Thursday, October 16, 2008

Old Valk, New Valk, Hungry Valk, Dead Valk.

There was a bit of talk on the IRC channel about Nethack, and by the next day it had sunk in enough that I wanted to play. So I connected to's nethack server.

(you can play too, just click here)

I rejoined a long forgotten game in progress. My Valkyrie was in the mine town, hanging around near a stockpile inside a co-aligned temple. Sweet! I've got a co-aligned altar, a pile of stuff, pretty good kit. Missing a pet, but that's easily remedied. I stepped toward the door to leave and rediscover the town, and the priestess attacked me, and blinded me. Oh yeah, I remember! I attacked her on accident! ... And now I'm going to die. And die I did.

I started a new game and picked up an unidentified wand in the first room. A newt approached me menacingly, and I stepped close to it, and zapped it to see what the wand did. In the next turn two things happened. The newt was hit by the wand, now identified as a wand of polymorph, and turned into a random monster, in this case, a fucking green dragon. Secondly, my pet kitten stepped between me and aforementioned dragon. It was green dragon, kitten, me. I'm literally 6 turns into this new game, and about to be obliterated by a dragon's blast of acid. With my kitten in the way I couldn't polymorph the former newt into something less menacing. Wait. Could I? I don't remember if polymorph wands effected multiple spaces... Well, it's not like I've got any other choices. I zap the wand again and my kitten changes into an acid blob, and the green dragon changes into a dingo. Whew! Ok, polymorph wands work on multiple spaces. I take care of the dingo, and zap my pet a few times to see if I can turn it into something more useful. After a few zaps I've got a pet bugbear, and figure it's good enough for a wand with an unknown number of charges left. I name him Bugs.

I weild my dagger to get my dagger skill up quickly, and to increase my chance to hit, and continue deeper. I try to let Bugs do most of the fighting, but he seems unsure of himself. We luck out and find an alter (non-aligned) on the second level, and I greedily identify the status of all my kit. When we make it to the mines, Bugs is almost useless. In the darkness I can't just dance around him while he decides whether or not he's going to smash a nearby Gnome, and wind up taking on most of the monsters there. I instantly go from level 1 to level 5. Oh well.

We progress with few problems, I have a ton of kit to sort out, and Bugs picks up some armor and a short sword and becomes much more willing to jump into the fray. We make it to the mine town and are greeted with a few killer bees and an invisible centuar, we have a little trouble, but get through it OK. I start gathering the dropped items, and in walks one of the most dangerous things to early characters. A swarm of bugs. Even worse; a swarm of fireants. I'm several spaces from the up stairs, and I don't have a place where I can back into and take them one at a time. I'm about to have some problems. I move forward to keep my escape open and manage to take one out before I start getting in real trouble. I run for the stairs and barely make it.

Upstairs I go through some of the kit I gathered, and heal up to half my hit points and try to go downstairs again. I jump right back into the fight, and am almost surrounded by fireants as soon as I go down. I keep an eye on my hit points and stupidly don't attack the fireant Bugs is fighting to thin the ranks. I switch to attack the same one and drop one before I get too badly hurt, and escape upstairs. I do this three more times before all the fireants are gone, fortunately Bugs hadn't gone feral during the time I spent healing upstairs.

The town holds nothing of particular interest. An unaligned temple, a hardware store with a bag of tricks in it, and no general store. I notice a ghost hanging out in a corridor, and ignore it for now since it doesn't seem to be interested in me. I realize this is a bones level (a level another nethack player played on, and died in) and realize those fire ants were probably what took care of the last player who ventured down here. I gathered some kit in the temple, and checked the cursed/blessed status of everything, then went a few levels up and gathered everything into one pile to test out. As I tried out the uncursed armor Bugs helped himself to some armor and weapons, and was feeling more adventurous. He was gleefully taking out the peaceful soldiers in town one at a time. I would have cared more if they didn't keep dropping such interesting kit.

A while later, I had a -6 armor class, and was invisible (but visible because I wrapped myself in mummy wrappings). As I was leaving I took out a gnome lord who was carrying way too much stuff, curious where he got it from I wandered around and saw the ghost was now looking for me, and had abandoned the space it was previously occupying, leaving its grave site unprotected. I picked up all the stuff and identified it (it was all cursed, like all the stuff dropped by dead players), but I tossed it in the pile anyways.

I headed back to the altar on level 2 so I could convert it, and sacrifice to my god until he gave me a neat prize. I used the bag of tricks to get plenty of monsters to sacrifice, and after the alter was converted, Tyr was happy to give my Mjollnir. Ready to continue, I wanted him to uncurse some stuff, and make some holy water, so I sacrificed to him until he seemed mollified, and put on a cursed blindfold, and weilded some cursed daggers, dropped the water on the altar, and prayed.

Except Tyr seemed to realize I was taking advantage. He got angry with me, and knocked me down a level. So I was weilding some cursed daggers, and blind, and trying to get more monsters to sacrifice to get back in his good graces. I managed to get a black unicorn on the altar, and Tyr seemed mollified again, but he thought me arrogant, and knocked me down another level. I tried to get more monsters to try again, but I had spent so much time trying that I was hungry, and started fainting. I passed out and was killed by some nonsense monster.


See you space cowboy.

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