NetHack is a computer game that was first released in 1987. I don’t remember the first time I ever played; I definitely remember playing the game that inspired it called Rogue in the late 80s. I’ve probably been playing NetHack for over 15 years. You can read a synopsis of the game at Wikipedia. It’s a role-playing game where you are an adventurer attempting to find the Amulet of Yendor. All of the elements of the game are represented by different characters. As an example, you, the adventurer, are represented by an “@” symbol. The “h” character can represent dwarves or mind flayers. You can zone out playing the game, but it’s never so addictive that you can’t walk away from a game. (It helps that the game is turn-based–there is no penalty for saving the game and coming back later.)
It’s not an easy game. To win NetHack, you need to defeat the Wizard of Yendor to get the Book of the Dead, finish a quest to get the Bell of Opening, and defeat Vlad the Impaler to get the Candelabrum of Invocation. From there you can descend into Moloch’s Sanctum to defeat the High Priest and take the Amulet of Yendor. Once you have the Amulet, you need to fight your way back up the levels to escape the dungeon. Finally, you need to defeat monsters on planes of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air before reaching the Astral plane. By sacrificing the Amulet you ascend to win the game.
If you’re still reading the blog post at this point, please note: yes, I know I’m a geek :-)
Today was the first day I ever won at NetHack.
I started playing on late Saturday night and went well past midnight. That evening, I completed all of the part of the game leading to the various planes. This afternoon, I dove in again. And in a couple of hours I had won.
Goodbye Firehawk the Demigod... You went to your reward with 4735686 points, Sting (worth 800 zorkmids and 2000 points) The Eye of the Aethiopica (worth 4000 zorkmids and 10000 points) Dragonbane (worth 500 zorkmids and 1250 points) Magicbane (worth 3500 zorkmids and 8750 points) The Bell of Opening (worth 5000 zorkmids and 12500 points) The Candelabrum of Invocation (worth 5000 zorkmids and 12500 points) Werebane (worth 1500 zorkmids and 3750 points) Stormbringer (worth 8000 zorkmids and 20000 points) The Book of the Dead (worth 10000 zorkmids and 25000 points) 12 fluorite stones (worth 4800 zorkmids), 7 diamonds (worth 28000 zorkmids), 6 rubies (worth 21000 zorkmids), 6 jacinth stones (worth 19500 zorkmids), 5 jet stones (worth 4250 zorkmids), 5 amethyst stones (worth 3000 zorkmids), 5 jasper stones (worth 2500 zorkmids), 4 chrysoberyl stones (worth 2800 zorkmids), 3 sapphires (worth 9000 zorkmids), 2 black opals (worth 5000 zorkmids), 2 citrine stones (worth 3000 zorkmids), 1 dilithium crystal (worth 4500 zorkmids), 1 emerald (worth 2500 zorkmids), 1 obsidian stone (worth 200 zorkmids), 1 agate stone (worth 200 zorkmids), 1 jade stone (worth 300 zorkmids), 1 amulet of life saving (worth 150 zorkmids), 1 amulet of unchanging (worth 150 zorkmids), 1 amulet of magical breathing (worth 150 zorkmids), and 138918 pieces of gold, after 74749 moves. You were level 30 with a maximum of 223 hit points when you ascended. You made the top ten list! No Points Name Hp [max] 1 4735686 Firehawk-Wiz-Elf-Mal-Cha ascended to demigod-hood. 143  2 2202518 Firehawk-Wiz-Elf-Mal-Cha died on the Astral Plane. Killed by Death (with the Amulet). -  3 2010849 Firehawk-Wiz-Elf-Mal-Cha died on the Plane of Fire. Killed by an invisible Archon (with the Amulet). - 
As you can see by the top ten list, I played a Male Chaotic Elven Wizard named Firehawk.
For the NetHack fanatics among us, here are the details of my character at the end of the game:
Amulets o - the blessed Eye of the Aethiopica w - an uncursed amulet of life saving (being worn) Weapons u - the cursed rustproof +1 Dragonbane v - the rustproof +1 Magicbane J - the +1 Werebane (alternate weapon; not wielded) O - the blessed rustproof +0 Stormbringer (weapon in hand) Armor e - a blessed fireproof +2 pair of gauntlets of dexterity (being worn) g - a blessed rustproof +2 helm of brilliance (being worn) C - an uncursed +0 Hawaiian shirt (being worn) E - an uncursed +0 pair of levitation boots T - a blessed fireproof +1 cloak of magic resistance (being worn) U - an uncursed +1 silver dragon scale mail (being worn) W - a blessed fireproof +4 pair of speed boots (being worn) Comestibles b - an uncursed tin of rock troll meat Spellbooks S - the uncursed Book of the Dead Rings d - an uncursed ring of regeneration r - an uncursed ring of conflict t - a cursed ring of warning x - an uncursed ring of slow digestion (on right hand) I - an uncursed ring of levitation Wands j - a wand of create monster (0:13) l - a cursed wand of digging (0:4) m - a wand of magic missile (0:6) s - a wand of secret door detection (0:14) z - a cursed wand of polymorph (0:3) D - a wand of death (0:4) H - a wand of digging (0:5) L - a wand of enlightenment (0:8) M - a wand of digging (0:3) N - a wand of digging (0:4) P - a cursed wand of cancellation (0:4) V - a wand of cold (0:2) X - a wand of teleportation (0:6) Tools f - a +0 unicorn horn h - a blessed bag of holding p - an uncursed blindfold q - a +0 pick-axe y - the cursed Bell of Opening (0:1) A - a blessed magic marker (1:3) B - the uncursed Candelabrum of Invocation (7 candles attached) G - a cursed skeleton key Gems k - 4 cursed chrysoberyl stones n - 3 uncursed jasper stones F - an uncursed luckstone Q - 3 uncursed sapphires Y - 4 uncursed jet stones Contents of the bag of holding: a tinning kit (0:63) an uncursed spellbook of cone of cold a blessed potion of full healing 2 potions of holy water an uncursed +0 pair of water walking boots the fireproof +0 Sting an uncursed amulet of unchanging an uncursed spellbook of magic mapping an uncursed black opal an uncursed emerald a cursed jet stone 2 cursed jacinth stones an uncursed spellbook of identify a blessed spellbook of finger of death an uncursed spellbook of magic missile a potion of unholy water a blessed spellbook of force bolt an uncursed scroll of food detection an uncursed scroll of scare monster a blessed scroll of taming a cursed scroll of teleportation an uncursed obsidian stone an uncursed flint stone 4 uncursed jacinth stones an uncursed bugle a cursed scroll of fire an uncursed spellbook of dig a blessed spellbook of light 5 uncursed diamonds 12 uncursed fluorite stones a rusty wand of secret door detection (0:12) a wand of sleep (0:7) 2 uncursed jasper stones an uncursed scroll of blank paper a blessed +4 quarterstaff 5 uncursed amethyst stones 6 uncursed rubies an uncursed scroll of stinking cloud an uncursed agate stone 2 uncursed touchstones an uncursed ring of searching an uncursed amulet of magical breathing an uncursed scroll of stinking cloud 134052 gold pieces 2 uncursed diamonds 2 uncursed citrine stones an uncursed dilithium crystal an uncursed jade stone an uncursed black opal an uncursed mirror a wand of striking (0:6) a wand of teleportation (0:8) an uncursed scroll of light an uncursed lizard corpse 4 uncursed food rations Final Attributes: You were piously aligned. You were fire resistant. You were cold resistant. You were sleep resistant. You were disintegration-resistant. You were shock resistant. You were poison resistant. You were level-drain resistant. You were magic-protected. You saw invisible. You were telepathic. You were warned. You had infravision. You were invisible to others. You could teleport. You had teleport control. You had slower digestion. You were very fast. You had reflection. Your life would have been saved. You were extremely lucky. You had extra luck. Bad luck did not time out for you. Good luck did not time out for you. You survived after being killed twice. Vanquished creatures: Asmodeus Baalzebub Orcus Juiblex The Wizard of Yendor (15 times) Pestilence (4 times) a high priest a mastodon Medusa Croesus 9 krakens 4 iron golems 2 ki-rin 2 storm giants a titan 7 glass golems 3 balrogs 6 purple worms 2 gray dragons 5 silver dragons 6 red dragons 6 white dragons 3 orange dragons 4 black dragons 6 blue dragons 2 green dragons 6 yellow dragons 9 minotaurs 4 jabberwocks The Dark One 9 baluchitheria 5 Angels a demilich Vlad the Impaler 15 stone golems 8 master mind flayers 10 Olog-hai 3 Nazguls 10 pit fiends 3 sandestins 4 hell hounds 4 titanotheres 4 trappers a baby silver dragon a baby black dragon a guardian naga 11 disenchanters 25 vampire lords 5 skeletons 10 shopkeepers 3 guards 18 aligned priests 7 captains 6 shades 5 liches 5 clay golems 12 nurses 6 ice devils 3 nalfeshnees 2 lurkers above 4 Aleaxes a frost giant 5 ettins 2 golden nagas 13 black puddings 36 vampires 11 lieutenants a watch captain 51 ghosts 2 wizards 3 queen bees 5 winged gargoyles 19 giant mimics 12 zruties 22 fire giants 11 ogre kings 11 ice trolls 29 rock trolls 8 umber hulks 6 flesh golems 4 Elvenkings 7 doppelgangers 14 hezrous 10 bone devils 9 large mimics 4 wumpuses 6 fire vortices 2 baby long worms 7 long worms 9 couatls 20 stalkers 16 air elementals 23 fire elementals 30 earth elementals 5 water elementals 2 hill giants 3 giant mummies 4 black nagas 23 xorns 21 giant zombies 5 elf-lords 17 sergeants 17 barbed devils 5 vrocks 8 salamanders 13 wargs a winter wolf 4 hell hound pups 27 small mimics a glass piercer 10 warhorses 14 steam vortices 20 xans 7 ettin mummies 5 ogre lords 13 quantum mechanics 27 trolls 7 sasquatches 7 wood golems 3 erinyes 4 mariliths 2 djinn 5 sharks 10 electric eels 5 gelatinous cubes 5 pyrolisks 6 large dogs 6 freezing spheres 8 flaming spheres 9 shocking spheres 10 large cats 7 tigers 12 gargoyles 2 dwarf kings 17 tengu 8 ochre jellies 13 leocrottas 9 energy vortices 2 mountain centaurs 16 stone giants 5 elf mummies 4 human mummies 3 red nagas 4 green slimes 9 pit vipers 5 pythons 13 cobras 59 wraiths 11 carnivorous apes 33 ettin zombies 8 leather golems a Grey-elf 120 soldiers 4 watchmen 7 horned devils 5 succubi 13 incubi 8 chameleons 5 crocodiles 18 giant beetles 10 quivering blobs 19 cockatrices 6 wolves 7 winter wolf cubs 3 lynxes 4 panthers 13 gremlins 7 spotted jellies 90 leprechauns 4 orc-captains 2 iron piercers 7 mumakil 13 giant spiders 10 scorpions 8 horses 4 ice vortices 12 black lights 70 vampire bats 3 forest centaurs 5 gnome kings 9 orc mummies 9 dwarf mummies 3 ogres 5 brown puddings 10 rust monsters 10 owlbears 12 yetis 5 gold golems 5 werewolves 5 Green-elves 4 piranhas 23 giant eels 21 lizards 16 chickatrices 4 dogs 7 dingos 4 housecats 5 jaguars 4 dwarf lords 3 blue jellies 4 white unicorns 7 gray unicorns a black unicorn 11 dust vortices 10 ravens 6 plains centaurs 4 gnome mummies 6 snakes 2 water moccasins 8 apes 19 human zombies 3 rope golems 2 Woodland-elves 15 soldier ants 6 fire ants 9 bugbears 6 imps 14 lemures 15 quasits 8 wood nymphs 5 water nymphs 6 mountain nymphs 18 Mordor orcs 34 Uruk-hai 3 orc shamans 7 rock piercers 3 rock moles 7 ponies 8 fog clouds 17 yellow lights 2 shriekers 5 violet fungi 26 gnome lords 14 gnomish wizards a Kop Lieutenant 5 kobold mummies 4 red naga hatchlings a black naga hatchling 3 golden naga hatchlings 2 guardian naga hatchlings 8 gray oozes 10 barrow wights 20 elf zombies 12 ghouls 4 straw golems 5 paper golems 2 jellyfish 2 baby crocodiles 17 giant ants 7 little dogs 12 floating eyes 4 kittens 31 dwarves 6 homunculi 6 kobold lords 3 kobold shamans 24 hill orcs 7 rothes 6 rabid rats 6 centipedes 19 giant bats 5 Kop Sergeants 3 monkeys 21 orc zombies 17 dwarf zombies 2 wererats 5 werejackals 7 iguanas 96 killer bees 5 acid blobs 9 coyotes 3 gas spores 16 hobbits 24 manes 3 large kobolds 16 hobgoblins 9 giant rats 15 cave spiders 4 brown molds 5 yellow molds 3 green molds 2 red molds 75 gnomes 15 Keystone Kops 14 garter snakes 18 gnome zombies 10 geckos 23 jackals a fox 3 kobolds 11 goblins 5 sewer rats 13 grid bugs 14 bats 14 lichens 14 kobold zombies 13 newts 2998 creatures vanquished. Genocided species: mind flayers liches demiliches master liches arch-liches 5 species genocided. Voluntary challenges: You genocided 5 types of monsters. You never changed form. You used 6 wishes. You did not wish for any artifacts.