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       nethack - Exploring The Mazes of Menace


       nethack [ -d directory ] [ -n ] [ -p profession (role) ] [ -r race ] [
       -[DX] ] [ -u playername ] [ -dec ] [ -ibm ]

       nethack [ -d directory ] -s [ -v ] [ -p profession (role) ] [ -r race ]
       [ playernames ]


       NetHack  is a display oriented Dungeons & Dragons(tm) - like game.  The
       standard tty display and command structure resemble rogue.

       Other, more graphical display options exist if you are using  either  a
       PC, or an X11 interface.

       To  get started you really only need to know two commands.  The command
       ?  will give you a list of the available commands  (as  well  as  other
       information)  and the command / will identify the things you see on the

       To win the game (as opposed to merely playing to  beat  other  people’s
       high  scores)  you  must locate the Amulet of Yendor which is somewhere
       below the 20th level of  the  dungeon  and  get  it  out.   Nobody  has
       achieved this yet; anybody who does will probably go down in history as
       a hero among heros.

       When the game ends, whether by your dying, quitting, or  escaping  from
       the  caves,  NetHack  will  give  you  (a  fragment of) the list of top
       scorers.  The scoring is based on many aspects of your behavior, but  a
       rough estimate is obtained by taking the amount of gold you’ve found in
       the cave plus four times your (real) experience.  Precious  stones  may
       be  worth  a  lot  of  gold  when  brought to the exit.  There is a 10%
       penalty for getting yourself killed.

       The environment variable NETHACKOPTIONS can be used to initialize  many
       run-time  options.   The  ?  command  provides  a  description of these
       options and syntax.  (The  -dec  and  -ibm  command  line  options  are
       equivalent   to   the  decgraphics  and  ibmgraphics  run-time  options
       described there, and are provided purely  for  convenience  on  systems
       supporting multiple types of terminals.)

       Because  the option list can be very long (particularly when specifying
       graphics characters), options may also be included in  a  configuration
       file.   The  default  is  located  in  your  home  directory  and named
       .nethackrc on Unix systems.  On Debian  systems,  use  .nethackrc.gnome
       for  the Gnome windowing port, use .nethackrc.x11 for the X11 windowing
       port, and use .nethackrc.qt for the QT windowing  port.   You  can  use
       .nethackrc.tty for the non-graphical version.  The configuration file’s
       location may  be  specified  by  setting  NETHACKOPTIONS  to  a  string
       consisting of an @ character followed by the filename.

       The  -u  playername option supplies the answer to the question "Who are
       you?".  It overrides any name from the options or  configuration  file,
       USER,  LOGNAME,  or getlogin(), which will otherwise be tried in order.
       If none of these provides a useful name, the player will be  asked  for
       one.  Player names (in conjunction with uids) are used to identify save
       files, so you can have  several  saved  games  under  different  names.
       Conversely, you must use the appropriate player name to restore a saved

       A playername suffix can  be  used  to  specify  the  profession,  race,
       alignment  and/or  gender  of  the  character.   The full syntax of the
       playername that includes a suffix is "name-ppp-rrr-aaa-ggg".  "ppp" are
       at  least  the  first three letters of the profession (this can also be
       specified using a separate -p profession option).  "rrr" are  at  least
       the  first  three  letters  of  the  character’s race (this can also be
       specified using a separate -r race option).   "aaa"  are  at  last  the
       first  three  letters  of  the  character’s alignment, and "ggg" are at
       least the first three letters of the character’s gender.   Any  of  the
       parts of the suffix may be left out.

       -p  profession  can  be  used to determine the character role.  You can
       specify either the male or female name for the character role,  or  the
       first  three  characters of the role as an abbreviation.  -p @ has been
       retained to explicitly request that a random role be  chosen.   It  may
       need  to  be  quoted with a backslash (\@) if @ is the "kill" character
       (see "stty") for the terminal, in order to prevent  the  current  input
       line from being cleared.

       Likewise,  -r  race  can  be  used to explicitly request that a race be

       Leaving out any of these  characteristics  will  result  in  you  being
       prompted during the game startup for the information.

       The  -s  option  alone  will  print  out the list of your scores on the
       current version.  An immediately following -v reports on  all  versions
       present in the score file.  The -s may also be followed by arguments -p
       and -r to print the scores of particular roles and races only.  It  may
       also be followed by one or more player names to print the scores of the
       players mentioned, by ’all’ to print out all scores, or by a number  to
       print that many top scores.

       The   -n   option  suppresses  printing  of  any  news  from  the  game

       The -D or -X option will  start  the  game  in  a  special  non-scoring
       discovery  mode.   -D  will,  if  the player is the game administrator,
       start in debugging (wizard) mode instead.

       The -d option, which must be the first argument if it appears, supplies
       a  directory  which  is  to  serve as the playground.  It overrides the
       value from NETHACKDIR, HACKDIR, or the directory specified by the  game
       administrator   during  compilation  (usually  /usr/lib/games/nethack).
       This option is usually only useful  to  the  game  administrator.   The
       playground must contain several auxiliary files such as help files, the
       list of top scorers, and a subdirectory save where games are saved.


       Jay Fenlason (+ Kenny Woodland, Mike Thome and  Jon  Payne)  wrote  the
       original hack, very much like rogue (but full of bugs).

       Andries  Brouwer  continuously  deformed their sources into an entirely
       different game.

       Mike Stephenson has continued the perversion of sources, adding various
       warped  character  classes  and  sadistic  traps  with the help of many
       strange people who reside in that place between the worlds, the  Usenet
       Zone.   A number of these miscreants are immortalized in the historical
       roll of dishonor and various other places.

       The resulting mess is now called NetHack, to denote its development  by
       the Usenet.  Andries Brouwer has made this request for the distinction,
       as he may eventually release a new version of his own.


       All files are in the playground, normally  /usr/lib/games/nethack.   If
       DLB  was  defined during the compile, the data files and special levels
       will be inside a larger file, normally nhdat, instead of being separate
       nethack                     The program itself.
       data, oracles, rumors       Data files used by NetHack.
       options, quest.dat          More data files.
       help, hh                    Help data files.
       cmdhelp, opthelp, wizhelp   More help data files.
       *.lev                       Predefined special levels.
       dungeon                     Control file for special levels.
       history                     A short history of NetHack.
       license                     Rules governing redistribution.
       record                      The list of top scorers.
       logfile                     An extended list of games
       xlock.nnn                   Description of a dungeon level.
       perm                        Lock file for xlock.dd.
       bonesDD.nn                  Descriptions of the ghost and
                                   belongings of a deceased
       save                        A subdirectory containing the
                                   saved games.


       USER or LOGNAME      Your login name.
       HOME                 Your home directory.
       SHELL                Your shell.
       TERM                 The type of your terminal.
       HACKPAGER or PAGER   Replacement for default pager.
       MAIL                 Mailbox file.
       MAILREADER           Replacement for default reader
                            (probably /usr/bin/mail).
       NETHACKDIR           Playground.
       NETHACKOPTIONS       String predefining several NetHack

       In addition, SHOPTYPE is used in debugging (wizard) mode.


       dgn_comp(6), lev_comp(6), recover(6)


       Probably infinite.

       Dungeons & Dragons is a Trademark of Wizards of the Coast, Inc.