreases the weight of all objects in it by 1/2. A blessed bag of holding does even better and cuts the weight of all objects in it by 1/4. A bag of holding isn't quite as vital to an ascension kit as, say, reflection, but it'll do wonders for your peace of mind and your turn count if you don't have to walk down to your stash every time you pick up a spellbook.

Stuffed everything into that bag of holding

My oilskin bag is still useful even now that I have a BoH. It's a good idea to keep at least one potion of holy water out of the BoH, in case it gets cursed and you need to bless it without dropping it. Also, stick all those things that could explode the BoH in another bag, safely out of harm's way.

Wand of speed monster. Samurais already have intrinsic speed, so this won't do me any good, but otherwise I could zap myself with it to gain intrinsic speed. This will also come in handy if I want to speed up a pet.

Price IDing some of the stuff I picked up in Sokoban. Note a price 300 scroll - this could be genocide . Pity I've only found one scroll of identify so far.

We're...not going to discuss this one. I decided to read that 300 price spellbook at 70% chance and it decided to paralyze me for some 20 turns. In retrospect, it was probably a 400 price spellbook that got surcharged to look like a 300 price spellbook, since none of the level 3 spellbooks paralyze for more than 12 turns. A plains centaur came in and beat the shit out of me, nearly killing me. Thankfully I snapped out of it at 25 HP. This is a definite YASD candidate and just goes to show you why you should always lock the door when you're shopping. At least I came out of it alive.

I price test my vanishing wand as base 200, making it either teleportation or cancellation. I'll figure out which one right away.

Drop a worthless scroll like light and zap it. If it's cancellation, the scroll will become blank. If it's teleportation, it'll disappear.

Teleportation. I'm still a bit skittish though and won't put it in my BoH quite yet. A wand of teleportation is a good emergency item to keep out and available anyway, since you can zap yourself or enemies if you get in a bad spot.


There's another quest artifact abuse #naming trick with amulets - amulets of ESP can't be named "The Eye of the Aethiopica". This one isn't ESP.

I find 4 spellbooks in chests on that level and head back down to price ID and read them. Also learned the jumping spell in addition to these three.

Fat load of good it does me though. Samurai can only advance in attack and clerical spells, and without advancement I have an abysmal chance of casting any other class of spell. The only spell here I'll even be able to sniff at in the future is magic missile.

Hey look, a whore . There's way too much going on with incubi and succubi for me to get into, but the Incubus and Sucubus spoiler will get you started in the right direction. #chat with one of the opposite sex and you have a chance of some good benefits. This one raises my my max power by 2 points.

Pssh, that's what she said . This means the succubus is done with you and you might as well kill it and get your money back.

Lizard corpse, an often underlooked part of the ascension kit. Pick up every lizard corpse you find and keep at least one in your inventory. Eating a lizard corpse (they never go bad) is the easiest way to stop yourself from getting stoned by a hissing cockatrice. If it's a new moon and you don't have a lizard corpse in your main inventory, you will automatically turn to stone. That's bad news.

Oh boy, the Big Room. I nearly had a heart attack the first time I saw one of these, especially since I got the completely empty version.

The first thing you should do upon entering the big room is burn an Elbereth into the ground. Why, you ask?

That's why.

Thank god for cold resistance. Soldiers are always a problem, since they spawn in large groups, ignore Elbereth, and will pick up wands (or sometimes cockatrice corpses) and zap you.

But they're dead now. I loot a bugle off them and put it away for later - it's a good idea to keep a musical instrument of some kind on hand for when you reach the castle.

I forgot to point this out last time, but trolls will often respawn from the dead after you've killed them. This makes them a royal pain in the ass when you get ambushed from behind by an enemy you thought was dead.

Solution? Tin them. You can also eat them (but they'll still revive sometimes), have a pet eat them, kill them on the Rogue level so they don't leave a corpse, drop their corpse in a lake, there's plenty of ways to get rid of trolls.

Digging also auto-identifies when you engrave test it. Definitely keep all digging wands you find, they'll come in handy in Gehennom.

Quaff IDing a potion of hallucination.

I picked up a ton of loot from the big room, so I head down to the altar on level 3 to BUC test it. The yugake are basic leather gloves - only 1 point in AC, but they'll let me pick up cockatrice corpses without being turned to stone.

Amulets are a pain in the ass to identify, since they all cost the same and a lot of them only identify themselves under very specific conditions. That being said, if the amulet is cursed, it's probably one of the bad kinds (strangulation, sleeping). If it's not cursed, there's no harm in wearing it - it might be life saving, and dying with an amulet of life saving in your bag is a terrible way to go. If it's one of the bad kinds of amulets, just take it off.

Uh ok thanks dude. Stealth isn't terribly useful, but hey, free intrinsic.

Always bless your scrolls of enchant weapon before you read them. I decide to bless my katana, since I could still find a better weapon than Excalibur to use in my main hand (Frost Brand, Grayswandir), but the katana is a permanent fixture in the off hand.

Sound cue for a throne room. Although, if you look around via telepathy when you enter a level (as you should), the throne room is pretty obvious - it's a room filled with sleeping enemies, usually h and o and T.

Found the Quest level. Hidden on this level somewhere is a teleporter which will take me to the quest. I'm not level 14 yet though, so I won't worry about that too much.

Found it.

If you #sit on a throne, you have a chance of getting a wish or an uncursed genocide, among other things. Check out the thrones spoiler for more. There are some bad outcomes, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives with thrones.

Keep #sitting on the throne until it disappears. This one vanished before I could get anything out of it.

I actually got this one from leveling up to level 12 - I didn't have enough skill slots to get Expert in two-weapon.

This was a giant mummy and would usually be a dangerous food to eat, since all mummies are considered old and food poisoned.

However, tinning a corpse automatically makes it healthy to eat, regardless of its source. It'll even convey all the effects of its derivative. Tinning giant meat is a good idea, since all giants give a strength bonus when eaten. I also snag that mummy wrapping for later.

Found another enchant weapon (pre-blessed, no less) and upped my katana to +5. Also ate the giant tin and upped my strength to 18/19.

I also BUC test a mummy wrapping as uncursed, so now I can use my wand of make invisible on myself.

Normally, invisibility is a bit of a hassle. Sure, it's harder for enemies to hit you, but you can't shop if you're invisible.

Put on a mummy wrapping, and you'll no longer be invisible and you can shop just as normal. The mummy wrapping takes up your cloak slot, so don't forget to change back to whatever cloak you were wearing after you finish shopping.

You need to get 7 candles before you can ascend, so don't forget to buy them at some point. This will probably be my last trip to Minetown for a while, so I'll pick them up now. Sometimes Izchak doesn't have enough candles - in that case, you'll need to either find some in your travels (unlikely), polypile tools, or wish for them. Candle type doesn't matter.

Also donated for another point of protection. Down to -6.

Since I neglected to do it before, I'm going to journey down to Mine's End. I know I don't have magic resistance or reflection, and I already have a luckstone, but it's usually worth the trip anyway. Sometimes you'll find extra bags of holding or magic lamps in the mines. My Mine's End happens to be extremely uninteresting, however, and I'll give you the Cliff's Notes version.

There are several types of magic horns out there: frost horn, fire horn, horn of plenty, or just a normal musical horn. They are trivial to identify - just apply it. This one is normal, and since I already have a musical instrument, I'll ditch it.

A polished silver shield is a shield of reflection. This will definitely come in handy for Medusa, at least until I find another source of reflection. I'll keep dual wielding for the time being though until I really need reflection.

And this is why you should always leave random amulets on. Not quite life saving, but it'll do. This amulet of reflection gives me the reflection intrinsic, which will save me from wands of death, dragon breath, and all manner of nasty attacks. Reflection is pretty much a must in order to win the game.


Grease your helmet to protect from mind flayer attacks, and grease your cloak to prevent from drowning by eels. I lost my last easily ascendable knight (already had MR, reflection, -20 AC, pet lvl 20 silver dragon) to a drowning attack - turns out removing a ring of levitation won't release you from an eel if you're riding a pet. Who knew. I also grease my bag of holding so that it won't get its contents soaked if I accidentally drop it into some water.

Doors mean we've reached Mine's End. Mine's End has several possible versions - this one happens to be the Catacombs. Catacombs is probably the worst version - there's no guaranteed gems here, and the luckstone happens to be on the same square as a level teleport trap. I have no business here without magic resistance, so I decide to head back up.

Well, one quick stop before I head up. Keep a tin of floating eye meat handy in case you lose telepathy, either to a gremlin or murder.

Hiro Nakamura has conquered one branch of the Dungeons of Doom. But what perils await him on the next leg of his journey? Find out in the next episode of Heroes, Chapter 8 - Seven Minutes to Midnight.


Next time on Heroes...

Those of you who care about continuity, if you pay attention to my turn count, I actually looted this vault and triggered the portal before doing Mine's End (the vault is how I had enough money to buy another point of protection). Ludios is definitely a bad idea though if you don't have reflection, since it seems like every other soldier has a wand, possibly a wand of death, and dragons are no fun without reflection or MR.